Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MBE Fast Fact: Citizenship

When analyzing diversity jurisdiction for purposes of Civil Procedure, along with the required jurisdictional amount (more than $75,000) you'll need to ensure that every plaintiff is a citizen of a different state from every defendant. This requirement is known as complete diversity, and the analysis requires that you understand how to determine the citizenship of individuals and entities to ensure that the requirement has been satisfied. There are 3 categories to keep in mind here:

(1): Individuals: The state of citizenship of a natural person depends on the permanent home to which s/he intends to return. Note also that the citizenship of a child is that of his/her parent(s).

(2): Corporations: A corporation is a citizen of every US state and and foreign country in which it has been incorporated as well as the one US state or foreign country in which it has its principal place of business. The principal place of business is the US State or foreign country from which its high level officers control and coordinate the activities of the corporation.

(3): Unincorporated Associations and Limited Liability Companies: Those businesses in this category (which includes partnerships) are deemed citizens of each state of which any member of the association is a citizen.

It's important to remember that complete diversity is required. So that if analyzing the citizenship of an unincorporated association, for example, be sure to note if there are multiple states of which the association will be deemed to be a citizen. If any of those states is the same as the citizenship of the opposing party, complete diversity has not been satisfied.

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