Tanya Trucker owns a trucking company which is located in the state of Denial. Additionally, she resides in the State of Denial. She intends to challenge a legal statute in the state of Confusion requiring all truckers to install a B-type truck hitch. This is because the statute will lead to additional expenses. In her effort to challenge the statute, Tanya will have to file a legal suit against the state of Confusion in the federal Supreme Court. The reason behind this is that there is diversity with regard to citizenship. The manufacturer is based in the state of Confusion while Tanya Trucker is based in the state of Denial where the statute does not apply. According to Cheeseman (2010, p.12), an individual may pursue justice in the federal court in the event of diversity of citizenship.
Cheeseman (2010,p.13 ) asserts that the existence of a diversity of citizenship is a major factor that gives the federal court jurisdiction to preside over a case involving parties from different states. In this case, corporate citizenship is evident since the company’s principal place of operation is the State of Confusion. However, the federal court will be required to apply the relevant state law. In most cases, the applicable law is the one existing where the court sits (Miller & Jentz, 2008, p.78).
Cheeseman (2010, p.12) asserts that the commerce clause gives the United States federal government the power to control commerce between states.
The Confusion Statute
The statute requiring the installation of a B-type hitch is not constitutional and violates the commerce clause. Article I, (section 9), infers that “there shall be no preference given by any regulation in relation to commerce or revenue to any ports of one state over those of another” (Calvert, 1907, p.176).
The Clause also stipulates that no vessel transporting people or products between states shall be required to clear or pay additional fees in another state. The aim of the clause is to restrict states from enacting legislation which are discriminative or burdens interstate commerce. This means that the State of Confusion has no right to levy additional charges on vessels transporting goods into the state such as from the State of Denial. The statute is not also constitutional since it bars out-of-state drivers since it is only located in the State of Confusion. Therefore, Tanya Truckers is not bound to fit her trucks with the special hitch.
Provision of the US constitution
With regard to the case in question, it is important to note that only a single firm manufactures the required hitch, and this firm is based in Confusion. In determining the validity of the statute, the federal court will be required to evaluate if safety was the core reason for the statute being enacted. The federal court will also be required to determine why only one company was given the right to do the installation. Moreover, there is the need also for the court to verify that indeed the manufacturer has undergone the necessary tests to ensure that the established safety requirements in the various states have been adhered to. If the manufacturer has done that, then he will be required to explain why other states are not required to install the B-type hitch. Upon meeting all the federal requirements, the company should be given the right to conduct business across states.
Probability of the case succeeding
There is a high probability that Tanya will prevail on her suit. This arises from the fact that when enacting this legislation, the State of Confusion intended to benefit only one manufacturer who is located in the same state by making the firm to be the only firm with the right to install the hitch. This makes the State of Confusion appear as if it intended to profit one manufacturer.
Stages of a civil suit
This scenario presents a civil case since the parties involved are private in nature. According to Hardoon and Kesten (2008, para. 1-5), a civil suit entails five main stages as discussed below:
- Demand letter stage- here, the federal court receives a private letter from the lawyers of the plaintiff. This letter spells out the legal claims under investigation.
- The second stage- a compliment is filed, and it gives the full details of the claims put forth by the plaintiff, relative to the claims of the defendant.
- In the third stage- both parties (the plaintiff and defendant) may require dispositions of either side giving the relevant information. The fourth stage (referred to as the interrogatories or document requests) entails either of the parties requesting information regarding evidence of the claim. The final stage is the disposition of the lawsuit whereby the court ends the case. The case can be ended in a number of ways which include settlement, motion, alternative dispute resolution, trial, or appellate review.
Calvert, T. (1907). Regulation of commerce under the federal constitution. Littleton, Colo: F.B Rothman.
Cheeseman, H. (2010). Legal environment of business and online commerce. New York: Prentice Hall.
Hardoon, P. & Kesten, G. (2008). Stages of a civil lawsuit. Web.
Miller, R. & Jentz, G. (2008). Business law today: the essentials: text and summarized cases- e-commerce, legal, ethical and international environment. Mason, OH: South-Western West.