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USDC-RI finds diversity juridiction due to fraudulent joinder

The Rhode Island federal district court has found there was diversity jurisdiction over plaintiff's property damage claims against a Delaware company because the Providence Board of Licenses and its individual members were fraudulent joined.  Plaintiff filed suit in Superior Court alleging the Board improperly issued a "junkshop" license to the Delaware company that resulted in damage to his adjoining property and he requested injunctive relief.  He alleged damages claims againt the Delaware company.  The Delaware company removed the case to federal court and argued that the Board and its members were fraudulently joined to defeat federal jurisdiction.  The court found that plaintiff's remedy for the licensing decision was a petition for writ of certiorari to the Rhode Island Suprem Court.  "Because Plaintiff may not pursue the injunctive and declaratory relief sought in Rhode Island Superior Court, the City was a fraudulently joined party."  Providence Piers, LLC v. SSM New England, Inc., C.A. 12-532-S (D.R.I. Jan. 16, 2013).

http://www.sfandllaw.com/Practice-Areas/Business-Commercial-Litigation.shtml

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