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Diversity Jurisdiction

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Following Sonner v. Premier Nutrition Corp. (9th Cir. 2020) 971 F.3d 834, this decision holds that even in a diverity case, a federal court may exercise equitable jurisdiction only if the plaintiff has no adequate legal remedy.  Here, plaintiff's remedies under the UCL were all equitable, and the federal court lacked equitable jurisdiction over them because the CLRA offered the… Read More

The FRCivP govern procedure in federal court even in diversity cases in which state law governs on substantive issues.  This decision holds that Washington law requiring the filing of an affidavit with a medical malpractice complaint if the plaintiff elects not to engage in mediation before filing suit does not apply to a suit filed in federal court since FRCivP… Read More

Following Ankenbrandt v. Richards (1992) 112 S.Ct. 2206, this decision states that the domestic relations exception to federal diversity jurisdiction is narrow, applying only to claims that seek issuance or modification of a divorce, alimony or child custody decree.  However, this case fell within that narrow exception.  Ex-wife's complaint alleged that ex-husband had concealed his interest in a corporation so… Read More

Federal common law governs the effect of a federal court's judgment on federal law claims (Taylor v. Sturgell (2008) 553 U.S. 880, 891) whereas state law governs the res judicata effect of a federal court's judgment on state law claims when exercising diversity jurisdiction (Semtek Internat. Inc. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2001) 531 U.S. 497, 507).  It is unclear which… Read More

Following Urbino v. Orkin Services of California, Inc. (9th Cir. 2013) 726 F.3d 1118, this decision holds that statutory penalties cannot be aggregated in a PAGA suit to meet the $75,000 amount in controversy threshold for traditional diversity jurisdiction purposes.  Instead, the statutory penalties and attorrney fees attributable solely to the named plaintiff must exceed $75,000 for there to be… Read More

Two years after this case was removed to federal court on diversity grounds, the parties discovered that one of the properties at issue in the case was partly owned by a trust of which one trustee was a non-diverse California resident.  The plaintiff moved to join the non-diverse trustee as a defendant.  The district court granted the joinder, severed the… Read More

The amount in controversy for federal jurisdictional purposes includes all relief, including awards of future damages, that could be awarded to the plaintiff, if successful, on the complaint as it stands on the date of removal. Read More

A homeowners association’s post-foreclosure quiet title action stated a viable claim against the former owner who might challenge the foreclosure; hence, the former owner was not fraudulently joined and the federal courts lacked diversity jurisdiction.  Read More

Though it bears the label "trust," a real estate investment trust is a separate legal entity which can sue and be sued; so for diversity purposes, it is a citizen of every state of which any of its members is a citizen. Read More