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Federal Jurisdiction

Terms in this set (29)

1) For Persons: Domicile is the focus, and it is established by two concurrent factors—(a) Presence in the state at some point WITH (b) the intent (subjective) to make that state your permanent or fixed home.
-No single factor is determinative: courts look to all relevant evidence of intent, e.g., instate tuition, voting. But, a person has only one domicile at a time (so a human can only be a citizen of one state at a time).

2) For Corporations: don't talk about domicile. For corporations, citizenship equals: (1) all states where incorporated (usually there's only one) AND (2) the one state where the company has its principal place of business (PPB).
-That means a corporation (unlike a human) can be a citizen of more than one state at a time.

-Note: no matter how big the corporation is, it only has one principal place of business. Test for PPB:
i. headquarters (nerve center -- where decisions are made) OR
ii. major production or service activity (muscle center).
*Nerve center usually PPB unless all activity in one state.

3) For Unincorporated Associations (e.g., partnerships, labor unions) look to: the citizenship of all members.
-A Partnership is a citizen of ALL the states where its partners (general and limited) are citizens.
-Note: If partners are citizens of all states, partnership is citizen of all states, and there can be no complete diversity if a US citizen is suing.

4) For decedents, minors, and incompetents, look to: the citizenship of the person being represented, not the citizenship of the representative.

6) For Class Actions: look to the citizenship of the class representative.
*Supplemental Jurisdiction only works after a case is already in federal court (through diversity or FQ). We have an additional claim in that case and that claim does not meet diversity or FQ. We might still be able to get that claim into federal court with supplemental jurisdiction.

1) The test: the claim we want to get into federal court must share a "common nucleus of operative fact" with the claim that invoked federal subject matter jurisdiction.
-So when is the test always met? When the claim arises from the same transaction or occurance as the underlying case.

2) *The limitation. In a diversity case, the plaintiff cannot use supplemental jurisdiction to overcome a lack of diversity (but can for amount).

3) Examples:

a) P (NY) sues D-1 (CA) and D-2 (NY) on state-law claims in one case. The claims arise from the same transaction. The claims exceed $75,000.
The claim by P against D-1 invokes diversity of citizenship jurisdiction.
-The claim by P against D-2 does not invoke diversity or FQ. Can the claim by P against D-2 invoke supplemental jurisdiction? After all, the claim meets "the test." No. PLAINTIFF CAN NEVER OVERCOME A LACK OF DIVERSITY IN A DIVERSITY CASE.

b) BUT, P CAN use supplemental jurisdiction to overcome a LACK OF AMOUNT in controversy for a claim in a diversity case.
-example: P-1 (NY) and P-2 (NY) sue D (PA) on state-law claims. P-1's claim is for $100,000. P-2's claim arises from the same transaction, and is for $50,000. P-1's claim meets diversity. P-2's does not, because even though citizenship is OK, the claim does not exceed $75,000.
- Can the claim by P-2 invoke supplemental jurisdiction? Yes. It meets the test and the limitation does not apply to problems with amounts.

c) P can ALSO use supplemental jurisdiction to overcome lack of diversity for a claim in a federal question case. The limitation ONLY applies in diversity cases.
-example: P (NY) sues D (NY) for (1) violation of federal antitrust laws, and joins a transactionally related claim for (2) violation of state antitrust laws. OK? Claim (1) is OK because it's a FQ.
-But claim (2) is not FQ (because it's based on state law) and does not meet diversity. Can claim (2) invoke supplemental jurisdiction?
*YES. It meets "the test" and the limitation does not apply because this is a federal question case.

*** SOLID GOLD SUMMARY: So a non-federal, non-diversity claim can be heard in federal court if it meets "the test" UNLESS it is:
-Asserted by a plaintiff
-In a diversity of citizenship (not FQ) case AND
-Is against a citizen of the same state as the plaintiff.

4) Note on Discretionary factors. Court has discretion NOT to hear the supplemental claim:
-if the federal question is dismissed early in the proceedings;
-if the state law claim is complex
-state law issues would predominate.
1) Defined: Allows defendants (only) to have a case that was filed by plaintiff in state court to be "removed" (transferred) to the federal court embracing the state court in which originally filed (i.e. the federal court in the district where the state court is located—this is a venue issue).

2) General test: removable if case could have been filed in federal court, i.e., if there is federal subject matter jurisdiction (diversity, alienage, or Federal Question).
-Rule 1: ALL DEFENDANTS must agree to remove. If there is one holdout, no removal.
-Rule 2: Plaintiffs can never remove (even if they are a defendant on a counterclaim).
**Special Rules for diversity cases only: No removal if any defendant is a citizen of the forum in a diversity case. (Does not apply in Federal Question); No removal more than one year after the case was filed in state court

4) Procedure:
- D files notice of removal in federal court, stating grounds of removal; signed under Rule 11; attach all documents served on D in state action; copy to all adverse parties. Then file copy of notice in state court.
-If removal was procedurally improper, P moves to remand to state court; she must do so within 30 days of removal. But if there is no federal subject matter jurisdiction, P can move to remand anytime (or the federal court can remand anytime). In other words, there is no time limit on raising lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Similarly, in a case filed originally in federal court, the court must dismiss if there is no federal subject matter jurisdiction.)

6) Defendant's Waiver of Right to Remove:
-Defendant files permissive counterclaim in state court: probably waives right to remove.
-Defendant files compulsory counterclaim in state court: probably does not waive right to remove.
*A federal court in a diversity case must decide an issue. In deciding that issue, does she have to follow state law (or can she ignore state law)?

Black letter: in diversity cases, the federal court must apply state substantive law.

1) *First Ask: is there a federal law (like federal constitution or statute or FRCP or Federal Rule of Evidence) on point that directly conflicts with state law? If so, apply the federal law, as long as it is valid.
-example: State law says a particular claim must be asserted individually, and not in a class action. In a diversity case, FRCP 23 would allow it to proceed as a class action. What does the federal court do? Applies FRCP 23 if it is valid. You don't have to worry about substance. (How do we know if a FRCP is valid? It is valid if it is arguably procedural.)

2) *Step two: If there is no federal law on point, ask: is this issue one of the easy ones?
-These are the easy ones: (1) elements of a claim or defense, (2) statute of limitations, (3) rules for tolling statutes of limitations, and (4) conflict (or choice) of law rules.
-Why are these easy? They are substantive, so you must apply state law on these four things.
-Just say "SCOTUS has held that all four of these are substantive, so state law applies"

3) Step three: What if there is no federal law, and the issue is not an easy one, but federal judge wants to ignore the state law?
-If the issue is substantive, she must follow state law.
-Throw in 3 tests, and come to a reasonable conclusion:
a) Outcome determinative: would applying or ignoring the state rule affect outcome of case? If so, it's probably a substantive rule, so should use state law.
b) Balance of interests: does either federal or state system have strong interest in having its rule applied?
c) Avoid forum shopping: if the federal court ignores state law on this issue, will it cause parties to flock to federal court? If so, should probably apply state law.
-Just state the tests, toss a coin
Once properly in Federal Court, to which district do you bring the case?

1) Cases filed originally in federal court:
-Rules: In any case (Federal Question or Diversity), plaintiff may lay venue in any district where the following is true:
a) All defendants reside in the same district, or
-Special Rule: if defendants reside in different districts of the same state, venue is proper in the district where any one of the defendants resides.
b) Where a substantial part of the claim arose.

-If no district anywhere in the U.S. meets either of these two choices (and that will rarely be true: basically only when there's no district where all defendants reside and the claim arose overseas), then:
a) in diversity of citizenship cases, any district where any D is subject to personal jurisdiction.
b) in federal question cases, any district where any D is found.

2) Determining Residency:
-Individuals: Residence usually equals domicile. So it is usually the same as an individual's citizenship for diversity of citizenship jurisdiction purposes.
-Corporations: "resides" in all districts where the corporation subject to personal jurisdiction when case commenced. (i.e. anywhere it transacts business).
Note: Note: Don't confuse with corporation's citizenship for diversity jurisdiction. Ford Motor Company is a citizen of Delaware (inc.) and of Michigan (ppb). But it is a resident of every district where subject to personal jurisdiction (likely everywhere).

3) Local Actions. Actions re: ownership, possession or injury to land (including trespass) must be filed in the district where the land lies.

4) Transfer of Venue.
a) From one federal district court to another; can only transfer to one where case could've been filed (one that is a proper venue and where there is personal jurisdiction over the defendant, without waiver by the defendant).
-If venue in original forum is proper, may transfer to another federal district court; factors (1) convenience of parties; (2) convenience of witnesses; (3) "interests in justice." The court to which a case is transferred applies the choice of law rules of the original court, even if plaintiff initiated the transfer.
-If venue in original forum is improper, court may transfer in the interests of justice or dismiss.

b) Cases filed in state court, removed to federal: goes only to the federal district embracing that state court.
1) Basic idea: Deliver to D(1) a summons (formal court notice of a suit and time for response) and (2) a copy of the complaint. Together, these are called "process."
Must serve process within 120 days of filing the complaint or else case will be dismissed without prejudice (can refile). (If plaintiff shows good cause for failing to serve within 120 days, the case will not be dismissed.)

2) The mechanics. Process may be served by any nonparty who is at least 18 years old. The federal district court may use any method of service permitted by (1) the FRCP (below) or (2) the law of the state in which it sits or (3) the law of the state in which service is effected.
-FRCP methods:
a. Personal service: Papers are given to D personally anywhere in the forum state.
b. Substituted service: Valid if: (1) it is defendant's usual abode; (2) serve someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there.
c. Agent Service: Process can be delivered to D's agent authorized to receive service. For example, when serving a corporation, can serve registered agent or a managing agent or an officer. Or litigant might appoint an agent to receive service of process. Or the agent might be appointed by operation of law, e.g., state officer under the nonresident motorist statute.

3) Waiver by mail: Process is mailed to D by first class mail, postage prepaid. Valid if D returns waiver form within 30 days. By doing so, D waives service but nothing else (e.g. personal jur.).
-Note: If D does not return the wavier, service will either have to be personal or by substituted service, and D will have to pay the cost of such service.

4) Out-of-State: Process is delivered to D in another state. Valid only if state law allows (for example, with a long-arm statute). A federal court in New York basically can exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant only if New York state courts could do so.
When can Parties join each other?

1) When can Co-Plaintiffs be joined and when cab Co-Defendants be joined?
-When their claims: arise from the same transaction or occurrence, AND raise at least one common question.
**If parties are to be joined, must then assess Subject Matter Jurisdiction—can the case come to Fed. Court?

2) "Necessary" and indispensable defendants and plaintiffs: Some absentees (persons not originally in the suit) MUST joined because they have some relationship with the action.
-Necessary parties: (1) Without absentee, cannot accord complete relief among those already joined (worried about multiple suits); (2) absentee's interest will be harmed if he isn't joined (practical harm); or (3) absentee claims an interest which subjects a party (usually defendant) to possibility of multiple obligations. If the absentee falls into any of these three categories, the court can order joinder.
-Joint tortfeasors: not necessary parties. Cannot be brought in through necessary parties order. Must have another way to bring them in.

3) Joinder of Necessary Party Not Feasible (either there is no personal jurisdiction over him or his joinder destroys diversity of citizenship or he has a valid objection to venue): the court must either (1) proceed with the case without joining the necessary party or (2) dismiss the pending case.
-Note: if the case is dismissed, it is because the necessary party is "indispensable".
-How does the court decide whether to proceed or dismiss? Balances these factors:
1. Is there an alternative forum available where everybody (including the absent necessary party) can be joined (maybe state court)?
2. What is the real likelihood of harm to anybody if we proceed without the absent necessary party?
3. Can the court do something to shape the order in the pending case to avoid any such harm?
* Representative ("Rep") sues on behalf of a group.

1) Initial requirements.
- Too numerous for practicable joinder;
-Some question of law or fact in common to the class;
-Rep's claims/defenses typical of those of the class; and
-Rep is adequate, meaning he will adequately and fairly represent class.

2) Next step. Must fit the case within one of three types of class actions:
-"Prejudice": class treatment is necessary to avoid harm either to class members or to the party opposing the class. Example: numerous claimants to a fund; individual suits would deplete the fund.
-Injunction or declaratory judgment (not damages) sought because the class members were treated alike by the other party. (Example: employment discrimination )
- **"Damages": (a) common questions predominate over individual questions and (b) class action is the superior method for resolving the dispute. (example: a mass tort)

3) The court must determine "at an early practicable time" whether to certify the case to proceed as a class action.
-If the court certifies the class, it must define the class.
-It must also appoint class counsel (up to the court)
-Class counsel must fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class.

4) ** Does the court notify the class of pendency of the class action? In the "Damages" class ONLY, the court must give individual notice (usually by mail, paid for by the Representative) to all reasonably identifiable members, telling them various things, including:
-they can opt out;
-that they will be bound by the judgment if they do not opt out, and
-they can enter a separate appearance through counsel.

5) Who is bound by the class action judgment?
-All members except those who opted out of a "damages" type claim
-No right to opt out of the other types (no notice, so how would you opt out?)

6) Can the parties dismiss or settle a certified class action? Only with court approval
-In all three types of class action, the court gives notice to class members to get their feedback on whether the case should be settled or dismissed.
- In a "damages" type class, may give members a second chance to opt out.

7) ***Subject matter jurisdiction.
-Obviously, a class might invoke federal question jurisdiction by asserting a claim arising under federal law. There, we don't care about citizenship or amount in controversy.
-But if the class seeks to invoke diversity of citizenship jurisdiction, whose citizenship is relevant on the class side? The representative must be diverse from ALL defendants (We do not care about the class member citizenship, just the Rep)
- How do we determine amount in controversy in a diversity class action? The Rep's claim must exceed $75,000. You do not care about the other class members
*In other words, as long as the rep is diverse from all defendants and the rep's claim exceeds $75,000, the class invokes diversity.