Parties here, parties there. Jurisdiction? Know not where.

Chesapeake sued two defendants to recover a large overpayment.  Harleton Oil & Gas intervened to claim a share of that payment.  Chesapeake Louisiana L.P. v. Buffco Prod., Inc., No. 13-40458 (May 7, 2014, unpublished).  The Fifth Circuit ruled: (1) Harleton should have been aligned as a plaintiff rather than a defendant, since it “intervened to seek affirmative relief, not to protect its interests . . . .”; (2) that change destroyed diversity and mooted a summary judgment granted by the district court; (3) the case should then be remanded for the district court to consider whether Harleton is indispensable and its joinder requires dismissal of the entire action; but (4) the district court had jurisdiction over the defendants’ counterclaims against Chesapeake, which involved different wells than the one relevant to Harleton.  “When an independent basis for jurisdiction exists with respect to a counterclaim, a federal court may adjudicate the claim even if the original claim was dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”

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