Recent Jotwell Review
An Essay Question from the 2007 Civil Procedure Exam

Multiple Choice Questions from the 2010 Civil Procedure Examination

Here are three multiple choice questions from my 2010 Civil Procedure examination that my current CivPro students should be able to do at this point. I'll start with the questions and then give an explanation of the answers. My explanations have been updated to take into account this year’s reading and relevant changes in the law (especially the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011). Here, by the way, is an explanation of a point biserial.

Question 3)     In which of the following actions brought by Jones against Smith is it least likely that the court has personal jurisdiction over Smith under the Fourteenth Amendment? Smith is domiciled in Nevada. Do not assume any other connection between Smith and California beyond those specified.

a.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. Jones lures Smith into California by having a friend phone Smith telling him that he won a contest, and that he must collect the prize in California. While Smith is in California, Jones has Smith served.

b.         Smith is suing Jones in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in New York. Jones counterclaims against Smith for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. The counterclaim is served upon Smith by delivering it to Smith's attorney in Nevada.

c.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in California. Smith is served in Nevada.

d.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. Jones asks for $10,000 in damages. Jones has some real property in California owned by Smith worth $50,000 attached at the initiation of the lawsuit. Smith is served in Nevada.

e.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. At the time of the brawl, Smith was domiciled in California. But he had moved to Nevada by the time Jones filed the suit against him. Smith is served in Nevada.

 

Question 4)     Which of the following cases is least likely to have federal subject matter jurisdiction if brought in federal court? Assume that any relevant amount in controversy requirement is satisfied.

a.         P (a German national admitted for permanent residency in the United States and domiciled in New York) sues D (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) for violation of federal securities law.

b.         P (a German national admitted for permanent residency in the United States and domiciled in California) sues D (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) for violation of German law.

c.         P1 (a German national domiciled in Germany) and P2 (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) sue D1 (a U.S. national domiciled in California) and D2 (a German national domiciled in Germany) for violations of New York law.

d.         P1 (a German national domiciled in Germany) and P2 (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) sue D (a French national domiciled in France) for violations of New York law.

e.         P (a German national illegally in the United States but domiciled in New York) sues D (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) for violation of New York law.

Question 8)     Which of the following cases, originally filed in state court in New York, is most likely to be successfully removed to federal court (that is, not remanded back to state court)? Assume that the amount requested is the true amount in controversy for that action.

a.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D (a domiciliary of California) for divorce under New York state law. The marital assets to be distributed under the divorce decree are more than $10,000,000.

b.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D1 (a domiciliary of New Jersey) and D2 (a domiciliary of New Jersey) for state law negligence concerning an accident that P, D1, and D2, each driving their own cars, got into in New York. P’s car was first hit by D1 on P’s left side and then, almost immediately after, was hit by D2 on P’s right side. P asks for $1,000,000 from D1, alleging that D1’s negligence in the accident caused him to lose sight in both his eyes. P asks D2 for $500 for the cost of repairing the damages that D2’s collision did to the paint on the right side of P’s car.

c.         P (a domiciliary of New Jersey) sues D (a domiciliary of New York) for state law negligence in connection with a car accident in New York. P asks for $100,000 in compensation for the damages that D caused P due to P’s loss of his thumb and three fingers in the accident.

d.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues Officer D (a domiciliary of New Jersey) for violations of federal civil rights law in connection with what P alleges was his unlawful arrest in New York. P asks for $50,000 in damages. P also joins an unrelated state law breach of contract against Officer D for $50,000.

e.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D (a domiciliary of New York) for breach of a contract to buy securities. D brings a counterclaim against P for federal securities fraud, due to material misrepresentations P made when they were negotiating the contract.

Answer Key

Question 3)     In which of the following actions brought by Jones against Smith is it least likely that the court has personal jurisdiction over Smith under the Fourteenth Amendment? Smith is domiciled in Nevada. Do not assume any other connection between Smith and California beyond those specified.

a.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. Jones lures Smith into California by having a friend phone Smith telling him that he won a contest, and that he must collect the prize in California. While Smith is in California, Jones has Smith served.

Wrong. There is PJ under the Fourteenth Amendment, even though most states choose not to assert PJ in such circumstances. We discussed this in this class. 18 of the 2010 students chose this.

b.         Smith is suing Jones in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in New York. Jones counterclaims against Smith for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. The counterclaim is served upon Smith by delivering it to Smith's attorney in Nevada.

Wrong. There is PJ under Fourteenth Amendment, even though some states choose not to assert PJ in such circumstances.  We haven't yet discussed this in class (we will). But I think you could have guessed the answer at this point. 6 chose this.

c.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in California. Smith is served in Nevada.

Wrong. There is PJ under Fourteenth Amendment. This is a simple case of specific jurisdiction. 4 chose this.

d.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. Jones asks for $10,000 in damages. Jones has some real property in California owned by Smith worth $50,000 attached at the initiation of the lawsuit. Smith is served in Nevada.

Wrong. There is probably PJ under Fourteenth Amendment. Although Shaffer v. Heitner cast doubt on some examples of quasi in rem jurisdiction, it did not discuss quasi in rem using real property, and some of the concurrences in Shaffer spoke of such cases as acceptable. Plus I said in class that quasi in rem using real property is still accepted by many courts. 6 chose this.

e.         Jones is suing Smith in state court in California for battery concerning a brawl that the two got into in Nevada. At the time of the brawl, Smith was domiciled in California. But he had moved to Nevada by the time Jones filed the suit against him. Smith is served in Nevada. 

This is correct. Past domicile in the forum state is insufficient to create general PJ over an individual. We discussed something similar in class in connection with general jurisdiction over corporations. 46 chose this. The point biserial was .51.

Question 4)     Which of the following cases is least likely to have federal subject matter jurisdiction if brought in federal court? Assume that any relevant amount in controversy requirement is satisfied.

a.         P (a German national admitted for permanent residency in the United States and domiciled in New York) sues D (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) for violation of federal securities law.

Wrong. This has federal question SMJ under 28 USC 1331. No one chose this.

b.         P (a German national admitted for permanent residency in the United States and domiciled in California) sues D (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) for violation of German law.

Wrong. This has federal SMJ under 28 USC 1332(a)(2). It is a suit between “citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state.” P’s being admitted for permanent residency is irrelevant. 4  chose this.

c.         P1 (a German national domiciled in Germany) and P2 (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) sue D1 (a U.S. national domiciled in California) and D2 (a German national domiciled in Germany) for violations of New York law.

Wrong. This has federal SMJ under 28 USC 1332(a)(3). It is a suit between "citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties." 3 chose this.

d.         P1 (a German national domiciled in Germany) and P2 (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) sue D (a French national domiciled in France) for violations of New York law.

Correct. This does not have federal SMJ. In particular, it does not fall under 28 USC 1332(a)(3) because it is not a suit between "citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties" (citizens of US states are not on each side) and it is not is a suit between "citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state" (because citizens or subjects of foreign states are on each side). This scenario was discussed in class. 41 chose this. The point biserial was .50. 

e.         P (a German national illegally in the United States but domiciled in New York) sues D (a U.S. national domiciled in New York) for violation of New York law.

Wrong. It has SMJ under 1332(a)(2), which speaks of SMJ for suits between “citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state, except that the district courts shall not have original jurisdiction under this subsection of an action between citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and are domiciled in the same State.” P is not admitted for permanent residence (he is here illegally). So he is a German for the purposes of 1332 and this is a suit between "citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state under 1332(a)(2). 32 chose this.

Question 8)     Which of the following cases, originally filed in state court in New York, is most likely to be successfully removed to federal court (that is, not remanded back to state court)? Assume that the amount requested is the true amount in controversy for that action.

a.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D (a domiciliary of California) for divorce under New York state law. The marital assets to be distributed under the divorce decree are more than $10,000,000.

Wrong, due to the domestic relations exception to diversity. We discussed this in class. 11 chose this.

b.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D1 (a domiciliary of New Jersey) and D2 (a domiciliary of New Jersey) for state law negligence concerning an accident that P, D1, and D2, each driving their own cars, got into in New York. P’s car was first hit by D1 on P’s left side and then, almost immediately after, was hit by D2 on P’s right side. P asks for $1,000,000 from D1, alleging that D1’s negligence in the accident caused him to lose sight in both his eyes. P asks D2 for $500 for the cost of repairing the damages that D2’s collision did to the paint on the right side of P’s car.

Wrong. P's action against D2 does not have its own source of SMJ and does not have supplemental jurisdiction. I spoke in class of how a plaintiff can defeat removal under diversity not merely by joining a non-diverse defendant (as Pete Rose tried to do), but also by joining an action against a diverse defendant that is below the jurisdictional minimum. 14 chose this.

c.         P (a domiciliary of New Jersey) sues D (a domiciliary of New York) for state law negligence in connection with a car accident in New York. P asks for $100,000 in compensation for the damages that D caused P due to P’s loss of his thumb and three fingers in the accident.

Wrong. In-state defendants may not remove under diversity. See  28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). 14 chose this.

d.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues Officer D (a domiciliary of New Jersey) for violations of federal civil rights law in connection with what P alleges was his unlawful arrest in New York. P asks for $50,000 in damages. P also joins an unrelated state law breach of contract against Officer D for $50,000.

Correct. This case can be removed. The federal civil rights action has federal question SMJ under 1331. And the breach of contract action, although not having supplemental jurisdiction (since it is not part of the same constitutional case or controversy as the federal civil rights action - we'll get to that soon) has its own source of SMJ. The parties are diverse and it can be aggregated with the federal civil rights action to meet the jurisdictional minimum. 30 chose this. The point biserial was .45.

e.         P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D (a domiciliary of New York) for breach of a contract to buy securities. D brings a counterclaim against P for federal securities fraud, due to material misrepresentations P made when they were negotiating the contract.

Wrong. Federal counterclaims are insufficient to allow a defendant (or plaintiff) to remove. We discussed this in class (and will get to it again later). 11 chose this.

 

 

 

 

Comments

Joe

Doc,

I don't get the answer to Question 3. I narrowed it down to (b) and (e).

For (b) I didn't see any source for Personal Jurisdiction at all. At least in (e) I could see that P/the court might mistakenly believe that Personal Jurisdiction would be satisfied by domicile at the time of the incident. So I chose (b) since it seemed less likely to me.

What am I missing in (b)?

Michael Green

Doc...?

The relevant action is the one by Jones against Smith - and that means the counterclaim. There is probably PJ over plaintiffs for counterclaims, even permissive counterclaims, brought be defendants against them.

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