Diversity of Citizenship Law & Legal Definition


Diversity of citizenship exists when opposing parties in a lawsuit are citizens of different states or a citizen of a foreign country. If the party is a corporation, it is a citizen of the state where it is incorporated or is doing business. If diversity of citizenship exists, it places the case under federal court jurisdiction pursuant to Article III, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

A civil action in which jurisdiction is founded only on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only in:

  • a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State,
  • a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or
  • a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.