Claims and Defenses
FRCP 8 General Rule of Pleading
(a): Claims for Relief required to have
statement of JX
Federal court are courts of limited JX
ii. Federal rule
rules allow you to get by with a short and plain statement of the claim
demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks
some kind of damage to point to
1.Who Must Plead
A complaint must contain a statement of facts upon which recovery is sought. Allegations should be simple, concise, and direct.
2. Allocation of Relevant Elements
Basically the P must allege enough particulars about the incident to constitute a prima facie case, which means that the facts alleged would permit recovery, if uncontroverted and in absence of an affirmative defense. Rules of allocation may be based on the way the statute is written, on custom, legislative intent, or on the need to effectuate public policy, fairness and probability.
Gomez v. Toledo
Issue: Whether, in an action brought under 42 USC §1983 against a public official whose position might entitle him to qualified immunity, a P must allege that the official acted in bad faith in order to state a claim for relief OR whether the D must plead good faith as an affirmative defense?
Depend on who has the burden of pleading and production of evidence: fairness, policy, probability
§ Despite availability of a qualified immunity, there is nothing in the language or legislative history of §1983 which requires an allegation of bad faith to state a claim. The statute merely requires 2 allegations to avoid dismissal
o That some person has deprived the P of a federal right
o That the person acted under the color of state or territorial law
§ Thus, would be unfair to burden P with more pleading requirements than addressed in statutory language
§ Qualified immunity is a DEFENSE so D had the burden of pleading good faith.
o Only D would know whether he believed he was doing right, so this allocation is the most fair and appropriate
e filing of a petition and the filing of an answer
§ Judicial economy, avoid unnecessary delay
· when not fully aware of issueàprolonged discovery, increased costs, delay of trial stage
§ Challenges to the sufficiency of pleadings more common in code pleading regimes
o Successful challenges to the sufficiency of a pleading, typically the complaint, are more common in code pleading that notice regimes.
o By contrast, a successful motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is quite rare (12b6)
§ Diminishing Difference Between Code and Notice Pleading
o In both systems, the central purpose of the initial pleadings is to provide notice to the other side of basic claims and defenses in the suit, and to set the stage for discovery and further development of the suit.
§ Distinction between code pleading and pleading with particularity