Select Page

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

Professor Czarnetzky, Fall 2004

I. An Overview of Procedure
A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
B. Personal Jurisdiction
C. Venue
D. Parties to the Lawsuit
E. Discovery
F. Summary Judgment
G. Trial
H. Former Adjudication
II. Personal Jurisdiction
A. The Origins
i) Pennoyer v. Neff (1877)
B. Redefining Constitutional Power
i) International Shoe Co. v. Washington (1945)
C. Absorbing In Rem Jurisdiction
i) Hanson v. Denckla (1958)
ii) Shaffer v. Heitner (1977)
D. Specific Jurisdiction: The Modern Cases
i) World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson (1980)
ii) Asahi Metal Industry v. Superior Court (1987)
iii) Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz (1985)
iv) Pavlovich v. Superior Court (2002)
E. General Jurisdiction
i) Coastal Video v. Staywell (1999)
ii) Burnham v. Superior Court (1990)
F. Consent as a Substitute for Power
i) Carnival Cruise v. Shute (1991)
G. The Constitutional Requirement of Notice
i) Mullane v. Central Hanover Trust (1950)
H. Long Arm Statutes
i) Gibbons v. Brown (1998)
I. Venue
i) Dee-K v. Heveafil (1997)
* § 1391
J. Transfers Between Federal Courts
§1404; §1406; §1631
K. Forum Non Conveniens
i) Piper Aircraft v. Reyno (1981)
III.Subject Matter Jurisdiction
A. §1331 – Federal Question Jurisdiction
i) Louisville & Nashville RR v. Mottley (1908)
B. §1332 – Diversity Jurisdiction
**Amount in Controversy
C. §1337 – Supplemental Jurisdiction
D. §1441 – Removal
IV.The Erie Doctrine
A. Historically, Pre-Erie
i) Swift v. Tyson
B. Erie R.R. v. Tompkins (1938)
C. Guaranty Trust v. York (1945)
D. Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Cooperative (1958)
E. Hanna v. Plumer (1965)

I. An Overview of Procedure

A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Subject matter jurisdiction denotes whether a court can hear a particular type of case. A court can be of limited or general jurisdiction:

1. Courts of General Jurisdiction – these courts have legal authority to hear any case, unless there is a legal authority that limits their power; all states have court of general jurisdiction.
2. Courts of Limited Jurisdiction – only have the authority to hear those cases authorized by the statutes that create the court
3. Art. III § 2 of US Constitution sets the outer bound of subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts.
· This article is designed to protect people from possible prejudice of state courts.

B. Personal Jurisdiction

· A suit may only be brought in courts where the Δ is subject to personal jurisdiction (applies to federal and state courts). The court (fed/state) must have authority to render a judgment against Δ.
· Citizenship in a federal diversity case by domicile:
o Two Criteria of Domicile
§ Residence – where the person lives
§ Intent to reside indefinitely – statement of person’s intent combined with objective things like driver’s license, voter registration, etc.
o § 1332 gives federal courts jurisdiction over actions arising between citizens of different states (diversity jurisdiction) for amounts that exceed $75,000.
· Corporations have 2 domiciles: (1) State of incorporation and (2) principle place of business.

C. Venue

· Venue means “place of trial”; it further localizes the case – it just further narrows down which court can hear the case.
· Venue is purely statutory (SMJ / personal jurisdiction are constitutional); Venue isn’t from constitution.

D. Stating the Case

· Rule 8(a) (complaint filed by Π under FRCP) – requires a short and plain statement stating:
o Reason for federal jurisdiction
o Facts of the incident (why entitled to relief)
o Type of relief desired (damages / injunctive relief)
Rule 8(b) – answer filed by Δ; must admit or deny all claims by Π
o If a party should state they have no knowledge of a claim or not enough information to form a belief, this will have an effect of denial.

(*If a Π files in state court, under § 1441, a Δ may motion to have the case moved to federal court if there is diversity jurisdiction.)

· Rule 11 – primary goal is deterrence (i.e., deterring lawyer from bringing frivolous lawsuits); holds attorney to a high standard when filing a lawsuit.
o Attorney’s duty is to “stop, look, and listen”
§ This means that a lawyer is responsible for making a reasonable investigation of

is liability asserted against them jointly, severally or arising out of the same transaction (parties may be joined). Π has a choice of who to join as co-Π and co-Δs.
· Compulsory Joinder, Rule 19 – persons MUST join lawsuit when the underlying law in a suit involves rights/liabilities that are joint, when 2 or more parties are claiming the same property, or when granting relief to one party would necessarily affects the rights of another party; parties must be joined and if they aren’t case is dismissed.
· Intervention, Rule 24 – a party has the right to intervene when a lawsuit w/o her would inflict hardship upon her (common in land-use litigation).
· Class Actions Suits – allows some parties to stand in for the entire group (ticket holder against airline),

E. Discovery

· Discovery is the process by which the parties work together to discover all the facts they need to litigate the case. 5 primary means of discovery:
(1) Disclosures – certain basic information (names of witnesses, existence of documents, bases for damage calculation, etc). Rule 26(a)
(2) Production of Documents – includes printed and written papers to photographs and videotapes (backbone of evidence).
(3) Oral Depositions – questioning a witness under oath before trial
(4) Written Interrogatories – questions to be answered, also in writing, by the opposing party (used only against opposing parties; not 3rd parties)
(5) Physical and Mental Examinations – motion first must be made to obtain the desired examination.
o Rule 26(b)(2) – limits discovery
o Rule 26(b)(1) – limitations to discovery:
§ Privileged info
§ Duplicative; other source more convenient is available
§ Has been ample opportunity to discover this information
§ Burden outweighs likely benefit