U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Case Raising Diversity and Removal Jurisdiction Issues
The Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell is reporting that the High Court is set to hear arguments in Lincoln Prop. Co. v. Roche, a case that will address, inter alia, how the citizenship of limited partnerships are determined for purposes of diversity jurisdiction. The argument is scheduled for October 11, 2005. Here is LII's report about the case:
"Although plaintiffs initially decide whether to sue in state or federal courts, per Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, 28 U.S.C. §1441(b) allows defendants to remove cases to federal court if opposing parties are citizens of different states. Christophe and Juanita Roche discovered toxic mold in the apartment they were leasing. The Roches filed a complaint in Virginia state court, naming property owners State of Wisconsin Investment Board ("SWIB") and managers Lincoln Property Company ("Lincoln") as defendants. SWIB and Lincoln later removed the case to federal district court based on diversity jurisdiction, claiming Wisconsin and Texas citizenship, respectively. After the district court granted Lincoln summary judgment, Roche challenged the court's jurisdiction on the grounds that Lincoln was a
partnership with one of its partners residing in Virginia, claiming that Lincoln manipulated federal diversity jurisdiction by litigating the case in the name of another one of the companies in the Lincoln group. The district court ruled in favor of Lincoln, but the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding that Lincoln had failed to prove its diversity from Roche. In deciding whether the Fourth Circuit erred in its holding, the Supreme Court will determine when Federal Courts can require proof of the diversity of parties not named in the
complaint. The Court will also decide whether the Fourth Circuit announced a new and valid rule for determining the citizenship of a limited partnership for diversity jurisdiction purposes."
For more information about this case visit http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/04-712.html.