Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 2011 Edition (Live the Code)

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28 U.S. Code § - Venue generally | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

Additional persons may be joined as parties to any such action in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and with such other venue requirements as would be applicable if the United States or one of its officers, employees, or agencies were not a party. June 25, , ch. Historical and Revision Notes Based on title 28, U.

Changes were made in phraseology. Effective Date of Amendment Amendment by Pub. Effective Date of Amendment Pub.

As a result, each state is free to operate its own system of civil procedure independent of her sister states and the federal court system. Early federal and state civil procedure in the United States was rather ad hoc and was based on traditional common law procedure but with much local variety.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

There were varying rules that governed different types of civil cases such as "actions" at law or "suits" in equity or in admiralty; these differences grew from the history of "law" and "equity" as separate court systems in English law. Even worse, discovery was generally unavailable in actions at law. In order to obtain discovery, a party to a legal action had to bring a collateral proceeding, a bill in equity in aid of discovery, just to obtain essential documents or testimony from the opposing party. Procedure in the early federal courts was rather incoherent.

The Process Act of authorized the federal courts to write their own procedural rules for everything but actions at law. In the context of actions at law, the Process Act of was so poorly written that it forced a federal court sitting in a state to apply the common law rules of pleading and procedure that were in effect in the state at the time it joined the Union, regardless of whether the state had modified or revised its civil procedure system since. The Process Act did not speak to the problem of what law to apply in new states that joined the Union after the original Thirteen Colonies.

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In , Congress enacted a law which stated that federal courts in new states would follow the civil procedure in effect at the time those states joined the Union. Unfortunately for the federal courts, state civil procedure law began to diverge dramatically in the midth century. In other words, a particular procedure was followed just because some often ancient decision said so, but none of those decisions were looking at the "big picture" to see if the entire procedural system made sense.

In contrast, code pleading was carefully designed, at least in theory, with the entire lifecycle of a case in mind so that it would be simple, elegant, and logical, and was implemented by the enacting of a "code of civil procedure" by the state legislature.

28 U.S. Code § 1391 - Venue generally

Eventually, 24 states enacted versions of the Field Code in part or in whole. By the late 19th century, lawyers were becoming very frustrated with having to follow procedures that had been obsolete in their states for decades every time they litigated actions at law in federal courts. However, allowing federal courts to conform to current state procedure still did not solve the federal courts' problems with actions at law, because by the turn of the 20th century, the U.

Even worse, many code procedure states had merged law and equity procedure into a unified civil procedure system, which directly clashed with the federal courts' preservation of the traditional English division between the two bodies of procedural law. The inevitable result was confusion and chaos in the federal courts, [7] particularly as interstate commerce escalated with the Second Industrial Revolution and an increasing number of cases between citizens of different states were heard in federal courts under diversity jurisdiction.

The glaring deficiencies in the Conformity Act, especially the assumption that a federal court would always sit in a U.


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Frustration with the status quo caused the American Bar Association to launch a nationwide movement for reform of federal civil procedure in The Supreme Court at first took little interest in exercising the new powers granted to the Court by the Act. Attorney General William D.


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  • The Advisory Committee first prepared two preliminary drafts for its own use, then eventually printed and circulated three drafts nationwide, in May , April , and November Supreme Court reviewed, revised, and adopted on December 20, There are exceptions to the types of cases that the FRCP now control but they are few in number and somewhat esoteric e. The FRCP drafters were heavily influenced by the elegance of civil procedure in certain code pleading states, particularly California and Minnesota. However, the FRCP went to a new system now called "notice pleading," based on the idea that a complaint should merely give "notice" that the defendant is being sued, and allow the plaintiff to use the machinery of the courts to compel discovery of evidence from the defendant which would help the plaintiff prove his case.

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    And of course, the defendant could compel discovery of evidence from the plaintiff to support his defenses. The FRCP also introduced a number of innovations such as Rule 16 pretrial conferences, which gave judges a method for managing caseloads more aggressively and urging parties to reach settlements.

    Third-Party Practice Rule Amended and Supplemental Pleadings Rule Joinder of Claims Rule Required Joinder of Parties Rule Permissive Joinder of Parties Rule Misjoinder and Nonjoinder of Parties Rule Class Actions Rule Derivative Actions Rule Actions Relating to Unincorporated Associations Rule Depositions to Perpetuate Testimony Rule Stipulations About Discovery Procedure Rule Depositions by Oral Examination Rule Depositions by Written Questions Rule Using Depositions in Court Proceedings Rule Interrogatories to Parties Rule Physical and Mental Examinations Rule Requests for Admission Rule Right to a Jury Trial; Demand Rule Trial by Jury or by the Court Rule Scheduling Cases for Trial Rule Dismissal of Actions Rule Consolidation; Separate Trials Rule Taking Testimony Rule Proving an Official Record Rule