CIV PRO RULES
A. Background and history
B. Procedure in a civil action
II. Civil Litigation: Conducting a Civil Lawsuit from Beginning to End
a. RULE 1 – Scope and Purpose – These rules govern the procedure in all civil actions and proceedings in the U.S. district courts, except as stated in rule 81. They should be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.
B. Describing and Defining the Dispute
1. The Complaint
a. Some History, General Requirements, and Specificity
a. RULE 2 – One Form of Action – there is one form of action – the civil action.
b. RULE 3 – Commencing and Action – A civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.
c. RULE 7 – Pleadings allowed; Form of Motions and Other Papers
i. (a) Pleadings – Only these are allowed:
1. A complaint
2. An answer to a complaint
3. An answer to a counterclaim designated as a counterclaim
4. An answer to a crossclaim
5. A third-party complaint
6. An answer to a third-party complaint
7. If the court orders one, a reply to an answer
ii. (b) Motions and Other Papers
1. In general, a request for a court order must be made by motion. The motion must:
a. Be in writing unless made during a hearing or trial
b. State with particularity the grounds for seeking the order
c. State the relief sought
2. Form. The rules for governing captions and other matters of form in pleadings apply to motions and other papers.
d. RULE 8(a) Claim for Relief – A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain:
1. A short and plain statement of the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support
2. A short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief
3. A demand for th
f. RULE 12(b) – How to present defenses – every defense to a claim for relief in any pleading must be asserted in the responsive pleading if one is required. But a party may assert the following defenses by motion:
1. Lack of subject-matter jurisdiction
2. Lack of personal jurisdiction
3. Improper venue
4. Insufficient process
5. Insufficient service of process
6. Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
7. Failure to join a party under rule 19.
Motion asserting any of above must be made before responsive pleading. If pleading makes claim that doesn’t require responsive pleading, opposing party may raise any defense to it at trial. No defense or objection is waived by joining it with one or more others in pleading or motion.