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Mas v. Perry

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Brief Fact Summary.

Appellees sued Appellant for spying on them through a two-way mirror. Appellant moved to the dismiss the case for lack of diversity jurisdiction.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

At the time the complaint is filed, all adverse parties must be citizens of different states and the amount in controversy must in good faith be over $10,000 to satisfy the requirements of diversity jurisdiction.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

Though she testified that after her marriage she had no intention of returning to her parents' home in Mississippi, Mrs. Mas did not effect a change of domicile since she and Mr. Mas were in Louisiana only as students and lacked the requisite intention to remain there.

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Facts.

Jean Paul Mas, a citizen of France, and Judy Mas, a citizen of Mississippi (Appellees), brought suit in Louisiana against their landlord Oliver Perry (Appellant), a citizen of Louisiana. Appellees were awarded $5,000 and $15,000 in money damages at trial after Appellant was discovered to have been spying on them through two-way mirrors in their bedroom and bathroom. Appellant moved to dismiss the case for lack of diversity jurisdiction.

Issue.

Has diversity jurisdiction been established when an amount in controversy exceeds $10,000 in good faith and all adverse parties are citizens of different states or foreign states?

Held.

Yes, the requirements of diversity jurisdiction have been met. The district court is affirmed.

Discussion.

The Court determined that Appellees properly met the requirements of diversity jurisdiction. Mr. Mas was a foreign citizen of France and Mrs. Mas’s citizenship did not change when she married her husband. Nor did their citizenship change when they temporarily moved to Louisiana as graduate students with no intention of staying in Louisiana. Additionally, Mr. Mas satisfied the amount in controversy based on his initial claim, seeking $100,000 in damages, made in good faith.


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