Select Page

Civil Procedure I
University of Dayton School of Law
Cox, Jeannette

Civil Procedure Outline

I. Pleading
A. Complaint

If Cox asks about adequacy of complaint, look at page 38. Think about Formal v. Substantive sufficiency.


Original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third party claim shall contain:

1) short and plain statement upon grounds which jurisdiction depends, unless court already has jurisdiction….
2) short and plain statement showing that pleader is entitled to relief
3) a demand for judgment for the relief pleader seeks


1) Each averment shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms required.

2) If one claim/defense is insufficient, doesn’t make others sufficient. Party may state as many separate claims or defenses has regardless of consistency and whether based on legal, equitable, or maritime grounds. Subject to obligations in 11.


All pleadings construed so as to do substantial justice.

Pleading special matters.

(a) Capacity
(b) Fraud, Mistake, Condition of the Mind
(c) Conditions Precedent
(d) Official Document of Act
(e) Judgment
(f) Time and Place
(g) Special Damage
(h) Admiralty and Maritime Claims


Sienkiewicz v. Sorema N.A. (Page 40)

-A complaint must give “defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.
-Court found Swiekiewicz claim was sufficient because “it gave respondent fair notice” of his allegation that he had been terminated on basis of national origin and age. It detailed events of his termination, provided relevant dates, and included ages and nationalities of at least one of the relevant persons involved in the termination. The allegations gave notice and stated specific claims which could be granted under title VII and the ADEA.

Formal Sufficiency: Has complaint said enough to notify other party of claim? 60

Conley v. Gibson
– A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Substantive
– Specific facts are not necessary in the complaint, and that rules require “short and plain statement to set out in detail the facts upon which he bases his claim.” Formal

Substantive Sufficiency: Presumes complaint formally sufficient, and then asks whether the claim is something that affords a reason to grant recovery und

b defenses may be made my MOTION:

i. Motion to Dismiss

Allows respondent to challenge formal and substantive sufficiency

Claim, counter-claim, cross-claim, or third party claim has following defenses:

Bolded waived if not made in responsive pleading nor amendment or as 12g sets forth.

1)lack of jurisdiction over subject matter
2) lack of jurisdiction over person
3) improper venue
4) insufficiency of process
5) insufficiency of service of process
6) failure to state a claim- motion shall be treated as motion for summary judgment
7) failure to join a party under rule 19

Motion for judgment on the pleadings

Consolidation of defenses in motion

See Supplement
Waiver or Preservation of Certain Defenses
See Supplement