State court finishes first, win: enjoin fed court.
State acourt finishes first, lose: lose fed claims, can’t re-raise (claim precluded, could have been raised).
*NB: in personam vs. in rem
*in personam: race to judgment (both courts proceed simultaneously)
*in rem: race to the courthouse (court that starts first can enjoin the other)
E. Burford Abstention
*I: comity, not const’l avoidance
*RULE: fed ct should abstain from interfering with state admin agency if difficult Qs of state law involves major state interest or review would disrupt coherent state policy. Burford v. Sun Oil Co. (1943), AL v. Southern Ry. (1951) (only application of Burford).
*PROF TA: issue is state agency rule requires coherence and thus review centered on one trial court.
*PROF TA: state enforcement interest: Ps are corps in the state, no diversity. Substantve dp claim will fail, issues are financial.
F. Colorado River Abstention
*RULE: in diversity, FDC can abstain only in “exceptional circumstances.” Colorado River.
*abstain if avoid duplicative lit; convenient for the parties; avoid piecemail lit (in rem); cong’l preference for st ct.
*RULE: if A sues B in A’s state ct, B sues in fed ct to enjoin, fed ct will abstain. Brillhart. (Plus no complete diversity, no removal.)
*RULE: if FDC abuses discretion to abstain (it should not have), SCOTUS can compel arbitration. Moses Cone Hospital (1983).
*RULE: in suits for declaratory judgments, FDC have more discretion to abstain. Wilton v. Seven Falls Co. (1995).
*RULE: an order refusing a stay of a fed action: not appealable; an order granting a stay of a fed action: appealable.
V-2. Pick One Court: The Problem of Preclusion and AIA/Younger
*RULE: state proceedings will have preclusive effect in fed ct if there was full & fair opportunity to litigate the fed claims. (Cherm.)
A. AIA: The Anti-Injunction Act
*STAT: AIA: Federal court can’t enjoin state proceedings except as:
“expressly authorized by an Act of Congress.”
RULE: very narrow. Atlantic Coast Line (1970). All exceptions are very narrow!
RULE: very broad: statute need not mention AIA or expressly refer to enjoining state proceeding; just need a fed right or remedy that could be frustrated w/o enjoining st ct. Mitchum v. Foster (1972).
where necessary “in aid of its jurisdiction.”
RULE: very narrow. Only applies in rem. Atlantic Coast Line RR (1970, J. Black).
E.g., if proceeding in rem, can enjoin st ct b/c two courts can’t have jur over one res at the same time! Hagan.
E.g., if fed statute grants exclusive jurisdiction.
NB: this is pre-judgment: both proceedings are currently ongoing.
“to protect and effectuate its judgments” (the “relitigation exception”).
NB: this is post-judgment: fed ct has adjudicated, can enjoin state court from issuing a contradictory ruling.