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Civil Procedure I
University of Mississippi School of Law
Czarnetzky, John M.

Civil Procedure


Spring 2016

Brief Introduction

“Justice lies in the interstices of the procedure.”
The system must seem to be fair “due process of law” (Constitution)

Chapter 1

Civil Procedure deals with civil cases and how we navigate within the legal system. Civil Procedure lays out methods by which we use to vindicate people’s subjunctive rights.

Within the civil procedure, the courts must balance efficiently, search for finality, and justice.
An important part is jurisdiction:

Personal jurisdiction: what specific court has the power to hear this specific case (defendant’s focus?)

Whether or not particular court has power to enter a judgment against the defendant
Narrows down what specific court can hear the case

Subject matter jurisdiction: what group has the power to hear this type of dispute.

Whether or not a particular type of court can hear this TYPE of case.
i.e. can a federal court hear this case? Answer is yes or nodoes not deal with which court just federal courts in general

What cases CAN federal courts hear (Listed in Article III section 2 of U.S. Constitution)

Just a few listed below….
Casing arising under the Constitution, the Laws of the U.S, in treaties made or that will be made
Cases between subjects of different states (Diversity Jurisdiction)

Deals with the 5th and 14th Amendments to the constitution: Cannot

deprive of life, liberty, property by due process of law.”
Court jurisdictions:

General jurisdiction: every state has a court that can hear any civil matter before them.
Federal jurisdiction: courts of limited jurisdiction including the Supreme Court

Limited jurisdiction: only certain cases qualify for these courts. These cases must fall under some sort of limited jurisdiction like a diversity jurisdiction (as in Hawkins v. Master Farm Inc – a case between citizens of different states).
Limited jurisdiction: is set forth by Article 3 Section 2 of the Constitution.
Title 28 USC Section 1332: Vol 28 U.S. Code- a statute passed by Congress

Hawkins v. Master Farms Inc.

Diversity jurisdiction: Case was trying to be heard in the federal district court of Kansas “D Kam”.The question is: Can a federal court hear this case?
Rules: In order to be considered for the diversity jurisdiction statute, a case must be concerning $75,000 or more and be between citizens of different states.

: a rule developed by precedent to decide the diversity jurisdiction question.
Domicile is tested by: Where a person lives AND the intent to remain indefinitely (the best intent is what someone says)

Legal Issue: What state is the plaintiff domiciled?
Sanctions by Rule 11: If a lawyer wastes the court’s time, they can be slapped with sanctions. Sanctions are only allowed to be sanctioned when there is NO reasonable argument.
There is a case for Mr. Creal (the Plantiff’s deceased husband) to be from Missouri because he talked about returning, his mail still went to Missouri, he wasn’t completely satisfied with Kansas, but he did come home to Kansas every night.
The ruling was for the defendant, the case did not exhibit the diversity jurisdiction.
Removal Statute: Permits a defendant to remove a case to federal court if that case has the ability to be.
Tort law is state law

Services of Process

Case begins when the defendant is served his summons

Bridges v. Diesel Services Inc. (pg. 13)

Legal Issue: Rule 11 Violation.
Rule 11: lays out the minimum standard a lawyer should meet, a lawyer must have a reasonable defense based on the good faith law. The question with Rule 11 is whether the lawyer met his responsibilities as a lawyer?
The mistake was procedural not substantive.
Must “exhaust administrative remedies”
Rule 11 deals with both facts and the attorneys duty visa vie the law.
Rule 11 summary

Any factual assortment must be based on a reasonable investigation under the circumstances.
Legal assertions- only make legal assertion for the law that exists or a good faith extension of the law

Rule 11 is not supposed to be a “fee shifting” device

Bell v. Novick Transfer

: This case was first brought to state court general jurisdiction and then removed to federal court over the federal statute (under federal subject matter jurisdiction – 28 USC 1441).
: The defendant ((Removal Statute) 28 USC 1441: Permits a defendant to move a case to federal court if it meets the federal subject matter jurisdiction) has made a MOTION to dismiss (12 b (6) motion (called this in federal court) or a demurer (called this in state court) ) the declaration (the complaint) because they said it did not meet Maryland procedural law because it “fails to allege the specific acts of negligence by the defendants of which the plaintiff’s complain” and it “fails to state a claim against the defendants.”
Rule 8: states that a complaint only requires a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” i.e. who are the parties, what did the plaintiff say he did to them, and what relief.

Don’t have to put in every fact that we plan to present at trial in order to comply with Rule 8.
A barebones statement will work.

Rule 12 (e) *** Motion for a Bill of Particulars (state), Motion for a Federal Statement (federal): asks for a more definite statement but in this case the defendant is not entitled to uphold this because the complaint is not too vague that the defendant cannot form a response. (see Rule 11 for the minimum)
Rule 11: any document in court must be based on a reasonable statement of fact; need a good faith basis to assert this. With this rule, you can sanction lawyers.
Defendant gets case removed to federal court, and then says this complaint is insufficient according to Maryland law.Wants judge to throw out case or said at least go for rule 12 (e) if you will not throw it out.BUT Rule 8 governing rule.
Therefore the motion is overruled.

What is the advantage/disadvantage of Rule 8 and not having a detailed complaint?

Advantage – Makes it easier to bring cases, without this rule lawyer’s would invest too much money and time before you even know if the

cts: Lawyer gets hired, but fails to sue insurance company because he was on the phone with insurance company asking them to hire him. The Lawyer is fired. After the client sues the insurance company, the original Plaintiff’s want to join the lawyer to the lawsuit because sort of based on same claims.
The Test for Joinder – relief cannot be granted unless we join the parties.
*** If this lawyer joins the case, it will spoil federal subject matter jurisdiction.
Rule 20 (a)(2)(A) – not allow a plaintiff to join a case in order to destroy the subject matter and get out of federal court.
Holding: In this case, that is not the goal of the plaintiff’s because lawyer is pretty bad and no knowledge of that before.

Butler v. Rigsby *** THINK LIMITS TO DISCOVERY***

What information can be discovered?

Discovery is not unlimited

In discovery disputes you ask the court to enter a protective order

Ask judge to rewrite a discovery request because some information is too broad or privileged.

Hospital claims privilege for documents requested by Defendant.Discover includes not only info admissible at trial, but also inadmissible info that could lead to other info.What they ask for in discovery:

A listing of the physician the plaintiff sees
A listing of all the physician’s total number of patients referred to them… doctors will say anything because paid by the plaintiffs (total number of patients)

***The credibility of witnesses is always relevant to trial.

The defense attorney’s want this info because if they can produce evidence that the doctors have an ulterior motive, better for their case, better for their case.

This discovery is beyond the rules of discovery.Rule 26: Any info is discoverable if it is not privileged and the discovery is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Limits on the system of Discovery: Must be able to show that you are entitled to this type of information.

Rule 26: That it will or be reasonably calculated to lead to evidence admissible at trial (low bar) and not privileged.
Limitations to discovery: Privileged info, Duplicative, has been ample opportunity to discover, burden outweighs likely benefit
Look to state law on what is privileged.

Holding: The motion for discovery was upheld in part and reversed in part. (Allowed the total number of patients).
TAKE AWAY: Scope of discovery is broad, discovery is determined by what is privileged and what is privileged is based off of state law