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Civil Procedure I
St. Johns University School of Law
Cavanagh, Edward D.

 
Civil Procedure
Prof Cavanagh
Fall 2013
 
Art. III, §1 “The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish
●     Gives Congress the power to create courts and also define there jurisdiction.
 
SUBJECT MATTER JUSDICTION
 
I Diversity Jurisdiction – no federal claim required.
 
A.   Art. III, § 2: “Controversies…between citizens of different states…and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.”
 
1.    Framers Rationale: offers a neutral forum for an out-of-state litigant who otherwise be exposed to local prejudice.
a.    Criticism: there are questions as to whether their argument is or ever was valid.
 
2.    Why do litigants seek Federal Court?
a.    State rules can be idiosyncratic
b.    Perception that judges are better in federal court than in state court
c.    federal judges are elected rather than appointed
d.    more liberal discovery
e.    more liberal third-party practice
f.     geographical convenience
g.    better juries
 
3.    Why do we keep diversity jurisdiction?
a.    State courts would be overloaded
b.    Multi-party, multi-state cases, diversity allows us to get all claims under one roof, before one judge.
c.    Elected state judges politically motivated
 
B.   REQUIREMENT 1:  Complete Diversity Required – everyone on the left side of the “v” must have a different citizenship then those on the right side of the “v”.
 
1.    Basis: judge-made interpretation of statute 28 USC §1332 by Justice Marshall in Strawbridge v. Curtis.
 
2.    Statutory Issue: Congress free to restrict or expand requirements for diversity as it sees fit, not a Constitutional requirement.  Interpleader is one such area.
a.    Interpleader: a suit to determine a right to property or money, must be equal to or over $500, held by a third party, stakeholder, who is in doubt about ownership and who therefore deposits the money into the courts so interested parties can assert their claims.
 
C.   Determining Citizenship For Individuals: “citizen” in Art. III, §2 refers to domicile not residence.
 
1.    Domicile: a permanent place of abode, where you intend to return after an absence.
Determining Intent
a.    Subjective intent: the state of mind, where you intend to make your home for the indefinite future.  Must be accompanied by presence.
b.    Objective tests:
i.      Where you vote
ii.    What address is on your tax forms
iii.   Where you have a driver’s license
 
2.    Moving to Create Domicile: you can move & change your domicile to create diversity jurisdiction, must be at new domicile when action is commenced.
 
3.    State Citizenship
a.    You are a citizen of the state where you are domiciled
b.    Must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien.
 
4.    American Living Abroad: not sufficient that plaintiff & defendant are both American citizens; each party must also be a citizen of a particular state, since the American living abroad is not a foreign citizen, they are stateless.
a.    Newman-Green v. Alejandro Alfonzo-Larrian
 
D.   Diversity Involving Aliens: the fact that a foreign country or citizen is a party does not destroy diversity jurisdiction.  However, a suit solely between foreign citizens, where no state citizen is present do not fall within diversity jurisdiction.
 
1.    28 USC §1332(a)(2): federal diversity jurisdiction exists where there is a suit between a citizen of a state, on one side, and citizens or subjects of a foreign state on the other.
 
2.    §1332(a)(3): jurisdiction is not destroyed by the presence of US State Citizens and one or more foreign citizens are present on each side of the litigation.
 
3.    §1332(a)(4): foreign states may sue US citizens in federal court under diversity jurisdiction.
 
E.   Diversity Involving Corporation: §1332(c)(1): a corporation shall be deemed a citizen of any state by which it has been incorporated and of the state where it has its principal place of business.
 
1.    Principal place of business:
a.    Nerve center test: where executive decisions are made used for states with relatively equal proposition of business in each state.
b.    Muscle test: where the company carries out the bulk of its business.
 
2.    Dual Citizenship: by allowing corporations to have two citizenships in §1332(c)(1), Congress has decreased the chances that diversity jurisdiction can be achieved in actions brought by and against corporations.
 
3.    Unincorporated Associations: such as labor unions and partnerships, do not fall under §1332(c)(1).  Instead you cumulate the citizenship of all members.
a.    It is very difficult to achieve diversity jurisdiction against a corporation.
 
F.    Diversity For Decedents, Infants, and Incompetents: §1332(c)(2): legal representative of the decedent, infant or competent is deemed a citizen of the same state as those they represent.
 
1.    Rationale: prevents fabrication of diversity.  Before the statute a representative could be selected on the basis of domicile for the purposes of creating diversity.
 
G.   REQUIREMENT 2: Amount in Controversy: in cases where diversity is the sole basis for subject matter jurisdiction, the amount in controversy must exceed $75,000 (exclusive of interest and costs)
 
1.    Rationale: helps to get rid of small claims, call to raise the standard are countered by the desire to make the court available for all citizens, not just the rich
 
H.   When is diversity determined?: Determined at the commencement of the action.
 
I.      EXCEPTION: Refusal to Exercise Jurisdiction: even where jurisdiction exists under §1332, the federal courts may still decline to exercise j

urisdiction: Unless Congress has specifically provided to the contrary, federal claims within §1331 may also be heard by state courts.  Thus there is concurrent jurisdiction in the state and federal counts to hear federal question matters.
 
3.    Exclusive Federal Matters: Many statutes confer jurisdiction on the Federal Courts.  For example, 28 USC §1337 gives the federal courts jurisdiction over anti-trust cases, §§1338 and 1343 gives jurisdiction over patent and civil rights cases repectively, and §§1345 and 1346 apply to cases to which the US is a party.
 
III Supplementgal Jurisdiction
 
A.   Art. III, §2: allows federal courts to hear all cases on controversies arising under federal law or where there is diversity.  However, this Constitutional power is limited by statute.  Again Congress has the power as much or as little of the Constitutional storehouse of federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction as they want.
 
1.    Constitutional Grant: where a federal court is hearing a claim that has its own original, proper Subject Matter Jurisdiction, the court can hear all claims relating to that case or controversy.
 
2.    Rationale: pragmatic and efficient.  Allows all claims relating to the controversy to be held before one judge in one court.  Also helps to keep federal claims in federal court.
 
B.   Defining a Constitutional Case: claims with no independent jurisdiction can only be heard by federal courts hearing a claim with original jurisdiction if that one part of the same case or controversy as defined in Art. III, §2.
 
1.    Gibbs Test: UMW v. Gibbs: plaintiff brought a federal claim against the defendant sought to join a state claim under 18(a). Pendant claim jurisdiction.
 
 
 
 
P(Gibbs)                                                                                 D(UMV)
 
 
 
 
2.    Held, pendant claim jurisdiction allowed if the claim meets the following test to see if they are part of the same Constitutional case:
a.                Must derive from a common nucleus of operative fact.
b.                Must be so closely related that usually a plaintiff “would be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding
c.                Even if the first two parts of the test are met it is in the courts discretion whether to grant supplemental jurisdiction.