Paralegal Essentials: Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction

In order for an action to be filed in Federal Court, it must meet one of the two grounds for Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction:

  • Federal Question – arising out of the Constitution, laws and treaties of the United States
  • Diversity Jurisdiction – 2-prong test

Diversity of citizenship exists where the plaintiff and defendant are from two different states, a citizen of a state and or subject of a foreign nation or a citizen of a state and a foreign nation.  The “citizenship” of a corporation is in both the sate in which it was incorporated and the state in which it has its principal place of business.    The diversity jurisdiction also requires that the amount in controversy exceed $75,000.00.

Another issue that must be addressed is whether the court has personal jurisdiction over the parties.


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