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Civil Procedure I
University of Cincinnati School of Law
Steinman, Adam N.

Civil Procedure I; Linda Krieger

Intro (America Court system/Litigation process/Civil Procedure in US)
Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Federal Question Jurisdiction
Diversity of Citizen
Supplemental Jurisdiction

Responding to a Complaint

Motion to dismiss (Rule12)
Answering the Complaint
Care and Condor in Pleading (Rule 11)

Notice (Rule 4)
Personal Jurisdiction

American Court Systems

1. Structure of State Court Systems (Hawaii)

-. Trial Court: Hawaii District Court & Hawaii State Circuit Courts

-. Intermediate Appellate Court: Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals

-. Court of Final Review: Hawaii State State Supreme Court

-. Other Courts: Hawaii State Family Court / Hawaii Land Court / Hawaii State Tax Appeal Court / Environmental Court

2. Structure of Federal Court System

Article III, Section 1 of US Constitution established US Supreme Court

(the judicial power The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish)

Article III, Section 2 defines the constitutional scope of the federal courts subject matter jurisdiction

-. Trial Court: United States District Court

-. Intermediate Appellate Court: United States Court of Appeals

-. Court of Final Review: United States Supreme Court

12 Circuits over US. / 94 district courts, 13 circuit courts, 1 Supreme Court

3. Subject Matter Jurisdiction: the power of a court to hear disputes of a particular type.

State Courts v. Federal Courts

Federal courts have limited subject matter jurisdictions. Federal courts should have the power to hear certain types of cases that implicate national interests

If π sued in the state court but Δ wants to litigate the case in federal court instead of state court for the concurrent subject matter Jurisdiction, Δ can remove the case to federal court.

Litigation Process

1. Pleading phase: P files complaint; D answers or moves to dismiss

-. P must serve process on the defendant : deliver to D a copy of the complaint and a court summons ordering D to appear

-. Title III / Rule 8 – General Rules of Pleading

: A short and plain statement of the basis for the Court’s jurisdiction

: A short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief

: A demand for the relief sought

-. Answer: D must respond to the suit by filing an answer (affirmative defenses)

-. Federal Rules allow parties to amend their pleading (rule 15)

-. Pre-answer motion to dismiss [Rule 12(b)(6)] : If D thinks some essential element of the P’s claim missing, D may file a pre-answer motion before responding to the complaint.

2. Discovery phase: Parties investigate facts, take discovery, file and argue motions.

-. Parties are free to demand production of information and testimony relevant to the any claim or defense

-. Protective order: If a party objects to producing information sought by an adversary, it may seek a protective order from the court.

-. Interrogatories: Written question that one party’s lawyer send the other party.

-. Deposition: taking of testimony from a witness under oath [Rule 30]

3. Pretrial: Pretrial conference, possible motions for summary judgement or on evidentiary issues.

-. Judicial Conference: Judge would hear the motion or resolve the dispute.

-. Motion for Summary Judgement: Discovery reveals that P does not have evidence to establish a fact that is essential to recovery, D moves for Summary Judgement

-. Settlement discussions and pretrial conference process: The next steps when D failed to have Summary Judgement

4. Trial: Opening statements, P’s evidence/D’s evidence, closing statement, instructions to jury, jury deliberates and renders verdict.

Choose the jury
Opening statements
Plaintiff’s case in chief
Judgement as a matter of law
Defendant’s case in chief
Plaintiff Rebuttal case
Closing Arguments
Jury Charge
Jury Deliberations
Post-trial Motions
Entry of Judgement

Motion for Judgement as a Matter of Law [Rule50]: If a party fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court find that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue

5. Post-trial: Judgement entered for winning party, post-trial motions heard

6. Appeal: Losing party may appeal errors to law to a higher court.

Due date: 30 days after entry of judgement [FRAP Rule4]

Civil Procedure in US Constitution

Article I, §8 (power to constitute lower federal courts; the “Necessary and Proper” clause)
Article III, §1 (Creation of the supreme court and power to Congress to ordain and establish lower courts)
Article III, §2 (Federal subject matter jurisdiction)
Article IV, §1 (full faith and credit clause)
The Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments
Seventh Amendment (civil jury trial)

Federal Question Jurisdiction

Federal Question Jurisdiction: Under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, federal courts are limited in what kinds of cases they can hear. Most federal cases involve diversity cases and cases “arising under” the Constitution of the US (28 USC 1331: The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of United States.

1. Constitutional Scope

Supreme Cour

etation of the Constitution or laws of the United State à Federal question in jurisdiction requires the interpretation of federal law or at least the implication of federal policy

5. State Law Claim, but Federal Jurisdiction covers:

Smith v. Kansas City Title and Trust Company

P couldn’t prove the state law claim without establishing a proposition of federal law

the federal issues were imbedded in the state law claim and essential to its resolution

Court: the claim satisfied arising-under jurisdiction, since “the controversy concerns the constitutional validity of an act of congress which is directly drawn in question”
**exception: a case based on a state law claim could arise under federal law if the P’s case turned on an important federal issue

Grable & Sons v. Darue:

The court reaffirmed Smith but held that only some cases involving embedded federal issues will qualify for arising-under jurisdiction
Court: Grable’s action arose under state law, however Grable could only establish its right to reclaim the property by proving a proposition of federal law

“A federal court ought to be able to hear claims recognized under state law that nonetheless turn on substantial questions of federal law”

Gunn v. Minton (2013)

A case only arises under federal patent law when it “necessarily raises a stated federal issue, actually disputed and substantial, which a federal forum may entertain without disturbing any congressionally approved balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities”
Failed to show that the federal issue in the case carried the necessary significance

6. Grable Test for determining whether a case merits federal jurisdiction: (all four of these requirements are met)

Necessarily raised
Actually disputed
Capable of resolution in federal court without disrupting the federal stated balance approved by Congress

Diversity Jurisdiction in the Federal Court

diversity jurisdiction is a form of subject-matter jurisdiction in civil procedure in which a United States district court in the federal judiciary has the power to hear a civil case where the persons that are parties are “diverse” in citizenship.