I. Civil Action
II. Jurisdiction Over the Parties & Property
III. Providing Notice & Opportunity to Be Heard
I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
a. In order to bring an action in a federal court, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to show that the federal court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. Subject matter jurisdiction is proper if the plaintiff's complaint alleges a sufficient "federal question" or the existence of "diversity of citizenship" jurisdiction. i. Federal Question
1. “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” 2. The Well-Pleaded Complaint
a. one that sufficiently sets forth:
i. a claim for relief, including grounds for a court’s jurisdiction; ii. a basis for the relief claimed;
iii. a demand for judgment in a way that allows the defendant to respond to each of the issues presented. b. When the plaintiff is seeking federal question jurisdiction, the well-pleaded complaint must raise the controlling issue of federal law. c. The claim stated in the complaint must arise under federal law; d. Note: the defenses raised are irrelevant to determining whether the district court has federal question jurisdiction. e. When an issue arises under federal law, but other issues arise under state law, the district courts have federal question jurisdiction only if the federal issue is central to the claim. f. If the plaintiff files a complaint in federal court in which two claims arise under state law and only one claim arises under federal law, the court could dismiss the state law claims and hear only the federal claim.
ii. Diversity of Citizenship
1. A federal court will have subject matter jurisdiction to hear a case where there is complete diversity of citizenship between the plaintiff and defendant and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 exclusive of interests and costs.
a. Complete diversity requires the opposing parties (plaintiffs versus defendants) to be citizens of different states. i. Parties (Individuals)
1. Individuals are citizens of the state where they are domiciled. 2. A person’s domicile is their true, fixed permanent home. It is where they reside and intend to remain or return. 3. While a person may reside in more than one place, they can have only one domicile for state citizenship purposes. a. If they reside in more than one location, courts look and variety of factors to try to determine the domicile of the person meaning where the person intends to remain or return. b. These factors include residence, voting, car registration, bank account, and employment.
ii. Parties (Corporations)
1. Corporations have "dual" citizenship for purposes of determining diversity of citizenship: a. Its place of incorporation
b. Its principal place of business
i. Principal place of business as the location of the party’s executive and administrative functions (called the "nerve center" test). b. Amount in Controversy
i. The second requirement for diversity of citizenship jurisdiction is that the amount in controversy between each plaintiff and each defendant must exceed the minimum amount in controversy as established by Congress. ii. Currently, that amount must be in excess of $75,000 exclusive of costs and interest. iii. The plaintiff’s good faith claims for an amount in excess of $75,000 exclusive of costs and interest will establish the amount in controversy, unless it is shown to a legal certainty that the claim will not exceed the required amount.
iv. Additionally, one plaintiff may aggregate or combine the claims that they have against one defendant, but two plaintiffs cannot stack or aggregate not unless their claims are common and undivided. II. Personal Jurisdiction
a. Both federal and state courts must have personal jurisdiction over the defendant in order to render a valid judgment. Personal jurisdiction has two...
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