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Flashcards in Federal Jurisdiction Deck (89):

Subject matter jurisdiction for diversity of citizenship requires what?

1) complete diversity - all plaintiffs have different citizenship from all defendants at time of filing
2) amount in controversy exceeds $75,000


For a natural person, citizenship is determined based on what?

state of domicile - presence in a state and intent to make the state a permanent home


For a corporation, citizenship is determined by?

1) state where incorporated
2) one state where corporation has principal place of business, determine by where the managers direct, coordinate, and control corporate activities.


Relevant citizenship in a class action?

Named members who sue on behalf of class


Citizenship for a partnership is determined by what?

Citizenship of all the partners.


What determines citizenship for a decedent?

citizenship of decedent, not the legal representative
Same rule for minors and incompetents.


After an event that gives rise to a cause of action, the plaintiff moves states and then files a federal civil action. Is the plaintiff's motive for moving relevant?

No - irrelevant. Must be a genuine change of citizenship based on physical presence and intent to make state permanent home


In federal court, P sues D for exactly $75,000 plus interest and costs of litigation. D moves to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Result?

Granted. Must exceed $75,000. Interest and costs are excluded


In federal court, to establish diversity can claims be aggregated?

Aggregation is allowed by one plaintiff against one defendant, even if matters are not factually or legally related.
Aggregation is not allowed by one plaintiff against multiple defendants.


In federal court, to establish diversity against joint tortfeasors what is the basis for the amount in controversy?

Total value of claim.


In federal court, to establish diversity for an equitable what is the amount controversy requirement?

1) plaintiff's view - harm to plaintiff exceeds $75,000; or
2) defendant's view - cost to comply exceeds $75,000


Supplemental jurisdiction in federal court operates to?

Get an additional claim into the federal court that itself does not meet diversity or federal question.
Test: does the claim share a common nucleus of operative fact - always met by same transaction or occurrence as underlying claim


Limitation on supplemental jurisdiction in diversity actions.

Plaintiff cannot use supplemental jurisdiction to overcome a lack of diversity
Plaintiff can use supplemental jurisdiction to overcome a lack of amount in controversy for a claim in a diversity claim


What can the court consider in whether to hear a supplemental claim?

supplemental jurisdiction is discretionary
1) federal question is dismissed early
2) state law claim is complex
3) state law issues predominate


Who can remove a state court to federal court?

Defendant - 30 days after service that makes case removable.
Defendant can only remove an action that could have originally been brought by plaintiff in federal courts.


Can a plaintiff remove a case in state court to federal court based on a counterclaim?

No - only defendants can remove.


If a defendant is a citizen of the forum state in which a state action was brought, what are the limitations on removal?

Defendant cannot remove if the jurisdiction of the federal court is based solely on diversity and one of the defendants is a citizen of the state in which the state action was brought


When a state action is removed to federal court, where is the proper venue for the federal action?

Venue is proper is the federal court of the state where the case was pending even if the venue would have been improper had the plaintiff originally brought the action in that court.


How does a defendant seek removal?

File a notice of removal with statement for grounds of removal, signed under Rule 11 in the federal district court where the state action is pending
Copy is sent to all plaintiffs and state court. Federal court can enjoin state court if it attempts to take action.
All defendants must join, if multiple defendants


In a diversity case, what is the deadline for removing a state action to a federal court?

30 days after defendant receives service of the first paper that makes the action removable.
Must be within one year after it was commenced in state court (except if there is bad faith on the plaintiff's part).


Does a defendant need permission from the state court before seeking to remove to federal court?

No. Notice of Removal filed with Federal Court and copy is sent to state court. State court can no longer deal with case.


How does filing a counterclaim effect the defendant's ability to remove a state action to federal court?

Compulsory counterclaim filed in state court - defendant does not waive right to remove
Permissive counterclaim filed in state court - defendant waives right to remove


Federal court in a diversity case must follow what law?

State substantive law
Federal procedure law
If there is a question, then use a balancing test:
1) outcome determinative; 2) balance of interest; 3) avoid forum shopping


Are the following substantive or procedural law for a federal court in a diversity?
Statute of limitations
Rules on Tolling
Choice of law

all substantive for Erie purposes and follow state law


In federal action, venue is proper when?

1) any district where defendant are citizens of that state; or
2) any district where a substantial part of the claim arose


For venue purposes, where does a human reside? where does a corporation reside?

Where the person has a domicile/resides.
For a corporation, it resides where it is subject to personal jurisdiction


If there is no district where all the defendant reside and none where a substantial part of the event occurred, then where is venue proper?

Where the defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction.


Can improper venue be waived in federal court?

Yes, if not timely objected to in a pre-pleading motion or in the answer.


What is required for service of process in a federal court?

two documents required for process
1) summons (formal court notice of suit and time for response)
2) copy of the complaint
must be served within 120 days and service may be made by anyone who is 18 or older


How is service made for a complaint filed in federal court?

i) personal service
ii) service left at defendant's usual place of adobe with one of suitable age and discretion residing therein
iii) service upon authorized agent
iv) service as allowed by state law in which the federal court sits


Can plaintiff service process by mail for action brought in federal court?

Only if defendant waives service, then plaintiff must formal request to waive service and a copy of the complaint. Defendant has 30 days to return the waiver.


If defendant waives formal service, what is the deadline to responding to the complaint?

60 days instead of normal 21 days
Waiver of service does not waive defendant's right to object to venue and jurisdiction


When can a defendant be immune from service in a federal court proceeding?

When defendant is instate to be witness or party in another (civil or criminal) action


After the complaint is served, how are subsequent papers served?

Served by delivering or mailing the document to the party's attorney. If mailed, then 3 days are added to deadline for responding.
Can consent to e-mail communications.


If another party violates Rule 11, can a party move for sanctions immediately in a federal court?

No - must be - safe harbor provisions of 21 days to allow other party to fix problem and avoid sanctions

Does not apply if court rises Rule 11 violation


In a complaint filed in federal court, what matter must be pleaded with more detail?

1) fraud
2) mistake
3) special damages (those that do not normally flow from an event)


How can a defendant respond after receiving service of process in a federal court action?

Within 21 days (60 days if service waived) - file a Rule 12 Motion or answer


In Federal Court, what Rule 12 motions are waived if not put in the first Rule 12 response or answer?

- lack of personal jurisdiction
- improper venue
- insufficiency of process
- insufficiency of service of process


In Federal Court, what Rule 12 motions are not waived, even if not put in the first Rule 12 response or answer?

- lack of subject matter jurisdiction
- failure to state of claim upon which relief can be granted
- failure to join a party needed for a just adjudication


In Federal Court, what is a motion for more definite statement?

Definite statement before responding to a pleading that is so vague or ambiguous that responsive pleading cannot be made


In Federal Court, if the Court denies a Rule 12 ruling, what is the deadline for filing an answer?

14 days
Normally it is 21 days from receiving complaint


In Federal Court, when must counterclaims be pleaded?

If compulsory counterclaim, then it must be pleaded in the answer or it is barred.
Compulsory counterclaims arise out of the same transaction or occurrence.


In Federal Court, when must affirmative defenses be raised?

Affirmative defenses (such as statute of limitations, Statue of Frauds, res judicata) must be raised within answer or risk waiver


In federal court, are cross claims compulsory?

No, never compulsory.
Need jurisdiction over cross-claims.


In federal court, does a plaintiff have a right to amend?

Yes. Can amend once within 21 days after defendant serves first responsive motion.
Defendant has right to amend once within 21 days of serving answer.


Can plaintiff move to amend complaint if evidence during trial does not match what was plead?

Yes, only if defendant does not object.
Evidence is inadmissible if objected to because it is variance with pleadings.


In federal court what does relation back allow the plaintiff to do?

Amend claim to add cause of action that arises from the same conduct or transaction that would otherwise be barred under the statute limitation. The amended cause of action relates back to the filing of the complaint.


Rule 26(f), when are the initial disclosure required in federal civil actions?

14 days.


Are joint tortfeasors necessary parties in a federal civil action?



If there is a joinder of a party, what is needed?

1) personal jurisdiction over the party
2) joining him will not destroy diversity


If a necessary party cannot be joined because it would destroy diversity, what can a court do?

1) proceed without absentee party; or
2) dismiss entire case (based on alternative forum, what is the likelihood of harm, and can court shape relief to harm non-joined party).


What is an interpleader?

One holding property (stakeholder) forces all potential claimants into a single lawsuit to avoid multiple litigations and inconsistency.


How is subject matter jurisdiction determined for interpleader?

1) diversity
- rule interpleader - stakeholder must be diverse from every claimant
- statutory interpleader - one claimant must be diverse from another claimant
2) amount in controversy is $500 or more


For a class action in federal court, what is needed?

a. numerosity
b. commonality
c. typicality
d. representative is adequate


What is a type 1 class action in federal district court?

Prejudice - class treatment to avoid harm to either to class members or to party opposing class


What is a type 3 class action?

Class action involving damages
1) common questions predominate over individual questions
2) class action is superior method to handle the dispute
- must receive notice to all members who can opt out.


Is voluntary dismissal allowed in federal court?

Plaintiff has a right to dismiss by filing a written notice of dismiss.
Without prejudice if filed before the Defendant serving answer or a motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff allowed to refile once.


In federal court if the defendant defaults, what the plaintiff need to do to recover?

Plaintiff needs to ask for judgment
- can ask clerk if not disputed


Can default judgment exceed the amount in plaintiff's complaint?

Default judgment cannot exceed what the claimant demanded in her complaint.


In federal court, a motion to failure to state a claim tests what?

Legal sufficient of plaintiff's claim. If all allegations are true, would plaintiff win a judgment.
- does not consider evidence
- court may allow plaintiff to amend complaint


In federal court, what is the standard for summary judgment?

1) no genuine dispute on a material fact
2) moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law
- move within 30 days of close of discovery
- can consider evidence (even based on hearsay)


In federal court if a complaint involves actions at law and equity, how is the trial handled?

Fact issues on the case at law are tried first to the jury.
Equity issues are decided before the judge


In federal court, how many jurors are required for civil cases?

At least 6 jurors and not more than 12.


What is a motion for judgment as a matter of law?

Brought at close of the other's side at trial.
- defendant can move twice (at end of plaintiff's case and end of trial)
- plaintiff can move once (at end of trial)
Judged based on the evidence in most favorable light to nonmoving party - reasonable people could not disagree.


When must a renewed motion for a judgment as a matter of law be raised?

- need to make a motion for a judgment as a matter of law at trial
- occurs after jury verdict
- standard is jury reached a verdict that reasonable people could not have reached
- need to move within 28 days after entry of judgment


If a federal court grants a motion for a new trial, is this a final judgment that a party may appeal?

No - not a final judgment.

The denial of a motion for a new trial is a final judgment that can be appealed.


If jurisdiction is based on diversity and defendant is a citizen of the forum state, can the defendant remove the case to federal court?

No. Can only remove to federal court if not a citizen of the forum state.


Does placing a product in the stream of commerce give rise to a sufficient basis for personal jurisdiction in federal court?

No. This is an insufficient basis for exercising jurisdiction.
Contact is too limited, the contact needs to be purposeful and foreseeable.


If personal jurisdiction is proper it must satisfy what?

1) VA long arm statute
2) due process - minimum contacts and reasonableness


VA long arm statute applies to nonresidents who have?

transacted business in VA.


If a defendant files a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction after a motion for failure to state a claim is denied, can the court grant the motion?

No - personal jurisdiction is waived if not raised promptly in first responsive pleading.


If a defendant files a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction after a motion for failure to state a claim is denied, can the court grant the motion?

Yes. Subject matter jurisdiction is not waived.

Can be raised on appeal.


Can opposing counsel take the deposition of consulting experts?

Generally no, unless exceptional circumstances and that is impractical to obtain facts by a different means.
Consulting experts are retained in anticipation of trial, but do not testify.


Can an opposing depose a testifying expert witness?

Yes. Must produce expert report (all opinions, method of investigation, all facts on which opinion is based, and expert fee)


Can an opposing party compel production of a consulting expert's report?

No. Falls under the work product exclusion.


Can a defendant who is a resident of VA remove a state court claim brought in VA to federal court based on diversity?

No. Cannot remove because defendant is resident of the forum state.


Can a plaintiff request that the federal court enjoin a state court action based on the same cause of action and parties?

Generally no. Very hard standard to enjoin state court.

Abstention from a case is not appropriate merely to avoid duplicative litigation.


When can a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law be made in federal court?

within 28 days after the entry of the judgment
- need to make an initial motion for judgment as matter of law during the trial


When can a motion for a new trial be made in federal court?

28 days after the final judgment.


How does a potential defendant of multiple lawsuits combine all the actions into one federal suit?

For an interpleader action as a stakeholder plaintiff against all defendants, claimants.


When removing a case from VA to federal court, can the defendant file an interpleader in a counterclaim?

Yes. Interpleader names other claimants as defendants.


Interpleader requires what for diversity?

1) diversity between any two claimants (not plaintiff and defendant)
2) $500 for amount in controversy


Is there nation-wide service of process for an interpleader in federal district court?



If a defendant believes that there are other potential plaintiffs on a similar cause of action what can the defendant do?

File a Rule 12(b)(7) motion to dismiss plaintiff's suit for failure to join other claimants as indispensable parties.

Alternative is an interpleader.


Does receiving a copy of the motion for judgment from opposing counsel qualify to fix the 30-day date for removal to federal court?

Once removed, the state court loses jurisdiction over the preceding unless federal court remands for lack of proper removal jurisdiction


What are advantages in removing a claim from state to federal court?

1) federal court has an automatic right of appeal (discretionary in VA)
2) larger jury pool than state court
3) longer period of time to appeal
4) right to trial by jury


When removing a case from state to federal court, what should a careful defendant do?

1) file a responsive pleading the VA court (21 limit)
2) simultaneously or within 30 days file the removal documents


Is impleader available when a defendant has an indemnification agreement?

Derivative liability means that the third-party defendant will owe an amount to the original defendant if and only if the original defendant owes an amount to the plaintiff.


Should supplemental jurisdiction be used for a permissive counterclaim?

No - does not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence.