United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTION TO SUPPLEMENT JURISDICTIONAL HEARING
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
February 16, 2016, the First Circuit remanded this case for
determination of whether diversity jurisdiction existed at
the time of suit. After the Court held a jurisdictional
hearing and the parties submitted post-hearing briefs, Mr.
Kendrick- the Defendant-moved to supplement the record with
one page of a transcript from Mr. Geilenfeld’s-a
Plaintiff’s-first deposition taken after the initiation
of the lawsuit. The caselaw instructs the Court that it has
considerable leeway over what evidence it may consider in the
context of a jurisdictional challenge. Given the limited
volume and high relevancy of the deposition testimony, which
comprises a single page and touches upon how Mr. Geilenfeld
perceived his residency status in Haiti, the Court admits the
evidence over the Plaintiffs’ objection.
February 6, 2013, Michael Geilenfeld and Hearts With Haiti
(HWH) filed suit in this Court against Paul Kendrick.
Compl. (ECF No. 1). The Plaintiffs invoked
jurisdiction "pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 based on
diversity of citizenship and because the amount in
controversy exceeds Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,
000)." Id. ¶ 4.
6, 2015, the jury trial commenced, Tr. of Proceedings
I (ECF No. 484), and on July 23, 2015, the jury returned
a verdict for the Plaintiffs: the jury awarded $2, 500, 000
on the defamation claim and $5, 000, 000 on the intentional
interference claim to HWH, and $7, 000, 000 on the
defamation, false light, and intentional interference claims
to Mr. Geilenfeld. Jury Verdict Form as to Michael
Geilenfeld (ECF No. 474); Jury Verdict Form as to
Hearts with Haiti (ECF No. 475); J. (ECF No.
the Court denied Mr. Kendrick’s motion for new trial on
October 30, 2015, Order on Def.’s Rule 59 Mot. for
a New Trial or Alternative Post-J. Relief and Pls.’
Rule 59(e) Mot. to Alter or Amend J. to Include Pre- and
Post-J. Interest, to Include the April 22, 2015 Sanction, and
to Reflect Dismissal without Prejudice of Pls.’
Punitive Damages Claims (ECF No. 498), Mr. Kendrick
filed a notice of appeal to the First Circuit Court of
Appeals on November 18, 2015. Def.’s Notice of
Appeal (ECF No. 502).
January 8, 2016, while the case was pending in the First
Circuit, the Plaintiffs moved to amend the pleadings to show
diversity of citizenship. Hearts With Haiti, Inc. v.
Kendrick, No. 15-2401, Pls.-Appellees’ Mot. to
Amend Pleadings to Show Jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1653 (Doc. No. 00116942397). On January 12, 2016, Mr.
Kendrick objected to the Plaintiffs’ motion to amend
the pleadings and moved to dismiss the case for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Hearts With Haiti, Inc. v.
Kendrick, No. 15-2401, Def.-Appellant’s
Obj./Resp. to "Pls.-Appellees’ Mot. to Amend
Pleadings to Show Jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1653" and Def.-Appellant’s Mot. for
Affirmative Relief in the Form of Dismissal of the Case on
Grounds of Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Doc. No.
00116943575). On January 15, 2016, the Plaintiffs responded
to Mr. Kendrick’s motion. Hearts With Haiti, Inc.
v. Kendrick, No. 15-2401, Pls.-Appellees’ Resp. in
Opp’n to Def.-Appellant’s Mot. for Affirmative
Relief in the Form of Dismissal of the Case for Lack of
Subject Matter Jurisdiction and to Def.-Appellant’s
Mot. to Stay and to Clarify filed on January 14, 2016 (Doc.
No. 00116945980). On January 20, 2016, Mr. Kendrick replied
to the Plaintiffs’ response. Hearts With Haiti,
Inc. v. Kendrick, No. 15-2401, Def.-Appellant’s
Reply to Pls.-Appellees’ Resp. in Opp’n to his
Mot. for Affirmative Relief in the Form of Dismissal of the
Case for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Doc. No.
February 16, 2016, the First Circuit remanded to this Court
the questions "as to whether the amendment proposed by
the appellees should be allowed and as to whether diversity
jurisdiction existed at the time the action was
commenced." Order of the Ct. (ECF No. 508). On
March 30, 2016, the Court held a hearing on the
jurisdictional issue. Tr. of Proceedings (ECF No.
532). The Plaintiffs filed their post-hearing brief on April
15, 2016. Pls.’ Post-Hr’g Br. (ECF No.
534) (Pls.’ Br.). Mr. Kendrick filed a
response on April 29, 2016, Def.’s Suppl. Br. on
Jurisdiction (ECF No. 535), and the Plaintiffs replied
on May 6, 2016. Pls.’ Reply Br. in Supp. of
Jurisdiction (ECF No. 538) (Pls.’
the post-hearing briefs were filed, on May 20, 2016, Mr.
Kendrick moved to add a single page to supplement the record.
Def.’s Mot. to Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr’g Ex. D23
with Incorporated Mem. of Law (ECF No. 541) (Def.’s
Mot.). The Plaintiffs filed an opposition on May 25, 2016,
Pls.’ Resp. in Opp’n to Def.’s Mot. to
Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr’g Ex. D23 (ECF No. 544)
(Pls.’ Opp’n), and Mr. Kendrick replied on May
27, 2016. Def.’s Reply Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. to
Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr’g Ex. D23 (ECF No. 454)
THE PARTIES’ POSITIONS
Paul Kendrick’s Motion
Kendrick says that in their post-hearing reply brief, the
Plaintiffs claim that Mr. Geilenfeld never represented
himself to be a citizen of or domiciled in Haiti.
Def.’s Mot. at 1 (quoting Pls.’
Post-Hr’g Reply at 4). Now, he comes forward with
the following back-and-forth from his counsel’s first
deposition of Mr. Geilenfeld on February 27, 2014:
Q. And your status in Haiti, is that as a permanent ...