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Jurisdiction

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Xiang Li

on 17 April 2013

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Transcript of Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction of United
States in Civil Actions United States Circuit Courts United States Supreme Court Federal District Courts Federal Judiciary Decisions by United States Supreme Court are binding on all courts
Decisions by a Circuit Court of Appeals are only binding on trial courts within the circuit. For example, a decision by the 2nd Circuit is not binding on any other Circuit Court of Appeal or a trial court located in the 9th Circuit. Federalism Federalism leads to a dual court system
Federal courts
State courts (each state has its own, independent court system) District Court
(lowest level of trial court:
traffic court, small claims court, etc Criminal Division
Civil Division
Family Court Intermediate
Court of Appeals State
Supreme
Court Subject matter jurisdiction Venue (cc) photo by medhead on Flickr Personal Jurisdiction An Overview of “Subject Matter Jurisdiction” Jurisdiction means a power of court to hear a particular case.
Even though a state or federal court has jurisdiction over the parties in an action, it cannot try the case unless it has the power to adjudicate that kind of controversy. The power to adjudicate a certain kind of controversy is known as subject matter jurisdiction.
Subject matter jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to hear the type of claim being asserted. An Overview of “Subject Matter Jurisdiction” Federal courts are courts of limited subject matter jurisdiction.
Most courts hold that subject matter jurisdiction, unlike jurisdiction over the parties, may not be conferred by consent of the litigants.
In federal courts, there are two basic kinds of controversies over which the federal judiciary has subject matter jurisdiction.
Suits between citizens of different states
Suits involving a federal question An Overview of “Subject Matter Jurisdiction” The party seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court must affirmatively show that the case is within the competency of the court.
A plaintiff seeking to invoke diversity jurisdiction must in the pleading allege the relevant facts about the citizenship of the parties.
No matter when a deficiency in the subject matter jurisdiction of a federal court is noticed, the suit must be stopped, and dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Even at the appellate level, the suit already tried may be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Diversity Jurisdiction local prejudice
location
broad discovery
speedy trial
single assignment system
source of jurors Article 3 of the Constitution Section 2: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;…-to Controversies between two or more States;-between a State and Citizens of another State;-between Citizens of different States… Diversity Jurisdiction 28 U.S.C. 1332 (a) provides: “The district court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between-
(1) citizens of different States;
(2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state
(3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties; and
(4) a foreign state, as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different States.
For the purpose of this section, an alien admitted to the United States for permanent residence shall be deemed a citizen of the State in which such alien is domiciled.” Diversity A domicile is controlling
Domicile, not residence, is what counts. Residence, by itself, is not enough to make a person a citizen of a state in the sense in which the term is used in Art. 3 Sect. 2 of the Con law.
A person’s domicile is that place where he has his true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and to which he has the intention of returning whenever he is absent therefrom.
A person is considered to be domiciled in the place where he has his current dwelling-place, if he also has an intention to remain in that place for an indefinite period. Diversity A domicile is controlling
If a person, by moving, meets the test of domicile in his new state of residence, it is immaterial for diversity purposes that he moved in order to create or destroy diversity. But of course, the move must be made before the commencement of the action.
In determining the existence of diversity, nominal or purely formal parties may be ignored.
Trustee
Representative
Administrator Diversity An American citizen living abroad permanently has no domicile within the United States and is not a citizen of any state.
This means that if an American citizen lives abroad, there will not be diversity between him and an opposing party who is a citizen of a particular American state.
Federal jurisdiction exists where there is a suit between a citizen of a state, on one side, and foreign countries, or citizens or subjects thereof, on the other side.
But a suit solely between or among citizens of foreign countries does not fall within the alienage jurisdiction.
A foreigner living in the U.S. is deemed to be a citizen of whatever state in which the alien is domiciled. Diversity For diversity purposes, a corporation shall be deemed a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it has it principal place of business.
principal place of business
the state in which its corporate headquarters is located
the place in which the corporation carries on its main production or service activities
For diversity purpose, unincorporated associations, such as partnerships and labor unions are viewed as citizens of each state in which any member is a citizen. Diversity In order to invoke diversity, it must be the case that no plaintiff is a citizen of the same state as any defendant.
This is the rule of “complete diversity”.
This does not prevent a pair of plaintiffs, or a pair of defendants, from being co-citizens.
The court will look beyond the pleadings, and arrange the parties according to their substantive sides in the dispute.
In a suit between citizens of different states, the fact that a foreign citizen is a party does not destroy diversity. Diversity Time for determination
Diversity need only exist at the commencement of the action. The existence of diversity is determined as of the commencement of the action.
A change in either party’s citizenship after the filling of the suit does not deprive the court of jurisdiction. If diversity existed between the parties at that date, it is not defeated because one of the parties later became a citizen of the same state as his opponent.
The above statement applies only where the nature of the cause of action remains essentially the same after the change of parties or citizenship. Jurisdictional Amount The party seeking to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction does not have to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
The $75,000 figure does not include interest or court costs.
All he has to show is that there is some possibility.
In all federal question cases, there is no amount in controversy requirement.
The courts are split on whether the relief should be valued from the plaintiff’s perspective or the defendant’s perspective. Jurisdictional Amount The party seeking to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction does not have to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
legal certainty test: the usual standard of proof is that it must appear to a legal certainty that the claim is really for less than the jurisdictional amount to justify dismissal.
good faith: the sum claimed by the plaintiff controls if the claim is apparently made in good faith.
The fact that plaintiff eventually recovers far less than the jurisdictional amount does not by itself render the verdict subject to reversal and dismissal on appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Federal Question Jurisdiction
The Article 3, section 2 of the Constitution provides that federal judicial power shall extend to cases in law and equity arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties.
Section 2: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;… Nonfederal claim that turns on construction of federal law
Federal question jurisdiction can be proper “where the vindication of a right under state law necessarily turned on some construction of federal law.”

If Congress in passing a federal statute decides that there should not be a private right of action for violation of that statute, a state-created cause of action that alleges a violation of the federal statute as an element of the state-law claim will never be construed to arise under federal laws. 28 U.S.C. 1331 “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States.”
Special vs. General
In order for a federal question to exist, it must be the case “either that federal law creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” Federal law creates claim There is generally no problem when federal law creates the claim sued upon.
In the vast majority of federal question cases, federal law will be the source of the cause of action.
If the plaintiff’s cause of action derives from federal law, the case necessarily is one falling within the federal-question jurisdiction. Nonfederal claim that turns on construction of federal law Where federal law is an element of a state law claim, it suffices to support federal question jurisdiction only when it is important to the outcome of the case.
it would be helpful to focus on the nature of the federal issues at stake. Well-pleaded complaint rule The federal question must be integral to plaintiff’s cause of action, as revealed by plaintiff’s complaint.

An allegation anticipating a defense based on federal law is not sufficient to raise a federal question. Supplemental Jurisdiction We examine now the doctrine called “supplemental jurisdiction,” by which additional claims and parties may be brought into a federal case without independently satisfying subject matter jurisdiction requirements, once there is a basic controversy as to which there is subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. 1367 (a) “In any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article 3 of the United State Constitution. Such supplemental jurisdiction shall include claims that involve the joinder or intervention of additional parties.” Federal question cases Where the original claim comes within the court’s FQ jurisdiction, the Supreme Court articulated a three-part test to determine whether a federal court has the power to entertain pendent claims:
the federal claim must be sufficiently substantial to support FQ jurisdiction
the federal & nonfederal claims must derive form a common nucleus of operative fact
the federal & nonfederal claims must be such that the plaintiff would ordinary be expected to try them in one judicial proceeding 28 U.S.C. 1367 (b) “In any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction founded solely on section 1332 of this Title, the district courts shall not have supplemental jurisdiction … over claims by plaintiffs against persons made parties under Rule 14, 19, 20 or 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or over claims by persons proposed to be joined as plaintiffs under Rule 19 of such Rules or seeking to intervene as plaintiffs under Rule 24 of such Rules, when exercising supplemental jurisdiction over such claims would be inconsistent with the jurisdictional requirements of section 1332.” Diversity cases Section 1367(b) sets forth some explicit and important limits on supplemental jurisdiction:
Claims by plaintiffs
Claims by parties joined as plaintiffs
Inconsistent with jurisdictional requirement of section 1332 Discretionary decline of jurisdiction Section 1367(c) provides four reasons for which a court may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction that exist:
The claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
The claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court have no original jurisdiction, or
The district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction,
In exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction An Overview of Personal Jurisdiction three types of personal jurisdiction:
In personam jurisdiction, or jurisdiction over the defendant’s person, gives the court the power to issue a judgment against her personally.
In rem jurisdiction, or jurisdiction over a thing, gives the court the power to adjudicate a claim made about a piece of property or about a status.
In quasi in rem jurisdiction, the action is begun by seizing property owned by (attachment), or a debt owed to (garnishment) the defendant, within the forum state. An Overview of Personal Jurisdiction three types of personal jurisdiction:
In personam jurisdiction, or jurisdiction over the defendant’s person, gives the court the power to issue a judgment against her personally.
In rem jurisdiction, or jurisdiction over a thing, gives the court the power to adjudicate a claim made about a piece of property or about a status.
In quasi in rem jurisdiction, the action is begun by seizing property owned by (attachment), or a debt owed to (garnishment) the defendant, within the forum state. An Overview of Personal Jurisdiction However, regardless of which type of jurisdiction over the parties is involved, a court may not exercise it unless the defendant has some kinds of requisite connections with the state in which the court sits.
When the proposed defendant resides in and is present in the state in which the court is sitting, the question has posed few problems.
The real difficult problem is how a court can extend its personal jurisdiction over persons out of the state in which it sits. An Overview of Personal Jurisdiction Traditional bases
To obtain jurisdiction over a person, one must personally serve that person with process within the borders of the state in question.
The minimum contacts test
Courts of a state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant if she has such minimum contacts with the state that it would be fair to require her to return and defend a lawsuit in that state.
Long-arm statutes
The defendant may not be served outside of the forum state unless the forum state has enacted a statute authorizing out-of-state service under certain circumstances. The Traditional Bases for Determining Personal Jurisdiction The decision of Pennoyer v. Neff established fundamental jurisdictional doctrine whose main outlines prevailed for a century and which is still good law in many fundamental respects.
Although the power-based approach has been substantially eroded by more modern decisions, it is important to understand its operation and limitations. The Traditional Bases for Determining Personal Jurisdiction Pennoyer v. Neff
Facts: Neff sought to recover possession of land which had been seized and sold to pay off a default judgment against him, claiming that the judgment was invalid, as the court involved had not had personal jurisdiction over him.
Issue: Can a court exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident who has not been personally served with process while within the state, and whose property within the state was not attached before the litigation began?
Rule: Every state possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory; therefore, the courts of that state may enter a binding judgment against a non-resident only if he is personally served with process while within the state, or, if he has property within the state, if that property is attached before litigation begins. The Traditional Bases for Determining Personal Jurisdiction The opinion of Pennoyer v. Neff can roughly be divided into three sections.
Facts
Mitchell, Neff and Pennoyer
Discussion
The Oregon state court has no in personam jurisdiction
The Oregon state court has no in rem jurisdiction
Exception
Status
consent The Traditional Bases for Determining Personal Jurisdiction Pennoyer v. Neff
Background
The idea that a sovereign state had exclusive and complete power over everything and everyone within its borders, but not outside them, wasn’t new.
Influence
The Supreme Court relied on two principles of public law
Process from the tribunals of one State can not run into another state
Transient jurisdiction
limitation
The various states of the U.S. were not independent and fully sovereign nation-states The “Minimum Contacts” Test International Shoe Co. v. Washington
To subject a defendant to a judgment in personam, due process requires only that “she have certain minimum contacts with the forum such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend the traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
The courts of a state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant if she has such minimum contacts with the state that it would be fair to require her to return and defend a lawsuit in that state. The “Minimum Contacts” Test International Shoe Co. v. Washington
Facts: A shoe company with salesmen in Washington State claimed not to be subject to Washington’s jurisdiction when the state tried to collect unemployment taxes.
Issue: Is a corporation not chartered within a state subject to that state’s jurisdiction if it has certain minimum contacts with the state?
Rule: A corporation will be subject to the jurisdiction of any state with which it has minimum contacts that make the exercise of jurisdiction consistent with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. The “Minimum Contacts” Test International Shoe Co. v. Washington
The Supreme Court established a new personal jurisdiction test based on minimum contacts with the forum state.
Due process requires only that in order to subject a defendant to a judgment in personam, if she be not present within the territory of the forum, she have certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Its opinion is too vague to provide us enough guidance in applying the minimum contacts test. The “Minimum Contacts” Test The International Shoe’s approach has generated a two-stage analysis for determining whether the exercise of jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is proper.
The first stage looks to the purposeful availment requirement.
If that is satisfied, the analysis turns to questions of reasonableness. The “Minimum Contacts” Test Purposeful Availment
The defendant must have purposely availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its law.
The purposeful availment inquiry looks to some voluntary action by the defendant establishing a relationship with the forum, usually one in which the defendant seeks to benefit from the relationship with the forum state.
The unilateral act of plaintiff vs. A long-term relationship
A single act vs. Stream of commerce
Specific jurisdiction vs. General jurisdiction The “Minimum Contacts” Test Reasonableness-Fair Play & Substantial Justice
The interest of the state in providing a forum to the plaintiff;
The interest of the state in regulating the activity involved;
The burden of defense in the forum on the defendant;
The relative burden of prosecution elsewhere on the plaintiff;
Whether the defendant’s activity in the forum is systematic and continuous;
The extent to which the claim is related to the defendant’s local activities;
Avoidance of multiplicity of suits and conflicting adjudications Long-Arm Statutes It is not enough that an exercise of jurisdiction is constitutionally authorized; there must also be a statute authorizing jurisdiction.
Constitutionally permissible extraterritorial jurisdiction is not self-executing; a court needs authority granted by some statute or rule to exercise it.
In state court, such authority is usually in the form of a long arm statute, which operates as enabling legislation. Long-Arm Statutes Some long-arm statutes authorize jurisdiction whenever it would not violate the Constitution.
CA’s long-arm statute
Most long-arm statutes designate specific acts as warranting the exercise of jurisdiction in their long arm statutes.
MN’s long-arm statute Venue Venue refers to the place within a sovereign jurisdiction in which a given action is to be brought.
It becomes a consideration only when jurisdiction over parties has been established.
It is intended to further restrict the places where the plaintiff may choose to bring suit and to assure that suits are tried in a place that bear some sensible relationship to the claims asserted or to the parties to the action. Venue Venue in state actions
where the cause of action arose
where the defendant resides
where the defendant has a place of business or agent
where the plaintiff does business
where the seat of government is located
in the county designated in plaintiff’s complaint.
Venue in federal cases
28 U.S.C. 1391 28 U.S.C. 1391(a)
A civil action wherein jurisdiction is founded only on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought. 28 U.S.C. 1391(b) A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought. Venue Section 1391 gives three basic methods for determining whether there is venue in a particular judicial district:
in any district where the defendant resides
in any district in which a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred
in any district in which defendant can be made subject to personal jurisdiction
Remember: venue is not a substitute for personal jurisdiction. Venue Both 1391(a)(1) and 1391 (b)(1) authorize venue in a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same state, whether federal subject matter jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship or federal question.
Under both 1391(a)(2) and 1391 (b)(2), venue is proper in a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated.
Both 1391(a)(3) and 1391 (b)(3) are called fallback provisions, which provides an additional basis for venue in certain cases. Forum Non Conveniens Even when jurisdiction and venue are proper, courts may sometimes decline to exercise their jurisdiction over the parties, on the grounds that the location the plaintiff selected for the case is grossly inconvenient and it would be more convenient to try the case elsewhere, either in a court of their own jurisdiction, or in one of another jurisdiction.
The court will consider a number of private and public factors, such as relative ease of access to sources of proof, availability of compulsory process, cost of obtaining attendance of willing witness, need to view premises, local interest, avoiding unnecessary problems with conflict of laws.
Dismiss or transfer Removal Defendant’s right to second-guess
Any action brought in state court of which the federal courts would have had original jurisdiction may be removed by the defendant to federal district court.
Where the plaintiff’s state court complaint raises a federal question, the defendant may remove.
When the plaintiff could have filed the action in federal court using diversity of citizenship jurisdiction, the defendant may remove.
A defendant sued on a separate and independent claim or cause of action within federal question jurisdiction may remove.
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