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Civil Procedure I
St. Johns University School of Law
Sovern, Jeffery

Civil Procedure
Fall 2011
I.                  Introduction of the Adversary System
a.       What is the adversary system?
                                                              i.      System in which lawyers gather information and present it to judges, question witnesses at trials and take the leading role in presenting to the court.
b.      Why do we use the adversary system?
                                                              i.      If you give someone with a stake in the outcome is given the opportunity to speak they will present the best arguments as to why they should win—better than someone who is impartial.
Frummer v. Hilton Hotels: NY man falls in English hotel.  First court uses NY law but judge discovers English statute should apply.  New case is granted—showing judges can intervene when necessary.
c.       Drawbacks to the adversary system:
                                                              i.      Inequitable resources and incompetent attorneys
d.      5 factors for a federal court to hear a case:
                                                              i.      Justiciability
                                                            ii.      Subject Matter Jurisdiction
                                                          iii.      Personal Jurisdiction
                                                          iv.      Notice
                                                            v.      Venue
II.               Justiciability (Whether a case is suitable for resolution by a court?)
a.       Mootness—when the case is moot, the parties do not have an argument, so there is no stake in the litigation, which is against the adversary system.
                                                              i.      Mootness Doctrine:
1.      Helps preserve the functioning of our adversary system; only those with a stake in case will litigate.
                                                            ii.      Comes from Article III—tells us what federal courts can hear.
1.      Says there must be a “case” or “controversy” for it to be decided by federal courts.
DeFunis v. Odegaard: Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case because it is moot.  They did not reverse b/c that would imply lower court decided incorrectly.
                                                          iii.      Exception to the mootness doctrine:
1.      Capable of repetition—court needs to take stance on issue since someone else could bring the same type of case before the court.
2.      Voluntary cessation of illegal conduct—simply b/c a defendant stops illegal conduct b/c of a lawsuit does not mean that they shouldn’t be held liable for their actions.
b.      Advisory Opinions
                                                              i.      Article III Courts cannot give opinions/legal advice to anyone, including the president because there is not “case or controversy.”
c.       Standing
                                                              i.      Does the plaintiff have sufficient personal stake in the outcome to justify the court in entertaining the claim?
                                                            ii.      Requirements:
1.      Article III
a.       Must show that injury or threatened injury was suffered
b.      That it can be traced to the challenged action
c.       Is likely to be redressed by a favorable decision.
2.      Prudential Considerations
a.       Must assert their own legal right and interest (not of 3rd party)
b.      Cannot be an abstract question
c.       Must fall within “the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in your question”
P.O.W.E.R. v. Thompson: plaintiff lacked standing /c they were not barred from voting or registering to vote.
                                                          iii.      Exception to Standing—congress has the power under the constitution to do away with prudential considerations to standing.
Griswold v. Connecticut: court chose not to adhere to prudential considerations. Doctor wanted to bring 3rd party claim on behalf of couple using contraceptives, which in Connecticut would have made him an accessory to a crime (Court allows him to assert 3rd party rights). 
d.      Ripeness—a case needs to be ready for adjudication, there needs to be an actual controversy.
e.       What is not justiceable?
Cudahy v. Quirk: bet over fluoride content in water.  Court doesn’t decide bet—reinforces idea that procedure matters and limits the power of the courts.
III.           Subject Matter Jurisdiction
***Jurisdiction over the dispute, NOT over the person.  Court must have SMJ, regardless of what parties agree on.  Objection based on absence of SMJ can be raised at any time.  Judgment rendered without SMJ is invalid.  P has burden of proving SMJ.
a.      Diversity Jurisdiction
                                                              i.      Original Goals—alleviate fears of local prejudice and promote interstate commerce.
1.      Reason it still remains—federal court procedure is sometimes favorable, federal judges are better, and sometimes federal courts are faster than state courts.
                                                            ii.      § 1332 Requirements:
1.      Exceed the sum or value of $75,000
***Parties must be diverse AT THE TIME the suit is filed—not when the action occurred.
a.       Everything they are filing for counts
                                                                                                                                      i.      E.g. filing a claim for $90K but medical bills only $25K, still counts b/c of pain and suffering, future complications etc.
b.      Aggregations of claims (Must be the same defendant):
                                                                                                                                      i.      One plaintiff w/2 separate claims amounting to $75K=Good!
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Two plaintiffs w/separate claims amounting to $75K=NO Good
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Two plaintiffs, one with over $75K and the other not=Good!
2.      Complete diversity—no P and no D can be from the same state (§ 1332 (a))
Starbridge v. Curtis: both sides had people from Massachusetts.  Court rules that for federal cases there must be complete diversity (interpreting the statute).  This would reduce the amount of cases that need to be heard.
·         Cannot have two foreign countries on the same side
·         NY v. France=OK
·         NY/England v. NJ/France=OK
·         NY v. France/England=NOT OK
a.       How do you determine state of citizenship?
                                                                                                                                      i.      Persons:
1.      Must be a citizen of the U.S. or entered into permanent residency AND domicile in a state
a.       Domicile=intent to return (state of mind/where you consider home) and actual presence (residence)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              i.      A person can only have 1 domicile at a time (look @ taxes, voter reg. and driver’s license)
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Corporations (§1332 (c) (1)):
1.      State of incorp

tive fact” as the federal claim?
2.      Assuming the court has power to hear the supplemental claim, should they exercise discretion to hear the claim?
a.       Factors to consider:
                                                                                                                                      i.      Judicial economy
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Convenience
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Fairness to litigants
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Will there be needless questions of state law?
                                                                                                                                    v.      Do the state issues predominate, either in terms of proof, issues raised, or comprehensiveness of remedy sought?
                                                                                                                                  vi.      Is the state claim tied to questions of federal policy?
                                                                                                                                vii.      Will the jury be confused by the state claim?
d.      Removal (§1441)
                                                              i.      Permits D to force P to litigate certain actions in federal court, rather than in state forum originally selected.
1.      One way street, can only remove from state to federal court.
2.      P can make a motion to remand.
a.       Mandatory remand—if statutory requirements are not met.
b.      Discretionary remand—federal judge has discretion to remand.
3.      Time to remove for original D is limited to 30 days from the when case is filed.
                                                            ii.      Actions Generally Removable:
1.      Only if it originally could have been brought in federal court (federal question/diversity/amount in question).
2.      Limited to civil actions.
3.      Right to removal is limited to defendants.
a.       Technically, P could ‘remove’ by voluntarily dismissing and refilling in federal court.
                                                          iii.      In diversity cases—removal protects a nonresident defendant from local bias (§1441 (b)).
1.      P cannot defeat removal by changing the amount in controversy OR by adding parties that would make it non-diverse.
2.      Ds added to cases have 1 year to remove from when original cases are filed.
3.      Parties must be diverse at the time the notice of removal is filed AND at the time the complaint was filed.
4.      All Ds must agree to removal.
                                                          iv.      In federal question—removal equalizes the ability of both parties to have a federal question litigated in its “natural forum.”
1.      Some federal question cases are not removable (e.g. workers comp).
2.      Civil rights have special removal rules.