Legal Memorandum: Motion to Dismiss

Issue: How are questions of subject matter jurisdiction resolved in federal courts?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Lack of subject matter jurisdiction
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 327 U.S. 678
Cited Statutes: Rule 12(b)(1)
Date: 04/01/2001

          When considering a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), a court cannot dismiss the complaint if it purports to set forth a federal claim that is not insubstantial or frivolous.  Buchler v. United States, 384 F. Supp. 709 (E.D. Cal. 1974). The Supreme Court has noted that “[j]urisdiction is not defeated by the possibility that the averments [in the complaint] might fail to state a cause of action on which petitioners could actually recover.”  Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 682, 66 S. Ct. 773 (1946). 


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