Hawkins v. Masters Farm, Inc.

2003 WL 21555767 (D.Kan. 2003)


A tractor-trailer driven by Masters (D) collided with Creal’s car. Creal died, and Mary Ann and Rachel Baldwin (P) representing the estate brought this action. Ps filed the action in federal court under 28 USC 1332. The accident occurred in Troy, Kansas. D is a citizen of Kansas. Creal was living in Troy with his wife and children at the time of the accident. When Creal and his wife had met, he was living in Missouri. Beginning in 2000, he began spending nights in the apartment Elizabeth shared with her children. Creal would return to his mother’s residence in Missouri every evening after work, shower, gather clothes, and proceed to Elizabeth’s apartment for the evening. Elizabeth paid the rent on her apartment, and Creal contributed by buying groceries for Elizabeth and the children. They split utilities. They eventually got another apartment, and Creal brought his clothes, some furniture, pictures, photo albums, and other personal items to the new apartment. They also purchased a bedroom set together. Creal stopped going to his mother’s home in Missouri. They also opened a joint checking account. They were married in July 2000. In November 2000 they moved into the house in Troy and Creal was killed two weeks later. His death certificate lists Kansas as his residence. Even so, Creal still retained connections to Missouri. He applied for a title and license for his van using his mother’s address. He listed his mother’s address when he took out a loan and applied for a new title on the van. He renewed his driver’s license in Missouri for three more years. Creal also received his mail, and paycheck stubs at his mother’s home and stopped to visit every week. Creal’s estate was opened in Missouri alleging that he resided with his mother. The Creal’s were planning to move to Missouri but had never looked for homes there and had never made any specific plans to leave Kansas. D disputes that there is complete diversity among the parties. D moved to dismiss under 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.