Multiple Choice Question from 2010 Civ Pro Exam
Multiple Choice from the 2008 Civ Pro Exam

Multiple Choice from 2008 Civ Pro Exam

Updated to take into account the Clarification  Act...

4. Which of the following actions is most likely to be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction? In each case the action is brought in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. Assume that any relevant amount in controversy is satisfied.

a. P (a domiciliary of New York) sues the D Corp. (a German corporation with its principal place of business in New York) for violations of federal securities fraud law.


b. P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D1 (a domiciliary of New Jersey) under German law for a battery that occurred in Germany.


c. P1 (a German citizen domiciled in Germany) and P2 (a domiciliary of New York) sue D1 (a German citizen domiciled in Germany) and D2 (a domiciliary of California) under New York law for a battery in connection with a brawl that occurred in New York.


d. P (a German citizen domiciled in Germany) sues D1 (a French citizen domiciled in France) and D2 (a domiciliary of California) under New York law for a battery in connection with a brawl that occurred in New York.


e. P (a domiciliary of New Jersey) sues D (a French national living illegally in New Jersey) under New York law for a battery that occurred in New York.

ANSWER

a. P (a domiciliary of New York) sues the D Corp. (a German corporation with its principal place of business in New York) for violations of federal securities fraud law.

Wrong. This clearly has federal question SMJ (since P is suing under federal securities law).

b. P (a domiciliary of New York) sues D1 (a domiciliary of New Jersey) under German law for a battery that occurred in Germany.

Wrong. This is clearly a diversity case, under 1332(a)(1), since it is a suit between citizens of different states. It does not matter that the suit is under German law.

c. P1 (a German citizen domiciled in Germany) and P2 (a domiciliary of New York) sue D1 (a German citizen domiciled in Germany) and D2 (a domiciliary of California) under New York law for a battery in connection with a brawl that occurred in New York.

Wrong. This is clearly a diversity case, under 1332(a)(3), since it is a controversy between “citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties.” It does not matter that a German is on each side.

d. P (a German citizen domiciled in Germany) sues D1 (a French citizen domiciled in France) and D2 (a domiciliary of California) under New York law for a battery in connection with a brawl that occurred in New York.

Correct. This does not have federal SMJ. First of all, it is not under federal law, so 1331 does not apply. Second, 1332(a) is not applicable either. Here is what 1332(a) says:
(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between—

(1) citizens of different States;
(2) 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;
(3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties; and
(4 )a foreign state...as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different States.

This is not a suit between citizens of different states under 1332(a)(1), because there is no citizen of a state on the plaintiff side. For the same reason 1332(a)(3) cannot apply. 1332(a)(2) is not applicable because there are aliens on both sides (I mentioned this reading of 1332(a)(2) in class). Finally 1332(a)(4) is inapplicable, for obvious reasons.

 

e. P (a domiciliary of New Jersey) sues D (a French national living illegally in New Jersey) under New York law for a battery that occurred in New York.

Wrong. This is an alienage case under 1332(a)(2). It is true that under 1332(a)(2), "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." But D is not admitted for permanent residence.

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