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Civil Procedure — subject-matter jurisdiction

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Civil Procedure — -subject-matter jurisdiction

Where injury is not traceable to the defendant but to a state court, there is no subject-matter jurisdiction.

“In sum, although Merrill Lynch concedes that a Plan participant has been injured, Johnson concedes that the Plan participant’s injury is fairly traceable to a Michigan state court order, and not the defendant, Merrill Lynch. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, requires a plaintiff to have an injury that is ‘fairly . . . trace[able] to the challenged action of the defendant, and not . . . th[e] result [of] the independent action of some third party not before the court.’ Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992) (quotation and citation omitted). If the plaintiff’s injury is not fairly traceable to the defendant, the plaintiff lacks standing to bring suit against the defendant, and the federal court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the matter. Id. Here, Johnson has failed to identify an injury that is fairly traceable to the defendant, so Johnson does not have standing to bring suit against Merrill Lynch. Thus, we affirm the district court’s dismissal of the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”


12-3869 Johnson v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Darrah, J., Tinder, J.

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