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Civil Procedure Rule Statements
Terms in this set (37)
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Subject-matter jurisdiction refers to a court's competence to hear and determine cases of a specific subject matter. In California, subject-matter jurisdiction refers to the classification of civil cases as "limited" ($25,000 or less) or "unlimited."
A federal question exists if the cause of action is expressly created by or can be fairly implied by federal law. Otherwise, the complaint must involve a real and substantial issue of federal law and its determination must necessarily depend on resolution of the case.
Federal courts have diversity jurisdiction when parties are citizens of different states or citizens of a state and citizens of a foreign state, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. There must be complete diversity, such that no plaintiff is a citizen of the same state or citizen of the same foreign country as any defendant in the case.
A federal court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over additional claims for which the court would not independently have subject-matter jurisdiction, but that arise out of a "common nucleus of operative fact" such that all claims should be tried in a single judicial proceeding.
A defendant may generally remove a case from state court to federal district court with subject-matter jurisdiction. Generally, the right to remove is determined by the pleadings filed when the petition to remove is filed. Diversity must exist at the time of filing of the original action as well as at the time notice of removal is filed.
A state has personal jurisdiction over a defendant who is voluntarily present in the forum state and served with process while there. A state also has jurisdiction over a person domiciled in the state, or when a defendant consents through appearance in court. Finally, through a California long-arm statute, a court may exercise its jurisdiction on any basis that is in accord with the California and US constitution.
Personal Jurisdiction Due Process Requirements
The due process requirements of the constitution are satisfied if a non-resident defendant has certain minimum contacts with the forum state such that the maintenance of the action does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
A defendant's contacts with the forum state must be purposeful and substantial, such that the defendant should reasonably anticipate (foresee) being taken to court there. When the cause of action does not arise out of or relate to defendant's contacts with the forum state, then jurisdiction is only warranted when defendant's contacts are systematic and continuous.
The maintenance of an action in the forum state must also not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Courts consider a variety of factors when making this determination, including interest of the forum state in adjudicating the matter, burden on defendant of appearing in the case, interest of the judicial system in an efficient resolution of controversies, and the shared interests of the states in promoting common social policies.
Venue in CA State Courtq
For transitory actions when the claim arose elsewhere, venue is proper in any county where a defendant resides when the action commences, or where proper if the defendant is not from California. Even if venue is proper, the court may transfer venue if a fair trial cannot be had in the original county, the convenience of the witnesses and the ends of justice so require a change, or there is no judge of the court qualified to act.
Venue in Federal Court
Venue is proper in any judicial district where the defendant resides, if all defendants reside in a state where the district is located; where a substantial part of the events/omissions occurred or where property is situated; or where defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction.
Change of Venue
If the original venue is proper, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district where it might have been brought or to any district to which all parties consent. If the original venue is improper, then the district court must dismiss the case, or if it's in the interest of justice, transfer the case to any district in which it could have been brought.
Forum Non Coveniens
Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court will dismiss an action, even if personal jurisdiction and venue are otherwise proper, if it finds that the forum would be too inconvenient for parties and witnesses and that another, more convenient, venue is available.
Forum non conveniens is only used in federal court when the forum that is deemed most appropriate for the action is a state or foreign court. In California, a court can stay or dismiss an action if it finds, in the interest of substantial justice, that such action should be heard in a different state or country.
Choice of Law in Federal Court
If the action is a federal-question claim, then federal substantive and procedural law will control. If the action is a diversity jurisdiction claim, then state substantive law and applicable federal procedural law will control.
If the determination is unclear, but there is a valid federal statute on point, then federal law will be applied. But if there is no federal rule on point, then state law will be applied if failure to do so would lead to a different outcome.
Service of Process
Method—personally, D's place of abode, or agent
In CA: Required follow up mailing to D for substitute service
Short/plain statement of court's SMJ, P's entitlement to relief, & demand for judgment
In CA: Must contain statement of all material, operative facts constituting each c/a and demand for relief, & amount of damages
Rule 12(b) motions to dismiss
Claim will be dismissed if it fails to assert legal theory of recovery cognizable at law or allege facts sufficient to support cognizable claim
Lack of SMJ, PJ, improper venue, insufficient process or service, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and failure to join necessary/indispensable party
In CA: You file a demurrer.
To object to lack of PJ, you file a Motion to Quash Service of Summons before filing answer
Timing—21 days after being served if no motion to dismiss (14 days after notice of court's action for motion to dismiss)
In CA: Timing—30 days after being served, and if D files motion to strike or demurrer, w/in ten days of service of notice of denial
Amendments to Pleading
May amend a pleading once as of right w/in 21 days if no responsive pleading is required, or after being served with an answer or 12(b) motion
In CA: May amend once as of right before answer/demurrer is filed, or after trial starts but before demurrer issue is raised
Relation Back Doctrine
Relates back to date of original pleading if amendment asserts claim/defense that arose out of same conduct, transaction, or occurrence as original pleading
In CA: New claim—amended pleading must also involve same accident/injuries, and refer to same offending instrumentality
New party—no CA provision; allows P to correct misnomer in naming D even when S/L has run
Rule 11 Sanctions
Court may impose sanctions limited to what deters repetition of conduct by others similarly situated
In CA: Movant must have exercised due diligence, violating party has 21 days to correct its conduct prior to court/movant's motion, and motions brought for an improper purpose are also subject to sanctions
Joinder of Parties: Joinder
Plaintiffs and Defendants
Permissive: P's & D's may join/be joined in one action if any right to relief is asserted jointly, severally, or arising out of same transaction or occurence. Need SMJ and PJ
Compulsory: Necessary Parties - complete relief cannot be provided to existing parties in absence of that person, and if can't be joined, court can dismiss case. Need SMJ and PJ
Joinder of Parties: Intervention
Permissive: Court must consider undue delay/prejudice to rights of original parties. In CA, intervenor's interest must be direct and immediate
Compulsory: If not through federal statute, non-party still has right to intervene if his interest is subject matter of the cause of action, the disposition may impair non-party's interest, or intereset is not adequately represented
Joinder of Parties: Interpleader
This is a property owner forcing all claimants into a single lawsuit
Permissive: Persons with claims that may expose defendant to multiple liability may be joined as plaintiffs even though claims lack a common origin or are adverse
Joinder of Claims: Permissive
Party may join independent or alternative claims against opposing party
In CA, must be at least one question of law or fact common to all D
Joinder of Claims: Compulsory Counterclaim
Compulsory if at time of service it arise out of same transaction or occurence that is subject of opposing party's claim, and doesn't require adding another party over whom court has no jurisdiction
Joinder of Claims: Permissive Counterclaims
Party has discretion if counterclaim isn't compulsory
Joinder of Claims: Cross CLaim
Claim against co party may be asserted if it arises out of same transaction or occurence
Joinder of Claims: Impleader
Defending party (the 3rd party plaintiff) can implead non party (3rd party defendant) for liability on original claim.
Scope of Discovery
Permitted with regard to any matter relevant to any party's claim or defense in action that isn't otherwise privileged
Relevance of Discovery
Information discoverable if reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence relevant to claim/defense
In CA: Disclosure of all material relevant to the subject matter of litigation
Privilege in Discovery
CA: Provides right to privacy and court balances it with need for discovery
Trial Prep Privilege
Cannot discover documents and tangible things prepared in anticipation of litigation, unless other party shows substantial need and undue hardship >Mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of party's attorney or rep are protected
In CA: Attorney's impressions, conclusions, opinions or legal research are absolutely privileged and never subject to discovery
Expert report drafts and disclosure are protected, as well as any communications between party's attorney and expert witness unless they relate to compensation, facts/data used or assumptions relied upon by expert in forming his opinion
In CA: All parties must disclose expert witness lists, details of prospective trial testimony, and all writings/reports
Court can force person to submit to physical/mental exam if in controversy
In CA: Attorney must be permitted to attend physical exam
Motion to Compel
For failure to make automatic disclosures or respond to discovery requests
In CA: Make reasonable/good faith effort to informally resolve issues before filing
Court may impose sanctions subject to the abuse of discretion standard
In CA: Initial misuse of discovery process result is monetary sanction unless party acted with substantial justification or sanction unjust
The doctrine of claim preclusion (res judicata) provides that a final judgment on the merits of an action precludes sufficiently identical parties parties from successive litigation of an identical claim in a subsequent action. In California, a judgment is not final until the time for appeal has expired or an appeal has concluded.
The doctrine of issue preclusion precludes the relitigation of issues of fact or law that have already been necessarily determined by a judge or jury as part of an earlier claim with a final, valid judgment. Issue preclusion requires only that the party against whom the issue is to be precluded must have been a party to the original action. The facts relevant to a particular issue and the applicable law must be identical, and an issue is essential to a final judgment if it constitutes a necessary component of the decision reached.
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