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The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 29 rendered the following decision: The justices unanimously said that a landlord being sued by tenants may remove the suit to federal court if none of the named plaintiffs shares a home state with any of the named defendants, even if a named defendant operates through a local affiliate. Lincoln Property Co. v. Roche, No. 04-712. Virginia renters Christophe and Juanita Roche sued Texas-based Lincoln Property Co., among others, in Virginia state court over exposure to toxic mold in their apartment, alleging severe medical problems, including chronic headaches, memory loss and respiratory trouble. Lincoln removed the case to federal court, invoking the court’s diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction. The court granted summary judgment to Lincoln, but before judgment was entered, the Roches moved to remand the case to state court. The court denied the motion, but the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the removal to federal court had been improper because Lincoln had failed to show the nonexistence of an affiliated Virginia entity that was a real party in interest. The justices reversed. Writing on behalf of the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that an action may be removed on the basis of diversity of citizenship if there is complete diversity between all of the named plaintiffs and all of the named defendants. A named defendant is not obliged to negate the existence of a potential defendant whose presence in the action would destroy diversity. the U.S. Supreme Court also added three cases to its docket:

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