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Civil Procedure I
University of Toledo School of Law
Richman, William M.

SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
I.                     Generally
A.      Definition
1.        A court’s authority to decide a particular kind of controversy.
B.       Can be asserted at anytime.
C.       Burden & Verification
1.        P must prove Ct has original jurisdiction over claim.
2.        However, ultimate responsibility to verify lies with the Ct itself.
a.        Capron v. Norden
1)       Ct failed to verify diversity; P APP judgment for D & was granted writ of error b/c no diversity.
D.      Sensitivity
1.        Fed Cts reluctant to exceed their SMJ b/c in so doing they usurp more power from the States than was granted to them during federalization.
E.       State Courts
1.        Have concurrent jurisdiction w/ Fed cts over Diversity cases & most Fed Q cases.
2.        How divided:
a.        Monetary = If amt. in controversy great enough, then can sue in ct of common pleas; if not, then must sue in another st ct.
b.       Matter = Special cts exist for domestic matters, probate matters, claims against the State, etc.
II.                   Federal Question Jurisdiction
A.      Source of authority
1.        Constitution: Article III, §2
a.        “Arising under”
1)       Fed Q if fed law is the main ingredient of the claim.
2.        Statutory: Rule 28 U.S.C. §1331
a.        Purpose
1)       Fed judges, who are appt. and hold lifetime tenure, as opposed to state judges who are elected and therefore subject to electoral pressures and the resultant bias, are better able to achieve the following:
a)       Uniformity in the interpretation of fed law.
b)       Sympathetic interpretation of fed law.
c)       Judicial expertise (e.g. admiralty cases).
B.       Rule (28 U.S.C. §1331)
1.        Fed Q only if 1) the original cause of action raises a federal question (arises under the constitution or fed laws) and, 2) the original cause of action is a state-created claim w/ the pivotal issue being one of fed interpretation when the law at issue allows for private-actions.
a.        Tests
1)       Holmes
a)       If the law that creates the cause of action is fed, then Fed Q.
2)       Smith
a)       If state law creates the cause of action but the pivotal issue requires the interpretation of a fed law that allows for private action, then Fed Q.
i.                     Merrell Dow Pharm. v. Thompson.
a.        State-created claim w/ pivotal issue being a fed statute.
b.       B/c statute did not allow for private-action, no Fed Q.
2.        The Fed Q

ate citizen, a person must be 1) a U.S. citizen, and 2) a domiciliary of the state which they claim citizenship – residency is not enough.
a)       Determining Domicile – Mas v. Perry
i.                     A person’s true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment.
ii.                    Domicile is only changed by 1) residing in a new domicile, 2) with the intention to remain there.
a.        Domicile, and therefore citizenship, cannot be changed through marriage.
2)       Resident aliens (aliens w/ permission to live in US) are considered citizens of the state where they are domiciled.
3)       Corporations
a)       Rule
i.                     A corporation is deemed the citizen of any state in which it has 1) been incorporated and 2) its principal place of business.
a.        Corps can have multiple places of incorporation but only one principle place of business.
ii.                    Tests to determine Corp citizenship
Corp activities = Location of most corp activity.