"Law School Outline - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Flow Chart"
SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION – WHICH COURT? (“IT’S A CITIZENSHIP THING”) START HERE Does the suit arise out of a question of Federal Law? YES NO Is there a Well-Pleaded Complaint? - Federal Issue MUST be part of the CLAIM rather than a potential defense - Interpretation of §1331 YES NO Does at least one side consist completely of foreign countries or citizens from a foreign countries? (if parties both contain at least 1 US citizen move to diversity analysis) NO YES Valid Federal Question SMJ §1331 (NO Amount in Controversy Requirement) For Diversity Purposes, a corp is citizen of 1. All states of Incorporation 2. Single Principle Place of Business (Nerve Center v. Muscle Center) YES Is corporation a party? Alienage Jurisdiction – §1332(c) NO is the suit btw a citizen of a US state, on one side, and foreign countries, or citizens of foreign countries on the other? §1332(a)(2) YES NO For Diversity Purposes, an unincorporated entity is deemed to be a citizen of every state where its members are citizens YES Is an Unincorperated Entity a party? (firm, union, etc) NO NO SMJ – Federal Court Must Dismiss For Diversity Purposes, a person is a citizen of state which... 1. Presence 2. Intent to Remain Indefinitely (Aliens have NO state citizenship but issue if “duel citizen” w/ domicile & intent) YES Are the Parties Persons? Each side has only foreigners NO Is Diversity Complete? – Make sure that no π is a citizen of the same state of any ∆ YES From All 3 NO SMJ – Federal Court Must Dismiss Does the Amount in Controversy Exceed $75,000? (Claims must be made in Good Faith; Actual Award Irrelevant) §1332(a) NO SMJ – Federal Court Must Dismiss NO YES Valid Diversity SMJ Removal to Federal Court from State Court - π's choice where to file originally, but ∆ has the right to remove the case from state court to avoid local bias Rules: 1. Only remove to Federal District Court if valid SMJ & contains State Court that case is currently filed (§1441(a)) a. Exception – if based on diversity, ∆ CANNOT remove if case filed w/in ∆’s state of residence (§1441(b)) 2. All ∆’s must to agree to remove case to Federal Court (§1446(b)) a. Choice is binding on all ∆’s subsequently joined in suit 3. Must Remove w/in 30 days of the time case becomes removable (§1446(b)) a. Absolute limit of 1 year if SMJ based on Diversity/Alien