Select Page

Civil Procedure I
University of Illinois School of Law
Thomas, Suja A.

Civ Pro Outline | Spring 2012 | Prof. Thomas
Thursday, January 05, 2012
9:46 AM
1.       Modern Pleading
·         Federal Courts vs. State Courts
o    State courts can hear claims based on federal law
·         Can do this under state law as well
·         State claims under state law, fed claims/fed law (Remember this)
·         State courts have general jurisdiction
o    In federal court, it is more limited
·         Bringing state claim in fed court is harder
§  Fed court has limited subject matter jurisdiction
·         Filing complaint is first step in filing lawsuit
·         Questions:
o    Why file complaint in court?
·         Purposes
§  To get relief
§  Give some type of notice
§  Establishing jurisdiction
o    What should be in the complaint?
§  The legal claim
§  The remedy/relief he is entitled to
§  Money, injunction, etc.
§  Names, places
§  Certain amount of facts
·         Pleading
o    Refers to complaint, answers, and other documents
·         Field Code-NY Laws ( AKA code pleading or fact pleading)
o    Abolished distinction between law and equity
·         Used to be damages in court of law
·         Used to be contract dispute in court of equity
§  Ask for specific performance
o    Reduced various actions to one form of action
·         Abolished many forms of action
§  Three general
·         Personal
·         Real property
·         Mixed actions (both)
§  Need writ
·         Super technical, required certain words
·         Kept people out of court
·         Push back occurred
·         Matters are simplified
o    Pleadings established
·         Complaint, demurrer, answer, and reply were established
o    Merging of law and equity could give damages and require specific performance in same court
o    Code pleading criticized for requiring TOO many facts
·         It required statement of facts to constituting cause of action
§  Kicking out cases for not enough facts
·         This leads to notice pleading as reaction to criticism
·         FRCP enacted in 1938
o    By rules and enabling act
§  Process by which fed rules are adopted
·         Rule making
o    Advisory committee
·         Propose rules and open to public for comments
·         Two groups
§  P and D lawyers to push their respective agenda
o    Standing committee
o    Judicial conference
o    Supreme Court
o    Congress
·         Unless congress says no, it basically gets enacted
·         Limits on rights
o    28 USC § 2071 – tells you if rule is doing what it is supposed to do (courts rule making power)
o    28 USC § 2072 – “Such rules shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right.”
·         The various law
o    Constitution
o    Statutes
o    FRCP
·         Rules:
o    Rule 1
o    Rules “should be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.”
·         Look at words and think about if it is consistent
o    Rule 7(a) pleadings-which ones are allowed
o    Complaint, answer, etc.
o    Form 11 shows you how you're supposed to plead
o    Rule 8(a)(2) (what P has to do)
o    “A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain: . . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief”
o    Rule 8(e)(2) (substantial gone)
o    “Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.”
o    Rule 7(b) (Motion requirements)
o    A motion is “[a] request for a court order.” Must be made in writing unless at hearing or trial
o    Rule 12(b)(6) (D can use this motion to dismiss)
o    “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted”
·         Cases:
o    Dioguardi
o    Facts: Plaintiff sued Defendant in federal court on vague allegations that Defendant stole Plaintiff’s merchandise and sold Plaintiff’s merchandise at a prohibited price.
·         The District Court ordered Plaintiff to amend the complaint.
·         Plaintiff alleged more facts and the District Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claim on the grounds that the complaint did not “state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.”
o    Judge Clark drafted FRCP rules and decided the case
o    Judge Clark says wrong standard used (statement of facts for cause of action)
·         8(a)(2) is correct standard
§  8(a)(2) doesn't require facts sufficient to consist a cause of action
·         For 12(b)(6), P is supposed to be given benefit of reasonable intendments
·         You take the allegations in complaint as true
§  D must take as true, then see if still legal cause of action
o    Synopsis of Rule of Law: A complaint need only state a claim upon which relief can be granted. It does not necessarily have to contain facts that can support a cause of action.
o    Conley (Supreme Court)
o    Facts: Petitioner African-Americans, Conley et al., sought a declaratory judgment, injunction and damages against Respondents, Gibson et al., for Respondents’ failure to adequately represent them as members of their union.
o    “[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

e; Conditions of Mind. In alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person's mind may be alleged generally.
o    Stringent because fraud can impose massive costs
·         Reputational harm
·         Sometimes done for nuisance value or to increase value of potential settlement
·         Cases
·         Tellabs (Situation looking at heightened pleading) (Supreme Court)
·         Facts:
·         Makor Issue (shareholders) were the plaintiffs
§  Sued Tellabs for securities fraud
§  Tellabs made false assertions/statements
·         Class action was filed (violation of 10(b) of SEC Act and SEC Rule 10b-5)
§  Tellabs files motion to dismiss 12(b)(6)
·         Didn't state facts with particularity
·         PSLRA (Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995)
o    Complaint must “state with particularity facts giving rise to a strong inference that the defendant acted with the required state of mind”
o    Needed to show why statements were misleading (and state them)
o    Congress trying to discourage bad cases
·         SC says put check on abusive litigation and needed uniformity in cause of action
·         SCs task is find workable construction of “strong inference”
o    Keeping out bad suits and keeping merit cases (twin goals)
·         7th circuit: if reasonable person can infer scienter, good enough
o    Rejected 6th (only most plausible)
·         SC prescriptions
o    Must take factual allegations as true
o    Consider the complaint in entirety
o    Determine if pleaded facts give strong inference
·         Look at plausible competing inferences as well
·         The inference has to be more than reasonable/plausible
o    At least as compelling as non-culpable explanation
·      Scalia
o    Standard should be MORE PLAUSIBLE
·      Stevens
o    Use probable cause
·      Most important point: When congress requires heightened pleading, we require more facts
·         Court trying to figure out what congress meant by the language