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If a plaintiff whose assertion of federal jurisdiction is challenged by a motion to dismiss fails to bring forth any factual material to support his claim to jurisdiction, then dismissal may properly be granted against him. However, it should clearly appear from the record that plaintiff has had an opportunity to present facts, either by way of affidavit or in an evidentiary hearing, in support of his position that diversity was not manufactured.
Appellee, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, moved to dismiss appellant Eugene Tanzymore’s personal injury action on the basis of appellant's deposition, which indicated that he was not a citizen of a different state than appellee. The district court dismissed the action for want of jurisdiction without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant sought review of the decision.
Did the district court correctly dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction even without holding an evidentiary hearing?
On appeal, the court affirmed because appellant failed to establish that he was a citizen of another state. It was within the district court's discretion to choose what procedure to follow in making its jurisdictional determination and it was a reasonable exercise of that discretion to decide appellee's motion based on the deposition. An evidentiary hearing was not required because appellant was given notice and a fair opportunity to be heard.