Select Page

Civil Procedure I
University of Dayton School of Law
Perna, Richard P.

Civil Procedure Outline
Perna, Spring 2005
I.                   Time Limits
a.       To Answer: 20 days after complaint is served
b.      P to reply to counterclaim: 20 days after counterclaim is served
c.       To amend an answer as a matter of right: 20 days after original answer is served
d.      Service: 120 days after complaint is filed
e.       Rule 11 Motion: At least 21 days after notifying the other party
f.       Amend Pleadings with leave: Anytime! Even at or after trial
g.      To file 12(b)(6) motion: any time before answer
h.      To file affirmative Defense: In the answer, therefore 20 days
i.        To do initial disclosures: 14 days after 26(f) conference
j.        Expert disclosures: at least 90 days before trial OR
                                                              i.      If the info is to rebut the other party then 30 days after the other party’s disclosure
k.      Scheduling Order: within 120 days after filing complaint OR
                                                              i.      90 days after appearance of Δ
l.                    To reply to a request for admissions: 30 days after service or deemed admitted
m.                Motion for New Trial: 10 days after judgment
n.                  JNOV: Anytime, but by 10 days after judgment
II.                            Rule 7
a.       7(a) – all possible “pleadings” (does not include motions)
                                                              i.      There shall be a complaint and an answer
                                                            ii.      A reply to a counterclaim denominated as such
                                                          iii.      An answer to a cross claim
b.      Responsive pleadings are not motions
c.       7(b) – about motions
III.           The Complaint
a.       Begins the action – Rule 3
                                                              i.      Rule 8(a)
                                                            ii.      What should a Pleading contain?
1.      Short plain statement about court’s jurisdiction
2.      Short, plain statement of claim showing P is entitled to relief
3.      Demand for judgment (for the relief)
                                                          iii.      “Notice Pleading”
1.      Need to include enough info to give notice
2.      Enough for Δ to formulate an answer
                                                          iv.      Also lets parties plead in the alternative (Rule 8e2)
b.      Conley v. Gibson
                                                              i.      Black employees (union members) bring an action against Railway that there collective bargaining agent represent them fairly
                                                            ii.      HELD, A complaint only needs to provide notice
1.      Set the standard for granting a 12(b)(6) motion:
a.       “Unless it appears beyond doubt that the P can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief”
IV.             Motions Against the Complaint
a.       Do you have to answer before you file a motion? No.
b.      Rule 12(b)(6)
                                                              i.      Must be made BEFORE an answer (after answer, it is a 12(c) motion)
                                                            ii.      Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim
                                                          iii.      Standard:
1.      Everything is taken in light most favorable to P
2.      Ask: Are there a set of facts that, if proven, would make the allegations true?
a.       Conley v. Gibson
3.      Amendment
a.       Usually granted
b.      Can amend once as a matter of right
                                                          iv.      If materials outside the pleadings are looked at, then the motion becomes a MSJ rule 56
c.       Rule 12(e)
                                                              i.      Motion for a More Definite Statement
1.      Given when a party cannot reasonably frame a responsive pleading
2.      There are times when a party can chose either a 12(b)(6) motion or a 12(e) motion
d.      Rule 12(f)
                                                              i.      Motion to Strike
1.      Mini-motion to Dismiss
2.      Dismiss a single allegation v. whole complaint
V.                 Pleading with Particularity
a.       Rule 9
                                                              i.      There are exceptions to the general pleadings of Rule 8
                                                            ii.      Includes: Fraud, Special Damages
                                                          iii.      TIP: If P does not plead with particularity, have Δ move for a more definite statement
VI.               The Answer
a.       The Answer Generally
                                                              i.      Rule 7(a) – there must be a complaint and an answer
                                                            ii.      Rule 8(d) –
1.      Failure to respond when response is required = admitted
2.      Failure to respond when response is not required = denied
                                                          iii.      Rule 12(a)(1)(A) – have to file within 20 days of being served with complaint
                                                          iv.      Options for Δ:
1.      Answer
2.      File 12 motion
3.      Nothing
b.      Rule 12(h)
                                                              i.      Part of Δ’s answer can be stricken if it is insufficient
c.       Denials
                                                              i.      General Denials
1.      Federal rules DO NOT allow general denials (“Δ denies each and every allegation”)
2.      It is OK to lump denials together and admissions together
                                                            ii.      White v. Smith
1.      P filed a complaint of extradition allegations. Δ filed their answer in a “fill in the blank” form. 
2.      Held, General Denials can be OK if made in good faith but this one was not.
d.      Affirmative Defenses
                                                              i.      Rule 8(c)
1.      “So what” defense
2.      Adds new facts, can even admit that all of P’s facts are true
3.      Δ has burden of proving each element of defense b/c the facts are in Δ’s knowledge
4.      Can shift th

1.      1993
2.      The opposing party, before filing a motion for sanctions, must first serve the motion on the alleged offender. 
3.      If the violation is corrected within 21 days, it would nullify the sanctions
                                                            v.      Limitations of Sanctions: Rule 11(c)(2)
1.      Limit to what is sufficient to deter
                                                          vi.      Hadges v. Yonkers Racing
1.      P was a jockey. He presented a sworn statement that he had been out of work for multiple years. This was not true. The Δ asked for sanctions, which trial court granted. 
2.      The appellate court held that since Δ did not comply with the Safe Harbor Rule, however, there would be no sanctions
g.      How should we reduce the risk of Rule 11 sanctions?
                                                              i.      Pleader should:
1.      Document his research
2.      Send a letter to opponent demanding a response
3.      Attorney should thoroughly cross examine his client
4.      Attorney should employ an expert
5.      Attorney should promptly undertake discovery
h.      TIP: When in doubt, plead less inclusive to avoid sanctions and then later utilize 15(c) to relate back
VIII.       Amendment – Rule 15
a.       Rule 15(a)
                                                              i.      When can P amend? Rule 15(a)
1.      Once as a matter of right anytime before a responsive pleading is served (a motion to dismiss is not a responsive pleading)
a.       If a responsive pleading is not required, then can amend within 20 days of being served
2.      After that, can amend by leave of court
a.       Leave shall be freely given
                                                            ii.      When should leave not be given?
1.      If the non-amending party can show prejudice
                                                          iii.      The Δ has 10 days to respond to amended pleading
                                                          iv.      P does not have to respond to amended answer
                                                            v.      Beeck v. Aquaslide
1.      P was injured while using a slide manufactured by Δ. P filed a complaint. Δ answered and there was evidence that they were the manufacturer. After a new president visited the site, he determined that it was not their slide. Motioned court for leave to amend answer. P claimed prejudice would result. Court granted leave
2.      Established factors for ‘freely given’
a.       No evidence of bad faith
b.      No prejudice