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DEKRELL v. JOHNSON

November 28, 1975

PATRICIA DEKRELL and GUS DEKRELL
v.
GERALD P. JOHNSON and MORRISVILLE RENTAL COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOGEL

 FOGEL, District Judge

 This suit for personal injuries from an automobile-truck accident was filed on February 1, 1974. At that time, plaintiffs believed, and alleged in their complaint, that complete diversity existed among the plaintiffs and the defendants. Jurisdiction was founded on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. ยง 1332. It has now been developed through discovery that one of the defendants, Morrisville Rental Company (Morrisville), is a corporation which was incorporated in, and has its principal place of business in Pennsylvania, and not in New Jersey as alleged in the Complaint. Because there is no diversity between plaintiffs, all of whom are individual residents and citizens of Pennsylvania, and defendant Morrisville, this Court will dismiss the action as to that defendant. The other defendant, Gerald R. Johnson (Johnson), is a New Jersey citizen, however. As to him, diversity of citizenship exists, and, accordingly, the action will continue in this court against defendant Johnson.

 Section 1332 of Title 28, United States Code, provides as follows (in pertinent part):

 
(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between --
 
(1) citizens of different states
 
. . .
 
(c) For the purposes of this section . . . a corporation shall be deemed a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it has its principal place of business . . ..

 In order to maintain an action in the federal district courts, a plaintiff must be able to point to a grant of jurisdiction which supports the case. Ex Parte McCardle, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 506, 19 L. Ed. 264 (1869).

 Rule 12(h)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides:

 
Whenever it appears by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the action. [Emphasis added].

 The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated the principle that

 
the jurisdiction of the federal courts is carefully guarded against expansion by judicial interpretation or by prior action or consent of the parties.

 American Fire & Casualty Company v. Finn, 341 U.S. 6, 17-18 71 S. Ct. 534 542, 95 L. Ed. 702 (1951). See also People's Bank v. Calhoun, 102 ...


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