Before filing a civil complaint, what issues should the paralegal be considering?
The following are two important things to consider:
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
- State or Federal
- If federal, is it a federal question? (Arising out of the Constitution, Laws and Treaties of the U.S.?)
- If federal, is it based on Diversity Jurisdiction? (Diversity of Citizenship and over $75,000 in controversy?
- If state, is it unlimited (over $25,000 in damages) or limited (under $25,000.00 in damages).
- Special Issues in state court
- If state court, it something that must be filed in the unlimited jurisdiction court, e.g. Domestic Matters, Probate, Trusts, Guardianships, and Conservatorships.
- If state court, is it something that could be filed in small claims court, e.g. under $7,500 for an individual.
- Resident defendant
- Non-resident defendant
- In rem jurisdiction (over real property in the state)
- Quasi in rem jurisdiction (over personal property in the state)
- Long-arm statute (minimum contacts)