Civil Procedure I

Case Rules


Ashcroft v. Iqbal

Under Twombly a court need not accept legal conclusions as true, and only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.

Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. United States District Court

  • Section 1406(a) and Rule 12(b)(3) only allow dismissal when the venue is "wrong" or "improper." Whether venue is "wrong" or "improper" depends exclusively on whether the court in which the case was brought satisfies the requirements of federal venue laws, and those provision say nothing about a forum-selection clause.

  • Section 1404(a) provides transfer to any agreed valid venue for a forum-selection clause, regardless of if the original venue is "wrong" or "improper."

  • Transfers to state or foreign forum is through the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

  • A district court should ordinarily transfer the case to the forum specified in a valid forum-selection clause in all by extraordinary circumstances unrelated to the convenience of the parties.

Burnham v. Superior Court

Physical presence alone constitutes due process.

Exceptions:

  • Fraud, unless they voluntarily stay after

  • Judicial process

Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Cooperative

  • Federal courts' outcomes do not have to agree with state courts'.
  • Hesch: In addition to the outcome determinative test, to apply state law the court must also find that the state rule is "bound up" with state created rights or obligations. If so, the court must balance the state interest against the federal interest in maintaining the integrity of its court system. However, when balancing, you apply the state rule absent a strong countervailing federal interest.

Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute

  1. A cruise line has a special interest in limiting the fora in which it potentially could be subject to suit. Because a cruise ship typically carries passengers from many locales, it is not unlikely that a mishap on a cruise could subject the cruise line to litigation in several different fora.
  2. A clause establishing ex ante the forum for dispute resolution has the salutary effect of dispelling any confusion about where suits arising from the contract must be brought and defended, sparing litigants the time and expense of pretrial motions to determine the correct forum and conserving judicial resources that otherwise would be devoted to deciding those motions.
  3. It stands to reason that passengers who purchase tickets containing a forum clause like that at issue in this case benefit in the form of reduced fares reflecting the savings that the cruise line enjoys by limiting the fora in which it may be sued.

Caterpillar, Inc. v. Lewis

We hold that a district court's error in failing to remand a case improperly removed is not fatal to the ensuing adjudication if federal jurisdictional requirements are met at the time judgment is entered.

Daimler AG v. Bauman

Not only must the contacts with the forum state be "continuous and systematic", it must be so much so as to render it essentially at home in the forum state.

Note:

This doesn't mean what it sounds like. It is only used for foreign companies.

Erie Railroad v. Tompkins

Hesch: Federal courts must apply both state substantive and common law to substantive issues in diversity cases when the conflicting state law encourages “forum shopping.” The goal should be to replicate state practices regarding state substantive law when deciding a state law claim.

State-Planters Bank and Trust Company of Richmond, Virginia, Executor and Trustee of the Estate of Emilie Hanewinkle v. Commonwealth of Virginia

One must be domiciled in a state to be considered a citizen thereof.

Gibbons v. Brown

States' long-arm statutes can impose further restrictions than just meeting due process.

Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown

The goods brought into the forum state by the stream of commerce must also be the source of injury in question if it is the only contact with the state for specific jurisdiction.

Guaranty Trust Co. v. York

Hesch: To apply state law, the conflict between state and federal laws must be “outcome determinative” (the “outcome determinative” test).

Haddle v. Garrison (3)

Page 382, Paragraph 3, Bottom

Can petitioner state a claim for damages by alleging that a conspiracy proscribed by §1985(2) induced his employer to terminate his at-will employment.

Hanna v. Plumer

Hesch:

If there is a direct and irreconcilable conflict, apply FRCP unless it

  1. goes beyond “prescribing general rules of practice and procedure,” or
  2. “abridges, enlarges, or modifies a substantive right.”

Hanson v. Denckla

Unilateral activity of the plaintiff does not give the defendant contact in the forum state.

Hawkins v. Masters Farms, Inc.

To be domiciled in a place, one must have a physical presence there with the intent to remain.

Hertz Corp. v. Friend

[A company's] "principal place of business" is . . . where a corporation's officers direct, control, and coordinate the corporation's activities. It is . . . called the corporation's "nerve center." And in practice it should normally be the place where the corporation maintains its headquarters—provided that the headquarters is the actual center of direction, control, and coordination, i.e., the "nerve center," and not simply an office where the corporation hold its board meetings (for example, attended by directors and officers who have traveled there for the occasion).

Hickman v. Taylor

The attorney-client privilege does not extend to information which an attorney secures from a witness while acting for his client in anticipation of litigation. Nor does this privilege concern the memoranda, briefs, communications and other writings prepared by counsel for his own use in prosecuting his client's case; and it is equally unrelated to writings which reflect an attorney's mental impression, conclusion, opinions or legal theories.

In re Ameriquest Mortgage Co. Mortgage Lending Practices Litigation

28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) provides that when a court has jurisdiction over a federal claim, they also have supplemental jurisdiction over state claims "that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution."

Explanation:

"Courts routinely compare the facts necessary to prove the elements of the federal claim with those necessary to the success of the state claim." They may also ask "whether the state claims can be resolved or dismissed without affecting the federal claims."

International Shoe Co. v. Washington

Corporations with continuous and systematic activities in a state are responsible for those activities in that state.

J. McIntyre, Ltd. v. Nicastro

  • Conduct directed at the society or economy existing within the jurisdiction of a state gives the state the power to subject the defendant to judgment concerning that conduct.

  • A defendant may be subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government, but not that of any individual state.

Jones v. Bock

Exhaustion should be regarded as an affirmative defense.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad v. Mottley

Circuit courts cannot hear anticipated defense that were not part of a "well-pleaded complaint."

McGee v. International Life Insurance Co.

Having a contract with significant connection to a state is sufficient for due process to be sued in that state.

Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co.

Pages 164–165Notice must be "reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections. The notice must be of such nature as reasonably to convey the required information, and it must afford a reasonable time for those interested to make their appearance."

Music Makers Holdings, LLC v. Sarro

  • For a trademark infringement committed out-of-state against a resident, the defendant must have had "persistent course of conduct" in the state.

  • "Business" supporting in personam jurisdiction does not have to be commercial, merely purposeful.

  • Trademark infringement occurs either where the infringer commits the acts of infringement or where the customers are likely to be deceived.

  • "Persistent course of conduct" requires greater contacts than those normally needed to establish jurisdiction.

Pennoyer v. Neff

  • Judgments cannot attach property outside that court's jurisdiction.

  • Judgments against absent and non-resident parties summoned by mere constructive notice are void.

  • A void judgment cannot be validated by subsequent discovery or acquisition of property by the person whom the judgment is against.

Piper Aircraft v. Reyno

Redner v. Sanders

  • It is not enough that the plaintiff does not live in the same state as the defendant; he must meet one of the statutory requirements for diversity.

  • A foreign citizen is one who has obtained formal citizenship of that country and become a national thereof. A state citizen is one who is domiciled in that state.

Semtek Intl. Inc. v. Lockheed Martin Corp.


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  • If there is a federal interest that doesn't rise to the level of a strong interest, try to accommodate it. If both interests can't be accommodated, follow the state law.

    Justia LogoPage 287, Paragraph 2

    This federal reference to state law will not obtain, of course, in situations in which the state law is incompatible with federal interests.

  • Hesch: When state law would apply using the balancing approach in Byrd, the court must also examine whether it can accommodate or reconcile both the state and federal law. If not apply the state law as is.

Shaffer v. Heitner

In rem suits are also subject to the "minimum contacts" test.

Thompson v. Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Defendant's motion to dismiss for improper venue is denied. Action transferred to the Southern District of Mississippi. Defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim remains pending and will be considered by the transferee court.

World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson

Foreseeability that a product may be used in a state is not enough minimal contact to gain in personam jurisdiction in that state.