Declaratory judgment?

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Declaratory judgment?

Postby irish017 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:37 am

Is anyone else having trouble understanding the gist of a declaratory judgment?

I am currently understanding it to mean that unless a coercive suit would arise under fed law, a declaratory judgment can't invoke fed question jurisdiction.

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Re: Declaratory judgment?

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:57 am

I don't really understand your question, but I assume you're asking about when jurisdiction is proper in federal court when plaintiff seeks only a declaratory judgment.

A party seeking a DJ can only invoke federal jurisdiction if the opposing party could have invoked federal jurisdiction.

As an example, a P seeking a DJ that he is not liable in contract because Federal Law X makes the contract unenforceable could NOT invoke jurisdiction. In this case, the D in the DJ action could not have sued in federal court (assuming no diversity).

But a P seeking a DJ that he is not liable for patent infringement could invoke jurisdiction. In such a case, the D in the DJ action could have brought his action in federal court.

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