What's Wrong with this Picture? Rule Interpleader, the Anti-Injunction Act, in Personam Jurisdiction, and M.C. Escher
46 Pages Posted: 24 May 2008
Date Written: 1996
This article first focuses on how interpleader functions and why it depends on being the only game in town. Part II next addresses the background and interpretation of the Anti-Injunction Act, exploring particularly the Supreme Court's narrow interpretation the Act's provisions and discussing the federalism values that the Act and the Court seek to serve. Part II also reviews interpleader's status as an in personam action. Even in setting out the problem, one can conceive of at least three potential solutions. Part III discusses the price of each solution. Part IV considers whether, despite the costs of each solution, Congress or the Court should adopt any of them or whether there is some other alternative. In fact, there are two alternatives. Recharacterizing interpleader as an in rem proceeding to fit it within the Anti-Injunction Act is possible, though not the best answer because it would require extended judicial effort to refine the courts' jurisdictional treatment of in rem proceedings generally. This approach is anything but simple and easy to implement. The more elegant option is for Congress explicitly to authorize injunctions against state proceedings in rule interpleader actions, and Part IV offers language that does so.
Keywords: anti-injunction Act, Rule 22, rule interpleader
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