I do not agree with the notion that only the DC District Court has general jurisdiction over a Quo Warranto petition. The DC district court would have exclusive original jurisdiction over such a petition only if a party is not able to prove that a district court other than the DC court has original jurisdiction in the case any other way. If a party wants to avoid having to file its action under the DC code in the DC district, that party must show the forum court that it has original jurisdiction by way of some other constitutional or statutory provision. This means that the party cannot rely upon the quo warranto action alone to try to prove that the forum district court has original jurisdiction. If the party can prove that the court has original jurisdiction otherwise by showing that it has an underlying claim based on some other constitutional or statutory provision which gives that court original jurisdiction, the party is neither compelled to use the DC statute nor the DC district court but rather can file the party’s quo warranto petition in any district of the United States seeking relief in conjunction with that underlying statutory or constitutional provision which is the basis for the court to assert original jurisdiction in the first instance. In such later case, the quo warranto jurisdiction is ancillary to the court's original jurisdiction that rests on a separate and distinct constitutional or statutory provision in the first instance. Under such circumstances, the district court would obtain ancillary jurisdiction over the petition for quo warranto under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1651(a) (the All Writs Act), for the court would already have original jurisdiction over plaintiff’s other claims. See United States of America Ex Rel. State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-appellant, v. First Federal Savings and Loan Association and Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Defendants-appellees, 248 F.2d 804 (7th Cir. 1957).
In the scenario described, the quo warranto jurisdiction is said to be ancillary to the court's original jurisdiction that rests on a separate and distinct statutory or constitutional provision in the first instance. Under such circumstances, the district court would obtain ancillary jurisdiction over the petition for quo warranto under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1651(a) (the All Writs Act which authorizes the court to "issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law"), for the court would already have original jurisdiction over plaintiff’s other claims. Under such circumstances, the All Writs Act may be used because the party is not using the act to augment the jurisdiction of the court but rather only petitioning the court that it issue the quo warranto writ as an aid to the court's already existing original jurisdiction.
As far as showing that the Court has original jurisdiction otherwise than through the quo warranto action, one has to put forward a cause of action based on the Constitution or federal statute that gives the court that original jurisdiction. In the Kerchner complaint, I have included various original jurisdiction constitutional claims. These claims are based on the First (redress of grievances), Fifth (deprivation of liberty, safety, security, and tranquility without procedural and substantive due process of law and denial of equal protection), and Ninth Amendment (denial of rights retained by the people), all of which support the independent quo warranto action and which provide the original jurisdictional foundation on which the quo warranto rests. Quo warranto is an ancient common law writ. The Ninth Amendment, which preserves for the sovereign We the People their ancient common law remedies and writs, takes the place of the D.C. statute.
Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
185 Gatzmer Avenue
Jamesburg, New Jersey 08831
October 31, 2009