diversity jurisdiction – jurisdiction of a federal court in all civil actions when parties are from different states (or foreign states) and the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000 in value

     This page is also continued from Intro >>>> Jurisdiction >>>> Municipal, County, State, Federal, & Tribal Courts >>>> Federal Courts >>>> Jurisdiction of Federal Courts:

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     Excerpt from Represent Yourself in Court; How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case (7th ed.) by by Paul Bergman and Sara J. Berman (NOLO):

     “Federal district courts also have subject matter jurisdiction if you are suing a citizen of a different state (or a foreign national), and you are asking for at least $75,000 in money damages.  (This monetary floor may be responsible for the old satying, “Don’t make a federal case out of it.”)  Don’t be fooled by the “subject matter jurisdiction” label.  If a federal court has jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship, the subject matter fo the case doesn’t matter.  Examples of federal diversity jurisdiction include:

  • As a citizen of New York injured in a traffic accident, you sue the New Jersey citizen who was driving the car that struck you for $90,000 in damages.  (You could file the complaint in a federal court in either New York or New Jersey.)
  • As a businessperson who is a citizen of Florida, you sue a citizen of Great Britain for breachng a contract and causing you to lose $100,000.
  • Bluegrass Corp., a corporation whose headquarters are in Kentucky, sues Seedling Corp., a company headquartered in Washington, for $300,000 for breach of contract based on Seedling’s supplying the wrong kind of grass seed.  (You could file  the complaint in a federal court in either Kentucky or Washington.)
  • A company headquartered in Tennessee sues a Texas Internet news service provider for $125,000 for publishing false information about the company’s business operations.  (You could file the complaint in a federal court in either Tennessee or Texas.)

     For diversity jurisdiction purposes, individuals can be a citizen of only one state at a time and are generally citizens of the state in which they maintain principal residence.  A corporation can be a citizen of two states: the state in which it is incorporated and the state in which it maintains its principal place of business.  Federal courts have diversity jurisdiction only if complete diversity exists between all of the plaintiff and all fo the defendants (that is, if every plaintiff is a citizen of a different state than every defendant).

  • EXAMPLE 1: Cobb, a Georgia citizen, wants to sue Peachy Corp., a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Atlanta.  Diversity jurisdiction does not exist, because Cobb and Peachy are both Georgia citizens.
  • EXAMPLE 2: Cobb, a Georgia citizen, wants to sue Ruth, a Maryland citizen.  Diversity jurisdiction does not exist, because Cobb and one of the defendants are citizens of the same state. [1]

diversity jurisdiction:
(1927)

1. A federal court’s exercise of authority over a case involving parties who are citizens of different states and an amount in controversy is greater than a statutory minimum. 28 USCA § 1332. [2]

1. The jurisdiction of a federal court arising from diversity of citizenship of the parties. [3]

1. The jurisdiction of a federal court arising from diversity of citizenship, when the jurisdictional amount has been met. [4]

Learn More:

diversity of citizenship – a basis for federal-court jurisdiction that exists when

(1) a case is between citizens of different states, or between a citizen of a state and an alien, and
(2) the matter in controversy exceeds ~$75,000.

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: pages 47-48 of Represent Yourself in Court; How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case (7th ed.) by Paul Bergman and Sara J. Berman.  NOLO.  ISBN-13: 978-1-4133-1269-0 (pbk.)  ISBN-10: 1-4133-1269-1 (pbk.)

[2]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[4]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

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