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Judge Van Bokkelen: Correctly Pleading Jurisdiction in Diversity Cases

Judge Van Bokkelen reviews the subject matter jurisdiction of every case filed in his court.  When jurisdiction is based on the diversity of the parties, counsel should review the standards of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 . This section requires that the suit be between "citizens of different States" or "citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign State" and that the amount in controversy exceed $75,000. 

Common Mistakes Include:

Not alleging an amount in controversy in excess of $75,000;

Alleging merely an individual’s residence or address rather than the citizenship of an individual in a suit;

Failing to sufficiently allege a corporation’s citizenship. A corporation has dual citizenship and a proper pleading must state both the state of incorporation and the principle place of business.

Incorrectly stating the citizenship of a limited liability company (LLC). An LLC, like a partnership, has the citizenship of its members. Therefore, a proper plea must identify the citizenship of each member of an LLC.

For filing a proper statement of jurisdiction, please refer to Form 7 of the Appendix of Forms of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.