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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The facts underlying this dispute involve a retail installment contract for the purchase of a vehicle by Sarah Horton. In 2002, Horton filed suit against Bank One in Texas state court alleging violations of several consumer-protection-type statutes and asserting several common-law claims. In February 2003, Horton sent a settlement offer to Bank One. This offer put Bank One on notice for the first time that the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000. Bank One immediately removed the case to federal district court. Horton moved to remand arguing that there was no federal jurisdiction because complete diversity of citizenship was lacking. Horton reasoned that, because Bank One had branches in Texas, it was “located” in Texas and was thus a citizen of Texas. After rejecting Horton’s reasoning and denying Horton’s motion to remand, the district court granted her motion to certify the order for interlocutory appeal and this court granted leave to appeal. The specific issue certified for this appeal is whether national banking associations are citizens of every state in which they have a branch. HOLDING:Affirmed. Prior to 1992, the “unquestioned” and “longstanding interpretation” was that “located,” as used in 28 U.S.C. �1348, did not include the branches of a national bank. From 1992 to 2001, the majority of district courts that addressed this issue concluded that under �1348, a national bank is a citizen of every state in which it has a branch, led by the District of Rhode Island’s opinion in Connecticut National Bank v. Iacono, 785 F.Supp. 30 (D.R.I. 1992). Pointing to a Supreme Court case in 1977 and changes in the law involving national banks, the court in Iacono decided to re-examine the meaning of “located,” even though a 1943 case “appear[ed] to have settled the matter.”*fn6 A minority of district courts, however, remained unpersuaded by Iacono‘s analysis and conclusion. In 2001, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Firstar Bank, N.A. v. Faul, 253 F.3d 982 (7th Cir. 2001), held that “for purposes of 28 U.S.C. �1348 a national bank is ‘located’ in, and thus a citizen of, the state of its principal place of business and the state listed in its organization certificate.” Firstar analyzed the text, history and purpose of �1348 and its predecessors. While no other circuit has yet ruled on this issue, every district court that has since confronted it has agreed with Firstar. The court construes �1348 in light of Congress’s intent to maintain jurisdictional parity between national banks on the one hand and state banks and corporations on the other. The court holds that the definition of “located” is limited to the national bank’s principal place of business and the state listed in its organization certificate and its articles of association. This results in a national bank’s having access to federal courts by diversity jurisdiction to the same extent as a similarly situated state bank or corporation. Under �1348, a national bank is not necessarily “located” in each and every state in which it has a branch, and the district court did not err in so holding, the court concludes. OPINION:Patrick E. Higginbotham, J.; Garwood, Higginbotham and Smith, JJ.

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