Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

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skinsfan2386
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Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby skinsfan2386 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:24 pm

Need a little help with a practice hypo.

Plaintiffs were injured in accident at the defendant's business. Plaintiffs are from MA and defendant is located in NC. The hypo states that the claim was filed in federal court in NC and that the requirements of diversity were met to establish subject matter jurisdiction.

The hypo then states that the defendants would rather defend this suit in NC state court. For the defendants to achieve this, could they add a third party, their insurance company based in NC, and then move to dismiss for lack of complete diversity? Basically, is it permissible for a defendant to use the rules of joinder to defeat the requirement of complete diversity?

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cinephile
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby cinephile » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:37 pm

I didn't think impleader claims could defeat diversity of citizenship. Unless the 3rd party defendant has the same citizenship as the Plaintiff AND the plaintiff chooses to also sue the 3rd party defendant. But if the 3rd party defendant sues the plaintiff first and then the plaintiff brings a compulsory counterclaim, then everything's ok and diversity still exists.
That's what I got out of the E&E, but I could be wrong.

portaprokoss
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby portaprokoss » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:37 pm

skinsfan2386 wrote:Need a little help with a practice hypo.

Plaintiffs were injured in accident at the defendant's business. Plaintiffs are from MA and defendant is located in NC. The hypo states that the claim was filed in federal court in NC and that the requirements of diversity were met to establish subject matter jurisdiction.

The hypo then states that the defendants would rather defend this suit in NC state court. For the defendants to achieve this, could they add a third party, their insurance company based in NC, and then move to dismiss for lack of complete diversity? Basically, is it permissible for a defendant to use the rules of joinder to defeat the requirement of complete diversity?


No. We like to let plaintiff choose if possible. Here it's possible. An indemnitor meets none of the requirements under 19(a). Rather, D would only be able to use 14 against the insurer, which wouldn't create an exception under 1367b. Also, the judge would see that D is being a straight up rat, and lay the smack down on him.

Perhaps insurer could try to intervene under 24, but I don't think that's really colorable, and that's not what you're asking about anyway.

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Mce252
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby Mce252 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:39 pm

Defendants can never destroy diversity unless the plaintiff joins them as well. i.e. - if the defendant impleads a third party that could destory diversity, the plaintiff must file a claim agaisnt the impleaded party to actually destroy diversity.

portaprokoss
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby portaprokoss » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:41 pm

cinephile wrote:I didn't think impleader claims could defeat diversity of citizenship. Unless the 3rd party defendant has the same citizenship as the Plaintiff AND the plaintiff chooses to also sue the 3rd party defendant. But if the 3rd party defendant sues the plaintiff first and then the plaintiff brings a compulsory counterclaim, then everything's ok and diversity still exists.
That's what I got out of the E&E, but I could be wrong.


What if D compulsory counterclaims and then P fourteens an indemnitor in against the counterclaim? I think that is how 14 could destroy diversity jurisdiction.

skinsfan2386
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby skinsfan2386 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:42 pm

Cool. Thanks everyone.

portaprokoss
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby portaprokoss » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:42 pm

Mce252 wrote:Defendants can never destroy diversity unless the plaintiff joins them as well. i.e. - if the defendant impleads a third party that could destory diversity, the plaintiff must file a claim agaisnt the impleaded party to actually destroy diversity.


Except for the whole rule 19 and rule 24 things, where a previous claim against d1 will automatically be extended to a d2 who joins against P's wishes.

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Mce252
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby Mce252 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:45 pm

That can only happen in states that recognize contribution among tortfeasors. Otherwise, defendants cannot join parties unless they are impleading them.

portaprokoss
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby portaprokoss » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:50 pm

Mce252 wrote:That can only happen in states that recognize contribution among tortfeasors. Otherwise, defendants cannot join parties unless they are impleading them.


Sorry, I though you were making a general statement about civil litigation, rather than litigation against joint tortfeasors.

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Mce252
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Re: Civ Pro - Subject Matter Jurisdiction Question

Postby Mce252 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:52 pm

portaprokoss wrote:
Mce252 wrote:That can only happen in states that recognize contribution among tortfeasors. Otherwise, defendants cannot join parties unless they are impleading them.


Sorry, I though you were making a general statement about civil litigation, rather than litigation against joint tortfeasors.


Well, you're right -- my prof just told us to presume contribution isn't allowed and the plaintiff has the right to file claims against whomever they like. That is a big exception.




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