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Case vacated over jurisdictional questions

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a case to an Indiana District Court to determine whether the plaintiffs in a suit have citizenship in Indiana or Arizona.

In Charles A. Craig and Barbara J. Craig v. Ontario Corp., Nos. 06-4409, 08-1013, Ontario Corp. challenged Charles and Barbara Craig's claims they were Arizona citizens so federal court is the appropriate venue for their lawsuit against an Indiana company.

Charles worked for Ontario and offered to sell his shares of the company back when he retired. Instead of receiving cash, he received three promissory notes from Ontario. Later, the Craigs sued in the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division after Ontario sent a notice of default on the notes.

The District Court entered judgment for the Craigs on their suit in No. 06-4409 and denied Ontario's motion for relief from judgment. Ontario filed a second appeal after the District Court declined to hear the company's motion for relief from judgment while the original case was on appeal to the 7th Circuit. Ontario discovered evidence the Craigs may actually be citizens of Indiana, not Arizona, so the federal court wouldn't have jurisdiction to hear their suit. The District Court held it had no jurisdiction to rule on the motion, conduct a hearing, or to review new filings while the original case was on appeal.

The 7th Circuit vacated the original ruling by the District Court because it was mistaken to believe it lost authority to explore the facts relating to subject-matter jurisdiction, wrote Judge Diane Wood.

The appellate court also reversed the District Court's order denying the Rule 60(b)(4) motion by Ontario in case No. 08-1013 and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on subject matter jurisdiction. Ontario collected evidence showing the Craigs purchased an Indiana property right before filing their complaint and sold another property in Indiana after they filed the complaint. Barbara voted in Indiana after the suit was filed, which is allowed only if one is a resident of the precinct for at least 30 days. These and other facts called into question the Craigs' citizenship and they must prove otherwise in order to retain their suit in federal court, wrote the judge.

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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