Diversity Jurisdiction

Diversity jurisdiction refers to a type of jurisdiction that allows certain cases to be heard in federal courts based on the diversity of citizenship between the parties involved. It is established in Article III, Section 2, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution.

Under diversity jurisdiction, a federal court has the authority to hear civil cases between parties who are citizens of different states or between a citizen of a state and a citizen or subject of a foreign country. The amount in controversy must also exceed a specified threshold, which is currently set at $75,000.

The purpose of diversity jurisdiction is to provide a neutral forum for litigants from different states, ensuring that neither party has a home-court advantage. It allows parties to bypass state courts and have their cases heard in federal courts, which are considered to be impartial and apply federal law. There are a few key principles and requirements associated with diversity jurisdiction:

Complete diversity: For diversity jurisdiction to apply, there must be complete diversity of citizenship among the parties involved. This means that no plaintiff can be a citizen of the same state as any defendant. If even one party is a citizen of the same state as another party, diversity jurisdiction does not exist.

Amount in controversy: The amount in controversy must exceed the statutory threshold. This is the monetary value of the claim or the potential damages sought by the plaintiff. It serves as a jurisdictional requirement to prevent trivial cases from burdening federal courts.

No federal question: The case must not involve a federal question, meaning it does not arise under federal law or involve a federal statute or constitutional issue. If the case raises federal questions, it may be heard under federal question jurisdiction instead.

Diversity jurisdiction is an important aspect of the federal court system, providing a mechanism for parties to seek adjudication in federal courts when certain conditions are met. It ensures a level of consistency and uniformity in the application of law across state boundaries.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.