District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn


Read Full- Text Decision

On behalf of a trust for which it is trustee, U.S. Bank Trust N.A.—through counsel—sued Monroe in 2015 alleging nonpayment of a mortgage. Asserting diversity jurisdiction, U.S. Bank claimed Delaware citizenship. New York citizen Monroe’s default was noted on Feb. 2, 2016. Counsel’s affidavit supporting U.S. Bank’s default motion lacked sworn statements that Monroe was not an infant or incompetent, was not in military service, or that no part of the justly due and owing amount was paid. Denying U.S. Bank’s March 17, 2016, motion for default judgment, the court dismissed suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction without prejudice to refiling in state court. Citing Wachovia Bank v. Schmidt, 546 U.S. 303, and OneWest Bank N.A. v. Melina, 827 F.3d 214, it found U.S. Bank did not properly establish its citizenship under rules governing national banking associations, and failed to show that its citizenship alone was sufficient despite bringing suit on behalf of a trust. It included no allegations abut the type of trust at issue, its degree of control over trust assets, or the citizenship of trust beneficiaries, leaving the court to speculate thereon. Thus U.S. Bank’s complaint insufficiently alleged the existence of subject matter jurisdiction.