Lytle v. Aspen Educ. Group, No. 9:04-CV-228, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28285, November 10, 2005
Judge: Chief Judge Thad Heartfield
Holding: Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction GRANTED
This is a tort case arising from a student's attendance at an outdoor therapy camp near Groveton, Texas. Aspen and Lone Star filed motions to dismiss claiming lack of personal jurisdiction over Aspen, lack of diversity jurisdiction, and failure to join an indispensable party. Judge Heartfield granted the motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and thus did not need to address the other grounds. Plaintiffs are both Texas residents. Lone Star, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aspen, is incorporated in Delaware and runs the wilderness camp at issue. Defendants maintain that diversity jurisdiction was lacking because Lone Star's principal place of business is in Texas, making it a Texas resident. Plaintiffs contend that Lone Star's principal place of business is in California. Judge Heartfield applied the "total activities" test to determine where Lone Star's principal place of business was, and concluded that it was in fact Texas, and therefore jurisdiction was lacking. While the company's headquarters was in California, its only place of business was Texas.