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Civil Procedure II
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Greenberg, Marc H.

 
 
1)    Pleading
a.       Four Traditional Functions of Pleading Rules
                                                              i.      Providing notice of nature of claim or defense
1.      Modern pleading = emphasis on this 1st function
                                                            ii.      Identifying baseless claims
1.      Today this is achieved with “short the plain statement of relief” – Rule 11
2.      also by summary judgment, discovery etc
                                                          iii.      Setting each party’s view of the facts
                                                          iv.      Narrowing the issues
                                                            v.      Policy Question: what are the pros and cons of making bringing suit easier or more difficult?
b.      Complaint
                                                              i.      Detail Required Under the Codes
1.      Code pleading used to require factual support for all elements of a cause of action
2.      some states still require a “statement of facts” either “constituting a cause of action” or “demonstrating a right to relief” – aka elements
a.       Many soften this by adding that a pleading is satisfactory if it gives “fair notice” to the other party
3.      Case: Gillispie v. Goodyear Service Stores 1963
a.       P files complaint that Ds trespassed onto her premises, assaulted her and caused her great humiliation and fear
b.      Rule: NC Code: “plain and concise statement of the facts constituting a cause of action” . . . NC cases interpreting this standard: complaint must “disclose the issuable facts” and allege the “material, essential and ultimate facts upon which P’s right of action is based”
c.       Holding: legal conclusions alone are not a sufficient complaint – must include facts, too
d.      P’s allegations insufficient; doesn’t state what happened, when, where, who did what, relationships between P and D or any other facts that might ID the occasion and/or describe the circumstances . . . “assault” and “trespass” and “negligence” are legal conclusions, not facts
e.       Notes and Questions
                                                                                                                                      i.      Is the court concerned with the inability of Ds to ascertain claims against them to prepare defense? Or with judge’s ability to know what evidence is or is not relevant? Or that details of facts might reveal no valid claim for relief?
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Is the purpose o

                                                              iii.      Conclusions of the law
1.      can only be made after some legal rule has been applied to some operative facts
2.      “A owes B $500’
a.       Can only say this after knowing certain facts and a legal rule
b.      Can be seen as generic form of fact pleading implying that all facts necessary to create legal duty to pay money exist
c.       However, in some situations, this can be held as a conclusion of the law pleading
3.      pleading should give courts and other party reasonable notice of real nature of claim/defense – this is usually the standard used to sort through these questions
4.      it’s also possible to just state the law – pleadings may also be dismissed for this
a.       reciting legal elements without any facts of actual case
                                                                                                                                  iv.      transnational pleading
1.      closer to code pleading – “a fuller statement of facts and evidence supporting the claim”