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Hearts With Haiti, Inc. v. Kendrick

United States District Court, D. Maine

June 20, 2016

HEARTS WITH HAITI, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,



         On July 23, 2015, after thirteen days of emotional and contentious testimony, a federal jury issued a stunning victory in this defamation case in favor of the Plaintiffs and against the Defendant in the total amount of $14, 500, 000. In an extraordinary turn of events, while this case was on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the Defendant fell upon a plausible argument that this Court never had proper jurisdiction in the first place. The argument is based on an arcane exception to diversity jurisdiction that deems American citizens domiciled abroad "stateless" and renders them unable to access the federal courts on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Here, the narrow issue is whether Mr. Geilenfeld was domiciled in Iowa or Haiti at the time he filed suit on February 6, 2013.

         To say that the Defendant raised this issue late is an understatement, but unlike virtually any other legal issue, a court's jurisdiction cannot be waived and may be raised at any time, even after verdict and on appeal, because jurisdiction goes to whether the court can legally hear the case. After the issue was presented to the First Circuit, the appellate court remanded the case to this Court to make factual findings and resolve the question of Mr. Geilenfeld's domicile. On remand, the Court admitted exhibits, received testimony from Mr. Geilenfeld and others, and reviewed memoranda submitted by the parties.

         After analyzing the evidence and applying the law, the Court has concluded that Mr. Geilenfeld was domiciled in Haiti, not Iowa, as of February 6, 2013 and that the Court did not and does not have jurisdiction over the case. The consequence of this decision is that the hard-fought verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs must be rendered a nullity and the case must be dismissed.

         Although the Court is issuing its ruling in strict accordance with the facts as it has found them and the law as it understands it, the Court profoundly regrets that this issue was not raised earlier. In a court whose purpose it is to resolve sometimes contentious disputes, this case stands apart. Even though there were many side issues, the case turned on whether Mr. Geilenfeld had sexually abused young boys under his care at the St. Joseph Family of Haiti, an orphanage he founded in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Utterly convinced that Mr. Geilenfeld had done wrong, Mr. Kendrick repeatedly proclaimed Mr. Geilenfeld's guilt to all who could listen or read, including Hearts With Haiti (HWH) and other financial backers of the St. Joseph Family. Equally determined to clear his name, Mr. Geilenfeld steadfastly denied Mr. Kendrick's accusations. The discovery period was unusually rancorous, resulting in this Court's imposition of sanctions, a rare event in the District of Maine. The trial was long, arduous, and consisted of difficult-occasionally searing-testimony from supporters and detractors of Mr. Geilenfeld, including a number of men who testified that Mr. Kendrick's allegations were true. Championed by one of the state of Maine's finest trial attorneys, the result of the trial was an unconditional victory for Mr. Geilenfeld and HWH, a United States nonprofit corporation whose main purpose has been to support St. Joseph.[1] This Court upheld the verdict from post-trial attack and assumed that the First Circuit would resolve the merits of the Defendant's appeal in the ordinary course. The remand came from out of the blue.

         The Court is keenly aware that this case has taken an extraordinary toll on its participants: untold hours of attorney time and expense; the acute stress of the contentious discovery period and emotional trial; the impact on the parties and witnesses of an intense, prolonged proceeding; the hard work of the jury in listening to the evidence, applying the Court's instructions, and arriving at a verdict; and the resounding victory for the Plaintiffs. The Court assures the parties, particularly the Plaintiffs, that it does not lightly take the fruits of such a laborious victory from them. But it is this Court's duty to neutrally find the facts and apply the law, and the Court has concluded that it does not have and never had jurisdiction over the dispute and therefore the Plaintiffs' hard-earned victory is fated to be short-lived.

         In this opinion, the Court endeavors to explain why it has reached this conclusion. The Court understands that its explanation is small solace to the disappointed litigants.[2]


         An American citizen domiciled abroad is considered "stateless" and does not satisfy the requirements for diversity jurisdiction. During the pendency of Mr. Kendrick's appeal to the First Circuit, the Plaintiffs moved to amend their complaint to reflect their position that Mr. Geilenfeld remained a citizen of his home state of Iowa when they filed suit. Mr. Kendrick then moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on the ground that Mr. Geilenfeld was domiciled in Haiti at that time. The First Circuit remanded the jurisdictional issue for resolution by this Court. On remand, the Court held a jurisdictional hearing, and the parties submitted briefs on the issue after the hearing.

         Domicile requires both physical presence in a place and intent to remain there. A review of the voluminous record establishes that Mr. Geilenfeld left Iowa decades ago, that he traveled extensively for a time, and that he moved to Haiti in the 1980s. From then until the filing of this suit on February 6, 2013, he lived and worked for an organization he founded in Port au Prince. While he maintained some ties to Iowa, his life was firmly rooted in Haiti. As such, the Court concludes that Mr. Geilenfeld was beyond its jurisdiction as a stateless American citizen domiciled abroad. It further concludes that considerations of finality cannot trump the jurisdictional defect, and that Mr. Geilenfeld's status as an indispensable, nondiverse party to this case requires the other plaintiff, HWH, to lose its verdict as well. The Court denies the Plaintiffs' motion to amend complaint and grants Mr. Kendrick's motion to dismiss.


         A. Initiation of the Suit

         On February 6, 2013, Michael Geilenfeld and HWH filed suit in this Court against Paul Kendrick. Compl. (ECF No. 1) (Compl.). 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. Regarding the parties' citizenship, the Plaintiffs alleged that HWH "is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation located in City of Raleigh, County of Wake, State of North Carolina, USA"; that Mr. Geilenfeld "is an individual residing in Pétion-Ville Commune, Port-au-Prince Arrondissement, Republic of Haiti and is the founder and Executive Director of St. Joseph Family of Haiti"; and that Mr. Kendrick "is an individual residing in the Town of Freeport, County of Cumberland, State of Maine, USA." Id. ¶¶ 1-3. On March 8, 2013, Mr. Kendrick filed an Answer, denying "that the amount in controversy exceeds Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars" and admitting "the remaining allegations" as regards diversity jurisdiction. Defenses and Answer ¶¶ 4-6 (ECF No. 8).

         B. Trial

         Although the Court originally scheduled the trial to begin on October 7, 2014, Trial List (ECF No. 231), Mr. Geilenfeld's arrest by Haitian authorities necessitated a continuance of the trial date. Oral Mot. to Continue (ECF No. 260); Oral Order Granting Mot. to Continue Trial for 90 Days (ECF No. 261). Eventually, the Court learned of Mr. Geilenfeld's release by Haitian authorities, Min. Entry (ECF No. 315), and on July 6, 2015, the jury trial commenced. Tr. of Proceedings I (ECF No. 484). 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 it awarded $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) (Geilenfeld Jury Verdict Form); Jury Verdict Form as to Hearts with Haiti (ECF No. 475) (HWH Jury Verdict Form); J. (ECF No. 480).

         C. Appeal

         After 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 on November 18, 2015. Def.'s Notice of Appeal (ECF No. 502).

         On January 8, 2016, while the case was on appeal, the Plaintiffs moved to amend the pleadings to allege facts establishing 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. 00116942323) (Pls.' Mot.).[3] 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) (Def.'s Mot.). 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) (Pls.' Resp.). 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. 00116947111) (Def.'s Reply).

         On 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).

         D. Events on Remand

         On March 30, 2016, the Court held a hearing on the jurisdictional issue. Tr. of Proceedings (ECF No. 532) (Hr'g Tr.). 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) (Def.'s Resp.), and the Plaintiffs replied on May 6, 2016. Pls.' Reply Br. in Supp. of Jurisdiction (ECF No. 538) (Pls.' Reply).

         On May 20, 2016, Mr. Kendrick filed a motion to supplement the record by including an excerpt of one of Mr. Geilenfeld's earlier depositions. Def.'s Mot. to Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr'g Ex. D23 (ECF No. 541) (Def.'s Mot. to Suppl.). On May 25, 2016, the Plaintiffs responded and objected to the inclusion of the exhibit. Pls.' Resp. in Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. to Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr'g Ex. D23 (ECF No. 544) (Pls.' Resp. in Opp'n to Suppl. Jurisdictional Record). On May 27, 2016, Mr. Kendrick replied. Def.'s Reply Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. to Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr'g Ex. D23 (ECF No. 545). On June 9, 2016, the Court granted the Defendant's motion to supplement over the Plaintiffs' objection. Order on Mot. to Suppl. Jurisdictional Hr'g Record (ECF No. 547).


         A. Arguments before the First Circuit

         1. The Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend

         The Plaintiffs moved to amend pleadings to show jurisdiction, arguing that complete diversity existed on the date the suit commenced: February 6, 2013. Pls.' Mot. at 1. They write that "while diversity of citizenship was uncontested and in fact existed at the time the action was filed (and continues to exist to this day), the pleadings do not address citizenship specifically." Id. at 2. They emphasize Mr. Geilenfeld's ties to Iowa, the state where he was born and raised, maintained his voter registration and driver's license, and kept a mailing address and a bank account. Id. at 2-3. According to the Plaintiffs, their error was merely technical in that they referred to "residency" rather than "citizenship" in the Complaint, and they ask the First Circuit to allow them to correct this error pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1653. Id. at 3.

         2. Mr. Kendrick's Objection to Plaintiffs' Motion and Motion to Dismiss

         Mr. Kendrick alleges that "[t]here is simply no doubt that when Mr. Geilenfeld filed his complaint in 2013, and during trial, Mr. Geilenfeld was domiciled in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as he had been for a long, long time, and not by any stretch of the imagination living in Iowa." Def.'s Mot at 6 (footnote omitted). As Mr. Kendrick sees it, this factual allegation carries fatal implications for this case's jurisdictional validity given the rule that "American citizens who are domiciled abroad do not satisfy any of the enumerated categories required for a federal court's exercise of diversity jurisdiction." Id. at 6-7 (quoting Freidrich v. Davis, 767 F.3d 374, 377 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 828-29 (1989))). Mr. Kendrick concludes, "Mr. Geilenfeld is ‘stateless' and he must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction." Id. at 9 (citations and footnotes omitted).

         Mr. Kendrick then turns his attention to the other plaintiff, HWH, which he contends "must be dismissed from this case because Mr. Geilenfeld is an indispensable party and HWH gained a significant tactical advantage by the introduction of evidence of Mr. Geilenfeld's time in a Haitian prison made possible only due to Mr. Geilenfeld's presence in this case as a party." Id. Mr. Kendrick recalls Mr. Geilenfeld's "elegantly scripted and humbly delivered" testimony, as well as other evidence regarding his life that he believes affected the jury, and claims that this "is not a case where the appellate court is permitted to ignore the lack of complete diversity and dismiss only Mr. Geilenfeld . . . ." Id. at 13, 15 (citing Newman-Green, 490 U.S. 826). Finally, Mr. Kendrick argues that the doctrines of offensive and defensive nonmutual collateral estoppel, which exist to prevent re-litigation of previously decided issues, would apply here and underscore the notion that Mr. Geilenfeld an indispensable party. Id. at 16-17.

         3. The Plaintiffs' Response

         The Plaintiffs begin by chronicling the case's protracted history and write that "[n]ow facing an impending deadline to brief a meritless appeal, Kendrick perceives in Plaintiffs' Motion for a technical conforming amendment of the pleadings, an opportunity for a ‘get out of jail free' card, claiming for the first time ever that he denies Geilenfeld's domiciliary intent." Pls.' Resp. at 3-4. But as the Plaintiffs see it, the case has proceeded to final judgment, so "considerations of finality, efficiency, and economy become overwhelming." Id. at 4 (quoting Caterpillar, Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 75 (1996)).

         On the merits of Mr. Kendrick's motion, the Plaintiffs assert that "[m]ere residence is insufficient to determine a party's jurisdictional status." Id. at 5 (quoting Chico v. P.R. Elec. Power Auth., 312 F.Supp.2d 153, 156 (D.P.R. 2004)). The Plaintiffs contend that all the "key indicia" of Mr. Geilenfeld's domicile point toward Iowa:

[H]is voter registration is in Linn County, Iowa (valid at the time suit commenced); his home address is at the same Linn County, Iowa location, and is a physical residence where he receives mail, has physical presence, and to which he returns when he has been away; his drivers licenses are and have always been Iowa licenses; his personal banking and financial headquarters were and remain based in Iowa banks.

Id. at 6. Of these indicia, the Plaintiffs find especially significant the fact that Mr. Geilenfeld retained an Iowa voter registration-a "weighty" factor, according to the First Circuit. Id. at 14-15 (quoting Bank One v. Montle, 964 F.2d 48, 50 (1st Cir. 1992)). Moreover, the Plaintiffs argue that there is a presumption of "domicile by birth, " which establishes Mr. Geilenfeld's domicile as Iowa, and that once domicile has been established, there is a presumption of "continuing domicile, " which can only be broken by "both presence in the new domicile, and the intent to remain there." Id. at 7 (citing Padilla-Mangual v. Pavía Hosp., 516 F.3d 29, 31-32 (1st Cir. 2008); Chico, 312 F.Supp.2d at 157). On this point, the Plaintiffs claim that "the exact opposite from a change in domicile has occurred, " as Mr. Geilenfeld "has taken undisputed steps to maintain a presence and home base in Iowa . . . ." Id. at 9 (citing Bank One, 964 F.2d at 50).

         Addressing Mr. Kendrick's argument that Mr. Geilenfeld's supposed lack of diversity would also require HWH to lose its judgment, the Plaintiffs urge the Court to take a pragmatic approach:

[A] party that is a "jurisdictional spoiler" may be dropped from the case, particularly when-as here-the objecting party has waited until appeal to raise the challenge and requiring dismissal of the whole action "after years of litigation, would impose unnecessary and wasteful burdens on the parties, judges, and other litigants."

Id. at 16 (quoting Newman-Green, 490 U.S. at 827). Further, the Plaintiffs submit that because HWH made claims based on "separate torts and separate damages" and because "the jury's verdict was based upon the sound instruction provided by the trial court that the jury was to determine liability and damages separately as to both plaintiffs, " Mr. Geilenfeld cannot be considered an indispensable party to HWH's case. Id. at 17-18.

         4. Mr. Kendrick's Reply

         Mr. Kendrick takes issue with several of the Plaintiffs' statements of fact and law. On the facts, Mr. Kendrick seeks to contradict Mr. Geilenfeld's declared intention to return to Iowa by quoting a deposition in which he said: "I will always continue to do good works with Haitians because my whole life is in Haiti." Def.'s Reply at 2 (quoting Def.'s Obj. and Opp'n Mem. to Pls.' Mot. in Limine to Include Test. of Alain Lemithe Attach. 2 Extracts from the Mins. of the Ct. Registry of the Ct. of the First Instance in Port au Prince, at 2 (ECF No. 392) (Ct. of First Instance Mins.)). Mr. Kendrick also tries to undermine the Plaintiffs' reliance on the domicile factors, writing, inter alia, "it is very common for U.S. citizens living in a foreign country, especially a developing country like Haiti, to maintain a U.S. mailing address so that they can hold a U.S. driver's license." Id. at 3.

         On the law, Mr. Kendrick clarifies that "the burden is on the proponent of federal jurisdiction to prove the jurisdictional facts by a preponderance of the evidence." Id. at 4 (citing García Pérez v. Santaella, 364 F.3d 348, 351-52 (1st Cir. 2004)). He also rejects that notion that the Court can find Mr. Geilenfeld nondiverse yet allow HWH to keep its judgment, arguing that "the most important factual issue for the jury was whether Mr. Geilenfeld sexually abused young men in Haiti. That issue was common to the defamation claims of both plaintiffs, so that if the jury found Mr. Geilenfeld did molest children, each of the plaintiff's cases would have failed." Id. at 5.

         B. Arguments on Remand

         1. The Plaintiffs' Brief

         In their post-hearing brief, the Plaintiffs stress the anomalous aspect of statelessness doctrine, which they describe as a jurisdictional "loophole" that the Court ought to avoid if it can do so. Pls.' Br. at 3 n.1. They say that Mr. Geilenfeld is a missionary and argue that "[t]he issue of domicile must be viewed through this lens." Id. at 4. While Mr. Geilenfeld "maintained his domiciliary intent in Iowa with all other objective indicia of domicile in Iowa, " the Plaintiffs nonetheless caution against adherence to "[a]bstract lists of indicia of domicile" for persons-like Mr. Geilenfeld-fitting within the "recognized exceptions for United States citizens who, in pursuit of a calling or occupation, spend significant periods of time abroad . . . ." Id. at 5-6; see also Id. at 8 (citing Kaiser v. Loomis, 391 F.2d 1007 (6th Cir. 1968) (missionary doctor residing away from domicile); Lewis v. Splashdam By-Products Corp., 233 F.Supp. 47 (W.D. Va. 1964) (same for labor union representative); Sherman v. Roosevelt Co., 48 F.Supp. 434 (D. Mass. 1943) (same for railroad transportation inspector)).

         The Plaintiffs document Mr. Geilenfeld's and his family's deep ties to Iowa, as well as the fact that he often referred to Iowa as "home" and to himself as an "Iowan." Id. at 9-11. After Mr. Geilenfeld's mother died in 2003, the family sold its home in Algona, Iowa, and Mr. Geilenfeld began keeping a room in a house owned by Lucille Dietrich-a close friend whom he considers "surrogate" family-at 212 Wesley Drive NW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Id. at 11-12. The Plaintiffs allege this address was Mr. Geilenfeld's "home" from that time to this day. Id. at 12.

         Turning to the indicia, the Plaintiffs point to Mr. Geilenfeld's voter registration, driver's license, and bank accounts bearing his Iowa address, as well as ties between his mission work and Iowa. Id. at 12-14. From the Plaintiffs vantage, "[t]here is not much more that Geilenfeld could have done to establish and maintain domicile in Iowa . . . ." Id. at 18. They maintain that Mr. Geilenfeld "has very little by way of personal possessions, " and that while he "technically" owns the assets comprising his mission work in Haiti, these assets are "essentially" held in trust by Mr. Geilenfeld for the benefit of the children whom he serves. Id. at 14-15. Regarding Mr. Geilenfeld's immigration status in Haiti, they explain that he applies annually for an extended visa referred to as "Permis de Sejure." Id. at 15.

         Finally, "in an abundance of caution, " the Plaintiffs reiterate the argument they made to the First Circuit that if Mr. Geilenfeld is found to be non-diverse, he should also be found to be a dispensable party with regard to HWH's claim against Mr. Kendrick. Id. at 18-20. As a consequence, they maintain, HWH's verdict against Mr. Kendrick should stand however the Court resolves the issue of Mr. Geilenfeld's domicile. Id.

         2. The Defendant's Brief

         On the law, Mr. Kendrick argues that "[t]he intent to remain need not be permanent, only indefinite, " Def.'s Resp. at 2 (citing Hawes v. Club Ecuestre el Comandante, 598 F.2d 698, 701 (1st Cir. 1978)), and that affidavits regarding a person's subjective intent made after a jurisdictional challenge are "suspect." Id. at 3 (quoting Hawes, 598 F.2d at 704). Mr. Kendrick says that Mr. Geilenfeld moved to Haiti on his own accord in 1985 and has lived and worked exclusively in Haiti since then, including at the time the Complaint was filed. Id. 3-5. Mr. Kendrick also finds significance in the fact that Haiti is where Mr. Geilenfeld owns property worth "several millions of dollars, " operates a sizeable organization with people who are like family to him, and even had a crypt constructed for himself. Id. at 6-10. Moreover, according to Mr. Kendrick, Mr. Geilenfeld's proclamations of his status as a missionary do not change the legal analysis, as "the word ‘missionary' is not a magic talisman that exempts any person who affixes that label to himself from the established law of domicile." Id. at 11.

         Meanwhile, Mr. Kendrick sees any Iowa ties as superficial matters of "personal convenience, " noting that "Mr. Geilenfeld has not lived or worked in Iowa for over forty years, does not own any real property in Iowa, does not pay any taxes in Iowa, and has had no involvement in any civic affairs, charitable works, or organizations of any kind in Iowa." Id. at 12-13. Mr. Kendrick points out that Mr. Geilenfeld has been to Iowa twice since 2010 and has not voted there since the 1972 presidential election. Id. at 13-15. He also alleges that Mr. Geilenfeld "fraudulently" applied for an Iowa voter registration as a means of more easily obtaining an Iowa driver's license. Id. at 15. According to Mr. Kendrick, Mr. Geilenfeld used his Iowa State Bank account for the purpose of running his organization in Haiti and cannot be considered to have been domiciled in a friend's guest room that "he has only visited twice for a matter of weeks in the last six years." Id. at 16-17.

         Mr. Kendrick advocates for an application of diversity jurisdiction's usual rules notwithstanding "practical concerns" and "considerations of finality." Id. at 18-19 (citing Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Glob. Grp., L.P., 541 U.S. 567, 568-69, 575-82 (2004)). He relies on his briefing to the First Circuit for his argument "that Mr. Geilenfeld cannot be dropped as a party to preserve complete diversity." Id. at 1 n.1.

         3. The Plaintiffs' Reply Brief

         The Plaintiffs portray Mr. Kendrick as making "two central, categorical errors" in his brief. Pls.' Reply at 1. His first is "to equate ‘residence' with ‘domicile, ' and to urge, incorrectly, that every reference to Haitian residence is a reference to citizenship or domicile." Id. His second relates to his understanding of Mr. Geilenfeld's missionary work:

[I]f it is true as the Defendant appears to concede that the Court would exercise jurisdiction over Geilenfeld had he not left the Brothers' ecclesiastical order, because his native Iowa domicile would have continued presumptively, then there must still be jurisdiction over him despite whatever canonical decision permitted him to leave the Brothers but to engage in precisely the same work.

Id. at 3.


         In Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, the Supreme Court wrote that "[i]n order to be a citizen of a State within the meaning of the diversity statute, a natural person must be both a citizen of the United States and be domiciled within a state." 490 U.S. at 828 (emphasis in original) (citing Robertson v. Cease, 97 U.S. 646, 648-49 (1878); Brown v. Keene, 33 U.S. 112, 115 (1834)). That is, "Americans who are domiciled abroad do not satisfy any of the enumerated categories required for a federal court's exercise of diversity jurisdiction." Friedrich, 767 F.3d at 377 (citing Newman-Green, 490 U.S. at 828-29); see also D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities Fund, L.P. v. Mehrotra, 661 F.3d 124, 126 (1st Cir. 2011) ("United States citizens who are domiciled abroad are citizens of no state" (citing Newman-Green, 490 U.S. at 829). "For the purposes of diversity, a person is a citizen of the state in which he is domiciled." Padilla-Mangual, 516 F.3d at 31 (collecting cases). The courts refer to these United States citizens who domicile in none of her constituent states as "stateless." See, e.g., Zwirn, 661 F.3d at 126. Stateless litigants fall through the cracks of the diversity jurisdiction statute because their American citizenship deprives them of diversity as "citizens or subjects of a foreign state" under § 1332(a)(2), while their statelessness disqualifies them from diversity as "citizens of different States" under § 1332(a)(3). Id. In Professor Chemerinsky's crisp articulation, the rule is that "a person may not sue or be sued in a diversity case if he or she is a citizen of the United States but not a citizen of a particular state." Erwin Chemerinksy, Federal Jurisdiction § 5.3 (6th ed. 2012).

         Here, the crucial question is domicile, which must be determined from the time the suit was filed. Padilla-Mangual, 516 F.3d at 31 (citations omitted). "Once challenged, the party invoking diversity jurisdiction must prove domicile by a preponderance of the evidence." García Pérez, 364 F.3d at 350 (citing Bank One, 964 F.2d at 50). "A person's domicile ‘is a place where he has his true, fixed home and principal establishment, and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning.'" Padilla-Mangual, 516 F.3d at 31 (quoting Rodríguez-Díaz v. Sierra-Martínez, 853 F.2d 1027, 1029 (1st Cir. 1988)). Significantly, "[w]hile a person may have more than one residence, he can only have one domicile." One Bank, 964 F.2d at 53; see also Valentín v. Hosp. Bella Vista, 254 F.3d 358, 366 (1st Cir. 2001) ("A party only can have one domicile at a time") (citing Bank One, 964 F.2d at 53). There are two requirements for domicile: (1) "physical presence in a place" and (2) "the intent to make that place one's home." Valentín, 254 F.3d at 366 (citing Rodríguez-Díaz, 853 F.2d at 1029).

         In assessing the latter requirement, intent, the First Circuit has instructed courts to consider these factors: "current residence; voting registration and voting practices; location of personal and real property; location of brokerage and bank accounts; membership in unions, fraternal organizations, churches, clubs and other associations; place of employment or business; driver's license and other automobile registration; [and] payment of taxes." García Pérez, 364 F.3d at 351 (alteration in original) (quoting 13B Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3612 (2d ed. 1984)); see also Bank One, 964 F.2d at 50 ("the place where civil and political rights are exercised, taxes paid, real and personal property (such as furniture and automobiles) located, driver's and other licenses obtained, bank accounts maintained, location of club and church membership and places of business or employment") (quoting Lundquist v. Precision Valley Aviation, Inc., 946 F.2d 8, 11-12 (1st Cir. 1991) (per curiam)). These factors are to be applied in a holistic rather than mechanistic manner, as "[n]o single factor is dispositive, and the analysis focuses not simply on the number of contacts with the purported domicile, but also on their substantive nature." García Pérez, 364 F.3d at 351 (citing Lundquist, 946 F.2d at 12).

         In terms of the evidence the Court may consider in making its domicile determination, the Court-consistent with First Circuit guidance-takes an inclusive approach in an effort to bring before it all relevant, probative facts. See, e.g., Padilla-Mangual, 516 F.3d at 34 ("In conducting a jurisdictional inquiry, the court enjoys broad authority to order discovery, consider extrinsic evidence, hold an evidentiary hearing, and hear testimony in order to determine its own jurisdiction") (citing Valentín, 254 F.3d at 363); Bank One, 964 F.2d at 54-55 ("[W]e direct the district court to conduct further inquiry into the relevant jurisdictional facts and make further findings thereon. Additional evidence should be secured in whatever expeditious manner the district court determines-whether by evidentiary hearing, discovery, further affidavits, or any combination of these, or by other means").

         V. DISCUSSION

         A. ...

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