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Civil Procedure I
University of Mississippi School of Law
Hoffheimer, Michael

Civil Procedure Outline
Fall 2006

I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
a. General
i. Definition: the power of a court to decide the type of controversy involved in a particular case
ii. Cannot be waived or conferred on the courts by the consent of the litigants
iii. Existence of SMJ generally must be demonstrated at the outset by the part seeking to invoke it
b. Constitution – Article III
i. § 1: establishes federal courts
ii. § 2: federal courts have jurisdiction over
1. federal question
2. diversity of citizenship
c. Federal Question Jurisdiction: 28 USC §1331 and Article III
i. Claims arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States
1. A claim is arising under when the right or immunity in question is created by federal law and is a basic element of the ¶ cause of action
2. Well pleaded complaint rule says that federal question must be part of the ¶ original cause of action, not raised by the Δ or anticipated to be raised by the Δ
3. Federal question must be crux of cause of action, not just a mere ingredient in the case
ii. District court has jurisdiction over
1. bankruptcy
2. commerce/antitrust
3. patents, copyrights, trademarks
4. US as ¶
5. US as Δ
6. admiralty/maritime
7. actions between states
d. Diversity of Citizenship Jurisdiction
i. Complete diversity
1. all ¶ must be citizens of different states than all Δ
2. citizenship is determined at the commencement of the action (time of filing)
3. changes in citizenship after filing are not considered
4. Individuals: place of domicile
a. Determined by:
i. Physical presence
ii. Intent to remain
5. Corporations: two places of citizenship
a. Place of incorporation
b. Principle place of business
i. Nerve center: corporate headquarters or home office
ii. Muscle center: main production or service activities
iii. Hybrid test: combination of two
6. Unincorporated organizations: use citizenships of all members
7. Estates/Minors/Incompetents: citizen of the represented, not the representative
8. Legal aliens: citizen of state where domiciled
ii. Amount in controversy: must exceed $75,000
1. Aggregation of claims
a. Single ¶ may aggregate claims against single Δ
b. Multiple ¶s may aggregate only in the rare case where there in an indivisible joint interest (ex: partnership)
2. If amount is under $75,000:
a. If determined before trial, dismiss
b. If it is not a legal certainty that will be less than $75,000 and claim made in good faith, allow
c. If recovery at end of trial is less than $75,000 and claim was not in good faith, allow – impose costs against ¶
3. In injuctive relief claims, the amount in controversy is generally the cost to ¶ if injunction is denied. Could also be cost to Δ.
e. Supplemental Jurisdiction
i. Power of court to hear a claim that they do not have jurisdiction to hear but which is related to another claim over which the court does have jurisdiction – Developed to allow entire claims to be settled by one court
ii. Court must have jurisdiction over at least one claim
iii. Claim must pass 2 part te

6. Proper state court jurisdiction not necessary
iii. If all are met, removal is automatic
1. ¶ must then request federal court remand to state court
2. decision to remand is not appealable
3. writ of mandamus is only remedy
iv. Blocking removal
1. Join a non-diverse 3rd party
2. lower the amount in controversy
3. bring action in state of one of Δ
v. When a separate and independent claim within federal jurisdiction is joined with non-removable claims, the entire case may be removed and the district court may remand matters however state law states
1. prevents ¶ from blocking removal by including nonremovable claims
2. permissible only if Δ can show that claim exists that could have been brought under federal question and that the claim is separate and independent from the nonremovable claims
g. Challenging SMJ
i. If SMJ defect exists, it may be raised at any time and the court may raise if parties do not – Rule 12(h)(3) of FRCP
ii. Direct attack: challenges SMJ before final judgment, allowed any time
iii. Collateral attack: challenges SMJ after final judgment, not clear but seems to not be allowed
h. Appellate Court Jurisdiction
i. Supreme Court will review
1. decisions of US Courts of Appeals