Civ Pro Outline
-MS in 5th Federal Circuit (MS, LA, TX)
-13 circuits total-11 circuits + DC + Fed’l Circuit
A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction- what court- type of dispute
· General- ct can hear any claim, unless legal authority limits (i.e. probative)
· Limited- cts limited by statute to hear certain types of cases (all fed’l cts are limited jurisdiction)
· Concurrent- When jurisdiction overlaps b/t 2 cts.
All states have at least 1 TC of general SMJ
All fed’l cts are cts of limited SMJ-why? b/c what they can hear is outlined in Art III §2, or by fed’l code.
Diversity Jurisdiction- U.S.C. §1332- Civil actions b/t citizens of a different state AND where matter exceeds $75,000, may be heard in fed’l ct. Used to take away possible bias or favoritism of state cts.
· PJ- suit may be brought in forum where D is subject to pj (fed’l and state). Power of ct over particular Ds.
Hawkins v. Masters Farms- PJ is determined by domicile
· Place where you are physically present
· Intent to remain indefinitely
Venue- Actual geographical location of trial.
-Purely statutory; not something Congress had to pass under Constitution.
– For fed’l cases, case should be brought:
a. Where D lives
b. Where COA arose, or
c. if (a) and (b) don’t give fed’l ct- wherever D has PJ
Service of process- summons issued by ct w/ complaint. Two basic means of service (Rule 4)- waiver of service and summons served.
Bridges v. Diesel Services- procedural mistake (failed to properly file EEO complaint)
Rule 11: sanctions for improper filing, frivolous suits
Bell v. Novick- Rule 8(a) Complaint requires simple statement of who parties are & what D did/didn’t do
Rule 12: D must answer w/ in 20 days, 60 days if waived service, 90 if waived outside any US district
Responses- defense of the action:
Pre-answer motions- takes no position on truth or falsity of P’s allegations, but tries to get suit dismissed- no smj, no pj, venue improper, summons defective or improperly served, 12(b)1-7.
Answer- responds to allegations of complaint
· Admit or deny truth of allegations- if not answered, deemed admitted
· Affirmative Defenses- statute of limitations, lacks jurisdiction
· Counterclaims- claim for relief asserted against opposing party
· Cross-claims- against co-party
· 3rd party claims- against party not in action (to implead)
· Parties to the Lawsuit
Permissive joinder- Rule 20- may join
Compulsory joinder-Rule 19 Must join b/c invokes rights that are joint
Larson v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co.- Permissive joinder has 2 q’s: arising out of (a) common; (b) transaction or occurrence. In Larson the ct. held even though there were separate claims involved the lawyer’s actions arose out of the same transaction, occurrence or series of occurrences.
Intervention- when an absent party seeks, on its own, to come into a suit. Party has right to intervene when a lawsuit w/out him has potential to inflict real hardship on him.
Class Action- Rule 23- must certify class
· Disclosures- names of witnesses, documents
· Production of Documents- Rule 34 or 45
· Oral Depositions- Rule 30 or 45
· Written Interrogatories- Rule 33
· Physical and Mental exams
· Requests for admissions
Butler v. Rigby- Hospital claims privilege for documents requested by D. Discover includes not only info admissible at trial, but also inadmissible info that could lead to other info.
Rule 26(b)1: Parties may obtain nonprivileged, relevant matter, relevant need not be admissible at trial, if the discovery appears r’ble calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence.
Limitations to Discovery:
1. Privileged info
3. has been ample opportunity to discover
4. burden outweighs likely benefit
E. Summary Judgment- Rule 56- filed after discovery and granted if “NO genuine issue as to any material fact & movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law”
· Facts are viewed in the light most favorable to nonmoving party
Houchens v. American Home Assurance- husband disappears in Thailand, wife wants to collect accidental death insurance. Court grants SJ for D. Rule 56 SJ is granted when 1 party fails to establish the existence of an element essential to their case
Other methods of pretrial disposition:
a. Default Judgment- Rule 55- D fails to answer complaint entirely or fails to defend
b. Dismissal- if P does not obey order of ct. during proceedings
c. Voluntary Dismissal- Rule 41 (a)- P asks for, if they want to start over.
voir dire- jury selection
ion over a person whenever their debtors were present in that state.
· This would be decided differently under Shoe standards
International Shoe v. Washington, 1945
· Divides jurisdiction into 2 types: General and Specific
· General- allows any claim to be brought
· Systematic and continuous contact
· State of incorporation or principal place of business for corps.
· State of domicile for individuals
· Specific- if general jurisdiction is not satisfied, state may still have personal jurisdiction over D.
· If D has “certain minimum contacts such that maintenance of a suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice” (TNFPSJ)
· Whereas Pennoyer looked for presence, Shoe examines contacts w/ state, and if contacts give rise to lawsuit.
· Looked at to determine sufficient presence in forum state
· Suit must arise out of contacts
· D must have “purposefully availed” himself to laws of forum state
· Purposeful availment- to enjoy protection of laws of state while being subject to laws if doing business
· Look at every single minute contact D had w/ forum state. Then analyze to determine if they are sufficient. Then, if yes, determine if suit arises from said contacts
Traditional Notions of Fair Play and Substantial Justice:
· Is it fair and just for D to be sued in forum state?
· Very elastic- judges have discretion
· Things cts consider to decide if suit violates TNFPSJ
· Burden on D to be tried in forum state
· Interest of forum state in adjudicating the dispute
· P’s interest in convenient and effective relief
· Interstate judicial systems’ interest in obtaining efficient resolutions
· Shared interest of states in furthering fundamental substantive social policy
§ Shoe did away w/ strict requirement of actual presence as required contact. It modified Pennoyer to include corporations and growth of interstate commerce.