Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Judicial Notice of Internet Evidence — Governmentally-Chartered Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation As Posted on Its Website

Widad v. Brooklyn Public Library, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154087 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 13, 2015):

On July 22, 2015, Laila Widad, proceeding pro se, commenced this action against the Brooklyn Public Library ("BPL") and Jane Doe, an unnamed BPL employee, for damages arising from a physical altercation involving Plaintiff and Jane Doe. The Court grants Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis solely for the purpose of this Order and dismisses the Complaint. Plaintiff is granted thirty (30) days from the date of this Memorandum and Order to file an amended complaint.


Here, to the extent Plaintiff seeks to bring state law claims against the BPL and Jane Doe, the Court lacks diversity jurisdiction over such claims as the parties are not diverse. The BPL is a corporation chartered [*6]  by the New York State legislature and operating exclusively in New York State. See BPL, Articles of Incorporation, available at ; Brooklyn Pub. Library v. City of New York, 250 N.Y. 495, 497-501 (1929) (detailing the founding and history of the BPL).2 As a result, the BPL is a citizen of New York. According to the Complaint, Plaintiff is also a citizen of New York. (Compl. 1.) Although Plaintiff does not allege Jane Doe's citizenship, even if she was not a citizen of New York, the lack of complete diversity between Plaintiff and the BPL destroys any basis for the Court to exercise diversity jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims as currently pleaded. See Pa. Pub. Sch. Emps.' Ret. Sys., 772 F.3d at 117-18. Accordingly, Plaintiff's state law claims are dismissed.

2   The BPL's website makes its Articles of Incorporation publicly available. The Court takes judicial notice of these documents, and may consider them in determining whether the Court has subject matter jurisdiction. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Wrights Mill Holdings, LLC,     F. Supp. 3d    ,    , 2015 WL 5122590, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2015) ("[F]or purposes of a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court may take judicial notice of information publicly announced on a party's website, as long as the website's authenticity is not in dispute and it is capable of accurate and ready determination."); Belizaire v. RAV Investigative & Sec. Servs. Ltd., 61 F. Supp. 3d 336, 347 (S.D.N.Y. 2014) ("This Court . . . may take judicial notice of the information contained on Defendant's own website.").

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