Gordon v. Steele
District Court Western PA - 1974 (376 F. Supp. 575)
- P injured her wrist and alleges she was misdiagnosed and mistreated by D.
- At time of the filing of suit, P was living in ID for college. D was in PA.
- P sued D in PA district court through diversity jurisdiction.
- D moved for dismissal for lack of federal jurisdiction.
- District court dismissed D's motion, diversity jurisdiction valid.
- How does one determine residency in a state (for purposes of federal diversity jurisdiction)?
- A party is determined to be a resident of a state if one is domiciled in that state with the intent to remain indefinitely.
- P was emancipated from her parents since she was over the age of 18; thus, her legal residence was not automatically PA.
- Citizenship is determined at the time suit is filed, not at the time the cause of action happens.
- P intends to marry someone while in school and does not know where she will end up.
- If the new state is to be one's home for an indefinite period of time, she has acquired a new domicile.
- In determining whether a party has intended to establish a domicile in the state to which he has moved, the fact finder will look to such circumstances as her declarations, exercise of political rights, payment of personal taxes, house of residence, and place of business.
- P rented an apartment in ID.
- The fact that the plaintiff may later have acquired doubts about remaining in her new home or may have been called upon to leave it is not relevant, so long as the subsequent doubt or the circumstance of the leaving does not indicate that the intention to make the place the plaintiff's home never existed.
- This case is weak! Judge just wanted it apparently.