Strawbridge v. Curtiss: The Background
The case of Strawbridge v. Curtiss was initially filed before the Circuit Court for the District of Massachusetts. The Plaintiff in Strawbridge v. Curtiss was from Massachusetts while one of the defendants was a citizen of Vermont (the rest of the defendants were Massachusetts citizens).
The case of Strawbridge v. Curtiss was a Supreme Court Case in which the question of complete diversity was first questioned. The case evaluated whether Article III to the United States Constitution provides the federal government with judicial authority for matters between Citizens of different states. This case raised for the first time the problem of diversity of jurisdiction involving multiple parties. When rendered, the case of Strawbridge v. Curtiss created what is known today as the rule of “complete diversity.”
Again the fundamentals of the case revolve around the home states of the parties to the original suit. The complainants were citizens of the state of Massachusetts and the defendants were also citizens of the same state, except for Mr. Curtiss, who was a citizen of the state of Vermont.
Strawbridge v. Curtiss: The Decision
The United States Supreme Court in Strawbridge v. Curtiss held that controversies are not between citizens of different states so as to authority to the federal courts, unless all of the individuals involved on one side of the suit are citizens of different states from all the individuals involved on the other side.
The practical effect of the decision rendered by the United States Supreme Court in Strawbridge v. Curtiss was that it required all parties on one side of the suit to be diverse from the parties on the other side. This requirement, which is still applied today, is merely a matter of statutory construction and not a mandate of the United States Constitution itself.