Feola v. Westin Operator LLC
Plaintiff: Gretchen Grubel and Louis Feola
Defendant: Aqualani Recreation Two Corporation, Maui Operating LLC, Westin Operator LLC doing business as Westin Maui Resport & Spa, WM Lessee LLC and Campbell Hawaii Investor LLC
Case Number: 1:2020cv00569
Filed: December 23, 2020
Court: US District Court for the District of Hawaii
Presiding Judge: J MICHAEL SEABRIGHT
Referring Judge: ROM TRADER
Nature of Suit: P.I.: Other
Cause of Action: 28 U.S.C. ยง 1332
Jury Demanded By: None
Docket Report

This docket was last retrieved on February 12, 2021. A more recent docket listing may be available from PACER.

Date Filed Document Text
February 12, 2021 Filing 20 WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Aqualani Recreation Two Corporation. Aqualani Recreation Two Corporation waiver sent on 12/31/2020, answer due 3/1/2021. (Ching, Wesley)
February 2, 2021 Filing 19 NOTICE of Dismissal Without Prejudice of Defendants Maui Operating LLC and WM Lessee, LLC Louis Feola, Gretchen Grubel. (Attachments: #1 Certificate of Service)(Krueger, James)
February 1, 2021 Filing 18 EO: Per Plaintiff's request, the Telephonic Rule 16 Scheduling Conference set for 2/22/2021 is CONTINUED to 4/23/2021 at 09:00AM before MAGISTRATE JUDGE ROM TRADER. Parties and other participants must call-in at least five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the conference. Call-in instructions are below:1. Dial 1-888-363-4735.2. Access Code 2070326. (MAGISTRATE JUDGE ROM TRADER)(laa)
February 1, 2021 Filing 17 Email to Magistrate Judge Rom Trader from James Krueger, Esq., dated January 29, 2021, Re: request to continue Rule 16 Scheduling Conference set for February 22, 2021 (jo)
January 27, 2021 Filing 16 NOTICE by Westin Operator LLC Notice to Court Pursuant to Court's Order of December 30, 2020 [Doc. 11]; Certificate of Service Westin Operator LLC. (Ma, Stacy)
January 27, 2021 Opinion or Order Filing 15 SECOND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY ACTION SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE - Signed by CHIEF JUDGE J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT on 1/27/2021. Show Cause Response due by 2/9/2021(jo)
January 27, 2021 Filing 14 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE Executed and Acceptance of Service Acknowledgement filed by Westin Operator LLC. (Ma, Stacy)
January 27, 2021 Filing 13 NOTICE by Maui Operating LLC, WM Lessee LLC Notice to Court Pursuant to Court's Order of December 30, 2020 Maui Operating LLC, WM Lessee LLC. (Portnoy, Jeffrey)
January 25, 2021 Filing 12 WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by WM Lessee LLC, Maui Operating LLC. WM Lessee LLC waiver sent on 12/31/2020, answer due 3/1/2021; Maui Operating LLC waiver sent on 12/31/2020, answer due 3/1/2021. (Portnoy, Jeffrey)
December 30, 2020 Filing 11 EO: On December 23, 2020, Plaintiffs Louis Feola and Gretchen Grubels ("Plaintiffs") filed this action, asserting subject-matter jurisdiction based upon diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. 1332. See Compl. 10, ECF No. #1 . But Plaintiffs' Complaint did not specify (1) Plaintiffs' citizenship on the date they filed their Complaint; or (2) the citizenship of the members of any of the Defendant LLCs. Because "an LLC is a citizen of every state of which its owners/members are citizens," the citizenship of all an LLC's members must be alleged in order to establish diversity jurisdiction. Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, on December 28, 2020, the court issued an Order to Show Cause ("OSC") why the action should not be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, ECF No. 7. On December 30, 2020, Plaintiffs responded by filing a Motion to Stay the OSC, ECF No #10 , along with an Amended Complaint, ECF No. #9 . Plaintiffs explain that they were citizens of California on the date that the Complaint was filed and that they have dropped Defendant Campbell from the suit because they have determined that one of its members is also a citizen of California. Id. at PageID # 31. Plaintiffs further explain that they have been unable to determine the citizenship of the other LLCs' members despite "engaging in diligent research," including combing through publicly available records and hiring both a Delaware law firm and a private detective firm to assist in the investigation. Id. at PageID # 31-32. The private detective firm informed Plaintiffs that the identity and citizenship of the LLC members "was not available and could not be obtained." Id. at PageID # 32. Plaintiffs now ask the court to allow jurisdictional discovery and to "stay" the OSC pending completion of that discovery. Id. at PageID # 32-33.Given this background, Plaintiff have shown cause why the Complaint should not be dismissed at this time. When "facts supporting jurisdiction are not reasonably ascertainable... from publicly available information," it is sufficient to "allege simply that the defendants [are] diverse." Carolina Cas. Ins. Co. v. Team Equipment, Inc., 741 F.3d 1082, 1087 (9th Cir. 2014); see also Lincoln Ben. Life Ins. Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 108 (3d. Cir. 2015) (explaining that if, after undertaking a "reasonable inquiry" into the citizenship of LLC members, "the plaintiff has no reason to believe that any of the association's members share its state of citizenship, it may allege complete diversity in good faith"). Here, Plaintiffs have alleged diversity jurisdiction in good faith. See Lincoln Ben. Life Ins. Co., 741 F.3d at 110 (finding allegations of diversity sufficient where the plaintiff's counsel investigated the membership of the LLC defendants and was unable to determine their citizenship but found no connections between the LLC defendants and the forum state.). Accordingly, the court DISSOLVES the Order to Show Cause. That is, the court will not dismiss the case without prejudice for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction at this time. Rather, the court will allow full service of process to proceed, and allow Defendants to respond in the ordinary course. Within 30 days of service, each Defendant LLC shall submit a notice to the court stating whether any of their members are citizens of California. (CHIEF JUDGE J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT)(rlfh)
December 30, 2020 Filing 10 MOTION to Stay re #7 Order to Show Cause James Krueger appearing for Plaintiffs Louis Feola, Gretchen Grubel (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1)(Krueger, James)
December 30, 2020 Filing 9 First AMENDED COMPLAINT against Aqualani Recreation Two Corporation, Maui Operating LLC, WM Lessee LLC, Westin Operator LLC, filed by Gretchen Grubel, Louis Feola.(Krueger, James) Modified on 12/31/2020 (jo)
December 28, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 8 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE AS TO DENNIS ARDI re: #3 - Signed by MAGISTRATE JUDGE ROM TRADER on 12/28/2020. DENNIS ARDI, ESQ. added as attorney Pro Hac Vice as to Plaintiffs (jo)
December 28, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 7 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY ACTION SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE - Signed by CHIEF JUDGE J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT on 12/28/2020. Show Cause Response due by 1/25/2021(jo)
December 23, 2020 Filing 6 CIVIL Waiver of Service Packet ~ Notice to Parties Regarding Service Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Attachments: #1 AO 398 Notice of Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of Summons, #2 AO 399 Waiver of Service of Summons)(emt, )
December 23, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 5 Order Setting Telephonic Rule 16 Scheduling Conference is set for 09:00AM on 2/22/2021 before MAGISTRATE JUDGE ROM TRADER - Signed by CHIEF JUDGE J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT on 12/23/2020. (Attachments: #1 Memo from Clerk Re Corporate Disclosures) ATTACH THE SCHEDULING ORDER TO THE INITIATING DOCUMENT (COMPLAINT/NOTICE OF REMOVAL). THE SCHEDULING ORDER AND MEMO RE: CORPORATE DISCLOSURES MUST BE SERVED WITH THE DOCUMENT. (emt, )
December 23, 2020 Filing 4 NOTICE of Case Assignment: Please reflect Civil case number CV 20-00569 JMS-RT on all further pleadings. (emt, )
December 23, 2020 Filing 3 MOTION for Pro Hac Vice (Dennis Ardi, Esq.) Filing fee $ 300. 0975-2464585 James Krueger appearing for Plaintiff Louis Feola (Krueger, James) Modified on 12/23/2020 to add receipt number (emt, ).
December 23, 2020 Filing 2 CIVIL Cover Sheet by Louis Feola. (Krueger, James)
December 23, 2020 Filing 1 COMPLAINT against Westin Operator LLC all Defendants (Filing fee $ 402. 0975-2464576), filed by Louis Feola.(Krueger, James) Modified on 12/23/2020 to add receipt number (emt, ).
December 23, 2020 PAYMENT of Fees - Payment Pro Hac Vice Application Filing fee $ 300, receipt number 0975-2464585.. (Krueger, James)
December 23, 2020 PAYMENT of Fees - Payment for Complaint Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0975-2464576.. (Krueger, James)
December 23, 2020 ADVISORY ENTRY. The filing party shall remit the fees associated with the #1 Complaint and #3 MOTION for Pro Hac Vice. For e-filing purposes, select the docketing event "Payment of Fees" from the "Other Documents" filing category. The filer will then be routed to Pay.Gov to complete the payment process. (emt, ) Modified on 12/23/2020 (emt, ).

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Defendant: Aqualani Recreation Two Corporation
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Defendant: Maui Operating LLC
Represented By: Jeffrey S. Portnoy
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Defendant: Westin Operator LLC doing business as Westin Maui Resport & Spa
Represented By: Stacy Y Ma
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Defendant: WM Lessee LLC
Represented By: Jeffrey S. Portnoy
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Defendant: Campbell Hawaii Investor LLC
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Plaintiff: Gretchen Grubel
Represented By: James Krueger
Represented By: Dennis Ardi
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Plaintiff: Louis Feola
Represented By: James Krueger
Represented By: Dennis Ardi
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