Carter v. Pattis
A prisoner may retain his pre-incarceration domicile, even if the prisoner is transferred to another state. The plaintiff prisoner, Kevin Carter, filed a pro se complaint against his former attorney, Norman Pattis and the Law Offices of Norman Pattis LLC, alleging that Attorney Pattis was negligent and committed legal malpractice. Diversity of citizenship requires that the plaintiff be domiciled in a different state than every defendant, pursuant to Wisconsin Department of Correction v. Schacht, a 1998 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. A prisoner's domicile depends on pre-incarceration domicile. It does not automatically change, when the prisoner is transferred to a corrections facility in another state. The plaintiff was domiciled in Connecticut, prior to his incarceration. Carter did not rebut the presumption that he retained his pre-incarceration domicile, and the court found that although Carter has been transferred to a corrections facility in Fairton, New Jersey, he retained his Connecticut domicile. The defendants are domiciled in Connecticut, and the court found that the plaintiff failed to establish diversity of citizenship, which is required for the court to conduct a hearing. The court dismissed the plaintiff's malpractice claim, without prejudice.