Mas v. Perry

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Mas v. Perry
Court U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
Citation 489 F.2d 1396
Date decided April 3, 1974


Judy Mas, a citizen of Mississippi, was married to Jean Paul Mas, a citizen of France. They lived in Louisiana while attending LSU and then moved to Illinois for two years. Upon their arrival in Louisiana again, they rented an apartment from Oliver Perry, a citizen of Louisiana. The Mas couple had no intention of permanently settling in Louisiana. They discovered later that Mr. Perry had installed two-way mirrors in the bathroom and bedroom of their apartment and Mr. Perry had been watching them through the mirrors.

Procedural History

Plaintiffs filed for damages of $100,000 in the District Court. At the end of the trial, defendant made oral motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Denied.


Did diversity of citizenship exist so as to uphold jurisdiction?


Defendant argued that Judy Mas was a citizen of Louisiana so diversity doesn't exist. D also argued that because Mr. Mas was finally adjudged to be entitled to less than $10,000 (the required amount at the time), jurisdiction over his claim wasn't upheld.


Jurisdiction is upheld




Mrs. Mas was a citizen of Mississippi. Living in Louisiana has no affect on her citizenship because the Mas family had no intention of permanently staying there. Even though Mr. Mas only was adjudged to receive $5,000, his good-faith claim of $100,000 satisfies the requirement.


  • For purposes of federal diversity jurisdiction, a party changes domicile only by taking up residence in another state with the intention to remain there, and a wife’s domicile is not necessarily deemed to be that of her husband
  • Domicile requires the intention to remain in a certain state and does not necessarily change based on marriage to an alien