Can a court hear this matter?
§ Can be raised sua sponte
I. CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS
A. Justiciability Doctrines
1. Political Question
a. Type of issue: linked to separation of powers
i. Cudahy v. Quirk
– parties try to use courts to enforce wager about fluoride
– it is not necessarily the issue, but the context in which an issue is presented to court that may not be justiciable (may be better in hands of legislature)
a. Who can sue?
i. Article III limits judicial power to cases or controversies
– Constitutional requirements:
§ Actual Injury
§ Particular Injury
§ Remedy for Injury
ii. P.O.W.E.R. v. Thompson
– question of standing when π brings suit on behalf of others, although he has no injury
– person with actual injury may be better representative
a. Timing: too late?
i. DeFunis v. Odegaard
– Court raises issue of justiciability sua sponte because π nearly finished law school
a. Timing: too early?
i. May be concerns about deciding controversial issue when social situation not ripe
5. Abstract, hypothetical, advisory questions
II. PRUDENTIAL LIMITATIONS
A. Limitations court has put on itself on top of constitutional requirements to promote efficient use of resources
1. No generalized grievances
2. Zone of interest
3. Within the statute in question
A. The power to say the law—that is, the power to affect legal interests
1. Power of the state to affect legal interest through its judicial processes
a. Limits set by Art. III or federal courts
1. Authority given by the state (legislation or common law) to its courts or other organs to exercise this power
a. can increase of decrease competence but cannot go outside Art. III authority
Can a federal court hear this matter?
§ Can be raised anytime sua sponte or by parties
§ Cannot be waived
§ Source: constitution (Art. III, Sec.2); statute (28 U.S.C.), common law
I. COURT-MADE RESTRICTIONS
Domestic Relations Exception
1. Federal courts cannot hear cases involving divorce, alimony, and child custody decrees
a. Exception: intra-family torts
1. Appropriate to give state courts cases dealing with state constitutional law
2. Principles of comity and deference
Generally, real-property cases
1. i.e. mortgage foreclosures
II. DIVERSITY OF CITIZENSHIP JURISDICTION
28 U.S.C. §1332 Diversity of citizenship; amount in controversy; costs
(a) District Courts shall have original jurisdiction (trial level jurisdiction) in civil actions where value in controversy exceeds $75,000 and is between
1) citizens of different States
– NY v. NJ
2) citizens of a State and citizens of a foreign state
– NY v. France
3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties
– NY and France v. NJ and France
4) a foreign state…as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different states
– France v. NY
DIVERSITY OF CITIZENSHIP
a. Requires that there be no citizens of the same state on both sides of a dispute
i. Strawbridge v. Curtiss
– interpretation of §1332
ý NO: NY and NJ v. CA and NJ
þ YES: NY and NY v. CA and CA
2. Who can sue?
a. U.S. Citizen domiciled in a state
b. Permanent resident alien: considered citizen of state where he is domiciled
– True, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to which one has the intention of returning
– More than a residence (physical presence usually
the case from state court to federal court.
d. Court has supplemental jurisdiction to hear a case where π sues for < $75,000 but Δ has mandatory counter-claim for > $75,000
III. FEDERAL QUESTION JURISDICTION
A. Issues in Federal Question Cases
1. Placement of the federal issue
a. Does it come up in complaint or elsewhere?
2. Substantiality of the federal issue
a. How important is the issue in the case?
B. Article III §2
1. Gives judicial power to cases “arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties”
C. 28 U.S.C. § 1331 Federal Question
1. Gives district courts original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States
D. Interpretation of “arising under”
1. Constitution ð Expansive reading
a. Osborn v. Bank of the U.S.
i. Whenever federal law is a potentially important ingredient of case
2. Statute ð Narrow reading
a. Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Mottley — Well-Pleaded Complaint Rule
FFederal issue must be brought up in π’s clear complaint, not in an anticipated defense
« Ask: Is π enforcing a federal right?
E. Declaratory judgments
1. They do not circumvent well-pleaded complaint rule. Although parties are seeking a declaration of rights and not damages, they still have to show federal jurisdiction to bring a declaratory judgment to federal court.
2. The Court figures out whether there is Federal jurisdiction on the face of the coercive claim (by the person who would be eligible to sue) to find out whether there is Federal jurisdiction to hear a declaratory judgment by either party.