Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, 93-263

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtScalia
Citation128 L.Ed.2d 391,114 S.Ct. 1673,511 U.S. 375
Decision Date16 May 1994
Docket Number93-263
511 U.S. 375
114 S.Ct. 1673
128 L. Ed. 2d 391

Matt T. KOKKONEN, Petitioner
v.
GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
No. 93-263

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Decided: May 16, 1994.

Scalia, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
JUSTICE SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court.


After respondent Guardian Life Insurance Company*n1 terminated petitioner's general agency agreement, petitioner brought suit in California Superior Court alleging various state-law claims. Respondent removed the case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California on the basis of diversity jurisdiction and filed state-law counterclaims. After closing arguments but before the District Judge instructed the jury, the parties arrived at an oral agreement settling all claims and counterclaims, the substance of which they recited, on the record, before the District Judge in chambers. In April 1992, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(ii), the parties executed a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal With Prejudice, dismissing the complaint and cross-complaint. On April 13, the District Judge signed the Stipulation and Order under the notation "It is so ordered." The Stipulation and Order did not reserve jurisdiction in the District Court to enforce the settlement agreement; indeed, it did not so much as refer to the settlement agreement.

Thereafter the parties disagreed on petitioner's obligation to return certain files to respondent under the settlement agreement. On May 21 respondent moved in the District Court to enforce the agreement, which petitioner opposed on the ground, inter alia, that the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. The District Court entered an enforcement order, asserting an "inherent power" to do so. Order Enforcing Settlement, (ED Cal., Aug. 19, 1992), App. 180. Petitioner appealed, relying solely on his jurisdictional objection. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed, quoting its opinion in Wilkinson v. FBI, 922 F.2d 555, 557 (CA9 1991), to the effect that after dismissal of an action pursuant to a settlement agreement, a "'district court has jurisdiction to decide the [enforcement] motion[] under its inherent supervisory power.'" App. to Pet. for Cert. A-5 (Apr. 27, 1993) (unpublished), judgt. order reported at 993 F.2d 883 (1993) (final brackets in original). We granted certiorari, 510 U.S. (1993).

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized by Constitution and statute, see Willy v. Coastal Corp., 503 U.S. , (1992) (slip op., at 4-5); Bender v. Williamsport Area School Dist...

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14466 practice notes
  • Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., Civil Action No. 18-2473 (RC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • November 30, 2020
    ...a court presumptively lacks jurisdiction until the plaintiff demonstrates otherwise. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am. , 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). In evaluating whether a plaintiff has met that burden, a court "accepts the allegations of the complain......
  • Matkal LLC v. VG Rush Corp., 18-CV-2833(SJF)(AKT)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • April 18, 2019
    ...Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251, 256, 133 S. Ct. 1059, 185 L. Ed. 2d 72 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 128 L. Ed. 2d 391 (1994)); see also Mims v. Arrow Fin. Servs., LLC, 565 U.S. 368, 376, 132 S. Ct. 740, 181 L. Ed. 2d 881 (2012)......
  • Mr. (Vega Alta) v. Caribe General Elec. Products, Civil No. 97-2294 (JAF).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • December 3, 1998
    ...only pursuant to a statutory grant of authority which permits the court to hear the asserted claim. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). Moreover, when suing the United States or an instrumentality thereof, a plaintiff may not rely u......
  • Ramirez v. Allstate Vehicle & Prop. Ins. Co., CIVIL ACTION NO. 7:20-cv-00211
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • September 29, 2020
    ...2007) (citing Coury v. Prot, 85 F.3d 244, 248 (5th Cir. 1996) ); see 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).22 Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am. , 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994).23 United States v. Ruiz , 536 U.S. 622, 628, 122 S.Ct. 2450, 153 L.Ed.2d 586 (2002) ("[I]t is fa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14621 cases
  • Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., Civil Action No. 18-2473 (RC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • November 30, 2020
    ...a court presumptively lacks jurisdiction until the plaintiff demonstrates otherwise. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am. , 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). In evaluating whether a plaintiff has met that burden, a court "accepts the allegations of the complain......
  • Matkal LLC v. VG Rush Corp., 18-CV-2833(SJF)(AKT)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • April 18, 2019
    ...Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251, 256, 133 S. Ct. 1059, 185 L. Ed. 2d 72 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 128 L. Ed. 2d 391 (1994)); see also Mims v. Arrow Fin. Servs., LLC, 565 U.S. 368, 376, 132 S. Ct. 740, 181 L. Ed. 2d 881 (2012)......
  • Mr. (Vega Alta) v. Caribe General Elec. Products, Civil No. 97-2294 (JAF).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • December 3, 1998
    ...only pursuant to a statutory grant of authority which permits the court to hear the asserted claim. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). Moreover, when suing the United States or an instrumentality thereof, a plaintiff may not rely u......
  • Ramirez v. Allstate Vehicle & Prop. Ins. Co., CIVIL ACTION NO. 7:20-cv-00211
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • September 29, 2020
    ...2007) (citing Coury v. Prot, 85 F.3d 244, 248 (5th Cir. 1996) ); see 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).22 Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am. , 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994).23 United States v. Ruiz , 536 U.S. 622, 628, 122 S.Ct. 2450, 153 L.Ed.2d 586 (2002) ("[I]t is fa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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