You are on page 1of 6


Personal Jurisdiction
- Federal cts need PJ over Ds.
- Assessed the same way as in NY Practice.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Federal cts can only hear: (1) diversity cases (including alienage); and (2) cases involving a fed question.
- Diversity and Alienage: (1) action must be btwn citizens of different states or btwn a citizen of a state and citizen of
a foreign country; and (2) amount in controversy must exceed $75,000.
o Citizenship Requirement:
 There is no diversity of citizenship if any P is a citizen of the same state as any D.
 Alienage is btwn a citizen of a state and an alien (not btwn two ppl from diff countries outside
US). An alien admitted to US for permanent residence is treated as a citizen of state in which she
is domiciled. A US citizen is a citizen of state in which she is domiciled, so if domiciled in a
foreign country, then not an alien.
 Domicile – is physical presence in state AND intent to make that state your permanent home
(subjective intent inquiry). Person can have no more than one domicile at a time, so you always
retain your old domicile until requirements are met with respect to a new one. Treat DC as a state.
 Diversity – The test for diversity is at the time the case is filed. So, a subsequent change in a
party’s citizenship is irrelevant, and it’s irrelevant what their citizenships were when claim arose.
 Corporations – citizenship is not “domicile” it is: (1) all states where incorporated (usually only
one); AND (2) one state where the corp has its principal place of business (PPB), so a corp can be
a citizen of more than one state at a time, but no matter how big the corp is, it only has one PPB.
Test for PPB is: (1) headquarters (nerve center, where decisions are made) OR (2) major
production or service activity (muscle center). Generally, cts consider the nerve center as PPB
unless all business activity is in one state.
 Unincorporated associations (e.g., partnerships, labor unions, LLCs) look to citizenship of all
members, not at PPB, etc. For partnerships that include general & limited partners, then
citizenship in all their states.
 Decedents, minors, and incompetents – citizenship of person being represented, not the rep.
 Class actions are different.
o Amount in Controversy Requirement:
 Need good faith allegation claim in complaint alone exceeds $75K exclusive of interests & costs
 Whatever P claims in good faith ok unless clear to legal certainty P can’t recover more than $75K
 What P wins is irrelevant to jurisdiction if she recovers less than $75K, she may be liable to D for
D’s litigation costs though.
 Aggregation – where P must add 2 or more claims to meet amount in controversy requirement, as
long as one P vs. one D, you can aggregate all claims you want and they don’t have to be in any
way related, but P can’t aggregate claims where diff Ds. For joint claims, use the total value of the
claim – number of parties irrelevant.
 For injunctions, look from P’s viewpoint, whether the encroachment hurt P by more than $75K or
from D’s viewpoint, whether it would cost D more than $75K to comply w/ injunction, then
requirement is met.
o Even if requirements for diversity are met, fed cts will not hear cases involving issuance of divorce,
alimony or child custody decree, and will not probate a decedent’s estate.
o No SMJ when party has been improperly or collusively made or joined to invoke jurisdiction – assignment
to create diversity, e.g. – no diversity of citizenship if party is a mere collection agent for party w/ no real
interest in case.
- Federal question: Complaint must show right or interest founded substantially on federal law – must “arise under”
federal law – not as popular as diversity, but shows up. Citizenship of parties & amt in controversy are irrelevant.
o Some FQ cases have exclusive fed jur, so can only be brought in fed ct, but most don’t and can be brought
in state or fed ct. (e.g., patent infringement & some federal securities law cases).
o Well pleaded complaint rule – if complaint were well-pleaded, just stating P’s claim w/o extraneous
material, then federal if P is enforcing a federal right, otherwise no (they will give you the law).


and limitation n/a in FQ cases and P can use supplemental jurisdiction to overcome a lack of amount in controversy for claims by Ps in diversity cases (new law) if: (1) meets T/O.Transfer of venue: from one fed dist ct to another. any dist where any D is found). may transfer to another fed dist ct.Residence: Individuals – residence usually equals domicile. o Limitations: Supp jur cannot be used for a claim by a P in a diversity case to overcome the complete diversity rule. will it cause litigants to flock to fed ct? If so. o If venue in original forum is proper. rules for tolling SOL. or in FQ cases. Corporation resides in all dists where subject to PJ when case is filed (don’t confuse corp’s citizenship for diversity jurisdiction). . copy to all adverse parties.  If a case is transferred under this statute. P may lay venue in any dist where all Ds reside or a substantial part of the claim arose (if no dist anywhere in US meets either of these. then D files copy of notice of removal in state ct. Erie Doctrine: in diversity cases (and supp jur claims). but have to have at least one claim in case already that satisfied diversity or FQ for fed ct. (3) interests in justice. choice of law rules). . fed ct must apply state substantive law. no removal more than 1 yr after case filed in state ct. A case removed from state ct goes only to fed dist embracing that state ct. o If no fed law on point. o Case is removable if it could have been filed in fed ct. apply the federal law as long as it’s valid b/c the supremacy clause. If there is a separate and independent FQ claim against one D. (2) Balance of interests – does either fed or state system have strong interest in having its rule applied? (strong federal interest in having jury decide fact questions. SOL. If removal improper. issue of which fed dist to sue in. then supplemental jurisdiction can allow the fed ct to hear the claim. but in a diversity of citizenship case.After deciding to sue in fed ct in particular state. apply 3 tests: (1) outcome determinative – would applying or ignoring the state rule affect the outcome of the case? (If so. 2 .Actions re: ownership. any other party can use supp jur to overcome either lack of complete diversity or amount in controversy in any case (diversity or FQ) o Discretionary Factors: The ct has discretion not to hear a supplemental claim – (1) if FQ dismissed early in proceedings (before trial) or (2) state law claim is complex or (3) state law issues predominate. usually at outset w/ service of process. rules are for cases originally filed in fed ct. A D who files a compulsory counterclaim in state ct probably does not waive the right to remove. In diversity cases (not FQ). then in diversity of citizenship cases. o To determine what is substantive ask: (1) is it an easy issue (elements of claim or defense. Must assess whether each claim individually invokes diversity or FQ for it to be included in case. but might become removable for first time later. (2) convenience of witnesses. P can never remove. If not. no removal if D is a citizen of the forum. Venue . o In any case. should probably apply state law – don’t want to give this incentive to forum shop). .  All Ds must agree for removal to occur. ask. or (2) ask is there some federal law (like a statute or FRCP or FRE) on point that directly conflicts w/ the state law? If so. looking to: (1) convenience of parties. probably substantive). For supp jur. . venue is proper in dist where any one of the Ds resides. he can remove the whole case. Case can only be transferred to another fed dist that: (1) has PJ over the D and (2) is proper venue (these two things must be true w/o waiver by D). contrary state law won’t be followed unless very strong state interest). but ct can remand state law issues. even if it is against a second D (pendent party). A D who files a permissive counterclaim in state ct probably waives right to remove. must do so w/in 30 days if based on defect other than SMJ. If P then dismisses claim against citizen of forum D. o Case must be removed w/in 30 days of service of first removable pleading. If Ds reside in diff districts of same state. (2) limitation doesn’t apply b/c P is not trying to overcome a lack of diversity. then becomes removable and remaining D has 30 days from service of dismissal of D-2 to remove. . signed under Rule 11. FRCP is valid if arguably procedural – none ever held invalid. any dist where any D is subject to PJ. setting forth grounds of removal. attach all docs served on D in state action. P moves to remand to state ct. possession or injury to land (inc trespass) must be filed in dist where land lies. . does the claim share a common nucleus of operative fact w/ the underlying case? This test is always met if the claim arises from the same transaction or occurrence as the underlying case. Ct must remand anytime it finds no fed jur. choice of law rules that apply are those of the original ct. o Procedural Removal – D must file notice of removal in fed ct. (3) avoid forum shopping (if fed judge doesn’t follow state law on this point. alienage or FQ. but okay to overcome amount in controversy req’t. meaning it meets diversity. Removal allows Ds to have case filed in state ct removed to fed ct embracing state ct in which originally filed.

Two types: o (1) Compulsory – one that arises from same T/O as P’s claim. not compulsory. ct may transfer in interests of justice or dismiss. The best example is a claim by D against P. The second circuit has even upheld jurisdiction over a permissive counterclaim if it has loose factual connection w/ P’s claim. o Third.” Claims by Defendant . ct can order joinder: (1) w/o absentee cannot accord complete relief among those already joined (worried about multiple suits). If no return of waiver form. then party may file a cross-claim against D (b/c against a co-party and arises from same T/O as underlying case). o For every claim asserted in fed ct.Necessary or required parties: absentees – persons not originally in the suit – who should be forced into the pending case b/c necessary.Fed dist ct may use any method of service permitted by: (1) FRCP or (2) law of state in which it sits or (3) law of state in which service is effected. o (2) Permissive – doesn’t arise from same T/O as P’s claim. cross-claim) then btwn existing parties. o If venue in original forum is improper. need not be in home or office. so need to check whether counterclaim is supported by diversity or alienage or FQ jurisdiction.” (counter-claim. Counterclaim is filed w/ D’s answer. D cannot use on claim in separate case. anywhere in forum state. must be served w/in 120 days of filing complaint or else case will be dismissed w/o prejudice (not if P shows good cause delay in serving). o Personal Service – Papers given to D personally. must assess whether fed SMJ.Ps may sue together if claims arise from same T/O AND raise at least one common question. Must be filed w/ your answer in pending case or else waived. Then. intervention) then someone new is joining case. o Geographic limitation – A fed ct in NY can serve process in NY only if a NY state ct could – PJ same in fed ct and state ct. party should filed compulsory counterclaim against P. and (2) Statutory Interpleader (see below). Joint tortfeasors are not necessary. join them. assess whether the necessary party can be joined. if “I.Tip: If claim starts w/ “C. To assert.Any non-party who is at least 18 may serve process. o Waiver by mail – Process mailed to D by 1st class mail. ct balances: (1) is there an alternative forum available where everyone can be joined (even state ct)? (2) What is the real likelihood of harm to anybody if we proceed w/o the party? (3) Can the ct do something to shape the order in the pending case to avoid any such harm? If ct dismisses. then only two choices: (1) proceed w/o party.Cross-claim: is an offensive claim against a co-party. . waiving service but nothing else (like PJ or venue). . b/c against opposing party and arises from same T/O as claim. litigant can appoint agent. o Substituted Service – ok if: (1) D’s usual abode. (2) absentee’s interest will be harmed if he isn’t joined (practical harm). 3 . may be filed if arises from same T/O as underlying action. o Second. have to see if case gets into fed ct by diversity. o First assess who is a necessary party: If any of these 3. meaning (1) is there PJ over them and (2) can they be joined w/o messing up diversity. . . can be filed in pending case. These are called “process”.Counterclaim: an offensive claim against an opposing party (someone who already sued you). or (3) absentee claims an interest which subjects a party (usually D) to possibility of multiple obligations. or (2) dismiss pending case o In determining which option to take. Two minor exceptions: (1) Bulge Rule. Doesn’t have to be asserted in pending case. Service of Process Deliver to D: (1) a summons (formal ct notice of suit and time for response) and (2) a copy of the complaint.” (impleader. . if can’t be joined. postage prepaid allowed if D returns waiver form w/in 30 days. party is “indispensable. & (2) serve person suitable age & discretion residing there o Agent – process can be delivered to agent authorized to receive service for D (corp’s agent could be registered agent or managing agent or officer. If so. or agent can be appointed by operation of law). Joinder of Parties & Claims Parties – Proper parties who may be joined: . P must have D served either personally or by substituted service. FQ or supp. If so. and penalty on D is that she may have to pay the cost of the service if she doesn’t waive service.

AND (2) interest harmed if not adequately represented now (basically same as test #2 for necessary parties). (2) some Qs of law or fact in common to the class. reg service of process rules. If none met. and wants to avoid being sued several diff times about it. fed jur. supp jury generally not available for permissive or intervention of right. (3) Damages (show: (a) common questions predominate over individual questions. She chooses whether to intervene as a P or as a D. Special Multiparty Joinder Situations . o Case must fit w/in one of three types of class actions: (1) Prejudice (class treatment is nec to avoid harm either to class members or the party opposing the class. ct may issue an injunction stopping parties from litigating ownership Q in another ct. . issues. Allowing intervention here is discretionary w/ the ct. o Need: (1) too numerous for practicable joinder. regular venue rules. o SMJ – assesses whether claim by intervenor P or against intervenor D invokes SMJ . Who pays to give this notice? The representative. o Subject Matter Jurisdiction – after determining claims asserted. P can assert claim against TPD if it arises from same T/O as underlying case. o Service of process – under rule. and (b) class action is superior method for resolving dispute (ex: mass tort)). (b) binding effect of a class judgment on class members. under statute. o Must: (1) file 3rd party complaint naming TPD and (2) serve process on TPD (so ct needs PJ). o Ct must determine at early practicable time whether to certify case to proceed as class action. though. If diversity of citizenship case and intervention will mess up diversity. individual suits would deplete the fund. stakeholder must be diverse from every claimant. The two types. Person holding property is stakeholder and those who want property are claimants. have diff standards for jurisdiction. o After TPD is joined. try supp jur). o Citizenship – To determine diversity of citizenship.Interpleader: one holding money or property wants to force all potential claimants into a single case to avoid multiple litigation and the threat of inconsistent results. Bulge Rule – Absentees joined as necessary parties or under impleader may be served w/ process out of state regardless of state law w/in 100 miles of ct house in which case is pending. o In fed ct two types: “rule” and “statutory” – in each. if ct certifies class. or defenses and appoint a class counsel. TPD can assert claim against P if it arises from same T/O as underlying case. o Intervention of right – Need: (1) Absentee’s interest may be harmed if not joined. alienage. D has right to implead w/in 10 days of serving answer or else need ct permission to implead. Not available for serving process on original Ds. ex: numerous claimants to a fund. including (a) they can opt out. Don’t even look at stakeholder’s citizenship. The ct can realign her if she came in on the wrong side. lay venue in dist where any claimant resides. (2) Injunction or declaratory judgment (not damages) sought b/c class members were treated alike by other party (ex: employment discrim). nationwide service of process. venue and service of process. who must fairly and adequately represent interests of the class.Intervention: Absentee wants to join a pending suit. telling them various thing. Interpleader (third-party practice): Defending party joins 3rd party D b/c TPD is or might be liable to defending party for claim against defending party. under the statute. o Permissive intervention – A’s claim or defense and pending case have at least one common question. o Venue – under the rule.Class Actions: Representative sues on behalf of group. under statute. (3) representative’s claims/defenses typical of those of the class. usually a claim for indemnity or contribution. After TPD is joined. In each type. ct must notify (often by mail) all reasonable identifiable members. Rule interpleader is just treated as a regular diversity case. stakeholder not sure who owns the property (maybe he thinks it’s his). leaving some w/o a remedy). o Amount in controversy – under rule. . one claimant must be diverse from one other claimant. o Some cases are both statutory and rule interpleader and some are only one and some are neither. and (c) they can enter a separate appearance through counsel (no such notice is required in type 1 or type 2 classes). but statute is radically different. under the rule. just need $500 or more. must define class and class claims. Under the statute. o All class members are bound by the class action judgment except those who opt out of a type 3 class. like any case. . o Does ct notify class of pendency of class action? In type 3. 4 . and (4) representative will fairly and adequately represent class. each one has to be assessed for SMJ (try diversity. must exceed $75K. Application to intervene must be timely.

or. they try the jury issues first. new evidence that could not have been discovered in time for trial. jury must determine factual issues underlying law.In selecting the jury. showing serious error of judgment by jury) Comparison of new trial to renewed motion for judgment as matter of law – granting new trial is less radical since results in starting over. Any D. Trial. In ruling on this motion. if her claim exceeds $75K. Judgment. we don’t care about citizenship or amount in controversy. o Answer is a pleading: in it. so you cannot engage in race or gender based pre-emption. Generally. or (2) answer. so if this is granted. if case involves law & equity.Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (JMOL) (directed verdict) – exceptional order.Requirement of demand: must demand jury trial in writing no later than 10 days after svc of last pleading raising a jury triable issue. To determine amount in controversy in diversity class action look at representative only. o Class Action Fairness Act – allows federal subject matter if: (1) any class member is diverse from any D. denying. . (6) failure to state a claim 5 . can be removed even if D is a citizen of the forum (many reasons not to allow removal…see CMR. D does two things: (1) responds to allegations of complaint (admitting. prejudicial misconduct of party or juror. if granted. effect of which is to take case from jury.Juries resolve disputes of fact.7th amendment preserves right to jury trial in fed ct in actions at law. Ct gives notice to class members to get feedback on whether case should be settled or dismissed. or that the case be dismissed for any of a variety of reasons. results in entry of judgment for him – must move not later than 10 days after entry of judgment. then we are okay. but must not be used in race & gender neutral way b/c jury selection in state action. . you cannot make the renewed motion. May demand in a pleading or separate doc. so D can move at the close of P’s evidence and again at the close of all evidence. . the ct generally will view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Motion for judgment as a matter of law at the close of all evidence is a prerequisite. the ct will view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.Motion for New Trial: Judgment entered. o In all 3 types. defending party may respond by: (1) motion. Does not apply in state cts. . must move not later than 10 days after entry of judgment (ex: prejudicial error at trial makes judgment unfair. If you did not move for the judgment as matter of law at the close of all evidence. each side has unlimited strikes of potential jurors for cause and each side gets 3 peremptory strikes. ct instructs jury on the law. losing party files renewed motion for judgment as mater of law. only in civil cases in fed cts. citizenship of representative only is relevant on class side if representative is diverse from every D. o Motions are not technically pleadings: they ask ct to order something such as to require P to make a more definite statement (rule 12(e)) or ordering that a pleading or portion thereof be stricken (rule 12(f)). . (4) insufficient process (problem w/ docs). Standard for granting motion is so clear and overwhelming that reasonable ppl could not disagree on the result. rather than all Ds required under diversity can remove to fed ct. (5) insufficient svc of process. but if class seeks to invoke diversity of citizenship jurisdiction.Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict) (JNOV) (RJMOL) – judge lets case go to jury – jury returns verdict for one party and ct enters judgment on basis of that verdict.Defensive Responses: Under FRCP 12. & Post-Trial Motions Jury Trial . there can be no settlement or dismissal of class claims in certified class w/o ct approval. o SMJ – class might invoke FQ jur by asserting claim arising under federal law. but judge concludes errors at trial require a new trial. the jury reached a conclusion reasonable ppl could not have reached. It is brought after the other side has been heard. and (3) the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 mil. saying D lacks sufficient info to admit or deny) and (2) raises affirmative defenses. must give members second chance to opt out. Pleadings . If Type 3 class. (3) improper venue. judgment against weight of evidence. o 7 defenses can be raised either in the answer or by motion: (1) lack of SMJ. but not equity claim. when appropriate. and (2) there are at least 100 class members. . Now. no later than 20 days after service of process on her. but not equity. (2) lack of PJ. The standard is the same as JMOL – reasonable ppl couldn’t disagree and generally.

Numbers 6 & 7: can be raised anytime through trial. 3 exceptions: fraud. . Number 1: never waived can be raised anytime in case even on appeal. Demand for judgment doesn’t limit what can be recovered except in default cases. (7) failure to join an indispensable party. Notice Pleading: complaint must contain: (1) statement of SMJ. and 5. on which relief can be granted. ct is usually more lenient. The federal rules use what is often called “notice pleading” under which the pleading is sufficient if it puts the other side on notice – don’t have to plead all facts. w/o a lawyer). 4. Statement of claim need not be stated w/ great specificity or particularity. but these reqts must be met. showing entitled to relief. (2) short and plain statement of claim. and (3) demand for judgment. 6 . 3. just enough for notice. & special damages (those that do not normally flow from an event). must be put in 1st rule 12 response (answer or motion) or else waived (waiveable defense). W/ a pro se litigant (one representing herself. To raise 2. mistake.