Wednesday, April 12, 2017

§ 1367(b) and Rule 19 (Answered)

Professor,

Regarding Sec. 1367(b) and Rule 19 plaintiffs:

  • if original jurisdiction is based on diversity and properly fulfilled under 1332, and
  • adding a Rule 19 plaintiff would not destroy complete diversity
  • But the Rule 19 plaintiff's claim does not meet the amount in controversy requirement;
Would 1367(b) bar supplemental jurisdiction? In Exxon the court reasoned that 1367(b) does not apply to Rule 20 plaintiffs because of the text of the statute (which only applies to plaintiffs joined under 19/24), and also explained that the principle behind the amount in controversy requirement is not undermined if at least one claim meets the amount required.

But it seems the text of 1367(b) would bar Rule 19 or 24 plaintiffs whose claims are not greater than $75k, even though the principle of the amount in controversy is the same. Is this why the Exxon Court hypothesized that perhaps Congress wanted a higher threshold for claims from these types of "essential" plaintiffs?

Yes. Exxon required  additional analysis because the situation--claims by persons joined under Rule 20--was not listed in § 1367(b). But a person to be joined under Rule 19 is listed in an express exclusion in § 1367(b). So those claims are not within supplemental jurisdiction, regardless if the problem is lack of complete diversity or less than $ 75k being sought.