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Ankenbrandt v. Richards
United States Supreme Court
504 U.S. 689 (1992)
Carol Ankenbrandt (plaintiff) brought a damages claim on behalf of her two minor daughters in federal district court, on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, against the girls’ natural father, Jon A. Richards, and his female companion, Debra Kessler (Richards) (defendants), alleging physical and sexual abuse. The district court granted Richards’ motion to dismiss, based upon the domestic relations exception to diversity jurisdiction, which dictates that matters of divorce, alimony, and custody are reserved for state jurisdiction. The district court further noted that, even if jurisdiction was proper over this tort claim for damages, the court would abstain from exercising jurisdiction. The court of appeals affirmed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)
Concurrence (Stevens, J.)
Concurrence (Blackmun, J.)
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