Civil Procedure - Rule 8 through the years
Terms in this set (17)
The purpose of pleading is purpose
The purpose of the pleadings is notice. The pleadings are designed to play a limited role in federal court. The Supreme Court explained the policy underlying "notice pleading" in the landmark case of Conley v. Gibson.[FN2] The purpose of pleading is to "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." he Supreme Court has recently held that the pleadings must "show" some plausible claim for relief in order to justify taking the case to the next stages of discovery and summary judgment
Pleading is to be simple, concise and direct
Rule 8(d)(1) instructs lawyers to make allegations that are "simple, concise, and direct."[FN7] The Supreme Court has emphasized the simplicity of federal-court pleading many times, and for evidence has pointed to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Forms, particularly Form 11's [previously Form 9] Complaint for Negligence
Construction of pleadings
Rule 8(e) directs that pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.[FN9] This provision does not mean that courts may ignore the pleading requirements set forth in Rule 8. Rather, it simply stands as a reminder that, when enforcing the pleading requirements, courts must not "exalt form over substance"[FN10] or rely on "errors in draftsmanship" to bar justice.[FN11] In applying Rule 8(e), courts must be mindful that the command to construe the pleadings to "do justice" protects defendants as well as plaintiffs
Three requirements applicable to all claims for relief
Rule 8(a) identifies three required components to plead a claim for relief in federal court: (1) a statement of the grounds for jurisdiction; (2) a statement of the claim; and (3) a demand for relief.[FN13] These components are required whether the claim for relief is asserted as an original claim, a counterclaim, a crossclaim, or a third-party claim.[FN14]
Short and plain statement of jurisdiction
Rule 8(a)(1) requires "a short and plain statement" establishing the basis for jurisdiction.[FN15] In cases originally filed in federal court, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that the court has subject matter jurisdiction.[FN16] "This burden, at the pleading stage, must be met by pleading sufficient allegations to show a proper basis for the court to assert subject matter jurisdiction over an action."[FN17] As with the short and plain statement of the claim under Rule 8(a)(2), the short and plain statement of jurisdiction need only be enough to satisfy basic (i.e., not heightened) pleading standards
Pleading diversity jurisdiction
In a diversity suit, best practice is to: (1) cite to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332; (2) allege the citizenship of all parties; and (3) allege that the amount in controversy exceeds the required jurisdictional amount.
he failure to adequately plead jurisdiction can be raised by a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1)
Facial challenge to jurisdiction
simply looks to the four corners of the complaint to determine whether the plaintiff's allegations are sufficient, if taken as true, to establish a proper basis for federal subject matter jurisdiction
Factual challenge to jurisdiction
in which the defending party challenges the existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction.[FN37] When a factual challenge is mounted, the court does not accept the plaintiff's jurisdictional allegations as true. If the jurisdictional facts are separate from the merits, then the court decides them; but if the jurisdictional facts are intertwined with the merits, then the court must treat the motion as one for summary judgment, leaving the resolution of disputed facts to the jury
Pleading after Conley
The Supreme Court explained the policy underlying "notice pleading" in the landmark case of Conley v. Gibson.[FN2] The purpose of pleading is to "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."
Pleading after Swierkiewicz
the Court held that it was error to require plaintiffs to plead the elements of a prima facie case of discrimination. In discussing the simplicity of pleading under Rule 8(a)(2), the Swierkiewicz Court referenced Form 11 [then, Form 9], which contains a simple allegation that the "defendant drove negligently"; it is worth noting that this allegation is both a legal conclusion and does not break negligence down into its elements of duty, breach, and causation.
What Twombly left intact
twombly obviously did not change the text of Rule 8(a)(2). The general federal-court pleading requirement remains the same: "a short and plaint statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Second, Twombly quoted from Conley v. Gibson when re-affirming that the general function of the complaint is to "'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'"[FN57] Third, Twombly re-affirmed that Rule 8(a)(2) does not require detailed factual allegations.
Pleading changes by Twombly
The Court continued by saying that Rule 8(a)(2) "requires more than labels and conclusions," and that "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. The Court then added that the "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level."[FN60] To the extent the allegations require the court to draw an inference as to the grounds for the claim, the inference must be plausible.[FN61] Finally, the allegations must themselves provide the required factual support. Discarding Conley v. Gibson's "no set of facts" language as an unfortunate and misunderstood passage, the Court made clear that if the actual allegations fail to supply the necessary notice and grounds under Rule 8(a)(2), the fact that some unpleaded set of facts might hypothetically do so is not sufficient.
Pleading conclusions after Twombly
the Court focused on the language in Rule 8(a)(2) that requires the pleader to make a "showing" that he is entitled to relief. While parties are not forbidden from pleading conclusions, a party does not "show" an entitlement to relief by simply parroting legal elements. Using a term established in Conley v. Gibson, Twombly emphasized that the allegations in the complaint must establish the "grounds" upon which the plaintiff's claim rests. It is the parties' allegations of fact, plus any plausible inferences that may be drawn from those allegations, that establish the "grounds" and thus make the required "showing."
Pleading standards after Iqbal
To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.
Two step analytical process for determining pleading sufficiency under Iqbal
n step one, a court can determine which allegations are merely "labels and conclusions," "formulaic recitations," or "naked assertions."[FN74] The court does not need to accept the truth of these types of allegations.[FN75] In step two, having winnowed down the allegations that the court must accept as true, the court then determines whether those allegations "plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief."
Pleadings do not need to show or suggest success on the merits.
leading under Rule 8(a) does not require a showing that the claims will succeed on the merits.[FN92] "Indeed, it may appear on the face of the pleadings that a recovery is very remote and unlikely but that is not the test."[FN93] Even in Iqbal, the Court was careful to say that a pleader need not show a probability of entitlement to relief
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THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Civil Procedure - 9/11 - Twombly and Iqbal
Civil Procedure - 9/4 - Hawkins vs Masters Farm
Civil Procedure - 9/9 - Conley & Swierkiewicz
Civil Procedure - FRCP - 7 to 8