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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Erieblogging: Day Twenty-Four

Recently, I’ve been looking at the twin aims of Erie outside of diversity cases. Today’s question: Do the twin aims apply when a federal court is entertaining statutory interpleader actions?

Statutory interpleader creates federal jurisdiction for minimal diversity state law actions in which a plaintiff seeks to settle rival claims to property. Armed with nationwide service of process, she can drag all potential claimants into one proceeding, thereby protecting herself against inconsistent or multiple liability. The Supreme Court has assumed that the twin aims apply in statutory interpleader actions. So have lower federal courts.

But nationwide service of process creates a problem. Why is uniformity with a forum state court important when the forum state court could never have entertained the action, because there was no personal jurisdiction over the defendant?

(Parallel posted on Michael Green's Civ Pro Blog.)

Posted by Michael Steven Green on January 24, 2013 at 02:10 PM in Civil Procedure | Permalink

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