Jurisdiction of Courts

The district courts have original jurisdiction over all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the U.S.[i].

Further, the district courts have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds a sufficient amount and is between[ii]:

  • citizens of different states;
  • citizens of a state and citizens or subjects of a foreign state;
  • citizens of different states and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties; and
  • a foreign state as plaintiff and citizens of a state or of different states.

 

A cause of action arises under federal law only when the plaintiff’s well-pleaded complaint raises issues of federal law[iii].

Further, any civil action brought in a state court of which the district courts of the U.S. have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the defendants, to the district court of the U.S. for the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending[iv].  Also, the party seeking removal has the burden of establishing the jurisdiction of the district court[v].

Whenever federal law grants a right of property or of action, and a suit is brought to enforce that right, such a suit arises under the law creating the right, within the meaning of statutes defining the jurisdiction of federal courts[vi].

The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (Act) takes control of the airspace of the U.S., sets up federal agencies to license, and regulates the operation of aircrafts[vii].

Although Congress intends to provide a federal defense to state actions with the Federal Aviation Act, it does not intend to completely displace state law and create a federal forum[viii].

The jurisdiction of a federal court may be invoked in the case of a controversy as to a hydroplane or seaplane arising from its use in water.  A hydro-aeroplane is indeed two things: a seaplane and an aeroplane[ix].  In Reinhardt v. Newport Flying Service Corp., 232 N.Y. 115 (N.Y. 1921), the court held that while in the air, a hydro-aeroplane is not subject to the admiralty, because it is not then in navigable waters.

A wrongful death action against a common carrier charging both common-law negligence and negligence in violating federal regulations, may be brought in a state court.

In the absence of a corrupt verdict, an appellate court will not disturb the concurrence of the trial court and the court of appeals as to the amount of damages, if supported by any material evidence[x].

[i] 28 USCS § 1331.

[ii] 28 USCS § 1332.

[iii] Fournier v. Lufthansa German Airlines, 191 F. Supp. 2d 996 (N.D. Ill. 2002).

[iv] 28 USCS § 1441.

[v] Fournier v. Lufthansa German Airlines, 191 F. Supp. 2d 996 (N.D. Ill. 2002).

[vi] Neiswonger v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 35 F.2d 761 (D. Ohio 1929).

[vii] Southeastern Aviation, Inc. v. Hurd, 209 Tenn. 639 (Tenn. 1962).

[viii] Fournier v. Lufthansa German Airlines, 191 F. Supp. 2d 996 (N.D. Ill. 2002).

[ix] Reinhardt v. Newport Flying Service Corp., 232 N.Y. 115 (N.Y. 1921).

[x] Southeastern Aviation, Inc. v. Hurd, 209 Tenn. 639 (Tenn. 1962).


Inside Jurisdiction of Courts