January 6, 2013
“We begin with a hypothetical court opinion. Suppose that plaintiff [P] brings a tort suit in federal district court under diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. The governing statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), requires that the “matter in controversy” must exceed $75,000. P in the complaint asks for $85,000 in compensatory damages. Defendant [D] moves under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that P will be unable to convince the jury to award more than $75,000. The district judge denies the motion, writing “The face of the complaint controls the amount in controversy.” The opinion also notes “Interest and costs cannot be added.” Finally, the judge ruminates about the increasing federal caseload and concludes “The attorney for any plaintiff who files an inadequate amount diversity claim should be subject to Federal Rule 11 sanctions.”
This is a note.
Notes From: Roger C. Park and Douglas D. McFarland. “Computer-Aided Exercises on Civil Procedure, 6th ed.” iBooks.