Civil Procedure Outline
Professor Elias – Spring 2013
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Can P sue D in Federal Court?
Federal courts are courts of limited subject matter jurisdiction.
State courts are courts of general subject matter jurisdiction.
· Limited subject matter concept arises from the US Constitution, Article III, § 2.
· Limited to “Cases or controversies”:
o “arising under” the federal Constitution
o arising under federal statutes
o arising under US treaty obligations
o affecting ambassadors, etc
o to which the US shall be a party
o between two or more states
o between a state and citizens of another state
· SMJ cannot be waived and may be raised at any time. Capron v. Van Noorden
· It is the court’s responsibility to verify jurisdiction exists. Capron v. Van Noorden
· Courts do not have to tackle SMJ question if another simpler question of law would place the claim out of its jurisdiction. Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co.
Federal Question Jurisdiction
28 U.S.C. § 1331 Federal Question: The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States.
· Federal question when the law is a federal matter. Osborn v. Bank of US
· Jurisdiction may also be granted by statute. Osborn v. Bank of US
· The origin of the case must be a question of federal law. It is not relevant if a potential defense or argument later in the lawsuit may be based on federal law. Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley
28 U.S.C. § 1332 Diversity of Citizenship: (a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between—
(1) citizens of different States;
(2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state, except that the district courts shall not have original jurisdiction under this subsection of an action between citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and are domiciled in the same State;
(3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties; and
(4) a foreign state, defined in section 1603 (a) of this title, as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different States.
· Requires complete diversity on either side of the “v”. Strawbridge v. Curtis
· Decided based on the real parties to the litigation. Rose v. Giamatti
· Amount-in-controversy (AIC)
o May not be inflated to qualify for diversity jurisdiction. Arnold v. Troccoli
o If an incorrect AIC is submitted in good faith, P is not penalized. National Sur. Corp. v. City of Excelsior Springs
o May be attained by aggregating claims against same D, even if not on same issue. Everett v. Verizon
o P’s may join to attain AIC if the same claim.
o Met for class action if named P meets it, even if other included P’s do not meet it. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23
Must derive from a common nucleus of operative fact.
Doctrines of Supplemental Jurisdiction (Pre-28 U.S.C. § 1367)
1. Pendent Jurisdiction: P appends a claim lacking an independent basis for SMJ to a claim with fed SMJ (Original complaint)
2. Ancillary Jurisdiction: Either party injects a claim lacking an independent basis for SMJ to one that does (Response – counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party complaint)
28 U.S.C. § 1367 Supplemental Jurisdiction (summary)
(a) “all other claims that are so related to the claims in the action… that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III.”
· If the state and federal claims derive from a common nucleus of operative fact and are such that P would ordinarily be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding, there is power in the federal district court to hear the whole. United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs
o The federal court may keep the state claims, even when the federal claim was not grounds for relief.
· Pendent jurisdiction not available for state-law claims against non-diverse, non-federal Ds. No jurisdiction over additional claims by or against different parties. Finley v. United States
(b) “claims that involve the joinder or intervention of additional parties.”
· When trying a state and a fed claim in fed court, cannot join an entirely different D solely on the basis of the state claim. Aldinger v. Howard
· Complete diversity across the “v” still required. Owen Equipment & Erection Co. v. Kroger
(c) This power is discretionary.
· The courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction when the matter is a novel or complex issue of State law, the state-law claim is predominant, all federal-law claims have been dismissed, or any other exceptional reason.
28 U.S.C. § 1441 Removal of Civil Actions
(a) any action in a state court in which fed court has original jurisdiction, D may remove.
(b) in diversity cases, D cannot remove if D is citizen of the state in which the action is filed.
(c) In fed question cases, the case can be removed and then severed amount the separate and independent claims.
(f) Derivative Removal Jurisdiction – Once a case is removed to federal court, that court may re-evaluate which claims it may hear (including some the state court may have dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction).
· D must request removal before entering a plea. If not, may be considered waiver. Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets
· It is ok for D to remove seeking a more favorable forum.
· If P set AIC for state court that would allow D to remove to fed court, P’s decrease of AIC to defeat removal is disregarded when deciding SMJ. St. Pail Mercury Indem. Co v. Red Cab Co.
· If P’s AIC in state court is less than the required AIC for fed jurisdiction, but it is worth more, D retains the right of removal. Capps v. New Jellico Coal C.
· If removed erroneously, must be remanded. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
· Diverse D enjoined with non-diverse D may not remove his claim to fed court if the suit arises from a common wrong.
In which federal court? In which state court?
Legal right of a court to exercise its jurisdiction authority over a particular person or thing.
· Fifth Amendment – Federal Due Process Requirement
sefully availed him/herself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws. Hanson v. Denkla
· Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co. à running a business from the state is sufficiently “continuous and systematic” for general jurisdiction, even when the business is located elsewhere.
o Ginsburg (in another case): Gen PJ when D is essentially at home in the state.
· Helicopteros Nacionales v. Hall à Applied “continuous and systematic” standard to determine that purchasing a helicopter from the forum and training on how to use it there was not sufficient to grant general jurisdiction for liability for an accident that happened elsewhere
Specific Personal Jurisdiction
D has not had enough contacts with the forum to warrant general personal jurisdiction, but has had enough contacts with/effects on the forum to warrant jurisdiction over that specific activity.
· WW VW v. Woodson à Foreseeability alone is not enough
o Sovereignty analysis (purposeful availment?)
o Convenience analysis (is this the best forum?)
· Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz à Contracts PLUS
o A contract is not enough to establish minimum contacts without violating conventional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
· Kulko v. Superior Court à “effects” test only applies to commercial activities.
· Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court à Stream of commerce PLUS
o Not enough to just put an item into the stream of commerce and it being possible for it to reach the state, the item must be purposefully direct at the forum state.
Long Arms Statutes
Long arm statutes provide personal jurisdiction over nonresidents who cannot be found and served within the forum. Jurisdiction is predicated on general activity in the state (general jurisdiction statutes), or the commission of any one of a series of enumerated acts within the jurisdiction, or committing an act outside the jurisdiction that caused consequences within it.
Internet and Other Technological Contacts
Since websites are not necessarily targeted at a specific state or person, it is harder to establish personal jurisdiction.
· Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy à 3-part test for electronic contact
o Purposeful Availment: Did D perform some act or consummate some transaction with the forum or otherwise purposely availed himself of the privileges of conducting activities in the forum?
o Purposeful Direction: Does the claim arise out of or results from D’s forum-related activities?
o Is exercise of jurisdiction reasonable (i.e. FP+SJ)?
· Three tests have emerged (field still in flux)