Capron v. Van Noorden

6 U.S. (2 Cranch) 126, 2 L.Ed. 229 (1804)


Capron (P) sued Van Noorden (D) in a federal circuit court. The complaint did not establish the fact that either of the parties was an alien, at the time of the commencement of the suit, or at any other time, or that one of the said parties was at that or any other time a citizen of North Carolina or a citizen of another state. P alleged in his complaint that D was a resident of North Carolina, but he did not allege that he was a citizen of another state or an alien. The case was for trespass on the case so there was no federal issue present and the only manner in which the federal court could hear the case would be based on diversity. Despite these defects in the pleadings, the court heard the case. The verdict was given to D and P appealed; the trial court did not have jurisdiction because there was no claim or any basis from his complaint for diversity jurisdiction.