Civil Procedure I § I Outline
Fall 2012-Professor Light
A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Defense-FRCP 12(b)(1))- The authority of a court to hear a certain class of disputes.
1. Diversity (28 USC §1332)- When the parties fall into different categories and the amount of the controversy exceeds $75,000. Categories: (a) parties are from two different states; (b) state citizens v. foreign state or citizens; (c) state citizens v. different state citizens and foreign state or citizens; or (d) foreign state as Plaintiff v. citizens of state or different states.
2. Federal Question (28 USC §1331-A federal question exists when the cause of action arises under the constitution, treaties, or laws of the US. Not only statutory law, but also common law. Civil Rights, interstate commerce, patents, copyrights, antitrust, securities and bankruptcy are some examples.
3. Concurrent Jurisdiction-Most federal court jurisdiction is concurrent, meaning the matter can exist in the state courts as well. Some issues are exclusively the domain of the federal courts, however (if provided by statute). Examples include antitrust (28 USC §1337), bankruptcy (28 USC §1334), patent and copyright (28 USC §1338(a)), & certain types of securities and admiralty (28 USC §1333) claims.
4. (Statutory) Interpleader (28 USC §1335)-See also Rule Interpleader, infra at § V(f). Interpleader is a device for avoiding multiple liability and litigation. It permits someone against whom conflicting claims for the same relief or property are asserted to join all the adverse claimants in one action—and let them fight it out amongst themselves and to determine who, if anyone, is entitled to the stake/property. The stakeholder need not admit liability to anyone.
a. Federal courts have original jurisdiction over any interpleader action (value of $500 or more).
b. There need be only minimal diversity (only between two claimants).
c. The stake must be deposited with the court (a security deposit may be sufficient).
d. Venue can be any district where any claimant is located. 28 USC §1397.
e. Nationwide service of process. 28 USC §2361.
5. Civil Rights (28 USC § 1343)-Federal courts have original jurisdiction under 42 USC § 1985 (civil rights claims).
6. Supplemental Jurisdiction (28 USC § 1367)-Applies to (a) state-law claims and additional parties related to those federal question claims over which the court already has jurisdiction because they arise from a common nucleus of operative fact; (b) compulsory (not permissive) counterclaims (FRCP 13(a)); (c) Joinder of additional parties to compulsory counterclaims (FRCP 13 (h)); (d) Crossclaims (FRCP 13 (g)); (e) Impleader (FRCP 14), but only as to claims by and against third-party Plaintiffs and claims by third-party Defendants, not claims by original plaintiffs against third-party defendants; (f) Multiple plaintiffs who join under permissive joinder (FRCP 20), but multiple defendants under FRCP 20 are not covered; (g) unnamed class action plaintiffs, so long as the named defendants meet the amount in controversy requirement.
A court does NOT have to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. It may refuse if: (a) the claim raises a complex or novel issue of state law; (b) the claim substantially predominates over the claim(s) which gave the court its original jurisdiction; (c) the court has dismissed claims over which it has jurisdiction; and (d) any other compelling reason.
a. Pendant Jurisdiction-Part of common law prior to 1990 law (28 USC §1367). Benefits plaintiffs by allowing them to add state-law claims and parties to a federal question lawsuit involving the same parties, even though those claims and parties would not otherwise be allowed in federal court.
b. Ancillary Jurisdiction-Part of common law prior to 1990 law (§1367). Benefits defendant by allowing them to add claims and parties to a diversity-based lawsuit when those claims and parties would not otherwise be allowed in federal court.
B. Personal Jurisdiction (Defense- FRCP 12(b)(2))-Personal jurisdiction gives the court authority to bind or affect the parties personally. A defendant submits him/herself to personal jurisdiction by filing a complaint. A defendant can be served with process in state (and is therefore bound). If served out of state, then there are due process requirements. There has to be sufficient contact by the defendant with the state for the state to have the ability to have jurisdiction. “Minimum contacts” is an example of a rule. Or, there can be a long arm statute. Personal jurisdiction can be waived, either implicitly or explicitly.
C. Venue (Defense- FRCP 12(b)(3))
1. General (28 USC §1391)-Venue is the place where a given action will be heard. Jurisdiction must be established before venue can become an issue. Venue is determined as of the time the action is filed. The remedy for a challenge to venue is gen
ess allegations indicate a plaintiff cannot possibly recover as a matter of law (FRCP 12 (b)(6)).
5. A complaint may allege alternative legal theories (that are inconsistent) under which relief may be granted. FRCP 8(e)(2). However, there CANNOT be alternative versions of the facts (unless plaintiff doesn’t know which version is true for some legitimate reason). FRCP 11(b)(3), FRCP 8(e). See also McCormick v. Koppman.
6. Complaint must in the name of the “real party in interest.” FRCP 17. A “real party in interest” is the one who actually possesses the substantive right being asserted and has a legal right to enforce the claim. A real party in interest must sue in his or her own name. Executors, trustees, administrators, bailees and third-party beneficiaries may sue in their own name. Purpose: to keep plaintiff from avoiding the effects of res judicata.
a. If not a real party in interest, can argue nonjoinder of necessary party; or
b. failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. FRCP 12(b)(6).
C. Defendant Answer (FRCP 8(a) and (b))
1. Denies any or all of the allegations (general denial, specific denial, qualified denial, denial of knowledge or information, denial based on information and belief). If something is NOT denied, it is deemed admitted.
2. Sets forth affirmative defenses, if any
3. May include any counterclaims, cross-claims against any other defendant, or cross-complaints, e.g. a complaint against a non-party.
4. A third-party complaint is when the defendant claims the third-party may be liable to the plaintiff for all or part of the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant. The third party MUST file an answer to the complaint.
5. Courts can order a separate trial pursuant to Rule 42(b) for any cross-claim, counterclaim, or third-party claim.
6. 20 days to answer a complaint (FRCP 12(a)), unless files a 12(b) motion. Then, 10 days to file answer after motion is denied to file an answer.