Viewing the 'Same Case or Controversy' of Supplemental Jurisdiction through the Lens of the 'Common Nucleus of Operative Fact' of Pendent Jurisdiction
Douglas D. McFarland
Mitchell|Hamline School of Law
January 1, 2012
Texas Tech Law Review, Forthcoming
When a federal court has jurisdiction of a claim, supplemental jurisdiction of § 1367(a) allows the court to adjudicate all parts “of the same case or controversy under Article III.” This article argues that the best way to interpret that phrase is by examining the meaning of “common nucleus of operative fact,” the test for its ancestor pendent jurisdiction. Through that lens, “same case or controversy” means the broad grouping of facts, without regard to legal theories or categories, that a lay person would expect to be tried together. And in limning the boundaries of that grouping of facts, the court should not be grudging. The statement that assertion of federal jurisdiction over all related facts should be the default position in identifying a “case or controversy under Article III” seems at first blush to be inconsistent with the nature of limited federal jurisdiction, yet it is the proper judicial attitude to assertions of supplemental jurisdiction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: supplemental jurisdiction, federal court, Article III, pendent jurisdiction, Osborn, Bank of the U.S., Hurn, Oursler, code pleading, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, operative fact, common nucleus, United Mine Workers, UMW, Gills, same case or controversy, 1367, 1367(a)
JEL Classification: K00, K4, K41
Date posted: September 30, 2012 ; Last revised: October 11, 2012
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