Professor Richman, Fall 2006.
1. The Available Courts
a. Federal Courts
i. Supreme Court
ii. 13 Circuit Courts of Appeal
iii. District Courts
b. State Courts
i. State Supreme Court
ii. District Courts of Appeal
iii. Courts of Common Pleas
c. Plaintiff must ask 2 questions:
i. Where do I want to sue?
1. Answer based on factors such as: Convenience, inclinations of judges, speed, reputation of jurisdiction, wealth of litigants, possibilities of appeal, and what law governs
ii. Where can I sue?
1. Answer based on: Subj. matter jurisdiction, territorial jurisdiction, and venue
2. Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction (SMJ) in general:
a. Federal courts are very sensitive to SMJ as to not impede on states’ rights
b. Definition: SMJ (except for federal diversity) asks questions what is the case about?
c. General Concepts:
i. Courts of general or limited SMJ
1. General: State Courts
2. Limited: Federal Courts – very small part of SMJ
ii. Exclusive v. Concurrent Jurisdictions
1. Exclusive: that court is the only court that can hear that kind of case (i.e. Juvenile Courts)
a. Statutes may direct a subject to the federal courts
2. Concurrent: subject matter shared between federal and state courts.
a. If the Fed. Statute sends a subject exclusive to Fed. Court, then it is not concurrent
iii. Original v. Appellate Jurisdiction
1. Original: jurisdiction to try the matter from the beginning (i.e. trial courts)
2. However, the SC has Org. SMJ between states. Title 28, §1251
3. Appellate: courts that hear appeals from trial court decisions
iv. State courts – they can be organized anyway they want
1. State courts cannot discriminate against another state’s citizen if the state they are coming to has that subject of court in their state
2. State courts cannot refuse to hear federal claims.
3. Federal Question Jurisdiction:
a. Arising Under: Article 3, sec. II of the Constitution
i. If a federal statute creates the cause of action, there is federal jurisdiction
ii. There are two tests for “arising out of”
1. Creation Test: Does Federal Law create the cause of action? It is expressedly or impliedly created?
2. Preemption: Does Federal Law preempt state law on the issue?
, with the intention of remaining there.
iii. You can only have one domicile, and you are born with a domicile
b. Allows federal courts to hear cases involving parties:
i. § 1332(a)(1) Between citizens of different states
ii. § 1332(a)(2) Between citizens and citizens of foreign states.
iii. § 1332(a)(3) Between citizens of different states & in which citizens of foreign states are additional parties.
iv. § 1332(c)(1) between corporations and a citizen(s) of different states
v. § 1332(c)(2) between the estate of a decedent & a citizen(s) of different states.
c. §1332 requires Complete Diversity: that all parties from either side are diverse from any other party on the other side
d. In general 28 USC §1332 is intended to protect out of state litigants from parochial prejudice
e. Federal courts are believed to have less bias
f. Minimal Diversity: only one DF must be diverse from one PL