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Dead People Not Good Litigants; Don’t Matter for Jurisdiction

April 24, 2020, 8:00 PM

A property purchaser can’t sue a deceased former homeowner or use the decedent’s prior citizenship to destroy diversity jurisdiction, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday in a case of first impression.

After 129 years without the question of whether you can sue the dead ever coming up, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit answered “in the negative” in a foreclosure case involving diversity jurisdiction. The Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits have also explicitly rejected allowing the dead to sue or be sued.

Kit Dansker died in 2009. LN Management LLC bought her former home after foreclosure proceedings began ...