Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

js5389's version from 2015-12-10 22:54

Subject-Matter Jurisdiction


Question Answer
State courts arecourts of general subject matter jurisdiction; they were established to entertain state law claims as well as claims “arising under” the Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States as provided for in Article III
Federal Courts arecourts of limited subject matter jurisdiction; they were created by Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789 pursuant to the powers granted in Art. III which allowed Congress to establish federal courts --> they were originally intended to protect out of state ∆’s from prejudice in local courts.

Diversity jurisdiction (28 USC §1332)


Question Answer
Perfect Diversityall parties on one side of the “v” need to be diverse from all parties on the other side of the “v”)
Citizenship for diversity purposes is established bythe party’s domicile, understood to be the last “permanent” place in which he resided with an intent to return
- In our increasingly mobile society, this presents huge problems --> we should be looking to things like where you’re registered to vote, where your landline number is, where you pay taxes, etc
The minimum amount in controversy requirementhas been incrementally going up since 1789, now sits at $75,000
- We have to establish that the amount is met ex ante rather than once the verdict has been handed down b/c if the amount eventually rewarded turned out to be less than the minimum requirement (or the π just loses), the case would get tossed out on a 12(b)(1), the judgment would be nullified, and the π could bring the claim again in state court with no preclusive effect. So either the ∆ loses big, or he has to face the claim again.
Mas v. Perry Factscouple sues landlord for watching them through a two-way mirror in their apt; min amt at that time was $10,000, which they both pleaded. This requirement is not contested b/c Mrs gets $15,000 (even tho Mr only gets $5,000). Perry is LA citizen, Mr is Fr citizen, but where is Mrs from?
Mas v. Perry HoldingMrs is a MS domiciliary (she grew up there and has her childhood home there, went to LSU for college and now lives there for grad school; as a student is not considered to have any intention to stay in LA permanently – just there fore a finite time of her grad course)

Federal Question jurisdiction (28 USC §1331)


Question Answer
The Well-Pleaded Complaint Rule (the Mottley rule)the federal issue must be apparent on the face of the complaint (similar to the 4 corners rule in k law)
- A “rigid rule” that works well and is still good law today --> very formalistic, but this formalism results in immense efficiency gains (either you pass the test or you don’t!)
Minimum AmountNone
“Arising Under” RequirementJudiciary Act gives federal courts “original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States”
What does it mean to “arise under,” you ask? It means that the claimant has an individual right of action under a federal statute! You either have1. An express right of action (Holmes test)
2. An implied right of action
3. Federal Ingredient jurisdiction
Holmes testyou have a right of action when the federal law explicitly creates a right of action (like the Civil Rights Law in Adickes or Title VII)
Implied Right of ActionA. Congress forgot to create an express right of action, but the totez meant to (i.e. Title VI, same thing as Title VII but about housing, would be useless w/o an individual right of action)
Implied Right Action Test1. π is the intended beneficiary of the statute
2. Legislative intent to provide a private right of action
3. A federal individual cause of action would further the underlying purpose of the statute
4. The subject of the statute is not one traditionally relegated to state law
Federal Ingredient Jurisdictiondoes the state law claim ultimately turn so indispensably on interpretation of a federal law as to render it, for all intents and purposes, a federal claim?
Federal Ingredient Jurisdiction Test1. Does this case deal with a construction of federal law?
- Impact on the federal dockets
- Uniformity concern – we don’t want state courts deciding on question of/interpreting federal law
2. Is the claim colorable?
- Significance of federal issue
- Substantiality concern – does your claim really hinge on federal concerns, or are you just throwing it in there in the hopes of creating fed q juris?
3. Did Congress intend to preclude any private right of action?
- Inferences from Congressional inaction
- Looks a lot like the implied right of action test – the supposition initially was that there was no difference between these two tests, and that this is all BS and maybe Holmes was right
- Under this prong, for fed ingred juris to survive, you would need to find a federal statute for which Congress did not even contemplate creating a right of action (neither did nor didn’t intend a right of action – this is a nearly impossible task)


Question Answer
L&N RR v. Mottley FactsM’s had a k with RR for free train passez fo lyf. Congress passed a law forbidding these kinds of off the book RR k’s, retroactively voiding the M’s k. They filed a state breach of k claim against RR, but they brought it in fed ct b/c they anticipated that the RR would use this federal law as a defense
L&N RR v. Mottley Holdingthe Mottley rule (above): the federal issue must be present on the face of the complaint and not be an anticipatory defense. The issue on the face of the complain was a state k claim, so its not a federal question “arising under” federal law. Bumped it back down to state court, where it went back up to the S.Ct. and Mottleys lost. Pwn.
Merrell Dow v. Thompson FactsScottish and Canadian π’s whose moms took Bendectin while pregnant (ended up causing birth defects) manu’d by MD wanted to take advantage of our kickass tort system by suing in the US. They had to keep the claims out of federal court, b/c previous Bendectin claims had been removed under forum non conveniens [there’s a better forum in which to litigate this claim], so they sued MD in OH, where its incorp’d. As proof of their negligence claim, they referred to the FDCA, a federal law governing the labeling of drugs (π’s claimed MD mislabeled drugs, thereby making them negligent per se). They did not allege any implied right of action, but MD removed anyway (tryna fuck them over).
Merrell Dow v. Thompson HoldingNo implied right of action under 4 prong test (above), and court articulated the 3 prong fed ingred test, which π’s claim also failed --> ct split 5-4 in finding that incorporating the FDCA did not present a sufficient federal ingredient to warrant federal question jurisdiction, so π’s get dropped back to state court and don’t get kicked out on fnc!
Grable & Sons v. Darue Factsthis is Pennoyer in the 21st c --> the IRS confiscated G’s property to satisfy a tax lien tax code required the IRS to give G notice of the seizure, which the IRS sent to him by mail; IRS sold the land to D and conferred the title to him after G failed to redeem the property w/in 180 days. 5 yrs later, G brought a “quiet title” action against D, saying his title was invalid b/c the federal tax code required personal service. D removed to fed ct as presenting a fed q b/c the claim of the title depended on the interpretation of the notice requirement in the federal tax statute
Grable & Sons v. Darue HoldingsStays in fed ct b/c interest in uniformity in interpretation of federal law was overwhelming
- Says absence of a federal private right of action (express or implied) is relevant but not dispositive of fed q juris (it’s “a welcome mat, not a key”)
- Souter (sensible as always) says we’re creating an exception to MD when we’re not concerned about a flood of cases (there’s not going to be a ton of quiet title cases)
- Plus, in this context, we won’t be balkanizing federal law or federalizing state law – we need to interpret this statute so its understood and applied in a uniform way for the entire country
Grable & Sons v. Darue TakeawaysLike Markman and Twombly, Souter’s brilliant exceptions to general, principled doctrines never hold! The law will be unstable, we’re not sure what’s going to happen next, but for now the line hasn’t gone farther than the Grable exception

Supplemental Jurisdiction


Question Answer
§1367(a)codified Gibbs! District courts have supplemental juris over all “other” claims that are “so related to claims in the action within such original juris that the form part of the same case or controversy under Article III,” including claims that involve the joinder or intervention of additional parties
§1367(b)codified Kroger! In actions where federal courts have original jurisdiction based solely on §1332 (diversity juris), “the district courts shall not have juris under subsection (a) over claims by π’s against persons made parties under Rule 14, 19, 20, or 24,” or over claims by people seeking to join the suit under Rules 19 or 24 “when requiring supplement juris over such claims would be inconsistent with the requirements of §1332”
Sidebar: also “codifies” Pulitzer (an attempt by C to move the entire case to fed ct and have L and S intervene; under this, they won’t be able to b/c they’re not diverse from S)
§1367(c)reflects the discretionary nature (“may decline”) of supp juris
Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)- Amended §1332 to say that when you have a national class action, you can bring it straight into federal court (i.e. if you think you have a big impact case, we want it in federal ct)
- Required: more than 100 people OR more than $5 million in controversy OR 2/3 of class members from out of state

Issacharoff: this has worked fairly well! CAFA took national level cases based on state law claims and moved them into federal court. CAFA is a big exception to the division of labor principle of §1367!! Reinforces our interest in uniformity


Question Answer
Pendent jurisdictiongives the court authority to hear state law claims properly connected to claims arising under federal question jurisdiction
Ancillary jurisdictiongives the court authority to hear state law claims properly connected to claims arising under diversity jurisdiction


Question Answer
UMW v. Gibbs Factsmineowner G is running a scab operation in his mine after minors from π union went on strike. He brought a state law tort claim (tortious interference with k) and a federal law claim (2ndary boycott prohib under LMRA) in federal ct.
Question: To what extent can the federal ct hear both state and federal claims?
UMW v. Gibbs HoldingYES! They are so related as to make up one constitutional case (fed and state common law claims asks the same q’s and require the same evidence to prove them)
Gibbs Test1. Claims are sufficiently transactionally related so as to make up one constitutional case
2. Federal claim is sufficiently substantial enough to merit adjudication
3. There is a common nucleus of operative fact between the claims
4. State issues do not predominate
5. Court hears claims at its own discretion
Owen v. Kroger FactsK (IA) puts ladder on high voltage wire and dies. Wife sues OPPD, husband’s employer (NE) in federal court, who impledes Owen (at the time, NE). The OPPD v. Owen action is a non-diverse claim on a state k issue, so it has to go forward in state court. This is massively inefficient, so ct came up with the doctrine of ancillary jurisdiction.
- That’s all dandy until Owen realizes he actually lives in IA and K amends her federal complaint to file specifically against Owen in federal court. Now we have a state claim between 2 non-diverse parties in federal ct. Under Gibbs, there would be jurisdiction (only element 2 is not satisfied and efficiency and equity concerns likely favor it being in fed ct), but that doesn’t seem right!
Owen v. Kroger HoldingK v. OPPD in fed ct, OPPD v. Owen in fed ct, K v. Owen in state court.
Owen v. Kroger TakeawayIssacharoff: this is an inefficient result, but the court did it b/c its just a question of state law! State courts for state law, fed courts for fed law! We protect OPPD v. Owen b/c OPPD was dragged into the forum by K and we want to ensure fairness (no time lag btwn Owen paying OPPD so OPPD can pay K), but K chose her forum so she can’t be prejudiced by her own choice!
Zahn v. Int’l Paperhow we deal with ancillary juris in class actions?
- “Weird” holding: all named π’s must be diverse from all named ∆’s, but every class member (both named and absent) must meet the minimum amount in controversy requirement!
- This doesn’t really make sense and had the effect of keeping personal injury class actions out of federal court b/c very few ppl have that much $ in controversy (kept them in state court)
Exxon v. Allapattahheld that §1367 overruled Zahn!
- §1367 stands for the proposition that you have one named π who is completely diverse from the ∆, you can add in all the other class members w/o worrying about them satisfying the §1332 requirements!