Plaintiff, a citizen of Pennsylvania, instituted a tort action in a federal district court against a corporate defendant. Defendant filed an answer admitting that the plaintiff’s action was a common law action based on diversity of citizenship. Subsequently, and four days before the running of the applicable state statute of limitations, the defendant filed a motion to amend its answer to allege defendant was incorporated in two states, one being the state of plaintiff’s citizenship, and moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Held: Motions denied. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 (a) grants discretion to the court to permit or deny the amendment, and to allow the amendment in the face of the running of the statute of limitations would be unjust.
Omitting cases where a federal question is involved, the important prerequisite for federal jurisdiction is diversity of citizenship. It has always been a requirement that the petition allege diversity of citizenship, and failure to do so constitutes grounds for dismissal or reversal which the court will grant on its own initiative. The problem of when and by what method the defendant may raise a jurisdictional question, when jurisdiction is alleged, has not always been the same.
Donald E. Leonard,
Pleading—Lack of Jurisdiction as a Defense in Federal Courts,
38 Neb. L. Rev. 1058
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