constitute a single action. Jacobson, 392 F.2d at 153.
The strong resemblance Hatcher's claim bears to the Jacobson case does not, however, end this court's analysis. Since the Jacobson decision, a second tier has been added to the test for jurisdiction, and this second tier is critical to the instant case. The Supreme Court in Aldinger v. Howard, 427 U.S. 1, 49 L. Ed. 2d 276, 96 S. Ct. 2413 (1976), undermined the validity of extending the Gibbs criterion to "pendent parties." The plaintiff in Aldinger brought suit under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and under state law against Spokane County and named county commissioners and employees. Pendent jurisdiction was asserted over the state-law claims. The district court dismissed the claims against Spokane County, holding first that it was not a suable "person" under § 1983, and second that, without an independent basis of federal jurisdiction, the court could not adjudicate the state law claims against the county. The Supreme Court agreed, observing that the addition of a defendant, on the basis of a state-law claim over which no independent basis of jurisdiction exists, differs both factually and legally from the addition of a state-law question to an action between parties already properly before the federal court. Aldinger, 427 U.S. at 14. The legal distinction is that while congressional silence permits the court to exercise pendent jurisdiction under Article III's general language, as in Gibbs, exercise of "pendent party" jurisdiction requires further consideration of congressional intent. See Aldinger, 427 U.S. at 15. Prior to exercising "pendent party" jurisdiction, "a federal court must satisfy itself not only that Article III permits it, but that Congress in the statutes conferring jurisdiction has not expressly or by implication negated its existence." Aldinger, 427 U.S. at 18.
While language in Aldinger limits its holding to "pendent party" jurisdiction with respect to a claim brought under [ 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983], Aldinger, 427 U.S. at 18, a narrow reading is not necessarily justified. National Insurance Underwriters v. Piper Aircraft, 595 F.2d 546, 548 (10th Cir. 1979). The Court itself subsequently extended Aldinger's second-tier analysis to the diversity statute, noting that "Constitutional power is merely the first hurdle that must be overcome in determining that a federal court has jurisdiction over a particular controversy. For the jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited not only by the provisions of Article III of the Constitution, but also by Acts of Congress." Owen Equipment & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 372, 373, 57 L. Ed. 2d 274, 98 S. Ct. 2396 (1978).
In both Owen Equipment and the instant case, the statute conferring jurisdiction is 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), which requires both complete diversity of citizenship and an amount in controversy in excess of $10,000. The plaintiff, Kroger, in Owen Equipment brought a diversity action for wrongful death against a diverse defendant, Omaha Public Power District. Defendant then filed a third-party complaint against Owen Equipment, and plaintiff Kroger amended her complaint to include a state-law claim against Owen Equipment. At trial, it was discovered that no diversity of citizenship existed between defendant Owen Equipment and plaintiff Kroger; the Supreme Court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction in the absence of complete diversity. The Court, in Owen Equipment, applied the statutory requirement of complete diversity strictly, reading congressional intent from the fact that repeated emendations to the diversity statute have left the complete diversity rule intact. 437 U.S. at 373, 373 n.13.
The statutory requirement of a minimum amount in controversy deserves the same rigidity of construction accorded the requirement of complete diversity. National Insurance v. Piper, 595 F.2d at 550. Just as diversity is required between each plaintiff and each defendant, so too is a claim in excess of $10,000 required between each plaintiff and each defendant. See Zahn v. International Paper Co., 414 U.S. 291, 38 L. Ed. 2d 511, 94 S. Ct. 505 (1973) (dismissing actions of class members having claims of under $10,000). Further, while successive reenactments of the diversity statute have raised the dollar figure required for federal jurisdiction, the fact that Congress has consistently required amount in controversy minima cannot pass unnoticed. This legislative history clearly indicates a congressional intent which may not be contravened here.
A contrary congressional mandate might be inferred from a grant of exclusive jurisdiction to the federal courts, such as the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346, where denial of jurisdiction over the non-federal claims would force plaintiff to pursue redundant remedies simultaneously in two fora. See Dumansky v. United States, 486 F. Supp. 1078, 1088 (D. N.J. 1980); see also Aldinger, 427 U.S. at 18. Here, however, plaintiff's claims can be heard as a single action in the New Jersey state courts; concurrent jurisdiction in the state courts removes any impetus to extension of jurisdiction beyond the congressionally set limit.
Thus, even assuming, arguendo, that the criterion of Gibbs and Jacobson is satisfied, that is, plaintiff's claims against Burdette Tomlin Memorial and her claims against the other defendants derive from a common nucleus of operative fact, the statutory requirement of an amount in controversy in excess of $10,000 leaves the district court without jurisdiction.
For these reasons, the motion of Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital to dismiss the claim against it for want of subject matter jurisdiction is granted. The accompanying order will be entered.
JOHN F. GERRY, U.S.D.J.
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