The authority of the federal courts to resolve disputes between citizens of different states or between a citizen and an alien when the total amount of damages in controversy exceeds seventy-five thousand dollars.
Article III, section 2, of the U.S. Constitution grants authority to the federal courts to resolve disputes among citizens of different states. In the Judiciary Act of 1789
All cases brought under diversity jurisdiction can also be brought in a state court in which one of the litigants is situated. However, the framers of the Constitution created diversity jurisdiction out of a concern that state courts would be prejudiced against litigants from out of state. They believed that federal courts would serve as neutral forums in which citizens of one state would not be favored over those from another state. As Chief Justice John Marshall explained in Bank of the United States v. Deveaux
The Supreme Court has clarified the two requirements for diversity jurisdiction. The Court has strictly interpreted the requirement that the case involve citizens from different states, holding in the case of Strawbridge v. Curtiss
James, Fleming, Jr., Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., and John Leubsdorf. Civil Procedure. 5th ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 2001. Noonan, John Thomas. Narrowing the Nation’s Power: The Supreme Court Sides with the States. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Wright, Charles A. Law of Federal Courts. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, 1994.
Bank of the United States v. Deveaux
Judiciary Act of 1789
Lower federal courts
Strawbridge v. Curtiss