Mas v. Perry
489 F.2d 1396 (5th Cir. 1974)
Yeazell, pp. 229-232
Facts: The plaintiffs are a French
man and a
Issue: Does the federal court have diversity jurisdiction over this matter?
Rule: Complete diversity of the parties is required in order for diversity jurisdiction to exist, meaning that no party on one side may be a citizen of the same state as any party on the other side.
Analysis: The court looks at Mr. and Mrs. Mas in turn.
court finds that Mr. Mas was still a citizen of
court finds that Mrs. Mas was domiciled in
The court refuses to apply the general rule that a wife is domiciled where her husband is domiciled to the case where an American woman marries a foreign man. The court cites a statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1489, which says that an American woman does not lose her citizenship if she marries a foreign man.
Conclusion: The court affirmed the trial court’s ruling.
Notes and Questions
a. If the amount
in controversy is greater than $75,000, then yes, 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)(2) allows diversity jurisdiction over a case where one party is a
b. The theory is that a state court would be more biased against a foreigner than a federal court would.
c. If Mas was a
permanent resident (had a green card), then he would be considered a citizen of
b. Mrs. Mas was a
grad student the whole time she was in
c. Why doesn’t this rule work the other way? That’s so sexist!
3. Okay! Both people sue at once. That’s true in the present case.
a. I think what Yeazell is implying is that jurisdiction rests on different parts of § 1332 for the different defendants. I think he’s suggesting that this could be a problem. I guess maybe his idea is that we have two different controversies with two different grounds for diversity jurisdiction. I don’t know what the heck he’s saying.
b. There may not be jurisdiction under § 1332(a)(2), but I think there definitely would be under § 1332(a)(3). There would be citizens of different states, plus a foreign citizen. I don’t really see what Steve is getting at.
a. So the constitutional “circle” is bigger than the statutory “circle”, just like in subject matter jurisdiction.
b. It would seem that this creates an exception to the rule of complete diversity, but I suppose the true effect would depend on how the statute is interpreted.
5. The statute
doesn’t say anything about “citizens of different foreign states” like
it does about “citizens of different [
a. There seems to always have to be at least one American in the mix in order for diversity jurisdiction to lie.