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32 Cards in this Set

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Seven points to look for on jurisdiction
When you're confronted with a jd. problem, consider these points in order:
1. Subject Matter Jd
2. Personal Jd (parties or prop)
3. Notice & Opportunity to be heard
4. Service of Process
5. Venue
6. Removal
7. Waiver (where possible)
Mnemonic: SPiNS V. RoW
What is subject matter jurisdiction?
It is the authority of a court to hear a certain class of disputes, e.g. fed cts can hear diversity cases or fed question cases (among others); state cts cannot hear antitrust cases b/c they involve exclusively fed questions and law
Can lower federal courts (e.g. district courts) hear cases not enumerated and authorized in the Constitution by Congress?
No. Fed cts are of limited jurisdiction; they can hear only those cases enumerated under Art. III and only to the extent that Congress has authorized them to hear such cases by statute (such as cases involving diversity, fed questions, bankruptcy and more -- see 28 USC §1331 et seq.)
Of the many bases for federal court subject matter jurisdiction, which two do you need to concentrate on in your Civ Pro course?
1. Fed Question Jd (28 USC §1331); and
2. Diversity Jd (28 USC §1332(a)(1))
Is most of the jurisdiction of federal courts exclusive?
No - most fed ct jd is concurrent, which means that jd over the matter can exist in state cts as well, unless a federal statute provides otherwise
Federal courts do have exclusive jurisdiction over...
1. Antitrust matters (28 USC §1337)
2. Bankruptcy proceedings (28 USC §1334)
3. Patent and copyright cases (28 USC §1338(a))
4. Certain types of securities and admiralty claims (28 USC §1333)
Can subject matter jurisdiction be waived?
No. SMJ must exist; neither party can waive the requirement. As a result, the issue can be raised at any time during litigation
What happens is a challenge to federal jurisdiction based on diversity succeeds?
The fed ct must dismiss the action, unless:
1. There's SMJ based on a federal question; or
2. The "non-diverse" party is not "indispensable" and can be non-suited to avoid destroying SMJ
Dr. Pangloss, a NY citizen, patents a method for turning lead into gold. He sues the Al Chemist Co., a FL corp. with its principle place of business in Miami, for patent violation in NY state court. Al chemist, which has no connection to NY state, is served with process in Miami. It defends the suit and loses. On appeal they allege lack of SMJ - what would result?
The case would be overturned for lack of SMJ, since fed cts have exclusive jd over patent suits (28 USC §1338) SMJ cannot be waived
Barbie and Ken get married. Fairly early on in their marriage, Barbie realizes that she doesn't want to spend her life with a man who's not anatomically correct. She moves to another state with the intent to live there. She files for divorce action against Ken in federal court, seeking a $75K property settlement. Will the federal court exercise diversity jurisdiction over the case?
No - although they theoretically could do so, fed cts will not exercise jd over cases defined by the "laws of the states."
Federal courts have SMJ over cases that involve a federal question -- what is a "federal question"?
A fed question arises when the cause of action arises under the Constitution, treaties or laws of the U.S. If a case contains a federal question, diversity requirements such as citizenship of the parties and the size of the claim become irrelevant on the issue of jurisdiction
Is there an amount in controversy requirement in federal question cases?
No (w/ a few exceptions), not in fed question cases. But diversity actions do require that the claim exceed $75K, exclusive of interests and costs
Will Shakespeare owns the U.S. copyright to a porno flick, "A Midsummer Night's Erotic Dream." He licenses the film to the Triple-X Theaters chain in return for 10% of the sales. Triple-X runs the film and refuses to pay. As a result, Shakespeare brings suit in federal district court to enforce payment, relying on federal question jurisdiction. Is this a federal question?
No - because Shakespeare isn't suing for copyright infringement under federal law; he's suing for breach of contract, which does not arise under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the U.S.
Baron von Frankenstein owns the U.S. patent for a method of revivifying the dead. He files a patent infringement suit against Fu Manchu in federal court claiming SMJ based on the federal question and alleging $2K in damages. Fu Manchu moves for dismissal for lack of SMJ. He argues that Frankenstein's claim doesn't ask for the controversy requirement ($75K). Will the motion be granted?
No; there is no federal question amount in controversy requirement (with very few, rather obscure exceptions). 28 USC §1331. The amount in controversy requirement is applied to diversity cases. 28 USC §1332(a)
Othello and Desdemona decide to divorce. Des winds up with an attractive settlement, which provides, in part, that she will get a substantial pile of cash and alimony and that Othello will be liable to pay all resulting federal income taxes. Othello reneges on the deal and Des beings suit for breach of contract in federal court alleging federal question jurisdiction due to the federal income tax provision. Othello moves to dismiss for lack of SMJ. What result?
Motion granted. In order for fed question SMJ to exist, the ∏'s cause of action must arise under federal law. This means either that the claim was created under federal law or that the court must resolve a substantial question of federal law
What is "diversity jurisdiction"?
Fed ct diversity jd is the authority of the fed cts to hear cases when the parties fall within certain categories and the amount in controversy is more than $75K, exclusive of interests and costs
The three most important things to remember about diversity jurisdiction are:
1. "Citizenship" is the same as "domicile", and it's determined when the action is filed in the fed ct
2. In multiple party cases, no ∏ can be from the same state as any ∆, aka "complete diversity"
3. The "amount in controversy" must EXCEED $75K, not equal to $75K
What is the "complete diversity" rule?
It holds that there's no diversity jd if any ∏ is a citizen of the same state as any ∆.
You don't need complete diversity in certain situations including these three:
1. Statutory interpleader, 28 USC §1335
2. Claims covered by supplemental jd, such as those brought by third-party ∆s
3. Class actions (and some other representative actions) in which only the citizenship of the representative(s) need be diverse
What is a person's "domicile"?
For diversity purposes, it's the same as "citizenship" and it has two elements:
1. Physical - It's the place at which a person maintains a physical residence
2. Mental - with the intent to remain there indefinitely
When a person has multiple residences, to what elements should we look to determine where that person is domiciled?
Since a person can have only one domicile, look for elements that determine the person's mental intent about his "true home", as well as the physical manifestations of that intent, including...
1. Place of employment
2. Voter/vehicle registration
3. Driver's license
4. Current residence
5. Situs of other property or intangible assets
6. Bank accounts
7. Club memberships
8. Mailing address
At what point in time is domicile determined, for federal court cases?
At the point the action is commenced, which, in fed cts, means the day the action is filed with the ct clerk. Domicile before or after that date is not relevant.
What is the citizenship of unincorporated associations, for purposed of federal diversity jurisdiction?
An unincorporated association is a citizen of every state in which any of its members is a citizen. This is true whether the members/partners are being sued individually or as an entity. Thus, an unincorporated assoc. with members in every state cannot sue or be sued in fed ct under diversity jd
What is the citizenship of "representative actions" (e.g. class actions, suits involving shareholders, or estates)?
It varies. For class actions (FRCP 23) or suits involving shareholders (FRCP 23.1), the citizenship of the representative(s) is used. However, for estates, infants or incompetents, the citizenship of the party represented - NOT of the representative is used. 28 USC §1332(c)(2)
Do domestic corporations have one citizenship for diversity purposes?
No, they have two:
1. State of incorporation
2. State of principle place of business
What's the test for determining a corporation's "principle place of business"?
Fed cts are split between two tests:
1. "Nerve center" test: PPB is the corporate headquarters, where decision making takes place
2. "Muscle" test: PPB is where the corporation does a majority of its manufacturing or provides most of its services
Grinch files a tort claim against Santa Claus Toy Co. in federal court, alleging diversity jurisdiction. Grinch alleges $80K in damages. Grinch is a citizen of OR. The Santa Claus Toy Co. is incorporated in DE, has its corporate headquarters in OR and its factory in AK. Santa moves to dismiss due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. What result?
It depends on what test the court uses to determine principle place of business.
Under the "nerve center" test, diversity will fail since headquarters are in OR.
Under the "muscle" test, diversity exists since the factory is in AK.
Norman Bates lives in OH. He's at the local Crane Diner when the chef/owner Marion Crane (also of OH) accidently spills scalding coffee on him, disfiguring him. The following week, Bates moves to KY to run his mom's motel when she becomes permanently incapacitated. Once in KY, Bates files a negligence claim against Crane in federal court, alleging diversity jurisdiction and $80K in damages. Crane moves to dismiss due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. What result?
Motion denied. The time for determining citizenship for purpose of diversity is the day the action is filed. Since Bates lives in KY at that time and Crane lives in OH and the amount is over $75K, SMJ exists
Alexandra, of RI, files a civil fraud suit against Rasputin in federal district court, alleging diversity jurisdiction. Rasputin lives in MA. She alleges $80K in damages. During the trial, Rasputin moves to RI, intending to remain there permanently. He immediately moved to dismiss the case due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction, since there is no longer diversity. What result?
Motion denied. Domicile is determined when the action is filed. Since diversity existed then (and the amount in controversy was met), it will continue through the conclusion of the case.
Barney and his girlfriend Betty are out driving one day, when their car collides with a car driven by Fred. Fred's girlfriend Wilma is a passenger. Barney and Betty sue Fred and Wilma in federal court, seeking $80K in damages, alleging diversity jurisdiction. Barney lives in OH, Betty in IN, Fred in OH and Wilma in KY. Fred and Wilma move to dismiss due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. What result?
The motion will be granted, since diversity is not complete - both Fred and Barney live in OH. For diversity jurisdiction no ∏ can come from the same state as any ∆. The suit must be dismissed.
Paris Hilton, the wealthy heiress, grows tired of living in NYC and moves to Paris, France intending to remain there indefinitely (although she keeps her U.S. citizenship). For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, will she be considered a NY citizen, since that was her last domicile in the U.S.?
No - an American citizen who's moved away from the U.S. permanently does not have a domicile in any state.
E.T., a resident alien, lives in ID. For diversity jurisdiction purposes, will E.T. be considered a citizen of ID?
Yes - a resident alien is considered a citizen of the state in which the alien is domiciled, for diversity jd purposes. Even if E.T. was a non-resident alien diversity jd would exist if the opposing party was a citizen of any state (and the claim is > $75K) since 28 USC §1332(a)(2) provides for diversity jd between "citizens of a state and citizens or subjects of a foreign state."