Steelworkers v. R. H. Bouligny, Inc.
382 U.S. 145 (1965)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Steelworkers v. R. H. Bouligny, Inc., 382 U.S. 145 (1965)

United Steelworkers of America v. R. H. Bouligny, Inc.

No. 19

Argued October 21, 1965

Decided November 22, 1965

382 U.S. 145

Syllabus

Respondent, a North Carolina corporation, brought this defamation action in a North Carolina court against petitioner, an unincorporated labor union. Petitioner's principal place of business purportedly is Pennsylvania, where, for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, it claimed citizenship, though some of its members reside in North Carolina. Petitioner removed the case to a Federal District Court, which refused to remand, finding no proper basis for treating an unincorporated labor union differently from a corporation. On interlocutory appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and directed that the case be remanded to the state court.

Held:

1. Article III, § 2, of the Constitution extends federal jurisdiction to suits between "citizens" of different States. A corporation for diversity purposes has long been deemed to be a citizen of the State in which it is incorporated, Louisville, C. & C. R. Co. v. Letson, 2 How. 497; Marshall v. Baltimore & O. R. Co., 16 How. 314, and such status is recognized by statute. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c). Pp. 382 U. S. 147-148.

2. An unincorporated labor union is not a "citizen" for purposes of the statute conferring diversity jurisdiction, its citizenship being deemed that of each of its members. Chapman v. Barney,129 U. S. 677, followed; Puerto Rico v. Russell & Co.,288 U. S. 476, distinguished. Whether any change in that rule is to be made so as to assimilate unincorporated labor unions to the status of corporations for diversity purposes is a matter for legislative, and not judicial, determination. Pp. 382 U. S. 149-153.

336 F.2d 160, affirmed.

Page 382 U. S. 146

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