H.K Huilin International Trade Co. v. Kevin Multiline Polymer

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Nicholas Garaufis

Asserting diversity jurisdiction, Hong Kong's H.K. Huilin sued New York resident Zhen and his three firms on state law causes of action arising from nonpayment for goods ordered from H.K. Huilin. District court declined to rule on the parties' summary judgment motions until it was satisfied it held jurisdiction. While strict application of 28 USC §1332(a) following 1988 passage of the Judicial Improvements and Access to Justice Act meant that a suit between a foreign resident alien and a domestic resident alien qualified for diversity jurisdiction, the majority of courts in the Second Circuit did not read §1332(a)(2) as expanding diversity jurisdiction. The court held the 1988 amendment does not provide jurisdiction over suits between a nonresident alien on one side and resident aliens and U.S. citizens on the other. Even if Zhen is not a U.S. citizen, the court could dismiss an indispensable, nondiverse party under FRCP 21 and 19(b) and maintain jurisdiction over the case. If H.K. Huilin cannot show Zhen a U.S. citizen, it is granted leave to file a memorandum of law arguing that Zhen is a dispensable party and may be dismissed under Rules 21 and 19(b).

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