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Flashcards in The Complaint Deck (16)
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What are the Functions of Modern Pleadings?

1) Proving notice of the nature of the claim or defense;
2) Identifying baseless complaints;
3) Setting each parties view of the facts;
4) Narrowing the Issue


Rule 3: Commencing an Action

"A civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the court."


Rule 8: What is the current "short and plain statement" requirement under Twombly and Iqbal?

Twombly - requires a "plausible pleading" - complaint must include enough facts in their complaint t make it plausible. Thus, there must be enough evidence that a reasonable expectation that the discovery process will reveal evidence of the claim asserted.

Iqbal - Essentially reaffirms Twombly and gives it an analysis to establish that the complaint states sufficient facts, taken as true, to make a claim plausible.


Rule 8: What is the Iqbal analysis required to determine if a claim is plausible?

1) The complaint must identify pleadings that are conclusionary. These will not be given the presumption of truth.
2) Any well-pleaded factual allegations will have the assumption of truth;
3) Trial court then decides if the well-pleaded factual allegations, taken as true, are plausible to provide relief.


Rule 8(d): What does it mean that pleadings must be concise and direct?

1) Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct.
2) A party must state as many separate claims or defenses as it has, regardless of consistency.


What is the difference between fact pleading and notice pleading?

Fact pleading - used by Illinois. Requires more facts to prove their claims.

Notice Pleading - used by Federal Civil procedure. Tries to spend less time on the technical issues of pleading and more time on discovery and trial.


Rule 9(b): pleading for fraud or mistake

In alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person's mind may be alleged generally.

This is because an allegation of fraud may harm a person's reputation and this will protect them from frivolous lawsuits.


Rule 9(g): What is special damages and when must they be pleaded?

Special damages must be specifically stated in the claim.

Special damages are any damages that naturally flow from the actions of the defendant are not special damages. But what does not flow naturally from the actions of the defendant are special damages.


Are punitive damages special damages?

Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. For this reason, it is better to plead them to be safe.


Rule 15(a): Amendments to pleadings before trial

1) A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within:
(a) 21 days after serving it; or
(b) If the pleading is one that requires a response, 21 days after service.
2) Courts may also give leave to amend when justice so requires.


Rule 15(b): Amendments during or after trial

If at trial, a party objects that evidence is not within the issues raised in the pleadings, the court may permit the pleadings to be amended as long as the proof has changed while at trial.


Rule 15(c): What is the Relation-Back doctrine and when is it allowed?

Basically, the relation back doctrine allows for a complaint that was filed with either incorrect information, or an incorrect party to be amended and related back as if it was filed at the time of filing with the correct information. This is to avoid the dismissing of the complaint under a statute of limitations.


Rule 15(c): What is required to add a new claim(s) after the statute of limitations and after the time of filing?

To add a new claim requires:
(a) Statute of limitations allows the relation back doctrine;
(b) The new claim or defense arose out of the same conduct and would not need any additional information/discovery than that which is set out in the original pleading.


Rule 15(c): What is required to add a new defendant or to change the defendant?

(a) Statute of limitations allows the relation back doctrine;
(b) The new claim or defense arose out of the same conduct and would not need any additional information/ discovery than what is already in the original pleading;
(c) It must fulfill rule 4(m) [done with 120 days] and:
(i) the defendant received such notice of the action and it will not prejudice the new defendant on the merits; and
(ii) The new defendant knew or should have known that the action would have been brought against it, but for the mistake of the party's identity.


Rule 54(c): Demand for judgment: Relief to be granted.
What does this rule say and mean?

"... Every final judgement should grant the relief to which each party is entitled, even if the party has not demanded that relief in its pleadings."
Basically, this rule allows the jury to give more than is asked for in the complaint.


If there is a conflict between rule 54 and rule 9, which one wins?

When rule 54 and 9 collide, rule 54 will supersede and win.