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53 Cards in this Set

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Congress has established two sets of lower courts-district courts and courts of appeal-as well as several specialized courts.
What is the United States Distrct Court?
The United States District Court is the court of ORIGINAL JURISDICTION in the federal system.
How many judges sit in the United States District Court?
Usually, a single judge will sit in a case, but all the judges in a district sit banc in important cases.
(Courts of Appeals)
The Courts of Appeals review cases from the district courts.
(Supreme Court)
The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction as provided in the constitution, in all other instances its jurisdiction is appellate.

(Control by Congress of Jurisdiction)

What types of cases allow the Supreme Court to have original jurisdiction?
In cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state is a party, the Supreme Court has ORIGINAL JURISDICTION.
Can Congress add or take away from the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?
(Appellate Jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court)
In all other cases within the judidicial power of the United States, "the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."
(Concurrent and Exclusive Jurisdiction)
Congress has broad powers over the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts.

Generally, absent express limitation or implication, federal jurisdiction is concurrent with that of the state courts.
(Cases and Controversies)

What does the judicial power extend to?
Under Art III, Section 2 of the Constitution, the judicial power extends to "cases" and "controversies". The courts thus cannot decide abstract questions, but only those presented in an actual case or controversy.
What must a justiciable case or controversy be?
A justiciable case or controversy "must be definite and concrete, touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests."


When do courts federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction?
Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction in:
-suits between citizens of different states;
-suits involving a federal question;
-cases involving ambassadors, admiralty, and maritime jurisdiction; and
-cases where the U.S. is a party.
When can the lack of subject matter jurisdiction be raised?
At any point of the trial, and may even be raised for the first time on appeal.
What makes a claim of a lack of subject matter jurisdiction res judicata?
1) If the jurisdictional issue was actually litigated and expressly decided

2)if the jurisdictional issue was not contested, the judgment is res judicata unless the suit was "plainly outside the rendering Court's jurisdiction.
(Challenges to Jurisdiction)
-A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends."

-The defense that there is no federal jurisdiction may be raised by motion or by answer

-The defect of lack of jurisdiction is not waived and the court is required to dismiss the action "whenever it appears by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter."

-If the record fails to disclose a basis for federal jurisdiction, the claim must be dismissed, whether the case is at the trial stage or at the appellate stage.
(Federal Question Jurisdiction)

The Constitution allows federal courts to be given jurisdiction over cases "arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority."

By statute, district courts have original jurisdiction in all civil actions where the matter in controversy "arises under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."
Can federal common law (i.e. judicial interpretation of statutes) serve as the basis for federal question jurisdiction?
Can a right of action be express and/or implied?
Yes. A right of action may be express or implied. Federal question jursidiction may exist where plaintiff sues for damages, claiming that his arrest violated his fourth and fifth Amendment rights, even though the Constitution does not provide a right to sue for damages.
Will the cause of action raise a federal question issue merely becuse the federal government was somehow involved?
No. The right must be protected under the Constitution.
Where must the federal question appear?
It must appear on the face of a well-pleaded complaint.
When is dismissal for lack of jurisdiction proper?
It is only proper if the allegations are immaterial and are made solely for the purpose of creating federal jurisdiction, or if the claim is wholly insubstantial and frivolous.
What actions has Congress granted federal courts exclusive jurisdiction?
-Bankruptcy proceedings
-patent and copyright cases
-Actions against foreign consuls and vice consuls
-Admiralty and maritame cases
-Antitrust cases
-Cases under the Securites Exchange Act of 1934
-A foreign state, or agency thereof, which is sued in a state court, may remove the action to federal court
-actions where the united states is involved
What does the doctrine of sovereign immunity prevent?
The doctrine of soverign immunity prevents the US from being sued w/o its consent. Under the Federal Torts Claims Act, the US has consented to suits based on the negligence of government employees, if a private person would be liable under the same circumstances.
(Diversity Jurisdiction)
By statute, Federal district courts have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum of value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between:
-citizens of different states
-citizens of a state, and foreign states or citizens or subjects thereof; and
-citizens of different states and in which foreign states or citizens or subjects are additional parties.
Is complete diversity of the parties requires?
Yes, complete diversity of the parties is required, i.e., each plaintiff must be from a state that is different from each defendant.
What is the exception to the complete diversity requirement?
The Federal Interpleader Act requires only "minimal diversity." This Act permits the holder of property claimed by two or more persons to deposit the property with the court and let the claimants litigate ownership.
When is diversity determined?
Diversity is determined as of the date the action is commenced. Diversity need not have existed when the cause of action arose. Neither a subsequent change in citizenship nor a subsequent change in the parties (e.g., by intervention or substitution) will divest the court of diversity jurisdiction.
Where must the diversity claim be pleaded?
The complaint must plead the existence of the diversity jurisdiction. If the plaintiff fails to allege the citizenship grounding diversity jurisdiction, the defendant may bring a Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss, or the court may dismiss on its own motion, unless the plaintiff amends.
How is change in domicile effected?
Change of domicile is effected by physical presence in the new domicile with the intent to remain there. If these requirements are met, it is immaterial that the change of domicile was made solely to create diversity jurisdiction.
For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, where is a corporation deemed a citizen?
A corporation is deemed a citizen of:

1)Any state it has been incorporated, and
2)the state in which it has its prinicpal place of business. The principal place of business is usually the place where the bulk of the corporate activity takes place; if no one state is predominant, the state of the home office will be deemed the principal place of business.
How is diversity destroyed between a corporation and a defendant?
Diversity is destroyed if an opposing party is a citizen of any of the states of which the corporation is a citizen.
What must be considered when a partnership, labor union or other unincorporated association is a party?
The citizenship of each member must be considered in determining diversity. If membership of the association is large enough, a class action can be brought, naming as representatives only those members whose citizenship satisfies the diversity requirement.
What state is a legal representative of an estate deemed to be a citizen?
The decedent's state only; the actual citizenship of the representative is irrelvant. The legal representative of an infant or incompetent is deemed to be a citizen of the infant or incompetent's state.
What state is a trustee of a trust fund deemed to be a citizen?
When an action is brought on behalf of a trust, the citizenship of the trustee (not that of the beneficiary) controls, as long as the trustee has actual powers with regard to the litigated matter. If the trustee is merely a nominal party, the court will look to the citizenship of the aggrieved persons.
Where do the courts look regarding citizenship concerning members of class actions?
In class actions, the court looks to the citizenship of the named representatives of the class.
(Amount In Controversy Requirement)

In diversity jurisdictions?
The amount in controversy must exceed the sum of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs. One exception to this is federal statutory interpleader actions, in which the amount in controversy need be only $500.
Does the amount in controvery requirement apply to federal question jurisdiction.
Generally, no.
When is the amount in contorvery measured?
The amount in controversy is measured at the time the suit is commenced; thus, a subsequent reduction in the amount sought does not defeat jurisdiction if the original claim was made in good faith.
What happens if the plaintiff recovers less than the amount-in-controversy requirement?
Jurisdiction is not destroyed
What is the amount in controversy when the plaintiff seeks an injuction?
The amount in controversy is the value of the right to be protected or the extent of the injury to be prevented.
Are interests and costs excluded in calculating the amount in controversy?
Can the claims of several plaintiffs be aggregated to meet the amount in controversy?
No. Even though the parties join under the rule relating to the joinder of parties.
Can a single plaintiff aggregate her claims if she has claims against several defendants?
Yes. She can aggregate her claims only if the defendants are jointly liable; if they are separately liable, each of her claims must satisfy the $75,000.00 requirement.
Can a plaintiff who has a claim less than $75,000 join a plaintiff with a claim more than $75,000 against a defendant?
No. the plaintiff with a claim less than $75,000 cannot join in the original action; she must satisfy the amount individually.
Must a compulsory counterclaim meet the jursidictional amount?
Must a permissive counterclaim meet the jusrisdictional amount?
Yes. A permissive counterclaim must have an independent jurisdictional basis.
Will a class action meet the jurisdictional amount if collectively they meet it but no one member meets it?
No. A class action will not meet the amount in controversy requirement if no individual member has a claim for that amount. Even if the named class representatives have individual claims for more than the required amount, they cannot represent a class in which the members have claims for less than the required amount.
Can a plaintiff remove a case to federal court if the defendant counterclaims for more than $75,000?
No. Because removal is allowed only by defendants.
(Supplemental Jurisdiction)
By statute, a district court generally has supplemental jurisdiction over any claims so related to the claim upon which federal jurisdiction is founded that "They form part of the same case or controversy".
When can the district court refuse to exercise supplemental jursidiction?
-The claim raises a novel or complex issue of state law;
-the state law claim substantially predominates;
-the district court has dismissed all claims over which it had original jurisdiction; or
-exceptional circumstances and compelling reasons exist for the court to decline jurisdiction.
Does filing the claim in federal court toll all applicable statutes of limitations (including state statutes) while the claim is pending and for 30 days after dismissal?
What does supplemental jurisdiction generally extend to?
-Supplemental jurisdiction extends to the joinder or intervention of additional parties. However, it does not extend to plaintiffs that would destroy the required diversity in cases based solely on diversity jurisdiction.

-Supplemental jurisdiction extends to compulsory counterclaims i.e, a counterclaim that must be brought because it arises out of the same transaction or occurrence as to the main claim.

-supplemental jurisdiction extends to cross-claims (i.e., a claim against a co-defendant)
What won't supplemental jurisdiction extend to?
It will not extend to permissive counterclaims (any counterclaim that does not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence). Permissive counterclaims require an independent jurisdictional ground.

-Supplemental jurisdiction does not apply to an absent "insispensible" party under Rule 19 (i.e., a party needed for just adjudication) or to parties permissively joined under Rule 20. Therefore, the diversity and jurisdictional amount requirements must be met.