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CLOTHIER v. UNITED AIR LINES

July 24, 1961

Agnes E. CLOTHIER, as Administratrix of the Goods, Chattels and Credits of Charles M. Clothier, deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED AIR LINES, INC., Trans World Airlines, Inc., and United States of America, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRUCHHAUSEN

The defendant, Trans World Airlines, Inc., hereinafter called TWA, moves, pursuant to Rule 12(h) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A., for an order dismissing this action on the ground that this Court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter.

The defendant TWA alleges that there is no diversity and, therefore, no Federal jurisdiction. The motion flows from the recent amendment to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 which provides in part:

 'For the purposes of this section and section 1441 of the title, a corporation shall be deemed a citizen of any State by which it has been incorporated and of the State where it has its principal place of business.'

 TWA contends that its principal place of business is in New York. The affidavit of Ronald Duckworth, Secretary of TWA, alleges that TWA maintains executive offices at 380 Madison Avenue, New York City, and lists a number of officers who perform their duties there on behalf of TWA.

 The plaintiff contends that TWA's principal place of business is in Missouri and lists the following facts:

 1. The federal agency (Civil Aeronautics Board) regulating and licensing TWA states that its 'principal offices' are in Missouri.

 2. The most recent report of Standard and Poor's Corporation states that TWA's 'Office' is in Missouri.

 3. TWA's Chairman of the Board was recently elected in Missouri and the Annual Stockholders' meeting was held there with 6 new board members being elected.

 4. TWA employs over 18,000 people, 35% of which work in Missouri, and only 19% in New York.

 5. The sole basis for TWA's motion is the presence in New York of 9 executives and department heads; however, 5 of these 9 men head departments that possess minor responsibility and an extremely limited number of personnel; in addition 3 of the 9 men spend half or more than half of their time outside New York.

 6. The moving papers are fatally defective by virtue of their failure to assert that TWA's principal place of business is in New York. Plaintiff contends this is attributable to the fact that said place is in Missouri.

 7. The moving papers admit that 2 executives and their departments (Technical Services and Transportation) are centered in Missouri.

 8. Technical Services and Transportation form the hub of TWA's activity, about ...


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