United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III United States District Judge
filed a putative class action against Defendant TV Guide
Magazine, LLC for alleged violations of Michigan's
Preservation of Personal Privacy Act, Mich. Comp. Laws
§§ 445.1711-15 (the "MPPPA") and unjust
enrichment. ECF 1, PgID 2, 15, 19. The case was stayed in
August 2016 pending the Sixth Circuit's decision in
Coulter-Owens v. Time, Inc., Case Nos. 16-1321 &
16-1380. ECF 32. The Sixth Circuit issued an opinion, ECF
37-1, and the Court lifted the stay, ECF 38. Now before the
Court is Defendant's Second Amended Motion to Dismiss
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). ECF 15-2. The
Court has reviewed the briefs and finds that a hearing is
unnecessary. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f). For the
reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the motion.
a Michigan citizen, brought suit on behalf of herself and
"[a]ll Michigan residents who purchased a subscription
to TV Guide." ECF 1, PgID 12. She seeks "actual
damages, including disgorgement, or $5, 000.00, whichever is
greater" for each class member as provided by the MPPPA.
Id. at 21. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is a
Delaware limited liability company with its principle place
of business in New York. Id. at 3. Defendant has not
filed an answer; but in its Second Amended Motion to Dismiss,
Defendant argues that its principle place of business is in
Michigan. ECF 15-2, PgID 219.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows dismissal for
"lack of subject-matter jurisdiction." Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(1). When subject-matter jurisdiction is challenged
pursuant to 12(b)(1), the plaintiff has the burden of proving
jurisdiction. Mich. S. R.R. Co. v. Branch & St.
Joseph Ctys. Rail Users Ass'n, Inc., 287 F.3d 568,
573 (6th Cir. 2002). When a party makes a factual attack on
jurisdiction, as Defendant does here, the Court "is free
to weigh the evidence and satisfy itself as to the existence
of its power to hear the case." RMI Titanium Co. v.
Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78 F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th Cir.
1996). Plaintiff's allegations are not presumed to be
true and "the existence of disputed material facts will
not preclude the trial court from evaluating for itself the
merits of jurisdictional claims." Id.
argues that Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed
because: (1) Plaintiff does not have standing under
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), ECF
24, PgID 358-60, ECF 28; (2) the Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction because the parties are not diverse and there is
an insufficient amount in controversy, ECF 15-2, PgID 219-20;
(3) the Court must decline to exercise jurisdiction based on
the "home state" and "local controversy"
exceptions under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4), id. at
210; and (4) the Court should exercise its discretion to
dismiss the case in the interests of justice under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(d)(3), id. The Court will address each
argument in turn.
has standing. The thrust of Defendant's argument is that
an MPPPA violation does not raise a concrete injury or any
risk thereof. See ECF 24, PgID 360. But the Sixth
Circuit held that the MPPPA "confers statutory standing
on a person whose information was disclosed in violation of
it . . . [and] the disclosure of that information is a
cognizable injury in fact for purposes of Article III
standing." Coulter-Owens v. Time Inc., __
Fed.Appx. __, Case Nos. 16-1321, 16-1380, 2017 WL 2731309, at
*3 (6th Cir. June 26, 2017).
Court has subject-matter jurisdiction only if the
jurisdiction is authorized by the Constitution and vested by
Congress. Kline v. Burke Constr. Co., 260 U.S. 226,
233-34 (1922). The Constitution provides that the judicial
power shall extend to controversies between citizens of
different states. U.S. Const. Art. III, § 2. Congress
vested diversity jurisdiction over class actions when any
member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state
different from any defendant and the matter in controversy
exceeds $5 million. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2). After
consideration of Defendant's statutory arguments, the
Court finds that it has diversity jurisdiction.
parties are diverse.
is a citizen of Michigan and the putative class is comprised
entirely of Michigan residents. ECF 1, PgID 10, 12.
Consequently, the Court would lack diversity jurisdiction
under § 1332(d)(2) only if Defendant is a Michigan
citizen. Congress provided that in a class action "an
unincorporated association shall be deemed to be a citizen of
the State where it has its principal place of business and
the State under whose laws it is organized." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(d)(10). Defendant is ...