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Kline v. Burke Construction Company

United States Supreme Court
260 U.S. 226 (1922)


Burke Construction Company (Burke) (plaintiff),a Missouri corporation, sued Kline and other Arkansas government officials (defendants) in Arkansas federal district court under diversity jurisdiction. The suit alleged breach of a contract under which Burke was to pave streets in Texarkana, Arkansas. A month later, the defendants sued Burke and its bond sureties in Arkansas state court, alleging abandonment of the same contract. The suits presented almost identical issues, and both were in personam claims seeking monetary damages. Burke sought an injunction in federal court to discontinue the state action. The district court denied the injunction, but the court of appeals reversed and ordered the injunction, ruling that Burke had a constitutional right under Article III, § 2, of the United States Constitution to have its case tried by a federal court. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sutherland, J.)

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