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Civil Procedure I
Wayne State University Law School
Carlson, Kirsten Matoy

Civil Procedure [Carlson, Fall 2011]



· 5th Amendment – “No state shall deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

· 14 Amendment – Expands due process to the states.

· Goldberg v. Kelly

o F: Challenged lack of hearing prior to terminating benefits.

o B: Recipients of certain government benefits cannot be deprived before a full evidentiary hearing. (Narrowed by Eldridge)

· Mathews v. Eldridge

o F: Challenged lack of hearing before terminating benefits (after Goldberg).

o B: 3 Factor test for hearings: private interest affected, risk of wrongful denial, value v. cost of added safeguards. (Narrowed the ruling in Goldberg)

· Mashaw’s Theories on Due Process (Does not agree with Eldridge decision)

o Utilitarianism – Cost/benefit. Purpose of decisional procedures is to maximize social welfare. (Eldridge)

o Individual Dignity – Moral and status dimensions of decision important as well as temporary loss of income

o Equality – Procedures should provide due process for disadvantaged classes.

o Tradition or Evolution – Predictability and economy of effort.

o Conclusion – Court has moved too far toward efficiency at the expense of justice. Court could provide a structure of values within which procedures would be reviewed; it could then demand that administrators justify their procedures within this value framework.

JURISDICTION – The ability of a court to enact laws that the government will enforce

· Federal Courts are ALWAYS courts of limited jurisdiction: Diversity or Federal Question (Constitutional issues)

· Each state has a court of general jurisdiction – Generally the Circuit Court.

· Types of Jurisdiction

o Personal – Must be minimum contact with the jurisdiction. Generally concerned with defendant.

o Subject Matter – Jurisdiction over the issue; 28 U.S.C. § 1332

§ Diversity – Must be >$75k and between states, citizens of different states, foreign entities.

· Hawkins v. Masters Farms, Inc.

o F: Hawkins (P) sued the D in Kansas federal court alleging diversity of citizenship for the estate of decedent.

o B: To establish citizenship a person must show they are domiciled within a jurisdiction with intent to remain indefinitely.

o R: 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), Con. Art. III § 2.


The Complaint

· FRPC Rule 8 General Rules of Pleadings

o R 8(a) Claim for Relief: Requires a short plain statement of:

§ R 8(a)(1) Claim of Jurisdiction

§ R 8(a)(2) Statement of claim stating grounds for relief

§ R 8(a)(3) Statement of the relief sought (may include relief in the alternative or different types

o R 8(b) Defenses; Admissions and Denials

§ R 8(b)(1) In general. In responding to a pleading, a party must: R 8(b)(1)

· R 8(b)(1)(A) State in short, plain terms id defenses to each claim, and

· R 8(b)(1)(B) Admit or deny the allegations asserted.

§ R 8(b)(2) Must fairly respond to the substance of the claim.

§ R 8(b)(3) Can deny all charges, each charge denied specifically, or generally all but those admitted.

§ R 8(b)(4) When denying part of the claim must admit part that is true and deny the rest.

§ R 8(b)(5) Lack of knowledge counts as a denial.

§ R 8(b)(6) If a responsive pleading is required, a lack of denial is considered admission. If a responsive pleading is not required, a lack of denial is considered a denial.

o R 8(c) Affirmative Defenses

§ R 8(c)(1) In responding to a pleading, a party must state any affirmative defenses.

§ R 8(c)(2) An affirmative defense mistakenly called a counterclaim will be treated as an affirmative defense.

· Conley v. Gibson

o F: Black employees brought a class action against union for not representing them.

o B: Established that complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of supporting facts that would entitle him or her to relief.

o R: 8(a)(2) and 12(b)(6)

· Bell Atlantic v. Twombley

o F: Telephone and Internet subscribers allege a parallel conspiracy.

o B: Requirement to plead facts showing “plausible” entitlement to relief. Reverses Conley v. Gibson liberal notice pleading.

o R: 8(a)(2) and 12(b)(6)

· Iqbal v. Ashcroft

o F: Suit against AG Ashcroft and others for racial and religious discrimination after 9/11. Appealed from

A summons must be served with a copy of complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for having them served.

o R 4(c)(2) Summons must be served by any person at least 18 years old.

o R 4(c)(3) At plaintiff request, court may order service by US marshal, deputy marshal, or person appointed by court.

o R 4(d)(1) Requesting a Waiver.

o R 4(d)(2) Failure to Waive. If defendant refuses to waive without good cause he must pay for expenses (A) and (B).

o R 4(d)(3) Time to Answer complaint. 60 days after request sent if waived – 90 days if Δ outside any judicial district of US.

o R 4(d)(5) Jurisdiction and venue objections to personal jurisdiction not waived even if service is waived.

Responding to the Complaint

· FRCP Rule 12 Defenses and Objections

o R 12(a)(1) Unless another time is specified, the time for serving a responsive pleading by defendant is:

§ R 12(a)(1)(A)(i) Within 21 days after being served with the summons and complaint, or

§ R 12(a)(1)(A)(ii) If it has timely waved service under R 4(d), within 60 days after the request for waiver or within 90 days after it was sent to the defendant outside any judicial district of the U.S.

§ R 12(a)(1)(B) Party must serve an answer to a counterclaim or crossclaim within 21 days.

o R 12(a)(2) U.S. and its agencies or employees sued only in official capacity must respond in 60 days.

o R 12(b) How to Present Defenses. Defenses by Motion. Must be made before pleading.

§ R 12(b)(1) Lack of subject-matter jurisdiction

§ R 12(b)(2) Lack of personal jurisdiction. Can be waived. See R 12(h)

§ R 12(b)(3) Improper venue. Can be waived. See R 12(h)

§ R 12(b)(4) Insufficient process. Can be waived. See R 12(h)

§ R 12(b)(5) Insufficient service of process. Can be waived. See R 12(h)