Lundquist v. Precision Valley Aviation
1st Cir COA - 1991 (946 F.2d 8)
- P filed an action on March 20, 1987 in District Court of MA against D.
- P alleged federal jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of citizenship. P's complaint stated that he resided in MA.
- D filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that complete diversity of citizenship did not exist. D alleged that P, like D, was a citizen of NH.
- P asked the court to amend his complaint to assert FL citizenship.
- District Court granted D's motion to dismiss, lack of complete diversity of citizenship.
- 1st Cir COA affirmed, granted D's motion to dismiss, lack of complete diversity of citizenship.
- What issues may a court explore in determining a party's citizenship for diversity jurisdiction?
- A court may look at where a party exercises its civil and political rights, pays taxes, owns real and personal property, obtains licenses, joins clubs, and works/owns businesses in determining citizenship.
- Evidence for NH citizenship…
- Owned property in NH
- Maintained telephone in NH
- Had NH driver's license
- Registered to vote and voted in NH
- Stated address was in NH on corporate reports.
- Evidence for FL citizenship…
- Owned property in FL
- Had bank accounts in FL
- Had FL driver's license
- Ran a horse farm in FL
- Belonged to several clubs in FL
- Listed FL residence on federal tax returns.
- Domicile is determined for purposes of diversity jurisdiction at the time suit is filed.
- The burden of proof is on the P to support allegations of jurisdiction with competent proof when the allegations are challenged by the D.
- A party may reside in more than one state but can be domiciled, for diversity purposes, in only one.
- P's registration to vote and actual voting in NH and P's representation of NH residence on corporate reports are compelling evidence.
- This evidence offers significant countervailing evidence of intent to remain in NH and maintain NH domicile.
- None given.
- Close case? The court was not "left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed", and thus was required to affirm.
- It seems that the parties agreed that P started out domiciled in NH. In order to change domicile, a party must demonstrate residence in a new state and an intention to remain in that state indefinitely.
- If the court were doing a de novo review, probably would have picked FL.
- Whichever way the district court ruled, the appellate court would have affirmed.