315 U.S. 442 (1942), 139, Thomson v. Gaskill

Docket Nº:No. 139
Citation:315 U.S. 442, 62 S.Ct. 673, 86 L.Ed. 951
Party Name:Thomson v. Gaskill
Case Date:March 02, 1942
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 442

315 U.S. 442 (1942)

62 S.Ct. 673, 86 L.Ed. 951




No. 139

United States Supreme Court

March 2, 1942

Argued January 7, 8, 1942




1. The policy of Jud.Code § 24(1), conferring jurisdiction by diversity of citizenship, calls for strict construction of the statute. If a plaintiff's allegations of jurisdictional facts are challenged by the defendant, the plaintiff must support them by competent proof, or the bill must be dismissed. P. 446.

2. Owing to the absence from the record of agreements upon which this suit was founded, it cannot be determined whether the nature of the plaintiffs' claims is such that they may be aggregated in determining the jurisdictional amount. P. 446.

3. In computing jurisdictional amounts, claims of plaintiffs cannot be aggregated merely because they are derived from a single instrument, or because the plaintiffs have a community of interests. P. 447.

Page 443

4. The value of the "matter in controversy" in a suit based on diversity of citizenship is measured not by the monetary result of determining the principle involved, but by its pecuniary consequence to those involved in the litigation. P. 447.

119 F.2d 105 reversed.

Certiorari 314 U.S. 590, to review a decree reversing a decree of the District Court which dismissed for want of jurisdiction a suit by numerous conductors and brakemen against the above-named Railway Company, its trustee in reorganization proceedings, and others. The plaintiffs claimed seniority rights to work on certain railroad runs, arising under agreements between the railway and two railway brotherhoods. The bill sought an accounting to show the loss to each plaintiff from failure to observe these rights, and damages for each accordingly, in the order of his seniority, and prayed for future enforcement of the agreements.

FRANKFURTER, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question for decision is whether the record shows an essential requisite of the jurisdiction of the District Court, namely, that the "matter in controversy exceeds, exclusive of interest and costs, the sum or value of $3,000." Judicial Code, § 24(1), 28 U.S.C. § 41(1). There were other questions which, in the view we take of the case, need not be stated.

Respondents, forty-one...

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