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Civil Procedure II
Villanova University School of Law
Ravenell, Teressa E.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction

I. Introduction and Integration

A.      U.S. Const. Article III Section II

1.      The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—

i.      To all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;

ii.      To all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;

iii.      To Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—

iv.      To Controversies between two or more States;

v.      Between a State and Citizens of another State;

vi.      Between Citizens of different States;—

vii.      Between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under
Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens
thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

viii.In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.

II. State Courts and General Subject Matter Jurisdiction

A.       Many states establish specialized tribunals to handle specific cases (example: traffic courts, juvenile courts). Some states divide subject matter by monetary lines ($50,000 or below)

B.      Some exceptions to the General Subject Matter Jurisdiction of the States include area which Congress vested the federal courts with exclusive Subject Matter Jurisdiction. (Example: bankruptcy, admiralty, patent and copyright infringement, antitrust)

III. Federal Courts and Limited Subject Matter Jurisdiction

A.      Plaintiff’s Burden to Establish Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction

1.      There is a presumption against Federal Jurisdiction

2.      Can’t confer Subject Matter Jurisdiction by consent and is a non-waivable defense.

B.      Diversity of Citizenship and Alienage Jurisdiction

1.      Introductory Note

i.      Policy – Reasons for alienage

they move to Illinois. They planned to return to Louisiana so that the husband could finish his Master’s degree. Court held there was diversity because in this case, the wife was a domicile of Mississippi because she never intended to remain in Louisiana or anywhere after she was married and until she finds a new domicile she is a citizen of Mississippi. Furthermore, it would be unfair to base the wife’s citizenship based on her husband’s.

·        When the P files a complaint is the point at which the court will make the inquiry of diversity.

4.      Determining Citizenship of Entities

i.      Corporations

–   28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1) – a corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it has its principal place of business.