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

 
CIVIL PROCEDURE
SOVERN
FALL 2013
 
 
I. INTRO
 
LAW v. EQUITY
Law and equity focuses on remedy sought by P
-Back in 1791, separate courts for law (jury) and equity (no jury)
-Remedy at law: damages to compensate, money
-Remedy at equity: injunction, specific performance, rescission or reformation of a K
-Could not get these remedies in a law court, got these in equity where money wouldn’t make the P whole
Generally can get a jury trial if seeking money damages but not an injunction
 
A. The Stages of a Law Suit
i. Pleadings
                                ii. Parties
                                iii. Discovery
                                iv. Motions
                                v. Pre-trial conferences
                                vi. Trials
                                vii. Appeals
                                viii. Res judicata, the effect of one litigation on another
                                                1. “A matter already judged”
 
B. The Role of the Legal System
i. The Role and Functions of the Courts
                                1. Cudahy Jr. Chamber of Commerce v. Quirk
a. Fluroide case was a wager; court can’t hear wagers or substantive issues (i.e. whether fluoride is ok)
b. Judgment as a matter of law (JMOL): motion made by a party, during trial.
c. Reaffirms civil procedure—starts on road to understand power of courts
                ii. The Adversary System
1. The system in which lawyers gather info, present it to judges, bring it to trial. In some countries, the lawyers do not take the lead, the judges do
a. Theory is if you give someone a stake, you get the best argument
b. Judges however can intervene to point out mistakes
i. Frummer v. Hilton Hotels: P’s lawyers chose wrong statute as defense, judges found right English statute
                                                c. Judges take a backseat, but they are not powerless
 
C. Elements of a Case
                1. Must be justiciableàWhether or not case is suitable for resolution by a court
                2. Courts must have SMJ
                3. D must be subject to court’s personal jurisdiction
                4. D must receive notice (service) of the action
                5. Venue must either be proper or waived (proper venue)
***(PJ, Notice, SMJ, and Venue, all relate to choosing a forum- are we in the right court)
 
 
D. Justiciability: whether a case is suitable for resolution by a court
                I. Mootness
                                i. Implied for Article III of the Constitution: “to controversies”
                                ii. De Funis v. Odegaard
1. A WA law student’s case was moot bc court believed he would’ve graduated regardless of their decision
                                iii. Mootness doctrine helps preserve adversary system (need a stake)
                                iv. Mootness and prudential (policy) concerns
                                                1. “capable of repetition, yet evading review”: pregnancy/abortion
                                                                a. Even if you decide the case, can happen to parties again
                II. Advisory Opinions
                                i. Art III courts are not permitted to give advice
                                ii. They interpret law through deciding cases
                III. Standing
i. Article III-Does the P have sufficient personal stake in the outcome to justify entertaining the claim in court?
ii. Standing comes from same language of Art III that asserts mootnessà P has actually suffered or threatened injury as a result of the illegal conduct of the D
iii. Prudential concerns
1.        Can’t assert right of a 3rd party
2.        Court will not adjudicate abstract claims, etc
3.        3. Ensures concrete factual setting, i.e. you are personally affected by the law—complaint falls within zone of interest
**** congress or statues can’t overturn article III but congress CAN overturn prudential concernsà in order to bring suit P a injury must have occurred!
iv. Outline example from class for standing, ask:
1. Are the Article III requirements satisfied? (p 55) à did P suffer injuries as a result of the D?
2. Are the prudential considerations satisfied? (courts created rules limiting power to hear cases) p 56
3. If the prudential considerations are not satisfied, are they inapplicable for some reason, like a statute authorizing standing?
                                                                a. Another example where prudential consid are not satisfied:
                                                                Griswold v. Connecticut (381 U.S. 479 (1965))
i. Doctor was charged w giving contraceptive advice which at that time in CT was a crime. This made Dr. an accessory to a crime
ii. Dr was allowed to assert the rights of his patients (prudential considerations don’t allow this) that using contraceptives could not constitutionally be made a crime bc otherwise he might have been convicted of being an accessory to conduct that could not lawfully be made criminal
                                v. POWER v. Thompson
1. POWER lacked standing under Article III, P’s were not injured, no controversy
                D. Ripeness
i. When a case presents issues that are not yet ready for adjudication it is not ripe (i.e.: a case being brought may be contingent on future events)
ii. Also judged on Art III controversy req and prudential concerns
 
II. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
 
 
§  A court needs both SMJ and PJ to hear a case
§  Personal Jurisdiction (PJ): jurisdiction over the personà power to hear case against person to decide a case
o    May be conferred by consent—parties agree that they have PJ
o    Objection to it must be raised or waived—if you don’t wave it, you automatically consent
§  Subject Matter Jurisdiction (SMJ): jurisdiction over the disputeà power to hear case b/c of the type of case
o    cannot be conferred by consent
o    an objection to the absence of SMJ can be raised at any time by D, or judge (sua sponte)
o    SMJ must be pleaded, meaning in put in the complaint by P and proved
 
§  federal courts have limited SMJ, can only hear certain kinds of cases–jurisdiction is limited by Article III
§  state courts on the other hand, can hear generally everything (there are a few federal question cases that must go to federal court- copyright, etc)
 
1. Diversity Jurisdiction (under SMJ)
Overview
§  diversity (citizenship of parties) is determined at the time the action is filed
§  DJ created so ppl are willing to engage in business actitives in other states
§  Rule: Diversity cases can be brought in both state & fed courts—P gets choice to move it to fed court but doesn’t have to
 -Reasons for allowing diversity claims in federal court:
                1. prevent local prejudice
                2. foster interstate commerce
                3. tactical for lawyers
                4. just bc diversity is satisfied, not mandatory to go to federal court
-Where does power for diversity come from:
                1. Article III, Sec 2 (p 55)
                2. §1332 Diversity of citizenship; amount in controversy (p 546)
o    §1332
§1332(a)(1)- case must be btw citizens of diff states and the amount must exceed 75k
i.                     Citizens of different states
 
1.        complete diversity rule: there is no diversity if any P is a citizen of the same state as any D (Strawbridge v. Curtis)
-(if you had MA v. 100 diff Ds and 1/100 was from MA, not complete diversity)
                                -can have the same state on the same side
                -Aggregation of claims (subject to what we will see in supplemental jurisdiction)  RULES:
·         A single plaintiff can aggregate two $40,000 claims
·         2 plaintiffs with $40,000 claims cant aggregate
·         a P with $30,000 claim can aggregate with a P with an $80,000 claim
·         all 3 rules are under attack & have exceptions
               -aggregation is when we have to add multiple claims to get over 75k
                -Aggregation rules:
1. we can aggregate if it’s one P vs. one D (can add all the claims P has, they don’t have to be related at all!)
2. we cannot aggregate if there are multiple parties on either side (so 2 Ps with claim of 40k and 50k, cannot aggregate against D, does not meet amt in controversy requirement)
3. for joint claims, use the total value of the claim
                -here the # of parties is irrelevant, just look to claim value
(3 ppl after lecture

esence in the state (i.e. physically go there) AND
                                2. must form the intent to make new state your permanent home
                                (your state of mind)à-subj. intent, need to look to all relevant factors (voting, etc)
3)       what’s the citizenship of a corporation?
-never use the word domicile, corps have citizenship , defined by §1332(c )(1)
                                                                -a corp. is a citizen of:
                                                                1. state(s) where incorporated
                                                                2. the one state where corp. has its principal place of business (PPB)
-so corp. can be a citizen of more than one state
                -Finding PPB
                                -Look at different factors:
                                                -corporation’s nerve center: where decisions are made—principal place of business
-corporation’s muscle center/
Diversity Problems
1. NY & Ohio v. CA
-Yes, 1332(a)(1)
 
2. Ny &OH v. CA & NY
-No bc  1332(a)(1): people of opposite sides of the V. must be of different states
-Complete diversity does not exist (Strawbridge V. Curtiss)
 
3. NY & Oh v. France
                –cant have NY & France v. Italy- goes against 1332 a2….
o    2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state, except that the district courts shall not have original jurisdiction under this subsection of an action between citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and are domiciled in the same State
                -but add a diverse American to defense and we’re ok
 
4. NY & France v. OH & France
-There is complete diversity amongst citizens
                -1332(a)(3)
o    3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties;
 
5. NY & France v. Italy
                -There will be diversity jurisdiction if the statute provides for it, not otherwise
                -No, not covered by the statute (1334a(4)
o    4) a foreign state, defined in section 1603 (a) of this title, as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different States
 
6. Ny & Haitian refugee domiciled in NJ w the status of a stateless alien
                -Assuming that Haitian was not admitted for permanent residence
                -the Haitian is stateless so 1332(a)(2) does not work
-What is required to be a citizen of a state? Part of 1332(a) An alien admitted to the Us for permanent residence shall be deemed a citizen of the State in which such alien is domiciled
-No, diversity jurisdiction does not apply
-If the Haitian was admitted for permanent residence, then 1332(a)(1) can apply
-What if it was two domiciled permanent residents who are refugees?
-It seems that there would be diversity jurisdiction under 1332(a)(1) but Article III of the Con says there is not
 
7. NYer(A) goes to live in Israel (she intends to be there permanently), briefly returns to Ny. During her visit, she is sued by a NJ (B) citizen in NY fed court. NYer has taken no steps to become Israeli citizen
-A is not a citizen of a state, not subject to diversity jurisdiction as established in Newman- Green
-US citizens domiciled abroad are not citizens of any state nor are they aliens (not subject to diversity under SMJ)