Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Declaratory Action Properly Dismissed Because No Justiciable Controversy Existed

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal for want of jurisdiction in Cummings v. State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co. (08-16081). In claims for declaratory relief “the threshold question is whether a justiciable controversy exists...In declaratory judgment actions, to show a justiciable controversy, the party invoking federal jurisdiction must allege facts showing: at an irreducible minimum, that at the time the complaint was filed, he has suffered some actual or threatened injury resulting from the defendant’s conduct, that the injury fairly can be traced to the challenged action, and that the injury is likely to be redressed by favorable court disposition." However, the district court erred in "inadvertently" dismissing the claim with prejudice as "dismissal for want of jurisdiction must be without prejudice."


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