Just like the infamous Girl Sh*t podcast, the civil lawsuit that the failed project inspired never got off the ground.
A Utah District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit on Friday after the attorney representing Jenelle Eason, Andrew Kenton and others failed to prove that the Court had jurisdiction over the case.
Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Eason, 90 Day Fiance star Andrew Kenton and others filed a lawsuit in May against social media blogger John Yates, YouTube channel Sharrell’s World and others.
Jenelle, Andrew, owners of a home John stayed at, and people associated with Jihoon Lee’s ill-fated GoFundMe campaign are among the plaintiffs accusing John and Sharrell of saying untrue things about them online. I won’t go into all of the numerous allegations, plaintiffs and defendants in the suit and will instead focus on Jenelle and Andrew for a brief reacp.
The gist of Jenelle’s legal beef is that John Yates stated she was fired from the Girl Sh*t podcast. Jenelle insists that she is one of the project’s producers and that she wasn’t fired.
Jenelle’s influencer bff, and fellow Girl Sh*tter, Gabbie Egan seemed to back up John Yates with a series of videos about the Girl Sh*t implosion after the lawsuit was filed. “[Jenelle] still had a contract that said she was a producer,” Gabbie stated, “but we were told that she was fired.”
Gabbie Egan shares her "Girl Sh*t" podcast experience with #TeenMom2's Jenelle Evans & #90DayFiance's Deavan Clegg. Gabbie confirms Deavan was pregnant in March and debunks Jenelle's claims from a recent lawsuit filed against @JohnYates327. https://t.co/mhzbhm5lCF pic.twitter.com/0vt9FRbQd2
— Starcasm (@starcasm) June 8, 2021
Andrew Kenton claims that his reputation and the reputation of his Young One University preschool business were damaged when John Yates publicly stated that Andrew used funds obtained via a Young One University PPP loan to purchase round-trip airplane tickets to Mexico.
If you’re wanting to suffer through the full list of plaintiffs, defendants and allegations, then I invite you to commiserate with legal YouTuber Emily D. Baker by watching her breakdown of the lawsuit filing. I will warn you that it is a painful and frustrating experience for her, and likely for yourself.
Emily’s coverage of the suit begins right around the 1:20:30 mark — the embed should be cued up correctly:
Why was the Jenelle Eason and John Yates lawsuit dismissed?
The civil lawsuit was filed in Utah Federal District Court in May claiming that the Court had diversity subject-matter jurisdiction.
Here are the basics to establish diversity subject-matter jurisdiction:
• No plaintiff can be a citizen of the same state as a defendant. This includes individuals and businesses.
• The amount of damages must exceed $75,000.
The Court filed an Order To Show Cause on September 2 stating that the “Plaintiffs fail to sufficiently allege the citizenship of any of the parties” before demanding that the Plaintiffs “show cause, within fourteen (14) days, why the court should not dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”
The attorney for the Plaintiffs filed a 9-page response to the Court’s order on September 16 (exactly 14 days later) detailing why his clients have a legitimate case for defamation. Oddly, the response didn’t provide any additional information about the citizenship of the parties involved. It merely states that “there is diversity of citizenship between the Plaintiffs and Defendants” with no further information than what was included in the initial filing.
Due to the Plaintiffs not providing additional proof of citizenship of the parties involved, the Court responded by dismissing the case without prejudice on Friday. Here is the full Order:
Plaintiffs initiated this action on May 18, 2021, asserting this court has diversity subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332.2. In the Complaint, Plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege the citizenship of any of the parties, and the court could not evaluate whether it had the requisite subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. Accordingly, the court issued an Order to Show Cause on September 2, 2021, identifying the specific deficiencies in the citizenship allegations concerning the individual parties, the Doe parties, and the limited liability company parties. The court directed Plaintiffs to demonstrate why the action should not be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiffs in their recently-filed Memorandum in Response fail to engage with any of the legal requirements cited by the court in the Order to Show Cause necessary to establish subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs have, therefore, failed to establish such jurisdiction. As a result, the Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice.
SO ORDERED this 17th day of September 2021.
Being dismissed without prejudice means that the case can be brought back to court. It’s unclear if the plaintiffs in the case plan on re-filing the lawsuit.
#TeenMom2 Jenelle Eason shares her side of what happened during the Girl S#!t podcast implosion as part of her ongoing feud with #90DayFiance's Deavan Clegg. Get a full recap, including contract excerpts and text message receipts! https://t.co/zH9me0voFC pic.twitter.com/xS13dgAKmv
— Starcasm (@starcasm) June 29, 2021
More detailed Reasons for dismissal
I tried to summarize the case dismissal above without getting into too much legalese. For those of you wanting a bit more information, I’ve got a more detailed explanation of the requirements for diverse subject-matter jurisdiction followed by excerpts from the Order To Show Cause.
The following quote is from the American Bar Association after a frustrated judge issued a ruling in regards to “widespread failure by parties to properly allege subject matter jurisdiction.”
First, for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, the plaintiff, or the defendant if removing the case from state court, must allege the citizenship of the parties. It is not appropriate to allege the “residence” of the parties, allege that citizenship is unknown, or allege citizenship based on “upon information and belief” (i.e., lawyer-speak for “I don’t know”).
Careful attention should be paid when dealing with entities, rather than individuals. The citizenship of a corporation is determined by the entity’s state of incorporation as well as the state where the corporation has its principal place of business. 28 U.S.C. §1332(c)(1). Unlike a corporation, however, the citizenship of unincorporated entities, including limited liability companies (LLCs) and partnerships is determined by the citizenship of its member owners. Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004) (“To sufficiently allege the citizenships of these unincorporated business entities, a party must list the citizenships of all the members of the limited liability company and all the partners of the limited partnership”).
The attorney for the Plaintiffs touched on a few facts in regards to the citizenship of those named in the lawsuit, but not nearly enough to prove diverse subject-matter jurisdiction. Here is a lengthy excerpt from the judge’s Order to Show Cause in the case:
* * * START OF EXCERPT * * *
For purposes of §1332, a party’s citizenship is determined from “the facts as they existed at the time of filing.” The citizenship of a person is determined by where they are domiciled; “a person acquires domicile in a state when the person resides there and intends to remain there indefinitely.” A corporation is a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated and of the state in which it has its principal place of business. However, the citizenship of unincorporated entities, such as a limited liability company, is the citizenship of all of its members. So too for a professional limited liability company. The members of unincorporated entities are “the several persons composing such an association.”
Plaintiffs in their Complaint do not adequately allege the citizenship of the named Plaintiffs and named Defendants, the Jane and John Doe Plaintiffs and Defendants, nor of the limited liability companies and professional limited liability company that are party to the case. First, the Complaint does not sufficiently allege the citizenship of Plaintiffs Amber Cherrington, Andrew Kenton, Amanda Grayce Crosby, Jennifer Koczur-Richardson, Jenelle Evans-Eason, Fritz Drexler, and Joseph C. Alamilla, nor of Defendants John Yates, Trena Sharrell Lloyd, and William M. Lloyd. In alleging the citizenship of each named Plaintiff and Defendant, the Complaint states each is “is a resident of [state] and has been for the ninety days prior to the filing of the Complaint.” However, as discussed supra, the citizenship of persons is determined by domicile: the state in which each person resides and intends to remain. The court infers the named Plaintiffs and Defendants are citizens for purposes of §1332 in the states in which the Complaint alleges they are residents and have lived “for the ninety days prior to the filing of the Complaint.” However, if any named Plaintiff or Defendant resided and intended to remain in a different state than the one alleged at the time the Complaint was filed, Plaintiffs must indicate the accurate citizenship of that party.
Second, the Complaint does not sufficiently allege the citizenship of the John and Jane Doe Plaintiffs and Defendants. The Complaint does not allege the citizenship of “Plaintiffs Jane and John Does 1-20,” and alleges only that Defendants Jane and John Does 1-20 “reside or conduct business outside of the state of Utah.” These allegations do not identify the citizenship of the unnamed Plaintiffs and Defendants and, therefore, do not establish diversity. Even if the unnamed Defendants do reside outside of Utah, if any of these Defendants are citizens of California, Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina, or Florida, complete diversity would be destroyed. By failing to allege the citizenship of the John and Jane Does, the Complaint cannot establish the complete diversity of citizenship of the parties.
Finally, the Complaint does not sufficiently allege the citizenship of Young One University, LLC; Joseph C. Alamilla, PLLC; or Sharrell’s World; LLC. Plaintiffs allege that Young One University is a California limited liability company with its principal place of business in California, Joseph C. Alamilla is a Utah limited liability company with its principal place of business in Utah, and Sharrell’s World is “believed to be” a Nevada limited liability company with no principal place of business alleged. However, Plaintiffs fail to allege the citizenship of Young One University’s, Joseph C. Alamilla’s, or Sharrell’s World’s members. As discussed above, because Young One University and Sharrell’s World are limited liability companies, their citizenship is based on the citizenship of all of their members. Similarly, the citizenship of Joseph C. Alamilla, PLLC, is based on the citizenship of all of its members. Failure to allege the citizenship of each of the LLC and PLLC members is a failure to allege the citizenship of each unincorporated entity.
Plaintiffs are therefore ordered to show cause, within fourteen (14) days, why the court should not dismiss this case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
SO ORDERED this 2nd day of September 2021.
* * * END OF EXCERPT * * *
The attorney for the plaintiffs failed to provide any additional proof of citizenship for the individuals and companies named in the suit, so the case was dismissed.
UPDATE – John Yates responded to our story on Twitter and pointed out that it was his attorneys who filed the motion for dismissal.
— John Yates (@JohnYates327) September 21, 2021
Just so we’re clear – from my attorney. pic.twitter.com/T98jhhkQaQ
— John Yates (@JohnYates327) September 21, 2021
According to the court dockets, John’s attorneys filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and Motion for More Definite Statement on August 12. There was a response from the plaintiffs, and then a response to that by John’s attorney’s. I don’t believe diversity subject-matter jurisdiction was mentioned in any of those filings.
The court’s Order To Show Cause based on diversity subject-matter jurisdiction was filed on September 2 and makes no mention of previous motions or replies.