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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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