Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Intervenors and supplemental jurisdiction

In Exxon v. Allapatah, the Supreme Court held that, so long as there is no defect in the citizenship of the parties, a federal court can exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim for less than the jurisdictional amount by a plaintiff joined under rule 20.   Exxon was a 1367(a) case, which did not fit the diversity carveout of 1367(b) because that carveout does not cover claims by plaintiffs joined under Rule 20 (and because it was a single-defendant case).  But what if the second claimants were seeking to intervene instead of being named as plaintiffs in the original complaint?   That situation is covered by the carveout, as made clear by Allapatah, the text of the statute, and the Northern District of Oklahoma in a recent decision you can find here. --RR

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