Bank of the United States v. Deveaux


Significance: The Supreme Court held that although a corporation was a citizen for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction, the location of its citizenship was determined by the citizenship of its shareholders.

The Bank of the United States attempted to sue a Georgia tax collector for recovery of property. The issue was whether the bank (as a corporation) could sue in federal court under diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling made the suit impossible, because some of the bank's shareholders lived in Georgia. The Deveaux restriction on diversity jurisdiction was overruled in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad Co. v. Letson (1844), which recognized corporate citizenship in the state granting the charter.