1331 Question

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beach_terror
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1331 Question

Postby beach_terror » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:38 pm

Quick question for civ pro buffs, regarding 1331 jurisdiction.

Essentially there are two possibilities for 1331 jurisdiction, federal law and state law claims. Federal law claims need to have either express or implicit causes of action written into the statute. State law claims need to have a federal question embedded in the state law claim, even though state law gives the cause of action (and here you apply the Grable test). Do I have that right?

Assuming I do, how do you reconcile the well-pleaded complaint rule with the above in terms of state law claims? Do the courts just read in that there is a federal question, or does the petitioner submit an affidavit with the complaint? I'm confused at how a cause of action under a state law claim with an embedded federal issue can appear on the WPC. On the face, how could a court see that a state negligence claim raised federal issues?

Further, assuming it's a state law claim with an embedded federal issue. Would cases like Mottley have been decided differently after Grable? It seems like, especially in Mottley, the federal issue was the entire crux of the dispute, although it was going to be a defense presented by the RR co. Edit: I guess since it's only an issue possibly raised by the defense, it wouldn't apply. Hmph.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby BarbellDreams » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:38 pm

For a state law claim to apply under 1331 the federal issue needs to be substantial and the state claims cannot predominate it and one that was intended to be used in private courses of action.

I lost you when you were asking about Mottley being different after Grable because, at least the way I get it, Grable does exactly what the Mottley test wants you to do but still tries to keep it out of federal court. Basically Grable is trying to make a state claim under a federal act but say that the federal act isn't enough to get it to federal court under 1331. When I read Grable I was thinking "Dude, did you seriously think this was gonna work?! You're suing under a FEDERAL act to recover your property yet you are saying that that federal act is not something the FEDERAL court can review? Good try, but you failed miserably." Basically Grable went with the Mottley rule and sued under the federal act which was in his well pleaded complaint, but then said he didn't think it should be in federal court anyway.

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beach_terror
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby beach_terror » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:47 pm

The 3 part Grable test:

c. State law claims can satisfy the centrality requirement by implicating sufficiently a federal law
i. 1) case necessarily raises a federal issue;
ii. 2) federal issue is actually disputed and substantial; and
1. Does not have to satisfy the implied/express cause of action
iii. 3) federal jurisdiction will not disturb “any congressionally approved balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities

Under Mottley, the crux of the dispute was technically the federal act that banned the sale of lifetime R.R. passes. Although it's a defense, the case still raised all the elements of the Grable 3 part test. I see that it wouldn't fit into the WPC rule now (hence the edit), but that was the gist of it.

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vamedic03
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:26 pm

beach_terror wrote:Quick question for civ pro buffs, regarding 1331 jurisdiction.

Essentially there are two possibilities for 1331 jurisdiction, federal law and state law claims. Federal law claims need to have either express or implicit causes of action written into the statute. State law claims need to have a federal question embedded in the state law claim, even though state law gives the cause of action (and here you apply the Grable test). Do I have that right?

Assuming I do, how do you reconcile the well-pleaded complaint rule with the above in terms of state law claims? Do the courts just read in that there is a federal question, or does the petitioner submit an affidavit with the complaint? I'm confused at how a cause of action under a state law claim with an embedded federal issue can appear on the WPC. On the face, how could a court see that a state negligence claim raised federal issues?

Further, assuming it's a state law claim with an embedded federal issue. Would cases like Mottley have been decided differently after Grable? It seems like, especially in Mottley, the federal issue was the entire crux of the dispute, although it was going to be a defense presented by the RR co. Edit: I guess since it's only an issue possibly raised by the defense, it wouldn't apply. Hmph.


Very short answer. The federal question has to be raised by the plaintiff. The problem with Mottley was that the plaintiff was only anticipating that the defendant would most likely raise the federal question as a defense.

gp86
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby gp86 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:27 pm

Not to be a stickler, but this is civil procedure, after all - remember that 1331 only codifies Article III. The Mottley test comes from the third level of analysis, the Supreme Court.

Fundamentally, a federal law must be the basis for a cause of action. This can be so if the claim is made 1) under a federal law or 2) if the claim is state law but but can only be decided by adjudicating a federal law. Even if the state claim hinges on (think of it that way, instead of "embedded") a federal law, it must be weighed in consideration of congressional intent and the implications for the judicial system. This is why the Court approved the "hinge" claim in Grable but not in Merrill - in the latter, the Court refused to essentially create a private enforcement mechanism for the law, noting that it was a job for Congress and that, even so, allowing the claim would open the floodgates for further litigation.

Oh, and about the Mottley claim - it was a claim for breach of contract. Obviously, the railroad was going to invoke federal law as a defense, but it certainly didn't have to. Could you imagine the implications if a plaintiff could get "arising under" jurisdiction merely by tossing out possible defenses based on federal law?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:43 pm

gp86 wrote:Not to be a stickler, but this is civil procedure, after all - remember that 1331 only codifies Article III. The Mottley test comes from the third level of analysis, the Supreme Court.

Fundamentally, a federal law must be the basis for a cause of action. This can be so if the claim is made 1) under a federal law or 2) if the claim is state law but but can only be decided by adjudicating a federal law. Even if the state claim hinges on (think of it that way, instead of "embedded") a federal law, it must be weighed in consideration of congressional intent and the implications for the judicial system. This is why the Court approved the "hinge" claim in Grable but not in Merrill - in the latter, the Court refused to essentially create a private enforcement mechanism for the law, noting that it was a job for Congress and that, even so, allowing the claim would open the floodgates for further litigation.

Oh, and about the Mottley claim - it was a claim for breach of contract. Obviously, the railroad was going to invoke federal law as a defense, but it certainly didn't have to. Could you imagine the implications if a plaintiff could get "arising under" jurisdiction merely by tossing out possible defenses based on federal law?



... wow. No. Just... no. Holy shit.

Edit: Just figured I would edit to add that the bolded statement reflects one of the most fundamental misunderstandings of a concept I have seen on these boards. The rest of the post is fine, but there is a huge difference between Article III jurisdiction and 1331 jurisdiction.

smittytron3k
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby smittytron3k » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:42 pm

it's not a fundamental misunderstanding, it's just unclear. article III grants federal courts jurisdiction over claims arising under the constitution or the laws of the united states, but this is merely the constitutional outer limit of federal question jurisdiction. 1331 defines the statutory limits of this jurisdiction, which are more restrictive than the constitutional limits. obviously 1331 and the constitution are not coterminous because the us didn't even have a federal question statute until after the civil war.

as to the OP i dunno we didnt read grable.

gp86
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby gp86 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:45 pm

In conferring the district courts jurisdiction, 1331 uses "all civil
actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States," the same language from Article III. But, the interpretations of the phrase in Article III and 1331 differ greatly. That was my point, unless I'm very wrong (or guilty of lazily explaining something while professing to be a stickler.)

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:53 pm

When you say "merely codifies," that implies that you're saying they're roughly equivalent, which isn't true. Article III jurisdiction is much, much broader - this is tested when Congress passes specific jurisdiction-granting statutes.

So, you're right, but you just used bad language. No harm;)

Edit: By "bad language," I mean language that a law professor will tear apart in an exam setting.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:55 pm

smittytron3k wrote:it's not a fundamental misunderstanding, it's just unclear. article III grants federal courts jurisdiction over claims arising under the constitution or the laws of the united states, but this is merely the constitutional outer limit of federal question jurisdiction. 1331 defines the statutory limits of this jurisdiction, which are more restrictive than the constitutional limits. obviously 1331 and the constitution are not coterminous because the us didn't even have a federal question statute until after the civil war.

as to the OP i dunno we didnt read grable.


Th'fuck?

smittytron3k
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby smittytron3k » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:21 pm

our coverage of federal question jurisdiction was limited to franchise tax board and mottley. i think our prof believes that we're supposed to learn the rest of FQJ in "advanced procedure" or fed courts.
Last edited by smittytron3k on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:21 pm

smittytron3k wrote:our coverage of federal question jurisdiction was limited to franchise tax board and mottley. i think our prof believes that we're supposed to learn the rest of FQJ in "advanced procedure" (which is not a class taught at this school) or fed courts.


Your professor is retarded, and most fed courts assumes a certain baseline knowledge about 1331 that you haven't been given, heh.

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beach_terror
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Re: 1331 Question

Postby beach_terror » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:50 pm

Just to clarify for anyone else with a similar question, I talked to my prof. Essentially, if it's an embedded state law claim, it can appear in the well-pleaded complaint whenever it relates to the element. It doesn't have to be an element, which is what threw me. So essentially, for a case like Merrel Dow... D was negligent for failing in their duty to label the product properly (this duty is created by the FDCA).




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