Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

JOHN HANCOCK MUT. LIFE INS. CO. v. CENT. NATL. BANK

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D


February 8, 1983

JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CENTRAL NATIONAL BANK IN CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This mortgage foreclosure action has been filed here on claimed diversity of citizenship grounds under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). But responsive to the requirements of Illinois law for a binding foreclosure decree,*fn1 plaintiff has named "unknown owners and non-record claimants" as parties defendant, contemplating notice to them by publication in accordance with statute.*fn2 That joinder of "unknown owners and non-record claimants" poses subject matter jurisdictional problems this Court must raise and deal with sua sponte.

Defendants whose precise identities are unknown are often recognized in the federal court system. One recurring situation is the alleged police brutality case in which the plaintiff knows a policeman was involved but can ascertain his identity only through discovery. Such "John Doe" defendant situations of course pose no problem under federal-question jurisdiction (in the hypothetical example, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983), and their diversity jurisdiction counterparts (though less frequently encountered) are not necessarily problematic either. Even though a plaintiff must both plead and prove diversity,*fn3 so long as that can be done in good conscience the plaintiff remains in the federal court.*fn4

Here, however, by definition plaintiff cannot satisfy the requirement of pleading and proving diversity. It is tautological to say plaintiff cannot demonstrate "unknown owners and non-record claimants" are citizens of a state other than plaintiff's. Fifty Associates v. Prudential Insurance Co. of America, 446 F.2d 1187, 1191 (9th Cir. 1970) (a mortgage foreclosure case posing related problems, relying on and following Molnar v. NBC, 231 F.2d 684, 686-87 (9th Cir. 1956)).

Accordingly this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action. It is therefore dismissed sua sponte.*fn5


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.