../West Educational Publishing

Federal Criminal Case Does Not Create Federal Jurisdiction for Related Civil Action
Description Appeals court vacated a judgment by a federal court awarding restitution to a bank that was defrauded by its president. The federal court had no jurisdiction over that state law matter. The fact that the president was convicted in federal court of violating federal bank law did not create federal jurisdiction over the civil case.
Topic Court Procedure
Key Words Jurisdiction; Federal Question
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Lussier was accused of abusing his position as president and chairman of the board of directors of Lyndonville Savings Bank. He was indicted, tried and convicted of bank fraud in federal court. He was sentenced to prison, pay a fine, and pay restitution to the bank. The bank then sued Lussier in federal court seeking further restitution for damage done to the bank. That trial resulted in a judgment of $8.8 million against Lussier. He appealed that judgment, contending that the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction.
Decision Reversed. The federal criminal suit and the civil suit "may both be part of our legal landscape, but the two are not interchangeable like two peas in a pod." In the civil suit, there was a federal question because bank fraud, and restitution for it, are based on a federal statute. However, the federal criminal action cannot be converted into a civil action. Both parties were citizens of Vermont. The claim against Lussier belongs in state court under state law. The federal court had no jurisdiction to hear the state law claims.
Citation Lyndonville Savings Bank & Trust Company v. Lussier, 211 F.3d 697 (2nd Cir., 2000)

Back to Court Procedure Listings

©1997-2001  South-Western, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc. Cengage Learning is a trademark used herein under license.