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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. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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