240 U.S. 594 (1916), 181, Pinel v. Pinel

Docket Nº:No. 181
Citation:240 U.S. 594, 36 S.Ct. 416, 60 L.Ed. 817
Party Name:Pinel v. Pinel
Case Date:April 03, 1916
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 594

240 U.S. 594 (1916)

36 S.Ct. 416, 60 L.Ed. 817




No. 181

United States Supreme Court

April 3, 1916

Argued January 17, 1916




When two or more plaintiffs having separate and distinct demands unite in a single suit, the demand of each must be of the requisite amount to be within the jurisdiction of the district court; when several plaintiffs unite to enforce a single title or right in which they have a common and undivided interest, that court has jurisdiction if they collectively equal the jurisdictional amount.

Under par. 1, § 24, Jud.Code, where jurisdiction is based on diverse citizenship, the matter in controversy must appear by distinct averment on face of the bill, or otherwise from proof, to exceed $3,000. In a suit by two children of a testator, each alleging a statutory intestacy as to himself on the ground that he was omitted from the will through testator's mistake, and one of them claiming by purchase from another child as to whom a like mistake and statutory

Page 595

intestacy is alleged, one plaintiff seeking to recover two undivided share of one-eighth, and the other one undivided share of one-eighth, in an estate, the maximum value of which is less than twelve thousand dollars, held that as it does not satisfactorily appear that the value of the interest of either complainant exceed three thousand dollars, jurisdiction does not exit.

In such a suit, the interests of the complainants are separate and distinct; they cannot be aggregated in determining whether the amount in controversy is sufficient to give jurisdiction.

The facts, which involve the determination of the amount in controversy and whether it is sufficient to give the district court jurisdiction, are stated in the opinion.

PITNEY, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE PITNEY delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a direct appeal under § 238, Jud.Code, from an order dismissing a bill of complaint for want of jurisdiction. There are two complainants, and the jurisdictional questions certified are (1) whether the amount in controversy is sufficient to give the court jurisdiction, and (2) whether the parties are collusively joined.

It is averred in the bill that complainants and defendants are the children of one Charles T. Pinel, a resident of the State of Michigan, who died June 26, 1888, possessed in fee simple of a tract of land situate in that state, and leaving a last will and testament which was afterwards duly admitted to probate there, by which he left his entire estate to the defendants, failing to provide...

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