TITLE 28—APPENDIX

Item
Page
Judicial Personnel Financial Disclosure Requirements (Repealed)
585
Development of Mechanisms for Resolving Minor Disputes (Omitted)
586
Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
587
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
632
Federal Rules of Evidence
848
Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States
925
Rules of the United States Court of Federal Claims
946
Rules of the United States Court of International Trade
1017

        

JUDICIAL PERSONNEL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

[Title III (§§301–309) of Pub. L. 95–521, Oct. 26, 1978, 92 Stat. 1851–1861, as amended by Pub. L. 96–19, §§2(a)(3), (c)(3), 3(a)(3), (b), 4(c), 6, 7(a)–(c), (d)(2), (e), (f), 8(c), 9(c)(3), (d), (j), (p)–(r), June 13, 1979, 93 Stat. 37–43; Pub. L. 96–417, title VI, §601(9), Oct. 10, 1980, 94 Stat. 1744; Pub. L. 96–579, §12(c), Dec. 23, 1980, 94 Stat. 3369; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(6), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–150, §10, Nov. 11, 1983, 97 Stat. 962; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 99–573, §6, Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3231; Pub. L. 101–237, title VI, §602(a)(1), Dec. 18, 1989, 103 Stat. 2094, which related to judicial personnel financial disclosure requirements, was repealed by Pub. L. 101–194, title II, §201, Nov. 30, 1989, 103 Stat. 1724. See title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95–521, as amended, relating to financial disclosure requirements of Federal personnel, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.]

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Jan. 1, 1991, see section 204 of Pub. L. 101–194, set out as an Effective Date of 1989 Amendment note under section 101 of Pub. L. 95–521 in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Provisions of title III of Pub. L. 95–521, as in effect prior to Nov. 30, 1989, effective until Jan. 1, 1991, as if Pub. L. 101–194 had not been enacted, and nothing in title II of Pub. L. 101–194 to be construed to prevent prosecution of civil actions against individuals for violations of title III of Pub. L. 95–521 before Jan. 1, 1991, see section 3(10)(C), (D) of Pub. L. 101–280, set out as an Effective Date of 1989 Amendment note under section 101 of Pub. L. 95–521 in the Appendix to Title 5.

DEVELOPMENT OF MECHANISMS FOR RESOLVING MINOR DISPUTES

Codification

Pub. L. 96–190, Feb. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 17, known as the Dispute Resolution Act, provided for the establishment and maintenance of mechanisms for resolving minor disputes, established the Dispute Resolution Resource Center and Dispute Resolution Advisory Board, prescribed duties for the Center and Board, authorized appropriations for the Center and Board of $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984, directed that financial assistance to eligible applicants be in the form of grants, prescribed conditions for such grants, authorized appropriations for such grants of $10,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984, and required an annual report by the Attorney General to the President and Congress relating to the administration of Pub. L. 96–190.

FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE

(As amended to January 4, 1995)

Historical Note

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure were adopted by order of the Supreme Court on Dec. 4, 1967, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on Jan. 15, 1968, and became effective on July 1, 1968.

The Rules have been amended Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Oct. 12, 1984, Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §210, 98 Stat 1987; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7111, 102 Stat. 4419; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.

TITLE I. APPLICABILITY OF RULES

Rule
1.
Scope of Rules and Title.
2.
Suspension of rules.

        

TITLE II. APPEALS FROM JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS OF DISTRICT COURTS

3.
Appeal as of Right—How Taken.
3.1.
Appeal from a Judgment Entered by a Magistrate Judge in a Civil Case.
4.
Appeal as of Right—When Taken.
5.
Appeal by Permission Under 28 U.S.C. §1292(b).
5.1.
Appeal by Permission Under 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(5).
6.
Appeal in a Bankruptcy Case from a Final Judgment, Order, or Decree of a District Court or of a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.
7.
Bond for costs on appeal in civil cases.
8.
Stay or injunction pending appeal.
9.
Release in a Criminal Case.
10.
The Record on Appeal.
11.
Transmission of the record.
12.
Docketing the Appeal; Filing a Representation Statement; Filing the Record.

        

TITLE III. REVIEW OF DECISIONS OF THE UNITED STATES TAX COURT

13.
Review of a Decision of the Tax Court.
14.
Applicability of other rules to review of decisions of the Tax Court.

        

TITLE IV. REVIEW AND ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS

15.
Review or Enforcement of an Agency Order—How Obtained; Intervention.
15.1.
Briefs and oral argument in National Labor Relations Board proceedings.
16.
The record on review or enforcement.
17.
Filing of the record.
18.
Stay pending review.
19.
Settlement of judgments enforcing orders.
20.
Applicability of other rules to review or enforcement of agency orders.

        

TITLE V. EXTRAORDINARY WRITS

21.
Writs of Mandamus and Prohibition Directed to a Judge or Judges and Other Extraordinary Writs.

        

TITLE VI. HABEAS CORPUS; PROCEEDINGS IN FORMA PAUPERIS

22.
Habeas corpus proceedings.
23.
Custody of prisoners in habeas corpus proceedings.
24.
Proceedings in forma pauperis.

        

TITLE VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS

25.
Filing and Service.
26.
Computation and extension of time.
26.1.
Corporate Disclosure Statement.
27.
Motions.
28.
Briefs.
29.
Brief of an amicus curiae.
30.
Appendix to the Briefs.
31.
Filing and Service of a Brief.
32.
Form of briefs, the appendix and other papers.
33.
Appeal Conferences.
34.
Oral Argument.
35.
Determination of Causes by the Court in Banc.
36.
Entry of judgment.
37.
Interest on judgments.
38.
Damages and Costs for Frivolous Appeals.
39.
Costs.
40.
Petition for Rehearing.
41.
Issuance of Mandate; Stay of Mandate.
42.
Voluntary dismissal.
43.
Substitution of parties.
44.
Cases involving constitutional questions where United States is not a party.
45.
Duties of clerks.
46.
Attorneys.
47.
Rules by courts of appeals.
48.
Masters.

        

FORMS

Form
1.
Notice of Appeal to a Court of Appeals From a Judgment or Order of a District Court.
2.
Notice of Appeal to a Court of Appeals From a Decision of the United States Tax Court.
3.
Petition for Review of Order of an Agency, Board, Commission or Officer.
4.
Affidavit to Accompany Motion for Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis.
5.
Notice of Appeal to a Court of Appeals from a Judgment or Order of a District Court or a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

        

Effective Date and Application of Rules

Section 2 of the Order of the Supreme Court, dated Dec. 4, 1967, provided: “That the foregoing rules shall take effect on July 1, 1968, and shall govern all proceedings in appeals and petitions for review or enforcement of orders thereafter brought in and in all such proceedings then pending, except to the extent that in the opinion of the court of appeals their application in a particular proceeding then pending would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which case the former procedure may be followed.”

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment; Transmission to Congress

Sections 2 and 3 of the Order of the Supreme Court, dated Mar. 30, 1970, provided:

“2. That the foregoing amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure shall take effect on July 1, 1970, and shall govern all proceedings in actions brought thereafter and also in all further proceedings in actions then pending, except to the extent that in the opinion of the court their application in a particular action then pending would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former procedure applies.

“3. That the Chief Justice be, and he hereby is, authorized to transmit to the Congress the foregoing amendments to existing rules, in accordance with the provisions of Title 18, U.S.C. §3372, and Title 28, U.S.C. §§2072 and 2075.”

TITLE I. APPLICABILITY OF RULES

Rule 1. Scope of Rules and Title

(a) Scope of Rules.—These rules govern procedure in appeals to United States courts of appeals from the United States district courts and the United States Tax Court; in appeals from bankruptcy appellate panels; in proceedings in the courts of appeals for review or enforcement of orders of administrative agencies, boards, commissions and officers of the United States; and in applications for writs or other relief which a court of appeals or a judge thereof is competent to give. When these rules provide for the making of a motion or application in the district court, the procedure for making such motion or application shall be in accordance with the practice of the district court.

(b) Rules Not to Affect Jurisdiction.—These rules shall not be construed to extend or limit the jurisdiction of the courts of appeals as established by law.

(c) Title.—These rules may be known and cited as the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

These rules are drawn under the authority of 28 U.S.C. §2072, as amended by the Act of November 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 1323 (1 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News, p. 1546 (1966)) (Rules of Civil Procedure); 28 U.S.C. §2075 (Bankruptcy Rules); and 18 U.S.C. §§3771 (Procedure to and including verdict) and 3772 (Procedure after verdict). Those statutes combine to give to the Supreme Court power to make rules of practice and procedure for all cases within the jurisdiction of the courts of appeals. By the terms of the statutes, after the rules have taken effect all laws in conflict with them are of no further force or effect. Practice and procedure in the eleven courts of appeals are now regulated by rules promulgated by each court under the authority of 28 U.S.C. §2071. Rule 47 expressly authorizes the courts of appeals to make rules of practice not inconsistent with these rules.

As indicated by the titles under which they are found, the following rules are of special application: Rules 3 through 12 apply to appeals from judgments and orders of the district courts; Rules 13 and 14 apply to appeals from decisions of the Tax Court (Rule 13 establishes an appeal as the mode of review of decisions of the Tax Court in place of the present petition for review); Rules 15 through 20 apply to proceedings for review or enforcement of orders of administrative agencies, boards, commissions and officers. Rules 22 through 24 regulate habeas corpus proceedings and appeals in forma pauperis. All other rules apply to all proceedings in the courts of appeals.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure were designed as an integrated set of rules to be followed in appeals to the courts of appeals, covering all steps in the appellate process, whether they take place in the district court or in the court of appeals, and with their adoption Rules 72–76 of the F.R.C.P. were abrogated. In some instances, however, the F.R.A.P. provide that a motion or application for relief may, or must, be made in the district court. See Rules 4(a), 10(b), and 24. The proposed amendment would make it clear that when this is so the motion or application is to be made in the form and manner prescribed by the F.R.C.P. or F.R.Cr.P. and local rules relating to the form and presentation of motions and is not governed by Rule 27 of the F.R.A.P. See Rule 7(b) of the F.R.C.P. and Rule 47 of the F.R.Cr.P.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (c). A new subdivision is added to the rule. The text of new subdivision (c) has been moved from Rule 48 to Rule 1 to allow the addition of new rules at the end of the existing set of appellate rules without burying the title provision among other rules. In a similar fashion the Bankruptcy Rules combine the provisions governing the scope of the rules and the title in the first rule.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Title, see rule 85, this Appendix.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Title, see rule 60, Title 18, Appendix, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Federal Rules of Evidence

Title, see rule 1103, this Appendix.

Cross References

Authority to create courts inferior to Supreme Court, see Const. Art. III, §1.

“Courts of the United States” as including courts of appeals, see section 451 of this title.

Creation and composition of courts, see section 43 of this title.

Forging or counterfeiting seals of courts, penalties, see section 505 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Number and composition of circuits, see section 41 of this title.

Power of Supreme Court to prescribe rules of procedure and evidence, see section 2072 of this title.

Writs and process issued by court to be under seal, see section 1691 of this title.

Rule 2. Suspension of rules

In the interest of expediting decision, or for other good cause shown, a court of appeals may, except as otherwise provided in Rule 26(b), suspend the requirements or provisions of any of these rules in a particular case on application of a party or on its own motion and may order proceedings in accordance with its direction.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The primary purpose of this rule is to make clear the power of the courts of appeals to expedite the determination of cases of pressing concern to the public or to the litigants by prescribing a time schedule other than that provided by the rules. The rule also contains a general authorization to the courts to relieve litigants of the consequences of default where manifest injustice would otherwise result. Rule 26(b) prohibits a court of appeals from extending the time for taking appeal or seeking review.

Cross References

Injunction, power of appellate court to suspend, modify or grant pending appeal, see Rule 62, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this Appendix.

TITLE II. APPEALS FROM JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS OF DISTRICT COURTS

Rule 3. Appeal as of Right—How Taken

(a) Filing the Notice of Appeal.—An appeal permitted by law as of right from a district court to a court of appeals must be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the district court within the time allowed by Rule 4. At the time of filing, the appellant must furnish the clerk with sufficient copies of the notice of appeal to enable the clerk to comply promptly with the requirements of subdivision (d) of this Rule 3. Failure of an appellant to take any step other than the timely filing of a notice of appeal does not affect the validity of the appeal, but is ground only for such action as the court of appeals deems appropriate, which may include dismissal of the appeal. Appeals by permission under 28 U.S.C. §1292(b) and appeals in bankruptcy must be taken in the manner prescribed by Rule 5 and Rule 6 respectively.

(b) Joint or consolidated appeals.—If two or more persons are entitled to appeal from a judgment or order of a district court and their interests are such as to make joinder practicable, they may file a joint notice of appeal, or may join in appeal after filing separate timely notices of appeal, and they may thereafter proceed on appeal as a single appellant. Appeals may be consolidated by order of the court of appeals upon its own motion or upon motion of a party, or by stipulation of the parties to the several appeals.

(c) Content of the Notice of Appeal.—A notice of appeal must specify the party or parties taking the appeal by naming each appellant in either the caption or the body of the notice of appeal. An attorney representing more than one party may fulfill this requirement by describing those parties with such terms as “all plaintiffs,” “the defendants,” “the plaintiffs A, B, et al.,” or “all defendants except X.” A notice of appeal filed pro se is filed on behalf of the party signing the notice and the signer's spouse and minor children, if they are parties, unless the notice of appeal clearly indicates a contrary intent. In a class action, whether or not the class has been certified, it is sufficient for the notice to name one person qualified to bring the appeal as representative of the class. A notice of appeal also must designate the judgment, order, or part thereof appealed from, and must name the court to which the appeal is taken. An appeal will not be dismissed for informality of form or title of the notice of appeal, or for failure to name a party whose intent to appeal is otherwise clear from the notice. Form 1 in the Appendix of Forms is a suggested form for a notice of appeal.

(d) Serving the Notice of Appeal.—The clerk of the district court shall serve notice of the filing of a notice of appeal by mailing a copy to each party's counsel of record (apart from the appellant's), or, if a party is not represented by counsel, to the party's last known address. The clerk of the district court shall forthwith send a copy of the notice and of the docket entries to the clerk of the court of appeals named in the notice. The clerk of the district court shall likewise send a copy of any later docket entry in the case to the clerk of the court of appeals. When a defendant appeals in a criminal case, the clerk of the district court shall also serve a copy of the notice of appeal upon the defendant, either by personal service or by mail addressed to the defendant. The clerk shall note on each copy served the date when the notice of appeal was filed and, if the notice of appeal was filed in the manner provided in Rule 4(c) by an inmate confined in an institution, the date when the clerk received the notice of appeal. The clerk's failure to serve notice does not affect the validity of the appeal. Service is sufficient notwithstanding the death of a party or the party's counsel. The clerk shall note in the docket the names of the parties to whom the clerk mails copies, with the date of mailing.

(e) Payment of fees.—Upon the filing of any separate or joint notice of appeal from the district court, the appellant shall pay to the clerk of the district court such fees as are established by statute, and also the docket fee prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the latter to be received by the clerk of the district court on behalf of the court of appeals.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

General Note. Rule 3 and Rule 4 combine to require that a notice of appeal be filed with the clerk of the district court within the time prescribed for taking an appeal. Because the timely filing of a notice of appeal is “mandatory and jurisdictional,” United States v. Robinson, 361 U.S. 220, 224, 80 S.Ct. 282, 4 L.Ed.2d 259 (1960), compliance with the provisions of those rules is of the utmost importance. But the proposed rules merely restate, in modified form, provisions now found in the civil and criminal rules (FRCP 5(e), 73; FRCrP 37), and decisions under the present rules which dispense with literal compliance in cases in which it cannot fairly be exacted should control interpretation of these rules. Illustrative decisions are: Fallen v. United States, 378 U.S. 139, 84 S.Ct. 1689, 12 L.Ed.2d 760 (1964) (notice of appeal by a prisoner, in the form of a letter delivered, well within the time fixed for appeal, to prison authorities for mailing to the clerk of the district court held timely filed notwithstanding that it was received by the clerk after expiration of the time for appeal; the appellant “did all he could” to effect timely filing); Richey v. Wilkins, 335 F.2d 1 (2d Cir. 1964) (notice filed in the court of appeals by a prisoner without assistance of counsel held sufficient); Halfen v. United States, 324 F.2d 52 (10th Cir. 1963) (notice mailed to district judge in time to have been received by him in normal course held sufficient); Riffle v. United States, 299 F.2d 802 (5th Cir. 1962) (letter of prisoner to judge of court of appeals held sufficient). Earlier cases evidencing “a liberal view of papers filed by indigent and incarcerated defendants” are listed in Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 442, n. 5, 82 S.Ct. 917, 8 L.Ed.2d 21 (1962).

Subdivision (a). The substance of this subdivision is derived from FRCP 73(a) and FRCrP 37(a)(1). The proposed rule follows those rules in requiring nothing other than the filing of a notice of appeal in the district court for the perfection of the appeal. The petition for allowance (except for appeals governed by Rules 5 and 6), citations, assignments of error, summons and severance—all specifically abolished by earlier modern rules—are assumed to be sufficiently obsolete as no longer to require pointed abolition.

Subdivision (b). The first sentence is derived from FRCP 74. The second sentence is added to encourage consolidation of appeals whenever feasible.

Subdivision (c). This subdivision is identical with corresponding provisions in FRCP 73(b) and FRCrP 37(a)(1).

Subdivision (d). This subdivision is derived from FRCP 73(b) and FRCrP 37(a)(1). The duty of the clerk to forward a copy of the notice of appeal and of the docket entries to the court of appeals in a criminal case extended to habeas corpus and 28 U.S.C. §2255 proceedings.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Subdivision (c). The proposed amendment would add the last sentence. Because of the fact that the timely filing of the notice of appeal has been characterized as jurisdictional (See, e.g., Brainerd v. Beal (C.A. 7th, 1974) 498 F.2d 901, in which the filing of a notice of appeal one day late was fatal), it is important that the right to appeal not be lost by mistakes of mere form. In a number of decided cases it has been held that so long as the function of notice is met by the filing of a paper indicating an intention to appeal, the substance of the rule has been complied with. See, e.g., Cobb v. Lewis (C.A. 5th, 1974) 488 F.2d 41; Holley v. Capps (C.A. 5th, 1972) 468 F.2d 1366. The proposed amendment would give recognition to this practice.

When a notice of appeal is filed, the clerk should ascertain whether any judgment designated therein has been entered in compliance with Rules 58 and 79(a) of the F.R.C.P. See Note to Rule 4(a)(6), infra.

Subdivision (d). The proposed amendment would extend to civil cases the present provision applicable to criminal cases, habeas corpus cases, and proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §2255, requiring the clerk of the district court to transmit to the clerk of the court of appeals a copy of the notice of appeal and of the docket entries, which should include reference to compliance with the requirements for payment of fees. See Note to (e), infra.

This requirement is the initial step in proposed changes in the rules to place in the court of appeals an increased practical control over the early steps in the appeal.

Subdivision (e). Proposed new Rule 3(e) represents the second step in shifting to the court of appeals the control of the early stages of an appeal. See Note to Rule 3(d) above. Under the present rules the payment of the fee prescribed by 28 U.S.C. 1917 is not covered. Under the statute, however, this fee is paid to the clerk of the district court at the time the notice of appeal is filed. Under present Rule 12, the “docket fee” fixed by the Judicial Conference of the United States under 28 U.S.C. §1913 must be paid to the clerk of the court of appeals within the time fixed for transmission of the record, “. . . and the clerk shall thereupon enter the appeal upon the docket.”

Under the proposed new Rule 3(e) both fees would be paid to the clerk of the district court at the time the notice of appeal is filed, the clerk of the district court receiving the docket fee on behalf of the court of appeals.

In view of the provision in Rule 3(a) that “[f]ailure of an appellant to take any step other than the timely filing of a notice of appeal does not affect the validity of the appeal, but is ground only for such action as the court of appeals deems appropriate, which may include dismissal of the appeal,” the case law indicates that the failure to prepay the statutory filing fee does not constitute a jurisdictional defect. See Parissi v. Telechron, 349 U.S. 46 (1955); Gould v. Members of N. J. Division of Water Policy & Supply, 555 F.2d 340 (3d Cir. 1977). Similarly, under present Rule 12, failure to pay the docket fee within the time prescribed may be excused by the court of appeals. See, e. g., Walker v. Mathews, 546 F.2d 814 (9th Cir. 1976). Proposed new Rule 3(e) adopts the view of these cases, requiring that both fees be paid at the time the notice of appeal is filed, but subject to the provisions of Rule 26(b) preserving the authority of the court of appeals to permit late payment.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rule 3(d) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Note to subdivision (c). The amendment is intended to reduce the amount of satellite litigation spawned by the Supreme Court's decision in Torres v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 487 U.S. 312 (1988). In Torres the Supreme Court held that the language in Rule 3(c) requiring a notice of appeal to “specify the party or parties taking the appeal” is a jurisdictional requirement and that naming the first named party and adding “et al.,” without any further specificity is insufficient to identify the appellants. Since the Torres decision, there has been a great deal of litigation regarding whether a notice of appeal that contains some indication of the appellants’ identities but does not name the appellants is sufficiently specific.

The amendment states a general rule that specifying the parties should be done by naming them. Naming an appellant in an otherwise timely and proper notice of appeal ensures that the appellant has perfected an appeal. However, in order to prevent the loss of a right to appeal through inadvertent omission of a party's name or continued use of such terms as “et al.,” which are sufficient in all district court filings after the complaint, the amendment allows an attorney representing more than one party the flexibility to indicate which parties are appealing without naming them individually. The test established by the rule for determining whether such designations are sufficient is whether it is objectively clear that a party intended to appeal. A notice of appeal filed by a party proceeding pro se is filed on behalf of the party signing the notice and the signer's spouse and minor children, if they are parties, unless the notice clearly indicates a contrary intent.

In class actions, naming each member of a class as an appellant may be extraordinarily burdensome or even impossible. In class actions if class certification has been denied, named plaintiffs may appeal the order denying the class certification on their own behalf and on behalf of putative class members, United States Parole Comm'n v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388 (1980); or if the named plaintiffs choose not to appeal the order denying the class certification, putative class members may appeal, United Airlines, Inc. v. McDonald, 432 U.S. 385 (1977). If no class has been certified, naming each of the putative class members as an appellant would often be impossible. Therefore the amendment provides that in class actions, whether or not the class has been certified, it is sufficient for the notice to name one person qualified to bring the appeal as a representative of the class.

Finally, the rule makes it clear that dismissal of an appeal should not occur when it is otherwise clear from the notice that the party intended to appeal. If a court determines it is objectively clear that a party intended to appeal, there are neither administrative concerns nor fairness concerns that should prevent the appeal from going forward.

Note to subdivision (d). The amendment requires the district court clerk to send to the clerk of the court of appeals a copy of every docket entry in a case after the filing of a notice of appeal. This amendment accompanies the amendment to Rule 4(a)(4), which provides that when one of the posttrial motions enumerated in Rule 4(a)(4) is filed, a notice of appeal filed before the disposition of the motion becomes effective upon disposition of the motion. The court of appeals needs to be advised that the filing of a posttrial motion has suspended a notice of appeal. The court of appeals also needs to know when the district court has ruled on the motion. Sending copies of all docket entries after the filing of a notice of appeal should provide the courts of appeals with the necessary information.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment requires a party filing a notice of appeal to provide the court with sufficient copies of the notice for service on all other parties.

Cross References

Circuits to which decisions reviewable, see section 1294 of this title.

Final decisions of Federal district courts, jurisdiction of courts of appeals, see section 1291 of this title.

Interlocutory decisions, jurisdiction of appeal from, see section 1292 of this title.

Rule 3.1. Appeal from a Judgment Entered by a Magistrate Judge in a Civil Case

When the parties consent to a trial before a magistrate judge under 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(1), any appeal from the judgment must be heard by the court of appeals in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(3), unless the parties consent to an appeal on the record to a district judge and thereafter, by petition only, to the court of appeals, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(4). An appeal under 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(3) must be taken in identical fashion as an appeal from any other judgment of the district court.

(As added Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; amended Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986

Under the governing statute, 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(3), the judgment of a magistrate becomes a judgment of the district court and is appealable to the court of appeals “as an appeal from any other judgment of a district court.” This provision is designed to make this point explicit for the convenience of practitioners.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The amendment conforms the rule to the change in title from “magistrate” to “magistrate judge” made by the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101–650, 104 Stat. 5089, 5117 (1990). Additional style changes are made; no substantive changes are intended.

Rule 4. Appeal as of Right—When Taken

(a) Appeal in a Civil Case.—

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4) of this Rule, in a civil case in which an appeal is permitted by law as of right from a district court to a court of appeals the notice of appeal required by Rule 3 must be filed with the clerk of the district court within 30 days after the date of entry of the judgment or order appealed from; but if the United States or an officer or agency thereof is a party, the notice of appeal may be filed by any party within 60 days after such entry. If a notice of appeal is mistakenly filed in the court of appeals, the clerk of the court of appeals shall note thereon the date when the clerk received the notice and send it to the clerk of the district court and the notice will be treated as filed in the district court on the date so noted.

(2) A notice of appeal filed after the court announces a decision or order but before the entry of the judgment or order is treated as filed on the date of and after the entry.

(3) If one party timely files a notice of appeal, any other party may file a notice of appeal within 14 days after the date when the first notice was filed, or within the time otherwise prescribed by this Rule 4(a), whichever period last expires.

(4) If any party makes a timely motion of a type specified immediately below, the time for appeal for all parties runs from the entry of the order disposing of the last such motion outstanding. This provision applies to a timely motion under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure:

(A) for judgment under Rule 50(b);

(B) to amend or make additional findings of fact under Rule 52(b), whether or not granting the motion would alter the judgment;

(C) to alter or amend the judgment under Rule 59;

(D) for attorney's fees under Rule 54 if a district court under Rule 58 extends the time for appeal;

(E) for a new trial under Rule 59; or

(F) for relief under Rule 60 if the motion is served within 10 days after the entry of judgment.


A notice of appeal filed after announcement or entry of the judgment but before disposition of any of the above motions is ineffective to appeal from the judgment or order, or part thereof, specified in the notice of appeal, until the date of the entry of the order disposing of the last such motion outstanding. Appellate review of an order disposing of any of the above motions requires the party, in compliance with Appellate Rule 3(c), to amend a previously filed notice of appeal. A party intending to challenge an alteration or amendment of the judgment shall file an amended notice of appeal within the time prescribed by this Rule 4 measured from the entry of the order disposing of the last such motion outstanding. No additional fees will be required for filing an amended notice.

(5) The district court, upon a showing of excusable neglect or good cause, may extend the time for filing a notice of appeal upon motion filed not later than 30 days after the expiration of the time prescribed by this Rule 4(a). Any such motion which is filed before expiration of the prescribed time may be ex parte unless the court otherwise requires. Notice of any such motion which is filed after expiration of the prescribed time shall be given to the other parties in accordance with local rules. No such extension shall exceed 30 days past such prescribed time or 10 days from the date of entry of the order granting the motion, whichever occurs later.

(6) The district court, if it finds (a) that a party entitled to notice of the entry of a judgment or order did not receive such notice from the clerk or any party within 21 days of its entry and (b) that no party would be prejudiced, may, upon motion filed within 180 days of entry of the judgment or order or within 7 days of receipt of such notice, whichever is earlier, reopen the time for appeal for a period of 14 days from the date of entry of the order reopening the time for appeal.

(7) A judgment or order is entered within the meaning of this Rule 4(a) when it is entered in compliance with Rules 58 and 79(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) Appeal in a Criminal Case.—In a criminal case, a defendant shall file the notice of appeal in the district court within 10 days after the entry either of the judgment or order appealed from, or of a notice of appeal by the Government. A notice of appeal filed after the announcement of a decision, sentence, or order—but before entry of the judgment or order—is treated as filed on the date of and after the entry. If a defendant makes a timely motion specified immediately below, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, an appeal from a judgment of conviction must be taken within 10 days after the entry of the order disposing of the last such motion outstanding, or within 10 days after the entry of the judgment of conviction, whichever is later. This provision applies to a timely motion:

(1) for judgment of acquittal;

(2) for arrest of judgment;

(3) for a new trial on any ground other than newly discovered evidence; or

(4) for a new trial based on the ground of newly discovered evidence if the motion is made before or within 10 days after entry of the judgment.


A notice of appeal filed after the court announces a decision, sentence, or order but before it disposes of any of the above motions, is ineffective until the date of the entry of the order disposing of the last such motion outstanding, or until the date of the entry of the judgment of conviction, whichever is later. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 3(c), a valid notice of appeal is effective without amendment to appeal from an order disposing of any of the above motions. When an appeal by the government is authorized by statute, the notice of appeal must be filed in the district court within 30 days after (i) the entry of the judgment or order appealed from or (ii) the filing of a notice of appeal by any defendant.

A judgment or order is entered within the meaning of this subdivision when it is entered on the criminal docket. Upon a showing of excusable neglect, the district court may—before or after the time has expired, with or without motion and notice—extend the time for filing a notice of appeal for a period not to exceed 30 days from the expiration of the time otherwise prescribed by this subdivision.

The filing of a notice of appeal under this Rule 4(b) does not divest a district court of jurisdiction to correct a sentence under Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(c), nor does the filing of a motion under Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(c) affect the validity of a notice of appeal filed before entry of the order disposing of the motion.

(c) Appeal by an Inmate Confined in an Institution.—If an inmate confined in an institution files a notice of appeal in either a civil case or a criminal case, the notice of appeal is timely filed if it is deposited in the institution's internal mail system on or before the last day for filing. Timely filing may be shown by a notarized statement or by a declaration (in compliance with 28 U.S.C. §1746) setting forth the date of deposit and stating that first-class postage has been prepaid. In a civil case in which the first notice of appeal is filed in the manner provided in this subdivision (c), the 14-day period provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this Rule 4 for another party to file a notice of appeal runs from the date when the district court receives the first notice of appeal. In a criminal case in which a defendant files a notice of appeal in the manner provided in this subdivision (c), the 30-day period for the government to file its notice of appeal runs from the entry of the judgment or order appealed from or from the district court's receipt of the defendant's notice of appeal.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7111, 102 Stat. 4419; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). This subdivision is derived from FRCP 73(a) without any change of substance. The requirement that a request for an extension of time for filing the notice of appeal made after expiration of the time be made by motion and on notice codifies the result reached under the present provisions of FRCP 73(a) and 6(b). North Umberland Mining Co. v. Standard Accident Ins. Co., 193 F.2d 951 (9th Cir., 1952); Cohen v. Plateau Natural Gas Co., 303 F.2d 273 (10th Cir., 1962); Plant Economy, Inc. v. Mirror Insulation Co., 308 F.2d 275 (3d Cir., 1962).

Since this subdivision governs appeals in all civil cases, it supersedes the provisions of section 25 of the Bankruptcy Act (11 U.S.C. §48). Except in cases to which the United States or an officer or agency thereof is a party, the change is a minor one, since a successful litigant in a bankruptcy proceeding may, under section 25, oblige an aggrieved party to appeal within 30 days after entry of judgment—the time fixed by this subdivision in cases involving private parties only—by serving him with notice of entry on the day thereof, and by the terms of section 25 an aggrieved party must in any event appeal within 40 days after entry of judgment. No reason appears why the time for appeal in bankruptcy should not be the same as that in civil cases generally. Furthermore, section 25 is a potential trap for the uninitiated. The time for appeal which it provides is not applicable to all appeals which may fairly be termed appeals in bankruptcy. Section 25 governs only those cases referred to in section 24 as “proceedings in bankruptcy” and “controversies arising in proceedings in bankruptcy.” Lowenstein v. Reikes, 54 F.2d 481 (2d Cir., 1931), cert. den., 285 U.S. 539, 52 S.Ct. 311, 76 L.Ed. 932 (1932). The distinction between such cases and other cases which arise out of bankruptcy is often difficult to determine. See 2 Moore's Collier on Bankruptcy 24.12 through 24.36 (1962). As a result it is not always clear whether an appeal is governed by section 25 or by FRCP 73(a), which is applicable to such appeals in bankruptcy as are not governed by section 25.

In view of the unification of the civil and admiralty procedure accomplished by the amendments of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure effective July 1, 1966, this subdivision governs appeals in those civil actions which involve admiralty or maritime claims and which prior to that date were known as suits in admiralty.

The only other change possibly effected by this subdivision is in the time for appeal from a decision of a district court on a petition for impeachment of an award of a board of arbitration under the Act of May 20, 1926, c. 347, §9 (44 Stat. 585), 45 U.S.C. §159. The act provides that a notice of appeal from such a decision shall be filed within 10 days of the decision. This singular provision was apparently repealed by the enactment in 1948 of 28 U.S.C. §2107, which fixed 30 days from the date of entry of judgment as the time for appeal in all actions of a civil nature except actions in admiralty or bankruptcy matters or those in which the United States is a party. But it was not expressly repealed, and its status is in doubt. See 7 Moore's Federal Practice 73.09[2] (1966). The doubt should be resolved, and no reason appears why appeals in such cases should not be taken within the time provided for civil cases generally.

Subdivision (b). This subdivision is derived from FRCrP 37(a)(2) without change of substance.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Subdivision (a)(1). The words “(including a civil action which involves an admiralty or maritime claim and a proceeding in bankruptcy or a controversy arising therein),” which appear in the present rule are struck out as unnecessary and perhaps misleading in suggesting that there may be other categories that are not either civil or criminal within the meaning of Rule 4(a) and (b).

The phrases “within 30 days of such entry” and “within 60 days of such entry” have been changed to read “after” instead of “or.” The change is for clarity only, since the word “of” in the present rule appears to be used to mean “after.” Since the proposed amended rule deals directly with the premature filing of a notice of appeal, it was thought useful to emphasize the fact that except as provided, the period during which a notice of appeal may be filed is the 30 days, or 60 days as the case may be, following the entry of the judgment or order appealed from. See Notes to Rule 4(a)(2) and (4), below.

Subdivision (a)(2). The proposed amendment to Rule 4(a)(2) would extend to civil cases the provisions of Rule 4(b), dealing with criminal cases, designed to avoid the loss of the right to appeal by filing the notice of appeal prematurely. Despite the absence of such a provision in Rule 4(a) the courts of appeals quite generally have held premature appeals effective. See, e. g., Matter of Grand Jury Empanelled Jan. 21, 1975, 541 F.2d 373 (3d Cir. 1976); Hodge v. Hodge, 507 F.2d 87 (3d Cir. 1976); Song Jook Suh v. Rosenberg, 437 F.2d 1098 (9th Cir. 1971); Ruby v. Secretary of the Navy, 365 F.2d 385 (9th Cir. 1966); Firchau v. Diamond Nat'l Corp., 345 F.2d 469 (9th Cir. 1965).

The proposed amended rule would recognize this practice but make an exception in cases in which a post trial motion has destroyed the finality of the judgment. See Note to Rule 4(a)(4) below.

Subdivision (a)(4). The proposed amendment would make it clear that after the filing of the specified post trial motions, a notice of appeal should await disposition of the motion. Since the proposed amendments to Rules 3, 10, and 12 contemplate that immediately upon the filing of the notice of appeal the fees will be paid and the case docketed in the court of appeals, and the steps toward its disposition set in motion, it would be undesirable to proceed with the appeal while the district court has before it a motion the granting of which would vacate or alter the judgment appealed from. See, e. g., Kieth v. Newcourt, 530 F.2d 826 (8th Cir. 1976). Under the present rule, since docketing may not take place until the record is transmitted, premature filing is much less likely to involve waste effort. See, e. g., Stokes v. Peyton's Inc., 508 F.2d 1287 (5th Cir. 1975). Further, since a notice of appeal filed before the disposition of a post trial motion, even if it were treated as valid for purposes of jurisdiction, would not embrace objections to the denial of the motion, it is obviously preferable to postpone the notice of appeal until after the motion is disposed of.

The present rule, since it provides for the “termination” of the “running” of the appeal time, is ambiguous in its application to a notice of appeal filed prior to a post trial motion filed within the 10 day limit. The amendment would make it clear that in such circumstances the appellant should not proceed with the appeal during pendency of the motion but should file a new notice of appeal after the motion is disposed of.

Subdivision (a)(5). Under the present rule it is provided that upon a showing of excusable neglect the district court at any time may extend the time for the filing of a notice of appeal for a period not to exceed 30 days from the expiration of the time otherwise prescribed by the rule, but that if the application is made after the original time has run, the order may be made only on motion with such notice as the court deems appropriate.

A literal reading of this provision would require that the extension be ordered and the notice of appeal filed within the 30 day period, but despite the surface clarity of the rule, it has produced considerable confusion. See the discussion by Judge Friendly in In re Orbitek, 520 F.2d 358 (2d Cir. 1975). The proposed amendment would make it clear that a motion to extend the time must be filed no later than 30 days after the expiration of the original appeal time, and that if the motion is timely filed the district court may act upon the motion at a later date, and may extend the time not in excess of 10 days measured from the date on which the order granting the motion is entered.

Under the present rule there is a possible implication that prior to the time the initial appeal time has run, the district court may extend the time on the basis of an informal application. The amendment would require that the application must be made by motion, though the motion may be made ex parte. After the expiration of the initial time a motion for the extension of the time must be made in compliance with the F.R.C.P. and local rules of the district court. See Note to proposed amended Rule 1, supra. And see Rules 6(d), 7(b) of the F.R.C.P.

The proposed amended rule expands to some extent the standard for the grant of an extension of time. The present rule requires a “showing of excusable neglect.” While this was an appropriate standard in cases in which the motion is made after the time for filing the notice of appeal has run, and remains so, it has never fit exactly the situation in which the appellant seeks an extension before the expiration of the initial time. In such a case “good cause,” which is the standard that is applied in the granting of other extensions of time under Rule 26(b) seems to be more appropriate.

Subdivision (a)(6). The proposed amendment would call attention to the requirement of Rule 58 of the F.R.C.P. that the judgment constitute a separate document. See United States v. Indrelunas, 411 U.S. 216 (1973). When a notice of appeal is filed, the clerk should ascertain whether any judgment designated therein has been entered in compliance with Rules 58 and 79(a) and if not, so advise all parties and the district judge. While the requirement of Rule 48 is not jurisdictional (see Bankers Trust Co. v. Mallis, 431 U.S. 928 (1977)), compliance is important since the time for the filing of a notice of appeal by other parties is measured by the time at which the judgment is properly entered.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

The amendment provides a limited opportunity for relief in circumstances where the notice of entry of a judgment or order, required to be mailed by the clerk of the district court pursuant to Rule 77(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, is either not received by a party or is received so late as to impair the opportunity to file a timely notice of appeal. The amendment adds a new subdivision (6) allowing a district court to reopen for a brief period the time for appeal upon a finding that notice of entry of a judgment or order was not received from the clerk or a party within 21 days of its entry and that no party would be prejudiced. By “prejudice” the Committee means some adverse consequence other than the cost of having to oppose the appeal and encounter the risk of reversal, consequences that are present in every appeal. Prejudice might arise, for example, if the appellee had taken some action in reliance on the expiration of the normal time period for filing a notice of appeal.

Reopening may be ordered only upon a motion filed within 180 days of the entry of a judgment or order or within 7 days of receipt of notice of such entry, whichever is earlier. This provision establishes an outer time limit of 180 days for a party who fails to receive timely notice of entry of a judgment to seek additional time to appeal and enables any winning party to shorten the 180-day period by sending (and establishing proof of receipt of) its own notice of entry of a judgment, as authorized by Fed. R. Civ. P. 77(d). Winning parties are encouraged to send their own notice in order to lessen the chance that a judge will accept a claim of non-receipt in the face of evidence that notices were sent by both the clerk and the winning party. Receipt of a winning party's notice will shorten only the time for reopening the time for appeal under this subdivision, leaving the normal time periods for appeal unaffected.

If the motion is granted, the district court may reopen the time for filing a notice of appeal only for a period of 14 days from the date of entry of the order reopening the time for appeal.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Note to Paragraph (a)(1). The amendment is intended to alert readers to the fact that paragraph (a)(4) extends the time for filing an appeal when certain posttrial motions are filed. The Committee hopes that awareness of the provisions of paragraph (a)(4) will prevent the filing of a notice of appeal when a posttrial tolling motion is pending.

Note to Paragraph (a)(2). The amendment treats a notice of appeal filed after the announcement of a decision or order, but before its formal entry, as if the notice had been filed after entry. The amendment deletes the language that made paragraph (a)(2) inapplicable to a notice of appeal filed after announcement of the disposition of a posttrial motion enumerated in paragraph (a)(4) but before the entry of the order, see Acosta v. Louisiana Dep't of Health & Human Resources, 478 U.S. 251 (1986) (per curiam); Alerte v. McGinnis, 898 F.2d 69 (7th Cir. 1990). Because the amendment of paragraph (a)(4) recognizes all notices of appeal filed after announcement or entry of judgment—even those that are filed while the posttrial motions enumerated in paragraph (a)(4) are pending—the amendment of this paragraph is consistent with the amendment of paragraph (a)(4).

Note to Paragraph (a)(3). The amendment is technical in nature; no substantive change is intended.

Note to Paragraph (a)(4). The 1979 amendment of this paragraph created a trap for an unsuspecting litigant who files a notice of appeal before a posttrial motion, or while a posttrial motion is pending. The 1979 amendment requires a party to file a new notice of appeal after the motion's disposition. Unless a new notice is filed, the court of appeals lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Griggs v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 459 U.S. 56 (1982). Many litigants, especially pro se litigants, fail to file the second notice of appeal, and several courts have expressed dissatisfaction with the rule. See, e.g., Averhart v. Arrendondo, 773 F.2d 919 (7th Cir. 1985); Harcon Barge Co. v. D & G Boat Rentals, Inc., 746 F.2d 278 (5th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 930 (1986).

The amendment provides that a notice of appeal filed before the disposition of a specified posttrial motion will become effective upon disposition of the motion. A notice filed before the filing of one of the specified motions or after the filing of a motion but before disposition of the motion is, in effect, suspended until the motion is disposed of, whereupon, the previously filed notice effectively places jurisdiction in the court of appeals.

Because a notice of appeal will ripen into an effective appeal upon disposition of a posttrial motion, in some instances there will be an appeal from a judgment that has been altered substantially because the motion was granted in whole or in part. Many such appeals will be dismissed for want of prosecution when the appellant fails to meet the briefing schedule. But, the appellee may also move to strike the appeal. When responding to such a motion, the appellant would have an opportunity to state that, even though some relief sought in a posttrial motion was granted, the appellant still plans to pursue the appeal. Because the appellant's response would provide the appellee with sufficient notice of the appellant's intentions, the Committee does not believe that an additional notice of appeal is needed.

The amendment provides that a notice of appeal filed before the disposition of a posttrial tolling motion is sufficient to bring the underlying case, as well as any orders specified in the original notice, to the court of appeals. If the judgment is altered upon disposition of a posttrial motion, however, and if a party wishes to appeal from the disposition of the motion, the party must amend the notice to so indicate. When a party files an amended notice, no additional fees are required because the notice is an amendment of the original and not a new notice of appeal.

Paragraph (a)(4) is also amended to include, among motions that extend the time for filing a notice of appeal, a Rule 60 motion that is served within 10 days after entry of judgment. This eliminates the difficulty of determining whether a posttrial motion made within 10 days after entry of a judgment is a Rule 59(e) motion, which tolls the time for filing an appeal, or a Rule 60 motion, which historically has not tolled the time. The amendment comports with the practice in several circuits of treating all motions to alter or amend judgments that are made within 10 days after entry of judgment as Rule 59(e) motions for purposes of Rule 4(a)(4). See, e.g., Finch v. City of Vernon, 845 F.2d 256 (11th Cir. 1988); Rados v. Celotex Corp., 809 F.2d 170 (2d Cir. 1986); Skagerberg v. Oklahoma, 797 F.2d 881 (10th Cir. 1986). To conform to a recent Supreme Court decision, however—Budinich v. Becton Dickinson and Co., 486 U.S. 196 (1988)—the amendment excludes motions for attorney's fees from the class of motions that extend the filing time unless a district court, acting under Rule 58, enters an order extending the time for appeal. This amendment is to be read in conjunction with the amendment of Fed. R. Civ. P. 58.

Note to subdivision (b). The amendment grammatically restructures the portion of this subdivision that lists the types of motions that toll the time for filing an appeal. This restructuring is intended to make the rule easier to read. No substantive change is intended other than to add a motion for judgment of acquittal under Criminal Rule 29 to the list of tolling motions. Such a motion is the equivalent of a Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(b) motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which tolls the running of time for an appeal in a civil case.

The proposed amendment also eliminates an ambiguity from the third sentence of this subdivision. Prior to this amendment, the third sentence provided that if one of the specified motions was filed, the time for filing an appeal would run from the entry of an order denying the motion. That sentence, like the parallel provision in Rule 4(a)(4), was intended to toll the running of time for appeal if one of the posttrial motions is timely filed. In a criminal case, however, the time for filing the motions runs not from entry of judgment (as it does in civil cases), but from the verdict or finding of guilt. Thus, in a criminal case, a posttrial motion may be disposed of more than 10 days before sentence is imposed, i.e. before the entry of judgment. United States v. Hashagen, 816 F.2d 899, 902 n.5 (3d Cir. 1987). To make it clear that a notice of appeal need not be filed before entry of judgment, the amendment states that an appeal may be taken within 10 days after the entry of an order disposing of the motion, or within 10 days after the entry of judgment, whichever is later. The amendment also changes the language in the third sentence providing that an appeal may be taken within 10 days after the entry of an order denying the motion; the amendment says instead that an appeal may be taken within 10 days after the entry of an order disposing of the last such motion outstanding. (Emphasis added) The change recognizes that there may be multiple posttrial motions filed and that, although one or more motions may be granted in whole or in part, a defendant may still wish to pursue an appeal.

The amendment also states that a notice of appeal filed before the disposition of any of the posttrial tolling motions becomes effective upon disposition of the motions. In most circuits this language simply restates the current practice. See United States v. Cortes, 895 F.2d 1245 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 939 (1990). Two circuits, however, have questioned that practice in light of the language of the rule, see United States v. Gargano, 826 F.2d 610 (7th Cir. 1987), and United States v. Jones, 669 F.2d 559 (8th Cir. 1982), and the Committee wishes to clarify the rule. The amendment is consistent with the proposed amendment of Rule 4(a)(4).

Subdivision (b) is further amended in light of new Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(c), which authorizes a sentencing court to correct any arithmetical, technical, or other clear errors in sentencing within 7 days after imposing the sentence. The Committee believes that a sentencing court should be able to act under Criminal Rule 35(c) even if a notice of appeal has already been filed; and that a notice of appeal should not be affected by the filing of a Rule 35(c) motion or by correction of a sentence under Rule 35(c).

Note to subdivision (c). In Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988), the Supreme Court held that a pro se prisoner's notice of appeal is “filed” at the moment of delivery to prison authorities for forwarding to the district court. The amendment reflects that decision. The language of the amendment is similar to that in Supreme Court Rule 29.2.

Permitting an inmate to file a notice of appeal by depositing it in an institutional mail system requires adjustment of the rules governing the filing of cross-appeals. In a civil case, the time for filing a cross-appeal ordinarily runs from the date when the first notice of appeal is filed. If an inmate's notice of appeal is filed by depositing it in an institution's mail system, it is possible that the notice of appeal will not arrive in the district court until several days after the “filing” date and perhaps even after the time for filing a cross-appeal has expired. To avoid that problem, subdivision (c) provides that in a civil case when an institutionalized person files a notice of appeal by depositing it in the institution's mail system, the time for filing a cross-appeal runs from the district court's receipt of the notice. The amendment makes a parallel change regarding the time for the government to appeal in a criminal case.

1988 Amendment

Subd. (b). Pub. L. 100–690 inserted “(i)” and “or (ii) a notice of appeal by the Government” in first sentence, and “(i)” and “or (ii) a notice of appeal by any defendant” in fifth sentence.

Cross References

Abatement, reviewing of rulings, see section 2105 of this title.

Amount or value in controversy affecting right to review, see section 2108 of this title.

Circuits in which decisions reviewable generally, see section 1294 of this title.

Determination of appeal generally, see section 2106 of this title.

Final decisions of district courts reviewable by courts of appeals, see section 1291 of this title.

Rule-making power of courts generally, see section 2071 of this title.

Time for appeal to court of appeals, see section 2107 of this title.

Rule 5. Appeal by Permission Under 28 U.S.C. §1292(b)

(a) Petition for permission to appeal.—An appeal from an interlocutory order containing the statement prescribed by 28 U.S.C. §1292(b) may be sought by filing a petition for permission to appeal with the clerk of the court of appeals within 10 days after the entry of such order in the district court with proof of service on all other parties to the action in the district court. An order may be amended to include the prescribed statement at any time, and permission to appeal may be sought within 10 days after entry of the order as amended.

(b) Content of petition; answer.—The petition shall contain a statement of the facts necessary to an understanding of the controlling question of law determined by the order of the district court; a statement of the question itself; and a statement of the reasons why a substantial basis exists for a difference of opinion on the question and why an immediate appeal may materially advance the termination of the litigation. The petition shall include or have annexed thereto a copy of the order from which appeal is sought and of any findings of fact, conclusions of law and opinion relating thereto. Within 7 days after service of the petition an adverse party may file an answer in opposition. The application and answer shall be submitted without oral argument unless otherwise ordered.

(c) Form of Papers; Number of Copies.—All papers may be typewritten. An original and three copies must be filed unless the court requires the filing of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case.

(d) Grant of permission; cost bond; filing of record.—Within 10 days after the entry of an order granting permission to appeal the appellant shall (1) pay to the clerk of the district court the fees established by statute and the docket fee prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States and (2) file a bond for costs if required pursuant to Rule 7. The clerk of the district court shall notify the clerk of the court of appeals of the payment of the fees. Upon receipt of such notice the clerk of the court of appeals shall enter the appeal upon the docket. The record shall be transmitted and filed in accordance with Rules 11 and 12(b). A notice of appeal need not be filed.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule is derived in the main from Third Circuit Rule 11(2), which is similar to the rule governing appeals under 28 U.S.C. §1292(b) in a majority of the circuits. The second sentence of subdivision (a) resolves a conflict over the question of whether the district court can amend an order by supplying the statement required by §1292(b) at any time after entry of the order, with the result that the time fixed by the statute commences to run on the date of entry of the order as amended. Compare Milbert v. Bison Laboratories, 260 F.2d 431 (3d Cir., 1958) with Sperry Rand Corporation v. Bell Telephone Laboratories, 272 F.2d (2d Cir., 1959), Hadjipateras v. Pacifica, S.A., 290 F.2d 697 (5th Cir., 1961), and Houston Fearless Corporation v. Teter, 313 F.2d 91 (10th Cir., 1962). The view taken by the Second, Fifth and Tenth Circuits seems theoretically and practically sound, and the rule adopts it. Although a majority of the circuits now require the filing of a notice of appeal following the grant of permission to appeal, filing of the notice serves no function other than to provide a time from which the time for transmitting the record and docketing the appeal begins to run.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment adapts to the practice in appeals from interlocutory orders under 28 U.S.C. §1292(b) the provisions of proposed Rule 3(e) above, requiring payment of all fees in the district court upon the filing of the notice of appeal. See Note to proposed amended Rule 3(e), supra.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (c). The amendment makes it clear that a court may require a different number of copies either by rule or by order in an individual case. The number of copies of any document that a court of appeals needs varies depending upon the way in which the court conducts business. The internal operation of the courts of appeals necessarily varies from circuit to circuit because of differences in the number of judges, the geographic area included within the circuit, and other such factors. Uniformity could be achieved only by setting the number of copies artificially high so that parties in all circuits file enough copies to satisfy the needs of the court requiring the greatest number. Rather than do that, the Committee decided to make it clear that local rules may require a greater or lesser number of copies and that, if the circumstances of a particular case indicate the need for a different number of copies in that case, the court may so order.

Cross References

Circuits to which decisions reviewable, see section 1294 of this title.

Rule 5.1. Appeal by Permission Under 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(5)

(a) Petition for Leave to Appeal; Answer or Cross Petition.—An appeal from a district court judgment, entered after an appeal under 28 U.S.C. §636(c)(4) to a district judge from a judgment entered upon direction of a magistrate judge in a civil case, may be sought by filing a petition for leave to appeal. An appeal on petition for leave to appeal is not a matter of right, but its allowance is a matter of sound judicial discretion. The petition shall be filed with the clerk of the court of appeals within the time provided by Rule 4(a) for filing a notice of appeal, with proof of service on all parties to the action in the district court. A notice of appeal need not be filed. Within 14 days after service of the petition, a party may file an answer in opposition or a cross petition.

(b) Content of Petition; Answer.—The petition for leave to appeal shall contain a statement of the facts necessary to an understanding of the questions to be presented by the appeal; a statement of those questions and of the relief sought; a statement of the reasons why in the opinion of the petitioner the appeal should be allowed; and a copy of the order, decree or judgment complained of and any opinion or memorandum relating thereto. The petition and answer shall be submitted to a panel of judges of the court of appeals without oral argument unless otherwise ordered.

(c) Form of Papers; Number of Copies.—All papers may be typewritten. An original and three copies must be filed unless the court requires the filing of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case.

(d) Allowance of the Appeal; Fees; Cost Bond; Filing of Record.—Within 10 days after the entry of an order granting the appeal, the appellant shall (1) pay to the clerk of the district court the fees established by statute and the docket fee prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States and (2) file a bond for costs if required pursuant to Rule 7. The clerk of the district court shall notify the clerk of the court of appeals of the payment of the fees. Upon receipt of such notice, the clerk of the court of appeals shall enter the appeal upon the docket. The record shall be transmitted and filed in accordance with Rules 11 and 12(b).

(As added Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; amended Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986

When the initial appeal of a magistrate's decision is taken to the district court, the statute provides for a second discretionary appeal to the court of appeals. This rule provides the procedure for taking such an appeal.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The amendment conforms the rule to the change in title from “magistrate” to “magistrate judge” made by the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101–650, 104 Stat. 5089, 5117 (1990).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (c). The amendment makes it clear that a court may require a different number of copies either by rule or by order in an individual case. The number of copies of any document that a court of appeals needs varies depending upon the way in which the court conducts business. The internal operation of the courts of appeals necessarily varies from circuit to circuit because of differences in the number of judges, the geographic area included within the circuit, and other such factors. Uniformity could be achieved only by setting the number of copies artificially high so that parties in all circuits file enough copies to satisfy the needs of the court requiring the greatest number. Rather than do that, the Committee decided to make it clear that local rules may require a greater or lesser number of copies and that, if the circumstances of a particular case indicate the need for a different number of copies in that case, the court may so order.

Rule 6. Appeal in a Bankruptcy Case from a Final Judgment, Order, or Decree of a District Court or of a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

(a) Appeal from a judgment, order or decree of a district court exercising original jurisdiction in a bankruptcy case.—An appeal to a court of appeals from a final judgment, order or decree of a district court exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1334 shall be taken in identical fashion as appeals from other judgments, orders or decrees of district courts in civil actions.

(b) Appeal from a judgment, order or decree of a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel exercising appellate jurisdiction in a bankruptcy case.—(1) Applicability of other rules. All provisions of these rules are applicable to an appeal to a court of appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(d) from a final judgment, order or decree of a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel exercising appellate jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(a) or (b), except that:

(i) Rules 3.1, 4(a)(4), 4(b), 5.1, 9, 10, 11, 12(b), 13–20, 22–23, and 24(b) are not applicable;

(ii) the reference in Rule 3(c) to “Form 1 in the Appendix of Forms” shall be read as a reference to Form 5; and

(iii) when the appeal is from a bankruptcy appellate panel, the term “district court” as used in any applicable rule, means “appellate panel”.


(2) Additional rules. In addition to the rules made applicable by subsection (b)(1) of this rule, the following rules shall apply to an appeal to a court of appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(d) from a final judgment, order or decree of a district court or of a bankruptcy appellate panel exercising appellate jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(a) or (b):

(i) Effect of a Motion for Rehearing on the Time for Appeal. If any party files a timely motion for rehearing under Bankruptcy Rule 8015 in the district court or the bankruptcy appellate panel, the time for appeal to the court of appeals for all parties runs from the entry of the order disposing of the motion. A notice of appeal filed after announcement or entry of the district court's or bankruptcy appellate panel's judgment, order, or decree, but before disposition of the motion for rehearing, is ineffective until the date of the entry of the order disposing of the motion for rehearing. Appellate review of the order disposing of the motion requires the party, in compliance with Appellate Rules 3(c) and 6(b)(1)(ii), to amend a previously filed notice of appeal. A party intending to challenge an alteration or amendment of the judgment, order, or decree shall file an amended notice of appeal within the time prescribed by Rule 4, excluding 4(a)(4) and 4(b), measured from the entry of the order disposing of the motion. No additional fees will be required for filing the amended notice.

(ii) The record on appeal. Within 10 days after filing the notice of appeal, the appellant shall file with the clerk possessed of the record assembled pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 8006, and serve on the appellee, a statement of the issues to be presented on appeal and a designation of the record to be certified and transmitted to the clerk of the court of appeals. If the appellee deems other parts of the record necessary, the appellee shall, within 10 days after service of the appellant's designation, file with the clerk and serve on the appellant a designation of additional parts to be included. The record, redesignated as provided above, plus the proceedings in the district court or bankruptcy appellate panel and a certified copy of the docket entries prepared by the clerk pursuant to Rule 3(d) shall constitute the record on appeal.

(iii) Transmission of the record. When the record is complete for purpose of the appeal, the clerk of the district court or the appellate panel, shall transmit it forthwith to the clerk of the court of appeals. The clerk of the district court or of the appellate panel shall number the documents comprising the record and shall transmit with the record a list of documents correspondingly numbered and identified with reasonable definiteness. Documents of unusual bulk or weight, physical exhibits other than documents, and such other parts of the record as the court of appeals may designate by local rule, shall not be transmitted by the clerk unless the clerk is directed to do so by a party or by the clerk of the court of appeals. A party must make advance arrangements with the clerk for the transportation and receipt of exhibits of unusual bulk or weight. All parties shall take any other action necessary to enable the clerk to assemble and transmit the record. The court of appeals may provide by rule or order that a certified copy of the docket entries shall be transmitted in lieu of the redesignated record, subject to the right of any party to request at any time during the pendency of the appeal that the redesignated record be transmitted.

(iv) Filing of the record. Upon receipt of the record, the clerk of the court of appeals shall file it and shall immediately give notice to all parties of the date on which it was filed. Upon receipt of a certified copy of the docket entries transmitted in lieu of the redesignated record pursuant to rule or order, the clerk of the court of appeals shall file it and shall immediately give notice to all parties of the date on which it was filed.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule is substantially a restatement of present procedure. See D.C. Cir. Rule 34; 6th Cir. Rule 11; 7th Cir. Rule 10(d); 10th Cir. Rule 13.

Present circuit rules commonly provide that the petition for allowance of an appeal shall be filed within the time allowed by Section 25 of the Bankruptcy Act for taking appeals of right. For the reasons explained in the Note accompanying Rule 4, that rule makes the time for appeal in bankruptcy cases the same as that which obtains in other civil cases and thus supersedes Section 25. Thus the present rule simply continues the former practice of making the time for filing the petition in appeals by allowance the same as that provided for filing the notice of appeal in appeals of right.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment adapts to the practice in appeals by allowance in bankruptcy proceedings the provisions of proposed Rule 3(e) above, requiring payment of all fees in the district court at the time of the filing of the notice of appeal. See Note to Rule 3(e), supra.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

A new Rule 6 is proposed. The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95–598, 92 Stat. 2549, the Supreme Court decision in Northern Pipeline Construction Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50 (1982), and the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98–353, 98 Stat. 333, have made the existing Rule 6 obsolete.

Subdivision (a). Subdivision (a) provides that when a district court exercises original jurisdiction in a bankruptcy matter, rather than referring it to a bankruptcy judge for a final determination, the appeal should be taken in identical fashion as appeals from district court decisions in other civil actions. A district court exercises original jurisdiction and this subdivision applies when the district court enters a final order or judgment upon consideration of a bankruptcy judge's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in a non-core proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §157(c)(1) or when a district court withdraws a proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §157(d). This subdivision is included to avoid uncertainty arising from the question of whether a bankruptcy case is a civil case. The rules refer at various points to the procedure “in a civil case”, see, e.g. Rule 4(a)(1). Subdivision (a) makes it clear that such rules apply to an appeal from a district court bankruptcy decision.

Subdivision (b). Subdivision (b) governs appeals that follow intermediate review of a bankruptcy judge's decision by a district court or a bankruptcy appellate panel.

Subdivision (b)(1). Subdivision (b)(1) provides for the general applicability of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, with specified exceptions, to appeals covered by subdivision (b) and makes necessary word adjustments.

Subdivision (b)(2). Paragraph (i) provides that the time for filing a notice of appeal shall begin to run anew from the entry of an order denying a rehearing or from the entry of a subsequent judgment. The Committee deliberately omitted from the rule any provision governing the validity of a notice of appeal filed prior to the entry of an order denying a rehearing; the Committee intended to leave undisturbed the current state of the law on that issue. Paragraph (ii) calls for a redesignation of the appellate record assembled in the bankruptcy court pursuant to Rule 8006 of the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. After an intermediate appeal, a party may well narrow the focus of its efforts on the second appeal and a redesignation of the record may eliminate unnecessary material. The proceedings during the first appeal are included to cover the possibility that independent error in the intermediate appeal, for example failure to follow appropriate procedures, may be assigned in the court of appeals. Paragraph (iii) provides for the transmission of the record and tracks the appropriate subsections of Rule 11. Paragraph (iv) provides for the filing of the record and notices to the parties. Paragraph (ii) and Paragraph (iv) both refer to “a certified copy of the docket entries”. The “docket entries” referred to are the docket entries in the district court or the bankruptcy appellate panel, not the entire docket in the bankruptcy court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Note to Subparagraph (b)(2)(i). The amendment accompanies concurrent changes to Rule 4(a)(4). Although Rule 6 never included language such as that being changed in Rule 4(a)(4), language that made a notice of appeal void if it was filed before, or during the pendency of, certain posttrial motions, courts have found that a notice of appeal is premature if it is filed before the court disposes of a motion for rehearing. See, e.g., In re X-Cel, Inc., 823 F.2d 192 (7th Cir. 1987); In re Shah, 859 F.2d 1463 (10th Cir. 1988). The Committee wants to achieve the same result here as in Rule 4, the elimination of a procedural trap.

Cross References

Final decisions of the district court appealable to courts of appeals, see section 1291 of this title.

Interlocutory decisions of district courts appealable to courts of appeals, see section 1292 of this title.

Rule 7. Bond for costs on appeal in civil cases

The district court may require an appellant to file a bond or provide other security in such form and amount as it finds necessary to ensure payment of costs on appeal in a civil case. The provisions of Rule 8(b) apply to a surety upon a bond given pursuant to this rule.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule is derived from FRCP 73(c) without change in substance.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The amendment would eliminate the provision of the present rule that requires the appellant to file a $250 bond for costs on appeal at the time of filing his notice of appeal. The $250 provision was carried forward in the F.R.App.P. from former Rule 73(c) of the F.R.Civ.P., and the $250 figure has remained unchanged since the adoption of that rule in 1937. Today it bears no relationship to actual costs. The amended rule would leave the question of the need for a bond for costs and its amount in the discretion of the court.

Cross References

Deposit of bonds or notes of United States in lieu of surety, see section 9303 of Title 31, Money and Finance.

Security for damages or costs not required of the United States, see section 2408 of this title.

Rule 8. Stay or injunction pending appeal

(a) Stay must ordinarily be sought in the first instance in district court; motion for stay in court of appeals.—Application for a stay of the judgment or order of a district court pending appeal, or for approval of a supersedeas bond, or for an order suspending, modifying, restoring or granting an injunction during the pendency of an appeal must ordinarily be made in the first instance in the district court. A motion for such relief may be made to the court of appeals or to a judge thereof, but the motion shall show that application to the district court for the relief sought is not practicable, or that the district court has denied an application, or has failed to afford the relief which the applicant requested, with the reasons given by the district court for its action. The motion shall also show the reasons for the relief requested and the facts relied upon, and if the facts are subject to dispute the motion shall be supported by affidavits or other sworn statements or copies thereof. With the motion shall be filed such parts of the record as are relevant. Reasonable notice of the motion shall be given to all parties. The motion shall be filed with the clerk and normally will be considered by a panel or division of the court, but in exceptional cases where such procedure would be impracticable due to the requirements of time, the application may be made to and considered by a single judge of the court.

(b) Stay may be conditioned upon giving of bond; proceedings against sureties.—Relief available in the court of appeals under this rule may be conditioned upon the filing of a bond or other appropriate security in the district court. If security is given in the form of a bond or stipulation or other undertaking with one or more sureties, each surety submits to the jurisdiction of the district court and irrevocably appoints the clerk of the district court as the surety's agent upon whom any papers affecting the surety's liability on the bond or undertaking may be served. A surety's liability may be enforced on motion in the district court without the necessity of an independent action. The motion and such notice of the motion as the district court prescribes may be served on the clerk of the district court, who shall forthwith mail copies to the sureties if their addresses are known.

(c) Stays in criminal cases.—Stays in criminal cases shall be had in accordance with the provisions of Rule 38(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(As amended Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). While the power of a court of appeals to stay proceedings in the district court during the pendency of an appeal is not explicitly conferred by statute, it exists by virtue of the all writs statute, 28 U.S.C. §1651. Eastern Greyhound Lines v. Fusco, 310 F.2d 632 (6th Cir., 1962); United States v. Lynd, 301 F.2d 818 (5th Cir., 1962); Public Utilities Commission of Dist. of Col. v. Capital Transit Co., 94 U.S.App.D.C. 140, 214 F.2d 242 (1954). And the Supreme Court has termed the power “inherent” (In re McKenzie, 180 U.S. 536, 551, 21 S.Ct. 468, 45 L.Ed. 657 (1901)) and “part of its (the court of appeals) traditional equipment for the administration of justice.” (Scripps-Howard Radio v. F.C.C., 316 U.S. 4, 9–10, 62 S.Ct. 875, 86 L.Ed. 1229 (1942)). The power of a single judge of the court of appeals to grant a stay pending appeal was recognized in In re McKenzie, supra. Alexander v. United States, 173 F.2d 865 (9th Cir., 1949) held that a single judge could not stay the judgment of a district court, but it noted the absence of a rule of court authorizing the practice. FRCP 62(g) adverts to the grant of a stay by a single judge of the appellate court. The requirement that application be first made to the district court is the case law rule. Cumberland Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Louisiana Public Service Commission, 260 U.S. 212, 219, 43 S.Ct. 75, 67 L.Ed. 217 (1922); United States v. El-O-Pathic Pharmacy, 192 F.2d 62 (9th Cir., 1951); United States v. Hansell, 109 F.2d 613 (2d Cir., 1940). The requirement is explicitly stated in FRCrP 38(c) and in the rules of the First, Third, Fourth and Tenth Circuits. See also Supreme Court Rules 18 and 27.

The statement of the requirement in the proposed rule would work a minor change in present practice. FRCP 73(e) requires that if a bond for costs on appeal or a supersedeas bond is offered after the appeal is docketed, leave to file the bond must be obtained from the court of appeals. There appears to be no reason why matters relating to supersedeas and cost bonds should not be initially presented to the district court whenever they arise prior to the disposition of the appeal. The requirement of FRCP 73(e) appears to be a concession to the view that once an appeal is perfected, the district court loses all power over its judgment. See In re Federal Facilities Trust, 227 F.2d 651 (7th Cir., 1955) and cases—cited at 654–655. No reason appears why all questions related to supersedeas or the bond for costs on appeal should not be presented in the first instance to the district court in the ordinary case.

Subdivision (b). The provisions respecting a surety upon a bond or other undertaking are based upon FRCP 65.1.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rule 8(b) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Deposit of bonds or notes of the United States in lieu of surety, see section 9303 of Title 31, Money and Finance.

Security for damages or costs not required of United States, see section 2408 of this title.

Rule 9. Release in a Criminal Case

(a) Appeal from an Order Regarding Release Before Judgment of Conviction.—The district court must state in writing, or orally on the record, the reasons for an order regarding release or detention of a defendant in a criminal case. A party appealing from the order, as soon as practicable after filing a notice of appeal with the district court, must file with the court of appeals a copy of the district court's order and its statement of reasons. An appellant who questions the factual basis for the district court's order must file a transcript of any release proceedings in the district court or an explanation of why a transcript has not been obtained. The appeal must be determined promptly. It must be heard, after reasonable notice to the appellee, upon such papers, affidavits, and portions of the record as the parties present or the court may require. Briefs need not be filed unless the court so orders. The court of appeals or a judge thereof may order the release of the defendant pending decision of the appeal.

(b) Review of an Order Regarding Release After Judgment of Conviction.—A party entitled to do so may obtain review of a district court's order regarding release that is made after a judgment of conviction by filing a notice of appeal from that order with the district court, or by filing a motion with the court of appeals if the party has already filed a notice of appeal from the judgment of conviction. Both the order and the review are subject to Rule 9(a). In addition, the papers filed by the applicant for review must include a copy of the judgment of conviction.

(c) Criteria for Release.—The decision regarding release must be made in accordance with applicable provisions of 18 U.S.C. §§3142, 3143, and 3145(c).

(As amended Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Oct. 12, 1984, Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §210, 98 Stat. 1987; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). The appealability of release orders entered prior to a judgment of conviction is determined by the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3147, as qualified by 18 U.S.C. §3148, and by the rule announced in Stack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1, 72 S.Ct. 1, 96 L.Ed. 3 (1951), holding certain orders respecting release appealable as final orders under 28 U.S.C. §1291. The language of the rule, “(an)n appeal authorized by law from an order refusing or imposing conditions of release,” is intentionally broader than that used in 18 U.S.C. §3147 in describing orders made appealable by that section. The summary procedure ordained by the rule is intended to apply to all appeals from orders respecting release, and it would appear that at least some orders not made appealable by 18 U.S.C. §3147 are nevertheless appealable under the Stack v. Boyle rationale. See, for example, United States v. Foster, 278 F.2d 567 (2d Cir., 1960), holding appealable an order refusing to extend bail limits. Note also the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3148, which after withdrawing from persons charged with an offense punishable by death and from those who have been convicted of an offense the right of appeal granted by 18 U.S.C. §3147, expressly preserves “other rights to judicial review of conditions of release or orders of detention.”

The purpose of the subdivision is to insure the expeditious determination of appeals respecting release orders, an expedition commanded by 18 U.S.C. §3147 and by the Court in Stack v. Boyle, supra. It permits such appeals to be heard on an informal record without the necessity of briefs and on reasonable notice. Equally important to the just and speedy disposition of these appeals is the requirement that the district court state the reasons for its decision. See Jones v. United States, 358 F.2d 543 (D.C. Cir., 1966); Rhodes v. United States, 275 F.2d 78 (4th Cir., 1960); United States v. Williams, 253 F.2d 144 (7th Cir., 1958).

Subdivision (b). This subdivision regulates procedure for review of an order respecting release at a time when the jurisdiction of the court of appeals has already attached by virtue of an appeal from the judgment of conviction. Notwithstanding the fact that jurisdiction has passed to the court of appeals, both 18 U.S.C. §3148 and FRCrP 38(c) contemplate that the initial determination of whether a convicted defendant is to be released pending the appeal is to be made by the district court. But at this point there is obviously no need for a separate appeal from the order of the district court respecting release. The court of appeals or a judge thereof has power to effect release on motion as an incident to the pending appeal. See FRCrP 38(c) and 46(a)(2). But the motion is functionally identical with the appeal regulated by subdivision (a) and requires the same speedy determination if relief is to be effective. Hence the similarity of the procedure outlined in the two subdivisions.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (c) is intended to bring the rule into conformity with 18 U.S.C. §3148 and to allocate to the defendant the burden of establishing that he will not flee and that he poses no danger to any other person or to the community. The burden is placed upon the defendant in the view that the fact of his conviction justifies retention in custody in situations where doubt exists as to whether he can be safely released pending disposition of his appeal. Release pending appeal may also be denied if “it appears that an appeal is frivolous or taken for delay.” 18 U.S.C. §3148. The burden of establishing the existence of these criteria remains with the government.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Rule 9 has been entirely rewritten. The basic structure of the rule has been retained. Subdivision (a) governs appeals from bail decisions made before the judgment of conviction is entered at the time of sentencing. Subdivision (b) governs review of bail decisions made after sentencing and pending appeal.

Subdivision (a). The subdivision applies to appeals from “an order regarding release or detention” of a criminal defendant before judgment of conviction, i.e., before sentencing. See Fed.R.Crim.P. 32. The old rule applied only to a defendant's appeal from an order “refusing or imposing conditions of release.” The new broader language is needed because the government is now permitted to appeal bail decisions in certain circumstances. 18 U.S.C. §§3145 and 3731. For the same reason, the rule now requires a district court to state reasons for its decision in all instances, not only when it refuses release or imposes conditions on release.

The rule requires a party appealing from a district court's decision to supply the court of appeals with a copy of the district court's order and its statement of reasons. In addition, an appellant who questions the factual basis for the district court's decision must file a transcript of the release proceedings, if possible. The rule also permits a court to require additional papers. A court must act promptly to decide these appeals; lack of pertinent information can cause delays. The old rule left the determination of what should be filed entirely within the party's discretion; it stated that the court of appeals would hear the appeal “upon such papers, affidavits, and portions of the record as the parties shall present.”

Subdivision (b). This subdivision applies to review of a district court's decision regarding release made after judgment of conviction. As in subdivision (a), the language has been changed to accommodate the government's ability to seek review.

The word “review” is used in this subdivision, rather than “appeal” because review may be obtained, in some instances, upon motion. Review may be obtained by motion if the party has already filed a notice of appeal from the judgment of conviction. If the party desiring review of the release decision has not filed such a notice of appeal, review may be obtained only by filing a notice of appeal from the order regarding release.

The requirements of subdivision (a) apply to both the order and the review. That is, the district court must state its reasons for the order. The party seeking review must supply the court of appeals with the same information required by subdivision (a). In addition, the party seeking review must also supply the court with information about the conviction and the sentence.

Subdivision (c). This subdivision has been amended to include references to the correct statutory provisions.

1984 Amendment

Subd. (c). Pub. L. 98–473 substituted “3143” for “3148” and inserted “and that the appeal is not for purpose of delay and raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal or in an order for a new trial” after “community”.

Cross References

Release and detention pending judicial proceedings, see section 3141 et seq. of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Rule 10. The Record on Appeal

(a) Composition of the record on appeal.—The original papers and exhibits filed in the district court, the transcript of proceedings, if any, and a certified copy of the docket entries prepared by the clerk of the district court shall constitute the record on appeal in all cases.

(b) The Transcript of Proceedings; Duty of Appellant to Order; Notice to Appellee if Partial Transcript is Ordered.—(1) Within 10 days after filing the notice of appeal the appellant shall order from the reporter a transcript of such parts of the proceedings not already on file as the appellant deems necessary, subject to local rules of the courts of appeals. The order shall be in writing and within the same period a copy shall be filed with the clerk of the district court. If funding is to come from the United States under the Criminal Justice Act, the order shall so state. If no such parts of the proceedings are to be ordered, within the same period the appellant shall file a certificate to that effect.

(2) If the appellant intends to urge on appeal that a finding or conclusion is unsupported by the evidence or is contrary to the evidence, the appellant shall include in the record a transcript of all evidence relevant to such finding or conclusion.

(3) Unless the entire transcript is to be included, the appellant shall, within the 10-day time provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule 10, file a statement of the issues the appellant intends to present on the appeal, and shall serve on the appellee a copy of the order or certificate and of the statement. An appellee who believes that a transcript of other parts of the proceedings is necessary shall, within 10 days after the service of the order or certificate and the statement of the appellant, file and serve on the appellant a designation of additional parts to be included. Unless within 10 days after service of the designation the appellant has ordered such parts, and has so notified the appellee, the appellee may within the following 10 days either order the parts or move in the district court for an order requiring the appellant to do so.

(4) At the time of ordering, a party must make satisfactory arrangements with the reporter for payment of the cost of the transcript.

(c) Statement of the evidence or proceedings when no report was made or when the transcript is unavailable.—If no report of the evidence or proceedings at a hearing or trial was made, or if a transcript is unavailable, the appellant may prepare a statement of the evidence or proceedings from the best available means, including the appellant's recollection. The statement shall be served on the appellee, who may serve objections or proposed amendments thereto within 10 days after service. Thereupon the statement and any objections or proposed amendments shall be submitted to the district court for settlement and approval and as settled and approved shall be included by the clerk of the district court in the record on appeal.

(d) Agreed statement as the record on appeal.—In lieu of the record on appeal as defined in subdivision (a) of this rule, the parties may prepare and sign a statement of the case showing how the issues presented by the appeal arose and were decided in the district court and setting forth only so many of the facts averred and proved or sought to be proved as are essential to a decision of the issues presented. If the statement conforms to the truth, it, together with such additions as the court may consider necessary fully to present the issues raised by the appeal, shall be approved by the district court and shall then be certified to the court of appeals as the record on appeal and transmitted thereto by the clerk of the district court within the time provided by Rule 11. Copies of the agreed statement may be filed as the appendix required by Rule 30.

(e) Correction or modification of the record.—If any difference arises as to whether the record truly discloses what occurred in the district court, the difference shall be submitted to and settled by that court and the record made to conform to the truth. If anything material to either party is omitted from the record by error or accident or is misstated therein, the parties by stipulation, or the district court, either before or after the record is transmitted to the court of appeals, or the court of appeals, on proper suggestion or of its own initiative, may direct that the omission or misstatement be corrected, and if necessary that a supplemental record be certified and transmitted. All other questions as to the form and content of the record shall be presented to the court of appeals.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule is derived from FRCP 75(a), (b), (c) and (d) and FRCP 76, without change in substance.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendments to Rule 10(b) would require the appellant to place with the reporter a written order for the transcript of proceedings and file a copy with the clerk, and to indicate on the order if the transcript is to be provided under the Criminal Justice Act. If the appellant does not plan to order a transcript of any of the proceedings, he must file a certificate to that effect. These requirements make the appellant's steps in readying the appeal a matter of record and give the district court notice of requests for transcripts at the expense of the United States under the Criminal Justice Act. They are also the third step in giving the court of appeals some control over the production and transmission of the record. See Note to Rules 3(d)(e) above and Rule 11 below.

In the event the appellant orders no transcript, or orders a transcript of less than all the proceedings, the procedure under the proposed amended rule remains substantially as before. The appellant must serve on the appellee a copy of his order or in the event no order is placed, of the certificate to that effect, and a statement of the issues he intends to present on appeal, and the appellee may thereupon designate additional parts of the transcript to be included, and upon appellant's refusal to order the additional parts, may either order them himself or seek an order requiring the appellant to order them. The only change proposed in this procedure is to place a 10 day time limit on motions to require the appellant to order the additional portions.

Rule 10(b) is made subject to local rules of the courts of appeals in recognition of the practice in some circuits in some classes of cases, e. g., appeals by indigents in criminal cases after a short trial, of ordering immediate preparation of a complete transcript, thus making compliance with the rule unnecessary.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 10(b) and (c) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The amendment is technical and no substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Records; obsolete papers, see section 457 of this title.

Reporters’ transcript of proceedings, see section 753 of this title.

Rule 11. Transmission of the record

(a) Duty of appellant.—After filing the notice of appeal the appellant, or in the event that more than one appeal is taken, each appellant, shall comply with the provisions of Rule 10(b) and shall take any other action necessary to enable the clerk to assemble and transmit the record. A single record shall be transmitted.

(b) Duty of reporter to prepare and file transcript; notice to court of appeals; duty of clerk to transmit the record.—Upon receipt of an order for a transcript, the reporter shall acknowledge at the foot of the order the fact that the reporter has received it and the date on which the reporter expects to have the transcript completed and shall transmit the order, so endorsed, to the clerk of the court of appeals. If the transcript cannot be completed within 30 days of receipt of the order the reporter shall request an extension of time from the clerk of the court of appeals and the action of the clerk of the court of appeals shall be entered on the docket and the parties notified. In the event of the failure of the reporter to file the transcript within the time allowed, the clerk of the court of appeals shall notify the district judge and take such other steps as may be directed by the court of appeals. Upon completion of the transcript the reporter shall file it with the clerk of the district court and shall notify the clerk of the court of appeals that the reporter has done so.

When the record is complete for purposes of the appeal, the clerk of the district court shall transmit it forthwith to the clerk of the court of appeals. The clerk of the district court shall number the documents comprising the record and shall transmit with the record a list of documents correspondingly numbered and identified with reasonable definiteness. Documents of unusual bulk or weight, physical exhibits other than documents, and such other parts of the record as the court of appeals may designate by local rule, shall not be transmitted by the clerk unless the clerk is directed to do so by a party or by the clerk of the court of appeals. A party must make advance arrangements with the clerks for the transportation and receipt of exhibits of unusual bulk or weight.

(c) Temporary retention of record in district court for use in preparing appellate papers.—Notwithstanding the provisions of (a) and (b) of this Rule 11, the parties may stipulate, or the district court on motion of any party may order, that the clerk of the district court shall temporarily retain the record for use by the parties in preparing appellate papers. In that event the clerk of the district court shall certify to the clerk of the court of appeals that the record, including the transcript or parts thereof designated for inclusion and all necessary exhibits, is complete for purposes of the appeal. Upon receipt of the brief of the appellee, or at such earlier time as the parties may agree or the court may order, the appellant shall request the clerk of the district court to transmit the record.

(d) [Extension of time for transmission of the record; reduction of time] [Abrogated]

(e) Retention of the record in the district court by order of court.—The court of appeals may provide by rule or order that a certified copy of the docket entries shall be transmitted in lieu of the entire record, subject to the right of any party to request at any time during the pendency of the appeal that designated parts of the record be transmitted.

If the record or any part thereof is required in the district court for use there pending the appeal, the district court may make an order to that effect, and the clerk of the district court shall retain the record or parts thereof subject to the request of the court of appeals, and shall transmit a copy of the order and of the docket entries together with such parts of the original record as the district court shall allow and copies of such parts as the parties may designate.

(f) Stipulation of parties that parts of the record be retained in the district court.—The parties may agree by written stipulation filed in the district court that designated parts of the record shall be retained in the district court unless thereafter the court of appeals shall order or any party shall request their transmittal. The parts thus designated shall nevertheless be a part of the record on appeal for all purposes.

(g) Record for preliminary hearing in the court of appeals.—If prior to the time the record is transmitted a party desires to make in the court of appeals a motion for dismissal, for release, for a stay pending appeal, for additional security on the bond on appeal or on a supersedeas bond, or for any intermediate order, the clerk of the district court at the request of any party shall transmit to the court of appeals such parts of the original record as any party shall designate.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivisions (a) and (b). These subdivisions are derived from FRCP 73(g) and FRCP 75(e). FRCP 75(e) presently directs the clerk of the district court to transmit the record within the time allowed or fixed for its filing, which, under the provisions of FRCP 73(g) is within 40 days from the date of filing the notice of appeal, unless an extension is obtained from the district court. The precise time at which the record must be transmitted thus depends upon the time required for delivery of the record from the district court to the court of appeals, since, to permit its timely filing, it must reach the court of appeals before expiration of the 40-day period of an extension thereof. Subdivision (a) of this rule provides that the record is to be transmitted within the 40-day period, or any extension thereof; subdivision (b) provides that transmission is effected when the clerk of the district court mails or otherwise forwards the record to the clerk of the court of appeals; Rule 12(b) directs the clerk of the court of appeals to file the record upon its receipt following timely docketing and transmittal. It can thus be determined with certainty precisely when the clerk of the district court must forward the record to the clerk of the court of appeals in order to effect timely filing: the final day of the 40-day period or of any extension thereof.

Subdivision (c). This subdivision is derived from FRCP 75(e) without change of substance.

Subdivision (d). This subdivision is derived from FRCP 73(g) and FRCrP 39(c). Under present rules the district court is empowered to extend the time for filing the record and docketing the appeal. Since under the proposed rule timely transmission now insures timely filing (see note to subdivisions (a) and (b) above) the power of the district court is expressed in terms of its power to extend the time for transmitting the record. Restriction of that power to a period of 90 days after the filing of the notice of appeal represents a change in the rule with respect to appeals in criminal cases. FRCrP 39(c) now permits the district court to extend the time for filing and docketing without restriction. No good reason appears for a difference between the civil and criminal rule in this regard, and subdivision (d) limits the power of the district court to extend the time for transmitting the record in all cases to 90 days from the date of filing the notice of appeal, just as its power is now limited with respect to docketing and filing in civil cases. Subdivision (d) makes explicit the power of the court of appeals to permit the record to be filed at any time. See Pyramid Motor Freight Corporation v. Ispass, 330, U.S. 695, 67 S.Ct. 954, 91 L.Ed. 1184 (1947).

Subdivisions (e), (f) and (g). These subdivisions are derived from FRCP 75(f), (a) and (g), respectively, without change of substance.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Under present Rule 11(a) it is provided that the record shall be transmitted to the court of appeals within 40 days after the filing of the notice of appeal. Under present Rule 11(d) the district court, on request made during the initial time or any extension thereof, and cause shown, may extend the time for the transmission of the record to a point not more than 90 days after the filing of the first notice of appeal. If the district court is without authority to grant a request to extend the time, or denies a request for extension, the appellant may make a motion for extension of time in the court of appeals. Thus the duty to see that the record is transmitted is placed on the appellant. Aside from ordering the transcript within the time prescribed the appellant has no control over the time at which the record is transmitted, since all steps beyond this point are in the hands of the reporter and the clerk. The proposed amendments recognize this fact and place the duty directly on the reporter and the clerk. After receiving the written order for the transcript (See Note to Rule 10(b) above), the reporter must acknowledge its receipt, indicate when he expects to have it completed, and mail the order so endorsed to the clerk of the court of appeals. Requests for extensions of time must be made by the reporter to the clerk of the court of appeals and action on such requests is entered on the docket. Thus from the point at which the transcript is ordered the clerk of the court of appeals is made aware of any delays. If the transcript is not filed on time, the clerk of the court of appeals will notify the district judge.

Present Rule 11(b) provides that the record shall be transmitted when it is “complete for the purposes of the appeal.” The proposed amended rule continues this requirement. The record is complete for the purposes of the appeal when it contains the original papers on file in the clerk's office, all necessary exhibits, and the transcript, if one is to be included. Cf. present Rule 11(c). The original papers will be in the custody of the clerk of the district court at the time the notice of appeal is filed. See Rule 5(e) of the F.R.C.P. The custody of exhibits is often the subject of local rules. Some of them require that documentary exhibits must be deposited with the clerk. See Local Rule 13 of the Eastern District of Virginia. Others leave exhibits with counsel, subject to order of the court. See Local Rule 33 of the Northern District of Illinois. If under local rules the custody of exhibits is left with counsel, the district court should make adequate provision for their preservation during the time during which an appeal may be taken, the prompt deposit with the clerk of such as under Rule 11(b) are to be transmitted to the court of appeals, and the availability of others in the event that the court of appeals should require their transmission. Cf. Local Rule 11 of the Second Circuit.

Usually the record will be complete with the filing of the transcript. While the proposed amendment requires transmission “forthwith” when the record is complete, it was not designed to preclude a local requirement by the court of appeals that the original papers and exhibits be transmitted when complete without awaiting the filing of the transcript.

The proposed amendments continue the provision in the present rule that documents of unusual bulk or weight and physical exhibits other than documents shall not be transmitted without direction by the parties or by the court of appeals, and the requirement that the parties make special arrangements for transmission and receipt of exhibits of unusual bulk or weight. In addition, they give recognition to local rules that make transmission of other record items subject to order of the court of appeals. See Local Rule 4 of the Seventh Circuit.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rule 11(b) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Records: obsolete papers, see section 457 of this title.

Reporters’ transcript of proceedings, see section 753 of this title.

Rule 12. Docketing the Appeal; Filing a Representation Statement; Filing the Record

(a) Docketing the appeal.—Upon receipt of the copy of the notice of appeal and of the docket entries, transmitted by the clerk of the district court pursuant to Rule 3(d), the clerk of the court of appeals shall thereupon enter the appeal upon the docket. An appeal shall be docketed under the title given to the action in the district court, with the appellant identified as such, but if such title does not contain the name of the appellant, the appellant's name, identified as appellant, shall be added to the title.

(b) Filing a Representation Statement.—Within 10 days after filing a notice of appeal, unless another time is designated by the court of appeals, the attorney who filed the notice of appeal shall file with the clerk of the court of appeals a statement naming each party represented on appeal by that attorney.

(c) Filing the Record, Partial Record, or Certificate.—Upon receipt of the record transmitted pursuant to Rule 11(b), or the partial record transmitted pursuant to Rule 11(e), (f), or (g), or the clerk's certificate under Rule 11(c), the clerk of the court of appeals shall file it and shall immediately give notice to all parties of the date on which it was filed.

(As amended Apr. 1, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). All that is involved in the docketing of an appeal is the payment of the docket fee. In practice, after the clerk of the court of appeals receives the record from the clerk of the district court he notifies the appellant of its receipt and requests payment of the fee. Upon receipt of the fee, the clerk enters the appeal upon the docket and files the record. The appellant is allowed to pay the fee at any time within the time allowed or fixed for transmission of the record and thereby to discharge his responsibility for docketing. The final sentence is added in the interest of facilitating future reference and citation and location of cases in indexes. Compare 3d Cir. Rule 10(2); 4th Cir. Rule 9(8); 6th Cir. Rule 14(1).

Subdivision (c). The rules of the circuits generally permit the appellee to move for dismissal in the event the appellant fails to effect timely filing of the record. See 1st Cir. Rule 21(3); 3d Cir. Rule 21(4); 5th Cir. Rule 16(1); 8th Cir. Rule 7(d).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Subdivision (a). Under present Rule 12(a) the appellant must pay the docket fee within the time fixed for the transmission of the record, and upon timely payment of the fee, the appeal is docketed. The proposed amendment takes the docketing out of the hands of the appellant. The fee is paid at the time the notice of appeal is filed and the appeal is entered on the docket upon receipt of a copy of the notice of appeal and of the docket entries, which are sent to the court of appeals under the provisions of Rule 3(d). This is designed to give the court of appeals control of its docket at the earliest possible time so that within the limits of its facilities and personnel it can screen cases for appropriately different treatment, expedite the proceedings through prehearing conferences or otherwise, and in general plan more effectively for the prompt disposition of cases.

Subdivision (b). The proposed amendment conforms the provision to the changes in Rule 11.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendment to Rule 12(a) is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Note to new subdivision (b). This amendment is a companion to the amendment of Rule 3(c). The Rule 3(c) amendment allows an attorney who represents more than one party on appeal to “specify” the appellants by general description rather than by naming them individually. The requirement added here is that whenever an attorney files a notice of appeal, the attorney must soon thereafter file a statement indicating all parties represented on the appeal by that attorney. Although the notice of appeal is the jurisdictional document and it must clearly indicate who is bringing the appeal, the representation statement will be helpful especially to the court of appeals in identifying the individual appellants.

The rule allows a court of appeals to require the filing of the representation statement at some time other than specified in the rule so that if a court of appeals requires a docketing statement or appearance form the representation statement may be combined with it.

Cross References

Power of the courts to issue writs, see section 1651 of this title.

Rule-making power generally, see section 2071 of this title.

Seal and teste of process, see section 1691 of this title.

TITLE III. REVIEW OF DECISIONS OF THE UNITED STATES TAX COURT

Rule 13. Review of a Decision of the Tax Court

(a) How Obtained; Time for Filing Notice of Appeal.—Review of a decision of the United States Tax Court must be obtained by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the Tax Court within 90 days after entry of the Tax Court's decision. At the time of filing the appellant must furnish the clerk with sufficient copies of the notice of appeal to enable the clerk to comply promptly with the requirements of Rule 3(d). If a timely notice of appeal is filed by one party, any other party may take an appeal by filing a notice of appeal within 120 days after entry of the Tax Court's decision.

The running of the time for appeal is terminated as to all parties by a timely motion to vacate or revise a decision made pursuant to the Rules of Practice of the Tax Court. The full time for appeal commences to run and is to be computed from the entry of an order disposing of such motion, or from the entry of decision, whichever is later.

(b) Notice of appeal—How filed.—The notice of appeal may be filed by deposit in the office of the clerk of the Tax Court in the District of Columbia or by mail addressed to the clerk. If a notice is delivered to the clerk by mail and is received after expiration of the last day allowed for filing, the postmark date shall be deemed to be the date of delivery, subject to the provisions of §7502 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

(c) Content of the notice of appeal; service of the notice; effect of filing and service of the notice.—The content of the notice of appeal, the manner of its service, and the effect of the filing of the notice and of its service shall be as prescribed by Rule 3. Form 2 in the Appendix of Forms is a suggested form of the notice of appeal.

(d) The record on appeal; transmission of the record; filing of the record.—The provisions of Rules 10, 11 and 12 respecting the record and the time and manner of its transmission and filing and the docketing of the appeal in the court of appeals in cases on appeal from the district courts shall govern in cases on appeal from the Tax Court. Each reference in those rules and in Rule 3 to the district court and to the clerk of the district court shall be read as a reference to the Tax Court and to the clerk of the Tax Court respectively. If appeals are taken from a decision of the Tax Court to more than one court of appeals, the original record shall be transmitted to the court of appeals named in the first notice of appeal filed. Provision for the record in any other appeal shall be made upon appropriate application by the appellant to the court of appeals to which such other appeal is taken.

(As amended Apr. 1, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). This subdivision effects two changes in practice respecting review of Tax Court decisions: (1) Section 7483 of the Internal Revenue Code, 68A Stat. 891, 26 U.S.C. §7483, provides that review of a Tax Court decision may be obtained by filing a petition for review. The subdivision provides for review by the filing of the simple and familiar notice of appeal used to obtain review of district court judgments; (2) Section 7483, supra, requires that a petition for review be filed within 3 months after a decision is rendered, and provides that if a petition is so filed by one party, any other party may file a petition for review within 4 months after the decision is rendered. In the interest of fixing the time for review with precision, the proposed rule substitutes “90 days” and “120 days” for the statutory “3 months” and “4 months”, respectively. The power of the Court to regulate these details of practice is clear. Title 28 U.S.C. §2072, as amended by the Act of November 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 1323 (1 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News, p. 1546 (1966)), authorizes the Court to regulate “. . . practice and procedure in proceedings for the review by the courts of appeals of decisions of the Tax Court of the United States. . . .”

The second paragraph states the settled teaching of the case law. See Robert Louis Stevenson Apartments, Inc. v. C.I.R., 337 F.2d 681, 10 A.L.R.3d 112 (8th Cir., 1964); Denholm & McKay Co. v. C.I.R., 132 F.2d 243 (1st Cir., 1942); Helvering v. Continental Oil Co., 63 App.D.C. 5, 68 F.2d 750 (1934); Burnet v. Lexington Ice & Coal Co., 62 F.2d 906 (4th Cir., 1933); Griffiths v. C.I.R., 50 F.2d 782 (7th Cir., 1931).

Subdivision (b). The subdivision incorporates the statutory provision (Title 26, U.S.C. §7502) that timely mailing is to be treated as timely filing. The statute contains special provisions respecting other than ordinary mailing. If the notice of appeal is sent by registered mail, registration is deemed prima facie evidence that the notice was delivered to the clerk of the Tax Court, and the date of registration is deemed the postmark date. If the notice of appeal is sent by certified mail, the effect of certification with respect to prima facie evidence of delivery and the postmark date depends upon regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury. The effect of a postmark made other than by the United States Post Office likewise depends upon regulations of the Secretary. Current regulations are found in 26 CFR §301.7502–1.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment reflects the change in the title of the Tax Court to “United States Tax Court.” See 26 U.S.C. §7441.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment requires a party filing a notice of appeal to provide the court with sufficient copies of the notice for service on all other parties.

Cross References

Courts of review; jurisdiction and venue, see section 7482 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Finality of decision on mandate of Court of Appeals, see section 7481 of Title 26.

Notice of appeal, see section 7483 of Title 26.

Rule 14. Applicability of other rules to review of decisions of the Tax Court

All provisions of these rules are applicable to review of a decision of the Tax Court, except that Rules 4–9, Rules 15–20, and Rules 22 and 23 are not applicable.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The proposed rule continues the present uniform practice of the circuits of regulating review of decisions of the Tax Court by the general rules applicable to appeals from judgments of the district courts.

Cross References

Courts of review; jurisdiction and venue, see section 7482 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Finality of decision on mandate of court of appeals, see section 7481 of Title 26.

Notice of appeal, see section 7483 of Title 26.

Rules of practice before the United States Tax Court, see Title 26, Appendix, Internal Revenue Code.

TITLE IV. REVIEW AND ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS

Rule 15. Review or Enforcement of an Agency Order—How Obtained; Intervention

(a) Petition for Review of Order; Joint Petition.—Review of an order of an administrative agency, board, commission, or officer (hereinafter, the term “agency” will include agency, board, commission, or officer) must be obtained by filing with the clerk of a court of appeals that is authorized to review such order, within the time prescribed by law, a petition to enjoin, set aside, suspend, modify, or otherwise review, or a notice of appeal, whichever form is indicated by the applicable statute (hereinafter, the term “petition for review” will include a petition to enjoin, set aside, suspend, modify, or otherwise review, or a notice of appeal). The petition must name each party seeking review either in the caption or in the body of the petition. Use of such terms as “et al.,” or “petitioners,” or “respondents” is not effective to name the parties. The petition also must designate the respondent and the order or part thereof to be reviewed. Form 3 in the Appendix of Forms is a suggested form of a petition for review. In each case the agency must be named respondent. The United States will also be a respondent if required by statute, even though not designated in the petition. If two or more persons are entitled to petition the same court for review of the same order and their interests are such as to make joinder practicable, they may file a joint petition for review and may thereafter proceed as a single petitioner.

(b) Application for enforcement of order; answer; default; cross-application for enforcement.—An application for enforcement of an order of an agency shall be filed with the clerk of a court of appeals which is authorized to enforce the order. The application shall contain a concise statement of the proceedings in which the order was entered, the facts upon which venue is based, and the relief prayed. Within 20 days after the application is filed, the respondent shall serve on the petitioner and file with the clerk an answer to the application. If the respondent fails to file an answer within such time, judgment will be awarded for the relief prayed. If a petition is filed for review of an order which the court has jurisdiction to enforce, the respondent may file a cross-application for enforcement.

(c) Service of petition or application.—A copy of a petition for review or of an application or cross-application for enforcement of an order shall be served by the clerk of the court of appeals on each respondent in the manner prescribed by Rule 3(d), unless a different manner of service is prescribed by an applicable statute. At the time of filing, the petitioner shall furnish the clerk with a copy of the petition or application for each respondent. At or before the time of filing a petition for review, the petitioner shall serve a copy thereof on all parties who shall have been admitted to participate in the proceedings before the agency other than respondents to be served by the clerk, and shall file with the clerk a list of those so served.

(d) Intervention.—Unless an applicable statute provides a different method of intervention, a person who desires to intervene in a proceeding under this rule shall serve upon all parties to the proceeding and file with the clerk of the court of appeals a motion for leave to intervene. The motion shall contain a concise statement of the interest of the moving party and the grounds upon which intervention is sought. A motion for leave to intervene or other notice of intervention authorized by an applicable statute shall be filed within 30 days of the date on which the petition for review is filed.

(e) Payment of Fees.—When filing any separate or joint petition for review in a court of appeals, the petitioner must pay the clerk of the court of appeals the fees established by statute, and also the docket fee prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States.

(As amended Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

General Note. The power of the Supreme Court to prescribe rules of practice and procedure for the judicial review or enforcement of orders of administrative agencies, boards, commissions, and officers is conferred by 28 U.S.C. §2072, as amended by the Act of November 6, 1966, §1, 80 Stat. 1323 (1 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News, p. 1546 (1966)). Section 11 of the Hobbs Administrative Orders Review Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 1132, reenacted as 28 U.S.C. §2352 (28 U.S.C.A. §2352 (Suppl. 1966)), repealed by the Act of November 6, 1966, §4, supra, directed the courts of appeals to adopt and promulgate, subject to approval by the Judicial Conference rules governing practice and procedure in proceedings to review the orders of boards, commissions and officers whose orders were made reviewable in the courts of appeals by the Act. Thereafter, the Judicial Conference approved a uniform rule, and that rule, with minor variations, is now in effect in all circuits. Third Circuit Rule 18 is a typical circuit rule, and for convenience it is referred to as the uniform rule in the notes which accompany rules under this Title.

Subdivision (a). The uniform rule (see General Note above) requires that the petition for review contain “a concise statement, in barest outline, of the nature of the proceedings as to which relief is sought, the facts upon which venue is based, the grounds upon which relief is sought, and the relief prayed.” That language is derived from Section 4 of the Hobbs Administrative Orders Review Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 1130, reenacted as 28 U.S.C. §2344 (28 U.S.C.A. §2344 (Suppl. 1966)). A few other statutes also prescribe the content of the petition, but the great majority are silent on the point. The proposed rule supersedes 28 U.S.C. §2344 and other statutory provisions prescribing the form of the petition for review and permits review to be initiated by the filing of a simple petition similar in form to the notice of appeal used in appeals from judgments of district courts. The more elaborate form of petition for review now required is rarely useful either to the litigants or to the courts. There is no effective, reasonable way of obliging petitioners to come to the real issues before those issues are formulated in the briefs. Other provisions of this subdivision are derived from sections 1 and 2 of the uniform rule.

Subdivision (b). This subdivision is derived from sections 3, 4 and 5 of the uniform rule.

Subdivision (c). This subdivision is derived from section 1 of the uniform rule.

Subdivision (d). This subdivision is based upon section 6 of the uniform rule. Statutes occasionally permit intervention by the filing of a notice of intention to intervene. The uniform rule does not fix a time limit for intervention, and the only time limits fixed by statute are the 30–day periods found in the Communications Act Amendments, 1952, §402(e), 66 Stat. 719, 47 U.S.C. §402(e), and the Sugar Act of 1948, §205(d), 61 Stat. 927, 7 U.S.C. §1115(d).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment is a companion to the amendment of Rule 3(c). Both Rule 3(c) and Rule 15(a) state that a notice of appeal or petition for review must name the parties seeking appellate review. Rule 3(c), however, provides an attorney who represents more than one party on appeal the flexibility to describe the parties in general terms rather than naming them individually. Rule 15(a) does not allow that flexibility; each petitioner must be named. A petition for review of an agency decision is the first filing in any court and, therefore, is analogous to a complaint in which all parties must be named.

Subdivision (e). The amendment adds subdivision (e). Subdivision (e) parallels Rule 3(e) that requires the payment of fees when filing a notice of appeal. The omission of such a requirement from Rule 15 is an apparent oversight. Five circuits have local rules requiring the payment of such fees, see, e.g., Fifth Cir. Loc. R. 15.1, and Fed. Cir. Loc. R. 15(a)(2).

Cross References

Administrative procedure, generally, see sections 551 et seq. and 701 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Federal agencies, review of orders, see section 2341 et seq. of this title.

Federal Communications Commission, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Secretary of Transportation, review of orders, see section 21 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Federal Power Act, review of orders under, see section 825l of Title 16, Conservation.

Federal Trade Commission, review of order, see sections 21 and 45 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Interstate Commerce Commission, review of orders, see sections 1253, 2321 et seq., 2341 et seq. of this title, and section 21 of Title 15.

Rule 15.1. Briefs and Oral Argument in National Labor Relations Board Proceedings

Each party adverse to the National Labor Relations Board in an enforcement or a review proceeding shall proceed first on briefing and at oral argument unless the court orders otherwise.

(As added Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986

This rule simply confirms the existing practice in most circuits.

Rule 16. The record on review or enforcement

(a) Composition of the record.—The order sought to be reviewed or enforced, the findings or report on which it is based, and the pleadings, evidence and proceedings before the agency shall constitute the record on review in proceedings to review or enforce the order of an agency.

(b) Omissions from or misstatements in the record.—If anything material to any party is omitted from the record or is misstated therein, the parties may at any time supply the omission or correct the misstatement by stipulation, or the court may at any time direct that the omission or misstatement be corrected and, if necessary, that a supplemental record be prepared and filed.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a) is based upon 28 U.S.C. §2112(b). There is no distinction between the record compiled in the agency proceeding and the record on review; they are one and the same. The record in agency cases is thus the same as that in appeals from the district court—the original papers, transcripts and exhibits in the proceeding below. Subdivision (b) is based upon section 8 of the uniform rule (see General Note following Rule 15).

Rule 17. Filing of the record

(a) Agency to file; time for filing; notice of filing.—The agency shall file the record with the clerk of the court of appeals within 40 days after service upon it of the petition for review unless a different time is provided by the statute authorizing review. In enforcement proceedings the agency shall file the record within 40 days after filing an application for enforcement, but the record need not be filed unless the respondent has filed an answer contesting enforcement of the order, or unless the court otherwise orders. The court may shorten or extend the time above prescribed. The clerk shall give notice to all parties of the date on which the record is filed.

(b) Filing—What constitutes.—The agency may file the entire record or such parts thereof as the parties may designate by stipulation filed with the agency. The original papers in the agency proceeding or certified copies thereof may be filed. Instead of filing the record or designated parts thereof, the agency may file a certified list of all documents, transcripts of testimony, exhibits and other material comprising the record, or a list of such parts thereof as the parties may designate, adequately describing each, and the filing of the certified list shall constitute filing of the record. The parties may stipulate that neither the record nor a certified list be filed with the court. The stipulation shall be filed with the clerk of the court of appeals and the date of its filing shall be deemed the date on which the record is filed. If a certified list is filed, or if the parties designate only parts of the record for filing or stipulate that neither the record nor a certified list be filed, the agency shall retain the record or parts thereof. Upon request of the court or the request of a party, the record or any part thereof thus retained shall be transmitted to the court notwithstanding any prior stipulation. All parts of the record retained by the agency shall be a part of the record on review for all purposes.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). This subdivision is based upon section 7 of the uniform rule (see General Note following Rule 15). That rule does not prescribe a time for filing the record in enforcement cases. Forty days are allowed in order to avoid useless preparation of the record or certified list in cases where the application for enforcement is not contested.

Subdivision (b). This subdivision is based upon 28 U.S.C. §2112 and section 7 of the uniform rule. It permits the agency to file either the record itself or a certified list of its contents. It also permits the parties to stipulate against transmission of designated parts of the record without the fear that an inadvertent stipulation may “diminish” the record. Finally, the parties may, in cases where consultation of the record is unnecessary, stipulate that neither the record nor a certified list of its contents be filed.

Rule 18. Stay pending review

Application for a stay of a decision or order of an agency pending direct review in the court of appeals shall ordinarily be made in the first instance to the agency. A motion for such relief may be made to the court of appeals or to a judge thereof, but the motion shall show that application to the agency for the relief sought is not practicable, or that application has been made to the agency and denied, with the reasons given by it for denial, or that the action of the agency did not afford the relief which the applicant had requested. The motion shall also show the reasons for the relief requested and the facts relied upon, and if the facts are subject to dispute the motion shall be supported by affidavits or other sworn statements or copies thereof. With the motion shall be filed such parts of the record as are relevant to the relief sought. Reasonable notice of the motion shall be given to all parties to the proceeding in the court of appeals. The court may condition relief under this rule upon the filing of a bond or other appropriate security. The motion shall be filed with the clerk and normally will be considered by a panel or division of the court, but in exceptional cases where such procedure would be impracticable due to the requirements of time, the application may be made to and considered by a single judge of the court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

While this rule has no counterpart in present rules regulating review of agency proceedings, it merely assimilates the procedure for obtaining stays in agency proceedings with that for obtaining stays in appeals from the district courts. The same considerations which justify the requirement of an initial application to the district court for a stay pending appeal support the requirement of an initial application to the agency pending review. See Note accompanying Rule 8. Title 5, U.S.C. §705 (5 U.S.C.A. §705 (1966 Pamphlet)) confers general authority on both agencies and reviewing courts to stay agency action pending review. Many of the statutes authorizing review of agency action by the courts of appeals deal with the question of stays, and at least one, the Act of June 15, 1936, 49 Stat. 1499 (7 U.S.C. §10a), prohibits a stay pending review. The proposed rule in nowise affects such statutory provisions respecting stays. By its terms, it simply indicates the procedure to be followed when a stay is sought.

Rule 19. Settlement of judgments enforcing orders

When an opinion of the court is filed directing the entry of a judgment enforcing in part the order of an agency, the agency shall within 14 days thereafter serve upon the respondent and file with the clerk a proposed judgment in conformity with the opinion. If the respondent objects to the proposed judgment as not in conformity with the opinion, the respondent shall within 7 days thereafter serve upon the agency and file with the clerk a proposed judgment which the respondent deems to be in conformity with the opinion. The court will thereupon settle the judgment and direct its entry without further hearing or argument.

(As amended Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This is section 12 of the uniform rule (see General Note following Rule 15) with changes in phraseology.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The deletion of the words “in whole or” is designed to eliminate delay in the issuance of a judgment when the court of appeals has either enforced completely the order of an agency or denied completely such enforcement. In such a clear-cut situation, it serves no useful purpose to delay the issuance of the judgment until a proposed judgment is submitted by the agency and reviewed by the respondent. This change conforms the Rule to the existing practice in most circuits. Other amendments are technical and no substantive change is intended.

Rule 20. Applicability of other rules to review or enforcement of agency orders

All provisions of these rules are applicable to review or enforcement of orders of agencies, except that Rules 3–14 and Rules 22 and 23 are not applicable. As used in any applicable rule, the term “appellant” includes a petitioner and the term “appellee” includes a respondent in proceedings to review or enforce agency orders.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The proposed rule continues the present uniform practice of the circuits of regulating agency review or enforcement proceedings by the general rules applicable to appeals from judgments of the district courts.

TITLE V. EXTRAORDINARY WRITS

Rule 21. Writs of Mandamus and Prohibition Directed to a Judge or Judges and Other Extraordinary Writs

(a) Mandamus or prohibition to a judge or judges; petition for writ; service and filing.—Application for a writ of mandamus or of prohibition directed to a judge or judges shall be made by filing a petition therefor with the clerk of the court of appeals with proof of service on the respondent judge or judges and on all parties to the action in the trial court. The petition shall contain a statement of the facts necessary to an understanding of the issues presented by the application; a statement of the issues presented and of the relief sought; a statement of the reasons why the writ should issue; and copies of any order or opinion or parts of the record which may be essential to an understanding of the matters set forth in the petition. Upon receipt of the prescribed docket fee, the clerk shall docket the petition and submit it to the court.

(b) Denial; order directing answer.—If the court is of the opinion that the writ should not be granted, it shall deny the petition. Otherwise, it shall order that an answer to the petition be filed by the respondents within the time fixed by the order. The order shall be served by the clerk on the judge or judges named respondents and on all other parties to the action in the trial court. All parties below other than the petitioner shall also be deemed respondents for all purposes. Two or more respondents may answer jointly. If the judge or judges named respondents do not desire to appear in the proceeding, they may so advise the clerk and all parties by letter, but the petition shall not thereby be taken as admitted. The clerk shall advise the parties of the dates on which briefs are to be filed, if briefs are required, and of the date of oral argument. The proceeding shall be given preference over ordinary civil cases.

(c) Other extraordinary writs.—Application for extraordinary writs other than those provided for in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this rule shall be made by petition filed with the clerk of the court of appeals with proof of service on the parties named as respondents. Proceedings on such application shall conform, so far as is practicable, to the procedure prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this rule.

(d) Form of Papers; Number of Copies.—All papers may be typewritten. An original and three copies must be filed unless the court requires the filing of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case.

(As amended Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The authority of courts of appeals to issue extraordinary writs is derived from 28 U.S.C. §1651. Subdivisions (a) and (b) regulate in detail the procedure surrounding the writs most commonly sought—mandamus or prohibition directed to a judge or judges. Those subdivisions are based upon Supreme Court Rule 31, with certain changes which reflect the uniform practice among the circuits (Seventh Circuit Rule 19 is a typical circuit rule). Subdivision (c) sets out a very general procedure to be followed in applications for the variety of other writs which may be issued under the authority of 28 U.S.C. §1651.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (d). The amendment makes it clear that a court may require a different number of copies either by rule or by order in an individual case. The number of copies of any document that a court of appeals needs varies depending upon the way in which the court conducts business. The internal operation of the courts of appeals necessarily varies from circuit to circuit because of differences in the number of judges, the geographic area included within the circuit, and other such factors. Uniformity could be achieved only by setting the number of copies artificially high so that parties in all circuits file enough copies to satisfy the needs of the court requiring the greatest number. Rather than do that, the Committee decided to make it clear that local rules may require a greater or lesser number of copies and that, if the circumstances of a particular case indicate the need for a different number of copies in that case, the court may so order.

Cross References

All Writs Act, see section 1651 of this title.

TITLE VI. HABEAS CORPUS; PROCEEDINGS IN FORMA PAUPERIS

Rule 22. Habeas corpus proceedings

(a) Application for the original writ.—An application for a writ of habeas corpus shall be made to the appropriate district court. If application is made to a circuit judge, the application will ordinarily be transferred to the appropriate district court. If an application is made to or transferred to the district court and denied, renewal of the application before a circuit judge is not favored; the proper remedy is by appeal to the court of appeals from the order of the district court denying the writ.

(b) Necessity of certificate of probable cause for appeal.—In a habeas corpus proceeding in which the detention complained of arises out of process issued by a state court, an appeal by the applicant for the writ may not proceed unless a district or a circuit judge issues a certificate of probable cause. If an appeal is taken by the applicant, the district judge who rendered the judgment shall either issue a certificate of probable cause or state the reasons why such a certificate should not issue. The certificate or the statement shall be forwarded to the court of appeals with the notice of appeal and the file of the proceedings in the district court. If the district judge has denied the certificate, the applicant for the writ may then request issuance of the certificate by a circuit judge. If such a request is addressed to the court of appeals, it shall be deemed addressed to the judges thereof and shall be considered by a circuit judge or judges as the court deems appropriate. If no express request for a certificate is filed, the notice of appeal shall be deemed to constitute a request addressed to the judges of the court of appeals. If an appeal is taken by a state or its representative, a certificate of probable cause is not required.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). Title 28 U.S.C. §2241(a) authorizes circuit judges to issue the writ of habeas corpus. Section 2241(b), however, authorizes a circuit judge to decline to entertain an application and to transfer it to the appropriate district court, and this is the usual practice. The first two sentences merely make present practice explicit. Title 28 U.S.C. §2253 seems clearly to contemplate that once an application is presented to a district judge and is denied by him, the remedy is an appeal from the order of denial. But the language of 28 U.S.C. §2241 seems to authorize a second original application to a circuit judge following a denial by a district judge. In re Gersing, 79 U.S.App.D.C. 245, 145 F.2d 481 (D.C. Cir., 1944) and Chapman v. Teets, 241 F.2d 186 (9th Cir., 1957) acknowledge the availability of such a procedure. But the procedure is ordinarily a waste of time for all involved, and the final sentence attempts to discourage it.

A court of appeals has no jurisdiction as a court to grant an original writ of habeas corpus, and courts of appeals have dismissed applications addressed to them. Loum v. Alvis, 263 F.2d 836 (6th Cir., 1959); In re Berry, 221 F.2d 798 (9th Cir., 1955); Posey v. Dowd, 134 F.2d 613 (7th Cir., 1943). The fairer and more expeditious practice is for the court of appeals to regard an application addressed to it as being addressed to one of its members, and to transfer the application to the appropriate district court in accordance with the provisions of this rule. Perhaps such a disposition is required by the rationale of In re Burwell, 350 U.S. 521, 76 S.Ct. 539, 100 L.Ed. 666 (1956).

Subdivision (b). Title 28 U.S.C. §2253 provides that an appeal may not be taken in a habeas corpus proceeding where confinement is under a judgment of a state court unless the judge who rendered the order in the habeas corpus proceeding, or a circuit justice or judge, issues a certificate of probable cause. In the interest of insuring that the matter of the certificate will not be overlooked and that, if the certificate is denied, the reasons for denial in the first instance will be available on any subsequent application, the proposed rule requires the district judge to issue the certificate or to state reasons for its denial.

While 28 U.S.C. §2253 does not authorize the court of appeals as a court to grant a certificate of probable cause, In re Burwell, 350 U.S. 521, 76 S.Ct. 539, 100 L.Ed. 666 (1956) makes it clear that a court of appeals may not decline to consider a request for the certificate addressed to it as a court but must regard the request as made to the judges thereof. The fourth sentence incorporates the Burwell rule.

Although 28 U.S.C. §2253 appears to require a certificate of probable cause even when an appeal is taken by a state or its representative, the legislative history strongly suggests that the intention of Congress was to require a certificate only in the case in which an appeal is taken by an applicant for the writ. See United States ex rel. Tillery v. Cavell, 294 F.2d 12 (3d Cir., 1960). Four of the five circuits which have ruled on the point have so interpreted section 2253. United States ex rel. Tillery v. Cavell, supra; Buder v. Bell, 306 F.2d 71 (6th Cir., 1962); United States ex rel. Calhoun v. Pate, 341 F.2d 885 (7th Cir., 1965); State of Texas v. Graves, 352 F.2d 514 (5th Cir., 1965). Cf. United States ex rel. Carrol v. LaVallee, 342 F.2d 641 (2d Cir., 1965). The final sentence makes it clear that a certificate of probable cause is not required of a state or its representative.

Cross References

Habeas corpus generally, see section 2241 et seq. of this title.

Suspension of habeas corpus, see Const. Art. I, §9, cl. 2.

Rule 23. Custody of prisoners in habeas corpus proceedings

(a) Transfer of custody pending review.—Pending review of a decision in a habeas corpus proceeding commenced before a court, justice or judge of the United States for the release of a prisoner, a person having custody of the prisoner shall not transfer custody to another unless such transfer is directed in accordance with the provisions of this rule. Upon application of a custodian showing a need therefor, the court, justice or judge rendering the decision may make an order authorizing transfer and providing for the substitution of the successor custodian as a party.

(b) Detention or release of prisoner pending review of decision failing to release.—Pending review of a decision failing or refusing to release a prisoner in such a proceeding, the prisoner may be detained in the custody from which release is sought, or in other appropriate custody, or may be enlarged upon the prisoner's recognizance, with or without surety, as may appear fitting to the court or justice or judge rendering the decision, or to the court of appeals or to the Supreme Court, or to a judge or justice of either court.

(c) Release of prisoner pending review of decision ordering release.—Pending review of a decision ordering the release of a prisoner in such a proceeding, the prisoner shall be enlarged upon the prisoner's recognizance, with or without surety, unless the court or justice or judge rendering the decision, or the court of appeals or the Supreme Court, or a judge or justice of either court shall otherwise order.

(d) Modification of initial order respecting custody.—An initial order respecting the custody or enlargement of the prisoner and any recognizance or surety taken, shall govern review in the court of appeals and in the Supreme Court unless for special reasons shown to the court of appeals or to the Supreme Court, or to a judge or justice of either court, the order shall be modified, or an independent order respecting custody, enlargement or surety shall be made.

(As amended Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The rule is the same as Supreme Court Rule 49, as amended on June 12, 1967, effective October 2, 1967.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 23(b) and (c) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Habeas corpus generally, see section 2241 et seq. of this title.

Suspension of habeas corpus, see Const. Art. I, §9, cl. 2.

Rule 24. Proceedings in forma pauperis

(a) Leave to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis from district court to court of appeals.—A party to an action in a district court who desires to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis shall file in the district court a motion for leave so to proceed, together with an affidavit, showing, in the detail prescribed by Form 4 of the Appendix of Forms, the party's inability to pay fees and costs or to give security therefor, the party's belief that that party is entitled to redress, and a statement of the issues which that party intends to present on appeal. If the motion is granted, the party may proceed without further application to the court of appeals and without prepayment of fees or costs in either court or the giving of security therefor. If the motion is denied, the district court shall state in writing the reasons for the denial.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, a party who has been permitted to proceed in an action in the district court in forma pauperis, or who has been permitted to proceed there as one who is financially unable to obtain adequate defense in a criminal case, may proceed on appeal in forma pauperis without further authorization unless, before or after the notice of appeal is filed, the district court shall certify that the appeal is not taken in good faith or shall find that the party is otherwise not entitled so to proceed, in which event the district court shall state in writing the reasons for such certification or finding.

If a motion for leave to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis is denied by the district court, or if the district court shall certify that the appeal is not taken in good faith or shall find that the party is otherwise not entitled to proceed in forma pauperis, the clerk shall forthwith serve notice of such action. A motion for leave so to proceed may be filed in the court of appeals within 30 days after service of notice of the action of the district court. The motion shall be accompanied by a copy of the affidavit filed in the district court, or by the affidavit prescribed by the first paragraph of this subdivision if no affidavit has been filed in the district court, and by a copy of the statement of reasons given by the district court for its action.

(b) Leave to proceed on appeal or review in forma pauperis in administrative agency proceedings.—A party to a proceeding before an administrative agency, board, commission or officer (including, for the purpose of this rule, the United States Tax Court) who desires to proceed on appeal or review in a court of appeals in forma pauperis, when such appeal or review may be had directly in a court of appeals, shall file in the court of appeals a motion for leave so to proceed, together with the affidavit prescribed by the first paragraph of (a) of this Rule 24.

(c) Form of briefs, appendices and other papers.—Parties allowed to proceed in forma pauperis may file briefs, appendices and other papers in typewritten form, and may request that the appeal be heard on the original record without the necessity of reproducing parts thereof in any form.

(As amended Apr. 1, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). Authority to allow prosecution of an appeal in forma pauperis is vested in “[a]ny court of the United States” by 28 U.S.C. §1915(a). The second paragraph of section 1915(a) seems to contemplate initial application to the district court for permission to proceed in forma pauperis, and although the circuit rules are generally silent on the question, the case law requires initial application to the district court. Hayes v. United States, 258 F.2d 400 (5th Cir., 1958), cert. den. 358 U.S. 856, 79 S.Ct. 87, 3 L.Ed.2d 89 (1958); Elkins v. United States, 250 F.2d 145 (9th Cir., 1957) see 364 U.S. 206, 80 S.Ct. 1437, 4 L.Ed.2d 1669 (1960); United States v. Farley, 238 F.2d 575 (2d Cir., 1956) see 354 U.S. 521, 77 S.Ct. 1371, 1 L.Ed.2d 1529 (1957). D.C. Cir. Rule 41(a) requires initial application to the district court. The content of the affidavit follows the language of the statute; the requirement of a statement of the issues comprehends the statutory requirement of a statement of “the nature of the . . . appeal. . . .” The second sentence is in accord with the decision in McGann v. United States, 362 U.S. 309, 80 S.Ct. 725, 4 L.Ed.2d 734 (1960). The requirement contained in the third sentence has no counterpart in present circuit rules, but it has been imposed by decision in at least two circuits. Ragan v. Cox, 305 F.2d 58 (10th Cir., 1962); United States ex rel. Breedlove v. Dowd, 269 F.2d 693 (7th Cir., 1959).

The second paragraph permits one whose indigency has been previously determined by the district court to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis without the necessity of a redetermination of indigency, while reserving to the district court its statutory authority to certify that the appeal is not taken in good faith, 28 U.S.C. §1915(a), and permitting an inquiry into whether the circumstances of the party who was originally entitled to proceed in forma pauperis have changed during the course of the litigation. Cf. Sixth Circuit Rule 26.

The final paragraph establishes a subsequent motion in the court of appeals, rather than an appeal from the order of denial or from the certification of lack of good faith, as the proper procedure for calling in question the correctness of the action of the district court. The simple and expeditious motion procedure seems clearly preferable to an appeal. This paragraph applies only to applications for leave to appeal in forma pauperis. The order of a district court refusing leave to initiate an action in the district court in forma pauperis is reviewable on appeal. See Roberts v. United States District Court, 339 U.S. 844, 70 S.Ct. 954, 94 L.Ed. 1326 (1950).

Subdivision (b). Authority to allow prosecution in forma pauperis is vested only in a “court of the United States” (see Note to subdivision (a), above). Thus in proceedings brought directly in a court of appeals to review decisions of agencies or of the Tax Court, authority to proceed in forma pauperis should be sought in the court of appeals. If initial review of agency action is had in a district court, an application to appeal to a court of appeals in forma pauperis from the judgment of the district court is governed by the provisions of subdivision (a).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment reflects the change in the title of the Tax Court to “United States Tax Court.” See 26 U.S.C. §7441.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rule 24(a) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Affidavit of inability to pay fees and expenses of consuls, counsel, interpreters and witnesses, see section 3495 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Extradition by foreign government, witnesses for indigent fugitives, see section 3191 of Title 18.

Fees for transcripts in criminal or habeas corpus proceedings to persons allowed to sue, defend, or appeal in forma pauperis, payment by United States, see section 753 of this title.

Habeas corpus proceeding, indigent petitioner entitled to documents without cost, see section 2250 of this title.

TITLE VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rule 25. Filing and Service

(a) Filing.—A paper required or permitted to be filed in a court of appeals must be filed with the clerk. Filing may be accomplished by mail addressed to the clerk, but filing is not timely unless the clerk receives the papers within the time fixed for filing, except that briefs and appendices are treated as filed on the day of mailing if the most expeditious form of delivery by mail, except special delivery, is used. Papers filed by an inmate confined in an institution are timely filed if deposited in the institution's internal mail system on or before the last day for filing. Timely filing of papers by an inmate confined in an institution may be shown by a notarized statement or declaration (in compliance with 28 U.S.C. §1746) setting forth the date of deposit and stating that first-class postage has been prepaid. If a motion requests relief that may be granted by a single judge, the judge may permit the motion to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge shall note thereon the filing date and thereafter give it to the clerk. A court of appeals may, by local rule, permit papers to be filed by facsimile or other electronic means, provided such means are authorized by and consistent with standards established by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The clerk must not refuse to accept for filing any paper presented for that purpose solely because it is not presented in proper form as required by these rules or by any local rules or practices.

(b) Service of all papers required.—Copies of all papers filed by any party and not required by these rules to be served by the clerk shall, at or before the time of filing, be served by a party or person acting for that party on all other parties to the appeal or review. Service on a party represented by counsel shall be made on counsel.

(c) Manner of service.—Service may be personal or by mail. Personal service includes delivery of the copy to a clerk or other responsible person at the office of counsel. Service by mail is complete on mailing.

(d) Proof of Service.—Papers presented for filing must contain an acknowledgment of service by the person served or proof of service in the form of a statement of the date and manner of service, of the names of the persons served, and of the addresses to which the papers were mailed or at which they were delivered, certified by the person who made service. Proof of service may appear on or be affixed to the papers filed.

(e) Number of Copies.—Whenever these rules require the filing or furnishing of a number of copies, a court may require a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case.

(As amended Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The rule that filing is not timely unless the papers filed are received within the time allowed is the familiar one. Ward v. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. Co., 265 F.2d 75 (5th Cir., 1959), rev'd on other grounds 362 U.S. 396, 80 S.Ct. 789, 4 L.Ed.2d 820 (1960); Kahler-Ellis Co. v. Ohio Turnpike Commission, 225 F.2d 922 (6th Cir., 1955). An exception is made in the case of briefs and appendices in order to afford the parties the maximum time for their preparation. By the terms of the exception, air mail delivery must be used whenever it is the most expeditious manner of delivery.

A majority of the circuits now require service of all papers filed with the clerk. The usual provision in present rules is for service on “adverse” parties. In view of the extreme simplicity of service by mail, there seems to be no reason why a party who files a paper should not be required to serve all parties to the proceeding in the court of appeals, whether or not they may be deemed adverse. The common requirement of proof of service is retained, but the rule permits it to be made by simple certification, which may be endorsed on the copy which is filed.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 25(a) and (b) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment permits, but does not require, courts of appeals to adopt local rules that allow filing of papers by electronic means. However, courts of appeals cannot adopt such local rules until the Judicial Conference of the United States authorizes filing by facsimile or other electronic means.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The amendment accompanies new subdivision (c) of Rule 4 and extends the holding in Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988), to all papers filed in the courts of appeals by persons confined in institutions.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). Several circuits have local rules that authorize the office of the clerk to refuse to accept for filing papers that are not in the form required by these rules or by local rules. This is not a suitable role for the office of the clerk and the practice exposes litigants to the hazards of time bars; for these reasons, such rules are proscribed by this rule. This provision is similar to Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(e) and Fed.R.Bankr.P. 5005.

The Committee wishes to make it clear that the provision prohibiting a clerk from refusing a document does not mean that a clerk's office may no longer screen documents to determine whether they comply with the rules. A court may delegate to the clerk authority to inform a party about any noncompliance with the rules and, if the party is willing to correct the document, to determine a date by which the corrected document must be resubmitted. If a party refuses to take the steps recommended by the clerk or if in the clerk's judgment the party fails to correct the noncompliance, the clerk must refer the matter to the court for a ruling.

Subdivision (d). Two changes have been made in this subdivision. Subdivision (d) provides that a paper presented for filing must contain proof of service.

The last sentence of subdivision (d) has been deleted as unnecessary. That sentence stated that a clerk could permit papers to be filed without acknowledgment or proof of service but must require that it be filed promptly thereafter. In light of the change made in subdivision (a) which states that a clerk may not refuse to accept for filing a document because it is not in the proper form, there is no further need for a provision stating that a clerk may accept a paper lacking a proof of service. The clerk must accept such a paper. That portion of the deleted sentence stating that the clerk must require that proof of service be filed promptly after the filing of the document if the proof is not filed concurrently with the document is also unnecessary.

The second amendment requires that the certificate of service must state the addresses to which the papers were mailed or at which they were delivered. The Federal Circuit has a similar local rule, Fed.Cir.R. 25.

Subdivision (e). Subdivision (e) is a new subdivision. It makes it clear that whenever these rules require a party to file or furnish a number of copies a court may require a different number of copies either by rule or by order in an individual case. The number of copies of any document that a court of appeals needs varies depending upon the way in which the court conducts business. The internal operation of the courts of appeals necessarily varies from circuit to circuit because of differences in the number of judges, the geographic area included within the circuit, and other such factors. Uniformity could be achieved only by setting the number of copies artificially high so that parties in all circuits file enough copies to satisfy the needs of the court requiring the greatest number. Rather than do that, the Committee decided to make it clear that local rules may require a greater or lesser number of copies and that, if the circumstances of a particular case indicate the need for a different number of copies in that case, the court may so order.

A party must consult local rules to determine whether the court requires a different number than that specified in these national rules. The Committee believes it would be helpful if each circuit either: 1) included a chart at the beginning of its local rules showing the number of copies of each document required to be filed with the court along with citation to the controlling rule; or 2) made available such a chart to each party upon commencement of an appeal; or both. If a party fails to file the required number of copies, the failure does not create a jurisdictional defect. Rule 3(a) states: “Failure of an appellant to take any step other than the timely filing of a notice of appeal does not affect the validity of the appeal, but is ground only for such action as the court of appeals deems appropriate. . . .”

Cross References

Notice of motions, see rule 27.

Rule 26. Computation and extension of time

(a) Computation of time.—In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by an order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, or, when the act to be done is the filing of a paper in court, a day on which weather or other conditions have made the office of the clerk of the court inaccessible, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not one of the aforementioned days. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation. As used in this rule “legal holiday” includes New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and any other day appointed as a holiday by the President or the Congress of the United States. It shall also include a day appointed as a holiday by the state wherein the district court which rendered the judgment or order which is or may be appealed from is situated, or by the state wherein the principal office of the clerk of the court of appeals in which the appeal is pending is located.

(b) Enlargement of time.—The court for good cause shown may upon motion enlarge the time prescribed by these rules or by its order for doing any act, or may permit an act to be done after the expiration of such time; but the court may not enlarge the time for filing a notice of appeal, a petition for allowance, or a petition for permission to appeal. Nor may the court enlarge the time prescribed by law for filing a petition to enjoin, set aside, suspend, modify, enforce or otherwise review, or a notice of appeal from, an order of an administrative agency, board, commission or officer of the United States, except as specifically authorized by law.

(c) Additional time after service by mail.—Whenever a party is required or permitted to do an act within a prescribed period after service of a paper upon that party and the paper is served by mail, 3 days shall be added to the prescribed period.

(As amended Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The provisions of this rule are based upon FRCP 6(a), (b) and (e). See also Supreme Court Rule 34 and FRCrP 45. Unlike FRCP 6(b), this rule, read with Rule 27, requires that every request for enlargement of time be made by motion, with proof of service on all parties. This is the simplest, most convenient way of keeping all parties advised of developments. By the terms of Rule 27(b) a motion for enlargement of time under Rule 26(b) may be entertained and acted upon immediately, subject to the right of any party to seek reconsideration. Thus the requirement of motion and notice will not delay the granting of relief of a kind which a court is inclined to grant as of course. Specifically, if a court is of the view that an extension of time sought before expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order ought to be granted in effect ex parte, as FRCP 6(b) permits, it may grant motions seeking such relief without delay.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1971 Amendment

The amendment adds Columbus Day to the list of legal holidays to conform the subdivision to the Act of June 28, 1968, 82 Stat. 250, which constituted Columbus Day a legal holiday effective after January 1, 1971.

The Act, which amended Title 5, U.S.C. §6103(a), changes the day on which certain holidays are to be observed. Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day are to be observed on the third Monday in February, the last Monday in May and the fourth Monday in October, respectively, rather than, as heretofore, on February 22, May 30, and November 11, respectively. Columbus Day is to be observed on the second Monday in October. New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas continue to be observed on the traditional days.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., is added to the list of national holidays in Rule 26(a). The amendment to Rule 26(c) is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

The proposed amendment brings Rule 26(a) into conformity with the provisions of Rule 6(a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 45(a) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Rule 9006(a) of the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure which allow additional time for filing whenever a clerk's office is inaccessible on the last day for filing due to weather or other conditions.

Cross References

Time to appeal to courts of appeal, see section 2107 of this title.

Rule 26.1. Corporate Disclosure Statement

Any non-governmental corporate party to a civil or bankruptcy case or agency review proceeding and any non-governmental corporate defendant in a criminal case must file a statement identifying all parent companies, subsidiaries (except wholly-owned subsidiaries), and affiliates that have issued shares to the public. The statement must be filed with a party's principal brief or upon filing a motion, response, petition, or answer in the court of appeals, whichever first occurs, unless a local rule requires earlier filing. Whenever the statement is filed before a party's principal brief, an original and three copies of the statement must be filed unless the court requires the filing of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case. The statement must be included in front of the table of contents in a party's principal brief even if the statement was previously filed.

(As added Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; and amended Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989

The purpose of this rule is to assist judges in making a determination of whether they have any interests in any of a party's related corporate entities that would disqualify the judges from hearing the appeal. The committee believes that this rule represents minimum disclosure requirements. If a Court of Appeals wishes to require additional information, a court is free to do so by local rule. However, the committee requests the courts to consider the desirability of uniformity and the burden that varying circuit rules creates on attorneys who practice in many circuits.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

The amendment requires a party to file three copies of the disclosure statement whenever the statement is filed before the party's principal brief. Because the statement is included in each copy of the party's brief, there is no need to require the filing of additional copies at that time. A court of appeals may require the filing of a different number of copies by local rule or by order in a particular case.

Rule 27. Motions

(a) Content of motions; response.—Unless another form is elsewhere prescribed by these rules, an application for an order or other relief shall be made by filing a motion for such order or relief with proof of service on all other parties. The motion shall contain or be accompanied by any matter required by a specific provision of these rules governing such a motion, shall state with particularity the grounds on which it is based, and shall set forth the order or relief sought. If a motion is supported by briefs, affidavits or other papers, they shall be served and filed with the motion. Any party may file a response in opposition to a motion other than one for a procedural order [for which see subdivision (b)] within 7 days after service of the motion, but motions authorized by Rules 8, 9, 18 and 41 may be acted upon after reasonable notice, and the court may shorten or extend the time for responding to any motion.

(b) Determination of motions for procedural orders.—Notwithstanding the provisions of (a) of this Rule 27 as to motions generally, motions for procedural orders, including any motion under Rule 26(b), may be acted upon at any time, without awaiting a response thereto, and pursuant to rule or order of the court, motions for specified types of procedural orders may be disposed of by the clerk. Any party adversely affected by such action may by application to the court request consideration, vacation or modification of such action.

(c) Power of a single judge to entertain motions.—In addition to the authority expressly conferred by these rules or by law, a single judge of a court of appeals may entertain and may grant or deny any request for relief which under these rules may properly be sought by motion, except that a single judge may not dismiss or otherwise determine an appeal or other proceeding, and except that a court of appeals may provide by order or rule that any motion or class of motions must be acted upon by the court. The action of a single judge may be reviewed by the court.

(d) Form of Papers; Number of Copies.—All papers relating to a motion may be typewritten. An original and three copies must be filed unless the court requires the filing of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case.

(As amended Apr. 1, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivisions (a) and (b). Many motions seek relief of a sort which is ordinarily unopposed or which is granted as of course. The provision of subdivision (a) which permits any party to file a response in opposition to a motion within 7 days after its service upon him assumes that the motion is one of substance which ought not be acted upon without affording affected parties an opportunity to reply. A motion to dismiss or otherwise determine an appeal is clearly such a motion. Motions authorized by Rules 8, 9, 18 and 41 are likewise motions of substance; but in the nature of the relief sought, to afford an adversary an automatic delay of at least 7 days is undesirable, thus such motions may be acted upon after notice which is reasonable under the circumstances.

The term “motions for procedural orders” is used in subdivision (b) to describe motions which do not substantially affect the rights of the parties or the ultimate disposition of the appeal. To prevent delay in the disposition of such motions, subdivision (b) provides that they may be acted upon immediately without awaiting a response, subject to the right of any party who is adversely affected by the action to seek reconsideration.

Subdivision (c). Within the general consideration of procedure on motions is the problem of the power of a single circuit judge. Certain powers are granted to a single judge of a court of appeals by statute. Thus, under 28 U.S.C. §2101(f) a single judge may stay execution and enforcement of a judgment to enable a party aggrieved to obtain certiorari; under 28 U.S.C. §2251 a judge before whom a habeas corpus proceeding involving a person detained by state authority is pending may stay any proceeding against the person; under 28 U.S.C. §2253 a single judge may issue a certificate of probable cause. In addition, certain of these rules expressly grant power to a single judge. See Rules 8, 9 and 18.

This subdivision empowers a single circuit judge to act upon virtually all requests for intermediate relief which may be made during the course of an appeal or other proceeding. By its terms he may entertain and act upon any motion other than a motion to dismiss or otherwise determine an appeal or other proceeding. But the relief sought must be “relief which under these rules may properly be sought by motion.”

Examples of the power conferred on a single judge by this subdivision are: to extend the time for transmitting the record or docketing the appeal (Rules 11 and 12); to permit intervention in agency cases (Rule 15), or substitution in any case (Rule 43); to permit an appeal in forma pauperis (Rule 24); to enlarge any time period fixed by the rules other than that for initiating a proceeding in the court of appeals (Rule 26(b)); to permit the filing of a brief by amicus curiae (Rule 29); to authorize the filing of a deferred appendix (Rule 30(c)), or dispense with the requirement of an appendix in a specific case (Rule 30(f)), or permit carbon copies of briefs or appendices to be used (Rule 32(a)); to permit the filing of additional briefs (Rule 28(c)), or the filing of briefs of extraordinary length (Rule 28(g)); to postpone oral argument (Rule 34(a)), or grant additional time therefor (Rule 34(b)).

Certain rules require that application for the relief or orders which they authorize be made by petition. Since relief under those rules may not properly be sought by motion, a single judge may not entertain requests for such relief. Thus a single judge may not act upon requests for permission to appeal (see Rules 5 and 6); or for mandamus or other extraordinary writs (see Rule 21), other than for stays or injunctions pendente lite, authority to grant which is “expressly conferred by these rules” on a single judge under certain circumstances (see Rules 8 and 18); or upon petitions for rehearing (see Rule 40).

A court of appeals may by order or rule abridge the power of a single judge if it is of the view that a motion or a class of motions should be disposed of by a panel. Exercise of any power granted a single judge is discretionary with the judge. The final sentence in this subdivision makes the disposition of any matter by a single judge subject to review by the court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment would give sanction to local rules in a number of circuits permitting the clerk to dispose of specified types of procedural motions.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (d). The amendment makes it clear that a court may require a different number of copies either by rule or by order in an individual case. The number of copies of any document that a court of appeals needs varies depending upon the way in which the court conducts business. The internal operation of the courts of appeals necessarily varies from circuit to circuit because of differences in the number of judges, the geographic area included within the circuit, and other such factors. Uniformity could be achieved only by setting the number of copies artificially high so that parties in all circuits file enough copies to satisfy the needs of the court requiring the greatest number. Rather than do that, the Committee decided to make it clear that local rules may require a greater or lesser number of copies and that, if the circumstances of a particular case indicate the need for a different number of copies in that case, the court may so order.

Cross References

Admission of attorneys to bar, see rule 46.

Dismissal of appeal on motion, see rule 42.

Postponement of argument, see rule 34.

Rule 28. Briefs

(a) Appellant's Brief.—The brief of the appellant must contain, under appropriate headings and in the order here indicated:

(1) A table of contents, with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes and other authorities cited, with references to the pages of the brief where they are cited.

(2) A statement of subject matter and appellate jurisdiction. The statement shall include: (i) a statement of the basis for subject matter jurisdiction in the district court or agency, with citation to applicable statutory provisions and with reference to the relevant facts to establish such jurisdiction; (ii) a statement of the basis for jurisdiction in the court of appeals, with citation to applicable statutory provisions and with reference to the relevant facts to establish such jurisdiction; the statement shall include relevant filing dates establishing the timeliness of the appeal or petition for review and (a) shall state that the appeal is from a final order or a final judgment that disposes of all claims with respect to all parties or, if not, (b) shall include information establishing that the court of appeals has jurisdiction on some other basis.

(3) A statement of the issues presented for review.

(4) A statement of the case. The statement shall first indicate briefly the nature of the case, the course of proceedings, and its disposition in the court below. There shall follow a statement of the facts relevant to the issues presented for review, with appropriate references to the record (see subdivision (e)).

(5) A summary of argument. The summary should contain a succinct, clear, and accurate statement of the arguments made in the body of the brief. It should not be a mere repetition of the argument headings.

(6) An argument. The argument must contain the contentions of the appellant on the issues presented, and the reasons therefor, with citations to the authorities, statutes, and parts of the record relied on. The argument must also include for each issue a concise statement of the applicable standard of review; this statement may appear in the discussion of each issue or under a separate heading placed before the discussion of the issues.

(7) A short conclusion stating the precise relief sought.

(b) Appellee's Brief.—The brief of the appellee must conform to the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1)–(6), except that none of the following need appear unless the appellee is dissatisfied with the statement of the appellant:

(1) the jurisdictional statement;

(2) the statement of the issues;

(3) the statement of the case;

(4) the statement of the standard of review.

(c) Reply brief.—The appellant may file a brief in reply to the brief of the appellee, and if the appellee has cross-appealed, the appellee may file a brief in reply to the response of the appellant to the issues presented by the cross appeal. No further briefs may be filed except with leave of court. All reply briefs shall contain a table of contents, with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes and other authorities cited, with references to the pages of the reply brief where they are cited.

(d) References in briefs to parties.—Counsel will be expected in their briefs and oral arguments to keep to a minimum references to parties by such designations as “appellant” and “appellee”. It promotes clarity to use the designations used in the lower court or in the agency proceedings, or the actual names of parties, or descriptive terms such as “the employee,” “the injured person,” “the taxpayer,” “the ship,” “the stevedore,” etc.

(e) References in briefs to the record.—References in the briefs to parts of the record reproduced in the appendix filed with the brief of the appellant (see Rule 30(a)) shall be to the pages of the appendix at which those parts appear. If the appendix is prepared after the briefs are filed, references in the briefs to the record shall be made by one of the methods allowed by Rule 30(c). If the record is reproduced in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(f), or if references are made in the briefs to parts of the record not reproduced, the references shall be to the pages of the parts of the record involved; e.g., Answer p. 7, Motion for Judgment p. 2, Transcript p. 231. Intelligible abbreviations may be used. If reference is made to evidence the admissibility of which is in controversy, reference shall be made to the pages of the appendix or of the transcript at which the evidence was identified, offered, and received or rejected.

(f) Reproduction of statutes, rules, regulations, etc.—If determination of the issues presented requires the study of statutes, rules, regulations, etc. or relevant parts thereof, they shall be reproduced in the brief or in an addendum at the end, or they may be supplied to the court in pamphlet form.

(g) Length of briefs.—Except by permission of the court, or as specified by local rule of the court of appeals, principal briefs must not exceed 50 pages, and reply briefs must not exceed 25 pages, exclusive of pages containing the corporate disclosure statement, table of contents, tables of citations, proof of service, and any addendum containing statutes, rules, regulations, etc.

(h) Briefs in cases involving cross appeals.—If a cross appeal is filed, the party who first files a notice of appeal, or in the event that the notices are filed on the same day, the plaintiff in the proceeding below shall be deemed the appellant for the purposes of this rule and Rules 30 and 31, unless the parties otherwise agree or the court otherwise orders. The brief of the appellee shall conform to the requirements of subdivision (a)(1)–(6) of this rule with respect to the appellee's cross appeal as well as respond to the brief of the appellant except that a statement of the case need not be made unless the appellee is dissatisfied with the statement of the appellant.

(i) Briefs in cases involving multiple appellants or appellees.—In cases involving more than one appellant or appellee, including cases consolidated for purposes of the appeal, any number of either may join in a single brief, and any appellant or appellee may adopt by reference any part of the brief of another. Parties may similarly join in reply briefs.

(j) Citation of supplemental authorities.—When pertinent and significant authorities come to the attention of a party after the party's brief has been filed, or after oral argument but before decision, a party may promptly advise the clerk of the court, by letter, with a copy to all counsel, setting forth the citations. There shall be a reference either to the page of the brief or to a point argued orally to which the citations pertain, but the letter shall without argument state the reasons for the supplemental citations. Any response shall be made promptly and shall be similarly limited.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule is based upon Supreme Court Rule 40. For variations in present circuit rules on briefs see 2d Cir. Rule 17, 3d Cir. Rule 24, 5th Cir. Rule 24, and 7th Cir. Rule 17. All circuits now limit the number of pages of briefs, a majority limiting the brief to 50 pages of standard typographic printing. Fifty pages of standard typographic printing is the approximate equivalent of 70 pages of typewritten text, given the page sizes required by Rule 32 and the requirement set out there that text produced by a method other than standard typographic must be double spaced.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment eliminates the distinction appearing in the present rule between the permissible length in pages of printed and typewritten briefs, investigation of the matter having disclosed that the number of words on the printed page is little if any larger than the number on a page typed in standard elite type.

The provision is made subject to local rule to permit the court of appeals to require that typewritten briefs be typed in larger type and permit a correspondingly larger number of pages.

Subdivision (j). Proposed new Rule 28(j) makes provision for calling the court's attention to authorities that come to the party's attention after the brief has been filed. It is patterned after the practice under local rule in some of the circuits.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

While Rule 28(g) can be read as requiring that tables of authorities be included in a reply brief, such tables are often not included. Their absence impedes efficient use of the reply brief to ascertain the appellant's response to a particular argument of the appellee or to the appellee's use of a particular authority. The amendment to Rule 28(c) is intended to make it clear that such tables are required in reply briefs.

The amendment to Rule 28(j) is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

The amendment provides that the corporate disclosure statement required by new rule 26.1 shall be treated similarly to tables of contents and tables of citations and shall not be counted for purposes of the number of pages allowed in a brief.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment adds a new subparagraph (2) that requires an appellant to include a specific jurisdictional statement in the appellant's brief to aid the court of appeals in determining whether it has both federal subject matter and appellate jurisdiction.

Subdivision (b). The amendment requires the appellee to include a jurisdictional statement in the appellee's brief except that the appellee need not include the statement if the appellee is satisfied with the appellant's jurisdictional statement.

Subdivision (h). The amendment provides that when more than one party appeals from a judgment or order, the party filing the first appeal is normally treated as the appellant for purposes of this rule and Rules 30 and 31. The party who first files an appeal usually is the principal appellant and should be treated as such. Parties who file a notice of appeal after the first notice often bring protective appeals and they should be treated as cross appellants. Local rules in the Fourth and Federal Circuits now take that approach. If notices of appeal are filed on the same day, the rule follows the old approach of treating the plaintiff below as the appellant. For purposes of this rule, in criminal cases “the plaintiff” means the United States. In those instances where the designations provided by the rule are inappropriate, they may be altered by agreement of the parties or by an order of the court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Note to paragraph (a)(5). The amendment requires an appellant's brief to state the standard of review applicable to each issue on appeal. Five circuits currently require these statements. Experience in those circuits indicates that requiring a statement of the standard of review generally results in arguments that are properly shaped in light of the standard.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment adds a requirement that an appellant's brief contain a summary of the argument. A number of circuits have local rules requiring a summary and the courts report that they find the summary useful. See, D.C. Cir. R. 11(a)(5); 5th Cir. R. 28.2.2; 8th Cir. R. 28A(i)(6); 11th Cir. R. 28–2(i); and Fed. Cir. R. 28.

Subdivision (b). The amendment adds a requirement that an appellee's brief contain a summary of the argument.

Subdivision (g). The amendment adds proof of service to the list of items in a brief that do not count for purposes of the page limitation. The concurrent amendment to Rule 25(d) requires a certificate of service to list the addresses to which a paper was mailed or at which it was delivered. When a number of parties must be served, the listing of addresses may run to several pages and those pages should not count for purposes of the page limitation.

Cross References

Harmless error, see section 2111 of this title.

Rule 29. Brief of an amicus curiae

A brief of an amicus curiae may be filed only if accompanied by written consent of all parties, or by leave of court granted on motion or at the request of the court, except that consent or leave shall not be required when the brief is presented by the United States or an officer or agency thereof, or by a State, Territory or Commonwealth. The brief may be conditionally filed with the motion for leave. A motion for leave shall identify the interest of the applicant and shall state the reasons why a brief of an amicus curiae is desirable. Save as all parties otherwise consent, any amicus curiae shall file its brief within the time allowed the party whose position as to affirmance or reversal the amicus brief will support unless the court for cause shown shall grant leave for later filing, in which event it shall specify within what period an opposing party may answer. A motion of an amicus curiae to participate in the oral argument will be granted only for extraordinary reasons.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Only five circuits presently regulate the filing of the brief of an amicus curiae. See D.C. Cir. Rule 18(j); 1st Cir. Rule 23(10); 6th Cir. Rule 17(4); 9th Cir. Rule 18(9); 10th Cir. Rule 20. This rule follows the practice of a majority of circuits in requiring leave of court to file an amicus brief except under the circumstances stated therein. Compare Supreme Court Rule 42.

Cross References

Rule-making power generally, see section 2071 of this title.

Rule 30. Appendix to the Briefs

(a) Duty of Appellant to Prepare and File; Content of Appendix; Time for Filing; Number of Copies.—The appellant must prepare and file an appendix to the briefs which must contain: (1) the relevant docket entries in the proceeding below; (2) any relevant portions of the pleadings, charge, findings, or opinion; (3) the judgment, order, or decision in question; and (4) any other parts of the record to which the parties wish to direct the particular attention of the court. Except where they have independent relevance, memoranda of law in the district court should not be included in the appendix. The fact that parts of the record are not included in the appendix shall not prevent the parties or the court from relying on such parts.

Unless filing is to be deferred pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (c) of this rule, the appellant must serve and file the appendix with the brief. Ten copies of the appendix must be filed with the clerk, and one copy must be served on counsel for each party separately represented, unless the court requires the filing or service of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case.

(b) Determination of contents of appendix; cost of producing.—The parties are encouraged to agree as to the contents of the appendix. In the absence of agreement, the appellant shall, not later than 10 days after the date on which the record is filed, serve on the appellee a designation of the parts of the record which the appellant intends to include in the appendix and a statement of the issues which the appellant intends to present for review. If the appellee deems it necessary to direct the particular attention of the court to parts of the record not designated by the appellant, the appellee shall, within 10 days after receipt of the designation, serve upon the appellant a designation of those parts. The appellant shall include in the appendix the parts thus designated with respect to the appeal and any cross appeal. In designating parts of the record for inclusion in the appendix, the parties shall have regard for the fact that the entire record is always available to the court for reference and examination and shall not engage in unnecessary designation. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to cross appellants and cross appellees.

Unless the parties otherwise agree, the cost of producing the appendix shall initially be paid by the appellant, but if the appellant considers that parts of the record designated by the appellee for inclusion are unnecessary for the determination of the issues presented the appellant may so advise the appellee and the appellee shall advance the cost of including such parts. The cost of producing the appendix shall be taxed as costs in the case, but if either party shall cause matters to be included in the appendix unnecessarily the court may impose the cost of producing such parts on the party. Each circuit shall provide by local rule for the imposition of sanctions against attorneys who unreasonably and vexatiously increase the costs of litigation through the inclusion of unnecessary material in the appendix.

(c) Alternative method of designating contents of the appendix; how references to the record may be made in the briefs when alternative method is used.—If the court shall so provide by rule for classes of cases or by order in specific cases, preparation of the appendix may be deferred until after the briefs have been filed, and the appendix may be filed 21 days after service of the brief of the appellee. If the preparation and filing of the appendix is thus deferred, the provisions of subdivision (b) of this Rule 30 shall apply, except that the designations referred to therein shall be made by each party at the time each brief is served, and a statement of the issues presented shall be unnecessary.

If the deferred appendix authorized by this subdivision is employed, references in the briefs to the record may be to the pages of the parts of the record involved, in which event the original paging of each part of the record shall be indicated in the appendix by placing in brackets the number of each page at the place in the appendix where that page begins. Or if a party desires to refer in a brief directly to pages of the appendix, that party may serve and file typewritten or page proof copies of the brief within the time required by Rule 31(a), with appropriate references to the pages of the parts of the record involved. In that event, within 14 days after the appendix is filed the party shall serve and file copies of the brief in the form prescribed by Rule 32(a) containing references to the pages of the appendix in place of or in addition to the initial references to the pages of the parts of the record involved. No other changes may be made in the brief as initially served and filed, except that typographical errors may be corrected.

(d) Arrangement of the appendix.—At the beginning of the appendix there shall be inserted a list of the parts of the record which it contains, in the order in which the parts are set out therein, with references to the pages of the appendix at which each part begins. The relevant docket entries shall be set out following the list of contents. Thereafter, other parts of the record shall be set out in chronological order. When matter contained in the reporter's transcript of proceedings is set out in the appendix, the page of the transcript at which such matter may be found shall be indicated in brackets immediately before the matter which is set out. Omissions in the text of papers or of the transcript must be indicated by asterisks. Immaterial formal matters (captions, subscriptions, acknowledgments, etc.) shall be omitted. A question and its answer may be contained in a single paragraph.

(e) Reproduction of exhibits.—Exhibits designated for inclusion in the appendix may be contained in a separate volume, or volumes, suitably indexed. Four copies thereof shall be filed with the appendix and one copy shall be served on counsel for each party separately represented. The transcript of a proceeding before an administrative agency, board, commission or officer used in an action in the district court shall be regarded as an exhibit for the purpose of this subdivision.

(f) Hearing of appeals on the original record without the necessity of an appendix.—A court of appeals may by rule applicable to all cases, or to classes of cases, or by order in specific cases, dispense with the requirement of an appendix and permit appeals to be heard on the original record, with such copies of the record, or relevant parts thereof, as the court may require.

(As amended Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). Only two circuits presently require a printed record (5th Cir. Rule 23(a); 8th Cir. Rule 10 (in civil appeals only)), and the rules and practice in those circuits combine to make the difference between a printed record and the appendix, which is now used in eight circuits and in the Supreme Court in lieu of the printed record, largely nominal. The essential characteristics of the appendix method are: (1) the entire record may not be reproduced; (2) instead, the parties are to set out in an appendix to the briefs those parts of the record which in their judgment the judges must consult in order to determine the issues presented by the appeal; (3) the appendix is not the record but merely a selection therefrom for the convenience of the judges of the court of appeals; the record is the actual trial court record, and the record itself is always available to supply inadvertent omissions from the appendix. These essentials are incorporated, either by rule or by practice, in the circuits that continue to require the printed record rather than the appendix. See 5th Cir. Rule 23(a)(9) and 8th Cir. Rule 10(a)–(d).

Subdivision (b). Under the practice in six of the eight circuits which now use the appendix method, unless the parties agree to use a single appendix, the appellant files with his brief an appendix containing the parts of the record which he deems it essential that the court read in order to determine the questions presented. If the appellee deems additional parts of the record necessary he must include such parts as an appendix to his brief. The proposed rules differ from that practice. By the new rule a single appendix is to be filed. It is to be prepared by the appellant, who must include therein those parts which he deems essential and those which the appellee designates as essential.

Under the practice by which each party files his own appendix the resulting reproduction of essential parts of the record is often fragmentary; it is not infrequently necessary to piece several appendices together to arrive at a usable reproduction. Too, there seems to be a tendency on the part of some appellants to reproduce less than what is necessary for a determination of the issues presented (see Moran Towing Corp. v. M. A. Gammino Construction Co., 363 F.2d 108 (1st Cir. 1966); Walters v. Shari Music Publishing Corp., 298 F.2d 206 (2d Cir. 1962) and cases cited therein; Morrison v. Texas Co., 289 F.2d 382 (7th Cir. 1961) and cases cited therein), a tendency which is doubtless encouraged by the requirement in present rules that the appellee reproduce in his separately prepared appendix such necessary parts of the record as are not included by the appellant.

Under the proposed rule responsibility for the preparation of the appendix is placed on the appellant. If the appellee feels that the appellant has omitted essential portions of the record, he may require the appellant to include such portions in the appendix. The appellant is protected against a demand that he reproduce parts which he considers unnecessary by the provisions entitling him to require the appellee to advance the costs of reproducing such parts and authorizing denial of costs for matter unnecessarily reproduced.

Subdivision (c). This subdivision permits the appellant to elect to defer the production of the appendix to the briefs until the briefs of both sides are written, and authorizes a court of appeals to require such deferred filing by rule or order. The advantage of this method of preparing the appendix is that it permits the parties to determine what parts of the record need to be reproduced in the light of the issues actually presented by the briefs. Often neither side is in a position to say precisely what is needed until the briefs are completed. Once the argument on both sides is known, it should be possible to confine the matter reproduced in the appendix to that which is essential to a determination of the appeal or review. This method of preparing the appendix is presently in use in the Tenth Circuit (Rule 17) and in other circuits in review of agency proceedings, and it has proven its value in reducing the volume required to be reproduced. When the record is long, use of this method is likely to result in substantial economy to the parties.

Subdivision (e). The purpose of this subdivision is to reduce the cost of reproducing exhibits. While subdivision (a) requires that 10 copies of the appendix be filed, unless the court requires a lesser number, subdivision (e) permits exhibits necessary for the determination of an appeal to be bound separately, and requires only 4 copies of such a separate volume or volumes to be filed and a single copy to be served on counsel.

Subdivision (f). This subdivision authorizes a court of appeals to dispense with the appendix method of reproducing parts of the record and to hear appeals on the original record and such copies of it as the court may require.

Since 1962 the Ninth Circuit has permitted all appeals to be heard on the original record and a very limited number of copies. Under the practice as adopted in 1962, any party to an appeal could elect to have the appeal heard on the original record and two copies thereof rather than on the printed record theretofore required. The resulting substantial saving of printing costs led to the election of the new practice in virtually all cases, and by 1967 the use of printed records had ceased. By a recent amendment, the Ninth Circuit has abolished the printed record altogether. Its rules now provide that all appeals are to be heard on the original record, and it has reduced the number of copies required to two sets of copies of the transmitted original papers (excluding copies of exhibits, which need not be filed unless specifically ordered). See 9 Cir. Rule 10, as amended June 2, 1967, effective September 1, 1967. The Eighth Circuit permits appeals in criminal cases and in habeas corpus and 28 U.S.C. §2255 proceedings to be heard on the original record and two copies thereof. See 8 Cir. Rule 8 (i)–(j). The Tenth Circuit permits appeals in all cases to be heard on the original record and four copies thereof whenever the record consists of two hundred pages or less. See 10 Cir. Rule 17(a). This subdivision expressly authorizes the continuation of the practices in the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.

The judges of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have expressed complete satisfaction with the practice there in use and have suggested that attention be called to the advantages which it offers in terms of reducing cost.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1970 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment of subdivision (a) is related to the amendment of Rule 31(a), which authorizes a court of appeals to shorten the time for filing briefs. By virtue of this amendment, if the time for filing the brief of the appellant is shortened the time for filing the appendix is likewise shortened.

Subdivision (c). As originally written, subdivision (c) permitted the appellant to elect to defer filing of the appendix until 21 days after service of the brief of the appellee. As amended, subdivision (c) requires that an order of court be obtained before filing of the appendix can be deferred, unless a court permits deferred filing by local rule. The amendment should not cause use of the deferred appendix to be viewed with disfavor. In cases involving lengthy records, permission to defer filing of the appendix should be freely granted as an inducement to the parties to include in the appendix only matter that the briefs show to be necessary for consideration by the judges. But the Committee is advised that appellants have elected to defer filing of the appendix in cases involving brief records merely to obtain the 21 day delay. The subdivision is amended to prevent that practice.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

Subdivision (a). During its study of the separate appendix [see Report on the Advisory Committee on the Federal Appellate Rules on the Operation of Rule 30, — FRD — (1985)], the Advisory Committee found that this document was frequently encumbered with memoranda submitted to the trial court. United States v. Noall, 587 F.2d 123, 125 n. 1 (2nd Cir. 1978). See generally Drewett v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 539 F.2d 496, 500 (5th Cir. 1976); Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Church, 413 F.2d 1126, 1128 (9th Cir. 1969). Inclusion of such material makes the appendix more bulky and therefore less useful to the appellate panel. It also can increase significantly the costs of litigation.

There are occasions when such trial court memoranda have independent relevance in the appellate litigation. For instance, there may be a dispute as to whether a particular point was raised or whether a concession was made in the district court. In such circumstances, it is appropriate to include pertinent sections of such memoranda in the appendix.

Subdivision (b). The amendment to subdivision (b) is designed to require the circuits, by local rule, to establish a procedural mechanism for the imposition of sanctions against those attorneys who conduct appellate litigation in bad faith. Both 28 U.S.C. §1927 and the inherent power of the court authorized such sanctions. See Brennan v. Local 357, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 709 F.2d 611 (9th Cir. 1983). See generally Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752 (1980). While considerations of uniformity are important and doubtless will be taken into account by the judges of the respective circuits, the Advisory Committee believes that, at this time, the circuits need the flexibility to tailor their approach to the conditions of local practice. The local rule shall provide for notice and opportunity to respond before the imposition of any sanction.

Technical amendments also are made to subdivisions (a), (b) and (c) which are not intended to be substantive changes.

Taxation of Fees in Appeals in Which the Requirement of an Appendix Is Dispensed With

The Judicial Conference of the United States at its session on October 28th and 29th approved the following resolution relating to fees to be taxed in the courts of appeals as submitted by the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit with the proviso that its application to any court of appeals shall be at the election of each such court:

For some time it has been the practice in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to dispense with an appendix in an appellate record and to hear the appeal on the original record, with a number of copies thereof being supplied (Rule 30f, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure). It has been the practice of the Court to tax a fee of $5 in small records and $10 in large records for the time of the clerk involved in preparing such appeals and by way of reimbursement for postage expense. Judicial Conference approval heretofore has not been secured and the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit now seeks to fix a flat fee of $15 to be charged as fees for costs to be charged by any court of appeals “in any appeal in which the requirement of an appendix is dispensed with pursuant to Rule 30f, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

Subdivision (b). The amendment requires a cross appellant to serve the appellant with a statement of the issues that the cross appellant intends to pursue on appeal. No later than ten days after the record is filed, the appellant and cross appellant must serve each other with a statement of the issues each intends to present for review and with a designation of the parts of the record that each wants included in the appendix. Within the next ten days, both the appellee and the cross appellee may designate additional materials for inclusion in the appendix. The appellant must then include in the appendix the parts thus designated for both the appeal and any cross appeals. The Committee expects that simultaneous compliance with this subdivision by an appellant and a cross appellant will be feasible in most cases. If a cross appellant cannot fairly be expected to comply until receipt of the appellant's statement of issues, relief may be sought by motion in the court of appeals.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The only substantive change is to allow a court to require the filing of a greater number of copies of an appendix as well as a lesser number.

Cross References

Typewritten appendices allowed in forma pauperis, see rule 24.

Rule 31. Filing and Service of a Brief

(a) Time for serving and filing briefs.—The appellant shall serve and file a brief within 40 days after the date on which the record is filed. The appellee shall serve and file a brief within 30 days after service of the brief of the appellant. The appellant may serve and file a reply brief within 14 days after service of the brief of the appellee, but, except for good cause shown, a reply brief must be filed at least 3 days before argument. If a court of appeals is prepared to consider cases on the merits promptly after briefs are filed, and its practice is to do so, it may shorten the periods prescribed above for serving and filing briefs, either by rule for all cases or for classes of cases, or by order for specific cases.

(b) Number of Copies to Be Filed and Served.—Twenty-five copies of each brief must be filed with the clerk, and two copies must be served on counsel for each party separately represented unless the court requires the filing or service of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case. If a party is allowed to file typewritten ribbon and carbon copies of the brief, the original and three legible copies must be filed with the clerk, and one copy must be served on counsel for each party separately represented.

(c) Consequence of failure to file briefs.—If an appellant fails to file a brief within the time provided by this rule, or within the time as extended, an appellee may move for dismissal of the appeal. If an appellee fails to file a brief, the appellee will not be heard at oral argument except by permission of the court.

(As amended Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

A majority of the circuits now require the brief of the appellant to be filed within 30 days from the date on which the record is filed. But in those circuits an exchange of designations is unnecessary in the preparation of the appendix. The appellant files with his brief an appendix containing the parts of the record which he deems essential. If the appellee considers other parts essential, he includes those parts in his own appendix. Since the proposed rule requires the appellant to file with his brief an appendix containing necessary parts of the record as designated by both parties, the rule allows the appellant 40 days in order to provide time for the exchange of designations respecting the content of the appendix (see Rule 30(b)).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1970 Amendment

The time prescribed by Rule 31(a) for preparing briefs—40 days to the appellant, 30 days to the appellee—is well within the time that must ordinarily elapse in most circuits before an appeal can be reached for consideration. In those circuits, the time prescribed by the Rule should not be disturbed. But if a court of appeals maintains a current calendar, that is, if an appeal can be heard as soon as the briefs have been filed, or if the practice of the court permits the submission of appeals for preliminary consideration as soon as the briefs have been filed, the court should be free to prescribe shorter periods in the interest of expediting decision.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 31(a) and (c) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (b). The amendment allows a court of appeals to require the filing of a greater, as well as a lesser, number of copies of briefs. The amendment also allows the required number to be prescribed by local rule as well as by order in a particular case.

Cross References

Form, see rule 32.

Motion supported by brief, see rule 27.

Rule 32. Form of briefs, the appendix and other papers

(a) Form of briefs and the appendix.—Briefs and appendices may be produced by standard typographic printing or by any duplicating or copying process which produces a clear black image on white paper. Carbon copies of briefs and appendices may not be submitted without permission of the court, except in behalf of parties allowed to proceed in forma pauperis. All printed matter must appear in at least 11 point type on opaque, unglazed paper. Briefs and appendices produced by the standard typographic process shall be bound in volumes having pages 61/8 by 91/4 inches and type matter 41/6 by 71/6 inches. Those produced by any other process shall be bound in volumes having pages not exceeding 81/2 by 11 inches and type matter not exceeding 61/2 by 91/2 inches, with double spacing between each line of text. In patent cases the pages of briefs and appendices may be of such size as is necessary to utilize copies of patent documents. Copies of the reporter's transcript and other papers reproduced in a manner authorized by this rule may be inserted in the appendix; such pages may be informally renumbered if necessary.

If briefs are produced by commercial printing or duplicating firms, or, if produced otherwise and the covers to be described are available, the cover of the brief of the appellant should be blue; that of the appellee, red; that of an intervenor or amicus curiae, green; that of any reply brief, gray. The cover of the appendix, if separately printed, should be white. The front covers of the briefs and of appendices, if separately printed, shall contain: (1) the name of the court and the number of the case; (2) the title of the case (see Rule 12(a)); (3) the nature of the proceeding in the court (e.g., Appeal; Petition for Review) and the name of the court, agency, or board below; (4) the title of the document (e.g., Brief for Appellant, Appendix); and (5) the names and addresses of counsel representing the party on whose behalf the document is filed.

(b) Form of other papers.—Petitions for rehearing shall be produced in a manner prescribed by subdivision (a). Motions and other papers may be produced in like manner, or they may be typewritten upon opaque, unglazed paper 81/2 by 11 inches in size. Lines of typewritten text shall be double spaced. Consecutive sheets shall be attached at the left margin. Carbon copies may be used for filing and service if they are legible.

A motion or other paper addressed to the court shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the case, the file number, and a brief descriptive title indicating the purpose of the paper.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Only two methods of printing are now generally recognized by the circuits—standard typographic printing and the offset duplicating process (multilith). A third, mimeographing, is permitted in the Fifth Circuit. The District of Columbia, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits permit records to be reproduced by copying processes. The Committee feels that recent and impending advances in the arts of duplicating and copying warrant experimentation with less costly forms of reproduction than those now generally authorized. The proposed rule permits, in effect, the use of any process other than the carbon copy process which produces a clean, readable page. What constitutes such is left in first instance to the parties and ultimately to the court to determine. The final sentence of the first paragraph of subdivision (a) is added to allow the use of multilith, mimeograph, or other forms of copies of the reporter's original transcript whenever such are available.

Cross References

Typewritten briefs, appendices, and other papers allowed in forma pauperis, see rule 24.

Rule 33. Appeal Conferences

The court may direct the attorneys, and in appropriate cases the parties, to participate in one or more conferences to address any matter that may aid in the disposition of the proceedings, including the simplification of the issues and the possibility of settlement. A conference may be conducted in person or by telephone and be presided over by a judge or other person designated by the court for that purpose. Before a settlement conference, attorneys must consult with their clients and obtain as much authority as feasible to settle the case. As a result of a conference, the court may enter an order controlling the course of the proceedings or implementing any settlement agreement.

(As amended Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The uniform rule for review or enforcement of orders of administrative agencies, boards, commissions or officers (see the general note following Rule 15) authorizes a prehearing conference in agency review proceedings. The same considerations which make a prehearing conference desirable in such proceedings may be present in certain cases on appeal from the district courts. The proposed rule is based upon subdivision 11 of the present uniform rule for review of agency orders.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Rule 33 has been entirely rewritten. The new rule makes several changes.

The caption of the rule has been changed from “Prehearing Conference” to “Appeal Conferences” to reflect the fact that occasionally a conference is held after oral argument.

The rule permits the court to require the parties to attend the conference in appropriate cases. The Committee does not contemplate that attendance of the parties will become routine, but in certain instances the parties’ presence can be useful. The language of the rule is broad enough to allow a court to determine that an executive or employee (other than the general counsel) of a corporation or government agency with authority regarding the matter at issue, constitutes “the party.”

The rule includes the possibility of settlement among the possible conference topics.

The rule recognizes that conferences are often held by telephone.

The rule allows a judge or other person designated by the court to preside over a conference. A number of local rules permit persons other than judges to preside over conferences. 1st Cir. R. 47.5; 6th Cir. R. 18; 8th Cir. R. 33A; 9th Cir. R. 33–1; and 10th Cir. R. 33.

The rule requires an attorney to consult with his or her client before a settlement conference and obtain as much authority as feasible to settle the case. An attorney can never settle a case without his or her client's consent. Certain entities, especially government entities, have particular difficulty obtaining authority to settle a case. The rule requires counsel to obtain only as much authority “as feasible.”

Cross References

Pre-trial procedure in the district courts, see rule 16, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this Appendix.

Rule 34. Oral Argument

(a) In general; local rule.—Oral argument shall be allowed in all cases unless pursuant to local rule a panel of three judges, after examination of the briefs and record, shall be unanimously of the opinion that oral argument is not needed. Any such local rule shall provide any party with an opportunity to file a statement setting forth the reasons why oral argument should be heard. A general statement of the criteria employed in the administration of such local rule shall be published in or with the rule and such criteria shall conform substantially to the following minimum standard:

Oral argument will be allowed unless

(1) the appeal is frivolous; or

(2) the dispositive issue or set of issues has been recently authoritatively decided; or

(3) the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and record and the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument.


(b) Notice of argument; postponement.—The clerk shall advise all parties whether oral argument is to be heard, and if so, of the time and place therefor, and the time to be allowed each side. A request for postponement of the argument or for allowance of additional time must be made by motion filed reasonably in advance of the date fixed for hearing.

(c) Order and Content of Argument.—The appellant is entitled to open and conclude the argument. Counsel may not read at length from briefs, records, or authorities.

(d) Cross and separate appeals.—A cross or separate appeal shall be argued with the initial appeal at a single argument, unless the court otherwise directs. If a case involves a cross appeal, the party who first files a notice of appeal, or in the event that the notices are filed on the same day the plaintiff in the proceeding below, shall be deemed the appellant for the purpose of this rule unless the parties otherwise agree or the court otherwise directs. If separate appellants support the same argument, care shall be taken to avoid duplication of argument.

(e) Non-appearance of parties.—If the appellee fails to appear to present argument, the court will hear argument on behalf of the appellant, if present. If the appellant fails to appear, the court may hear argument on behalf of the appellee, if present. If neither party appears, the case will be decided on the briefs unless the court shall otherwise order.

(f) Submission on briefs.—By agreement of the parties, a case may be submitted for decision on the briefs, but the court may direct that the case be argued.

(g) Use of physical exhibits at argument; removal.—If physical exhibits other than documents are to be used at the argument, counsel shall arrange to have them placed in the court room before the court convenes on the date of the argument. After the argument counsel shall cause the exhibits to be removed from the court room unless the court otherwise directs. If exhibits are not reclaimed by counsel within a reasonable time after notice is given by the clerk, they shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the clerk shall think best.

(As amended Apr. 1, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

A majority of circuits now limit oral argument to thirty minutes for each side, with the provision that additional time may be made available upon request. The Committee is of the view that thirty minutes to each side is sufficient in most cases, but that where additional time is necessary it should be freely granted on a proper showing of cause therefor. It further feels that the matter of time should be left ultimately to each court of appeals, subject to the spirit of the rule that a reasonable time should be allowed for argument. The term “side” is used to indicate that the time allowed by the rule is afforded to opposing interests rather than to individual parties. Thus if multiple appellants or appellees have a common interest, they constitute only a single side. If counsel for multiple parties who constitute a single side feel that additional time is necessary, they may request it. In other particulars this rule follows the usual practice among the circuits. See 3d Cir. Rule 31; 6th Cir. Rule 20; 10th Cir. Rule 23.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The proposed amendment, patterned after the recommendations in the Report of the Commission on Revision of the Federal Court Appellate System, Structure and Internal Procedures: Recommendations for Change, 1975, created by Public Law 489 of the 92nd Cong. 2nd Sess., 86 Stat. 807, sets forth general principles and minimum standards to be observed in formulating any local rule.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 34(a) and (e) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

Subdivision (d). The amendment of subdivision (d) conforms this rule with the amendment of Rule 28(h).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Subdivision (c). The amendment deletes the requirement that the opening argument must include a fair statement of the case. The Committee proposed the change because in some circuits the court does not want appellants to give such statements. In those circuits, the rule is not followed and is misleading. Nevertheless, the Committee does not want the deletion of the requirement to indicate disapproval of the practice. Those circuits that desire a statement of the case may continue the practice.

Cross References

Rehearing, no oral argument permitted, see rule 40.

Rule 35. Determination of Causes by the Court in Banc

(a) When hearing or rehearing in banc will be ordered.—A majority of the circuit judges who are in regular active service may order that an appeal or other proceeding be heard or reheard by the court of appeals in banc. Such a hearing or rehearing is not favored and ordinarily will not be ordered except (1) when consideration by the full court is necessary to secure or maintain uniformity of its decisions, or (2) when the proceeding involves a question of exceptional importance.

(b) Suggestion of a party for hearing or rehearing in banc.—A party may suggest the appropriateness of a hearing or rehearing in banc. No response shall be filed unless the court shall so order. The clerk shall transmit any such suggestion to the members of the panel and the judges of the court who are in regular active service but a vote need not be taken to determine whether the cause shall be heard or reheard in banc unless a judge in regular active service or a judge who was a member of the panel that rendered a decision sought to be reheard requests a vote on such a suggestion made by a party.

(c) Time for suggestion of a party for hearing or rehearing in banc; suggestion does not stay mandate.—If a party desires to suggest that an appeal be heard initially in banc, the suggestion must be made by the date on which the appellee's brief is filed. A suggestion for a rehearing in banc must be made within the time prescribed by Rule 40 for filing a petition for rehearing, whether the suggestion is made in such petition or otherwise. The pendency of such a suggestion whether or not included in a petition for rehearing shall not affect the finality of the judgment of the court of appeals or stay the issuance of the mandate.

(d) Number of Copies.—The number of copies that must be filed may be prescribed by local rule and may be altered by order in a particular case.

(As amended Apr. 1, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Statutory authority for in banc hearings is found in 28 U.S.C. §46(c). The proposed rule is responsive to the Supreme Court's view in Western Pacific Ry. Corp. v. Western Pacific Ry. Co., 345 U.S. 247, 73 S.Ct. 656, 97 L.Ed. 986 (1953), that litigants should be free to suggest that a particular case is appropriate for consideration by all the judges of a court of appeals. The rule is addressed to the procedure whereby a party may suggest the appropriateness of convening the court in banc. It does not affect the power of a court of appeals to initiate in banc hearings sua sponte.

The provision that a vote will not be taken as a result of the suggestion of the party unless requested by a judge of the court in regular active service or by a judge who was a member of the panel that rendered a decision sought to be reheard is intended to make it clear that a suggestion of a party as such does not require any action by the court. See Western Pacific Ry. Corp. v. Western Pacific Ry. Co., supra, 345 U.S. at 262, 73 S.Ct. 656. The rule merely authorizes a suggestion, imposes a time limit on suggestions for rehearings in banc, and provides that suggestions will be directed to the judges of the court in regular active service.

In practice, the suggestion of a party that a case be reheard in banc is frequently contained in a petition for rehearing, commonly styled “petition for rehearing in banc.” Such a petition is in fact merely a petition for a rehearing, with a suggestion that the case be reheard in banc. Since no response to the suggestion, as distinguished from the petition for rehearing, is required, the panel which heard the case may quite properly dispose of the petition without reference to the suggestion. In such a case the fact that no response has been made to the suggestion does not affect the finality of the judgment or the issuance of the mandate, and the final sentence of the rule expressly so provides.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Under the present rule there is no specific provision for a response to a suggestion that an appeal be heard in banc. This has led to some uncertainty as to whether such a response may be filed. The proposed amendment would resolve this uncertainty.

While the present rule provides a time limit for suggestions for rehearing in banc, it does not deal with the timing of a request that the appeal be heard in banc initially. The proposed amendment fills this gap as well, providing that the suggestion must be made by the date of which the appellee's brief is filed.

Provision is made for circulating the suggestions to members of the panel despite the fact that senior judges on the panel would not be entitled to vote on whether a suggestion will be granted.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (d). Subdivision (d) is added; it authorizes the courts of appeals to prescribe the number of copies of suggestions for hearing or rehearing in banc that must be filed. Because the number of copies needed depends directly upon the number of judges in the circuit, local rules are the best vehicle for setting the required number of copies.

Cross References

Composition of court sitting in banc, see section 46 of this title.

Rule 36. Entry of judgment

The notation of a judgment in the docket constitutes entry of the judgment. The clerk shall prepare, sign and enter the judgment following receipt of the opinion of the court unless the opinion directs settlement of the form of the judgment, in which event the clerk shall prepare, sign and enter the judgment following final settlement by the court. If a judgment is rendered without an opinion, the clerk shall prepare, sign and enter the judgment following instruction from the court. The clerk shall, on the date judgment is entered, mail to all parties a copy of the opinion, if any, or of the judgment if no opinion was written, and notice of the date of entry of the judgment.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This is the typical rule. See 1st Cir. Rule 29; 3rd Cir. Rule 32; 6th Cir. Rule 21. At present, uncertainty exists as to the date of entry of judgment when the opinion directs subsequent settlement of the precise terms of the judgment, a common practice in cases involving enforcement of agency orders. See Stern and Gressman, Supreme Court Practice, p. 203 (3d Ed., 1962). The principle of finality suggests that in such cases entry of judgment should be delayed until approval of the judgment in final form.

Cross References

Certified copy of judgment, copy of opinion, and direction as to costs as constituting mandate, see rule 41.

Rule 37. Interest on judgments

Unless otherwise provided by law, if a judgment for money in a civil case is affirmed, whatever interest is allowed by law shall be payable from the date the judgment was entered in the district court. If a judgment is modified or reversed with a direction that a judgment for money be entered in the district court, the mandate shall contain instructions with respect to allowance of interest.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The first sentence makes it clear that if a money judgment is affirmed in the court of appeals, the interest which attaches to money judgments by force of law (see 28 U.S.C. §1961 and §2411) upon their initial entry is payable as if no appeal had been taken, whether or not the mandate makes mention of interest. There has been some confusion on this point. See Blair v. Durham, 139 F.2d 260 (6th Cir., 1943) and cases cited therein.

In reversing or modifying the judgment of the district court, the court of appeals may direct the entry of a money judgment, as, for example, when the court of appeals reverses a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and directs entry of judgment on the verdict. In such a case the question may arise as to whether interest is to run from the date of entry of the judgment directed by the court of appeals or from the date on which the judgment would have been entered in the district court except for the erroneous ruling corrected on appeal. In Briggs v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 334 U.S. 304, 68 S.Ct. 1039, 92 L.Ed. 1403 (1948), the Court held that where the mandate of the court of appeals directed entry of judgment upon a verdict but made no mention of interest from the date of the verdict to the date of the entry of the judgment directed by the mandate, the district court was powerless to add such interest. The second sentence of the proposed rule is a reminder to the court, the clerk and counsel of the Briggs rule. Since the rule directs that the matter of interest be disposed of by the mandate, in cases where interest is simply overlooked, a party who conceives himself entitled to interest from a date other than the date of entry of judgment in accordance with the mandate should be entitled to seek recall of the mandate for determination of the question.

Cross References

Damages and costs on affirmance, see section 1912 of this title.

Rule 38. Damages and Costs for Frivolous Appeals

If a court of appeals determines that an appeal is frivolous, it may, after a separately filed motion or notice from the court and reasonable opportunity to respond, award just damages and single or double costs to the appellee.

(As amended Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Compare 28 U.S.C. §1912. While both the statute and the usual rule on the subject by courts of appeals (Fourth Circuit Rule 20 is a typical rule) speak of “damages for delay,” the courts of appeals quite properly allow damages, attorney's fees and other expenses incurred by an appellee if the appeal is frivolous without requiring a showing that the appeal resulted in delay. See Dunscombe v. Sayle, 340 F.2d 311 (5th Cir., 1965), cert. den., 382 U.S. 814, 86 S.Ct. 32, 15 L.Ed.2d 62 (1965); Lowe v. Willacy, 239 F.2d 179 (9th Cir., 1956); Griffith Wellpoint Corp. v. Munro-Langstroth, Inc., 269 F.2d 64 (1st Cir., 1959); Ginsburg v. Stern, 295 F.2d 698 (3d Cir., 1961). The subjects of interest and damages are separately regulated, contrary to the present practice of combining the two (see Fourth Circuit Rule 20) to make it clear that the awards are distinct and independent. Interest is provided for by law; damages are awarded by the court in its discretion in the case of a frivolous appeal as a matter of justice to the appellee and as a penalty against the appellant.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

The amendment requires that before a court of appeals may impose sanctions, the person to be sanctioned must have notice and an opportunity to respond. The amendment reflects the basic principle enunciated in the Supreme Court's opinion in Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, 767 (1980), that notice and opportunity to respond must precede the imposition of sanctions. A separately filed motion requesting sanctions constitutes notice. A statement inserted in a party's brief that the party moves for sanctions is not sufficient notice. Requests in briefs for sanctions have become so commonplace that it is unrealistic to expect careful responses to such requests without any indication that the court is actually contemplating such measures. Only a motion, the purpose of which is to request sanctions, is sufficient. If there is no such motion filed, notice must come from the court. The form of notice from the court and of the opportunity for comment purposely are left to the court's discretion.

Cross References

Damages and costs on affirmance, see section 1912 of this title.

Rule 39. Costs

(a) To whom allowed.—Except as otherwise provided by law, if an appeal is dismissed, costs shall be taxed against the appellant unless otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the court; if a judgment is affirmed, costs shall be taxed against the appellant unless otherwise ordered; if a judgment is reversed, costs shall be taxed against the appellee unless otherwise ordered; if a judgment is affirmed or reversed in part, or is vacated, costs shall be allowed only as ordered by the court.

(b) Costs for and against the United States.—In cases involving the United States or an agency or officer thereof, if an award of costs against the United States is authorized by law, costs shall be awarded in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (a); otherwise, costs shall not be awarded for or against the United States.

(c) Costs of briefs, appendices, and copies of records.—By local rule the court of appeals shall fix the maximum rate at which the cost of printing or otherwise producing necessary copies of briefs, appendices, and copies of records authorized by Rule 30(f) shall be taxable. Such rate shall not be higher than that generally charged for such work in the area where the clerk's office is located and shall encourage the use of economical methods of printing and copying.

(d) Bill of costs; objections; costs to be inserted in mandate or added later.—A party who desires such costs to be taxed shall state them in an itemized and verified bill of costs which the party shall file with the clerk, with proof of service, within 14 days after the entry of judgment. Objections to the bill of costs must be filed within 10 days of service on the party against whom costs are to be taxed unless the time is extended by the court. The clerk shall prepare and certify an itemized statement of costs taxed in the court of appeals for insertion in the mandate, but the issuance of the mandate shall not be delayed for taxation of costs and if the mandate has been issued before final determination of costs, the statement, or any amendment thereof, shall be added to the mandate upon request by the clerk of the court of appeals to the clerk of the district court.

(e) Costs on appeal taxable in the district courts.—Costs incurred in the preparation and transmission of the record, the cost of the reporter's transcript, if necessary for the determination of the appeal, the premiums paid for cost of supersedeas bonds or other bonds to preserve rights pending appeal, and the fee for filing the notice of appeal shall be taxed in the district court as costs of the appeal in favor of the party entitled to costs under this rule.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes on Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). Statutory authorization for taxation of costs is found in 28 U.S.C. §1920. The provisions of this subdivision follow the usual practice in the circuits. A few statutes contain specific provisions in derogation of these general provisions. (See 28 U.S.C. §1928, which forbids the award of costs to a successful plaintiff in a patent infringement action under the circumstances described by the statute). These statutes are controlling in cases to which they apply.

Subdivision (b). The rules of the courts of appeals at present commonly deny costs to the United States except as allowance may be directed by statute. Those rules were promulgated at a time when the United States was generally invulnerable to an award of costs against it, and they appear to be based on the view that if the United States is not subject to costs if it loses, it ought not be entitled to recover costs if it wins.

The number of cases affected by such rules has been greatly reduced by the Act of July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 308 (1 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News, p. 349 (1966), 89th Cong., 2d Sess., which amended 28 U.S.C. §2412, the former general bar to the award of costs against the United States. Section 2412 as amended generally places the United States on the same footing as private parties with respect to the award of costs in civil cases. But the United States continues to enjoy immunity from costs in certain cases. By its terms amended section 2412 authorizes an award of costs against the United States only in civil actions, and it excepts from its general authorization of an award of costs against the United States cases which are “otherwise specifically provided (for) by statute.” Furthermore, the Act of July 18, 1966, supra, provides that the amendments of section 2412 which it effects shall apply only to actions filed subsequent to the date of its enactment. The second clause continues in effect, for these and all other cases in which the United States enjoys immunity from costs, the presently prevailing rule that the United States may recover costs as the prevailing party only if it would have suffered them as the losing party.

Subdivision (c). While only five circuits (D.C. Cir. Rule 20(d); 1st Cir. Rule 31(4); 3d Cir. Rule 35(4); 4th Cir. Rule 21(4); 9th Cir. Rule 25, as amended June 2, 1967) presently tax the cost of printing briefs, the proposed rule makes the cost taxable in keeping with the principle of this rule that all cost items expended in the prosecution of a proceeding should be borne by the unsuccessful party.

Subdivision (e). The costs described in this subdivision are costs of the appeal and, as such, are within the undertaking of the appeal bond. They are made taxable in the district court for general convenience. Taxation of the cost of the reporter's transcript is specifically authorized by 28 U.S.C. §1920, but in the absence of a rule some district courts have held themselves without authority to tax the cost (Perlman v. Feldmann, 116 F.Supp. 102 (D.Conn., 1953); Firtag v. Gendleman, 152 F.Supp. 226 (D.D.C., 1957); Todd Atlantic Shipyards Corps. v. The Southport, 100 F.Supp. 763 (E.D.S.C., 1951). Provision for taxation of the cost of premiums paid for supersedeas bonds is common in the local rules of district courts and the practice is established in the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits. Berner v. British Commonwealth Pacific Air Lines, Ltd., 362 F.2d 799 (2d Cir. 1966); Land Oberoesterreich v. Gude, 93 F.2d 292 (2d Cir., 1937); In re Northern Ind. Oil Co., 192 F.2d 139 (7th Cir., 1951); Lunn v. F. W. Woolworth, 210 F.2d 159 (9th Cir., 1954).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Subdivision (c). The proposed amendment would permit variations among the circuits in regulating the maximum rates taxable as costs for printing or otherwise reproducing briefs, appendices, and copies of records authorized by Rule 30(f). The present rule has had a different effect in different circuits depending upon the size of the circuit, the location of the clerk's office, and the location of other cities. As a consequence there was a growing sense that strict adherence to the rule produces some unfairness in some of the circuits and the matter should be made subject to local rule.

Subdivision (d). The present rule makes no provision for objections to a bill of costs. The proposed amendment would allow 10 days for such objections. Cf. Rule 54(d) of the F.R.C.P. It provides further that the mandate shall not be delayed for taxation of costs.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendment to subdivision (c) is intended to increase the degree of control exercised by the courts of appeals over rates for printing and copying recoverable as costs. It further requires the courts of appeals to encourage cost-consciousness by requiring that, in fixing the rate, the court consider the most economical methods of printing and copying.

The amendment to subdivision (d) is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Costs and fees, payment by clerk into treasury, see section 711 of this title.

Damages and costs on affirmance, see section 1912 of this title.

Judicial conference of United States to prescribe charges, see section 1913 of this title.

Liability of United States for costs, see section 2412 of this title.

Rule 40. Petition for Rehearing

(a) Time for Filing; Content; Answer; Action by Court if Granted.—A petition for rehearing may be filed within 14 days after entry of judgment unless the time is shortened or enlarged by order or by local rule. However, in all civil cases in which the United States or an agency or officer thereof is a party, the time within which any party may seek rehearing shall be 45 days after entry of judgment unless the time is shortened or enlarged by order. The petition must state with particularity the points of law or fact which in the opinion of the petitioner the court has overlooked or misapprehended and must contain such argument in support of the petition as the petitioner desires to present. Oral argument in support of the petition will not be permitted. No answer to a petition for rehearing will be received unless requested by the court, but a petition for rehearing will ordinarily not be granted in the absence of such a request. If a petition for rehearing is granted, the court may make a final disposition of the cause without reargument or may restore it to the calendar for reargument or resubmission or may make such other orders as are deemed appropriate under the circumstances of the particular case.

(b) Form of petition; length.—The petition shall be in a form prescribed by Rule 32(a), and copies shall be served and filed as prescribed by Rule 31(b) for the service and filing of briefs. Except by permission of the court, or as specified by local rule of the court of appeals, a petition for rehearing shall not exceed 15 pages.

(As amended Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This is the usual rule among the circuits, except that the express prohibition against filing a reply to the petition is found only in the rules of the Fourth, Sixth and Eighth Circuits (it is also contained in Supreme Court Rule 58(3)). It is included to save time and expense to the party victorious on appeal. In the very rare instances in which a reply is useful, the court will ask for it.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The Standing Committee added to the first sentence of Rule 40(a) the words “or by local rule,” to conform to current practice in the circuits. The Standing Committee believes the change noncontroversial.

Subdivision (b). The proposed amendment would eliminate the distinction drawn in the present rule between printed briefs and those duplicated from typewritten pages in fixing their maximum length. See Note to Rule 28. Since petitions for rehearing must be prepared in a short time, making typographic printing less likely, the maximum number of pages is fixed at 15, the figure used in the present rule for petitions duplicated by means other than typographic printing.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment lengthens the time for filing a petition for rehearing from 14 to 45 days in civil cases involving the United States or its agencies or officers. It has no effect upon the time for filing in criminal cases. The amendment makes nation-wide the current practice in the District of Columbia and the Tenth Circuits, see D.C. Cir. R. 15(a), 10th Cir. R. 40.3. This amendment, analogous to the provision in Rule 4(a) extending the time for filing a notice of appeal in cases involving the United States, recognizes that the Solicitor General needs time to conduct a thorough review of the merits of a case before requesting a rehearing. In a case in which a court of appeals believes it necessary to restrict the time for filing a rehearing petition, the amendment provides that the court may do so by order. Although the first sentence of Rule 40 permits a court of appeals to shorten or lengthen the usual 14 day filing period by order or by local rule, the sentence governing appeals in civil cases involving the United States purposely limits a court's power to alter the 45 day period to orders in specific cases. If a court of appeals could adopt a local rule shortening the time for filing a petition for rehearing in all cases involving the United States, the purpose of the amendment would be defeated.

Cross References

Mandate, issuance unless delayed by petition for rehearing, see rule 41.

Rule 41. Issuance of Mandate; Stay of Mandate

(a) Date of Issuance.—The mandate of the court must issue 7 days after the expiration of the time for filing a petition for rehearing unless such a petition is filed or the time is shortened or enlarged by order. A certified copy of the judgment and a copy of the opinion of the court, if any, and any direction as to costs shall constitute the mandate, unless the court directs that a formal mandate issue. The timely filing of a petition for rehearing will stay the mandate until disposition of the petition unless otherwise ordered by the court. If the petition is denied, the mandate must issue 7 days after entry of the order denying the petition unless the time is shortened or enlarged by order.

(b) Stay of Mandate Pending Petition for Certiorari.—A party who files a motion requesting a stay of mandate pending petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari must file, at the same time, proof of service on all other parties. The motion must show that a petition for certiorari would present a substantial question and that there is good cause for a stay. The stay cannot exceed 30 days unless the period is extended for cause shown or unless during the period of the stay, a notice from the clerk of the Supreme Court is filed showing that the party who has obtained the stay has filed a petition for the writ, in which case the stay will continue until final disposition by the Supreme Court. The court of appeals must issue the mandate immediately when a copy of a Supreme Court order denying the petition for writ of certiorari is filed. The court may require a bond or other security as a condition to the grant or continuance of a stay of the mandate.

(As amended Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The proposed rule follows the rule or practice in a majority of circuits by which copies of the opinion and the judgment serve in lieu of a formal mandate in the ordinary case. Compare Supreme Court Rule 59. Although 28 U.S.C. §2101(c) permits a writ of certiorari to be filed within 90 days after entry of judgment, seven of the eight circuits which now regulate the matter of stays pending application for certiorari limit the initial stay of the mandate to the 30-day period provided in the proposed rule. Compare D.C. Cir. Rule 27(e).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment conforms Rule 41(a) to the amendment made to Rule 40(a). The amendment keys the time for issuance of the mandate to the expiration of the time for filing a petition for rehearing, unless such a petition is filed in which case the mandate issues 7 days after the entry of the order denying the petition. Because the amendment to Rule 40(a) lengthens the time for filing a petition for rehearing in civil cases involving the United States from 14 to 45 days, the rule requiring the mandate to issue 21 days after the entry of judgment would cause the mandate to issue while the government is still considering requesting a rehearing. Therefore, the amendment generally requires the mandate to issue 7 days after the expiration of the time for filing a petition for rehearing.

Subdivision (b). The amendment requires a party who files a motion requesting a stay of mandate to file, at the same time, proof of service on all other parties. The old rule required the party to give notice to the other parties; the amendment merely requires the party to provide the court with evidence of having done so.

The amendment also states that the motion must show that a petition for certiorari would present a substantial question and that there is good cause for a stay. The amendment is intended to alert the parties to the fact that a stay of mandate is not granted automatically and to the type of showing that needs to be made. The Supreme Court has established conditions that must be met before it will stay a mandate. See Robert L. Stern et al., Supreme Court Practice §17.19 (6th ed. 1986).

Cross References

Certiorari to Supreme Court, see sections 1254 and 2101 of this title.

Petition for rehearing, see rule 40.

Rule 42. Voluntary dismissal

(a) Dismissal in the district court.—If an appeal has not been docketed, the appeal may be dismissed by the district court upon the filing in that court of a stipulation for dismissal signed by all the parties, or upon motion and notice by the appellant.

(b) Dismissal in the court of appeals.—If the parties to an appeal or other proceeding shall sign and file with the clerk of the court of appeals an agreement that the proceeding be dismissed, specifying the terms as to payment of costs, and shall pay whatever fees are due, the clerk shall enter the case dismissed, but no mandate or other process shall issue without an order of the court. An appeal may be dismissed on motion of the appellant upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties or fixed by the court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). This subdivision is derived from FRCP 73(a) without change of substance.

Subdivision (b). The first sentence is a common provision in present circuit rules. The second sentence is added. Compare Supreme Court Rule 60.

Cross References

Briefs, dismissal for default, see rule 31.

Costs upon dismissal, see rule 39.

Not docketed in time, see rule 12.

Rule 43. Substitution of parties

(a) Death of a party.—If a party dies after a notice of appeal is filed or while a proceeding is otherwise pending in the court of appeals, the personal representative of the deceased party may be substituted as a party on motion filed by the representative or by any party with the clerk of the court of appeals. The motion of a party shall be served upon the representative in accordance with the provisions of Rule 25. If the deceased party has no representative, any party may suggest the death on the record and proceedings shall then be had as the court of appeals may direct. If a party against whom an appeal may be taken dies after entry of a judgment or order in the district court but before a notice of appeal is filed, an appellant may proceed as if death had not occurred. After the notice of appeal is filed substitution shall be effected in the court of appeals in accordance with this subdivision. If a party entitled to appeal shall die before filing a notice of appeal, the notice of appeal may be filed by that party's personal representative, or, if there is no personal representative by that party's attorney of record within the time prescribed by these rules. After the notice of appeal is filed substitution shall be effected in the court of appeals in accordance with this subdivision.

(b) Substitution for other causes.—If substitution of a party in the court of appeals is necessary for any reason other than death, substitution shall be effected in accordance with the procedure prescribed in subdivision (a).

(c) Public officers; death or separation from office.—(1) When a public officer is a party to an appeal or other proceeding in the court of appeals in an official capacity and during its pendency dies, resigns or otherwise ceases to hold office, the action does not abate and the public officer's successor is automatically substituted as a party. Proceedings following the substitution shall be in the name of the substituted party, but any misnomer not affecting the substantial rights of the parties shall be disregarded. An order of substitution may be entered at any time, but the omission to enter such an order shall not affect the substitution.

(2) When a public officer is a party to an appeal or other proceeding in an official capacity that public officer may be described as a party by the public officer's official title rather than by name; but the court may require the public officer's name to be added.

(As amended Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). The first three sentences described a procedure similar to the rule on substitution in civil actions in the district court. See FRCP 25(a). The fourth sentence expressly authorizes an appeal to be taken against one who has died after the entry of judgment. Compare FRCP 73(b), which impliedly authorizes such an appeal.

The sixth sentence authorizes an attorney of record for the deceased to take an appeal on behalf of successors in interest if the deceased has no representative. At present, if a party entitled to appeal dies before the notice of appeal is filed, the appeal can presumably be taken only by his legal representative and must be taken within the time ordinarily prescribed. 13 Cyclopedia of Federal Procedure (3d Ed.) §63.21. The states commonly make special provisions for the event of the death of a party entitled to appeal, usually by extending the time otherwise prescribed. Rules of Civil Procedure for Superior Courts of Arizona, Rule 73(t), 16 A.R.S.; New Jersey Rev. Rules 1:3–3; New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, Sec. 1022; Wisconsin Statutes Ann. 274.01(2). The provision in the proposed rule is derived from California Code of Civil Procedure, Sec. 941.

Subdivision (c). This subdivision is derived from FRCP 25(d) and Supreme Court Rule 48, with appropriate changes.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 43(a) and (c) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Substitution of parties, see rule 25, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this Appendix.

Rule 44. Cases involving constitutional questions where United States is not a party

It shall be the duty of a party who draws in question the constitutionality of any Act of Congress in any proceeding in a court of appeals to which the United States, or any agency thereof, or any officer or employee thereof, as such officer or employee, is not a party, upon the filing of the record, or as soon thereafter as the question is raised in the court of appeals, to give immediate notice in writing to the court of the existence of said question. The clerk shall thereupon certify such fact to the Attorney General.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule is now found in the rules of a majority of the circuits. It is in response to the Act of August 24, 1937 (28 U.S.C. §2403), which requires all courts of the United States to advise the Attorney General of the existence of an action or proceeding of the kind described in the rule.

Cross References

Intervention by United States, see section 2403 of this title.

Rule 45. Duties of clerks

(a) General provisions.—The clerk of a court of appeals shall take the oath and give the bond required by law. Neither the clerk nor any deputy clerk shall practice as an attorney or counselor in any court while continuing in office. The court of appeals shall be deemed always open for the purpose of filing any proper paper, of issuing and returning process and of making motions and orders. The office of the clerk with the clerk or a deputy in attendance shall be open during business hours on all days except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, but a court may provide by local rule or order that the office of its clerk shall be open for specified hours on Saturdays or on particular legal holidays other than New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

(b) The docket; calendar; other records required.—The clerk shall maintain a docket in such form as may be prescribed by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The clerk shall enter a record of all papers filed with the clerk and all process, orders and judgments. An index of cases contained in the docket shall be maintained as prescribed by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

The clerk shall prepare, under the direction of the court, a calendar of cases awaiting argument. In placing cases on the calendar for argument, the clerk shall give preference to appeals in criminal cases and to appeals and other proceedings entitled to preference by law.

The clerk shall keep such other books and records as may be required from time to time by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts with the approval of the Judicial Conference of the United States, or as may be required by the court.

(c) Notice of orders or judgments.—Immediately upon the entry of an order or judgment the clerk shall serve a notice of entry by mail upon each party to the proceeding together with a copy of any opinion respecting the order or judgment, and shall make a note in the docket of the mailing. Service on a party represented by counsel shall be made on counsel.

(d) Custody of records and papers.—The clerk shall have custody of the records and papers of the court. The clerk shall not permit any original record or paper to be taken from the clerk's custody except as authorized by the orders or instructions of the court. Original papers transmitted as the record on appeal or review shall upon disposition of the case be returned to the court or agency from which they were received. The clerk shall preserve copies of briefs and appendices and other printed papers filed.

(As amended Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

The duties imposed upon clerks of the courts of appeals by this rule are those imposed by rule or practice in a majority of the circuits. The second sentence of subdivision (a) authorizing the closing of the clerk's office on Saturday and non-national legal holidays follows a similar provision respecting the district court clerk's office found in FRCP 77(c) and in FRCrP 56.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1971 Amendment

The amendment adds Columbus Day to the list of legal holidays. See the Note accompanying the amendment of Rule 26(a).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendment to Rule 45(b) permits the courts of appeals to maintain computerized dockets. The Committee believes that the Administrative Office of the United States Courts ought to have maximum flexibility in prescribing the format of this docket in order to ensure a smooth transition from manual to automated systems and subsequent adaptation to technological improvements.

The amendments to Rules 45(a) and (d) are technical. No substantive change is intended. The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been added to the list of national holidays.

Cross References

Appointment and removal, see section 711 of this title.

Bonds of clerks, see section 951 of this title.

Costs and fees, payment by clerk into treasury, see section 711 of this title.

Oath of office of clerks, see section 951 of this title.

Practice of law restricted, see section 955 of this title.

Rule 46. Attorneys

(a) Admission to the bar of a court of appeals; eligibility; procedure for admission.—An attorney who has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, or the highest court of a state, or another United States court of appeals, or a United States district court (including the district courts for the Canal Zone, Guam and the Virgin Islands), and who is of good moral and professional character, is eligible for admission to the bar of a court of appeals.

An applicant shall file with the clerk of the court of appeals, on a form approved by the court and furnished by the clerk, an application for admission containing the applicant's personal statement showing eligibility for membership. At the foot of the application the applicant shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation:

I, ______________________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will demean myself as an attorney and counselor of this court, uprightly and according to law; and that I will support the Constitution of the United States.


Thereafter, upon written or oral motion of a member of the bar of the court, the court will act upon the application. An applicant may be admitted by oral motion in open court, but it is not necessary that the applicant appear before the court for the purpose of being admitted, unless the court shall otherwise order. An applicant shall upon admission pay to the clerk the fee prescribed by rule or order of the court.

(b) Suspension or disbarment.—When it is shown to the court that any member of its bar has been suspended or disbarred from practice in any other court of record, or has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the bar of the court, the member will be subject to suspension or disbarment by the court. The member shall be afforded an opportunity to show good cause, within such time as the court shall prescribe, why the member should not be suspended or disbarred. Upon the member's response to the rule to show cause, and after hearing, if requested, or upon expiration of the time prescribed for a response if no response is made, the court shall enter an appropriate order.

(c) Disciplinary power of the court over attorneys.—A court of appeals may, after reasonable notice and an opportunity to show cause to the contrary, and after hearing, if requested, take any appropriate disciplinary action against any attorney who practices before it for conduct unbecoming a member of the bar or for failure to comply with these rules or any rule of the court.

(As amended Mar. 10, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

Subdivision (a). The basic requirement of membership in the bar of the Supreme Court, or of the highest court of a state, or in another court of appeals or a district court is found, with minor variations, in the rules of ten circuits. The only other requirement in those circuits is that the applicant be of good moral and professional character. In the District of Columbia Circuit applicants other than members of the District of Columbia District bar or the Supreme Court bar must claim membership in the bar of the highest court of a state, territory or possession for three years prior to application for admission (D.C. Cir. Rule 7). Members of the District of Columbia District bar and the Supreme Court bar again excepted, applicants for admission to the District of Columbia Circuit bar must meet precisely defined prelaw and law school study requirements (D.C. Cir. Rule 71/2).

A few circuits now require that application for admission be made by oral motion by a sponsor member in open court. The proposed rule permits both the application and the motion by the sponsor member to be in writing, and permits action on the motion without the appearance of the applicant or the sponsor, unless the court otherwise orders.

Subdivision (b). The provision respecting suspension or disbarment is uniform. Third Circuit Rule 8(3) is typical.

Subdivision (c). At present only Fourth Circuit Rule 36 contains an equivalent provision. The purpose of this provision is to make explicit the power of a court of appeals to impose sanctions less serious than suspension or disbarment for the breach of rules. It also affords some measure of control over attorneys who are not members of the bar of the court. Several circuits permit a non-member attorney to file briefs and motions, membership being required only at the time of oral argument. And several circuits permit argument pro hac vice by non-member attorneys.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1986 Amendment

The amendments to Rules 46(a) and (b) are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Termination of United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone

For termination of the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone at end of the “transition period”, being the 30-month period beginning Oct. 1, 1979, and ending midnight Mar. 31, 1982, see Paragraph 5 of Article XI of the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 and sections 3831 and 3841 to 3843 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Cross References

Clerk as prohibited from practicing law, see section 955 of this title.

Practice of law prohibited by United States marshal or deputy marshal, see section 568 of this title.

Rule 47. Rules by courts of appeals

Each court of appeals by action of a majority of the circuit judges in regular active service may from time to time make and amend rules governing its practice not inconsistent with these rules. In all cases not provided for by rule, the courts of appeals may regulate their practice in any manner not inconsistent with these rules. Copies of all rules made by a court of appeals shall upon their promulgation be furnished to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967

This rule continues the authority now vested in individual courts of appeals by 28 U.S.C. §2071 to make rules consistent with rules of practice and procedure promulgated by the Supreme Court.

Rule 48. Masters

A court of appeals may appoint a special master to hold hearings, if necessary, and to make recommendations as to factual findings and disposition in matters ancillary to proceedings in the court. Unless the order referring a matter to a master specifies or limits the master's powers, a master shall have power to regulate all proceedings in every hearing before the master and to do all acts and take all measures necessary or proper for the efficient performance of the master's duties under the order including, but not limited to, requiring the production of evidence upon all matters embraced in the reference and putting witnesses and parties on oath and examining them. If the master is not a judge or court employee, the court shall determine the master's compensation and whether the cost will be charged to any of the parties.

(As amended Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

The text of the existing Rule 48 concerning the title was moved to Rule 1.

This new Rule 48 authorizes a court of appeals to appoint a special master to make recommendations concerning ancillary matters. The courts of appeals have long used masters in contempt proceedings where the issue is compliance with an enforcement order. See Polish National Alliance v. NLRB, 159 F.2d 38 (7th Cir. 1946), NLRB v. Arcade-Sunshine Co., 132 F.2d 8 (D.C. Cir. 1942); NLRB v. Remington Rand, Inc., 130 F.2d 919 (2d Cir. 1942). There are other instances when the question before a court of appeals requires a factual determination. An application for fees or eligibility for Criminal Justice Act status on appeal are examples.

Ordinarily when a factual issue is unresolved, a court of appeals remands the case to the district court or agency that originally heard the case. It is not the Committee's intent to alter that practice. However, when factual issues arise in the first instance in the court of appeals, such as fees for representation on appeal, it would be useful to have authority to refer such determinations to a master for a recommendation.

APPENDIX OF FORMS

Form 1. Notice of Appeal to a Court of Appeals From a Judgment or Order of a District Court

United States District Court for the ________ District of ____________

File Number ________

A.B., Plaintiff

v.

}Notice of Appeal

C. D., Defendant


Notice is hereby given that ______(here name all parties taking the appeal)______, (plaintiffs) (defendants) in the above named case,* hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the ______ Circuit (from the final judgment) (from an order (describing it)) entered in this action on the ______ day of __________________, 19__.

(s)________________________      

Attorney for ____________      

Address: ________________      

* See Rule 3(c) for permissible ways of identifying appellants.

(As amended Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)


Form 2. Notice of Appeal to a Court of Appeals From a Decision of the United States Tax Court

UNITED STATES TAX COURT

Washington, D.C.

A.B., Petitioner

v.

Commissioner of

Internal Revenue,

Docket No.________

Respondent

Notice of Appeal

Notice is hereby given that ______(here name all parties taking the appeal) *______ hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the ______ Circuit from (that part of) the decision of this court entered in the above captioned proceeding on the ________ day of ______________________, 19__ (relating to ____________________).

(s)________________________      

Counsel for ____________      

Address: ________________      

* See Rule 3(c) for permissible ways of identifying appellants.

(As amended Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)


Form 3. Petition for Review of Order of an Agency, Board, Commission or Officer

United States Court of Appeals

for the ________ Circuit


A.B., Petitioner

 v.

XYZ Commission,

Petition for Review

Respondent


______(here name all parties bringing the petition) *______ hereby petition the court for review of the Order of the XYZ Commission (describe the order) entered on __________, 19__.

(s)__________________________,      

Attorney for Petitioners      

Address:__________________      

* See Rule 15.

(As amended Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)


Form 4. Affidavit to Accompany Motion for Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis

United States District Court for the ________ District of ________

United States of

America

v.

No. ____

A. B.

Affidavit in Support of Motion to Proceed on Appeal in Forma Pauperis

I, ________________________ being first duly sworn, depose and say that I am the __________, in the above-entitled case; that in support of my motion to proceed on appeal without being required to prepay fees, costs or give security therefor, I state that because of my poverty I am unable to pay the costs of said proceeding or to give security therefor; that I believe I am entitled to redress; and that the issues which I desire to present on appeal are the following:

I further swear that the responses which I have made to the questions and instructions below relating to my ability to pay the cost of prosecuting the appeal are true.


1. Are you presently employed?

a. If the answer is yes, state the amount of your salary or wages per month and give the name and address of your employer.

b. If the answer is no, state the date of your last employment and the amount of the salary and wages per month which you received.

2. Have you received within the past twelve months any income from a business, profession or other form of self-employment, or in the form of rent payments, interest, dividends, or other source?

a. If the answer is yes, describe each source of income, and state the amount received from each during the past twelve months.

3. Do you own any cash or checking or savings account?

a. If the answer is yes, state the total value of the items owned.

4. Do you own any real estate, stocks, bonds, notes, automobiles, or other valuable property (excluding ordinary household furnishings and clothing)?

a. If the answer is yes, describe the property and state its approximate value.

5. List the persons who are dependent upon you for support and state your relationship to those persons.

I understand that a false statement or answer to any questions in this affidavit will subject me to penalties for perjury.

________________________      

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this ________ day of ____________, 19__.

Let the applicant proceed without prepayment of costs or fees or the necessity of giving security therefor.

________________________,      

District Judge.      

Form 5. Notice of Appeal to a Court of Appeals from a Judgment or Order of a District Court or a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

United States District Court for the ________

District of ____________


In re

____________________,

Debtor

____________________,

File No. ____________

Plaintiff

v.

____________________,

Defendant

Notice of Appeal to United States Court of Appeals for the ____________ Circuit

________________, the plaintiff [or defendant or other party] appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the ____________ Circuit from the final judgment [or order or decree] of the district court for the district of ____________ [or bankruptcy appellate panel of the ____________ circuit], entered in this case on ____________, 19____ [here describe the judgment, order, or decree] ____________________

The parties to the judgment [or order or decree] appealed from and the names and addresses of their respective attorneys are as follows:

Dated ________________________      

Signed ________________________      

Attorney for Appellant      

Address: ______________________      

____________________________      

(As added Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989.)

FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

(As amended to January 4, 1995)

Historical Note

The original Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts were adopted by order of the Supreme Court on Dec. 20, 1937, transmitted to Congress by the Attorney General on Jan. 3, 1938, and became effective on Sept. 16, 1938.

The Rules have been amended Dec. 28, 1939, eff. Apr. 3, 1941; Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Dec. 29, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Apr. 30, 1951, eff. Aug. 1, 1951; Apr. 17, 1961, eff. July 19, 1961; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Nov. 20, 1972, and Dec. 18, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975; Apr. 29, 1980, eff. Aug. 1, 1980; Oct. 21, 1980, Pub. L. 96–481, title II, §205(a), (b), 94 Stat. 2330; Jan. 12, 1983, Pub. L. 97–462, §§2–4, 96 Stat. 2527–2530, eff. Feb. 26, 1983; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Aug. 1, 1988; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §§7047(b), 7049, 7050, 102 Stat. 4401; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Dec. 9, 1991, Pub. L. 102–198, §11, 105 Stat. 1626; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.

Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States

Procedure in original actions in Supreme Court of the United States, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as guide, see rule 17, this Appendix.

I. SCOPE OF RULES—ONE FORM OF ACTION

Rule
1.
Scope and Purpose of Rules.
2.
One Form of Action.

        

II. COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION; SERVICE OF PROCESS, PLEADINGS, MOTIONS, AND ORDERS

3.
Commencement of Action.
4.
Summons.
(a)
Form.
(b)
Issuance.
(c)
Service with Complaint; by Whom Made.
(d)
Waiver of Service; Duty to Save Costs of Service; Request to Waive.
(e)
Service Upon Individuals Within a Judicial District of the United States.
(f)
Service Upon Individuals in a Foreign Country.
(g)
Service Upon Infants and Incompetent Persons.
(h)
Service Upon Corporations and Associations.
(i)
Service Upon the United States, and Its Agencies, Corporations, or Officers.
(j)
Service Upon Foreign, State, or Local Governments.
(k)
Territorial Limits of Effective Service.
(l)
Proof of Service.
(m)
Time Limit for Service.
(n)
Seizure of Property; Service of Summons Not Feasible.
4.1.
Service of Other Process.
(a)
Generally.
(b)
Enforcement of Orders: Commitment for Civil Contempt.
5.
Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Papers.
(a)
Service: When Required.
(b)
Same: How Made.
(c)
Same: Numerous Defendants.
(d)
Filing; Certificate of Service.
(e)
Filing With the Court Defined.
6.
Time.
(a)
Computation.
(b)
Enlargement.
[(c)
Rescinded.]
(d)
For Motions—Affidavits.
(e)
Additional Time After Service by Mail.

        

III. PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS

7.
Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions.
(a)
Pleadings.
(b)
Motions and Other Papers.
(c)
Demurrers, Pleas, etc., Abolished.
8.
General Rules of Pleading.
(a)
Claims for Relief.
(b)
Defenses; Form of Denials.
(c)
Affirmative Defenses.
(d)
Effect of Failure To Deny.
(e)
Pleading To Be Concise and Direct; Consistency.
(f)
Construction of Pleadings.
9.
Pleading Special Matters.
(a)
Capacity.
(b)
Fraud, Mistake, Condition of the Mind.
(c)
Conditions Precedent.
(d)
Official Document or Act.
(e)
Judgment.
(f)
Time and Place.
(g)
Special Damage.
(h)
Admiralty and Maritime Claims.
10.
Form of Pleadings.
(a)
Caption; Names of Parties.
(b)
Paragraphs; Separate Statements.
(c)
Adoption by Reference; Exhibits.
11.
Signing of Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to Court; Sanctions.
(a)
Signature.
(b)
Representations to Court.
(c)
Sanctions.

        

(1)

How Initiated.

(A)

By Motion.

(B)

On Court's Initiative.

(2)

Nature of Sanction; Limitations.

(3)

Order.

(d)

Inapplicability to Discovery.

12.
Defenses and Objections—When and How Presented—By Pleading or Motion—Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
(a)
When Presented.
(b)
How Presented.
(c)
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
(d)
Preliminary Hearings.
(e)
Motion for More Definite Statement.
(f)
Motion To Strike.
(g)
Consolidation of Defenses in Motion.
(h)
Waiver or Preservation of Certain Defenses.
13.
Counterclaim and Cross-Claim.
(a)
Compulsory Counterclaims.
(b)
Permissive Counterclaims.
(c)
Counterclaim Exceeding Opposing Claim.
(d)
Counterclaim Against the United States.
(e)
Counterclaim Maturing or Acquired After Pleading.
(f)
Omitted Counterclaim.
(g)
Cross-Claim Against Co-Party.
(h)
Joinder of Additional Parties.
(i)
Separate Trials; Separate Judgments.
14.
Third-Party Practice.
(a)
When Defendant May Bring in Third Party.
(b)
When Plaintiff May Bring in Third Party.
(c)
Admiralty and Maritime Claims.
15.
Amended and Supplemental Pleadings.
(a)
Amendments.
(b)
Amendments To Conform to the Evidence.
(c)
Relation Back of Amendments.
(d)
Supplemental Pleadings.
16.
Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management.
(a)
Pretrial Conferences; Objectives.
(b)
Scheduling and Planning.
(c)
Subjects for Consideration at Pretrial Conferences.
(d)
Final Pretrial Conference.
(e)
Pretrial Orders.
(f)
Sanctions.

        

IV. PARTIES

17.
Parties Plaintiff and Defendant; Capacity.
(a)
Real Party in Interest.
(b)
Capacity To Sue or Be Sued.
(c)
Infants or Incompetent Persons.
18.
Joinder of Claims and Remedies.
(a)
Joinder of Claims.
(b)
Joinder of Remedies; Fraudulent Conveyances.
19.
Joinder of Persons Needed for Just Adjudication.
(a)
Persons To Be Joined if Feasible.
(b)
Determination by Court Whenever Joinder Not Feasible.
(c)
Pleading Reasons for Nonjoinder.
(d)
Exception of Class Actions.
20.
Permissive Joinder of Parties.
(a)
Permissive Joinder.
(b)
Separate Trials.
21.
Misjoinder and Non-Joinder of Parties.
22.
Interpleader.
23.
Class Actions.
(a)
Prerequisites to a Class Action.
(b)
Class Actions Maintainable.
(c)
Determination by Order Whether Class Action To Be Maintained; Notice; Judgment; Actions Conducted Partially as Class Actions.
(d)
Orders in Conduct of Actions.
(e)
Dismissal or Compromise.
23.1.
Derivative Actions by Shareholders.
23.2.
Actions Relating to Unincorporated Associations.
24.
Intervention.
(a)
Intervention of Right.
(b)
Permissive Intervention.
(c)
Procedure.
25.
Substitution of Parties.
(a)
Death.
(b)
Incompetency.
(c)
Transfer of Interest.
(d)
Public Officers; Death or Separation From Office.

        

V. DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY

26.
General Provisions Governing Discovery; Duty of Disclosure.
(a)
Required Disclosures; Methods to Discover Additional Matter.

        

(1)

Initial Disclosures.

(2)

Disclosure of Expert Testimony.

(3)

Pretrial Disclosures.

(4)

Form of Disclosures; Filing.

(5)

Methods to Discover Additional Matter.

(b)

Discovery Scope and Limits.

(1)

In General.

(2)

Limitations.

(3)

Trial Preparation: Materials.

(4)

Trial Preparation: Experts.

(5)

Claims of Privilege or Protection of Trial Preparation Materials.

(c)

Protective Orders.

(d)

Timing and Sequence of Discovery.

(e)

Supplementation of Disclosures and Responses.

(f)

Meeting of Parties; Planning for Discovery.

(g)

Signing of Disclosures, Discovery Requests, Responses, and Objections.

27.
Depositions Before Action or Pending Appeal.
(a)
Before Action.

        

(1)

Petition.

(2)

Notice and Service.

(3)

Order and Examination.

(4)

Use of Deposition.

(b)

Pending Appeal.

(c)

Perpetuation by Action.

28.
Persons Before Whom Depositions May Be Taken.
(a)
Within the United States.
(b)
In Foreign Countries.
(c)
Disqualification for Interest.
29.
Stipulations Regarding Discovery Procedure.
30.
Depositions Upon Oral Examination.
(a)
When Depositions May Be Taken; When Leave Required.
(b)
Notice of Examination: General Requirements; Method of Recording; Production of Documents and Things; Deposition of Organization; Deposition by Telephone.
(c)
Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of Examination; Oath; Objections.
(d)
Schedule and Duration; Motion to Terminate or Limit Examination.
(e)
Review by Witness; Changes; Signing.
(f)
Certification and Filing by Officer; Exhibits; Copies; Notice of Filing.
(g)
Failure To Attend or To Serve Subpoena; Expenses.
31.
Depositions Upon Written Questions.
(a)
Serving Questions; Notice.
(b)
Officer To Take Responses and Prepare Record.
(c)
Notice of Filing.
32.
Use of Depositions in Court Proceedings.
(a)
Use of Depositions.
(b)
Objections to Admissibility.
(c)
Form of Presentation.
(d)
Effect of Errors and Irregularities in Depositions.

        

(1)

As to Notice.

(2)

As to Disqualification of Officer.

(3)

As to Taking of Deposition.

(4)

As to Completion and Return of Deposition.

33.
Interrogatories to Parties.
(a)
Availability.
(b)
Answers and Objections.
(c)
Scope; Use at Trial.
(d)
Option to Produce Business Records.
34.
Production of Documents and Things and Entry Upon Land for Inspection and Other Purposes.
(a)
Scope.
(b)
Procedure.
(c)
Persons Not Parties.
35.
Physical and Mental Examinations of Persons.
(a)
Order for Examination.
(b)
Report of Examiner.
36.
Requests for Admission.
(a)
Request for Admission.
(b)
Effect of Admission.
37.
Failure to Make Disclosure or Cooperate in Discovery: Sanctions.
(a)
Motion for Order Compelling Disclosure or Discovery.

        

(1)

Appropriate Court.

(2)

Motion.

(3)

Evasive or Incomplete Disclosure, Answer, or Response.

(4)

Expenses and Sanctions.

(b)

Failure To Comply With Order.

(1)

Sanctions by Court in District Where Deposition Is Taken.

(2)

Sanctions by Court in Which Action Is Pending.

(c)

Failure to Disclose; False or Misleading Disclosure; Refusal to Admit.

(d)

Failure of Party to Attend at Own Deposition or Serve Answers to Interrogatories or Respond to Request for Inspection.

[(e)

Abrogated.]

[(f)

Repealed.]

(g)

Failure to Participate in the Framing of a Discovery Plan.

VI. TRIALS

38.
Jury Trial of Right.
(a)
Right Preserved.
(b)
Demand.
(c)
Same: Specification of Issues.
(d)
Waiver.
(e)
Admiralty and Maritime Claims.
39.
Trial by Jury or by the Court.
(a)
By Jury.
(b)
By the Court.
(c)
Advisory Jury and Trial by Consent.
40.
Assignment of Cases for Trial.
41.
Dismissal of Actions.
(a)
Voluntary Dismissal: Effect Thereof.

        

(1)

By Plaintiff; by Stipulation.

(2)

By Order of Court.

(b)

Involuntary Dismissal: Effect Thereof.

(c)

Dismissal of Counterclaim, Cross-Claim, or Third-Party Claim.

(d)

Costs of Previously-Dismissed Action.

42.
Consolidation; Separate Trials.
(a)
Consolidation.
(b)
Separate Trials.
43.
Taking of Testimony.
(a)
Form.
[(b),
(c) Abrogated.]
(d)
Affirmation in Lieu of Oath.
(e)
Evidence on Motions.
(f)
Interpreters.
44.
Proof of Official Record.
(a)
Authentication.

        

(1)

Domestic.

(2)

Foreign.

(b)

Lack of Record.

(c)

Other Proof.

44.1.
Determination of Foreign Law.
45.
Subpoena.
(a)
Form; Issuance.
(b)
Service.
(c)
Protection of Persons Subject to Subpoenas.
(d)
Duties in Responding to Subpoena.
(e)
Contempt.
46.
Exceptions Unnecessary.
47.
Selection of Jurors.
(a)
Examination of Jurors.
(b)
Peremptory Challenges.
(c)
Excuse.
48.
Number of Jurors—Participation in Verdict.
49.
Special Verdicts and Interrogatories.
(a)
Special Verdicts.
(b)
General Verdict Accompanied by Answer to Interrogatories.
50.
Judgment as a Matter of Law in Actions Tried by Jury; Alternative Motion for New Trial; Conditional Rulings.
(a)
Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(b)
Renewal of Motion for Judgment After Trial; Alternative Motion for New Trial.
(c)
Same: Conditional Rulings on Grant of Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(d)
Same: Denial of Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.
51.
Instructions to Jury: Objection.
52.
Findings by the Court; Judgment on Partial Findings.
(a)
Effect.
(b)
Amendment.
(c)
Judgment on Partial Findings.
53.
Masters.
(a)
Appointment and Compensation.
(b)
Reference.
(c)
Powers.
(d)
Proceedings.

        

(1)

Meetings.

(2)

Witnesses.

(3)

Statement of Accounts.

(e)

Report.

(1)

Contents and Filing.

(2)

In Non-Jury Actions.

(3)

In Jury Actions.

(4)

Stipulation as to Findings.

(5)

Draft Report.

(f)

Application to Magistrate Judge.

VII. JUDGMENT

54.
Judgments; Costs.
(a)
Definition; Form.
(b)
Judgment Upon Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple Parties.
(c)
Demand for Judgment.
(d)
Costs; Attorneys’ Fees.

        

(1)

Costs Other than Attorneys’ Fees.

(2)

Attorneys’ Fees.

55.
Default.
(a)
Entry.
(b)
Judgment.

        

(1)

By the Clerk.

(2)

By the Court.

(c)

Setting Aside Default.

(d)

Plaintiffs, Counterclaimants, Cross-Claimants.

(e)

Judgment Against the United States.

56.
Summary Judgment.
(a)
For Claimant.
(b)
For Defending Party.
(c)
Motion and Proceedings Thereon.
(d)
Case Not Fully Adjudicated on Motion.
(e)
Form of Affidavits; Further Testimony; Defense Required.
(f)
When Affidavits Are Unavailable.
(g)
Affidavits Made in Bad Faith.
57.
Declaratory Judgments.
58.
Entry of Judgment.
59.
New Trials; Amendment of Judgments.
(a)
Grounds.
(b)
Time for Motion.
(c)
Time for Serving Affidavits.
(d)
On Initiative of Court.
(e)
Motion To Alter or Amend a Judgment.
60.
Relief From Judgment or Order.
(a)
Clerical Mistakes.
(b)
Mistakes; Inadvertence; Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence; Fraud, Etc.
61.
Harmless Error.
62.
Stay of Proceedings To Enforce a Judgment.
(a)
Automatic Stay; Exceptions—Injunctions, Receiverships, and Patent Accountings.
(b)
Stay on Motion for New Trial or for Judgment.
(c)
Injunction Pending Appeal.
(d)
Stay Upon Appeal.
(e)
Stay in Favor of the United States or Agency Thereof.
(f)
Stay According to State Law.
(g)
Power of Appellate Court Not Limited.
(h)
Stay of Judgment as to Multiple Claims or Multiple Parties.
63.
Inability of a Judge to Proceed.

        

VIII. PROVISIONAL AND FINAL REMEDIES

64.
Seizure of Person or Property.
65.
Injunctions.
(a)
Preliminary Injunction.

        

(1)

Notice.

(2)

Consolidation of Hearing With Trial on Merits.

(b)

Temporary Restraining Order; Notice; Hearing; Duration.

(c)

Security.

(d)

Form and Scope of Injunction or Restraining Order.

(e)

Employer and Employee; Interpleader; Constitutional Cases.

65.1
Security: Proceedings Against Sureties.
66.
Receivers Appointed by Federal Courts.
67.
Deposit in Court.
68.
Offer of Judgment.
69.
Execution.
(a)
In General.
(b)
Against Certain Public Officers.
70.
Judgment for Specific Acts; Vesting Title.
71.
Process in Behalf of and Against Persons Not Parties.

        

IX. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

71A.
Condemnation of Property.
(a)
Applicability of Other Rules.
(b)
Joinder of Properties.
(c)
Complaint.

        

(1)

Caption.

(2)

Contents.

(3)

Filing.

(d)

Process.

(1)

Notice; Delivery.

(2)

Same; Form.

(3)

Service of Notice.

(A)

Personal Service.

(B)

Service by Publication.

(4)

Return; Amendment.

(e)

Appearance or Answer.

(f)

Amendment of Pleadings.

(g)

Substitution of Parties.

(h)

Trial.

(i)

Dismissal of Action.

(1)

As of Right.

(2)

By Stipulation.

(3)

By Order of the Court.

(4)

Effect.

(j)

Deposit and Its Distribution.

(k)

Condemnation Under a State's Power of Eminent Domain.

(l)

Costs.

72.
Magistrate Judges; Pretrial Orders.
(a)
Nondispositive Matters.
(b)
Dispositive Motions and Prisoner Petitions.
73.
Magistrate Judges; Trial by Consent and Appeal Options.
(a)
Powers; Procedure.
(b)
Consent.
(c)
Normal Appeal Route.
(d)
Optional Appeal Route.
74.
Method of Appeal From Magistrate Judge to District Judge Under Title 28, U.S.C. §636(c)(4) and Rule 73(d).
(a)
When Taken.
(b)
Notice of Appeal; Service.
(c)
Stay Pending Appeal.
(d)
Dismissal.
75.
Proceedings on Appeal From Magistrate Judge to District Judge Under Rule 73(d).
(a)
Applicability.
(b)
Record on Appeal.

        

(1)

Composition.

(2)

Transcript.

(3)

Statement in Lieu of Transcript.

(c)

Time for Filing Briefs.

(d)

Length and Form of Briefs.

(e)

Oral Argument.

76.
Judgment of the District Judge on the Appeal Under Rule 73(d) and Costs.
(a)
Entry of Judgment.
(b)
Stay of Judgments.
(c)
Costs.

        

X. DISTRICT COURTS AND CLERKS

77.
District Courts and Clerks.
(a)
District Courts Always Open.
(b)
Trials and Hearings; Orders in Chambers.
(c)
Clerk's Office and Orders by Clerk.
(d)
Notice of Orders or Judgments.
78.
Motion Day.
79.
Books and Records Kept by the Clerk and Entries Therein.
(a)
Civil Docket.
(b)
Civil Judgments and Orders.
(c)
Indices; Calendars.
(d)
Other Books and Records of the Clerk.
80.
Stenographer; Stenographic Report or Transcript as Evidence.
[(a),
(b) Abrogated.]
(c)
Stenographic Report or Transcript as Evidence.

        

XI. GENERAL PROVISIONS

81.
Applicability in General.
(a)
To What Proceedings Applicable.
(b)
Scire Facias and Mandamus.
(c)
Removed Actions.
[(d)
Abrogated.]
(e)
Law Applicable.
(f)
References to Officer of the United States.
82.
Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected.
83.
Rules by District Courts.
84.
Forms.
85.
Title.
86.
Effective Date.
(a)
[Effective Date of Original Rules.]
(b)
Effective Date of Amendments.
(c)
Effective Date of Amendments.
(d)
Effective Date of Amendments.
(e)
Effective Date of Amendments.

        

APPENDIX OF FORMS

Form
 1.
Summons.
1A.
Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons.
1B.
Waiver of Service of Summons.
 2.
Allegation of Jurisdiction.
 3.
Complaint on a Promissory Note.
 4.
Complaint on an Account.
 5.
Complaint for Goods Sold and Delivered.
 6.
Complaint for Money Lent.
 7.
Complaint for Money Paid by Mistake.
 8.
Complaint for Money Had and Received.
 9.
Complaint for Negligence.
10.
Complaint for Negligence Where Plaintiff Is Unable To Determine Definitely Whether the Person Responsible Is C.D. or E.F. or Whether Both Are Responsible and Where His Evidence May Justify a Finding of Wilfulness or of Recklessness or of Negligence.
11.
Complaint for Conversion.
12.
Complaint for Specific Performance of Contract To Convey Land.
13.
Complaint on Claim for Debt and To Set Aside Fraudulent Conveyance Under Rule 18(b).
14.
Complaint for Negligence Under Federal Employer's Liability Act.
15.
Complaint for Damages Under Merchant Marine Act.
16.
Complaint for Infringement of Patent.
17.
Complaint for Infringement of Copyright and Unfair Competition.
18.
Complaint for Interpleader and Declaratory Relief.
[18–A.
Abrogated.]
19.
Motion To Dismiss, Presenting Defenses of Failure To State a Claim, of Lack of Service of Process, of Improper Venue, and of Lack of Jurisdiction Under Rule 12(b).
20.
Answer Presenting Defenses Under Rule 12(b).
21.
Answer to Complaint Set Forth in Form 8, With Counterclaim for Interpleader.
[22.
Eliminated.]
22–A.
Summons and Complaint Against Third-Party Defendant.
22–B.
Motion To Bring in Third-Party Defendant.
23.
Motion To Intervene as a Defendant under Rule 24.
24.
Request for Production of Documents, etc., Under Rule 34.
25.
Request for Admission Under Rule 36.
26.
Allegation of Reason for Omitting Party.
[27.
Abrogated.]
28.
Notice: Condemnation.
29.
Complaint: Condemnation.
30.
Suggestion of Death Upon the Record Under Rule 25(a)(1).
31.
Judgment on Jury Verdict.
32.
Judgment on Decision by the Court.
33.
Notice of Availability of a Magistrate Judge to Exercise Jurisdiction and Appeal Option.
34.
Consent to Exercise of Jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge, Election of Appeal to District Judge.
34A.
Order of Reference.
35.
Report of Parties’ Planning Meeting.

        

SUPPLEMENTAL RULES FOR CERTAIN ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME CLAIMS

Rule
 A.
Scope of Rules.
 B.
Attachment and Garnishment: Special Provisions.
(1)
When Available; Complaint, Affidavit, Judicial Authorization, and Process.
(2)
Notice to Defendant.
(3)
Answer.

        

(a)

By Garnishee.

(b)

By Defendant.

 C.
Actions in Rem: Special Provisions.
(1)
When Available.
(2)
Complaint.
(3)
Judicial Authorization and Process.
(4)
Notice.
(5)
Ancillary Process.
(6)
Claim and Answer; Interrogatories.
 D.
Possessory, Petitory, and Partition Actions.
 E.
Actions in Rem and Quasi in Rem: General Provisions.
(1)
Applicability.
(2)
Complaint; Security.

        

(a)

Complaint.

(b)

Security for Costs.

(3)

Process.

(a)

Territorial Limits of Effective Service.

(b)

Issuance and Delivery.

(4)

Execution of Process; Marshal's Return; Custody of Property; Procedures for Release.

(a)

In General.

(b)

Tangible Property.

(c)

Intangible Property.

(d)

Directions with Respect to Property in Custody.

(e)

Expenses of Seizing and Keeping Property; Deposit.

(f)

Procedure for Release from Arrest or Attachment.

(5)

Release of Property.

(a)

Special Bond.

(b)

General Bond.

(c)

Release by Consent, or Stipulation; Order of Court or Clerk; Costs.

(d)

Possessory, Petitory, and Partition Actions.

(6)

Reduction or Impairment of Security.

(7)

Security on Counterclaim.

(8)

Restricted Appearance.

(9)

Disposition of Property; Sales.

(a)

Actions for Forfeitures.

(b)

Interlocutory Sales.

(c)

Sales; Proceeds.

 F.
Limitation of Liability.
(1)
Time for Filing Complaint; Security.
(2)
Complaint.
(3)
Claims Against Owner; Injunction.
(4)
Notice to Claimants.
(5)
Claims and Answer.
(6)
Information To Be Given Claimants.
(7)
Insufficiency of Fund or Security.
(8)
Objections to Claims: Distribution of Fund.
(9)
Venue; Transfer.

        

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure supplant the Equity Rules since in general they cover the field now covered by the Equity Rules and the Conformity Act (former section 724 of this title).

This table shows the Equity Rules to which references are made in the notes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

 
Equity RulesFederal Rules of Civil Procedure
1 77
2 77
3 79
4 77
5 77
6 78
7 4, 70
8 6, 70
9 70
10 18, 54
11 71
12 3, 4, 5, 12, 55
13 4
14 4
15 4, 45
16 6, 55
17 55
18 7, 8
19 1, 15, 61
20 12
21 11, 12
22 1
23 1, 39
24 11
25 8, 9, 10, 19
26 18, 20, 82
27 23
28 15
29 7, 12, 42, 55
30 8, 13, 82
31 7, 8, 12, 55
32 15
33 7, 12
34 15
35 15
36 11
37 17, 19, 20, 24
38 23
39 19
40 20
41 17
42 19, 20
43 12, 21
44 12, 21
45 25
46 43, 61
47 26
48 43
49 53
50 30, 80
51 30, 53
52 45, 53
53 53
54 26
55 30
56 40
57 40
58 26, 33, 34, 36
59 53
60 53
61 53
611/2 53
62 53
63 53
64 26
65 53
66 53
67 53
68 53
69 59
70 17
701/2 52
71 54
72 60, 61
73 65
74 62
75 75
76 75
77 76
78 43
79 83
80 6
81 86

RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE FOR THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS

I. SCOPE OF RULES—ONE FORM OF ACTION

Rule 1. Scope and Purpose of Rules

These rules govern the procedure in the United States district courts in all suits of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity or in admiralty, with the exceptions stated in Rule 81. They shall be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.

(As amended Dec. 29, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

1. Rule 81 states certain limitations in the application of these rules to enumerated special proceedings.

2. The expression “district courts of the United States” appearing in the statute authorizing the Supreme Court of the United States to promulgate rules of civil procedure does not include the district courts held in the Territories and insular possessions. See Mookini et al. v. United States, 303 U.S. 201, 58 S.Ct. 543, 82 L.Ed. 748 (1938).

3. These rules are drawn under the authority of the act of June 19, 1934, U.S.C., Title 28, §723b [see 2072] (Rules in actions at law; Supreme Court authorized to make), and §723c [see 2072] (Union of equity and action at law rules; power of Supreme Court) and also other grants of rule making power to the Court. See Clark and Moore, A New Federal Civil Procedure—I. The Background, 44 Yale L.J. 387, 391 (1935). Under §723b after the rules have taken effect all laws in conflict therewith are of no further force or effect. In accordance with §723c the Court has united the general rules prescribed for cases in equity with those in actions at law so as to secure one form of civil action and procedure for both. See Rule 2 (One Form of Action). For the former practice in equity and at law see U.S.C., Title 28, §§723 and 730 [see 2071 et seq.] (conferring power on the Supreme Court to make rules of practice in equity) and the [former] Equity Rules promulgated thereunder; U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §724 (Conformity act): [former] Equity Rule 22 (Action at Law Erroneously Begun as Suit in Equity—Transfer); [former] Equity Rule 23 (Matters Ordinarily Determinable at Law When Arising in Suit in Equity to be Disposed of Therein); U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §§397 (Amendments to pleadings when case brought to wrong side of court), and 398 (Equitable defenses and equitable relief in actions at law).

4. With the second sentence compare U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §§777 (Defects of form; amendments), 767 (Amendment of process); [former] Equity Rule 19 (Amendments Generally).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1948 Amendment

The change in nomenclature conforms to the official designation of district courts in Title 28, U.S.C., §132(a).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

This is the fundamental change necessary to effect unification of the civil and admiralty procedure. Just as the 1938 rules abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity, this change would abolish the distinction between civil actions and suits in admiralty. See also Rule 81.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The purpose of this revision, adding the words “and administered” to the second sentence, is to recognize the affirmative duty of the court to exercise the authority conferred by these rules to ensure that civil litigation is resolved not only fairly, but also without undue cost or delay. As officers of the court, attorneys share this responsibility with the judge to whom the case is assigned.

Cross References

Jurisdiction and venue as unaffected by these rules, see rule 82.

Power of Supreme Court to prescribe rules of procedure and evidence, see section 2072 of this title.

Puerto Rico, district court governed by the rules, see section 119 of this title.

Virgin Islands, district court governed by the rules, see section 1614 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Rule 2. One Form of Action

There shall be one form of action to be known as “civil action.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

1. This rule modifies U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §384 (Suits in equity, when not sustainable). U.S.C., Title 28, §§723 and 730 [see 2071 et seq.] (conferring power on the Supreme Court to make rules of practice in equity), are unaffected insofar as they relate to the rule making power in admiralty. These sections, together with §723b [see 2072] (Rules in actions at law; Supreme Court authorized to make) are continued insofar as they are not inconsistent with §723c [see 2072] (Union of equity and action at law rules; power of Supreme Court). See Note 3 to Rule 1. U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §§724 (Conformity act), 397 (Amendments to pleadings when case brought to wrong side of court) and 398 (Equitable defenses and equitable relief in actions at law) are superseded.

2. Reference to actions at law or suits in equity in all statutes should now be treated as referring to the civil action prescribed in these rules.

3. This rule follows in substance the usual introductory statements to code practices which provide for a single action and mode of procedure, with abolition of forms of action and procedural distinctions. Representative statutes are N.Y. Code 1848 (Laws 1848, ch. 379) §62; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §8; Calif.Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §307; 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9164; 2 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §§153, 255.

Cross References

Injunctions, see rule 65.

Joinder of claims and remedies, see rule 18.

Receivers, see rule 66.

II. COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION; SERVICE OF PROCESS, PLEADINGS, MOTIONS, AND ORDERS

Rule 3. Commencement of Action

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

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

1. Rule 5(e) defines what constitutes filing with the court.

2. This rule governs the commencement of all actions, including those brought by or against the United States or an officer or agency thereof, regardless of whether service is to be made personally pursuant to Rule 4(d), or otherwise pursuant to Rule 4(e).

3. With this rule compare [former] Equity Rule 12 (Issue of Subpoena—Time for Answer) and the following statutes (and other similar statutes) which provide a similar method for commencing an action:


U.S.C., Title 28:

 §45 [former] (District courts; practice and procedure in certain cases under interstate commerce laws).

 §762 [see 1402] (Petition in suit against United States).

 §766 [see 2409] (Partition suits where United States is tenant in common or joint tenant).


4. This rule provides that the first step in an action is the filing of the complaint. Under Rule 4(a) this is to be followed forthwith by issuance of a summons and its delivery to an officer for service. Other rules providing for dismissal for failure to prosecute suggest a method available to attack unreasonable delay in prosecuting an action after it has been commenced. When a Federal or State statute of limitations is pleaded as a defense, a question may arise under this rule whether the mere filing of the complaint stops the running of the statute, or whether any further step is required, such as, service of the summons and complaint or their delivery to the marshal for service. The answer to this question may depend on whether it is competent for the Supreme Court, exercising the power to make rules of procedure without affecting substantive rights, to vary the operation of statutes of limitations. The requirement of Rule 4(a) that the clerk shall forthwith issue the summons and deliver it to the marshal for service will reduce the chances of such a question arising.

Cross References

Filing with the court defined, see rule 5.

Rule 4. Summons

(a) Form. The summons shall be signed by the clerk, bear the seal of the court, identify the court and the parties, be directed to the defendant, and state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney or, if unrepresented, of the plaintiff. It shall also state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend, and notify the defendant that failure to do so will result in a judgment by default against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. The court may allow a summons to be amended.

(b) Issuance. Upon or after filing the complaint, the plaintiff may present a summons to the clerk for signature and seal. If the summons is in proper form, the clerk shall sign, seal, and issue it to the plaintiff for service on the defendant. A summons, or a copy of the summons if addressed to multiple defendants, shall be issued for each defendant to be served.

(c) Service with Complaint; by Whom Made.

(1) A summons shall be served together with a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for service of a summons and complaint within the time allowed under subdivision (m) and shall furnish the person effecting service with the necessary copies of the summons and complaint.

(2) Service may be effected by any person who is not a party and who is at least 18 years of age. At the request of the plaintiff, however, the court may direct that service be effected by a United States marshal, deputy United States marshal, or other person or officer specially appointed by the court for that purpose. Such an appointment must be made when the plaintiff is authorized to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915 or is authorized to proceed as a seaman under 28 U.S.C. §1916.


(d) Waiver of Service; Duty to Save Costs of Service; Request to Waive.

(1) A defendant who waives service of a summons does not thereby waive any objection to the venue or to the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant.

(2) An individual, corporation, or association that is subject to service under subdivision (e), (f), or (h) and that receives notice of an action in the manner provided in this paragraph has a duty to avoid unnecessary costs of serving the summons. To avoid costs, the plaintiff may notify such a defendant of the commencement of the action and request that the defendant waive service of a summons. The notice and request

(A) shall be in writing and shall be addressed directly to the defendant, if an individual, or else to an officer or managing or general agent (or other agent authorized by appointment or law to receive service of process) of a defendant subject to service under subdivision (h);

(B) shall be dispatched through first-class mail or other reliable means;

(C) shall be accompanied by a copy of the complaint and shall identify the court in which it has been filed;

(D) shall inform the defendant, by means of a text prescribed in an official form promulgated pursuant to Rule 84, of the consequences of compliance and of a failure to comply with the request;

(E) shall set forth the date on which the request is sent;

(F) shall allow the defendant a reasonable time to return the waiver, which shall be at least 30 days from the date on which the request is sent, or 60 days from that date if the defendant is addressed outside any judicial district of the United States; and

(G) shall provide the defendant with an extra copy of the notice and request, as well as a prepaid means of compliance in writing.


If a defendant located within the United States fails to comply with a request for waiver made by a plaintiff located within the United States, the court shall impose the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service on the defendant unless good cause for the failure be shown.

(3) A defendant that, before being served with process, timely returns a waiver so requested is not required to serve an answer to the complaint until 60 days after the date on which the request for waiver of service was sent, or 90 days after that date if the defendant was addressed outside any judicial district of the United States.

(4) When the plaintiff files a waiver of service with the court, the action shall proceed, except as provided in paragraph (3), as if a summons and complaint had been served at the time of filing the waiver, and no proof of service shall be required.

(5) The costs to be imposed on a defendant under paragraph (2) for failure to comply with a request to waive service of a summons shall include the costs subsequently incurred in effecting service under subdivision (e), (f), or (h), together with the costs, including a reasonable attorney's fee, of any motion required to collect the costs of service.


(e) Service Upon Individuals Within a Judicial District of the United States. Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon an individual from whom a waiver has not been obtained and filed, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in any judicial district of the United States:

(1) pursuant to the law of the state in which the district court is located, or in which service is effected, for the service of a summons upon the defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of the State; or

(2) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally or by leaving copies thereof at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.


(f) Service Upon Individuals in a Foreign Country. Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon an individual from whom a waiver has not been obtained and filed, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in a place not within any judicial district of the United States:

(1) by any internationally agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents; or

(2) if there is no internationally agreed means of service or the applicable international agreement allows other means of service, provided that service is reasonably calculated to give notice:

(A) in the manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in that country in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction; or

(B) as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or

(C) unless prohibited by the law of the foreign country, by

(i) delivery to the individual personally of a copy of the summons and the complaint; or

(ii) any form of mail requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the party to be served; or


(3) by other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the court.


(g) Service Upon Infants and Incompetent Persons. Service upon an infant or an incompetent person in a judicial district of the United States shall be effected in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the service is made for the service of summons or other like process upon any such defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of that state. Service upon an infant or an incompetent person in a place not within any judicial district of the United States shall be effected in the manner prescribed by paragraph (2)(A) or (2)(B) of subdivision (f) or by such means as the court may direct.

(h) Service Upon Corporations and Associations. Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association that is subject to suit under a common name, and from which a waiver of service has not been obtained and filed, shall be effected:

(1) in a judicial district of the United States in the manner prescribed for individuals by subdivision (e)(1), or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the defendant, or

(2) in a place not within any judicial district of the United States in any manner prescribed for individuals by subdivision (f) except personal delivery as provided in paragraph (2)(C)(i) thereof.


(i) Service Upon the United States, and Its Agencies, Corporations, or Officers.

(1) Service upon the United States shall be effected

(A) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the United States attorney for the district in which the action is brought or to an assistant United States attorney or clerical employee designated by the United States attorney in a writing filed with the clerk of the court or by sending a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail addressed to the civil process clerk at the office of the United States attorney and

(B) by also sending a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail to the Attorney General of the United States at Washington, District of Columbia, and

(C) in any action attacking the validity of an order of an officer or agency of the United States not made a party, by also sending a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail to the officer or agency.


(2) Service upon an officer, agency, or corporation of the United States shall be effected by serving the United States in the manner prescribed by paragraph (1) of this subdivision and by also sending a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail to the officer, agency, or corporation.

(3) The court shall allow a reasonable time for service of process under this subdivision for the purpose of curing the failure to serve multiple officers, agencies, or corporations of the United States if the plaintiff has effected service on either the United States attorney or the Attorney General of the United States.


(j) Service Upon Foreign, State, or Local Governments.

(1) Service upon a foreign state or a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof shall be effected pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1608.

(2) Service upon a state, municipal corporation, or other governmental organization subject to suit shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to its chief executive officer or by serving the summons and complaint in the manner prescribed by the law of that state for the service of summons or other like process upon any such defendant.


(k) Territorial Limits of Effective Service.

(1) Service of a summons or filing a waiver of service is effective to establish jurisdiction over the person of a defendant

(A) who could be subjected to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state in which the district court is located, or

(B) who is a party joined under Rule 14 or Rule 19 and is served at a place within a judicial district of the United States and not more than 100 miles from the place from which the summons issues, or

(C) who is subject to the federal interpleader jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1335, or

(D) when authorized by a statute of the United States.


(2) If the exercise of jurisdiction is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, serving a summons or filing a waiver of service is also effective, with respect to claims arising under federal law, to establish personal jurisdiction over the person of any defendant who is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of general jurisdiction of any state.


(l) Proof of Service. If service is not waived, the person effecting service shall make proof thereof to the court. If service is made by a person other than a United States marshal or deputy United States marshal, the person shall make affidavit thereof. Proof of service in a place not within any judicial district of the United States shall, if effected under paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), be made pursuant to the applicable treaty or convention, and shall, if effected under paragraph (2) or (3) thereof, include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee satisfactory to the court. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service. The court may allow proof of service to be amended.

(m) Time Limit for Service. If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, the court, upon motion or on its own initiative after notice to the plaintiff, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant or direct that service be effected within a specified time; provided that if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court shall extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision does not apply to service in a foreign country pursuant to subdivision (f) or (j)(1).

(n) Seizure of Property; Service of Summons Not Feasible.

(1) If a statute of the United States so provides, the court may assert jurisdiction over property. Notice to claimants of the property shall then be sent in the manner provided by the statute or by service of a summons under this rule.

(2) Upon a showing that personal jurisdiction over a defendant cannot, in the district where the action is brought, be obtained with reasonable efforts by service of summons in any manner authorized by this rule, the court may assert jurisdiction over any of the defendant's assets found within the district by seizing the assets under the circumstances and in the manner provided by the law of the state in which the district court is located.

(As amended Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 29, 1980, eff. Aug. 1, 1980; Jan. 12, 1983, Pub. L. 97–462, §2, 96 Stat. 2527; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). With the provision permitting additional summons upon request of the plaintiff compare [former] Equity Rule 14 (Alias Subpoena) and the last sentence of [former] Equity Rule 12 (Issue of Subpoena—Time for Answer).

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule prescribes a form of summons which follows substantially the requirements stated in [former] Equity Rules 12 (Issue of Subpoena—Time for Answer) and 7 (Process, Mesne and Final).

U.S.C., Title 28, §721 [now 1691] (Sealing and testing of writs) is substantially continued insofar as it applies to a summons, but its requirements as to teste of process are superseded. U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §722 (Teste of process, day of), is superseded.

See Rule 12(a) for a statement of the time within which the defendant is required to appear and defend.

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule does not affect U.S.C., Title 28, §503 [see 566], as amended June 15, 1935 (Marshals; duties) and such statutes as the following insofar as they provide for service of process by a marshal, but modifies them insofar as they may imply service by a marshal only:


U.S.C., Title 15:

 §5 (Bringing in additional parties) (Sherman Act)

 §10 (Bringing in additional parties)

 §25 (Restraining violations; procedure)


U.S.C., Title 28:

 §45 [former] (Practice and procedure in certain cases under the interstate commerce laws)


Compare [former] Equity Rule 15 (Process, by Whom Served).

Note to Subdivision (d). Under this rule the complaint must always be served with the summons.

Paragraph (1). For an example of a statute providing for service upon an agent of an individual see U.S.C., Title 28, §109 [now 1400, 1694] (Patent cases).

Paragraph (3). This enumerates the officers and agents of a corporation or of a partnership or other unincorporated association upon whom service of process may be made, and permits service of process only upon the officers, managing or general agents, or agents authorized by appointment or by law, of the corporation, partnership or unincorporated association against which the action is brought. See Christian v. International Ass'n of Machinists, 7 F.(2d) 481 (D.C.Ky., 1925) and Singleton v. Order of Railway Conductors of America, 9 F.Supp. 417 (D.C.Ill., 1935). Compare Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Finishers’ International Ass'n of the United States and Canada v. Case, 93 F.(2d) 56 (App.D.C., 1937).

For a statute authorizing service upon a specified agent and requiring mailing to the defendant, see U.S.C., Title 6, §7 [now Title 31, §9306] (Surety companies as sureties; appointment of agents; service of process).

Paragraphs (4) and (5) provide a uniform and comprehensive method of service for all actions against the United States or an officer or agency thereof. For statutes providing for such service, see U.S.C., Title 7, §§217 (Proceedings for suspension of orders), 499k (Injunctions; application of injunction laws governing orders of Interstate Commerce Commission), 608c(15)(B) (Court review of ruling of Secretary of Agriculture), and 855 (making §608c(15)(B) applicable to orders of the Secretary of Agriculture as to handlers of anti-hog-cholera serum and hog-cholera virus); U.S.C., Title 26, [former] §1569 (Bill in chancery to clear title to realty on which the United States has a lien for taxes); U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §§45 (District Courts; practice and procedure in certain cases under the interstate commerce laws), [former] 763 (Petition in suit against the United States; service; appearance by district attorney), 766 [now 2409] (Partition suits where United States is tenant in common or joint tenant), 902 [now 2410] (Foreclosure of mortgages or other liens on property in which the United States has an interest). These and similar statutes are modified insofar as they prescribe a different method of service or dispense with the service of a summons.

For the [former] Equity Rule on service, see [former] Equity Rule 13 (Manner of Serving Subpoena).

Note to Subdivision (e). The provisions for the service of a summons or of notice or of an order in lieu of summons contained in U.S.C., Title 8, §405 [see 1451] (Cancellation of certificates of citizenship fraudulently or illegally procured) (service by publication in accordance with State law); U.S.C., Title 28, §118 [now 1655] (Absent defendants in suits to enforce liens); U.S.C., Title 35, §72a [now 146, 291] (Jurisdiction of District Court of United States for the District of Columbia in certain equity suits where adverse parties reside elsewhere) (service by publication against parties residing in foreign countries); U.S.C., Title 38, §445 [now 1984] (Action against the United States on a veteran's contract of insurance) (parties not inhabitants of or not found within the District may be served with an order of the court, personally or by publication) and similar statutes are continued by this rule. Title 24, §378 [now Title 13, §336] of the Code of the District of Columbia (Publication against nonresident; those absent for six months; unknown heirs or devisees; for divorce or in rem; actual service beyond District) is continued by this rule.

Note to Subdivision (f). This rule enlarges to some extent the present rule as to where service may be made. It does not, however, enlarge the jurisdiction of the district courts.

U.S.C., Title 28, §§113 [now 1392] (Suits in States containing more than one district) (where there are two or more defendants residing in different districts), [former] 115 (Suits of a local nature), 116 [now 1392] (Property in different districts in same State), [former] 838 (Executions run in all districts of State); U.S.C., Title 47, §13 (Action for damages against a railroad or telegraph company whose officer or agent in control of a telegraph line refuses or fails to operate such line in a certain manner—“upon any agent of the company found in such state”); U.S.C., Title 49, §321(c) [now 10330(b)] (Requiring designation of a process agent by interstate motor carriers and in case of failure so to do, service may be made upon any agent in the State) and similar statutes, allowing the running of process throughout a State, are substantially continued.

U.S.C., Title 15, §§5 (Bringing in additional parties) (Sherman Act), 25 (Restraining violations; procedure); U.S.C., Title 28, §§44 [now 2321] (Procedure in certain cases under interstate commerce laws; service of processes of court), 117 [now 754, 1692] (Property in different States in same circuit; jurisdiction of receiver), 839 [now 2413] (Executions; run in every State and Territory) and similar statutes, providing for the running of process beyond the territorial limits of a State, are expressly continued.

Note to Subdivision (g). With the second sentence compare [former] Equity Rule 15 (Process, by Whom Served).

Note to Subdivision (h). This rule substantially continues U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §767 (Amendment of process).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

Subdivision (b). Under amended subdivision (e) of this rule, an action may be commenced against a nonresident of the State in which the district court is held by complying with State procedures. Frequently the form of the summons or notice required in these cases by State law differs from the Federal form of summons described in present subdivision (b) and exemplified in Form 1. To avoid confusion, the amendment of subdivision (b) states that a form of summons or notice, corresponding “as nearly as may be” to the State form, shall be employed. See also a corresponding amendment of Rule 12(a) with regard to the time to answer.

Subdivision (d)(4). This paragraph, governing service upon the United States, is amended to allow the use of certified mail as an alternative to registered mail for sending copies of the papers to the Attorney General or to a United States officer or agency. Cf. N.J. Rule 4:5–2. See also the amendment of Rule 30(f)(1).

Subdivision (d)(7). Formerly a question was raised whether this paragraph, in the context of the rule as a whole, authorized service in original Federal actions pursuant to State statutes permitting service on a State official as a means of bringing a nonresident motorist defendant into court. It was argued in McCoy v. Siler, 205 F.2d 498, 501–2 (3d Cir.) (concurring opinion), cert. denied, 346 U.S. 872, 74 S.Ct. 120, 98 L.Ed. 380 (1953), that the effective service in those cases occurred not when the State official was served but when notice was given to the defendant outside the State, and that subdivision (f) (Territorial limits of effective service), as then worded, did not authorize out-of-State service. This contention found little support. A considerable number of cases held the service to be good, either by fixing upon the service on the official within the State as the effective service, thus satisfying the wording of subdivision (f) as it then stood, see Holbrook v. Cafiero, 18 F.R.D. 218 (D.Md. 1955); Pasternack v. Dalo, 17 F.R.D. 420; (W.D.Pa. 1955); cf. Super Prods. Corp. v. Parkin, 20 F.R.D. 377 (S.D.N.Y. 1957), or by reading paragraph (7) as not limited by subdivision (f). See Griffin v. Ensign, 234 F.2d 307 (3d Cir. 1956); 2 Moore's Federal Practice,  4.19 (2d ed. 1948); 1 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure §182.1 (Wright ed. 1960); Comment, 27 U. of Chi.L.Rev. 751 (1960). See also Olberding v. Illinois Central R.R., 201 F.2d 582 (6th Cir.), rev'd on other grounds, 346 U.S. 338, 74 S.Ct. 83, 98 L.Ed. 39 (1953); Feinsinger v. Bard, 195 F.2d 45 (7th Cir. 1952).

An important and growing class of State statutes base personal jurisdiction over nonresidents on the doing of acts or on other contacts within the State, and permit notice to be given the defendant outside the State without any requirement of service on a local State official. See, e.g., Ill.Ann.Stat. ch. 110, §§16, 17 (Smith-Hurd 1956); Wis.Stat. §262.06 (1959). This service, employed in original Federal actions pursuant to paragraph (7), has also been held proper. See Farr & Co. v. Cia. Intercontinental de Nav. de Cuba, 243 F.2d 342 (2d Cir. 1957); Kappus v. Western Hills Oil, Inc., 24 F.R.D. 123 (E.D.Wis. 1959); Star v. Rogalny, 162 F.Supp. 181 (E.D.Ill. 1957). It has also been held that the clause of paragraph (7) which permits service “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state,” etc., is not limited by subdivision (c) requiring that service of all process be made by certain designated persons. See Farr & Co. v. Cia. Intercontinental de Nav. de Cuba, supra. But cf. Sappia v. Lauro Lines, 130 F.Supp. 810 (S.D.N.Y. 1955).

The salutary results of these cases are intended to be preserved. See paragraph (7), with a clarified reference to State law, and amended subdivisions (e) and (f).

Subdivision (e). For the general relation between subdivisions (d) and (e), see 2 Moore, supra,  4.32.

The amendment of the first sentence inserting the word “thereunder” supports the original intention that the “order of court” must be authorized by a specific United States statute. See 1 Barron & Holtzoff, supra, at 731. The clause added at the end of the first sentence expressly adopts the view taken by commentators that, if no manner of service is prescribed in the statute or order, the service may be made in a manner stated in Rule 4. See 2 Moore, supra,  4.32, at 1004; Smit, International Aspects of Federal Civil Procedure, 61 Colum.L.Rev. 1031, 1036–39 (1961). But see Commentary, 5 Fed. Rules Serv. 791 (1942).

Examples of the statutes to which the first sentence relates are 28 U.S.C. §2361 (Interpleader; process and procedure); 28 U.S.C. §1655 (Lien enforcement; absent defendants).

The second sentence, added by amendment, expressly allows resort in original Federal actions to the procedures provided by State law for effecting service on nonresident parties (as well as on domiciliaries not found within the State). See, as illustrative, the discussion under amended subdivision (d)(7) of service pursuant to State nonresident motorist statutes and other comparable State statutes. Of particular interest is the change brought about by the reference in this sentence to State procedures for commencing actions against nonresidents by attachment and the like, accompanied by notice. Although an action commenced in a State court by attachment may be removed to the Federal court if ordinary conditions for removal are satisfied, see 28 U.S.C. §1450; Rorick v. Devon Syndicate, Ltd., 307 U.S. 299, 59 S.Ct. 877, 83 L.Ed. 1303 (1939); Clark v. Wells, 203 U.S. 164, 27 S.Ct. 43, 51 L.Ed. 138 (1906), there has heretofore been no provision recognized by the courts for commencing an original Federal civil action by attachment. See Currie, Attachment and Garnishment in the Federal Courts, 59 Mich.L.Rev. 337 (1961), arguing that this result came about through historical anomaly. Rule 64, which refers to attachment, garnishment, and similar procedures under State law, furnishes only provisional remedies in actions otherwise validly commenced. See Big Vein Coal Co. v. Read, 229 U.S. 31, 33 S.Ct. 694, 57 L.Ed. 1953 (1913); Davis v. Ensign-Bickford Co., 139 F.2d 624 (8th Cir. 1944); 7 Moore's Federal Practice  64.05 (2d ed. 1954); 3 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure §1423 (Wright ed. 1958); but cf. Note, 13 So.Calif.L.Rev. 361 (1940). The amendment will now permit the institution of original Federal actions against nonresidents through the use of familiar State procedures by which property of these defendants is brought within the custody of the court and some appropriate service is made up them.

The necessity of satisfying subject-matter jurisdictional requirements and requirements of venue will limit the practical utilization of these methods of effecting service. Within those limits, however, there appears to be no reason for denying plaintiffs means of commencing actions in Federal courts which are generally available in the State courts. See 1 Barron & Holtzoff, supra, at 374–80; Nordbye, Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States District Courts, 18 F.R.D. 105, 106 (1956); Note, 34 Corn.L.Q. 103 (1948); Note, 13 So.Calif.L.Rev. 361 (1940).

If the circumstances of a particular case satisfy the applicable Federal law (first sentence of Rule 4(e), as amended) and the applicable State law (second sentence), the party seeking to make the service may proceed under the Federal or the State law, at his option.

See also amended Rule 13(a), and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto.

Subdivision (f). The first sentence is amended to assure the effectiveness of service outside the territorial limits of the State in all the cases in which any of the rules authorize service beyond those boundaries. Besides the preceding provisions of Rule 4, see Rule 71A(d)(3). In addition, the new second sentence of the subdivision permits effective service within a limited area outside the State in certain special situations, namely, to bring in additional parties to a counterclaim or cross-claim (Rule 13(h)), impleaded parties (Rule 14), and indispensable or conditionally necessary parties to a pending action (Rule 19); and to secure compliance with an order of commitment for civil contempt. In those situations effective service can be made at points not more than 100 miles distant from the courthouse in which the action is commenced, or to which it is assigned or transferred for trial.

The bringing in of parties under the 100-mile provision in the limited situations enumerated is designed to promote the objective of enabling the court to determine entire controversies. In the light of present-day facilities for communication and travel, the territorial range of the service allowed, analogous to that which applies to the service of a subpoena under Rule 45(e)(1), can hardly work hardship on the parties summoned. The provision will be especially useful in metropolitan areas spanning more than one State. Any requirements of subject-matter jurisdiction and venue will still have to be satisfied as to the parties brought in, although these requirements will be eased in some instances when the parties can be regarded as “ancillary.” See Pennsylvania R.R. v. Erie Avenue Warehouse Co., 5 F.R.Serv.2d 14a.62, Case 2 (3d Cir. 1962); Dery v. Wyer, 265 F.2d 804 (2d Cir. 1959); United Artists Corp. v. Masterpiece Productions, Inc., 221 F.2d 213 (2d Cir. 1955); Lesnik v. Public Industrials Corp., 144 F.2d 968 (2d Cir. 1944); Vaughn v. Terminal Transp. Co., 162 F.Supp. 647 (E.D.Tenn. 1957); and compare the fifth paragraph of the Advisory Committee's Note to Rule 4(e), as amended. The amendment is but a moderate extension of the territorial reach of Federal process and has ample practical justification. See 2 Moore, supra. §4.01[13] (Supp. 1960); 1 Barron & Holtzoff, supra, §184; Note, 51 Nw.U.L.Rev. 354 (1956). But cf. Nordbye, Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States District Courts, 18 F.R.D. 105, 106 (1956).

As to the need for enlarging the territorial area in which orders of commitment for civil contempt may be served, see Graber v. Graber, 93 F.Supp. 281 (D.D.C. 1950); Teele Soap Mfg. Co. v. Pine Tree Products Co., Inc., 8 F.Supp. 546 (D.N.H. 1934); Mitchell v. Dexter, 244 Fed. 926 (1st Cir. 1917); in re Graves, 29 Fed. 60 (N.D. Iowa 1886).

As to the Court's power to amend subdivisions (e) and (f) as here set forth, see Mississippi Pub. Corp. v. Murphree, 326 U.S. 438, 66 S.Ct. 242, 90 L.Ed. 185 (1946).

Subdivision (i). The continual increase of civil litigation having international elements makes it advisable to consolidate, amplify, and clarify the provisions governing service upon parties in foreign countries. See generally Jones, International Judicial Assistance: Procedural Chaos and a Program for Reform, 62 Yale L.J. 515 (1953); Longley, Serving Process, Subpoenas and Other Documents in Foreign Territory, Proc. A.B.A., Sec. Int'l & Comp. L. 34 (1959); Smit, International Aspects of Federal Civil Procedure, 61 Colum.L.Rev. 1031 (1961).

As indicated in the opening lines of new subdivision (i), referring to the provisions of subdivision (e), the authority for effecting foreign service must be found in a statute of the United States or a statute or rule of court of the State in which the district court is held providing in terms or upon proper interpretation for service abroad upon persons not inhabitants of or found within the State. See the Advisory Committee's Note to amended Rule 4(d)(7) and Rule 4(e). For examples of Federal and State statutes expressly authorizing such service, see 8 U.S.C. §1451(b); 35 U.S.C. §§146, 293; Me.Rev.Stat., ch. 22, §70 (Supp. 1961); Minn.Stat.Ann. §303.13 (1947); N.Y.Veh. & Tfc.Law §253. Several decisions have construed statutes to permit service in foreign countries, although the matter is not expressly mentioned in the statutes. See, e.g., Chapman v. Superior Court, 162 Cal.App.2d 421, 328 P.2d 23 (Dist.Ct.App. 1958); Sperry v. Fliegers, 194 Misc. 438, 86 N.Y.S.2d 830 (Sup.Ct. 1949); Ewing v. Thompson, 233 N.C. 564, 65 S.E.2d 17 (1951); Rushing v. Bush, 260 S.W.2d 900 (Tex.Ct.Civ.App. 1953). Federal and State statutes authorizing service on nonresidents in such terms as to warrant the interpretation that service abroad is permissible include 15 U.S.C. §§77v(a), 78aa, 79y; 28 U.S.C. §1655; 38 U.S.C. §784(a); Ill.Ann.Stat. ch. 110, §§16, 17 (Smith-Hurd 1956); Wis.Stat. §262.06 (1959).

Under subdivisions (e) and (i), when authority to make foreign service is found in a Federal statute or statute or rule of court of a State, it is always sufficient to carry out the service in the manner indicated therein. Subdivision (i) introduces considerable further flexibility by permitting the foreign service and return thereof to be carried out in any of a number of other alternative ways that are also declared to be sufficient. Other aspects of foreign service continue to be governed by the other provisions of Rule 4. Thus, for example, subdivision (i) effects no change in the form of the summons, or the issuance of separate or additional summons, or the amendment of service.

Service of process beyond the territorial limits of the United States may involve difficulties not encountered in the case of domestic service. Service abroad may be considered by a foreign country to require the performance of judicial, and therefore “sovereign,” acts within its territory, which that country may conceive to be offensive to its policy or contrary to its law. See Jones, supra, at 537. For example, a person not qualified to serve process according to the law of the foreign country may find himself subject to sanctions if he attempts service therein. See Inter-American Judicial Committee, Report on Uniformity of Legislation on International Cooperation in Judicial Procedures 20 (1952). The enforcement of a judgment in the foreign country in which the service was made may be embarrassed or prevented if the service did not comport with the law of that country. See ibid.

One of the purposes of subdivision (i) is to allow accommodation to the policies and procedures of the foreign country. It is emphasized, however, that the attitudes of foreign countries vary considerably and that the question of recognition of United States judgments abroad is complex. Accordingly, if enforcement is to be sought in the country of service, the foreign law should be examined before a choice is made among the methods of service allowed by subdivision (i).

Subdivision (i)(1). Subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1), permitting service by the method prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service on a person in that country in a civil action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction, provides an alternative that is likely to create least objection in the place of service and also is likely to enhance the possibilities of securing ultimate enforcement of the judgment abroad. See Report on Uniformity of Legislation on International Cooperation in Judicial Procedures, supra.

In certain foreign countries service in aid of litigation pending in other countries can lawfully be accomplished only upon request to the foreign court, which in turn directs the service to be made. In many countries this has long been a customary way of accomplishing the service. See In re Letters Rogatory out of First Civil Court of City of Mexico, 261 Fed. 652 (S.D.N.Y. 1919); Jones, supra, at 543; Comment, 44 Colum.L.Rev. 72 (1944); Note, 58 Yale L.J. 1193 (1949). Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), referring to a letter rogatory, validates this method. A proviso, applicable to this subparagraph and the preceding one, requires, as a safeguard, that the service made shall be reasonably calculated to give actual notice of the proceedings to the party. See Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 61 S.Ct. 339, 85 L.Ed. 278 (1940).

Subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), permitting foreign service by personal delivery on individuals and corporations, partnerships, and associations, provides for a manner of service that is not only traditionally preferred, but also is most likely to lead to actual notice. Explicit provision for this manner of service was thought desirable because a number of Federal and State statutes permitting foreign service do not specifically provide for service by personal delivery abroad, see e.g., 35 U.S.C. §§146, 293; 46 U.S.C. §1292; Calif.Ins.Code §1612; N.Y.Veh. & Tfc.Law §253, and it also may be unavailable under the law of the country in which the service is made.

Subparagraph (D) of paragraph (1), permitting service by certain types of mail, affords a manner of service that is inexpensive and expeditious, and requires a minimum of activity within the foreign country. Several statutes specifically provide for service in a foreign country by mail, e.g., Hawaii Rev.Laws §§230–31, 230–32 (1955); Minn.Stat.Ann. §303.13 (1947); N.Y.Civ.Prac.Act, §229–b; N.Y.Veh. & Tfc.Law §253, and it has been sanctioned by the courts even in the absence of statutory provision specifying that form of service. Zurini v. United States, 189 F.2d 722 (8th Cir. 1951); United States v. Cardillo, 135 F.Supp. 798 (W.D.Pa. 1955); Autogiro Co. v. Kay Gyroplanes, Ltd., 55 F.Supp. 919 (D.D.C. 1944). Since the reliability of postal service may vary from country to country, service by mail is proper only when it is addressed to the party to be served and a form of mail requiring a signed receipt is used. An additional safeguard is provided by the requirement that the mailing be attended to be the clerk of the court. See also the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subdivision (i) regarding proof of service by mail.

Under the applicable law it may be necessary, when the defendant is an infant or incompetent person, to deliver the summons and complaint to a guardian, committee, or similar fiduciary. In such a case it would be advisable to make service under subparagraph (A), (B), or (E).

Subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1) adds flexibility by permitting the court by order to tailor the manner of service to fit the necessities of a particular case or the peculiar requirements of the law of the country in which the service is to be made. A similar provision appears in a number of statutes, e.g., 35 U.S.C. §§146, 293; 38 U.S.C. §784(a); 46 U.S.C. §1292.

The next-to-last sentence of paragraph (1) permits service under (C) and (E) to be made by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age or who is designated by court order or by the foreign court. Cf. Rule 45(c); N.Y.Civ.Prac.Act §§233, 235. This alternative increases the possibility that the plaintiff will be able to find a process server who can proceed unimpeded in the foreign country; it also may improve the chances of enforcing the judgment in the country of service. Especially is the alternative valuable when authority for the foreign service is found in a statute or rule of court that limits the group of eligible process servers to designated officials or special appointees who, because directly connected with another “sovereign,” may be particularly offensive to the foreign country. See generally Smit, supra, at 1040–41. When recourse is had to subparagraph (A) or (B) the identity of the process server always will be determined by the law of the foreign country in which the service is made.

The last sentence of paragraph (1) sets forth an alternative manner for the issuance and transmission of the summons for service. After obtaining the summons from the clerk, the plaintiff must ascertain the best manner of delivering the summons and complaint to the person, court, or officer who will make the service. Thus the clerk is not burdened with the task of determining who is permitted to serve process under the law of a particular country or the appropriate governmental or nongovernmental channel for forwarding a letter rogatory. Under (D), however, the papers must always be posted by the clerk.

Subdivision (i)(2). When service is made in a foreign country, paragraph (2) permits methods for proof of service in addition to those prescribed by subdivision (g). Proof of service in accordance with the law of the foreign country is permitted because foreign process servers, unaccustomed to the form or the requirement of return of service prevalent in the United States, have on occasion been unwilling to execute the affidavit required by Rule 4(g). See Jones, supra, at 537; Longley, supra, at 35. As a corollary of the alternate manner of service in subdivision (i)(1)(E), proof of service as directed by order of the court is permitted. The special provision for proof of service by mail is intended as an additional safeguard when that method is used. On the type of evidence of delivery that may be satisfactory to a court in lieu of a signed receipt, see Aero Associates, Inc. v. La Metropolitana, 183 F.Supp. 357 (S.D.N.Y. 1960).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The wording of Rule 4(f) is changed to accord with the amendment of Rule 13(h) referring to Rule 19 as amended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1980 Amendment

Subdivision (a). This is a technical amendment to conform this subdivision with the amendment of subdivision (c).

Subdivision (c). The purpose of this amendment is to authorize service of process to be made by any person who is authorized to make service in actions in the courts of general jurisdiction of the state in which the district court is held or in which service is made.

There is a troublesome ambiguity in Rule 4. Rule 4(c) directs that all process is to be served by the marshal, by his deputy, or by a person specially appointed by the court. But Rule 4(d)(7) authorizes service in certain cases “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the district court is held. . . .” And Rule 4(e), which authorizes service beyond the state and service in quasi in rem cases when state law permits  such  service,  directs  that  “service  may  be made . . . under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed in the [state] statute or rule.” State statutes and rules of the kind referred to in Rule 4(d)(7) and Rule 4(e) commonly designate the persons who are to make the service provided for, e.g., a sheriff or a plaintiff. When that is so, may the persons so designated by state law make service, or is service in all cases to be made by a marshal or by one specially appointed under present Rule 4(c)? The commentators have noted the ambiguity and have suggested the desirability of an amendment. See 2 Moore's Federal Practice  4.08 (1974); Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1092 (1969). And the ambiguity has given rise to unfortunate results. See United States for the use of Tanos v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 361 F. 2d 838 (5th Cir. 1966); Veeck v. Commodity Enterprises, Inc., 487 F. 2d 423 (9th Cir. 1973).

The ambiguity can be resolved by specific amendments to Rules 4(d)(7) and 4(e), but the Committee is of the view that there is no reason why Rule 4(c) should not generally authorize service of process in all cases by anyone authorized to make service in the courts of general jurisdiction of the state in which the district court is held or in which service is made. The marshal continues to be the obvious, always effective officer for service of process.

Legislative Statement—1983 Amendment

128 Congressional Record H9848, Dec. 15, 1982

Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, in July Mr. McClory and I brought before the House a bill to delay the effective date of proposed changes in rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, dealing with service of process. The Congress enacted that legislation and delayed the effective date so that we could cure certain problems in the proposed amendments to rule 4.

Since that time, Mr. McClory and I introduced a bill, H.R. 7154, that cures those problems. It was drafted in consultation with representatives of the Department of Justice, the Judicial Conference of the United States, and others.

The Department of Justice and the Judicial Conference have endorsed the bill and have urged its prompt enactment. Indeed, the Department of Justice has indicated that the changes occasioned by the bill will facilitate its collection of debts owned to the Government.

I have a letter from the Office of Legislative Affairs of the Department of Justice supporting the bill that I will submit for the Record. Also, I am submitting for the Record a section-by-section analysis of the bill.

H.R. 7154 makes much needed changes in rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and is supported by all interested parties. I urge my colleagues to support it.


U.S. Department of Justice.          

Office of Legislative Affairs,        

Washington, D.C., December 10, 1982.      

Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr.,

Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Chairman: This is to proffer the views of the Department of Justice on H.R. 7154, the proposed Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments Act of 1982. While the agenda is extremely tight and we appreciate that fact, we do reiterate that this Department strongly endorses the enactment of H.R. 7154. We would greatly appreciate your watching for any possible way to enact this legislation expeditiously.

H.R. 7154 would amend Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to relieve effectively the United States Marshals Service of the duty of routinely serving summonses and complaints for private parties in civil actions and would thus achieve a goal this Department has long sought. Experience has shown that the Marshals Service's increasing workload and limited budget require such major relief from the burdens imposed by its role as process-server in all civil actions.

The bill would also amend Rule 4 to permit certain classes of defendants to be served by first class mail with a notice and acknowledgment of receipt form enclosed. We have previously expressed a preference for the service-by-mail provisions of the proposed amendments to Rule 4 which the Supreme Court transmitted to Congress on April 28, 1982.

The amendments proposed by the Supreme Court would permit service by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. We had regarded the Supreme Court proposal as the more efficient because it would not require and affirmative act of signing and mailing on the part of a defendant. Moreover, the Supreme Court proposal would permit the entry of a default judgment if the record contained a returned receipt showing acceptance by the defendant or a returned envelope showing refusal of the process by the defendant and subsequent service and notice by first class mail. However, critics of that system of mail service have argued that certified mail is not an effective method of providing actual notice to defendants of claims against them because signatures may be illegible or may not match the name of the defendant, or because it may be difficult to determine whether mail has been “unclaimed” or “refused,” the latter providing the sole basis for a default judgment.

As you know, in light of these criticisms the Congress enacted Public Law 97–227 (H.R. 6663) postponing the effective date of the proposed amendments to Rule 4 until October 1, 1983, so as to facilitate further review of the problem. This Department opposed the delay in the effective date, primarily because the Supreme Court's proposed amendments also contained urgently needed provisions designed to relieve the United States Marshals of the burden of serving summonses and complaints in private civil actions. In our view, these necessary relief provisions are readily separable from the issues of service by certified mail and the propriety of default judgment after service by certified mail which the Congress felt warranted additional review.

During the floor consideration of H.R. 6663 Congressman Edwards and other proponents of the delayed effective date pledged to expedite the review of the proposed amendments to Rule 4, given the need to provide prompt relief for the Marshals Service in the service of process area. In this spirit Judiciary Committee staff consulted with representatives of this Department, the Judicial Conference, and others who had voiced concern about the proposed amendments.

H.R. 7154 is the product of those consultations and accommodated the concerns of the Department in a very workable and acceptable manner.

Accordingly, we are satisfied that the provisions of H.R. 7154 merit the support of all three branches of the Federal Government and everyone else who has a stake in the fair and efficient service of process in civil actions. We urge prompt consideration of H.R. 7154 by the Committee.1

The Office of Management and Budget has advised that there is no objection to the submission of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program.

Sincerely,

Robert A. McConnell,        

Assistant Attorney General.      

______________

1 In addition to amending Rule 4, we have previously recommended: (a) amendments to 28 U.S.C. §569(b) redefining the Marshals traditional role by eliminating the statutory requirement that they serve subpoenas, as well as summonses and complaints, and; (b) amendments to 28 U.S.C. §1921 changing the manner and level in which marshal fees are charged for serving private civil process. These legislative changes are embodied in Section 10 of S. 2567 and the Department's proposed fiscal year 1983 Appropriations Authorization bill. If, in the Committee's judgment, efforts to incorporate these suggested amendments in H.R. 7154 would in any way impede consideration of the bill during the few remaining legislative days in the 97th Congress, we would urge that they be separately considered early in the 98th Congress.

H.R. 7154—Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments Act of 1982

background

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure set forth the procedures to be followed in civil actions and proceedings in United States district courts. These rules are usually amended by a process established by 28 U.S.C. 2072, often referred to as the “Rules Enabling Act”. The Rules Enabling Act provides that the Supreme Court can propose new rules of “practice and procedure” and amendments to existing rules by transmitting them to Congress after the start of a regular session but not later than May 1. The rules and amendments so proposed take effect 90 days after transmittal unless legislation to the contrary is enacted.1

On April 28, 1982, the Supreme Court transmitted to Congress several proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (which govern criminal cases and proceedings in Federal courts), and the Rules and Forms Governing Proceedings in the United States District Courts under sections 2254 and 2255 of Title 28, United States Code (which govern habeas corpus proceedings). These amendments were to have taken effect on August 1, 1982.

The amendments to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were intended primarily to relieve United States marshals of the burden of serving summonses and complaints in private civil actions. Appendix II, at 7 (Report of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure), 16 (Advisory Committee Note). The Committee received numerous complaints that the changes not only failed to achieve that goal, but that in the process the changes saddled litigators with flawed mail service, deprived litigants of the use of effective local procedures for service, and created a time limit for service replete with ambiguities that could only be resolved by costly litigation. See House Report No. 97–662, at 2–4 (1982).

In order to consider these criticisms, Congress enacted Public Law 97–227, postponing the effective date of the proposed amendments to Rule 4 until October 1, 1983.2 Accordingly, in order to help shape the policy behind, and the form of, the proposed amendments, Congress must enact legislation before October 1, 1983.3

With that deadline and purpose in mind, consultations were held with representatives of the Judicial Conference, the Department of Justice, and others who had voiced concern about the proposed amendments. H.R. 7154 is the product of those consultations. The bill seeks to effectuate the policy of relieving the Marshals Service of the duty of routinely serving summonses and complaints. It provides a system of service by mail modeled upon a system found to be effective in California, and finally, it makes appropriate stylistic, grammatical, and other changes in Rule 4.

need for the legislation

1. Current Rule 4

Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relates to the issuance and service of process. Subsection (c) authorizes service of process by personnel of the Marshals Service, by a person specially appointed by the Court, or “by a person authorized to serve process in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of the state in which the district court is held or in which service is made.” Subsection (d) describes how a summons and complaint must be served and designates those persons who must be served in cases involving specified categories of defendants. Mail service is not directly authorized. Subsection (d)(7), however, authorizes service under the law of the state in which the district court sits upon defendants described in subsections (d)(1) (certain individuals) and (d)(3) (organizations). Thus, if state law authorizes service by mail of a summons and complaint upon an individual or organization described in subsections (d)(1) or (3), then subsection (d)(7) authorizes service by mail for United States district courts in that state.4

2. Reducing the role of marshals

The Supreme Court's proposed modifications of Rule 4 were designed to alleviate the burden on the Marshals Service of serving summonses and complaints in private civil actions. Appendix II, at 7 (Report of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure), 16 (Advisory Committee Note). While the Committee received no complaints about the goal of reducing the role of the Marshals Service, the Court's proposals simply failed to achieve that goal. See House Report No. 97–662, at 2–3 (1982).

The Court's proposed Rule 4(c)(2)(B) required the Marshals Service to serve summonses and complaints “pursuant to any statutory provision expressly providing for service by a United States Marshal or his deputy.” 5 One such statutory provision is 28 U.S.C. 569(b), which compels marshals to “execute all lawful writs, process and orders issued under authority of the United States, including those of the courts * * *.” (emphasis added). Thus, any party could have invoked 28 U.S.C. 569(b) to utilize a marshal for service of a summons and complaint, thereby thwarting the intent of the new subsection to limit the use of marshals. The Justice Department acknowledges that the proposed subsection did not accomplish its objectives.6

Had 28 U.S.C. 569(b) been inconsistent with proposed Rule 4(c)(2)(B), the latter would have nullified the former under 28 U.S.C. 2072, which provides that “All laws in conflict with such rules shall be of no further force or effect after such rules have taken effect.” Since proposed Rule 4(c)(2)(B) specifically referred to statutes such as 28 U.S.C. 569(b), however, the new subsection did not conflict with 28 U.S.C. 569(b) and did not, therefore, supersede it.

H.R. 7154 cures this problem and achieves the desired reduction in the role of the Marshals Service by authorizing marshals to serve summonses and complaints “on behalf of the United States”. By so doing, H.R. 7154 eliminates the loophole in the Court's proposed language and still provides for service by marshals on behalf of the Government.7

3. Mail service

The Supreme Court's proposed subsection (d)(7) and (8) authorized, as an alternative to personal service, mail service of summonses and complaints on individuals and organizations described in subsection (d)(1) and (3), but only through registered or certified mail, restricted delivery. Critics of that system of mail service argued that registered and certified mail were not necessarily effective methods of providing actual notice to defendants of claims against them. This was so, they argued, because signatures may be illegible or may not match the name of the defendant, or because it may be difficult to determine whether mail has been “unclaimed” or “refused”, the latter apparently providing the sole basis for a default judgment.8

H.R. 7154 provides for a system of service by mail similar to the system now used in California. See Cal. Civ. Pro. §415.30 (West 1973). Service would be by ordinary mail with a notice and acknowledgment of receipt form enclosed. If the defendant returns the acknowledgment form to the sender within 20 days of mailing, the sender files the return and service is complete. If the acknowledgment is not returned within 20 days of mailing, then service must be effected through some other means provided for in the Rules.

This system of mail service avoids the notice problems created by the registered and certified mail procedures proposed by the Supreme Court. If the proper person receives the notice and returns the acknowledgment, service is complete. If the proper person does not receive the mailed form, or if the proper person receives the notice but fails to return the acknowledgment form, another method of service authorized by law is required.9 In either instance, however, the defendant will receive actual notice of the claim. In order to encourage defendants to return the acknowledgment form, the court can order a defendant who does not return it to pay the costs of service unless the defendant can show good cause for the failure to return it.

4. The local option

The Court's proposed amendments to Rule 4 deleted the provision in current subsection (d)(7) that authorizes service of a summons and complaint upon individuals and organizations “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the district court is held for the service of summons or other like process upon any such defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of that state.” The Committee received a variety of complaints about the deletion of this provision. Those in favor of preserving the local option saw no reason to forego systems of service that had been successful in achieving effective notice.10

H.R. 7154 carries forward the policy of the current rule and permits a party to serve a summons and complaint upon individuals and organizations described in Rule 4(d)(1) and (3) in accordance with the law of the state in which the district court sits. Thus, the bill authorizes four methods of serving a summons and complaint on such defendants: (1) service by a nonparty adult (Rule 4(c)(2)(A)); (2) service by personnel of the Marshals Service, if the party qualifies, such as because the party is proceeding in forma pauperis (Rule 4(c)(2)(B)); (3) service in any manner authorized by the law of the state in which the district court is held (Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(i)); or (4) service by regular mail with a notice and acknowledgment of receipt form enclosed (Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii)).11

5. Time limits

Rule 4 does not currently provide a time limit within which service must be completed. Primarily because United States marshals currently effect service of process, no time restriction has been deemed necessary. Appendix II, at 18 (Advisory Committee Note). Along with the proposed changes to subdivisions (c) and (d) to reduce the role of the Marshals Service, however, came new subdivision (j), requiring that service of a summons and complaint be made within 120 days of the filing of the complaint. If service were not accomplished within that time, proposed subdivision (j) required that the action “be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon motion or upon the court's own initiative”. Service by mail was deemed made for purposes of subdivision (j) “as of the date on which the process was accepted, refused, or returned as unclaimed”.12

H.R. 7154 adopts a policy of limiting the time to effect service. It provides that if a summons and complaint have not been served within 120 days of the filing of the complaint and the plaintiff fails to show “good cause” for not completing service within that time, then the court must dismiss the action as to the unserved defendant. H.R. 7154 ensures that a plaintiff will be notified of an attempt to dismiss the action. If dismissal for failure to serve is raised by the court upon its own motion, the legislation requires that the court provide notice to the plaintiff. If dismissal is sought by someone else, Rule 5(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that the motion be served upon the plaintiff.

Like proposed subsection (j), H.R. 7154 provides that a dismissal for failure to serve within 120 days shall be “without prejudice”. Proposed subsection (j) was criticized by some for ambiguity because, it was argued, neither the text of subsection (j) nor the Advisory Committee Note indicated whether a dismissal without prejudice would toll a statute of limitation. See House Report 97–662, at 3–4 (1982). The problem would arise when a plaintiff files the complaint within the applicable statute of limitation period but does not effect service within 120 days. If the statute of limitation period expires during that period, and if the plaintiff's action is dismissed “without prejudice”, can the plaintiff refile the complaint and maintain the action? The answer depends upon how the statute of limitation is tolled.13

If the law provides that the statute of limitation is tolled by filing and service of the complaint, then a dismissal under H.R. 7154 for failure to serve within the 120 days would, by the terms of the law controlling the tolling, bar the plaintiff from later maintaining the cause of action.14 If the law provides that the statute of limitation is tolled by filing alone, then the status of the plaintiff's cause of action turns upon the plaintiff's diligence. If the plaintiff has not been diligent, the court will dismiss the complaint for failure to serve within 120 days, and the plaintiff will be barred from later maintaining the cause of action because the statute of limitation has run. A dismissal without prejudice does not confer upon the plaintiff any rights that the plaintiff does not otherwise possess and leaves a plaintiff whose action has been dismissed in the same position as if the action had never been filed.15 If, on the other hand, the plaintiff has made reasonable efforts to effect service, then the plaintiff can move under Rule 6(b) to enlarge the time within which to serve or can oppose dismissal for failure to serve. A court would undoubtedly permit such a plaintiff additional time within which to effect service. Thus, a diligent plaintiff can preserve the cause of action. This result is consistent with the policy behind the time limit for service and with statutes of limitation, both of which are designed to encourage prompt movement of civil actions in the federal courts.

6. Conforming and clarifying subsections (d)(4) and (5)

Current subsections (d)(4) and (5) prescribe which persons must be served in cases where an action is brought against the United States or an officer or agency of the United States. Under subsection (d)(4), where the United States is the named defendant, service must be made as follows: (1) personal service upon the United States attorney, an assistant United States attorney, or a designated clerical employee of the United States attorney in the district in which the action is brought; (2) registered or certified mail service to the Attorney General of the United States in Washington, D.C.; and (3) registered or certified mail service to the appropriate officer or agency if the action attacks an order of that officer or agency but does not name the officer or agency as a defendant. Under subsection (d)(5), where an officer or agency of the United States is named as a defendant, service must be made as in subsection (d)(4), except that personal service upon the officer or agency involved is required.16

The time limit for effecting service in H.R. 7154 would present significant difficulty to a plaintiff who has to arrange for personal service upon an officer or agency that may be thousands of miles away. There is little reason to require different types of service when the officer or agency is named as a party, and H.R. 7154 therefore conforms the manner of service under subsection (d)(5) to the manner of service under subsection (d)(4).

Section-by-Section Analysis

section 1

Section 1 provides that the short title of the bill is the “Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments Act of 1982”.

section 2

Section 2 of the bill consists of 7 numbered paragraphs, each amending a different part of Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Paragraph (1) deletes the requirement in present Rule 4(a) that a summons be delivered for service to the marshal or other person authorized to serve it. As amended by the legislation, Rule 4(a) provides that the summons be delivered to “the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, who shall be responsible for prompt service of the summons and complaint”. This change effectuates the policy proposed by the Supreme Court. See Appendix II, at — (Advisory Committee Note).

Paragraph (2) amends current Rule 4(c), which deals with the service of process. New Rule 4(c)(1) requires that all process, other than a subpoena or a summons and complaint, be served by the Marshals Service or by a person especially appointed for that purpose. Thus, the Marshals Service or persons specially appointed will continue to serve all process other than subpoenas and summonses and complaints, a policy identical to that proposed by the Supreme Court. See Appendix II, at 8 (Report of the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure). The service of subpoenas is governed by Rule 45,17 and the service of summonses and complaints is governed by new Rule 4(c)(2).

New Rule 4(c)(2)(A) sets forth the general rule that summonses and complaints shall be served by someone who is at least 18 years old and not a party to the action or proceeding. This is consistent with the Court's proposal. Appendix II, at 16 (Advisory Committee Note). Subparagraphs (B) and (C) of new Rule 4(c)(2) set forth exceptions to this general rule.

Subparagraph (B) sets forth 3 exceptions to the general rule. First, subparagraph (B)(i) requires the Marshals Service (or someone specially appointed by the court) to serve summonses and complaints on behalf of a party proceeding in forma pauperis or a seaman authorized to proceed under 28 U.S.C. 1916. This is identical to the Supreme Court's proposal. See Appendix II, at 3 (text of proposed rule), 16 (Advisory Committee Note). Second, subparagraph (B)(ii) requires the Marshals Service (or someone specially appointed by the court) to serve a summons and complaint when the court orders the marshals to do so in order properly to effect service in that particular action.18 This, except for nonsubstantive changes in phrasing, is identical to the Supreme Court's proposal. See Appendix II, at 3 (text of proposed rule), 16 (Advisory Committee Note).

Subparagraph (C) of new Rule 4(c)(2) provides 2 exceptions to the general rule of service by a nonparty adult. These exceptions apply only when the summons and complaint is to be served upon persons described in Rule 4(d)(1) (certain individuals) or Rule 4(d)(3) (organizations).19 First, subparagraph (C)(i) permits service of a summons and complaint in a manner authorized by the law of the state in which the court sits. This restates the option to follow local law currently found in Rule 4(d)(7) and would authorize service by mail if the state law so allowed. The method of mail service in that instance would, of course, be the method permitted by state law.

Second, subparagraph (C)(ii) permits service of a summons and complaint by regular mail. The sender must send to the defendant, by first-class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of the summons and complaint, together with 2 copies of a notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint form and a postage prepaid return envelope addressed to the sender. If a copy of the notice and acknowledgment form is not received by the sender within 20 days after the date of mailing, then service must be made under Rule 4(c)(2)(A) or (B) (i.e., by a nonparty adult or, if the person qualifies,20 by personnel of the Marshals Service or a person specially appointed by the court) in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(d)(1) or (3) (i.e., personal or substituted service).

New Rule 4(c)(2)(D) permits a court to penalize a person who avoids service by mail. It authorizes the court to order a person who does not return the notice and acknowledgment form within 20 days after mailing to pay the costs of service, unless that person can show good cause for failing to return the form. The purpose of this provision is to encourage the prompt return of the form so that the action can move forward without unnecessary delay. Fairness requires that a person who causes another additional and unnecessary expense in effecting service ought to reimburse the party who was forced to bear the additional expense.

Subparagraph (E) of rule 4(c)(2) requires that the notice and acknowledgment form described in new Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii) be executed under oath or affirmation. This provision tracks the language of 28 U.S.C. 1746, which permits the use of unsworn declarations under penalty of perjury whenever an oath or affirmation is required. Statements made under penalty of perjury are subject to 18 U.S,C. 1621(2), which provides felony penalties for someone who “willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true”. The requirement that the form be executed under oath or affirmation is intended to encourage truthful submissions to the court, as the information contained in the form is important to the parties.21

New Rule 4(c)(3) authorizes the court freely to make special appointments to serve summonses and complaints under Rule 4(c)(2)(B) and all other process under Rule 4(c)(1). This carries forward the policy of present Rule 4(c).

Paragraph (3) of section 2 of the bill makes a non-substantive change in the caption of Rule 4(d) in order to reflect more accurately the provisions of Rule 4(d). Paragraph (3) also deletes a provision on service of a summons and complaint pursuant to state law. This provision is redundant in view of new Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(i).

Paragraph (4) of section 2 of the bill conforms Rule 4(d)(5) to present Rule 4(d)(4). Rule 4(d)(5) is amended to provide that service upon a named defendant agency or officer of the United States shall be made by “sending” a copy of the summons and complaint “by registered or certified mail” to the defendant.22 Rule 4(d)(5) currently provides for service by “delivering” the copies to the defendant, but 28 U.S.C. 1391(e) authorizes delivery upon a defendant agency or officer outside of the district in which the action is brought by means of certified mail. Hence, the change is not a marked departure from current practice.

Paragraph (5) of section 2 of the bill amends the caption of Rule 4(e) in order to describe subdivision (e) more accurately.

Paragraph (6) of section 2 of the bill amends Rule 4(g), which deals with return of service. Present rule 4(g) is not changed except to provide that, if service is made pursuant to the new system of mail service (Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii)), the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney must file with the court the signed acknowledgment form returned by the person served.

Paragraph (7) of section 2 of the bill adds new subsection (j) to provide a time limitation for the service of a summons and complaint. New Rule 4(j) retains the Supreme Court's requirement that a summons and complaint be served within 120 days of the filing of the complaint. See Appendix II, at 18 (Advisory Committee Note).23 The plaintiff must be notified of an effort or intention to dismiss the action. This notification is mandated by subsection (j) if the dismissal is being raised on the court's own initiative and will be provided pursuant to Rule 5 (which requires service of motions upon the adverse party) if the dismissal is sought by someone else.24 The plaintiff may move under Rule 6(b) to enlarge the time period. See Appendix II, at 1d. (Advisory Committee Note). If service is not made within the time period or enlarged time period, however, and if the plaintiff fails to show “good cause” for not completing service, then the court must dismiss the action as to the unserved defendant. The dismissal is “without prejudice”. The term “without prejudice” means that the dismissal does not constitute an adjudication of the merits of the complaint. A dismissal “without prejudice” leaves a plaintiff whose action has been dismissed in the position in which that person would have been if the action had never been filed.

section 3

Section 3 of the bill amends the Appendix of Forms at the end of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by adding a new form 18A, “Notice and Acknowledgment for Service by Mail”. This new form is required by new Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii), which requires that the notice and acknowledgment form used with service by regular mail conform substantially to Form 18A.

Form 18A as set forth in section 3 of the bill is modeled upon a form used in California.25 It contains 2 parts. The first part is a notice to the person being served that tells that person that the enclosed summons and complaint is being served pursuant to Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii); advises that person to sign and date the acknowledgment form and indicate the authority to receive service if the person served is not the party to the action (e.g., the person served is an officer of the organization being served); and warns that failure to return the form to the sender within 20 days may result in the court ordering the party being served to pay the expenses involved in effecting service. The notice also warns that if the complaint is not responded to within 20 days, a default judgment can be entered against the party being served. The notice is dated under penalty of perjury by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney.26

The second part of the form contains the acknowledgment of receipt of the summons and complaint. The person served must declare on this part of the form, under penalty of perjury, the date and place of service and the person's authority to receive service.

section 4

Section 4 of the bill provides that the changes in Rule 4 made by H.R. 7154 will take effect 45 days after enactment, thereby giving the bench and bar, as well as other interested persons and organizations (such as the Marshals Service), an opportunity to prepare to implement the changes made by the legislation. The delayed effective date means that service of process issued before the effective date will be made in accordance with current Rule 4. Accordingly, all process in the hands of the Marshals Service prior to the effective date will be served by the Marshals Service under the present rule.

section 5

Section 5 of the bill provides that the amendments to Rule 4 proposed by the Supreme Court (whose effective date was postponed by Public Law 97–227) shall not take effect. This is necessary because under Public Law 97–227 the proposed amendments will take effect on October 1, 1983.

______________

1 The drafting of the rules and amendments is actually done by a committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In the case of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the initial draft is prepared by the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. The Advisory Committee's draft is then reviewed by the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, which must give its approval to the draft. Any draft approved by that committee is forwarded to the Judicial Conference. If the Judicial Conference approves the draft, it forwards the draft to the Supreme Court. The Judicial Conference's role in the rule-making process is defined by 28 U.S.C. 331.

For background information about how the Judicial Conference committees operate, see Wright, “Procedural Reform: Its Limitation and Its Future,” 1 Ga.L.Rev. 563, 565–66 (1967) (civil rules); statement of United States District Judge Roszel C. Thomsen, Hearings on Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Committee on the Judiciary, 93d Cong., 2d Sess. at 25 (1974) (criminal rules); statement of United States Circuit Judge J. Edward Lumbard, id. at 203 (criminal rules); J. Weinstein, Reform of Federal Court Rulemaking Procedure (1977); Weinstein, “Reform of Federal Rulemaking Procedures,” 76 Colum.L.Rev. 905 (1976).

2 All of the other amendments, including all of the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Rules and Forms Governing Proceedings in the United States District Courts under sections 2254 and 2255 of Title 28, United States Code, took effect on August 1, 1982, as scheduled.

3 The President has urged Congress to act promptly. See President's Statement on Signing H.R. 6663 into Law, 18 Weekly Comp. of Pres. Doc. 982 (August 2, 1982).

4 Where service of a summons is to be made upon a party who is neither an inhabitant of, nor found within, the state where the district court sits, subsection (e) authorizes service under a state statute or rule of court that provides for service upon such a party. This would authorize mail service if the state statute or rule of court provided for service by mail.

5 The Court's proposal authorized service by the Marshals Service in other situations. This authority, however, was not seen as thwarting the underlying policy of limiting the use of marshals. See Appendix II, at 16, 17 (Advisory Committee Note).

6 Appendix I, at 2 (letter of Assistant Attorney General Robert A. McConnell).

7 The provisions of H.R. 7154 conflict with 28 U.S.C. 569(b) because the latter is a broader command to marshals to serve all federal court process. As a later statutory enactment, however, H.R. 7154 supersedes 28 U.S.C. 569(b), thereby achieving the goal of reducing the role of marshals.

8 Proposed Rule 4(d)(8) provided that “Service . . . shall not be the basis for the entry of a default or a judgment by default unless the record contains a return receipt showing acceptance by the defendant or a returned envelope showing refusal of the process by the defendant.” This provision reflects a desire to preclude default judgments on unclaimed mail. See Appendix II, at 7 (Report of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure).

The interpretation of Rule 4(d)(8) to require a refusal of delivery in order to have a basis for a default judgment, while undoubtedly the interpretation intended and the interpretation that reaches the fairest result, may not be the only possible interpretation. Since a default judgment can be entered for defendant's failure to respond to the complaint once defendant has been served and the time to answer the complaint has run, it can be argued that a default judgment can be obtained where the mail was unclaimed because proposed subsection (j), which authorized dismissal of a complaint not served within 120 days, provided that mail service would be deemed made “on the date on which the process was accepted, refused, or returned as unclaimed” (emphasis added).

9 See p. 15 infra.

10 Proponents of the California system of mail service, in particular, saw no reason to supplant California's proven method of mail service with a certified mail service that they believed likely to result in default judgments without actual notice to defendants. See House Report No. 97–662, at 3 (1982).

11 The parties may, of course, stipulate to service, as is frequently done now.

12 While return of the letter as unclaimed was deemed service for the purpose of determining whether the plaintiff's action could be dismissed, return of the letter as unclaimed was not service for the purpose of entry of a default judgment against the defendant. See note 8 supra.

13 The law governing the tolling of a statute of limitation depends upon the type of civil action involved. In adversity action, state law governs tolling. Walker v. Armco Steel Corp., 446 U.S. 740 (1980). In Walker, plaintiff had filed his complaint and thereby commenced the action under Rule 3 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure within the statutory period. He did not, however, serve the summons and complaint until after the statutory period had run. The Court held that state law (which required both filing and service within the statutory period) governed, barring plaintiff's action.

In the federal question action, the courts of appeals have generally held that Rule 3 governs, so that the filing of the complaint tolls a statute of limitation. United States v. Wahl, 538 F.2d 285 (6th Cir. 1978); Windbrooke Dev. Co. v. Environmental Enterprises Inc. of Fla., 524 F.2d 461 (5th Cir. 1975); Metropolitan Paving Co. v. International Union of Operating Engineers, 439 F.2d 300 (10th Cir. 1971); Moore Co. v. Sid Richardson Carbon & Gasoline Co., 347 F.2d 921 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 383 U.S. 925, reh. denied, 384 U.S. 914 (1965); Hoffman v. Halden, 268 F.2d 280 (9th Cir. 1959). The continued validity of this line of cases, however, must be questioned in light of the Walker case, even though the Court in that case expressly reserved judgment about federal question actions, see Walker v. Armco Steel Corp., 446 U.S. 741, 751 n.11 (1980).

14 The same result obtains even if service occurs within the 120 day period, if the service occurs after the statute of limitation has run.

15 See p. 19 infra.

16 See p. 17 infra.

17 Rule 45(c) provides that “A subpoena may be served by the marshal, by his deputy, or by any other person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age.”

18 Some litigators have voiced concern that there may be situations in which personal service by someone other than a member of the Marshals Service may present a risk of injury to the person attempting to make the service. For example, a hostile defendant may have a history of injuring persons attempting to serve process. Federal judges undoubtedly will consider the risk of harm to private persons who would be making personal service when deciding whether to order the Marshals Service to make service under Rule 4(c)(2)(B)(iii).

19 The methods of service authorized by Rule 4(c)(2)(C) may be invoked by any person seeking to effect service. Thus, a nonparty adult who receives the summons and complaint for service under Rule 4(c)(1) may serve them personally or by mail in the manner authorized by Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii). Similarly, the Marshals Service may utilize the mail service authorized by Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii) when serving a summons and complaint under Rule 4(c)(2)(B)(i)(iii). When serving a summons and complaint under Rule 4(c)(2)(B)(ii), however, the Marshals Service must serve in the manner set forth in the court's order. If no particular manner of service is specified, then the Marshals Service may utilize Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii). It would not seem to be appropriate, however, for the Marshals Service to utilize Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii) in a situation where a previous attempt to serve by mail failed. Thus, it would not seem to be appropriate for the Marshals Service to attempt service by regular mail when serving a summons and complaint on behalf of a plaintiff who is proceeding in forma pauperis if that plaintiff previously attempted unsuccessfully to serve the defendant by mail.

20 To obtain service by personnel of the Marshals Service or someone specially appointed by the court, a plaintiff who has unsuccessfully attempted mail service under Rule 4(c)(2)(C)(ii) must meet the conditions of Rule 4(c)(2)(B)—for example, the plaintiff must be proceeding in forma pauperis.

21 For example, the sender must state the date of mailing on the form. If the form is not returned to the sender within 20 days of that date, then the plaintiff must serve the defendant in another manner and the defendant may be liable for the costs of such service. Thus, a defendant would suffer the consequences of a misstatement about the date of mailing.

22 See p. 12 supra.

23 The 120 day period begins to run upon the filing of each complaint. Thus, where a defendant files a cross-claim against the plaintiff, the 120 day period begins to run upon the filing of the cross-complaint, not upon the filing of the plaintiff's complaint initiating the action.

24 The person who may move to dismiss can be the putative defendant (i.e., the person named as defendant in the complaint filed with the court) or, in multi-party actions, another party to the action. (If the putative defendant moves to dismiss and the failure to effect service is due to that person's evasion of service, a court should not dismiss because the plaintiff has “good cause” for not completing service.)

25 See Cal. Civ. Pro. §415.30 (West 1973).

26 See p. 16 supra.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Purposes of Revision. The general purpose of this revision is to facilitate the service of the summons and complaint. The revised rule explicitly authorizes a means for service of the summons and complaint on any defendant. While the methods of service so authorized always provide appropriate notice to persons against whom claims are made, effective service under this rule does not assure that personal jurisdiction has been established over the defendant served.

First, the revised rule authorizes the use of any means of service provided by the law not only of the forum state, but also of the state in which a defendant is served, unless the defendant is a minor or incompetent.

Second, the revised rule clarifies and enhances the cost-saving practice of securing the assent of the defendant to dispense with actual service of the summons and complaint. This practice was introduced to the rule in 1983 by an act of Congress authorizing “service-by-mail,” a procedure that effects economic service with cooperation of the defendant. Defendants that magnify costs of service by requiring expensive service not necessary to achieve full notice of an action brought against them are required to bear the wasteful costs. This provision is made available in actions against defendants who cannot be served in the districts in which the actions are brought.

Third, the revision reduces the hazard of commencing an action against the United States or its officers, agencies, and corporations. A party failing to effect service on all the offices of the United States as required by the rule is assured adequate time to cure defects in service.

Fourth, the revision calls attention to the important effect of the Hague Convention and other treaties bearing on service of documents in foreign countries and favors the use of internationally agreed means of service. In some respects, these treaties have facilitated service in foreign countries but are not fully known to the bar.

Finally, the revised rule extends the reach of federal courts to impose jurisdiction over the person of all defendants against whom federal law claims are made and who can be constitutionally subjected to the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States. The present territorial limits on the effectiveness of service to subject a defendant to the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant's person are retained for all actions in which there is a state in which personal jurisdiction can be asserted consistently with state law and the Fourteenth Amendment. A new provision enables district courts to exercise jurisdiction, if permissible under the Constitution and not precluded by statute, when a federal claim is made against a defendant not subject to the jurisdiction of any single state.

The revised rule is reorganized to make its provisions more accessible to those not familiar with all of them. Additional subdivisions in this rule allow for more captions; several overlaps among subdivisions are eliminated; and several disconnected provisions are removed, to be relocated in a new Rule 4.1.

The Caption of the Rule. Prior to this revision, Rule 4 was entitled “Process” and applied to the service of not only the summons but also other process as well, although these are not covered by the revised rule. Service of process in eminent domain proceedings is governed by Rule 71A. Service of a subpoena is governed by Rule 45, and service of papers such as orders, motions, notices, pleadings, and other documents is governed by Rule 5.

The revised rule is entitled “Summons” and applies only to that form of legal process. Unless service of the summons is waived, a summons must be served whenever a person is joined as a party against whom a claim is made. Those few provisions of the former rule which relate specifically to service of process other than a summons are relocated in Rule 4.1 in order to simplify the text of this rule.

Subdivision (a). Revised subdivision (a) contains most of the language of the former subdivision (b). The second sentence of the former subdivision (b) has been stricken, so that the federal court summons will be the same in all cases. Few states now employ distinctive requirements of form for a summons and the applicability of such a requirement in federal court can only serve as a trap for an unwary party or attorney. A sentence is added to this subdivision authorizing an amendment of a summons. This sentence replaces the rarely used former subdivision 4(h). See 4A Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §1131 (2d ed. 1987).

Subdivision (b). Revised subdivision (b) replaces the former subdivision (a). The revised text makes clear that the responsibility for filling in the summons falls on the plaintiff, not the clerk of the court. If there are multiple defendants, the plaintiff may secure issuance of a summons for each defendant, or may serve copies of a single original bearing the names of multiple defendants if the addressee of the summons is effectively identified.

Subdivision (c). Paragraph (1) of revised subdivision (c) retains language from the former subdivision (d)(1). Paragraph (2) retains language from the former subdivision (a), and adds an appropriate caution regarding the time limit for service set forth in subdivision (m).

The 1983 revision of Rule 4 relieved the marshals’ offices of much of the burden of serving the summons. Subdivision (c) eliminates the requirement for service by the marshal's office in actions in which the party seeking service is the United States. The United States, like other civil litigants, is now permitted to designate any person who is 18 years of age and not a party to serve its summons.

The court remains obligated to appoint a marshal, a deputy, or some other person to effect service of a summons in two classes of cases specified by statute: actions brought in forma pauperis or by a seaman. 28 U.S.C. §§1915, 1916. The court also retains discretion to appoint a process server on motion of a party. If a law enforcement presence appears to be necessary or advisable to keep the peace, the court should appoint a marshal or deputy or other official person to make the service. The Department of Justice may also call upon the Marshals Service to perform services in actions brought by the United States. 28 U.S.C. §651.

Subdivision (d). This text is new, but is substantially derived from the former subdivisions (c)(2)(C) and (D), added to the rule by Congress in 1983. The aims of the provision are to eliminate the costs of service of a summons on many parties and to foster cooperation among adversaries and counsel. The rule operates to impose upon the defendant those costs that could have been avoided if the defendant had cooperated reasonably in the manner prescribed. This device is useful in dealing with defendants who are furtive, who reside in places not easily reached by process servers, or who are outside the United States and can be served only at substantial and unnecessary expense. Illustratively, there is no useful purpose achieved by requiring a plaintiff to comply with all the formalities of service in a foreign country, including costs of translation, when suing a defendant manufacturer, fluent in English, whose products are widely distributed in the United States. See Bankston v. Toyota Motor Corp., 889 F.2d 172 (8th Cir. 1989).

The former text described this process as service-by-mail. This language misled some plaintiffs into thinking that service could be effected by mail without the affirmative cooperation of the defendant. E.g., Gulley v. Mayo Foundation, 886 F.2d 161 (8th Cir. 1989). It is more accurate to describe the communication sent to the defendant as a request for a waiver of formal service.

The request for waiver of service may be sent only to defendants subject to service under subdivision (e), (f), or (h). The United States is not expected to waive service for the reason that its mail receiving facilities are inadequate to assure that the notice is actually received by the correct person in the Department of Justice. The same principle is applied to agencies, corporations, and officers of the United States and to other governments and entities subject to service under subdivision (j). Moreover, there are policy reasons why governmental entities should not be confronted with the potential for bearing costs of service in cases in which they ultimately prevail. Infants or incompetent persons likewise are not called upon to waive service because, due to their presumed inability to understand the request and its consequences, they must generally be served through fiduciaries.

It was unclear whether the former rule authorized mailing of a request for “acknowledgement of service” to defendants outside the forum state. See 1 R. Casad, Jurisdiction in Civil Actions (2d Ed.) 5–29, 30 (1991) and cases cited. But, as Professor Casad observed, there was no reason not to employ this device in an effort to obtain service outside the state, and there are many instances in which it was in fact so used, with respect both to defendants within the United States and to defendants in other countries.

The opportunity for waiver has distinct advantages to a foreign defendant. By waiving service, the defendant can reduce the costs that may ultimately be taxed against it if unsuccessful in the lawsuit, including the sometimes substantial expense of translation that may be wholly unnecessary for defendants fluent in English. Moreover, a foreign defendant that waives service is afforded substantially more time to defend against the action than if it had been formally served: under Rule 12, a defendant ordinarily has only 20 days after service in which to file its answer or raise objections by motion, but by signing a waiver it is allowed 90 days after the date the request for waiver was mailed in which to submit its defenses. Because of the additional time needed for mailing and the unreliability of some foreign mail services, a period of 60 days (rather than the 30 days required for domestic transmissions) is provided for a return of a waiver sent to a foreign country.

It is hoped that, since transmission of the notice and waiver forms is a private nonjudicial act, does not purport to effect service, and is not accompanied by any summons or directive from a court, use of the procedure will not offend foreign sovereignties, even those that have withheld their assent to formal service by mail or have objected to the “service-by-mail” provisions of the former rule. Unless the addressee consents, receipt of the request under the revised rule does not give rise to any obligation to answer the lawsuit, does not provide a basis for default judgment, and does not suspend the statute of limitations in those states where the period continues to run until service. Nor are there any adverse consequences to a foreign defendant, since the provisions for shifting the expense of service to a defendant that declines to waive service apply only if the plaintiff and defendant are both located in the United States.

With respect to a defendant located in a foreign country like the United Kingdom, which accepts documents in English, whose Central Authority acts promptly in effecting service, and whose policies discourage its residents from waiving formal service, there will be little reason for a plaintiff to send the notice and request under subdivision (d) rather than use convention methods. On the other hand, the procedure offers significant potential benefits to a plaintiff when suing a defendant that, though fluent in English, is located in a country where, as a condition to formal service under a convention, documents must be translated into another language or where formal service will be otherwise costly or time-consuming.

Paragraph (1) is explicit that a timely waiver of service of a summons does not prejudice the right of a defendant to object by means of a motion authorized by Rule 12(b)(2) to the absence of jurisdiction over the defendant's person, or to assert other defenses that may be available. The only issues eliminated are those involving the sufficiency of the summons or the sufficiency of the method by which it is served.

Paragraph (2) states what the present rule implies: the defendant has a duty to avoid costs associated with the service of a summons not needed to inform the defendant regarding the commencement of an action. The text of the rule also sets forth the requirements for a Notice and Request for Waiver sufficient to put the cost-shifting provision in place. These requirements are illustrated in Forms 1A and 1B, which replace the former Form 18–A.

Paragraph (2)(A) is explicit that a request for waiver of service by a corporate defendant must be addressed to a person qualified to receive service. The general mail rooms of large organizations cannot be required to identify the appropriate individual recipient for an institutional summons.

Paragraph (2)(B) permits the use of alternatives to the United States mails in sending the Notice and Request. While private messenger services or electronic communications may be more expensive than the mail, they may be equally reliable and on occasion more convenient to the parties. Especially with respect to transmissions to foreign countries, alternative means may be desirable, for in some countries facsimile transmission is the most efficient and economical means of communication. If electronic means such as facsimile transmission are employed, the sender should maintain a record of the transmission to assure proof of transmission if receipt is denied, but a party receiving such a transmission has a duty to cooperate and cannot avoid liability for the resulting cost of formal service if the transmission is prevented at the point of receipt.

A defendant failing to comply with a request for waiver shall be given an opportunity to show good cause for the failure, but sufficient cause should be rare. It is not a good cause for failure to waive service that the claim is unjust or that the court lacks jurisdiction. Sufficient cause not to shift the cost of service would exist, however, if the defendant did not receive the request or was insufficiently literate in English to understand it. It should be noted that the provisions for shifting the cost of service apply only if the plaintiff and the defendant are both located in the United States, and accordingly a foreign defendant need not show “good cause” for its failure to waive service.

Paragraph (3) extends the time for answer if, before being served with process, the defendant waives formal service. The extension is intended to serve as an inducement to waive service and to assure that a defendant will not gain any delay by declining to waive service and thereby causing the additional time needed to effect service. By waiving service, a defendant is not called upon to respond to the complaint until 60 days from the date the notice was sent to it—90 days if the notice was sent to a foreign country—rather than within the 20 day period from date of service specified in Rule 12.

Paragraph (4) clarifies the effective date of service when service is waived; the provision is needed to resolve an issue arising when applicable law requires service of process to toll the statute of limitations. E.g., Morse v. Elmira Country Club, 752 F.2d 35 (2d Cir. 1984). Cf. Walker v. Armco Steel Corp., 446 U.S. 740 (1980).

The provisions in former subdivision (c)(2)(C)(ii) of this rule may have been misleading to some parties. Some plaintiffs, not reading the rule carefully, supposed that receipt by the defendant of the mailed complaint had the effect both of establishing the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant's person and of tolling the statute of limitations in actions in which service of the summons is required to toll the limitations period. The revised rule is clear that, if the waiver is not returned and filed, the limitations period under such a law is not tolled and the action will not otherwise proceed until formal service of process is effected.

Some state limitations laws may toll an otherwise applicable statute at the time when the defendant receives notice of the action. Nevertheless, the device of requested waiver of service is not suitable if a limitations period which is about to expire is not tolled by filing the action. Unless there is ample time, the plaintiff should proceed directly to the formal methods for service identified in subdivisions (e), (f), or (h).

The procedure of requesting waiver of service should also not be used if the time for service under subdivision (m) will expire before the date on which the waiver must be returned. While a plaintiff has been allowed additional time for service in that situation, e.g., Prather v. Raymond Constr. Co., 570 F. Supp. 278 (N.D. Ga. 1983), the court could refuse a request for additional time unless the defendant appears to have evaded service pursuant to subdivision (e) or (h). It may be noted that the presumptive time limit for service under subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country.

Paragraph (5) is a cost-shifting provision retained from the former rule. The costs that may be imposed on the defendant could include, for example, the cost of the time of a process server required to make contact with a defendant residing in a guarded apartment house or residential development. The paragraph is explicit that the costs of enforcing the cost-shifting provision are themselves recoverable from a defendant who fails to return the waiver. In the absence of such a provision, the purpose of the rule would be frustrated by the cost of its enforcement, which is likely to be high in relation to the small benefit secured by the plaintiff.

Some plaintiffs may send a notice and request for waiver and, without waiting for return of the waiver, also proceed with efforts to effect formal service on the defendant. To discourage this practice, the cost-shifting provisions in paragraphs (2) and (5) are limited to costs of effecting service incurred after the time expires for the defendant to return the waiver. Moreover, by returning the waiver within the time allowed and before being served with process, a defendant receives the benefit of the longer period for responding to the complaint afforded for waivers under paragraph (3).

Subdivision (e). This subdivision replaces former subdivisions (c)(2)(C)(i) and (d)(1). It provides a means for service of summons on individuals within a judicial district of the United States. Together with subdivision (f), it provides for service on persons anywhere, subject to constitutional and statutory constraints.

Service of the summons under this subdivision does not conclusively establish the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant. A defendant may assert the territorial limits of the court's reach set forth in subdivision (k), including the constitutional limitations that may be imposed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Paragraph (1) authorizes service in any judicial district in conformity with state law. This paragraph sets forth the language of former subdivision (c)(2)(C)(i), which authorized the use of the law of the state in which the district court sits, but adds as an alternative the use of the law of the state in which the service is effected.

Paragraph (2) retains the text of the former subdivision (d)(1) and authorizes the use of the familiar methods of personal or abode service or service on an authorized agent in any judicial district.

To conform to these provisions, the former subdivision (e) bearing on proceedings against parties not found within the state is stricken. Likewise stricken is the first sentence of the former subdivision (f), which had restricted the authority of the federal process server to the state in which the district court sits.

Subdivision (f). This subdivision provides for service on individuals who are in a foreign country, replacing the former subdivision (i) that was added to Rule 4 in 1963. Reflecting the pattern of Rule 4 in incorporating state law limitations on the exercise of jurisdiction over persons, the former subdivision (i) limited service outside the United States to cases in which extraterritorial service was authorized by state or federal law. The new rule eliminates the requirement of explicit authorization. On occasion, service in a foreign country was held to be improper for lack of statutory authority. E.g., Martens v. Winder, 341 F.2d 197 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 382 U.S. 937 (1965). This authority, however, was found to exist by implication. E.g., SEC v. VTR, Inc., 39 F.R.D. 19 (S.D.N.Y. 1966). Given the substantial increase in the number of international transactions and events that are the subject of litigation in federal courts, it is appropriate to infer a general legislative authority to effect service on defendants in a foreign country.

A secondary effect of this provision for foreign service of a federal summons is to facilitate the use of federal long-arm law in actions brought to enforce the federal law against defendants who cannot be served under any state law but who can be constitutionally subjected to the jurisdiction of the federal court. Such a provision is set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (k) of this rule, applicable only to persons not subject to the territorial jurisdiction of any particular state.

Paragraph (1) gives effect to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents, which entered into force for the United States on February 10, 1969. See 28 U.S.C.A., Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 (Supp. 1986). This Convention is an important means of dealing with problems of service in a foreign country. See generally 1 B. Ristau, International Judicial Assistance §§4–1–1 to 4–5–2 (1990). Use of the Convention procedures, when available, is mandatory if documents must be transmitted abroad to effect service. See Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694 (1988) (noting that voluntary use of these procedures may be desirable even when service could constitutionally be effected in another manner); J. Weis, The Federal Rules and the Hague Conventions: Concerns of Conformity and Comity, 50 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 903 (1989). Therefore, this paragraph provides that, when service is to be effected outside a judicial district of the United States, the methods of service appropriate under an applicable treaty shall be employed if available and if the treaty so requires.

The Hague Convention furnishes safeguards against the abridgment of rights of parties through inadequate notice. Article 15 provides for verification of actual notice or a demonstration that process was served by a method prescribed by the internal laws of the foreign state before a default judgment may be entered. Article 16 of the Convention also enables the judge to extend the time for appeal after judgment if the defendant shows a lack of adequate notice either to defend or to appeal the judgment, or has disclosed a prima facie case on the merits.

The Hague Convention does not specify a time within which a foreign country's Central Authority must effect service, but Article 15 does provide that alternate methods may be used if a Central Authority does not respond within six months. Generally, a Central Authority can be expected to respond much more quickly than that limit might permit, but there have been occasions when the signatory state was dilatory or refused to cooperate for substantive reasons. In such cases, resort may be had to the provision set forth in subdivision (f)(3).

Two minor changes in the text reflect the Hague Convention. First, the term “letter of request” has been added. Although these words are synonymous with “letter rogatory,” “letter of request” is preferred in modern usage. The provision should not be interpreted to authorize use of a letter of request when there is in fact no treaty obligation on the receiving country to honor such a request from this country or when the United States does not extend diplomatic recognition to the foreign nation. Second, the passage formerly found in subdivision (i)(1)(B), “when service in either case is reasonably calculated to give actual notice,” has been relocated.

Paragraph (2) provides alternative methods for use when internationally agreed methods are not intended to be exclusive, or where there is no international agreement applicable. It contains most of the language formerly set forth in subdivision (i) of the rule. Service by methods that would violate foreign law is not generally authorized. Subparagraphs (A) and (B) prescribe the more appropriate methods for conforming to local practice or using a local authority. Subparagraph (C) prescribes other methods authorized by the former rule.

Paragraph (3) authorizes the court to approve other methods of service not prohibited by international agreements. The Hague Convention, for example, authorizes special forms of service in cases of urgency if convention methods will not permit service within the time required by the circumstances. Other circumstances that might justify the use of additional methods include the failure of the foreign country's Central Authority to effect service within the six-month period provided by the Convention, or the refusal of the Central Authority to serve a complaint seeking punitive damages or to enforce the antitrust laws of the United States. In such cases, the court may direct a special method of service not explicitly authorized by international agreement if not prohibited by the agreement. Inasmuch as our Constitution requires that reasonable notice be given, an earnest effort should be made to devise a method of communication that is consistent with due process and minimizes offense to foreign law. A court may in some instances specially authorize use of ordinary mail. Cf. Levin v. Ruby Trading Corp., 248 F. Supp. 537 (S.D.N.Y. 1965).

Subdivision (g). This subdivision retains the text of former subdivision (d)(2). Provision is made for service upon an infant or incompetent person in a foreign country.

Subdivision (h). This subdivision retains the text of former subdivision (d)(3), with changes reflecting those made in subdivision (e). It also contains the provisions for service on a corporation or association in a foreign country, as formerly found in subdivision (i).

Frequent use should be made of the Notice and Request procedure set forth in subdivision (d) in actions against corporations. Care must be taken, however, to address the request to an individual officer or authorized agent of the corporation. It is not effective use of the Notice and Request procedure if the mail is sent undirected to the mail room of the organization.

Subdivision (i). This subdivision retains much of the text of former subdivisions (d)(4) and (d)(5). Paragraph (1) provides for service of a summons on the United States; it amends former subdivision (d)(4) to permit the United States attorney to be served by registered or certified mail. The rule does not authorize the use of the Notice and Request procedure of revised subdivision (d) when the United States is the defendant. To assure proper handling of mail in the United States attorney's office, the authorized mail service must be specifically addressed to the civil process clerk of the office of the United States attorney.

Paragraph (2) replaces former subdivision (d)(5). Paragraph (3) saves the plaintiff from the hazard of losing a substantive right because of failure to comply with the complex requirements of multiple service under this subdivision. That risk has proved to be more than nominal. E.g., Whale v. United States, 792 F.2d 951 (9th Cir. 1986). This provision should be read in connection with the provisions of subdivision (c) of Rule 15 to preclude the loss of substantive rights against the United States or its agencies, corporations, or officers resulting from a plaintiff's failure to correctly identify and serve all the persons who should be named or served.

Subdivision (j). This subdivision retains the text of former subdivision (d)(6) without material change. The waiver-of-service provision is also inapplicable to actions against governments subject to service pursuant to this subdivision.

The revision adds a new paragraph (1) referring to the statute governing service of a summons on a foreign state and its political subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, 28 U.S.C. §1608. The caption of the subdivision reflects that change.

Subdivision (k). This subdivision replaces the former subdivision (f), with no change in the title. Paragraph (1) retains the substance of the former rule in explicitly authorizing the exercise of personal jurisdiction over persons who can be reached under state long-arm law, the “100-mile bulge” provision added in 1963, or the federal interpleader act. Paragraph (1)(D) is new, but merely calls attention to federal legislation that may provide for nationwide or even world-wide service of process in cases arising under particular federal laws. Congress has provided for nationwide service of process and full exercise of territorial jurisdiction by all district courts with respect to specified federal actions. See 1 R. Casad, Jurisdiction in Civil Actions (2d Ed.) chap. 5 (1991).

Paragraph (2) is new. It authorizes the exercise of territorial jurisdiction over the person of any defendant against whom is made a claim arising under any federal law if that person is subject to personal jurisdiction in no state. This addition is a companion to the amendments made in revised subdivisions (e) and (f).

This paragraph corrects a gap in the enforcement of federal law. Under the former rule, a problem was presented when the defendant was a non-resident of the United States having contacts with the United States sufficient to justify the application of United States law and to satisfy federal standards of forum selection, but having insufficient contact with any single state to support jurisdiction under state long-arm legislation or meet the requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment limitation on state court territorial jurisdiction. In such cases, the defendant was shielded from the enforcement of federal law by the fortuity of a favorable limitation on the power of state courts, which was incorporated into the federal practice by the former rule. In this respect, the revision responds to the suggestion of the Supreme Court made in Omni Capital Int'l v. Rudolf Wolff & Co., Ltd., 484 U.S. 97, 111 (1987).

There remain constitutional limitations on the exercise of territorial jurisdiction by federal courts over persons outside the United States. These restrictions arise from the Fifth Amendment rather than from the Fourteenth Amendment, which limits state-court reach and which was incorporated into federal practice by the reference to state law in the text of the former subdivision (e) that is deleted by this revision. The Fifth Amendment requires that any defendant have affiliating contacts with the United States sufficient to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction over that party. Cf. Wells Fargo & Co. v. Wells Fargo Express Co., 556 F.2d 406, 418 (9th Cir. 1977). There also may be a further Fifth Amendment constraint in that a plaintiff's forum selection might be so inconvenient to a defendant that it would be a denial of “fair play and substantial justice” required by the due process clause, even though the defendant had significant affiliating contacts with the United States. See DeJames v. Magnificent Carriers, 654 F.2d 280, 286 n.3 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1085 (1981). Compare World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 293–294 (1980); Insurance Corp. of Ireland v. Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 702–03 (1982); Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 476–78 (1985); Asahi Metal Indus. v. Superior Court of Cal., Solano County, 480 U.S. 102, 108–13 (1987). See generally R. Lusardi, Nationwide Service of Process: Due Process Limitations on the Power of the Sovereign, 33 Vill. L. Rev. 1 (1988).

This provision does not affect the operation of federal venue legislation. See generally 28 U.S.C. §1391. Nor does it affect the operation of federal law providing for the change of venue. 28 U.S.C. §§1404, 1406. The availability of transfer for fairness and convenience under §1404 should preclude most conflicts between the full exercise of territorial jurisdiction permitted by this rule and the Fifth Amendment requirement of “fair play and substantial justice.”

The district court should be especially scrupulous to protect aliens who reside in a foreign country from forum selections so onerous that injustice could result. “[G]reat care and reserve should be exercised when extending our notions of personal jurisdiction into the international field.” Asahi Metal Indus. v. Superior Court of Cal., Solano County, 480 U.S. 102, 115 (1987), quoting United States v. First Nat'l City Bank, 379 U.S. 378, 404 (1965) (Harlan, J., dissenting).

This narrow extension of the federal reach applies only if a claim is made against the defendant under federal law. It does not establish personal jurisdiction if the only claims are those arising under state law or the law of another country, even though there might be diversity or alienage subject matter jurisdiction as to such claims. If, however, personal jurisdiction is established under this paragraph with respect to a federal claim, then 28 U.S.C. §1367(a) provides supplemental jurisdiction over related claims against that defendant, subject to the court's discretion to decline exercise of that jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §1367(c).

Subdivision (l). This subdivision assembles in one place all the provisions of the present rule bearing on proof of service. No material change in the rule is effected. The provision that proof of service can be amended by leave of court is retained from the former subdivision (h). See generally 4A Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §1132 (2d ed. 1987).

Subdivision (m). This subdivision retains much of the language of the present subdivision (j).

The new subdivision explicitly provides that the court shall allow additional time if there is good cause for the plaintiff's failure to effect service in the prescribed 120 days, and authorizes the court to relieve a plaintiff of the consequences of an application of this subdivision even if there is no good cause shown. Such relief formerly was afforded in some cases, partly in reliance on Rule 6(b). Relief may be justified, for example, if the applicable statute of limitations would bar the refiled action, or if the defendant is evading service or conceals a defect in attempted service. E.g., Ditkof v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 114 F.R.D. 104 (E.D. Mich. 1987). A specific instance of good cause is set forth in paragraph (3) of this rule, which provides for extensions if necessary to correct oversights in compliance with the requirements of multiple service in actions against the United States or its officers, agencies, and corporations. The district court should also take care to protect pro se plaintiffs from consequences of confusion or delay attending the resolution of an in forma pauperis petition. Robinson v. America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, 876 F.2d 596 (7th Cir. 1989).

The 1983 revision of this subdivision referred to the “party on whose behalf such service was required,” rather than to the “plaintiff,” a term used generically elsewhere in this rule to refer to any party initiating a claim against a person who is not a party to the action. To simplify the text, the revision returns to the usual practice in the rule of referring simply to the plaintiff even though its principles apply with equal force to defendants who may assert claims against non-parties under Rules 13(h), 14, 19, 20, or 21.

Subdivision (n). This subdivision provides for in rem and quasi-in-rem jurisdiction. Paragraph (1) incorporates any requirements of 28 U.S.C. §1655 or similar provisions bearing on seizures or liens.

Paragraph (2) provides for other uses of quasi-in-rem jurisdiction but limits its use to exigent circumstances. Provisional remedies may be employed as a means to secure jurisdiction over the property of a defendant whose person is not within reach of the court, but occasions for the use of this provision should be rare, as where the defendant is a fugitive or assets are in imminent danger of disappearing. Until 1963, it was not possible under Rule 4 to assert jurisdiction in a federal court over the property of a defendant not personally served. The 1963 amendment to subdivision (e) authorized the use of state law procedures authorizing seizures of assets as a basis for jurisdiction. Given the liberal availability of long-arm jurisdiction, the exercise of power quasi-in-rem has become almost an anachronism. Circumstances too spare to affiliate the defendant to the forum state sufficiently to support long-arm jurisdiction over the defendant's person are also inadequate to support seizure of the defendant's assets fortuitously found within the state. Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186 (1977).

1983 Amendment

Subd. (a). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(1), substituted “deliver the summons to the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, who shall be responsible for prompt service of the summons and a copy of the complaint” for “deliver it for service to the marshal or to any other person authorized by Rule 4(c) to serve it”.

Subd. (c). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(2), substituted provision with subd. heading “Service” for provision with subd. heading “By Whom Served” which read: “Service of process shall be made by a United States marshal, by his deputy, or by some person specially appointed by the court for that purpose, except that a subpoena may be served as provided in Rule 45. Special appointments to serve process shall be made freely. Service of process may also be made by a person authorized to serve process in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of the state in which the district court is held or in which service is made.”

Subd. (d). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(3), (4), substituted “Summons and Complaint: Person to be Served” for “Summons: Personal Service” in subd. heading.

Subd. (d)(5). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(4), substituted “sending a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail” for “delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint”.

Subd. (d)(7). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(3)(B), struck out par. (7) which read: “Upon a defendant of any class referred to in paragraph (1) or (3) of this subdivision of this rule, it is also sufficient if the summons and complaint are served in the manner prescribed by any statute of the United States or in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the district court is held for the service of summons or other like process upon any such defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of that state.”. See subd. (c)(2)(C) of this rule.

Subd. (e). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(5), substituted “Summons” for “Same” as subd. heading.

Subd. (g). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(6), substituted in second sentence “deputy United States marshal” and “such person” for “his deputy” and “he” and inserted third sentence “If service is made under subdivision (c)(2)(C)(ii) of this rule, return shall be made by the sender's filing with the court the acknowledgment received pursuant to such subdivision.”.

Subd. (j). Pub. L. 97–462, §2(7), added subd. (j).

Effective Date of 1983 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–462 effective 45 days after Jan. 12, 1983, see section 4 of Pub. L. 97–462, set out as a note under section 2071 of this title.

Forms

Motion to quash the return of service of summons, see form 19, Appendix of Forms.

Summons, see form 1.

Cross References

Actions on war risk insurance claims, see section 1292 of Title 46, Appendix, Shipping.

Executions in favor of United States, see section 2413 of this title.

Motions to dismiss or quash for lack of jurisdiction over the person, insufficiency of process or service of process, see rule 12.

Process to run outside state—

Actions under Security Act of 1933, see section 77v of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Actions under Security Exchange Act of 1934, see section 78aa of Title 15.

Veterans’ actions against United States on life insurance contracts, see section 1984 of Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits.

Service of—

Notice of application for leave to perpetuate testimony by taking deposition, see rule 27.

Other process, see rule 4.1.

Pleadings and other papers, see rule 5.

Process generally, see section 1691 et seq. of this title.

Process in bankruptcy proceedings, see Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Appendix to Title 11, Bankruptcy.

Process in eminent domain proceedings, see rule 71A. Subpoena, see rule 45.

Venue of civil actions, see chapter 87 of this title.

Rule 4.1. Service of Other Process

(a) Generally. Process other than a summons as provided in Rule 4 or subpoena as provided in Rule 45 shall be served by a United States marshal, a deputy United States marshal, or a person specially appointed for that purpose, who shall make proof of service as provided in Rule 4(l). The process may be served anywhere within the territorial limits of the state in which the district court is located, and, when authorized by a statute of the United States, beyond the territorial limits of that state.

(b) Enforcement of Orders: Commitment for Civil Contempt. An order of civil commitment of a person held to be in contempt of a decree or injunction issued to enforce the laws of the United States may be served and enforced in any district. Other orders in civil contempt proceedings shall be served in the state in which the court issuing the order to be enforced is located or elsewhere within the United States if not more than 100 miles from the place at which the order to be enforced was issued.

(As added Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993

This is a new rule. Its purpose is to separate those few provisions of the former Rule 4 bearing on matters other than service of a summons to allow greater textual clarity in Rule 4. Subdivision (a) contains no new language.

Subdivision (b) replaces the final clause of the penultimate sentence of the former subdivision 4(f), a clause added to the rule in 1963. The new rule provides for nationwide service of orders of civil commitment enforcing decrees of injunctions issued to compel compliance with federal law. The rule makes no change in the practice with respect to the enforcement of injunctions or decrees not involving the enforcement of federally-created rights.

Service of process is not required to notify a party of a decree or injunction, or of an order that the party show cause why that party should not be held in contempt of such an order. With respect to a party who has once been served with a summons, the service of the decree or injunction itself or of an order to show cause can be made pursuant to Rule 5. Thus, for example, an injunction may be served on a party through that person's attorney. Chagas v. United States, 369 F.2d 643 (5th Cir. 1966). The same is true for service of an order to show cause. Waffenschmidt v. Mackay, 763 F.2d 711 (5th Cir. 1985).

The new rule does not affect the reach of the court to impose criminal contempt sanctions. Nationwide enforcement of federal decrees and injunctions is already available with respect to criminal contempt: a federal court may effect the arrest of a criminal contemnor anywhere in the United States, 28 U.S.C. §3041, and a contemnor when arrested may be subject to removal to the district in which punishment may be imposed. Fed. R. Crim. P. 40. Thus, the present law permits criminal contempt enforcement against a contemnor wherever that person may be found.

The effect of the revision is to provide a choice of civil or criminal contempt sanctions in those situations to which it applies. Contempt proceedings, whether civil or criminal, must be brought in the court that was allegedly defied by a contumacious act. Ex parte Bradley, 74 U.S. 366 (1869). This is so even if the offensive conduct or inaction occurred outside the district of the court in which the enforcement proceeding must be conducted. E.g., McCourtney v. United States, 291 Fed. 497 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 263 U.S. 714 (1923). For this purpose, the rule as before does not distinguish between parties and other persons subject to contempt sanctions by reason of their relation or connection to parties.

Rule 5. Service and Filing of Pleadings and Other Papers

(a) Service: When Required. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, every order required by its terms to be served, every pleading subsequent to the original complaint unless the court otherwise orders because of numerous defendants, every paper relating to discovery required to be served upon a party unless the court otherwise orders, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, designation of record on appeal, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties. No service need be made on parties in default for failure to appear except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against them shall be served upon them in the manner provided for service of summons in Rule 4.

In an action begun by seizure of property, in which no person need be or is named as defendant, any service required to be made prior to the filing of an answer, claim, or appearance shall be made upon the person having custody or possession of the property at the time of its seizure.

(b) Same: How Made. Whenever under these rules service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney the service shall be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court. Service upon the attorney or upon a party shall be made by delivering a copy to the attorney or party or by mailing it to the attorney or party at the attorney's or party's last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. Delivery of a copy within this rule means: handing it to the attorney or to the party; or leaving it at the attorney's or party's office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof; or, if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein; or, if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

(c) Same: Numerous Defendants. In any action in which there are unusually large numbers of defendants, the court, upon motion or of its own initiative, may order that service of the pleadings of the defendants and replies thereto need not be made as between the defendants and that any cross-claim, counterclaim, or matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense contained therein shall be deemed to be denied or avoided by all other parties and that the filing of any such pleading and service thereof upon the plaintiff constitutes due notice of it to the parties. A copy of every such order shall be served upon the parties in such manner and form as the court directs.

(d) Filing; Certificate of Service. All papers after the complaint required to be served upon a party, together with a certificate of service, shall be filed with the court within a reasonable time after service, but the court may on motion of a party or on its own initiative order that depositions upon oral examination and interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admission, and answers and responses thereto not be filed unless on order of the court or for use in the proceeding.

(e) Filing with the Court Defined. The filing of papers with the court as required by these rules shall be made by filing them with the clerk of the court, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the office of the clerk. A court may, by local rule, permit papers to be filed by facsimile or other electronic means if such means are authorized by and consistent with standards established by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The clerk shall not refuse to accept for filing any paper presented for that purpose solely because it is not presented in proper form as required by these rules or any local rules or practices.

(As amended Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Apr. 29, 1980, eff. Aug. 1, 1980; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivisions (a) and (b). Compare 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §§9240, 9241, 9242; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§163, 164, and N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rules 20, 21; 2 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §§244–249.

Note to Subdivision (d). Compare the present practice under [former] Equity Rule 12 (Issue of Subpoena—Time for Answer).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

The words “affected thereby,” stricken out by the amendment, introduced a problem of interpretation. See 1 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure 760–61 (Wright ed. 1960). The amendment eliminates this difficulty and promotes full exchange of information among the parties by requiring service of papers on all the parties to the action, except as otherwise provided in the rules. See also subdivision (c) of Rule 5. So, for example, a third-party defendant is required to serve his answer to the third-party complaint not only upon the defendant but also upon the plaintiff. See amended Form 22–A and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto.

As to the method of serving papers upon a party whose address is unknown, see Rule 5(b).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1970 Amendment

The amendment makes clear that all papers relating to discovery which are required to be served on any party must be served on all parties, unless the court orders otherwise. The present language expressly includes notices and demands, but it is not explicit as to answers or responses as provided in Rules 33, 34, and 36. Discovery papers may be voluminous or the parties numerous, and the court is empowered to vary the requirement if in a given case it proves needlessly onerous.

In actions begun by seizure of property, service will at times have to be made before the absent owner of the property has filed an appearance. For example, a prompt deposition may be needed in a maritime action in rem. See Rules 30(a) and 30(b)(2) and the related notes. A provision is added authorizing service on the person having custody or possession of the property at the time of its seizure.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1980 Amendment

Subdivision (d). By the terms of this rule and Rule 30(f)(1) discovery materials must be promptly filed, although it often happens that no use is made of the materials after they are filed. Because the copies required for filing are an added expense and the large volume of discovery filings presents serious problems of storage in some districts, the Committee in 1978 first proposed that discovery materials not be filed unless on order of the court or for use in the proceedings. But such materials are sometimes of interest to those who may have no access to them except by a requirement of filing, such as members of a class, litigants similarly situated, or the public generally. Accordingly, this amendment and a change in Rule 30(f)(1) continue the requirement of filing but make it subject to an order of the court that discovery materials not be filed unless filing is requested by the court or is effected by parties who wish to use the materials in the proceeding.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

Subdivision (d). This subdivision is amended to require that the person making service under the rule certify that service has been effected. Such a requirement has generally been imposed by local rule.

Having such information on file may be useful for many purposes, including proof of service if an issue arises concerning the effectiveness of the service. The certificate will generally specify the date as well as the manner of service, but parties employing private delivery services may sometimes be unable to specify the date of delivery. In the latter circumstance, a specification of the date of transmission of the paper to the delivery service may be sufficient for the purposes of this rule.

Subdivision (e). The words “pleading and other” are stricken as unnecessary. Pleadings are papers within the meaning of the rule. The revision also accommodates the development of the use of facsimile transmission for filing.

Several local district rules have directed the office of the clerk to refuse to accept for filing papers not conforming to certain requirements of form imposed by local rules or practice. This is not a suitable role for the office of the clerk, and the practice exposes litigants to the hazards of time bars; for these reasons, such rules are proscribed by this revision. The enforcement of these rules and of the local rules is a role for a judicial officer. A clerk may of course advise a party or counsel that a particular instrument is not in proper form, and may be directed to so inform the court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

This is a technical amendment, using the broader language of Rule 25 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. The district court—and the bankruptcy court by virtue of a cross-reference in Bankruptcy Rule 7005—can, by local rule, permit filing not only by facsimile transmissions but also by other electronic means, subject to standards approved by the Judicial Conference.

Cross References

Additional time for service by mail, see rule 6.

Jury trial, waiver by failing to file demand, see rule 38.

Rule 6. Time

(a) Computation. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by the local rules of any district court, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, or, when the act to be done is the filing of a paper in court, a day on which weather or other conditions have made the office of the clerk of the district court inaccessible, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not one of the aforementioned days. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 11 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation. As used in this rule and in Rule 77(c), “legal holiday” includes New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and any other day appointed as a holiday by the President or the Congress of the United States, or by the state in which the district court is held.

(b) Enlargement. When by these rules or by a notice given thereunder or by order of court an act is required or allowed to be done at or within a specified time, the court for cause shown may at any time in its discretion (1) with or without motion or notice order the period enlarged if request therefor is made before the expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order, or (2) upon motion made after the expiration of the specified period permit the act to be done where the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect; but it may not extend the time for taking any action under Rules 50(b) and (c)(2), 52(b), 59(b), (d) and (e), 60(b), and 74(a), except to the extent and under the conditions stated in them.

[(c) Unaffected by Expiration of Term.] (Rescinded Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966)

(d) For Motions—Affidavits. A written motion, other than one which may be heard ex parte, and notice of the hearing thereof shall be served not later than 5 days before the time specified for the hearing, unless a different period is fixed by these rules or by order of the court. Such an order may for cause shown be made on ex parte application. When a motion is supported by affidavit, the affidavit shall be served with the motion; and, except as otherwise provided in Rule 59(c), opposing affidavits may be served not later than 1 day before the hearing, unless the court permits them to be served at some other time.

(e) Additional Time After Service by Mail. Whenever a party has the right or is required to do some act or take some proceedings within a prescribed period after the service of a notice or other paper upon the party and the notice or paper is served upon the party by mail, 3 days shall be added to the prescribed period.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivisions (a) and (b). These are amplifications along lines common in state practices, of [former] Equity Rule 80 (Computation of Time—Sundays and Holidays) and of the provisions for enlargement of time found in [former] Equity Rules 8 (Enforcement of Final Decrees) and 16 (Defendant to Answer—Default—Decree Pro Confesso). See also Rule XIII, Rules and Forms in Criminal Cases, 292 U.S. 661, 666 (1934). Compare Ala.Code Ann. (Michie, 1928) §13 and former Law Rule 8 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia (1924), superseded in 1929 by Law Rule 8, Rules of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia (1937).

Note to Subdivision (c). This eliminates the difficulties caused by the expiration of terms of court. Such statutes as U.S.C. Title 28, [former] §12 (Trials not discontinued by new term) are not affected. Compare Rules of the United States District Court of Minnesota, Rule 25 (Minn.Stat. (Mason, Supp. 1936), p. 1089).

Note to Subdivision (d). Compare 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9246; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rules 60 and 64.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

Subdivision (b). The purpose of the amendment is to clarify the finality of judgments. Prior to the advent of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the general rule that a court loses jurisdiction to disturb its judgments, upon the expiration of the term at which they were entered, had long been the classic device which (together with the statutory limits on the time for appeal) gave finality to judgments. See Note to Rule 73(a). Rule 6(c) abrogates that limit on judicial power. That limit was open to many objections, one of them being inequality of operation because, under it, the time for vacating a judgment rendered early in a term was much longer than for a judgment rendered near the end of the term.

The question to be met under Rule 6(b) is: how far should the desire to allow correction of judgments be allowed to postpone their finality? The rules contain a number of provisions permitting the vacation or modification of judgments on various grounds. Each of these rules contains express time limits on the motions for granting of relief. Rule 6(b) is a rule of general application giving wide discretion to the court to enlarge these time limits or revive them after they have expired, the only exceptions stated in the original rule being a prohibition against enlarging the time specified in Rule 59(b) and (d) for making motions for or granting new trials, and a prohibition against enlarging the time fixed by law for taking an appeal. It should also be noted that Rule 6(b) itself contains no limitation of time within which the court may exercise its discretion, and since the expiration of the term does not end its power, there is now no time limit on the exercise of its discretion under Rule 6(b).

Decisions of lower federal courts suggest that some of the rules containing time limits which may be set aside under Rule 6(b) are Rules 25, 50(b), 52(b), 60(b), and 73(g).

In a number of cases the effect of Rule 6(b) on the time limitations of these rules has been considered. Certainly the rule is susceptible of the interpretation that the court is given the power in its discretion to relieve a party from failure to act within the times specified in any of these other rules, with only the exceptions stated in Rule 6(b), and in some cases the rule has been so construed.

With regard to Rule 25(a) for substitution, it was held in Anderson v. Brady (E.D.Ky. 1941) 4 Fed.Rules Service 25a.1, Case 1, and in Anderson v. Yungkau (C.C.A. 6th, 1946) 153 F.(2d) 685, cert. granted (1946) 66 S.Ct. 1025, that under Rule 6(b) the court had no authority to allow substitution of parties after the expiration of the limit fixed in Rule 25(a).

As to Rules 50(b) for judgments notwithstanding the verdict and 52(b) for amendment of findings and vacation of judgment, it was recognized in Leishman v. Associated Wholesale Electric Co. (1943) 318 U.S. 203, that Rule 6(b) allowed the district court to enlarge the time to make a motion for amended findings and judgment beyond the limit expressly fixed in Rule 52(b). See Coca-Cola v. Busch (E.D.Pa. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Service 59b.2, Case 4. Obviously, if the time limit in Rule 52(b) could be set aside under Rule 6(b), the time limit in Rule 50(b) for granting judgment notwithstanding the verdict (and thus vacating the judgment entered “forthwith” on the verdict) likewise could be set aside.

As to Rule 59 on motions for a new trial, it has been settled that the time limits in Rule 59(b) and (d) for making motions for or granting new trial could not be set aside under Rule 6(b), because Rule 6(b) expressly refers to Rule 59, and forbids it. See Safeway Stores, Inc. v. Coe (App.D.C. 1943) 136 F.(2d) 771; Jusino v. Morales & Tio (C.C.A. 1st, 1944) 139 F.(2d) 946; Coca-Cola Co. v. Busch (E.D.Pa. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Service 59b.2, Case 4; Peterson v. Chicago Great Western Ry. Co. (D.Neb. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Service 59b.2, Case 1; Leishman v. Associated Wholesale Electric Co. (1943) 318 U.S. 203.

As to Rule 60(b) for relief from a judgment, it was held in Schram v. O'Connor (E.D.Mich. 1941) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 6b.31, Case 1, 2 F.R.D. 192, s. c. 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 6b.31, Case 2, F.R.D. 192, that the six-months time limit in original Rule 60(b) for making a motion for relief from a judgment for surprise, mistake, or excusable neglect could be set aside under Rule 6(b). The contrary result was reached in Wallace v. United States (C.C.A.2d, 1944) 142 F.(2d) 240, cert. den. (1944) 323 U.S. 712; Reed v. South Atlantic Steamship Co. of Del. (D.Del. 1942) 6 Fed.Rules Serv. 60b.31, Case 1.

As to Rule 73(g), fixing the time for docketing an appeal, it was held in Ainsworth v. Gill Glass & Fixture Co. (C.C.A.3d, 1939) 104 F.(2d) 83, that under Rule 6(b) the district court, upon motion made after the expiration of the forty-day period, stated in Rule 73(g), but before the expiration of the ninety-day period therein specified, could permit the docketing of the appeal on a showing of excusable neglect. The contrary was held in Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Ass'n v. Snyder (C.C.A. 6th, 1940) 109 F.(2d) 469 and in Burke v. Canfield (App.D.C. 1940) 111 F.(2d) 526.

The amendment of Rule 6(b) now proposed is based on the view that there should be a definite point where it can be said a judgment is final; that the right method of dealing with the problem is to list in Rule 6(b) the various other rules whose time limits may not be set aside, and then, if the time limit in any of those other rules is too short, to amend that other rule to give a longer time. The further argument is that Rule 6(c) abolished the long standing device to produce finality in judgments through expiration of the term, and since that limitation on the jurisdiction of courts to set aside their own judgments has been removed by Rule 6(c), some other limitation must be substituted or judgments never can be said to be final.

In this connection reference is made to the established rule that if a motion for new trial is seasonably made, the mere making or pendency of the motion destroys the finality of the judgment, and even though the motion is ultimately denied, the full time for appeal starts anew from the date of denial. Also, a motion to amend the findings under Rule 52(b) has the same effect on the time for appeal. Leishman v. Associated Wholesale Electric Co. (1943) 318 U.S. 203. By the same reasoning a motion for judgment under Rule 50(b), involving as it does the vacation of a judgment entered “forthwith” on the verdict (Rule 58), operates to postpone, until an order is made, the running of the time for appeal. The Committee believes that the abolition by Rule 6(c) of the old rule that a court's power over its judgments ends with the term, requires a substitute limitation, and that unless Rule 6(b) is amended to prevent enlargement of the times specified in Rules 50(b), 52(b) and 60(b), and the limitation as to Rule 59(b) and (d) is retained, no one can say when a judgment is final. This is also true with regard to proposed Rule 59(e), which authorizes a motion to alter or amend a judgment, hence that rule is also included in the enumeration in amended Rule 6(b). In consideration of the amendment, however, it should be noted that Rule 60(b) is also to be amended so as to lengthen the six-months period originally prescribed in that rule to one year.

As to Rule 25 on substitution, while finality is not involved, the limit there fixed should be controlling. That rule, as amended, gives the court power, upon showing of a reasonable excuse, to permit substitution after the expiration of the two-year period.

As to Rule 73(g), it is believed that the conflict in decisions should be resolved and not left to further litigation, and that the rule should be listed as one whose limitation may not be set aside under Rule 6(b).

As to Rule 59(c), fixing the time for serving affidavits on motion for new trial, it is believed that the court should have authority under Rule 6(b) to enlarge the time, because, once the motion for new trial is made, the judgment no longer has finality, and the extension of time for affidavits thus does not of itself disturb finality.

Other changes proposed in Rule 6(b) are merely clarifying and conforming. Thus “request” is substituted for “application” in clause (1) because an application is defined as a motion under Rule 7(b). The phrase “extend the time” is substituted for “enlarge the period” because the former is a more suitable expression and relates more clearly to both clauses (1) and (2). The final phrase in Rule 6(b), “or the period for taking an appeal as provided by law”, is deleted and a reference to Rule 73(a) inserted, since it is proposed to state in that rule the time for appeal to a circuit court of appeals, which is the only appeal governed by the Federal Rules, and allows an extension of time. See Rule 72.

Subdivision (c). The purpose of this amendment is to prevent reliance upon the continued existence of a term as a source of power to disturb the finality of a judgment upon grounds other than those stated in these rules. See Hill v. Hawes (1944) 320 U.S. 520; Boaz v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York (C.C.A. 8th, 1944) 146 F.(2d) 321; Bucy v. Nevada Construction Co. (C.C.A. 9th, 1942) 125 F.(2d) 213.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

Subdivision (a). This amendment is related to the amendment of Rule 77(c) changing the regulation of the days on which the clerk's office shall be open.

The wording of the first sentence of Rule 6(a) is clarified and the subdivision is made expressly applicable to computing periods of time set forth in local rules.

Saturday is to be treated in the same way as Sunday or a “legal holiday” in that it is not to be included when it falls on the last day of a computed period, nor counted as an intermediate day when the period is less than 7 days. “Legal holiday” is defined for purposes of this subdivision and amended Rule 77(c). Compare the definition of “holiday” in 11 U.S.C. §1(18); also 5 U.S.C. §86a; Executive Order No. 10358, “Observance of Holidays,” June 9, 1952, 17 Fed.Reg. 5269. In the light of these changes the last sentence of the present subdivision, dealing with half holidays, is eliminated.

With Saturdays and State holidays made “dies non” in certain cases by the amended subdivision, computation of the usual 5–day notice of motion or the 2–day notice to dissolve or modify a temporary restraining order may work out so as to cause embarrassing delay in urgent cases. The delay can be obviated by applying to the court to shorten the time, see Rules 6(d) and 65(b).

Subdivision (b). The prohibition against extending the time for taking action under Rule 25 (Substitution of parties) is eliminated. The only limitation of time provided for in amended Rule 25 is the 90–day period following a suggestion upon the record of the death of a party within which to make a motion to substitute the proper parties for the deceased party. See Rule 25(a)(1), as amended, and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto. It is intended that the court shall have discretion to enlarge that period.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1968 Amendment

The amendment eliminates the references to Rule 73, which is to be abrogated.

P. L. 88–139, §1, 77 Stat. 248, approved on October 16, 1963, amended 28 U.S.C. §138 to read as follows: “The district court shall not hold formal terms.” Thus Rule 6(c) is rendered unnecessary, and it is rescinded.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1971 Amendment

The amendment adds Columbus Day to the list of legal holidays to conform the subdivision to the Act of June 28, 1968, 82 Stat. 250, which constituted Columbus Day a legal holiday effective after January 1, 1971.

The Act, which amended Title 5, U.S.C., §6103(a), changes the day on which certain holidays are to be observed. Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day are to be observed on the third Monday in February, the last Monday in May and the fourth Monday in October, respectively, rather than, as heretofore, on February 22, May 30, and November 11, respectively. Columbus Day is to be observed on the second Monday in October. New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas continue to be observed on the traditional days.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Subdivision (b). The amendment confers finality upon the judgments of magistrates by foreclosing enlargement of the time for appeal except as provided in new Rule 74(a) (20 day period for demonstration of excusable neglect).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

Rule 6(a) is amended to acknowledge that weather conditions or other events may render the clerk's office inaccessible one or more days. Parties who are obliged to file something with the court during that period should not be penalized if they cannot do so. The amendment conforms to changes made in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 45(a), effective August 1, 1982.

The Rule also is amended to extend the exclusion of intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays to the computation of time periods less than 11 days. Under the current version of the Rule, parties bringing motions under rules with 10-day periods could have as few as 5 working days to prepare their motions. This hardship would be especially acute in the case of Rules 50(b) and (c)(2), 52(b), and 59(b), (d), and (e), which may not be enlarged at the discretion of the court. See Rule 6(b). If the exclusion of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays will operate to cause excessive delay in urgent cases, the delay can be obviated by applying to the court to shorten the time, See Rule 6(b).

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., which becomes a legal holiday effective in 1986, has been added to the list of legal holidays enumerated in the Rule.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Answers and objections to admissions, see rule 36.

Answer to—

Complaint, see rule 12.

Counterclaim, see rule 12.

Cross-claim, see rule 12.

Interrogatories, see rule 33.

Demand for jury trial, see rule 38.

Motion for—

Amendment of findings, see rule 52.

Judgment as a matter of law, see rule 50.

New trial, see rule 59.

Relief from judgment or order, see rule 60.

Motion to alter or amend judgment, see rule 59.

Set aside verdict and enter judgment, see rule 50.

Notice of appeal, see section 2107 of this title.

Objections to interrogatories, see rule 33.

Service by mail complete upon mailing, see rule 5.

Substitution of parties, see rule 25.

III. PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS

Rule 7. Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions

(a) Pleadings. There shall be a complaint and an answer; a reply to a counterclaim denominated as such; an answer to a cross-claim, if the answer contains a cross-claim; a third-party complaint, if a person who was not an original party is summoned under the provisions of Rule 14; and a third-party answer, if a third-party complaint is served. No other pleading shall be allowed, except that the court may order a reply to an answer or a third-party answer.

(b) Motions and Other Papers.

(1) An application to the court for an order shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing or trial, shall be made in writing, shall state with particularity the grounds therefor, and shall set forth the relief or order sought. The requirement of writing is fulfilled if the motion is stated in a written notice of the hearing of the motion.

(2) The rules applicable to captions and other matters of form of pleadings apply to all motions and other papers provided for by these rules.

(3) All motions shall be signed in accordance with Rule 11.


(c) Demurrers, Pleas, Etc., Abolished. Demurrers, pleas, and exceptions for insufficiency of a pleading shall not be used.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

1. A provision designating pleadings and defining a motion is common in the State practice acts. See Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937), ch. 110, §156 (Designation and order of pleadings); 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9246 (Definition of motion); and N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §113 (Definition of motion). Former Equity Rules 18 (Pleadings—Technical Forms Abrogated), 29 (Defenses—How Presented), and 33 (Testing Sufficiency of Defense) abolished technical forms of pleading, demurrers, and pleas, and exceptions for insufficiency of an answer.

2. Note to Subdivision (a). This preserves the substance of [former] Equity Rule 31 (Reply—When Required—When Cause at Issue). Compare the English practice, English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 23, r.r. 1, 2 (Reply to counterclaim; amended, 1933, to be subject to the rules applicable to defenses, O. 21). See O. 21, r.r. 1–14; O. 27, r. 13 (When pleadings deemed denied and put in issue). Under the codes the pleadings are generally limited. A reply is sometimes required to an affirmative defense in the answer. 1 Colo.Stat.Ann. (1935) §66; Ore.Code Ann. (1930) §§1–614, 1–616. In other jurisdictions no reply is necessary to an affirmative defense in the answer, but a reply may be ordered by the court. N.C.Code Ann. (1935) §525; 1 S.D.Comp.Laws (1929) §2357. A reply to a counterclaim is usually required. Ark.Civ.Code (Crawford, 1934) §§123–125; Wis.Stat. (1935) §§263.20, 263.21. U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §45 (District courts; practice and procedure in certain cases) is modified insofar as it may dispense with a reply to a counterclaim.

For amendment of pleadings, see Rule 15 dealing with amended and supplemental pleadings.

3. All statutes which use the words “petition”, “bill of complaint”, “plea”, “demurrer”, and other such terminology are modified in form by this rule.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

This amendment [to subdivision (a)] eliminates any question as to whether the compulsory reply, where a counterclaim is pleaded, is a reply only to the counterclaim or is a general reply to the answer containing the counterclaim. See Commentary, Scope of Reply Where Defendant Has Pleaded Counterclaim (1939) 1 Fed.Rules Serv. 672; Fort Chartres and Ivy Landing Drainage and Levee District No. Five v. Thompson (E.D.Ill. 1945) 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 13.32, Case 1.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

Certain redundant words are eliminated and the subdivision is modified to reflect the amendment of Rule 14(a) which in certain cases eliminates the requirement of obtaining leave to bring in a third-party defendant.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

One of the reasons sanctions against improper motion practice have been employed infrequently is the lack of clarity of Rule 7. That rule has stated only generally that the pleading requirements relating to captions, signing, and other matters of form also apply to motions and other papers. The addition of Rule 7(b)(3) makes explicit the applicability of the signing requirement and the sanctions of Rule 11, which have been amplified.

Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States

Form of motions in original actions in Supreme Court of the United States as governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, see rule 17, this Appendix.

Cross References

Procedure for motions in local practice, see rule 83.

Service and filing of pleadings and other papers, see rule 5.

Third party practice generally, see rule 14.

Time for service of—

Answer or reply, see rule 12.

Motions and affidavits, see rule 6.

Treating defenses as counterclaims, see rule 8.

Rule 8. General Rules of Pleading

(a) Claims for Relief. A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new grounds of jurisdiction to support it, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.

(b) Defenses; Form of Denials. A party shall state in short and plain terms the party's defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If a party is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, the party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials shall fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. When a pleader intends in good faith to deny only a part or a qualification of an averment, the pleader shall specify so much of it as is true and material and shall deny only the remainder. Unless the pleader intends in good faith to controvert all the averments of the preceding pleading, the pleader may make denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs or may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as the pleader expressly admits; but, when the pleader does so intend to controvert all its averments, including averments of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, the pleader may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11.

(c) Affirmative Defenses. In pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth affirmatively accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense. When a party has mistakenly designated a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court on terms, if justice so requires, shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation.

(d) Effect of Failure To Deny. Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to the amount of damage, are admitted when not denied in the responsive pleading. Averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided.

(e) Pleading To Be Concise and Direct; Consistency.

(1) Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleading or motions are required.

(2) A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense alternately or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or in separate counts or defenses. When two or more statements are made in the alternative and one of them if made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements. A party may also state as many separate claims or defenses as the party has regardless of consistency and whether based on legal, equitable, or maritime grounds. All statements shall be made subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11.


(f) Construction of Pleadings. All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). See [former] Equity Rules 25 (Bill of Complaint—Contents), and 30 (Answer—Contents—Counterclaim). Compare 2 Ind.Stat.Ann. (Burns, 1933) §§2–1004, 2–1015; 2 Ohio Gen.Code Ann. (Page, 1926) §§11305, 11314; Utah Rev.Stat.Ann. (1933), §§104–7–2, 104–9–1.

See Rule 19(c) for the requirement of a statement in a claim for relief of the names of persons who ought to be parties and the reason for their omission.

See Rule 23(b) for particular requirements as to the complaint in a secondary action by shareholders.

Note to Subdivision (b). 1. This rule supersedes the methods of pleading prescribed in U.S.C., Title 19, §508 (Persons making seizures pleading general issue and providing special matter); U.S.C., Title 35, [former] §§40d (Providing under general issue, upon notice, that a statement in application for an extended patent is not true), 69 [now 282] (Pleading and proof in actions for infringement) and similar statutes.

2. This rule is, in part, [former] Equity Rule 30 (Answer—Contents—Counterclaim), with the matter on denials largely from the Connecticut practice. See Conn.Practice Book (1934) §§107, 108, and 122; Conn.Gen.Stat. (1930) §§5508–5514. Compare the English practice, English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r.r. 17–20.

Note to Subdivision (c). This follows substantially English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r. 15 and N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §242, with “surprise” omitted in this rule.

Note to Subdivision (d). The first sentence is similar to [former] Equity Rule 30 (Answer—Contents—Counterclaim). For the second sentence see [former] Equity Rule 31 (Reply—When Required—When Cause at Issue). This is similar to English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r.r. 13, 18; and to the practice in the States.

Note to Subdivision (e). This rule is an elaboration upon [former] Equity Rule 30 (Answer—Contents—Counterclaim), plus a statement of the actual practice under some codes. Compare also [former] Equity Rule 18 (Pleadings—Technical Forms Abrogated). See Clark, Code Pleading (1928), pp. 171–4, 432–5; Hankin, Alternative and Hypothetical Pleading (1924), 33 Yale L.J. 365.

Note to Subdivision (f). A provision of like import is of frequent occurrence in the codes. Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §157(3); 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9266; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §275; 2 N.D.Comp.Laws Ann. (1913) §7458.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The change here is consistent with the broad purposes of unification.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Forms

See Appendix of Forms.

Cross References

Amendment of pleadings generally, see rule 15.

Defenses in law or fact, how presented, see rule 12.

Joinder of claims, see rule 18.

Relief granted in judgment even if not demanded, see rule 54.

Reply to counterclaims denominated as such, see rule 7.

Rule 9. Pleading Special Matters

(a) Capacity. It is not necessary to aver the capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made a party, except to the extent required to show the jurisdiction of the court. When a party desires to raise an issue as to the legal existence of any party or the capacity of any party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, the party desiring to raise the issue shall do so by specific negative averment, which shall include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the pleader's knowledge.

(b) Fraud, Mistake, Condition of the Mind. In all averments of fraud or mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake shall be stated with particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other condition of mind of a person may be averred generally.

(c) Conditions Precedent. In pleading the performance or occurrence of conditions precedent, it is sufficient to aver generally that all conditions precedent have been performed or have occurred. A denial of performance or occurrence shall be made specifically and with particularity.

(d) Official Document or Act. In pleading an official document or official act it is sufficient to aver that the document was issued or the act done in compliance with law.

(e) Judgment. In pleading a judgment or decision of a domestic or foreign court, judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or of a board or officer, it is sufficient to aver the judgment or decision without setting forth matter showing jurisdiction to render it.

(f) Time and Place. For the purpose of testing the sufficiency of a pleading, averments of time and place are material and shall be considered like all other averments of material matter.

(g) Special Damage. When items of special damage are claimed, they shall be specifically stated.

(h) Admiralty and Maritime Claims. A pleading or count setting forth a claim for relief within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction that is also within the jurisdiction of the district court on some other ground may contain a statement identifying the claim as an admiralty or maritime claim for the purposes of Rules 14(c), 38(e), 82, and the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims. If the claim is cognizable only in admiralty, it is an admiralty or maritime claim for those purposes whether so identified or not. The amendment of a pleading to add or withdraw an identifying statement is governed by the principles of Rule 15. The reference in Title 28, U.S.C. §1292(a)(3), to admiralty cases shall be construed to mean admiralty and maritime claims within the meaning of this subdivision (h).

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Mar. 30, 1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). Compare [former] Equity Rule 25 (Bill of Complaint—Contents) requiring disability to be stated; Utah Rev.Stat.Ann. (1933) §104–13–15, enumerating a number of situations where a general averment of capacity is sufficient. For provisions governing averment of incorporation, see 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9271; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rule 93; 2 N.D.Comp.Laws Ann. (1913) §7981 et seq.

Note to Subdivision (b). See English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r. 22.

Note to Subdivision (c). The codes generally have this or a similar provision. See English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r. 14; 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9273; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rule 92; 2 N.D.Comp.Laws Ann. (1913) §7461; 2 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §288.

Note to Subdivision (e). The rule expands the usual code provisions on pleading a judgment by including judgments or decisions of administrative tribunals and foreign courts. Compare Ark.Civ.Code (Crawford, 1934) §141; 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9269; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rule 95; 2 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §287.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Certain distinctive features of the admiralty practice must be preserved for what are now suits in admiralty. This raises the question: After unification, when a single form of action is established, how will the counterpart of the present suit in admiralty be identifiable? In part the question is easily answered. Some claims for relief can only be suits in admiralty, either because the admiralty jurisdiction is exclusive or because no nonmaritime ground of federal jurisdiction exists. Many claims, however, are cognizable by the district courts whether asserted in admiralty or in a civil action, assuming the existence of a nonmaritime ground of jurisdiction. Thus at present the pleader has power to determine procedural consequences by the way in which he exercises the classic privilege given by the saving-to-suitors clause (28 U.S.C. §1333) or by equivalent statutory provisions. For example, a longshoreman's claim for personal injuries suffered by reason of the unseaworthiness of a vessel may be asserted in a suit in admiralty or, if diversity of citizenship exists, in a civil action. One of the important procedural consequences is that in the civil action either party may demand a jury trial, while in the suit in admiralty there is no right to jury trial except as provided by statute.

It is no part of the purpose of unification to inject a right to jury trial into those admiralty cases in which that right is not provided by statute. Similarly as will be more specifically noted below, there is no disposition to change the present law as to interlocutory appeals in admiralty, or as to the venue of suits in admiralty; and, of course, there is no disposition to inject into the civil practice as it now is the distinctively maritime remedies (maritime attachment and garnishment, actions in rem, possessory, petitory and partition actions and limitation of liability). The unified rules must therefore provide some device for preserving the present power of the pleader to determine whether these historically maritime procedures shall be applicable to his claim or not; the pleader must be afforded some means of designating his claim as the counterpart of the present suit in admiralty, where its character as such is not clear.

The problem is different from the similar one concerning the identification of claims that were formerly suits in equity. While that problem is not free from complexities, it is broadly true that the modern counterpart of the suit in equity is distinguishable from the former action at law by the character of the relief sought. This mode of identification is possible in only a limited category of admiralty cases. In large numbers of cases the relief sought in admiralty is simple money damages, indistinguishable from the remedy afforded by the common law. This is true, for example, in the case of the longshoreman's action for personal injuries stated above. After unification has abolished the distinction between civil actions and suits in admiralty, the complaint in such an action would be almost completely ambiguous as to the pleader's intentions regarding the procedure invoked. The allegation of diversity of citizenship might be regarded as a clue indicating an intention to proceed as at present under the saving-to-suitors clause; but this, too, would be ambiguous if there were also reference to the admiralty jurisdiction, and the pleader ought not be required to forego mention of all available jurisdictional grounds.

Other methods of solving the problem were carefully explored, but the Advisory Committee concluded that the preferable solution is to allow the pleader who now has power to determine procedural consequences by filing a suit in admiralty to exercise that power under unification, for the limited instances in which procedural differences will remain, by a simple statement in his pleading to the effect that the claim is an admiralty or maritime claim.

The choice made by the pleader in identifying or in failing to identify his claim as an admiralty or maritime claim is not an irrevocable election. The rule provides that the amendment of a pleading to add or withdraw an identifying statement is subject to the principles of Rule 15.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1968 Amendment

The amendment eliminates the reference to Rule 73 which is to be abrogated and transfers to Rule 9(h) the substance of Subsection (h) of Rule 73 which preserved the right to an interlocutory appeal in admiralty cases which is provided by 28 U.S.C. §1292(a)(3).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1970 Amendment

The reference to Rule 26(a) is deleted, in light of the transfer of that subdivision to Rule 30(a) and the elimination of the de bene esse procedure therefrom. See the Advisory Committee's note to Rule 30(a).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Capacity to sue or be sued, see rule 17.

Pleading affirmative defenses, see rule 8.

Proof of official record, see rule 44.

Rule 10. Form of Pleadings

(a) Caption; Names of Parties. Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the action, the file number, and a designation as in Rule 7(a). In the complaint the title of the action shall include the names of all the parties, but in other pleadings it is sufficient to state the name of the first party on each side with an appropriate indication of other parties.

(b) Paragraphs; Separate Statements. All averments of claim or defense shall be made in numbered paragraphs, the contents of each of which shall be limited as far as practicable to a statement of a single set of circumstances; and a paragraph may be referred to by number in all succeeding pleadings. Each claim founded upon a separate transaction or occurrence and each defense other than denials shall be stated in a separate count or defense whenever a separation facilitates the clear presentation of the matters set forth.

(c) Adoption by Reference; Exhibits. Statements in a pleading may be adopted by reference in a different part of the same pleading or in another pleading or in any motion. A copy of any written instrument which is an exhibit to a pleading is a part thereof for all purposes.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

The first sentence is derived in part from the opening statement of [former] Equity Rule 25 (Bill of Complaint—Contents). The remainder of the rule is an expansion in conformity with usual state provisions. For numbered paragraphs and separate statements, see Conn.Gen.Stat. (1930) §5513; Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §157 (2); N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rule 90. For incorporation by reference, see N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rule 90. For written instruments as exhibits, see Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §160.

Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States

Form of pleadings in original actions in Supreme Court of the United States as governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, see rule 17, this Appendix.

Forms

See Appendix of Forms.

Cross References

Captions in motions and other papers, see rule 7.

Rule 11. Signing of Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to Court; Sanctions

(a) Signature. Every pleading, written motion, and other paper shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name, or, if the party is not represented by an attorney, shall be signed by the party. Each paper shall state the signer's address and telephone number, if any. Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. An unsigned paper shall be stricken unless omission of the signature is corrected promptly after being called to the attention of the attorney or party.

(b) Representations to Court. By presenting to the court (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating) a pleading, written motion, or other paper, an attorney or unrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,—

(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;

(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;

(3) the allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.


(c) Sanctions. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that subdivision (b) has been violated, the court may, subject to the conditions stated below, impose an appropriate sanction upon the attorneys, law firms, or parties that have violated subdivision (b) or are responsible for the violation.

(1) How Initiated.

(A) By Motion. A motion for sanctions under this rule shall be made separately from other motions or requests and shall describe the specific conduct alleged to violate subdivision (b). It shall be served as provided in Rule 5, but shall not be filed with or presented to the court unless, within 21 days after service of the motion (or such other period as the court may prescribe), the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected. If warranted, the court may award to the party prevailing on the motion the reasonable expenses and attorney's fees incurred in presenting or opposing the motion. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm shall be held jointly responsible for violations committed by its partners, associates, and employees.

(B) On Court's Initiative. On its own initiative, the court may enter an order describing the specific conduct that appears to violate subdivision (b) and directing an attorney, law firm, or party to show cause why it has not violated subdivision (b) with respect thereto.


(2) Nature of Sanction; Limitations. A sanction imposed for violation of this rule shall be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of such conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. Subject to the limitations in subparagraphs (A) and (B), the sanction may consist of, or include, directives of a nonmonetary nature, an order to pay a penalty into court, or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment to the movant of some or all of the reasonable attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred as a direct result of the violation.

(A) Monetary sanctions may not be awarded against a represented party for a violation of subdivision (b)(2).

(B) Monetary sanctions may not be awarded on the court's initiative unless the court issues its order to show cause before a voluntary dismissal or settlement of the claims made by or against the party which is, or whose attorneys are, to be sanctioned.


(3) Order. When imposing sanctions, the court shall describe the conduct determined to constitute a violation of this rule and explain the basis for the sanction imposed.


(d) Inapplicability to Discovery. Subdivisions (a) through (c) of this rule do not apply to disclosures and discovery requests, responses, objections, and motions that are subject to the provisions of Rules 26 through 37.

(As amended Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

This is substantially the content of [former] Equity Rules 24 (Signature of Counsel) and 21 (Scandal and Impertinence) consolidated and unified. Compare [former] Equity Rule 36 (Officers Before Whom Pleadings Verified). Compare to similar purposes, English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r. 4, and Great Australian Gold Mining Co. v. Martin, L. R., 5 Ch.Div. 1, 10 (1877). Subscription of pleadings is required in many codes. 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9265; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rule 91; 2 N.D.Comp.Laws Ann. (1913) §7455.

This rule expressly continues any statute which requires a pleading to be verified or accompanied by an affidavit, such as:


U.S.C., Title 28:

 §381 [former] (Preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders)

 §762 [now 1402] (Suit against the United States).


U.S.C., Title 28, §829 [now 1927] (Costs; attorney liable for, when) is unaffected by this rule.

For complaints which must be verified under these rules, see Rules 23(b) (Secondary Action by Shareholders) and 65 (Injunctions).

For abolition of the rule in equity that the averments of an answer under oath must be overcome by the testimony of two witnesses or of one witness sustained by corroborating circumstances, see Pa.Stat.Ann. (Purdon, 1931) see 12 P.S.Pa., §1222; for the rule in equity itself, see Greenfield v. Blumenthal, 69 F.2d 294 (C.C.A. 3d, 1934).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Since its original promulgation, Rule 11 has provided for the striking of pleadings and the imposition of disciplinary sanctions to check abuses in the signing of pleadings. Its provisions have always applied to motions and other papers by virtue of incorporation by reference in Rule 7(b)(2). The amendment and the addition of Rule 7(b)(3) expressly confirms this applicability.

Experience shows that in practice Rule 11 has not been effective in deterring abuses. See 6 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1334 (1971). There has been considerable confusion as to (1) the circumstances that should trigger striking a pleading or motion or taking disciplinary action, (2) the standard of conduct expected of attorneys who sign pleadings and motions, and (3) the range of available and appropriate sanctions. See Rodes, Ripple & Mooney, Sanctions Imposable for Violations of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 64–65, Federal Judicial Center (1981). The new language is intended to reduce the reluctance of courts to impose sanctions, see Moore, Federal Practice 7.05, at 1547, by emphasizing the responsibilities of the attorney and reenforcing those obligations by the imposition of sanctions.

The amended rule attempts to deal with the problem by building upon and expanding the equitable doctrine permitting the court to award expenses, including attorney's fees, to a litigant whose opponent acts in bad faith in instituting or conducting litigation. See, e.g., Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, (1980); Hall v. Cole, 412 U.S. 1, 5 (1973). Greater attention by the district courts to pleading and motion abuses and the imposition of sanctions when appropriate, should discourage dilatory or abusive tactics and help to streamline the litigation process by lessening frivolous claims or defenses.

The expanded nature of the lawyer's certification in the fifth sentence of amended Rule 11 recognizes that the litigation process may be abused for purposes other than delay. See, e.g., Browning Debenture Holders’ Committee v. DASA Corp., 560 F.2d 1078 (2d Cir. 1977).

The words “good ground to support” the pleading in the original rule were interpreted to have both factual and legal elements. See, e.g., Heart Disease Research Foundation v. General Motors Corp., 15 Fed.R.Serv. 2d 1517, 1519 (S.D.N.Y. 1972). They have been replaced by a standard of conduct that is more focused.

The new language stresses the need for some prefiling inquiry into both the facts and the law to satisfy the affirmative duty imposed by the rule. The standard is one of reasonableness under the circumstances. See Kinee v. Abraham Lincoln Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 365 F.Supp. 975 (E.D.Pa. 1973). This standard is more stringent than the original good-faith formula and thus it is expected that a greater range of circumstances will trigger its violation. See Nemeroff v. Abelson, 620 F.2d 339 (2d Cir. 1980).

The rule is not intended to chill an attorney's enthusiasm or creativity in pursuing factual or legal theories. The court is expected to avoid using the wisdom of hindsight and should test the signer's conduct by inquiring what was reasonable to believe at the time the pleading, motion, or other paper was submitted. Thus, what constitutes a reasonable inquiry may depend on such factors as how much time for investigation was available to the signer; whether he had to rely on a client for information as to the facts underlying the pleading, motion, or other paper; whether the pleading, motion, or other paper was based on a plausible view of the law; or whether he depended on forwarding counsel or another member of the bar.

The rule does not require a party or an attorney to disclose privileged communications or work product in order to show that the signing of the pleading, motion, or other paper is substantially justified. The provisions of Rule 26(c), including appropriate orders after in camera inspection by the court, remain available to protect a party claiming privilege or work product protection.

Amended Rule 11 continues to apply to anyone who signs a pleading, motion, or other paper. Although the standard is the same for unrepresented parties, who are obliged themselves to sign the pleadings, the court has sufficient discretion to take account of the special circumstances that often arise in pro se situations. See Haines v. Kerner 404 U.S. 519 (1972).

The provision in the original rule for striking pleadings and motions as sham and false has been deleted. The passage has rarely been utilized, and decisions thereunder have tended to confuse the issue of attorney honesty with the merits of the action. See generally Risinger, Honesty in Pleading and its Enforcement: Some “Striking” Problems with Fed. R. Civ. P. 11, 61 Minn.L.Rev. 1 (1976). Motions under this provision generally present issues better dealt with under Rules 8, 12, or 56. See Murchison v. Kirby, 27 F.R.D. 14 (S.D.N.Y. 1961); 5 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1334 (1969).

The former reference to the inclusion of scandalous or indecent matter, which is itself strong indication that an improper purpose underlies the pleading, motion, or other paper, also has been deleted as unnecessary. Such matter may be stricken under Rule 12(f) as well as dealt with under the more general language of amended Rule 11.

The text of the amended rule seeks to dispel apprehensions that efforts to obtain enforcement will be fruitless by insuring that the rule will be applied when properly invoked. The word “sanctions” in the caption, for example, stresses a deterrent orientation in dealing with improper pleadings, motions or other papers. This corresponds to the approach in imposing sanctions for discovery abuses. See National Hockey League v. Metropolitan Hockey Club, 427 U.S. 639 (1976) (per curiam). And the words “shall impose” in the last sentence focus the court's attention on the need to impose sanctions for pleading and motion abuses. The court, however, retains the necessary flexibility to deal appropriately with violations of the rule. It has discretion to tailor sanctions to the particular facts of the case, with which it should be well acquainted.

The reference in the former text to wilfullness as a prerequisite to disciplinary action has been deleted. However, in considering the nature and severity of the sanctions to be imposed, the court should take account of the state of the attorney's or party's actual or presumed knowledge when the pleading or other paper was signed. Thus, for example, when a party is not represented by counsel, the absence of legal advice is an appropriate factor to be considered.

Courts currently appear to believe they may impose sanctions on their own motion. See North American Trading Corp. v. Zale Corp., 73 F.R.D. 293 (S.D.N.Y. 1979). Authority to do so has been made explicit in order to overcome the traditional reluctance of courts to intervene unless requested by one of the parties. The detection and punishment of a violation of the signing requirement, encouraged by the amended rule, is part of the court's responsibility for securing the system's effective operation.

If the duty imposed by the rule is violated, the court should have the discretion to impose sanctions on either the attorney, the party the signing attorney represents, or both, or on an unrepresented party who signed the pleading, and the new rule so provides. Although Rule 11 has been silent on the point, courts have claimed the power to impose sanctions on an attorney personally, either by imposing costs or employing the contempt technique. See 5 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1334 (1969); 2A Moore, Federal Practice 11.02, at 2104 n.8. This power has been used infrequently. The amended rule should eliminate any doubt as to the propriety of assessing sanctions against the attorney.

Even though it is the attorney whose signature violates the rule, it may be appropriate under the circumstances of the case to impose a sanction on the client. See Browning Debenture Holders’ Committee v. DASA Corp., supra. This modification brings Rule 11 in line with practice under Rule 37, which allows sanctions for abuses during discovery to be imposed upon the party, the attorney, or both.

A party seeking sanctions should give notice to the court and the offending party promptly upon discovering a basis for doing so. The time when sanctions are to be imposed rests in the discretion of the trial judge. However, it is anticipated that in the case of pleadings the sanctions issue under Rule 11 normally will be determined at the end of the litigation, and in the case of motions at the time when the motion is decided or shortly thereafter. The procedure obviously must comport with due process requirements. The particular format to be followed should depend on the circumstances of the situation and the severity of the sanction under consideration. In many situations the judge's participation in the proceedings provides him with full knowledge of the relevant facts and little further inquiry will be necessary.

To assure that the efficiencies achieved through more effective operation of the pleading regimen will not be offset by the cost of satellite litigation over the imposition of sanctions, the court must to the extent possible limit the scope of sanction proceedings to the record. Thus, discovery should be conducted only by leave of the court, and then only in extraordinary circumstances.

Although the encompassing reference to “other papers” in new Rule 11 literally includes discovery papers, the certification requirement in that context is governed by proposed new Rule 26(g). Discovery motions, however, fall within the ambit of Rule 11.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Purpose of revision. This revision is intended to remedy problems that have arisen in the interpretation and application of the 1983 revision of the rule. For empirical examination of experience under the 1983 rule, see, e.g., New York State Bar Committee on Federal Courts, Sanctions and Attorneys’ Fees (1987); T. Willging, The Rule 11 Sanctioning Process (1989); American Judicature Society, Report of the Third Circuit Task Force on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 (S. Burbank ed., 1989); E. Wiggins, T. Willging, and D. Stienstra, Report on Rule 11 (Federal Judicial Center 1991). For book-length analyses of the case law, see G. Joseph, Sanctions: The Federal Law of Litigation Abuse (1989); J. Solovy, The Federal Law of Sanctions (1991); G. Vairo, Rule 11 Sanctions: Case Law Perspectives and Preventive Measures (1991).

The rule retains the principle that attorneys and pro se litigants have an obligation to the court to refrain from conduct that frustrates the aims of Rule 1. The revision broadens the scope of this obligation, but places greater constraints on the imposition of sanctions and should reduce the number of motions for sanctions presented to the court. New subdivision (d) removes from the ambit of this rule all discovery requests, responses, objections, and motions subject to the provisions of Rule 26 through 37.

Subdivision (a). Retained in this subdivision are the provisions requiring signatures on pleadings, written motions, and other papers. Unsigned papers are to be received by the Clerk, but then are to be stricken if the omission of the signature is not corrected promptly after being called to the attention of the attorney or pro se litigant. Correction can be made by signing the paper on file or by submitting a duplicate that contains the signature. A court may require by local rule that papers contain additional identifying information regarding the parties or attorneys, such as telephone numbers to facilitate facsimile transmissions, though, as for omission of a signature, the paper should not be rejected for failure to provide such information.

The sentence in the former rule relating to the effect of answers under oath is no longer needed and has been eliminated. The provision in the former rule that signing a paper constitutes a certificate that it has been read by the signer also has been eliminated as unnecessary. The obligations imposed under subdivision (b) obviously require that a pleading, written motion, or other paper be read before it is filed or submitted to the court.

Subdivisions (b) and (c). These subdivisions restate the provisions requiring attorneys and pro se litigants to conduct a reasonable inquiry into the law and facts before signing pleadings, written motions, and other documents, and prescribing sanctions for violation of these obligations. The revision in part expands the responsibilities of litigants to the court, while providing greater constraints and flexibility in dealing with infractions of the rule. The rule continues to require litigants to “stop-and-think” before initially making legal or factual contentions. It also, however, emphasizes the duty of candor by subjecting litigants to potential sanctions for insisting upon a position after it is no longer tenable and by generally providing protection against sanctions if they withdraw or correct contentions after a potential violation is called to their attention.

The rule applies only to assertions contained in papers filed with or submitted to the court. It does not cover matters arising for the first time during oral presentations to the court, when counsel may make statements that would not have been made if there had been more time for study and reflection. However, a litigant's obligations with respect to the contents of these papers are not measured solely as of the time they are filed with or submitted to the court, but include reaffirming to the court and advocating positions contained in those pleadings and motions after learning that they cease to have any merit. For example, an attorney who during a pretrial conference insists on a claim or defense should be viewed as “presenting to the court” that contention and would be subject to the obligations of subdivision (b) measured as of that time. Similarly, if after a notice of removal is filed, a party urges in federal court the allegations of a pleading filed in state court (whether as claims, defenses, or in disputes regarding removal or remand), it would be viewed as “presenting”—and hence certifying to the district court under Rule 11—those allegations.

The certification with respect to allegations and other factual contentions is revised in recognition that sometimes a litigant may have good reason to believe that a fact is true or false but may need discovery, formal or informal, from opposing parties or third persons to gather and confirm the evidentiary basis for the allegation. Tolerance of factual contentions in initial pleadings by plaintiffs or defendants when specifically identified as made on information and belief does not relieve litigants from the obligation to conduct an appropriate investigation into the facts that is reasonable under the circumstances; it is not a license to join parties, make claims, or present defenses without any factual basis or justification. Moreover, if evidentiary support is not obtained after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery, the party has a duty under the rule not to persist with that contention. Subdivision (b) does not require a formal amendment to pleadings for which evidentiary support is not obtained, but rather calls upon a litigant not thereafter to advocate such claims or defenses.

The certification is that there is (or likely will be) “evidentiary support” for the allegation, not that the party will prevail with respect to its contention regarding the fact. That summary judgment is rendered against a party does not necessarily mean, for purposes of this certification, that it had no evidentiary support for its position. On the other hand, if a party has evidence with respect to a contention that would suffice to defeat a motion for summary judgment based thereon, it would have sufficient “evidentiary support” for purposes of Rule 11.

Denials of factual contentions involve somewhat different considerations. Often, of course, a denial is premised upon the existence of evidence contradicting the alleged fact. At other times a denial is permissible because, after an appropriate investigation, a party has no information concerning the matter or, indeed, has a reasonable basis for doubting the credibility of the only evidence relevant to the matter. A party should not deny an allegation it knows to be true; but it is not required, simply because it lacks contradictory evidence, to admit an allegation that it believes is not true.

The changes in subdivisions (b)(3) and (b)(4) will serve to equalize the burden of the rule upon plaintiffs and defendants, who under Rule 8(b) are in effect allowed to deny allegations by stating that from their initial investigation they lack sufficient information to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation. If, after further investigation or discovery, a denial is no longer warranted, the defendant should not continue to insist on that denial. While sometimes helpful, formal amendment of the pleadings to withdraw an allegation or denial is not required by subdivision (b).

Arguments for extensions, modifications, or reversals of existing law or for creation of new law do not violate subdivision (b)(2) provided they are “nonfrivolous.” This establishes an objective standard, intended to eliminate any “empty-head pure-heart” justification for patently frivolous arguments. However, the extent to which a litigant has researched the issues and found some support for its theories even in minority opinions, in law review articles, or through consultation with other attorneys should certainly be taken into account in determining whether paragraph (2) has been violated. Although arguments for a change of law are not required to be specifically so identified, a contention that is so identified should be viewed with greater tolerance under the rule.

The court has available a variety of possible sanctions to impose for violations, such as striking the offending paper; issuing an admonition, reprimand, or censure; requiring participation in seminars or other educational programs; ordering a fine payable to the court; referring the matter to disciplinary authorities (or, in the case of government attorneys, to the Attorney General, Inspector General, or agency head), etc. See Manual for Complex Litigation, Second, §42.3. The rule does not attempt to enumerate the factors a court should consider in deciding whether to impose a sanction or what sanctions would be appropriate in the circumstances; but, for emphasis, it does specifically note that a sanction may be nonmonetary as well as monetary. Whether the improper conduct was willful, or negligent; whether it was part of a pattern of activity, or an isolated event; whether it infected the entire pleading, or only one particular count or defense; whether the person has engaged in similar conduct in other litigation; whether it was intended to injure; what effect it had on the litigation process in time or expense; whether the responsible person is trained in the law; what amount, given the financial resources of the responsible person, is needed to deter that person from repetition in the same case; what amount is needed to deter similar activity by other litigants: all of these may in a particular case be proper considerations. The court has significant discretion in determining what sanctions, if any, should be imposed for a violation, subject to the principle that the sanctions should not be more severe than reasonably necessary to deter repetition of the conduct by the offending person or comparable conduct by similarly situated persons.

Since the purpose of Rule 11 sanctions is to deter rather than to compensate, the rule provides that, if a monetary sanction is imposed, it should ordinarily be paid into court as a penalty. However, under unusual circumstances, particularly for [subdivision] (b)(1) violations, deterrence may be ineffective unless the sanction not only requires the person violating the rule to make a monetary payment, but also directs that some or all of this payment be made to those injured by the violation. Accordingly, the rule authorizes the court, if requested in a motion and if so warranted, to award attorney's fees to another party. Any such award to another party, however, should not exceed the expenses and attorneys’ fees for the services directly and unavoidably caused by the violation of the certification requirement. If, for example, a wholly unsupportable count were included in a multi-count complaint or counterclaim for the purpose of needlessly increasing the cost of litigation to an impecunious adversary, any award of expenses should be limited to those directly caused by inclusion of the improper count, and not those resulting from the filing of the complaint or answer itself. The award should not provide compensation for services that could have been avoided by an earlier disclosure of evidence or an earlier challenge to the groundless claims or defenses. Moreover, partial reimbursement of fees may constitute a sufficient deterrent with respect to violations by persons having modest financial resources. In cases brought under statutes providing for fees to be awarded to prevailing parties, the court should not employ cost-shifting under this rule in a manner that would be inconsistent with the standards that govern the statutory award of fees, such as stated in Christiansburg Garment Co. v. EEOC, 434 U.S. 412 (1978).

The sanction should be imposed on the persons—whether attorneys, law firms, or parties—who have violated the rule or who may be determined to be responsible for the violation. The person signing, filing, submitting, or advocating a document has a nondelegable responsibility to the court, and in most situations is the person to be sanctioned for a violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm is to be held also responsible when, as a result of a motion under subdivision (c)(1)(A), one of its partners, associates, or employees is determined to have violated the rule. Since such a motion may be filed only if the offending paper is not withdrawn or corrected within 21 days after service of the motion, it is appropriate that the law firm ordinarily be viewed as jointly responsible under established principles of agency. This provision is designed to remove the restrictions of the former rule. Cf. Pavelic & LeFlore v. Marvel Entertainment Group, 493 U.S. 120 (1989) (1983 version of Rule 11 does not permit sanctions against law firm of attorney signing groundless complaint).

The revision permits the court to consider whether other attorneys in the firm, co-counsel, other law firms, or the party itself should be held accountable for their part in causing a violation. When appropriate, the court can make an additional inquiry in order to determine whether the sanction should be imposed on such persons, firms, or parties either in addition to or, in unusual circumstances, instead of the person actually making the presentation to the court. For example, such an inquiry may be appropriate in cases involving governmental agencies or other institutional parties that frequently impose substantial restrictions on the discretion of individual attorneys employed by it.

Sanctions that involve monetary awards (such as a fine or an award of attorney's fees) may not be imposed on a represented party for causing a violation of subdivision (b)(2), involving frivolous contentions of law. Monetary responsibility for such violations is more properly placed solely on the party's attorneys. With this limitation, the rule should not be subject to attack under the Rules Enabling Act. See Willy v. Coastal Corp., ____ U.S. ____ (1992); Business Guides, Inc. v. Chromatic Communications Enter. Inc., ____ U.S. ____ (1991). This restriction does not limit the court's power to impose sanctions or remedial orders that may have collateral financial consequences upon a party, such as dismissal of a claim, preclusion of a defense, or preparation of amended pleadings.

Explicit provision is made for litigants to be provided notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to respond before sanctions are imposed. Whether the matter should be decided solely on the basis of written submissions or should be scheduled for oral argument (or, indeed, for evidentiary presentation) will depend on the circumstances. If the court imposes a sanction, it must, unless waived, indicate its reasons in a written order or on the record; the court should not ordinarily have to explain its denial of a motion for sanctions. Whether a violation has occurred and what sanctions, if any, to impose for a violation are matters committed to the discretion of the trial court; accordingly, as under current law, the standard for appellate review of these decisions will be for abuse of discretion. See Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., 496 U.S. 384 (1990) (noting, however, that an abuse would be established if the court based its ruling on an erroneous view of the law or on a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence).

The revision leaves for resolution on a case-by-case basis, considering the particular circumstances involved, the question as to when a motion for violation of Rule 11 should be served and when, if filed, it should be decided. Ordinarily the motion should be served promptly after the inappropriate paper is filed, and, if delayed too long, may be viewed as untimely. In other circumstances, it should not be served until the other party has had a reasonable opportunity for discovery. Given the “safe harbor” provisions discussed below, a party cannot delay serving its Rule 11 motion until conclusion of the case (or judicial rejection of the offending contention).

Rule 11 motions should not be made or threatened for minor, inconsequential violations of the standards prescribed by subdivision (b). They should not be employed as a discovery device or to test the legal sufficiency or efficacy of allegations in the pleadings; other motions are available for those purposes. Nor should Rule 11 motions be prepared to emphasize the merits of a party's position, to exact an unjust settlement, to intimidate an adversary into withdrawing contentions that are fairly debatable, to increase the costs of litigation, to create a conflict of interest between attorney and client, or to seek disclosure of matters otherwise protected by the attorney-client privilege or the work-product doctrine. As under the prior rule, the court may defer its ruling (or its decision as to the identity of the persons to be sanctioned) until final resolution of the case in order to avoid immediate conflicts of interest and to reduce the disruption created if a disclosure of attorney-client communications is needed to determine whether a violation occurred or to identify the person responsible for the violation.

The rule provides that requests for sanctions must be made as a separate motion, i.e., not simply included as an additional prayer for relief contained in another motion. The motion for sanctions is not, however, to be filed until at least 21 days (or such other period as the court may set) after being served. If, during this period, the alleged violation is corrected, as by withdrawing (whether formally or informally) some allegation or contention, the motion should not be filed with the court. These provisions are intended to provide a type of “safe harbor” against motions under Rule 11 in that a party will not be subject to sanctions on the basis of another party's motion unless, after receiving the motion, it refuses to withdraw that position or to acknowledge candidly that it does not currently have evidence to support a specified allegation. Under the former rule, parties were sometimes reluctant to abandon a questionable contention lest that be viewed as evidence of a violation of Rule 11; under the revision, the timely withdrawal of a contention will protect a party against a motion for sanctions.

To stress the seriousness of a motion for sanctions and to define precisely the conduct claimed to violate the rule, the revision provides that the “safe harbor” period begins to run only upon service of the motion. In most cases, however, counsel should be expected to give informal notice to the other party, whether in person or by a telephone call or letter, of a potential violation before proceeding to prepare and serve a Rule 11 motion.

As under former Rule 11, the filing of a motion for sanctions is itself subject to the requirements of the rule and can lead to sanctions. However, service of a cross motion under Rule 11 should rarely be needed since under the revision the court may award to the person who prevails on a motion under Rule 11—whether the movant or the target of the motion—reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred in presenting or opposing the motion.

The power of the court to act on its own initiative is retained, but with the condition that this be done through a show cause order. This procedure provides the person with notice and an opportunity to respond. The revision provides that a monetary sanction imposed after a court-initiated show cause order be limited to a penalty payable to the court and that it be imposed only if the show cause order is issued before any voluntary dismissal or an agreement of the parties to settle the claims made by or against the litigant. Parties settling a case should not be subsequently faced with an unexpected order from the court leading to monetary sanctions that might have affected their willingness to settle or voluntarily dismiss a case. Since show cause orders will ordinarily be issued only in situations that are akin to a contempt of court, the rule does not provide a “safe harbor” to a litigant for withdrawing a claim, defense, etc., after a show cause order has been issued on the court's own initiative. Such corrective action, however, should be taken into account in deciding what—if any—sanction to impose if, after consideration of the litigant's response, the court concludes that a violation has occurred.

Subdivision (d). Rules 26(g) and 37 establish certification standards and sanctions that apply to discovery disclosures, requests, responses, objections, and motions. It is appropriate that Rules 26 through 37, which are specially designed for the discovery process, govern such documents and conduct rather than the more general provisions of Rule 11. Subdivision (d) has been added to accomplish this result.

Rule 11 is not the exclusive source for control of improper presentations of claims, defenses, or contentions. It does not supplant statutes permitting awards of attorney's fees to prevailing parties or alter the principles governing such awards. It does not inhibit the court in punishing for contempt, in exercising its inherent powers, or in imposing sanctions, awarding expenses, or directing remedial action authorized under other rules or under 28 U.S.C. §1927. See Chambers v. NASCO, ____ U.S. ____ (1991). Chambers cautions, however, against reliance upon inherent powers if appropriate sanctions can be imposed under provisions such as Rule 11, and the procedures specified in Rule 11—notice, opportunity to respond, and findings—should ordinarily be employed when imposing a sanction under the court's inherent powers. Finally, it should be noted that Rule 11 does not preclude a party from initiating an independent action for malicious prosecution or abuse of process.

Cross References

Notary public and other persons authorized to administer oaths required by laws of the United States, see section 2903 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Signing of motions and other papers, see rule 7.

Rule 12. Defenses and Objections—When and How Presented—By Pleading or Motion—Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

(a) When Presented.

(1) Unless a different time is prescribed in a statute of the United States, a defendant shall serve an answer

(A) within 20 days after being served with the summons and complaint, or

(B) if service of the summons has been timely waived on request under Rule 4(d), within 60 days after the date when the request for waiver was sent, or within 90 days after that date if the defendant was addressed outside any judicial district of the United States.


(2) A party served with a pleading stating a cross-claim against that party shall serve an answer thereto within 20 days after being served. The plaintiff shall serve a reply to a counterclaim in the answer within 20 days after service of the answer, or, if a reply is ordered by the court, within 20 days after service of the order, unless the order otherwise directs.

(3) The United States or an officer or agency thereof shall serve an answer to the complaint or to a cross-claim, or a reply to a counterclaim, within 60 days after the service upon the United States attorney of the pleading in which the claim is asserted.

(4) Unless a different time is fixed by court order, the service of a motion permitted under this rule alters these periods of time as follows:

(A) if the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until the trial on the merits, the responsive pleading shall be served within 10 days after notice of the court's action; or

(B) if the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleading shall be served within 10 days after the service of the more definite statement.


(b) How Presented. Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, (2) lack of jurisdiction over the person, (3) improper venue, (4) insufficiency of process, (5) insufficiency of service of process, (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, (7) failure to join a party under Rule 19. A motion making any of these defenses shall be made before pleading if a further pleading is permitted. No defense or objection is waived by being joined with one or more other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or motion. If a pleading sets forth a claim for relief to which the adverse party is not required to serve a responsive pleading, the adverse party may assert at the trial any defense in law or fact to that claim for relief. If, on a motion asserting the defense numbered (6) to dismiss for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56, and all parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56.

(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. After the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings. If, on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56, and all parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56.

(d) Preliminary Hearings. The defenses specifically enumerated (1)–(7) in subdivision (b) of this rule, whether made in a pleading or by motion, and the motion for judgment mentioned in subdivision (c) of this rule shall be heard and determined before trial on application of any party, unless the court orders that the hearing and determination thereof be deferred until the trial.

(e) Motion for More Definite Statement. If a pleading to which a responsive pleading is permitted is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, the party may move for a more definite statement before interposing a responsive pleading. The motion shall point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the motion is granted and the order of the court is not obeyed within 10 days after notice of the order or within such other time as the court may fix, the court may strike the pleading to which the motion was directed or make such order as it deems just.

(f) Motion To Strike. Upon motion made by a party before responding to a pleading or, if no responsive pleading is permitted by these rules, upon motion made by a party within 20 days after the service of the pleading upon the party or upon the court's own initiative at any time, the court may order stricken from any pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.

(g) Consolidation of Defenses in Motion. A party who makes a motion under this rule may join with it any other motions herein provided for and then available to the party. If a party makes a motion under this rule but omits therefrom any defense or objection then available to the party which this rule permits to be raised by motion, the party shall not thereafter make a motion based on the defense or objection so omitted, except a motion as provided in subdivision (h)(2) hereof on any of the grounds there stated.

(h) Waiver or Preservation of Certain Defenses.

(1) A defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person, improper venue, insufficiency of process, or insufficiency of service of process is waived (A) if omitted from a motion in the circumstances described in subdivision (g), or (B) if it is neither made by motion under this rule nor included in a responsive pleading or an amendment thereof permitted by Rule 15(a) to be made as a matter of course.

(2) A defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a defense of failure to join a party indispensable under Rule 19, and an objection of failure to state a legal defense to a claim may be made in any pleading permitted or ordered under Rule 7(a), or by motion for judgment on the pleadings, or at the trial on the merits.

(3) Whenever it appears by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the action.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. Compare [former] Equity Rules 12 (Issue of Subpoena—Time for Answer) and 31 (Reply—When Required—When Cause at Issue); 4 Mont.Rev.Codes Ann. (1935) §§9107, 9158; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §263; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rules 109–111.

2. U.S.C., Title 28, §763 [now 547] (Petition in action against United States; service; appearance by district attorney) provides that the United States as a defendant shall have 60 days within which to answer or otherwise defend. This and other statutes which provide 60 days for the United States or an officer or agency thereof to answer or otherwise defend are continued by this rule. Insofar as any statutes not excepted in Rule 81 provide a different time for a defendant to defend, such statutes are modified. See U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §45 (District courts; practice and procedure in certain cases under the interstate commerce laws) (30 days).

3. Compare the last sentence of [former] Equity Rule 29 (Defenses—How Presented) and N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §283. See Rule 15(a) for time within which to plead to an amended pleading.

Note to Subdivisions (b) and (d). 1. See generally [former] Equity Rules 29 (Defenses—How Presented), 33 (Testing Sufficiency of Defense), 43 (Defect of Parties—Resisting Objection), and 44 (Defect of Parties—Tardy Objection); N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§277–280; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rules 106–112; English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 25, r.r. 1–4; Clark, Code Pleading (1928) pp. 371–381.

2. For provisions authorizing defenses to be made in the answer or reply see English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 25, r.r. 1–4; 1 Miss.Code Ann. (1930) §§378, 379. Compare [former] Equity Rule 29 (Defenses—How Presented); U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §45 (District Courts; practice and procedure in certain cases under the interstate commerce laws). U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §45, substantially continued by this rule, provides: “No replication need be filed to the answer, and objections to the sufficiency of the petition or answer as not setting forth a cause of action or defense must be taken at the final hearing or by motion to dismiss the petition based on said grounds, which motion may be made at any time before answer is filed.” Compare Calif.Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §433; 4 Nev.Comp.Laws (Hillyer, 1929) §8600. For provisions that the defendant may demur and answer at the same time, see Calif.Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §431; 4 Nev.Comp.Laws (Hillyer, 1929) §8598.

3. [Former] Equity Rule 29 (Defenses—How Presented) abolished demurrers and provided that defenses in point of law arising on the face of the bill should be made by motion to dismiss or in the answer, with further provision that every such point of law going to the whole or material part of the cause or causes stated might be called up and disposed of before final hearing “at the discretion of the court.” Likewise many state practices have abolished the demurrer, or retain it only to attack substantial and not formal defects. See 6 Tenn.Code Ann. (Williams, 1934) §8784; Ala.Code Ann. (Michie, 1928) §9479; 2 Mass.Gen.Laws (Ter.Ed., 1932) ch. 231, §§15–18; Kansas Gen.Stat.Ann. (1935) §§60–705, 60–706.

Note to Subdivision (c). Compare [former] Equity Rule 33 (Testing Sufficiency of Defense); N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rules 111 and 112.

Note to Subdivisions (e) and (f). Compare [former] Equity Rules 20 (Further and Particular Statement in Pleading May Be Required) and 21 (Scandal and Impertinence); English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r.r. 7, 7a, 7b, 8; 4 Mont.Rev.Codes Ann. (1935) §§9166, 9167; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §247; N.Y.R.C.P. (1937) Rules 103, 115, 116, 117; Wyo.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Courtright, 1931) §§89–1033, 89–1034.

Note to Subdivision (g). Compare Rules of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia (1937), Equity Rule 11; N.M. Rules of Pleading, Practice and Procedure, 38 N.M.Rep. vii [105–408] (1934); Wash.Gen.Rules of the Superior Courts, 1 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) p. 160, Rule VI (e) and (f).

Note to Subdivision (h). Compare Calif.Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §434; 2 Minn.Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9252; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§278 and 279; Wash.Gen.Rules of the Superior Courts, 1 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) p. 160, Rule VI (e). This rule continues U.S.C., Title 28, §80 [now 1359, 1447, 1919] (Dismissal or remand) (of action over which district court lacks jurisdiction), while U.S.C., Title 28, §399 [now 1653] (Amendments to show diverse citizenship) is continued by Rule 15.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

Subdivision (a). Various minor alterations in language have been made to improve the statement of the rule. All references to bills of particulars have been stricken in accordance with changes made in subdivision (e).

Subdivision (b). The addition of defense (7), “failure to join an indispensable party”, cures an omission in the rules, which are silent as to the mode of raising such failure. See Commentary, Manner of Raising Objection of Non-Joinder of Indispensable Party (1940) 2 Fed.Rules Serv. 658 and (1942) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 820. In one case, United States v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. (E.D.Pa. 1941) 36 F.Supp. 399, the failure to join an indispensable party was raised under Rule 12(c).

Rule 12(b)(6), permitting a motion to dismiss for failure of the complaint to state a claim on which relief can be granted, is substantially the same as the old demurrer for failure of a pleading to state a cause of action. Some courts have held that as the rule by its terms refers to statements in the complaint, extraneous matter on affidavits, depositions or otherwise, may not be introduced in support of the motion, or to resist it. On the other hand, in many cases the district courts have permitted the introduction of such material. When these cases have reached circuit courts of appeals in situations where the extraneous material so received shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material question of fact and that on the undisputed facts as disclosed by the affidavits or depositions, one party or the other is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the circuit courts, properly enough, have been reluctant to dispose of the case merely on the face of the pleading, and in the interest of prompt disposition of the action have made a final disposition of it. In dealing with such situations the Second Circuit has made the sound suggestion that whatever its label or original basis, the motion may be treated as a motion for summary judgment and disposed of as such. Samara v. United States (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 129 F.(2d) 594, cert. den. (1942) 317 U.S. 686; Boro Hall Corp. v. General Motors Corp. (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 124 F.(2d) 822, cert. den. (1943) 317 U.S. 695. See also Kithcart v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. (C.C.A.8th, 1945) 150 F.(2d) 997, aff'g 62 F.Supp. 93.

It has also been suggested that this practice could be justified on the ground that the federal rules permit “speaking” motions. The Committee entertains the view that on motion under Rule 12(b)(6) to dismiss for failure of the complaint to state a good claim, the trial court should have authority to permit the introduction of extraneous matter, such as may be offered on a motion for summary judgment, and if it does not exclude such matter the motion should then be treated as a motion for summary judgment and disposed of in the manner and on the conditions stated in Rule 56 relating to summary judgments, and, of course, in such a situation, when the case reaches the circuit court of appeals, that court should treat the motion in the same way. The Committee believes that such practice, however, should be tied to the summary judgment rule. The term “speaking motion” is not mentioned in the rules, and if there is such a thing its limitations are undefined. Where extraneous matter is received, by tying further proceedings to the summary judgment rule the courts have a definite basis in the rules for disposing of the motion.

The Committee emphasizes particularly the fact that the summary judgment rule does not permit a case to be disposed of by judgment on the merits on affidavits, which disclose a conflict on a material issue of fact, and unless this practice is tied to the summary judgment rule, the extent to which a court, on the introduction of such extraneous matter, may resolve questions of fact on conflicting proof would be left uncertain.

The decisions dealing with this general situation may be generally grouped as follows: (1) cases dealing with the use of affidavits and other extraneous material on motions; (2) cases reversing judgments to prevent final determination on mere pleading allegations alone.

Under group (1) are: Boro Hall Corp. v. General Motors Corp. (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 124 F.(2d) 822, cert. den. (1943) 317 U.S. 695; Gallup v. Caldwell (C.C.A.3d, 1941) 120 F.(2d) 90; Central Mexico Light & Power Co. v. Munch (C.C.A.2d, 1940) 116 F.(2d) 85; National Labor Relations Board v. Montgomery Ward & Co. (App.D.C. 1944) 144 F.(2d) 528, cert. den. (1944) 65 S.Ct. 134; Urquhart v. American-La France Foamite Corp. (App.D.C. 1944) 144 F.(2d) 542; Samara v. United States (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 129 F.(2d) 594; Cohen v. American Window Glass Co. (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 126 F.(2d) 111; Sperry Products Inc. v. Association of American Railroads (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 132 F.(2d) 408; Joint Council Dining Car Employees Local 370 v. Delaware, Lackawanna and Western R. Co. (C.C.A.2d, 1946) 157 F.(2d) 417; Weeks v. Bareco Oil Co. (C.C.A.7th, 1941) 125 F.(2d) 84; Carroll v. Morrison Hotel Corp. (C.C.A.7th, 1945) 149 F.(2d) 404; Victory v. Manning (C.C.A.3rd, 1942) 128 F.(2d) 415; Locals No. 1470, No. 1469, and 1512 of International Longshoremen's Association v. Southern Pacific Co. (C.C.A.5th, 1942) 131 F.(2d) 605; Lucking v. Delano (C.C.A.6th, 1942) 129 F.(2d) 283; San Francisco Lodge No. 68 of International Association of Machinists v. Forrestal (N.D.Cal. 1944) 58 F.Supp. 466; Benson v. Export Equipment Corp. (N. Mex. 1945) 164 P.2d 380 (construing New Mexico rule identical with Rule 12(b)(6); F. E. Myers & Bros. Co. v. Gould Pumps, Inc. (W.D.N.Y. 1946) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 12b.33, Case 2, 5 F.R.D. 132. Cf. Kohler v. Jacobs (C.C.A.5th, 1943) 138 F.(2d) 440; Cohen v. United States (C.C.A.8th, 1942) 129 F.(2d) 733.

Under group (2) are: Sparks v. England (C.C.A.8th, 1940) 113 F.(2d) 579; Continental Collieries, Inc. v. Shober (C.C.A.3d, 1942) 130 F.(2d) 631; Downey v. Palmer (C.C.A.2d 1940) 114 F.(2d) 116; DeLoach v. Crowley's Inc. (C.C.A.5th, 1942) 128 F.(2d) 378; Leimer v. State Mutual Life Assurance Co. of Worcester, Mass. (C.C.A.8th, 1940) 108 F.(2d) 302; Rossiter v. Vogel (C.C.A.2d, 1943) 134 F.(2d) 908, compare s. c. (C.C.A.2d, 1945) 148 F.(2d) 292; Karl Kiefer Machine Co. v. United States Bottlers Machinery Co. (C.C.A.7th, 1940) 113 F.(2d) 356; Chicago Metallic Mfg. Co. v. Edward Katzinger Co. (C.C.A.7th, 1941) 123 F.(2d) 518; Louisiana Farmers’ Protective Union, Inc. v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. of America, Inc. (C.C.A.8th, 1942) 131 F.(2d) 419; Publicity Bldg. Realty Corp. v. Hannegan (C.C.A.8th, 1943) 139 F.(2d) 583; Dioguardi v. Durning (C.C.A.2d, 1944) 139 F.(2d) 774; Package Closure Corp. v. Sealright Co., Inc. (C.C.A.2d, 1944) 141 F.(2d) 972; Tahir Erk v. Glenn L. Martin Co. (C.C.A.4th, 1941) 116 F.(2d) 865; Bell v. Preferred Life Assurance Society of Montgomery, Ala. (1943) 320 U.S. 238.

The addition at the end of subdivision (b) makes it clear that on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) extraneous material may not be considered if the court excludes it, but that if the court does not exclude such material the motion shall be treated as a motion for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56. It will also be observed that if a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) is thus converted into a summary judgment motion, the amendment insures that both parties shall be given a reasonable opportunity to submit affidavits and extraneous proofs to avoid taking a party by surprise through the conversion of the motion into a motion for summary judgment. In this manner and to this extent the amendment regularizes the practice above described. As the courts are already dealing with cases in this way, the effect of this amendment is really only to define the practice carefully and apply the requirements of the summary judgment rule in the disposition of the motion.

Subdivision (c). The sentence appended to subdivision (c) performs the same function and is grounded on the same reasons as the corresponding sentence added in subdivision (b).

Subdivision (d). The change here was made necessary because of the addition of defense (7) in subdivision (b).

Subdivision (e). References in this subdivision to a bill of particulars have been deleted, and the motion provided for is confined to one for a more definite statement, to be obtained only in cases where the movant cannot reasonably be required to frame an answer or other responsive pleading to the pleading in question. With respect to preparations for trial, the party is properly relegated to the various methods of examination and discovery provided in the rules for that purpose. Slusher v. Jones (E.D.Ky. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 5, 3 F.R.D. 168; Best Foods, Inc. v. General Mills, Inc. (D.Del. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 7, 3 F.R.D. 275; Braden v. Callaway (E.D.Tenn. 1943) 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 1 (“. . . most courts . . . conclude that the definiteness required is only such as will be sufficient for the party to prepare responsive pleadings”). Accordingly, the reference to the 20 day time limit has also been eliminated, since the purpose of this present provision is to state a time period where the motion for a bill is made for the purpose of preparing for trial.

Rule 12(e) as originally drawn has been the subject of more judicial rulings than any other part of the rules, and has been much criticized by commentators, judges and members of the bar. See general discussion and cases cited in 1 Moore's Federal Practice (1938), Cum.Supplement §12.07, under “Page 657”; also, Holtzoff, New Federal Procedure and the Courts (1940) 35–41. And compare vote of Second Circuit Conference of Circuit and District Judges (June 1940) recommending the abolition of the bill of particulars; Sun Valley Mfg. Co. v. Mylish (E.D.Pa. 1944) 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 6 (“Our experience . . . has demonstrated not only that ‘the office of the bill of particulars is fast becoming obsolete’ . . . but that in view of the adequate discovery procedure available under the Rules, motions for bills of particulars should be abolished altogether.”); Walling v. American Steamship Co. (W.D.N.Y. 1945) 4 F.R.D. 355, 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.244, Case 8 (“. . . the adoption of the rule was ill advised. It has led to confusion, duplication and delay.”) The tendency of some courts freely to grant extended bills of particulars has served to neutralize any helpful benefits derived from Rule 8, and has overlooked the intended use of the rules on depositions and discovery. The words “or to prepare for trial”—eliminated by the proposed amendment—have sometimes been seized upon as grounds for compulsory statement in the opposing pleading of all the details which the movant would have to meet at the trial. On the other hand, many courts have in effect read these words out of the rule. See Walling v. Alabama Pipe Co. (W.D.Mo. 1942) 6 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.244, Case 7; Fleming v. Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc. (E.D.Tenn. 1941) 42 F.Supp. 230; Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co. (D.N.J. 1941) 38 F.Supp. 643; Brown v. H. L. Green Co. (S.D.N.Y. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 6; Pedersen v. Standard Accident Ins. Co. (W.D.Mo. 1945) 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 8; Bowles v. Ohse (D.Neb. 1945) 4 F.R.D. 403, 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 1; Klages v. Cohen (E.D.N.Y. 1945) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 8a.25, Case 4; Bowles v. Lawrence (D.Mass. 1945) 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 19; McKinney Tool & Mfg. Co. v. Hoyt (N.D.Ohio 1945) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.235, Case 1; Bowles v. Jack (D.Minn. 1945) 5 F.R.D. 1, 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.244, Case 9. And it has been urged from the bench that the phrase be stricken. Poole v. White (N.D.W.Va. 1941). 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.231, Case 4, 2 F.R.D. 40. See also Bowles v. Gabel (W.D.Mo. 1946) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 12e.244, Case 10 (“The courts have never favored that portion of the rules which undertook to justify a motion of this kind for the purpose of aiding counsel in preparing his case for trial.”).

Subdivision (f). This amendment affords a specific method of raising the insufficiency of a defense, a matter which has troubled some courts, although attack has been permitted in one way or another. See Dysart v. Remington-Rand, Inc. (D.Conn. 1939) 31 F.Supp. 296; Eastman Kodak Co. v. McAuley (S.D.N.Y. 1941) 4 Fed.Rules Serv. 12f.21, Case 8, 2 F.R.D. 21; Schenley Distillers Corp. v. Renken (E.D.S.C. 1940) 34 F.Supp. 678; Yale Transport Corp. v. Yellow Truck & Coach Mfg. Co. (S.D.N.Y. 1944) 3 F.R.D. 440; United States v. Turner Milk Co. (N.D.Ill. 1941) 4 Fed.Rules Serv. 12b.51, Case 3, 1 F.R.D. 643; Teiger v. Stephan Oderwald, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 1940) 31 F.Supp. 626; Teplitsky v. Pennsylvania R. Co. (N.D.Ill. 1941) 38 F.Supp. 535; Gallagher v. Carroll (E.D.N.Y. 1939) 27 F.Supp. 568; United States v. Palmer (S.D.N.Y. 1939) 28 F.Supp. 936. And see Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America v. Pan American Airways, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 1944) 58 F.Supp. 338; Commentary, Modes of Attacking Insufficient Defenses in the Answer (1939) 1 Fed.Rules Serv. 669 (1940) 2 Fed.Rules Serv. 640.

Subdivision (g). The change in title conforms with the companion provision in subdivision (h).

The alteration of the “except” clause requires that other than provided in subdivision (h) a party who resorts to a motion to raise defenses specified in the rule, must include in one motion all that are then available to him. Under the original rule defenses which could be raised by motion were divided into two groups which could be the subjects of two successive motions.

Subdivision (h). The addition of the phrase relating to indispensable parties is one of necessity.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

This amendment conforms to the amendment of Rule 4(e). See also the Advisory Committee's Note to amended Rule 4(b).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (b)(7). The terminology of this subdivision is changed to accord with the amendment of Rule 19. See the Advisory Committee's Note to Rule 19, as amended, especially the third paragraph therein before the caption “Subdivision (c).”

Subdivision (g). Subdivision (g) has forbidden a defendant who makes a preanswer motion under this rule from making a further motion presenting any defense or objection which was available to him at the time he made the first motion and which he could have included, but did not in fact include therein. Thus if the defendant moves before answer to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, he is barred from making a further motion presenting the defense of improper venue, if that defense was available to him when he made his original motion. Amended subdivision (g) is to the same effect. This required consolidation of defenses and objections in a Rule 12 motion is salutary in that it works against piecemeal consideration of a case. For exceptions to the requirement of consolidation, see the last clause of subdivision (g), referring to new subdivision (h)(2).

Subdivision (h). The question has arisen whether an omitted defense which cannot be made the basis of a second motion may nevertheless be pleaded in the answer. Subdivision (h) called for waiver of “* * * defenses and objections which he [defendant] does not present * * * by motion * * * or, if he has made no motion, in his answer * * *.” If the clause “if he has made no motion,” was read literally, it seemed that the omitted defense was waived and could not be pleaded in the answer. On the other hand, the clause might be read as adding nothing of substance to the preceding words; in that event it appeared that a defense was not waived by reason of being omitted from the motion and might be set up in the answer. The decisions were divided. Favoring waiver, see Keefe v. Derounian, 6 F.R.D. 11 (N.D.Ill. 1946); Elbinger v. Precision Metal Workers Corp., 18 F.R.D. 467 (E.D.Wis. 1956); see also Rensing v. Turner Aviation Corp., 166 F.Supp. 790 (N.D.Ill. 1958); P. Beiersdorf & Co. v. Duke Laboratories, Inc., 10 F.R.D. 282 (S.D.N.Y. 1950); Neset v. Christensen, 92 F.Supp. 78 (E.D.N.Y. 1950). Opposing waiver, see Phillips v. Baker, 121 F.2d 752 (9th Cir. 1941); Crum v. Graham, 32 F.R.D. 173 (D.Mont. 1963) (regretfully following the Phillips case); see also Birnbaum v. Birrell, 9 F.R.D. 72 (S.D.N.Y. 1948); Johnson v. Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co., 33 F.Supp. 176 (E.D.Tenn. 1940); cf. Carter v. American Bus Lines, Inc., 22 F.R.D. 323 (D.Neb. 1958).

Amended subdivision (h)(1)(A) eliminates the ambiguity and states that certain specified defenses which were available to a party when he made a preanswer motion, but which he omitted from the motion, are waived. The specified defenses are lack of jurisdiction over the person, improper venue, insufficiency of process, and insufficiency of service of process (see Rule 12(b)(2)–(5)). A party who by motion invites the court to pass upon a threshold defense should bring forward all the specified defenses he then has and thus allow the court to do a reasonably complete job. The waiver reinforces the policy of subdivision (g) forbidding successive motions.

By amended subdivision (h)(1)(B), the specified defenses, even if not waived by the operation of (A), are waived by the failure to raise them by a motion under Rule 12 or in the responsive pleading or any amendment thereof to which the party is entitled as a matter of course. The specified defenses are of such a character that they should not be delayed and brought up for the first time by means of an application to the court to amend the responsive pleading.

Since the language of the subdivisions is made clear, the party is put on fair notice of the effect of his actions and omissions and can guard himself against unintended waiver. It is to be noted that while the defenses specified in subdivision (h)(1) are subject to waiver as there provided, the more substantial defenses of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, failure to join a party indispensable under Rule 19, and failure to state a legal defense to a claim (see Rule 12(b)(6), (7), (f)), as well as the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter (see Rule 12(b)(1)), are expressly preserved against waiver by amended subdivision (h)(2) and (3).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Subdivision (a) is divided into paragraphs for greater clarity, and paragraph (1)(B) is added to reflect amendments to Rule 4. Consistent with Rule 4(d)(3), a defendant that timely waives service is allowed 60 days from the date the request was mailed in which to respond to the complaint, with an additional 30 days afforded if the request was sent out of the country. Service is timely waived if the waiver is returned within the time specified in the request (30 days after the request was mailed, or 60 days if mailed out of the country) and before being formally served with process. Sometimes a plaintiff may attempt to serve a defendant with process while also sending the defendant a request for waiver of service; if the defendant executes the waiver of service within the time specified and before being served with process, it should have the longer time to respond afforded by waiving service.

The date of sending the request is to be inserted by the plaintiff on the face of the request for waiver and on the waiver itself. This date is used to measure the return day for the waiver form, so that the plaintiff can know on a day certain whether formal service of process will be necessary; it is also a useful date to measure the time for answer when service is waived. The defendant who returns the waiver is given additional time for answer in order to assure that it loses nothing by waiving service of process.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Bill of particulars, see rule 7, Title 18, Appendix, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Demurrers as abolished, see rule 12.

Motion raising defenses and objections, see rule 12 and note of Advisory Committee under the rule.

Forms

Answer presenting defenses under subd. (b) of this rule, see form 20, Appendix of Forms.

Motion to dismiss, presenting defenses of failure to state a claim, of lack of service of process, of improper venue, and of lack of jurisdiction under subd. (b) of this rule, see form 19.

Cross References

Demurrers abolished, see rule 7.

Depositions, right to use depositions filed in former action, see rule 32.

Dismissal of actions—

Claims of opposing party, judgment on counterclaim or cross-claim, see rule 13.

Class actions, see rule 23.

Costs of previously-dismissed action, see rule 41.

Failure to attend own deposition, serve answers to interrogatories, or respond to request for inspection, see rule 37.

Findings of fact and conclusions of law, necessity, see rule 52.

Voluntary and involuntary dismissal, see rule 41.

District courts—

Jurisdiction, see chapter 85 of this title.

Trials, hearings, and orders in chambers, see rule 77.

Venue, see chapter 87 of this title.

Findings of fact and conclusions of law unnecessary, see rule 52.

Indication of simplicity and brevity of statement, see rule 84.

Judgment, definition of, see rule 54.

Motions—

Adoption of statement by reference, see rule 10.

Courts always open for making, see section 452 of this title.

Evidence on, see rule 43.

Extension of time, see rule 6.

Form of, see rule 7.

Motion day and oral hearings, see rule 78.

Technical forms not required, see rule 8.

Time for motions generally, see rule 6.

Parties—

Necessary joinder, see rule 19.

Third-party defendant, defenses to third-party plaintiff and plaintiff's claims, see rule 14.

Pleadings—

Affirmative defenses, see rule 8.

Form of, see rule 10.

Pleadings allowed, see rule 7.

Striking for failure to attend own deposition, serve answer to interrogatory, or respond to request for inspection, see rule 37.

Waiver, objections to venue, see section 1406 of this title.

Rule 13. Counterclaim and Cross-Claim

(a) Compulsory Counterclaims. A pleading shall state as a counterclaim any claim which at the time of serving the pleading the pleader has against any opposing party, if it arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim and does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. But the pleader need not state the claim if (1) at the time the action was commenced the claim was the subject of another pending action, or (2) the opposing party brought suit upon the claim by attachment or other process by which the court did not acquire jurisdiction to render a personal judgment on that claim, and the pleader is not stating any counterclaim under this Rule 13.

(b) Permissive Counterclaims. A pleading may state as a counterclaim any claim against an opposing party not arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim.

(c) Counterclaim Exceeding Opposing Claim. A counterclaim may or may not diminish or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party. It may claim relief exceeding in amount or different in kind from that sought in the pleading of the opposing party.

(d) Counterclaim Against the United States. These rules shall not be construed to enlarge beyond the limits now fixed by law the right to assert counterclaims or to claim credits against the United States or an officer or agency thereof.

(e) Counterclaim Maturing or Acquired After Pleading. A claim which either matured or was acquired by the pleader after serving a pleading may, with the permission of the court, be presented as a counterclaim by supplemental pleading.

(f) Omitted Counterclaim. When a pleader fails to set up a counterclaim through oversight, inadvertence, or excusable neglect, or when justice requires, the pleader may by leave of court set up the counterclaim by amendment.

(g) Cross-Claim Against Co-Party. A pleading may state as a cross-claim any claim by one party against a co-party arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter either of the original action or of a counterclaim therein or relating to any property that is the subject matter of the original action. Such cross-claim may include a claim that the party against whom it is asserted is or may be liable to the cross-claimant for all or part of a claim asserted in the action against the cross-claimant.

(h) Joinder of Additional Parties. Persons other than those made parties to the original action may be made parties to a counterclaim or cross-claim in accordance with the provisions of Rules 19 and 20.

(i) Separate Trials; Separate Judgments. If the court orders separate trials as provided in Rule 42(b), judgment on a counterclaim or cross-claim may be rendered in accordance with the terms of Rule 54(b) when the court has jurisdiction so to do, even if the claims of the opposing party have been dismissed or otherwise disposed of.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

1. This is substantially [former] Equity Rule 30 (Answer—Contents—Counterclaim), broadened to include legal as well as equitable counterclaims.

2. Compare the English practice, English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 19, r.r. 2 and 3, and O. 21, r.r. 10—17; Beddall v. Maitland, L.R. 17 Ch.Div. 174, 181, 182 (1881).

3. Certain States have also adopted almost unrestricted provisions concerning both the subject matter of and the parties to a counterclaim. This seems to be the modern tendency. Ark.Civ.Code (Crawford, 1934) §§117 (as amended) and 118; N.J.Comp.Stat. (2 Cum.Supp. 1911–1924), N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§262, 266, 267 (all as amended, Laws of 1936, ch. 324), 268, 269, and 271; Wis.Stat. (1935) §263.14 (1)(c).

4. Most codes do not expressly provide for a counterclaim in the reply. Clark, Code Pleading (1928), p. 486. Ky.Codes (Carroll, 1932) Civ.Pract. §98 does provide, however, for such counterclaim.

5. The provisions of this rule respecting counterclaims are subject to Rule 82 (Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected). For a discussion of Federal jurisdiction and venue in regard to counterclaims and cross-claims, see Shulman and Jaegerman, Some Jurisdictional Limitations in Federal Procedure (1936), 45 Yale L.J. 393, 410 et seq.

6. This rule does not affect such statutes of the United States as U.S.C., Title 28, §41(1) [now 1332, 1345, 1359] (United States as plaintiff; civil suits at common law and in equity), relating to assigned claims in actions based on diversity of citizenship.

7. If the action proceeds to judgment without the interposition of a counterclaim as required by subdivision (a) of this rule, the counterclaim is barred. See American Mills Co. v. American Surety Co., 260 U.S. 360 (1922); Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. v. National Electric Signalling Co., 206 Fed. 295 (E.D.N.Y., 1913); Hopkins, Federal Equity Rules (8th ed., 1933), p. 213; Simkins, Federal Practice (1934), p. 663

8. For allowance of credits against the United States see U.S.C., Title 26, §§1672–1673 [see 7442] (Suits for refunds of internal revenue taxes—limitations); U.S.C., Title 28, §§774 [now 2406] (Suits by United States against individuals; credits), [former] 775 (Suits under postal laws; credits); U.S.C., Title 31, §227 [now 3728] (Offsets against judgments and claims against United States).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The use of the word “filing” was inadvertent. The word “serving” conforms with subdivision (e) and with usage generally throughout the rules.

The removal of the phrase “not the subject of a pending action” and the addition of the new clause at the end of the subdivision is designed to eliminate the ambiguity noted in Prudential Insurance Co. of America v. Saxe (App.D.C. 1943) 134 F.(2d) 16, 33–34, cert. den. (1943) 319 U.S. 745. The rewording of the subdivision in this respect insures against an undesirable possibility presented under the original rule whereby a party having a claim which would be the subject of a compulsory counterclaim could avoid stating it as such by bringing an independent action in another court after the commencement of the federal action but before serving his pleading in the federal action.

Subdivision (g). The amendment is to care for a situation such as where a second mortgagee is made defendant in a foreclosure proceeding and wishes to file a cross-complaint against the mortgagor in order to secure a personal judgment for the indebtedness and foreclose his lien. A claim of this sort by the second mortgagee may not necessarily arise out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the original action under the terms of Rule 13(g).

Subdivision (h). The change clarifies the interdependence of Rules 13(i) and 54(b).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

When a defendant, if he desires to defend his interest in property, is obliged to come in and litigate in a court to whose jurisdiction he could not ordinarily be subjected, fairness suggests that he should not be required to assert counterclaims, but should rather be permitted to do so at his election. If, however, he does elect to assert a counterclaim, it seems fair to require him to assert any other which is compulsory within the meaning of Rule 13(a). Clause (2), added by amendment to Rule 13(a), carries out this idea. It will apply to various cases described in Rule 4(e), as amended, where service is effected through attachment or other process by which the court does not acquire jurisdiction to render a personal judgment against the defendant. Clause (2) will also apply to actions commenced in State courts jurisdictionally grounded on attachment or the like, and removed to the Federal courts.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Rule 13(h), dealing with the joinder of additional parties to a counterclaim or cross-claim, has partaken of some of the textual difficulties of Rule 19 on necessary joinder of parties. See Advisory Committee's Note to Rule 19, as amended; cf. 3 Moore's Federal Practice, Par. 13.39 (2d ed. 1963), and Supp. thereto; 1A Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice and Procedure §399 (Wright ed. 1960). Rule 13(h) has also been inadequate in failing to call attention to the fact that a party pleading a counterclaim or cross-claim may join additional persons when the conditions for permissive joinder of parties under Rule 20 are satisfied.

The amendment of Rule 13(h) supplies the latter omission by expressly referring to Rule 20, as amended, and also incorporates by direct reference the revised criteria and procedures of Rule 19, as amended. Hereafter, for the purpose of determining who must or may be joined as additional parties to a counterclaim or cross-claim, the party pleading the claim is to be regarded as a plaintiff and the additional parties as plaintiffs or defendants as the case may be, and amended Rules 19 and 20 are to be applied in the usual fashion. See also Rules 13(a) (compulsory counterclaims) and 22 (interpleader).

The amendment of Rule 13(h), like the amendment of Rule 19, does not attempt to regulate Federal jurisdiction or venue. See Rule 82. It should be noted, however, that in some situations the decisional law has recognized “ancillary” Federal jurisdiction over counterclaims and cross-claims and “ancillary” venue as to parties to these claims.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Forms

Counterclaim, see forms 20 and 21, Appendix of Forms.

Cross-claim, see form 20.

Cross References

Counterclaim—

Default judgment against counter-claimant, see rule 55.

Dismissal, see rule 41.

Mistake in designation of defense, see rule 8.

Reply, see rule 7.

Requisites of pleading, see rule 8.

Service of pleadings, numerous defendants, see rule 5.

Summary judgment, see rule 56.

Third party practice, see rule 14.

Time for reply by United States, see rule 12.

Time of service of reply, see rule 12.

Voluntary dismissal, see rule 41.

Cross-claim—

Answer to, if answer contains a cross-claim, see rule 7.

Default judgment against cross-claimant, see rule 55.

Dismissal, see rule 41.

Joinder, see rule 18.

Requisites of pleading, see rule 8.

Service of pleadings, numerous defendants, see rule 5.

Summary judgment, see rule 56.

Third party practice, see rule 14.

Time for answer by United States, see rule 12.

Rule 14. Third-Party Practice

(a) When Defendant May Bring in Third Party. At any time after commencement of the action a defending party, as a third-party plaintiff, may cause a summons and complaint to be served upon a person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the third-party plaintiff for all or part of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. The third-party plaintiff need not obtain leave to make the service if the third-party plaintiff files the third-party complaint not later than 10 days after serving the original answer. Otherwise the third-party plaintiff must obtain leave on motion upon notice to all parties to the action. The person served with the summons and third-party complaint, hereinafter called the third-party defendant, shall make any defenses to the third-party plaintiff's claim as provided in Rule 12 and any counterclaims against the third-party plaintiff and cross-claims against other third-party defendants as provided in Rule 13. The third-party defendant may assert against the plaintiff any defenses which the third-party plaintiff has to the plaintiff's claim. The third-party defendant may also assert any claim against the plaintiff arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. The plaintiff may assert any claim against the third-party defendant arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff, and the third-party defendant thereupon shall assert any defenses as provided in Rule 12 and any counterclaims and cross-claims as provided in Rule 13. Any party may move to strike the third-party claim, or for its severance or separate trial. A third-party defendant may proceed under this rule against any person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the third-party defendant for all or part of the claim made in the action against the third-party defendant. The third-party complaint, if within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, may be in rem against a vessel, cargo, or other property subject to admiralty or maritime process in rem, in which case references in this rule to the summons include the warrant of arrest, and references to the third-party plaintiff or defendant include, where appropriate, the claimant of the property arrested.

(b) When Plaintiff May Bring in Third Party. When a counterclaim is asserted against a plaintiff, the plaintiff may cause a third party to be brought in under circumstances which under this rule would entitle a defendant to do so.

(c) Admiralty and Maritime Claims. When a plaintiff asserts an admiralty or maritime claim within the meaning of Rule 9(h), the defendant or claimant, as a third-party plaintiff, may bring in a third-party defendant who may be wholly or partly liable, either to the plaintiff or to the third-party plaintiff, by way of remedy over, contribution, or otherwise on account of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences. In such a case the third-party plaintiff may also demand judgment against the third-party defendant in favor of the plaintiff, in which event the third-party defendant shall make any defenses to the claim of the plaintiff as well as to that of the third-party plaintiff in the manner provided in Rule 12 and the action shall proceed as if the plaintiff had commenced it against the third-party defendant as well as the third-party plaintiff.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Third-party impleader is in some aspects a modern innovation in law and equity although well known in admiralty. Because of its many advantages a liberal procedure with respect to it has developed in England, in the Federal admiralty courts, and in some American State jurisdictions. See English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16A, r.r. 1–13; United States Supreme Court Admiralty Rules (1920), Rule 56 (Right to Bring in Party Jointly Liable); Pa.Stat.Ann. (Purdon, 1936) Title 12, §141; Wis.Stat. (1935) §§260.19, 260.20; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§193 (2), 211(a). Compare La.Code Pract. (Dart, 1932) §§378–388. For the practice in Texas as developed by judicial decision, see Lottman v. Cuilla, 288 S.W. 123, 126 (Tex., 1926). For a treatment of this subject see Gregory, Legislative Loss Distribution in Negligence Actions (1936); Shulman and Jaegerman, Some Jurisdictional Limitations on Federal Procedure (1936), 45 Yale L.J. 393, 417, et seq.

Third-party impleader under the conformity act has been applied in actions at law in the Federal courts. Lowry and Co., Inc., v. National City Bank of New York, 28 F.(2d) 895 (S.D.N.Y., 1928); Yellow Cab Co. of Philadelphia v. Rodgers, 61 F.(2d) 729 (C.C.A.3d, 1932).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

The provisions in Rule 14(a) which relate to the impleading of a third party who is or may be liable to the plaintiff have been deleted by the proposed amendment. It has been held that under Rule 14(a) the plaintiff need not amend his complaint to state a claim against such third party if he does not wish to do so. Satink v. Holland Township (D.N.J. 1940) 31 F.Supp. 229, noted (1940) 88 U.Pa.L.Rev. 751; Connelly v. Bender (E.D.Mich. 1941) 36 F.Supp. 368; Whitmire v. Partin v. Milton (E.D.Tenn. 1941) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.513, Case 2; Crim v. Lumbermen's Mutual Casualty Co. (D.D.C. 1939) 26 F.Supp. 715; Carbola Chemical Co., Inc. v. Trundle (S.D.N.Y. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.224, Case 1; Roadway Express, Inc. v. Automobile Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Providence Washington Ins. Co. (N.D.Ohio 1945) 8 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.513, Case 3. In Delano v. Ives (E.D.Pa. 1941) 40 F.Supp. 672, the court said: “. . . the weight of authority is to the effect that a defendant cannot compel the plaintiff, who has sued him, to sue also a third party whom he does not wish to sue, by tendering in a third party complaint the third party as an additional defendant directly liable to the plaintiff.” Thus impleader here amounts to no more than a mere offer of a party to the plaintiff, and if he rejects it, the attempt is a time-consuming futility. See Satink v. Holland Township, supra; Malkin v. Arundel Corp. (D.Md. 1941) 36 F.Supp. 948; also Koenigsberger, Suggestions for Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, (1941) 4 Fed.Rules Serv. 1010. But cf. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. (M.D.Ga. 1943) 52 F.Supp. 177. Moreover, in any case where the plaintiff could not have joined the third party originally because of jurisdictional limitations such as lack of diversity of citizenship, the majority view is that any attempt by the plaintiff to amend his complaint and assert a claim against the impleaded third party would be unavailing. Hoskie v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America v. Lorrac Real Estate Corp. (E.D.N.Y. 1941) 39 F.Supp. 305; Johnson v. G. J. Sherrard Co. v. New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. (D.Mass. 1941) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.511, Case 1, 2 F.R.D. 164; Thompson v. Cranston (W.D.N.Y. 1942) 6 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.511, Case 1, 2 F.R.D. 270, aff'd (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 132 F.(2d) 631, cert. den. (1943) 319 U.S. 741; Friend v. Middle Atlantic Transportation Co. (C.C.A.2d, 1946) 153 F.(2d) 778, cert. den. (1946) 66 S.Ct. 1370; Herrington v. Jones (E.D.La. 1941) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.511, Case 2, 2 F.R.D. 108; Banks v. Employers’ Liability Assurance Corp. v. Central Surety & Ins. Corp. (W.D.Mo. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.11, Case 2; Saunders v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co. (S.D.W.Va. 1945) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.62, Case 2; Hull v. United States Rubber Co. v. Johnson Larsen & Co. (E.D.Mich. 1945) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.62, Case 3. See also concurring opinion of Circuit Judge Minton in People of State of Illinois for use of Trust Co. of Chicago v. Maryland Casualty Co. (C.C.A.7th, 1942) 132 F.(2d) 850, 853. Contra: Sklar v. Hayes v. Singer (E.D.Pa. 1941) 4 Fed.Rules Serv. 14a.511, Case 2, 1 F.R.D. 594. Discussion of the problem will be found in Commentary, Amendment of Plaintiff's Pleading to Assert Claim Against Third-Party Defendant (1942) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 811; Commentary, Federal Jurisdiction in Third-Party Practice (1943) 6 Fed.Rules Serv. 766; Holtzoff, Some Problems Under Federal Third-Party Practice (1941) 3 La.L.Rev. 408, 419–420; 1. Moore's Federal Practice (1938) Cum.Supplement §14.08. For these reasons therefore, the words “or to the plaintiff” in the first sentence of subdivision (a) have been removed by the amendment; and in conformance therewith the words “the plaintiff” in the second sentence of the subdivision, and the words “or to the third-party plaintiff” in the concluding sentence thereof have likewise been eliminated.

The third sentence of Rule 14(a) has been expanded to clarify the right of the third-party defendant to assert any defenses which the third-party plaintiff may have to the plaintiff's claim. This protects the impleaded third-party defendant where the third-party plaintiff fails or neglects to assert a proper defense to the plaintiff's action. A new sentence has also been inserted giving the third-party defendant the right to assert directly against the original plaintiff any claim arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. This permits all claims arising out of the same transaction or occurrence to be heard and determined in the same action. See Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. (M.D.Ga. 1943) 52 F.Supp. 177. Accordingly, the next to the last sentence of subdivision (a) has also been revised to make clear that the plaintiff may, if he desires, assert directly against the third-party defendant either by amendment or by a new pleading any claim he may have against him arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third-party plaintiff. In such a case, the third-party defendant then is entitled to assert the defenses, counterclaims and cross-claims provided in Rules 12 and 13.

The sentence reading “The third-party defendant is bound by the adjudication of the third-party plaintiff's liability to the plaintiff, as well as of his own to the plaintiff, or to the third-party plaintiff” has been stricken from Rule 14(a), not to change the law, but because the sentence states a rule of substantive law which is not within the scope of a procedural rule. It is not the purpose of the rules to state the effect of a judgment.

The elimination of the words “the third-party plaintiff, or any other party” from the second sentence of Rule 14(a), together with the insertion of the new phrases therein, are not changes of substance but are merely for the purpose of clarification.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

Under the amendment of the initial sentences of the subdivision, a defendant as a third-party plaintiff may freely and without leave of court bring in a third-party defendant if he files the third-party complaint not later than 10 days after he serves his original answer. When the impleader comes so early in the case, there is little value in requiring a preliminary ruling by the court on the propriety of the impleader.

After the third-party defendant is brought in, the court has discretion to strike the third-party claim if it is obviously unmeritorious and can only delay or prejudice the disposition of the plaintiff's claim, or to sever the third-party claim or accord it separate trial if confusion or prejudice would otherwise result. This discretion, applicable not merely to the cases covered by the amendment where the third-party defendant is brought in without leave, but to all impleaders under the rule, is emphasized in the next-to-last sentence of the subdivision, added by amendment.

In dispensing with leave of court for an impleader filed not later than 10 days after serving the answer, but retaining the leave requirement for impleaders sought to be effected thereafter, the amended subdivision takes a moderate position on the lines urged by some commentators, see Note, 43 Minn.L.Rev. 115 (1958); cf. Pa.R.Civ.P. 2252–53 (60 days after service on the defendant); Minn.R.Civ.P. 14.01 (45 days). Other commentators would dispense with the requirement of leave regardless of the time when impleader is effected, and would rely on subsequent action by the court to dismiss the impleader if it would unduly delay or complicate the litigation or would be otherwise objectionable. See 1A Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure 649–50 (Wright ed. 1960); Comment, 58 Colum.L.Rev. 532, 546 (1958); cf. N.Y.Civ.Prac. Act §193–a; Me.R.Civ.P. 14. The amended subdivision preserves the value of a preliminary screening, through the leave procedure, of impleaders attempted after the 10-day period.

The amendment applies also when an impleader is initiated by a third-party defendant against a person who may be liable to him, as provided in the last sentence of the subdivision.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Rule 14 was modeled on Admiralty Rule 56. An important feature of Admiralty Rule 56 was that it allowed impleader not only of a person who might be liable to the defendant by way of remedy over, but also of any person who might be liable to the plaintiff. The importance of this provision was that the defendant was entitled to insist that the plaintiff proceed to judgment against the third-party defendant. In certain cases this was a valuable implementation of a substantive right. For example, in a case of ship collision where a finding of mutual fault is possible, one ship- owner, if sued alone, faces the prospect of an absolute judgment for the full amount of the damage suffered by an innocent third party; but if he can implead the owner of the other vessel, and if mutual fault is found, the judgment against the original defendant will be in the first instance only for a moiety of the damages; liability for the remainder will be conditioned on the plaintiff's inability to collect from the third-party defendant.

This feature was originally incorporated in Rule 14, but was eliminated by the amendment of 1946, so that under the amended rule a third party could not be impleaded on the basis that he might be liable to the plaintiff. One of the reasons for the amendment was that the Civil Rule, unlike the Admiralty Rule, did not require the plaintiff to go to judgment against the third-party defendant. Another reason was that where jurisdiction depended on diversity of citizenship the impleader of an adversary having the same citizenship as the plaintiff was not considered possible.

Retention of the admiralty practice in those cases that will be counterparts of a suit in admiralty is clearly desirable.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Third party answer upon service of third party complaint, see rule 7.

Third party claim—

Dismissal of, see rule 41.

Joinder, see rule 18.

Judgment on fewer than all claims, see rule 54.

Requisites, see rule 8.

Separate trial, see rule 42.

Third party complaint upon leave to summon person not an original party, see rule 7.

Third party plaintiff, default judgment against, see rule 55.

Third party tort liability to United States for hospital and medical care, see section 2651 et. seq. of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Rule 15. Amended and Supplemental Pleadings

(a) Amendments. A party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, if the pleading is one to which no responsive pleading is permitted and the action has not been placed upon the trial calendar, the party may so amend it at any time within 20 days after it is served. Otherwise a party may amend the party's pleading only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party; and leave shall be freely given when justice so requires. A party shall plead in response to an amended pleading within the time remaining for response to the original pleading or within 10 days after service of the amended pleading, whichever period may be the longer, unless the court otherwise orders.

(b) Amendments To Conform to the Evidence. When issues not raised by the pleadings are tried by express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but failure so to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues. If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be amended and shall do so freely when the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the objecting party fails to satisfy the court that the admission of such evidence would prejudice the party in maintaining the party's action or defense upon the merits. The court may grant a continuance to enable the objecting party to meet such evidence.

(c) Relation Back of Amendments. An amendment of a pleading relates back to the date of the original pleading when

(1) relation back is permitted by the law that provides the statute of limitations applicable to the action, or

(2) the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading, or

(3) the amendment changes the party or the naming of the party against whom a claim is asserted if the foregoing provision (2) is satisfied and, within the period provided by Rule 4(m) for service of the summons and complaint, the party to be brought in by amendment (A) has received such notice of the institution of the action that the party will not be prejudiced in maintaining a defense on the merits, and (B) knew or should have known that, but for a mistake concerning the identity of the proper party, the action would have been brought against the party.

The delivery or mailing of process to the United States Attorney, or United States Attorney's designee, or the Attorney General of the United States, or an agency or officer who would have been a proper defendant if named, satisfies the requirement of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph (3) with respect to the United States or any agency or officer thereof to be brought into the action as a defendant.


(d) Supplemental Pleadings. Upon motion of a party the court may, upon reasonable notice and upon such terms as are just, permit the party to serve a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions or occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented. Permission may be granted even though the original pleading is defective in its statement of a claim for relief or defense. If the court deems it advisable that the adverse party plead to the supplemental pleading, it shall so order, specifying the time therefor.

(As amended Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Dec. 9, 1991, Pub. L. 102–198, §11(a), 105 Stat. 1626; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

See generally for the present federal practice, [former] Equity Rules 19 (Amendments Generally), 28 (Amendment of Bill as of Course), 32 (Answer to Amended Bill), 34 (Supplemental Pleading), and 35 (Bills of Revivor and Supplemental Bills—Form); U.S.C., Title 28, §§399 [now 1653] (Amendments to show diverse citizenship) and [former] 777 (Defects of Form; amendments). See English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 28, r.r. 1–13; O. 20, r. 4; O. 24, r.r. 1–3.

Note to Subdivision (a). The right to serve an amended pleading once as of course is common. 4 Mont.Rev.Codes Ann. (1935) §9186; 1 Ore.Code Ann. (1930) §1–904; 1 S.C.Code (Michie, 1932) §493; English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 28, r. 2. Provision for amendment of pleading before trial, by leave of court, is in almost every code. If there is no statute the power of the court to grant leave is said to be inherent. Clark, Code Pleading, (1928) pp. 498, 509.

Note to Subdivision (b). Compare [former] Equity Rule 19 (Amendments Generally) and code provisions which allow an amendment “at any time in furtherance of justice,” (e. g., Ark.Civ.Code (Crawford, 1934) §155) and which allow an amendment of pleadings to conform to the evidence, where the adverse party has not been misled and prejudiced (e.g., N.M.Stat.Ann. (Courtright, 1929) §§105–601, 105–602).

Note to Subdivision (c). “Relation back” is a well recognized doctrine of recent and now more frequent application. Compare Ala.Code Ann. (Michie, 1928) §9513; Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §170(2); 2 Wash.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §308–3(4). See U.S.C., Title 28, §399 [now 1653] (Amendments to show diverse citizenship) for a provision for “relation back.”

Note to Subdivision (d). This is an adaptation of Equity Rule 34 (Supplemental Pleading).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

Rule 15(d) is intended to give the court broad discretion in allowing a supplemental pleading. However, some cases, opposed by other cases and criticized by the commentators, have taken the rigid and formalistic view that where the original complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, leave to serve a supplemental complaint must be denied. See Bonner v. Elizabeth Arden, Inc., 177 F.2d 703 (2d Cir. 1949); Bowles v. Senderowitz, 65 F.Supp. 548 (E.D.Pa.), rev'd on other grounds, 158 F.2d 435 (3d Cir. 1946), cert. denied, Senderowitz v. Fleming, 330 U.S. 848, 67 S.Ct. 1091, 91 L.Ed. 1292 (1947); cf. LaSalle Nat. Bank v. 222 East Chestnut St. Corp., 267 F.2d 247 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 361 U.S. 836, 80 S.Ct. 88, 4 L.Ed.2d 77 (1959). But see Camilla Cotton Oil Co. v. Spencer Kellogg & Sons, 257 F.2d 162 (5th Cir. 1958); Genuth v. National Biscuit Co., 81 F.Supp. 213 (S.D.N.Y. 1948), app. dism., 177 F.2d 962 (2d Cir. 1949); 3 Moore's Federal Practice  15.01 [5] (Supp. 1960); 1A Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure 820–21 (Wright ed. 1960). Thus plaintiffs have sometimes been needlessly remitted to the difficulties of commencing a new action even though events occurring after the commencement of the original action have made clear the right to relief.

Under the amendment the court has discretion to permit a supplemental pleading despite the fact that the original pleading is defective. As in other situations where a supplemental pleading is offered, the court is to determine in the light of the particular circumstances whether filing should be permitted, and if so, upon what terms. The amendment does not attempt to deal with such questions as the relation of the statute of limitations to supplemental pleadings, the operation of the doctrine of laches, or the availability of other defenses. All these questions are for decision in accordance with the principles applicable to supplemental pleadings generally. Cf. Blau v. Lamb, 191 F.Supp. 906 (S.D.N.Y. 1961); Lendonsol Amusement Corp. v. B. & Q. Assoc., Inc., 23 F.R.Serv. 15d. 3, Case 1 (D.Mass. 1957).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Rule 15(c) is amplified to state more clearly when an amendment of a pleading changing the party against whom a claim is asserted (including an amendment to correct a misnomer or misdescription of a defendant) shall “relate back” to the date of the original pleading.

The problem has arisen most acutely in certain actions by private parties against officers or agencies of the United States. Thus an individual denied social security benefits by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare may secure review of the decision by bringing a civil action against that officer within sixty days. 42 U.S.C. §405(g) (Supp. III, 1962). In several recent cases the claimants instituted timely action but mistakenly named as defendant the United States, the Department of HEW, the “Federal Security Administration” (a nonexistent agency), and a Secretary who had retired from the office nineteen days before. Discovering their mistakes, the claimants moved to amend their complaints to name the proper defendant; by this time the statutory sixty-day period had expired. The motions were denied on the ground that the amendment “would amount to the commencement of a new proceeding and would not relate back in time so as to avoid the statutory provision * * * that suit be brought within sixty days * * *” Cohn v. Federal Security Adm., 199 F.Supp. 884, 885 (W.D.N.Y. 1961); see also Cunningham v. United States, 199 F.Supp. 541 (W.D.Mo. 1958); Hall v. Department of HEW, 199 F.Supp. 833 (S.D.Tex. 1960); Sandridge v. Folsom, Secretary of HEW, 200 F.Supp. 25 (M.D.Tenn. 1959). [The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare has approved certain ameliorative regulations under 42 U.S.C. §405(g). See 29 Fed.Reg. 8209 (June 30, 1964); Jacoby, The Effect of Recent Changes in the Law of “Nonstatutory” Judicial Review, 53 Geo.L.J. 19, 42–43 (1964); see also Simmons v. United States Dept. HEW, 328 F.2d 86 (3d Cir. 1964).]

Analysis in terms of “new proceeding” is traceable to Davis v. L. L. Cohen & Co., 268 U.S. 638 (1925), and Mellon v. Arkansas Land & Lumber Co., 275 U.S. 460 (1928), but those cases antedate the adoption of the Rules which import different criteria for determining when an amendment is to “relate back”. As lower courts have continued to rely on the Davis and Mellon cases despite the contrary intent of the Rules, clarification of Rule 15(c) is considered advisable.

Relation back is intimately connected with the policy of the statute of limitations. The policy of the statute limiting the time for suit against the Secretary of HEW would not have been offended by allowing relation back in the situations described above. For the government was put on notice of the claim within the stated period—in the particular instances, by means of the initial delivery of process to a responsible government official (see Rule 4(d)(4) and (5). In these circumstances, characterization of the amendment as a new proceeding is not responsive to the realty, but is merely question-begging; and to deny relation back is to defeat unjustly the claimant's opportunity to prove his case. See the full discussion by Byse, Suing the “Wrong” Defendant in Judicial Review of Federal Administrative Action: Proposals for Reform, 77 Harv.L.Rev. 40 (1963); see also Ill.Civ.P.Act §46(4).

Much the same question arises in other types of actions against the government (see Byse, supra, at 45 n. 15). In actions between private parties, the problem of relation back of amendments changing defendants has generally been better handled by the courts, but incorrect criteria have sometimes been applied, leading sporadically to doubtful results. See 1A Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure §451 (Wright ed. 1960); 1 id. §186 (1960); 2 id. §543 (1961); 3 Moore's Federal Practice, par. 15.15 (Cum.Supp. 1962); Annot., Change in Party After Statute of Limitations Has Run, 8 A.L.R.2d 6 (1949). Rule 15(c) has been amplified to provide a general solution. An amendment changing the party against whom a claim is asserted relates back if the amendment satisfies the usual condition of Rule 15(c) of “arising out of the conduct * * * set forth * * * in the original pleading,” and if, within the applicable limitations period, the party brought in by amendment, first, received such notice of the institution of the action—the notice need not be formal—that he would not be prejudiced in defending the action, and, second, knew or should have known that the action would have been brought against him initially had there not been a mistake concerning the identity of the proper party. Revised Rule 15(c) goes on to provide specifically in the government cases that the first and second requirements are satisfied when the government has been notified in the manner there described (see Rule 4(d)(4) and (5). As applied to the government cases, revised Rule 15(c) further advances the objectives of the 1961 amendment of Rule 25(d) (substitution of public officers).

The relation back of amendments changing plaintiffs is not expressly treated in revised Rule 15(c) since the problem is generally easier. Again the chief consideration of policy is that of the statute of limitations, and the attitude taken in revised Rule 15(c) toward change of defendants extends by analogy to amendments changing plaintiffs. Also relevant is the amendment of Rule 17(a) (real party in interest). To avoid forfeitures of just claims, revised Rule 17(a) would provide that no action shall be dismissed on the ground that it is not prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest until a reasonable time has been allowed for correction of the defect in the manner there stated.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

The rule has been revised to prevent parties against whom claims are made from taking unjust advantage of otherwise inconsequential pleading errors to sustain a limitations defense.

Paragraph (c)(1). This provision is new. It is intended to make it clear that the rule does not apply to preclude any relation back that may be permitted under the applicable limitations law. Generally, the applicable limitations law will be state law. If federal jurisdiction is based on the citizenship of the parties, the primary reference is the law of the state in which the district court sits. Walker v. Armco Steel Corp., 446 U.S. 740 (1980). If federal jurisdiction is based on a federal question, the reference may be to the law of the state governing relations between the parties. E.g., Board of Regents v. Tomanio, 446 U.S. 478 (1980). In some circumstances, the controlling limitations law may be federal law. E.g., West v. Conrail, Inc., 107 S.Ct. 1538 (1987). Cf. Burlington Northern R. Co. v. Woods, 480 U.S. 1 (1987); Stewart Organization v. Ricoh, 108 S.Ct. 2239 (1988). Whatever may be the controlling body of limitations law, if that law affords a more forgiving principle of relation back than the one provided in this rule, it should be available to save the claim. Accord, Marshall v. Mulrenin, 508 F.2d 39 (1st cir. 1974). If Schiavone v. Fortune, 106 S.Ct. 2379 (1986) implies the contrary, this paragraph is intended to make a material change in the rule.

Paragraph (c)(3). This paragraph has been revised to change the result in Schiavone v. Fortune, supra, with respect to the problem of a misnamed defendant. An intended defendant who is notified of an action within the period allowed by Rule 4(m) for service of a summons and complaint may not under the revised rule defeat the action on account of a defect in the pleading with respect to the defendant's name, provided that the requirements of clauses (A) and (B) have been met. If the notice requirement is met within the Rule 4(m) period, a complaint may be amended at any time to correct a formal defect such as a misnomer or misidentification. On the basis of the text of the former rule, the Court reached a result in Schiavone v. Fortune that was inconsistent with the liberal pleading practices secured by Rule 8. See Bauer, Schiavone: An Un-Fortune-ate Illustration of the Supreme Court's Role as Interpreter of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 63 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 720 (1988); Brussack, Outrageous Fortune: The Case for Amending Rule 15(c) Again, 61 S. CAL. L. REV. 671 (1988); Lewis, The Excessive History of Federal Rule 15(c) and Its Lessons for Civil Rules Revision, 86 MICH. L. REV. 1507 (1987).

In allowing a name-correcting amendment within the time allowed by Rule 4(m), this rule allows not only the 120 days specified in that rule, but also any additional time resulting from any extension ordered by the court pursuant to that rule, as may be granted, for example, if the defendant is a fugitive from service of the summons.

This revision, together with the revision of Rule 4(i) with respect to the failure of a plaintiff in an action against the United States to effect timely service on all the appropriate officials, is intended to produce results contrary to those reached in Gardner v. Gartman, 880 F.2d 797 (4th cir. 1989), Rys v. U.S. Postal Service, 886 F.2d 443 (1st cir. 1989), Martin's Food & Liquor, Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 14 F.R.S.3d 86 (N.D. Ill. 1988). But cf. Montgomery v. United States Postal Service, 867 F.2d 900 (5th cir. 1989), Warren v. Department of the Army, 867 F.2d 1156 (8th cir. 1989); Miles v. Department of the Army, 881 F.2d 777 (9th cir. 1989), Barsten v. Department of the Interior, 896 F.2d 422 (9th cir. 1990); Brown v. Georgia Dept. of Revenue, 881 F.2d 1018 (11th cir. 1989).

Congressional Modification of Proposed 1991 Amendment

Section 11(a) of Pub. L. 102–198 [set out as a note under section 2074 of this title] provided that Rule 15(c)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as transmitted to Congress by the Supreme Court to become effective on Dec. 1, 1991, is amended. See 1991 Amendment note below.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The amendment conforms the cross reference to Rule 4 to the revision of that rule.

1991 Amendment

Subd. (c)(3). Pub. L. 102–198 substituted “Rule 4(j)” for “Rule 4(m)”.

Cross References

Jurisdiction, amendment to show, see section 1653 of this title.

Time for service of pleadings, see rule 12.

Rule 16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management

(a) Pretrial Conferences; Objectives. In any action, the court may in its discretion direct the attorneys for the parties and any unrepresented parties to appear before it for a conference or conferences before trial for such purposes as

(1) expediting the disposition of the action;

(2) establishing early and continuing control so that the case will not be protracted because of lack of management;

(3) discouraging wasteful pretrial activities;

(4) improving the quality of the trial through more thorough preparation, and;

(5) facilitating the settlement of the case.


(b) Scheduling and Planning. Except in categories of actions exempted by district court rule as inappropriate, the district judge, or a magistrate judge when authorized by district court rule, shall, after receiving the report from the parties under Rule 26(f) or after consulting with the attorneys for the parties and any unrepresented parties by a scheduling conference, telephone, mail, or other suitable means, enter a scheduling order that limits the time

(1) to join other parties and to amend the pleadings;

(2) to file motions; and

(3) to complete discovery.


The scheduling order also may include

(4) modifications of the times for disclosures under Rules 26(a) and 26(e)(1) and of the extent of discovery to be permitted;

(5) the date or dates for conferences before trial, a final pretrial conference, and trial; and

(6) any other matters appropriate in the circumstances of the case.


The order shall issue as soon as practicable but in any event within 90 days after the appearance of a defendant and within 120 days after the complaint has been served on a defendant. A schedule shall not be modified except upon a showing of good cause and by leave of the district judge or, when authorized by local rule, by a magistrate judge.

(c) Subjects for Consideration at Pretrial Conferences. At any conference under this rule consideration may be given, and the court may take appropriate action, with respect to

(1) the formulation and simplification of the issues, including the elimination of frivolous claims or defenses;

(2) the necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;

(3) the possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof, stipulations regarding the authenticity of documents, and advance rulings from the court on the admissibility of evidence;

(4) the avoidance of unnecessary proof and of cumulative evidence, and limitations or restrictions on the use of testimony under Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence;

(5) the appropriateness and timing of summary adjudication under Rule 56;

(6) the control and scheduling of discovery, including orders affecting disclosures and discovery pursuant to Rule 26 and Rules 29 through 37;

(7) the identification of witnesses and documents, the need and schedule for filing and exchanging pretrial briefs, and the date or dates for further conferences and for trial;

(8) the advisability of referring matters to a magistrate judge or master;

(9) settlement and the use of special procedures to assist in resolving the dispute when authorized by statute or local rule;

(10) the form and substance of the pretrial order;

(11) the disposition of pending motions;

(12) the need for adopting special procedures for managing potentially difficult or protracted actions that may involve complex issues, multiple parties, difficult legal questions, or unusual proof problems;

(13) an order for a separate trial pursuant to Rule 42(b) with respect to a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, or with respect to any particular issue in the case;

(14) an order directing a party or parties to present evidence early in the trial with respect to a manageable issue that could, on the evidence, be the basis for a judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(a) or a judgment on partial findings under Rule 52(c);

(15) an order establishing a reasonable limit on the time allowed for presenting evidence; and

(16) such other matters as may facilitate the just, speedy, and inexpensive disposition of the action.


At least one of the attorneys for each party participating in any conference before trial shall have authority to enter into stipulations and to make admissions regarding all matters that the participants may reasonably anticipate may be discussed. If appropriate, the court may require that a party or its representative be present or reasonably available by telephone in order to consider possible settlement of the dispute.

(d) Final Pretrial Conference. Any final pretrial conference shall be held as close to the time of trial as reasonable under the circumstances. The participants at any such conference shall formulate a plan for trial, including a program for facilitating the admission of evidence. The conference shall be attended by at least one of the attorneys who will conduct the trial for each of the parties and by any unrepresented parties.

(e) Pretrial Orders. After any conference held pursuant to this rule, an order shall be entered reciting the action taken. This order shall control the subsequent course of the action unless modified by a subsequent order. The order following a final pretrial conference shall be modified only to prevent manifest injustice.

(f) Sanctions. If a party or party's attorney fails to obey a scheduling or pretrial order, or if no appearance is made on behalf of a party at a scheduling or pretrial conference, or if a party or party's attorney is substantially unprepared to participate in the conference, or if a party or party's attorney fails to participate in good faith, the judge, upon motion or the judge's own initiative, may make such orders with regard thereto as are just, and among others any of the orders provided in Rule 37(b)(2)(B), (C), (D). In lieu of or in addition to any other sanction, the judge shall require the party or the attorney representing the party or both to pay the reasonable expenses incurred because of any noncompliance with this rule, including attorney's fees, unless the judge finds that the noncompliance was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.

(As amended Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

1. Similar rules of pre-trial procedure are now in force in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and Los Angeles, and a rule substantially like this one has been proposed for the urban centers of New York state. For a discussion of the successful operation of pre-trial procedure in relieving the congested condition of trial calendars of the courts in such cities and for the proposed New York plan, see A Proposal for Minimizing Calendar Delay in Jury Cases (Dec. 1936—published by The New York Law Society); Pre-Trial Procedure and Administration, Third Annual Report of the Judicial Council of the State of New York (1937), pp. 207–243; Report of the Commission on the Administration of Justice in New York State (1934), pp. (288)–(290). See also Pre-Trial Procedure in the Wayne Circuit Court, Detroit, Michigan, Sixth Annual Report of the Judicial Council of Michigan (1936), pp. 63–75; and Sunderland, The Theory and Practice of Pre-Trial Procedure (Dec. 1937) 36 Mich.L.Rev. 215–226, 21 J.Am.Jud.Soc. 125. Compare the English procedure known as the “summons for directions,” English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 38a; and a similar procedure in New Jersey, N.J.Comp.Stat. (2 Cum.Supp. 1911–1924); N.J. Supreme Court Rules, 2 N.J.Misc.Rep. (1924) 1230, Rules 94, 92, 93, 95 (the last three as amended 1933, 11 N.J.Misc.Rep. (1933) 955).

2. Compare the similar procedure under Rule 56(d) (Summary Judgment—Case Not Fully Adjudicated on Motion). Rule 12(g) (Consolidation of Motions), by requiring to some extent the consolidation of motions dealing with matters preliminary to trial, is a step in the same direction. In connection with clause (5) of this rule, see Rules 53(b) (Masters; Reference) and 53(e)(3) (Master's Report; In Jury Actions).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Introduction

Rule 16 has not been amended since the Federal Rules were promulgated in 1938. In many respects, the rule has been a success. For example, there is evidence that pretrial conferences may improve the quality of justice rendered in the federal courts by sharpening the preparation and presentation of cases, tending to eliminate trial surprise, and improving, as well as facilitating, the settlement process. See 6 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1522 (1971). However, in other respects particularly with regard to case management, the rule has not always been as helpful as it might have been. Thus there has been a widespread feeling that amendment is necessary to encourage pretrial management that meets the needs of modern litigation. See Report of the National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures (1979).

Major criticism of Rule 16 has centered on the fact that its application can result in over-regulation of some cases and under-regulation of others. In simple, run-of-the-mill cases, attorneys have found pretrial requirements burdensome. It is claimed that over-administration leads to a series of mini-trials that result in a waste of an attorney's time and needless expense to a client. Pollack, Pretrial Procedures More Effectively Handled, 65 F.R.D. 475 (1974). This is especially likely to be true when pretrial proceedings occur long before trial. At the other end of the spectrum, the discretionary character of Rule 16 and its orientation toward a single conference late in the pretrial process has led to under-administration of complex or protracted cases. Without judicial guidance beginning shortly after institution, these cases often become mired in discovery.

Four sources of criticism of pretrial have been identified. First, conferences often are seen as a mere exchange of legalistic contentions without any real analysis of the particular case. Second, the result frequently is nothing but a formal agreement on minutiae. Third, the conferences are seen as unnecessary and time-consuming in cases that will be settled before trial. Fourth, the meetings can be ceremonial and ritualistic, having little effect on the trial and being of minimal value, particularly when the attorneys attending the sessions are not the ones who will try the case or lack authority to enter into binding stipulations. See generally McCargo v. Hedrick, 545 F.2d 393 (4th Cir. 1976); Pollack, Pretrial Procedures More Effectively Handled, 65 F.R.D. 475 (1974); Rosenberg, The Pretrial Conference and Effective Justice 45 (1964).

There also have been difficulties with the pretrial orders that issue following Rule 16 conferences. When an order is entered far in advance of trial, some issues may not be properly formulated. Counsel naturally are cautious and often try to preserve as many options as possible. If the judge who tries the case did not conduct the conference, he could find it difficult to determine exactly what was agreed to at the conference. But any insistence on a detailed order may be too burdensome, depending on the nature or posture of the case.

Given the significant changes in federal civil litigation since 1938 that are not reflected in Rule 16, it has been extensively rewritten and expanded to meet the challenges of modern litigation. Empirical studies reveal that when a trial judge intervenes personally at an early stage to assume judicial control over a case and to schedule dates for completion by the parties of the principal pretrial steps, the case is disposed of by settlement or trial more efficiently and with less cost and delay than when the parties are left to their own devices. Flanders, Case Management and Court Management in United States District Courts 17, Federal Judicial Center (1977). Thus, the rule mandates a pretrial scheduling order. However, although scheduling and pretrial conferences are encouraged in appropriate cases, they are not mandated.

Discussion

Subdivision (a); Pretrial Conferences; Objectives. The amended rule makes scheduling and case management an express goal of pretrial procedure. This is done in Rule 16(a) by shifting the emphasis away from a conference focused solely on the trial and toward a process of judicial management that embraces the entire pretrial phase, especially motions and discovery. In addition, the amendment explicitly recognizes some of the objectives of pretrial conferences and the powers that many courts already have assumed. Rule 16 thus will be a more accurate reflection of actual practice.

Subdivision (b); Scheduling and Planning. The most significant change in Rule 16 is the mandatory scheduling order described in Rule 16(b), which is based in part on Wisconsin Civil Procedure Rule 802.10. The idea of scheduling orders is not new. It has been used by many federal courts. See, e.g., Southern District of Indiana, Local Rule 19.

Although a mandatory scheduling order encourages the court to become involved in case management early in the litigation, it represents a degree of judicial involvement that is not warranted in many cases. Thus, subdivision (b) permits each district court to promulgate a local rule under Rule 83 exempting certain categories of cases in which the burdens of scheduling orders exceed the administrative efficiencies that would be gained. See Eastern District of Virginia, Local Rule 12(1). Logical candidates for this treatment include social security disability matters, habeas corpus petitions, forfeitures, and reviews of certain administrative actions.

A scheduling conference may be requested either by the judge, a magistrate when authorized by district court rule, or a party within 120 days after the summons and complaint are filed. If a scheduling conference is not arranged within that time and the case is not exempted by local rule, a scheduling order must be issued under Rule 16(b), after some communication with the parties, which may be by telephone or mail rather than in person. The use of the term “judge” in subdivision (b) reflects the Advisory Committee's judgment that is it preferable that this task should be handled by a district judge rather than a magistrate, except when the magistrate is acting under 28 U.S.C. §636(c). While personal supervision by the trial judge is preferred, the rule, in recognition of the impracticality or difficulty of complying with such a requirement in some districts, authorizes a district by local rule to delegate the duties to a magistrate. In order to formulate a practicable scheduling order, the judge, or a magistrate when authorized by district court rule, and attorneys are required to develop a timetable for the matters listed in Rule 16(b)(1)–(3). As indicated in Rule 16(b)(4)–(5), the order may also deal with a wide range of other matters. The rule is phrased permissively as to clauses (4) and (5), however, because scheduling these items at an early point may not be feasible or appropriate. Even though subdivision (b) relates only to scheduling, there is no reason why some of the procedural matters listed in Rule 16(c) cannot be addressed at the same time, at least when a scheduling conference is held.

Item (1) assures that at some point both the parties and the pleadings will be fixed, by setting a time within which joinder of parties shall be completed and the pleadings amended.

Item (2) requires setting time limits for interposing various motions that otherwise might be used as stalling techniques.

Item (3) deals with the problem of procrastination and delay by attorneys in a context in which scheduling is especially important—discovery. Scheduling the completion of discovery can serve some of the same functions as the conference described in Rule 26(f).

Item (4) refers to setting dates for conferences and for trial. Scheduling multiple pretrial conferences may well be desirable if the case is complex and the court believes that a more elaborate pretrial structure, such as that described in the Manual for Complex Litigation, should be employed. On the other hand, only one pretrial conference may be necessary in an uncomplicated case.

As long as the case is not exempted by local rule, the court must issue a written scheduling order even if no scheduling conference is called. The order, like pretrial orders under the former rule and those under new Rule 16(c), normally will “control the subsequent course of the action.” See Rule 16(e). After consultation with the attorneys for the parties and any unrepresented parties—a formal motion is not necessary—the court may modify the schedule on a showing of good cause if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension. Since the scheduling order is entered early in the litigation, this standard seems more appropriate than a “manifest injustice” or “substantial hardship” test. Otherwise, a fear that extensions will not be granted may encourage counsel to request the longest possible periods for completing pleading, joinder, and discovery. Moreover, changes in the court's calendar sometimes will oblige the judge or magistrate when authorized by district court rule to modify the scheduling order.

The district courts undoubtedly will develop several prototype scheduling orders for different types of cases. In addition, when no formal conference is held, the court may obtain scheduling information by telephone, mail, or otherwise. In many instances this will result in a scheduling order better suited to the individual case than a standard order, without taking the time that would be required by a formal conference.

Rule 16(b) assures that the judge will take some early control over the litigation, even when its character does not warrant holding a scheduling conference. Despite the fact that the process of preparing a scheduling order does not always bring the attorneys and judge together, the fixing of time limits serves

  to stimulate litigants to narrow the areas of inquiry and advocacy to those they believe are truly relevant and material. Time limits not only compress the amount of time for litigation, they should also reduce the amount of resources invested in litigation. Litigants are forced to establish discovery priorities and thus to do the most important work first.

Report of the National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures 28 (1979).

Thus, except in exempted cases, the judge or a magistrate when authorized by district court rule will have taken some action in every case within 120 days after the complaint is filed that notifies the attorneys that the case will be moving toward trial. Subdivision (b) is reenforced by subdivision (f), which makes it clear that the sanctions for violating a scheduling order are the same as those for violating a pretrial order.

Subdivision (c); Subjects to be Discussed at Pretrial Conferences. This subdivision expands upon the list of things that may be discussed at a pretrial conference that appeared in original Rule 16. The intention is to encourage better planning and management of litigation. Increased judicial control during the pretrial process accelerates the processing and termination of cases. Flanders, Case Management and Court Management in United States District Courts, Federal Judicial Center (1977). See also Report of the National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures (1979).

The reference in Rule 16(c)(1) to “formulation” is intended to clarify and confirm the court's power to identify the litigable issues. It has been added in the hope of promoting efficiency and conserving judicial resources by identifying the real issues prior to trial, thereby saving time and expense for everyone. See generally Meadow Gold Prods. Co. v. Wright, 278 F.2d 867 (D.C. Cir. 1960). The notion is emphasized by expressly authorizing the elimination of frivolous claims or defenses at a pretrial conference. There is no reason to require that this await a formal motion for summary judgment. Nor is there any reason for the court to wait for the parties to initiate the process called for in Rule 16(c)(1).

The timing of any attempt at issue formulation is a matter of judicial discretion. In relatively simple cases it may not be necessary or may take the form of a stipulation between counsel or a request by the court that counsel work together to draft a proposed order.

Counsel bear a substantial responsibility for assisting the court in identifying the factual issues worthy of trial. If counsel fail to identify an issue for the court, the right to have the issue tried is waived. Although an order specifying the issues is intended to be binding, it may be amended at trial to avoid manifest injustice. See Rule 16(e). However, the rule's effectiveness depends on the court employing its discretion sparingly.

Clause (6) acknowledges the widespread availability and use of magistrates. The corresponding provision in the original rule referred only to masters and limited the function of the reference to the making of “findings to be used as evidence” in a case to be tried to a jury. The new text is not limited and broadens the potential use of a magistrate to that permitted by the Magistrate's Act.

Clause (7) explicitly recognizes that it has become commonplace to discuss settlement at pretrial conferences. Since it obviously eases crowded court dockets and results in savings to the litigants and the judicial system, settlement should be facilitated at as early a stage of the litigation as possible. Although it is not the purpose of Rule 16(b)(7) to impose settlement negotiations on unwilling litigants, it is believed that providing a neutral forum for discussing the subject might foster it. See Moore's Federal Practice 16.17; 6 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1522 (1971). For instance, a judge to whom a case has been assigned may arrange, on his own motion or a at a party's request, to have settlement conferences handled by another member of the court or by a magistrate. The rule does not make settlement conferences mandatory because they would be a waste of time in many cases. See Flanders, Case Management and Court Management in the United States District Courts, 39, Federal Judicial Center (1977). Requests for a conference from a party indicating a willingness to talk settlement normally should be honored, unless thought to be frivolous or dilatory.

A settlement conference is appropriate at any time. It may be held in conjunction with a pretrial or discovery conference, although various objectives of pretrial management, such as moving the case toward trial, may not always be compatible with settlement negotiations, and thus a separate settlement conference may be desirable. See 6 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §1522, at p. 751 (1971).

In addition to settlement, Rule 16(c)(7) refers to exploring the use of procedures other than litigation to resolve the dispute. This includes urging the litigants to employ adjudicatory techniques outside the courthouse. See, for example, the experiment described in Green, Marks & Olson, Settling Large Case Litigation: An Alternative Approach, 11 Loyola of L.A. L.Rev. 493 (1978).

Rule 16(c)(10) authorizes the use of special pretrial procedures to expedite the adjudication of potentially difficult or protracted cases. Some district courts obviously have done so for many years. See Rubin, The Managed Calendar: Some Pragmatic Suggestions About Achieving the Just, Speedy and Inexpensive Determination of Civil Cases in Federal Courts, 4 Just. Sys. J. 135 (1976). Clause 10 provides an explicit authorization for such procedures and encourages their use. No particular techniques have been described; the Committee felt that flexibility and experience are the keys to efficient management of complex cases. Extensive guidance is offered in such documents as the Manual for Complex Litigation.

The rule simply identifies characteristics that make a case a strong candidate for special treatment. The four mentioned are illustrative, not exhaustive, and overlap to some degree. But experience has shown that one or more of them will be present in every protracted or difficult case and it seems desirable to set them out. See Kendig, Procedures for Management of Non-Routine Cases, 3 Hofstra L.Rev. 701 (1975).

The last sentence of subdivision (c) is new. See Wisconsin Civil Procedure Rule 802.11(2). It has been added to meet one of the criticisms of the present practice described earlier and insure proper preconference preparation so that the meeting is more than a ceremonial or ritualistic event. The reference to “authority” is not intended to insist upon the ability to settle the litigation. Nor should the rule be read to encourage the judge conducting the conference to compel attorneys to enter into stipulations or to make admissions that they consider to be unreasonable, that touch on matters that could not normally have been anticipated to arise at the conference, or on subjects of a dimension that normally require prior consultation with and approval from the client.

Subdivision (d); Final Pretrial Conference. This provision has been added to make it clear that the time between any final pretrial conference (which in a simple case may be the only pretrial conference) and trail should be as short as possible to be certain that the litigants make substantial progress with the case and avoid the inefficiency of having that preparation repeated when there is a delay between the last pretrial conference and trial. An optimum time of 10 days to two weeks has been suggested by one federal judge. Rubin, The Managed Calendar: Some Pragmatic Suggestions About Achieving the Just, Speedy and Inexpensive Determination of Civil Cases in Federal Courts, 4 Just. Sys. J. 135, 141 (1976). The Committee, however, concluded that it would be inappropriate to fix a precise time in the rule, given the numerous variables that could bear on the matter. Thus the timing has been left to the court's discretion.

At least one of the attorneys who will conduct the trial for each party must be present at the final pretrial conference. At this late date there should be no doubt as to which attorney or attorneys this will be. Since the agreements and stipulations made at this final conference will control the trial, the presence of lawyers who will be involved in it is especially useful to assist the judge in structuring the case, and to lead to a more effective trial.

Subdivision (e); Pretrial Orders. Rule 16(e) does not substantially change the portion of the original rule dealing with pretrial orders. The purpose of an order is to guide the course of the litigation and the language of the original rule making that clear has been retained. No compelling reason has been found for major revision, especially since this portion of the rule has been interpreted and clarified by over forty years of judicial decisions with comparatively little difficulty. See 6 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §§1521–30 (1971). Changes in language therefore have been kept to a minimum to avoid confusion.

Since the amended rule encourages more extensive pretrial management than did the original, two or more conferences may be held in many cases. The language of Rule 16(e) recognizes this possibility and the corresponding need to issue more than one pretrial order in a single case.

Once formulated, pretrial orders should not be changed lightly; but total inflexibility is undesirable. See, e.g., Clark v. Pennsylvania R.R. Co., 328 F.2d 591 (2d Cir. 1964). The exact words used to describe the standard for amending the pretrial order probably are less important than the meaning given them in practice. By not imposing any limitation on the ability to modify a pretrial order, the rule reflects the reality that in any process of continuous management what is done at one conference may have to be altered at the next. In the case of the final pretrial order, however, a more stringent standard is called for and the words “to prevent manifest injustice,” which appeared in the original rule, have been retained. They have the virtue of familiarity and adequately describe the restraint the trial judge should exercise.

Many local rules make the plaintiff's attorney responsible for drafting a proposed pretrial order, either before or after the conference. Others allow the court to appoint any of the attorneys to perform the task, and others leave it to the court. See Note, Pretrial Conference: A Critical Examination of Local Rules Adopted by Federal District Courts, 64 Va.L.Rev. 467 (1978). Rule 16 has never addressed this matter. Since there is no consensus about which method of drafting the order works best and there is no reason to believe that nationwide uniformity is needed, the rule has been left silent on the point. See Handbook for Effective Pretrial Procedure, 37 F.R.D. 225 (1964).

Subdivision (f); Sanctions. Original Rule 16 did not mention the sanctions that might be imposed for failing to comply with the rule. However, courts have not hesitated to enforce it by appropriate measures. See, e.g., Link v. Wabash R. Co., 370 U.S. 628 (1962) (district court's dismissal under Rule 41(b) after plaintiff's attorney failed to appear at a pretrial conference upheld); Admiral Theatre Corp. v. Douglas Theatre, 585 F.2d 877 (8th Cir. 1978) (district court has discretion to exclude exhibits or refuse to permit the testimony of a witness not listed prior to trial in contravention of its pretrial order).

To reflect that existing practice, and to obviate dependence upon Rule 41(b) or the court's inherent power to regulate litigation, cf. Societe Internationale Pour Participations Industrielles et Commerciales, S.A. v. Rogers, 357 U.S. 197 (1958), Rule 16(f) expressly provides for imposing sanctions on disobedient or recalcitrant parties, their attorneys, or both in four types of situations. Rodes, Ripple & Mooney, Sanctions Imposable for Violations of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 65–67, 80–84, Federal Judicial Center (1981). Furthermore, explicit reference to sanctions reenforces the rule's intention to encourage forceful judicial management.

Rule 16(f) incorporates portions of Rule 37(b)(2), which prescribes sanctions for failing to make discovery. This should facilitate application of Rule 16(f), since courts and lawyers already are familiar with the Rule 37 standards. Among the sanctions authorized by the new subdivision are: preclusion order, striking a pleading, staying the proceeding, default judgment, contempt, and charging a party, his attorney, or both with the expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by noncompliance. The contempt sanction, however, is only available for a violation of a court order. The references in Rule 16(f) are not exhaustive.

As is true under Rule 37(b)(2), the imposition of sanctions may be sought by either the court or a party. In addition, the court has discretion to impose whichever sanction it feels is appropriate under the circumstances. Its action is reviewable under the abuse-of-discretion standard. See National Hockey League v. Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc., 427 U.S. 639 (1976).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

Subdivision (b). One purpose of this amendment is to provide a more appropriate deadline for the initial scheduling order required by the rule. The former rule directed that the order be entered within 120 days from the filing of the complaint. This requirement has created problems because Rule 4(m) allows 120 days for service and ordinarily at least one defendant should be available to participate in the process of formulating the scheduling order. The revision provides that the order is to be entered within 90 days after the date a defendant first appears (whether by answer or by a motion under Rule 12) or, if earlier (as may occur in some actions against the United States or if service is waived under Rule 4), within 120 days after service of the complaint on a defendant. The longer time provided by the revision is not intended to encourage unnecessary delays in entering the scheduling order. Indeed, in most cases the order can and should be entered at a much earlier date. Rather, the additional time is intended to alleviate problems in multi-defendant cases and should ordinarily be adequate to enable participation by all defendants initially named in the action.

In many cases the scheduling order can and should be entered before this deadline. However, when setting a scheduling conference, the court should take into account the effect this setting will have in establishing deadlines for the parties to meet under revised Rule 26(f) and to exchange information under revised Rule 26(a)(1). While the parties are expected to stipulate to additional time for making their disclosures when warranted by the circumstances, a scheduling conference held before defendants have had time to learn much about the case may result in diminishing the value of the Rule 26(f) meeting, the parties’ proposed discovery plan, and indeed the conference itself.

New paragraph (4) has been added to highlight that it will frequently be desirable for the scheduling order to include provisions relating to the timing of disclosures under Rule 26(a). While the initial disclosures required by Rule 26(a)(1) will ordinarily have been made before entry of the scheduling order, the timing and sequence for disclosure of expert testimony and of the witnesses and exhibits to be used at trial should be tailored to the circumstances of the case and is a matter that should be considered at the initial scheduling conference. Similarly, the scheduling order might contain provisions modifying the extent of discovery (e.g., number and length of depositions) otherwise permitted under these rules or by a local rule.

The report from the attorneys concerning their meeting and proposed discovery plan, as required by revised Rule 26(f), should be submitted to the court before the scheduling order is entered. Their proposals, particularly regarding matters on which they agree, should be of substantial value to the court in setting the timing and limitations on discovery and should reduce the time of the court needed to conduct a meaningful conference under Rule 16(b). As under the prior rule, while a scheduling order is mandated, a scheduling conference is not. However, in view of the benefits to be derived from the litigants and a judicial officer meeting in person, a Rule 16(b) conference should, to the extent practicable, be held in all cases that will involve discovery.

This subdivision, as well as subdivision (c)(8), also is revised to reflect the new title of United States Magistrate Judges pursuant to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990.

Subdivision (c). The primary purposes of the changes in subdivision (c) are to call attention to the opportunities for structuring of trial under Rules 42, 50, and 52 and to eliminate questions that have occasionally been raised regarding the authority of the court to make appropriate orders designed either to facilitate settlement or to provide for an efficient and economical trial. The prefatory language of this subdivision is revised to clarify the court's power to enter appropriate orders at a conference notwithstanding the objection of a party. Of course settlement is dependent upon agreement by the parties and, indeed, a conference is most effective and productive when the parties participate in a spirit of cooperation and mindful of their responsibilities under Rule 1.

Paragraph (4) is revised to clarify that in advance of trial the court may address the need for, and possible limitations on, the use of expert testimony under Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Even when proposed expert testimony might be admissible under the standards of Rules 403 and 702 of the evidence rules, the court may preclude or limit such testimony if the cost to the litigants—which may include the cost to adversaries of securing testimony on the same subjects by other experts—would be unduly expensive given the needs of the case and the other evidence available at trial.

Paragraph (5) is added (and the remaining paragraphs renumbered) in recognition that use of Rule 56 to avoid or reduce the scope of trial is a topic that can, and often should, be considered at a pretrial conference. Renumbered paragraph (11) enables the court to rule on pending motions for summary adjudication that are ripe for decision at the time of the conference. Often, however, the potential use of Rule 56 is a matter that arises from discussions during a conference. The court may then call for motions to be filed.

Paragraph (6) is added to emphasize that a major objective of pretrial conferences should be to consider appropriate controls on the extent and timing of discovery. In many cases the court should also specify the times and sequence for disclosure of written reports from experts under revised Rule 26(a)(2)(B) and perhaps direct changes in the types of experts from whom written reports are required. Consideration should also be given to possible changes in the timing or form of the disclosure of trial witnesses and documents under Rule 26(a)(3).

Paragraph (9) is revised to describe more accurately the various procedures that, in addition to traditional settlement conferences, may be helpful in settling litigation. Even if a case cannot immediately be settled, the judge and attorneys can explore possible use of alternative procedures such as mini-trials, summary jury trials, mediation, neutral evaluation, and nonbinding arbitration that can lead to consensual resolution of the dispute without a full trial on the merits. The rule acknowledges the presence of statutes and local rules or plans that may authorize use of some of these procedures even when not agreed to by the parties. See 28 U.S.C. §§473(a)(6), 473(b)(4), 651–58; Section 104(b)(2), Pub.L. 101–650. The rule does not attempt to resolve questions as to the extent a court would be authorized to require such proceedings as an exercise of its inherent powers.

The amendment of paragraph (9) should be read in conjunction with the sentence added to the end of subdivision (c), authorizing the court to direct that, in appropriate cases, a responsible representative of the parties be present or available by telephone during a conference in order to discuss possible settlement of the case. The sentence refers to participation by a party or its representative. Whether this would be the individual party, an officer of a corporate party, a representative from an insurance carrier, or someone else would depend on the circumstances. Particularly in litigation in which governmental agencies or large amounts of money are involved, there may be no one with on-the-spot settlement authority, and the most that should be expected is access to a person who would have a major role in submitting a recommendation to the body or board with ultimate decision-making responsibility. The selection of the appropriate representative should ordinarily be left to the party and its counsel. Finally, it should be noted that the unwillingness of a party to be available, even by telephone, for a settlement conference may be a clear signal that the time and expense involved in pursuing settlement is likely to be unproductive and that personal participation by the parties should not be required.

The explicit authorization in the rule to require personal participation in the manner stated is not intended to limit the reasonable exercise of the court's inherent powers, e.g., G. Heileman Brewing Co. v. Joseph Oat Corp., 871 F.2d 648 (7th Cir. 1989), or its power to require party participation under the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990. See 28 U.S.C. §473(b)(5) (civil justice expense and delay reduction plans adopted by district courts may include requirement that representatives “with authority to bind [parties] in settlement discussions” be available during settlement conferences).

New paragraphs (13) and (14) are added to call attention to the opportunities for structuring of trial under Rule 42 and under revised Rules 50 and 52.

Paragraph (15) is also new. It supplements the power of the court to limit the extent of evidence under Rules 403 and 611(a) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which typically would be invoked as a result of developments during trial. Limits on the length of trial established at a conference in advance of trial can provide the parties with a better opportunity to determine priorities and exercise selectivity in presenting evidence than when limits are imposed during trial. Any such limits must be reasonable under the circumstances, and ordinarily the court should impose them only after receiving appropriate submissions from the parties outlining the nature of the testimony expected to be presented through various witnesses, and the expected duration of direct and cross-examination.

IV. PARTIES

Rule 17. Parties Plaintiff and Defendant; Capacity

(a) Real Party in Interest. Every action shall be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. An executor, administrator, guardian, bailee, trustee of an express trust, a party with whom or in whose name a contract has been made for the benefit of another, or a party authorized by statute may sue in that person's own name without joining the party for whose benefit the action is brought; and when a statute of the United States so provides, an action for the use or benefit of another shall be brought in the name of the United States. No action shall be dismissed on the ground that it is not prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest until a reasonable time has been allowed after objection for ratification of commencement of the action by, or joinder or substitution of, the real party in interest; and such ratification, joinder, or substitution shall have the same effect as if the action had been commenced in the name of the real party in interest.

(b) Capacity To Sue or Be Sued. The capacity of an individual, other than one acting in a representative capacity, to sue or be sued shall be determined by the law of the individual's domicile. The capacity of a corporation to sue or be sued shall be determined by the law under which it was organized. In all other cases capacity to sue or be sued shall be determined by the law of the state in which the district court is held, except (1) that a partnership or other unincorporated association, which has no such capacity by the law of such state, may sue or be sued in its common name for the purpose of enforcing for or against it a substantive right existing under the Constitution or laws of the United States, and (2) that the capacity of a receiver appointed by a court of the United States to sue or be sued in a court of the United States is governed by Title 28, U.S.C., Sections 754 and 959(a).

(c) Infants or Incompetent Persons. Whenever an infant or incompetent person has a representative, such as a general guardian, committee, conservator, or other like fiduciary, the representative may sue or defend on behalf of the infant or incompetent person. An infant or incompetent person who does not have a duly appointed representative may sue by a next friend or by a guardian ad litem. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for an infant or incompetent person not otherwise represented in an action or shall make such other order as it deems proper for the protection of the infant or incompetent person.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Dec. 29, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Aug. 1, 1988; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7049, 102 Stat. 4401.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). The real party in interest provision, except for the last clause which is new, is taken verbatim from [former] Equity Rule 37 (Parties Generally —Intervention), except that the word “expressly” has been omitted. For similar provisions see N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §210; Wyo.Rev.Stat.Ann. (1931) §§89–501, 89–502, 89–503; English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 8. See also Equity Rule 41 (Suit to Execute Trusts of Will—Heir as Party). For examples of statutes of the United States providing particularly for an action for the use or benefit of another in the name of the United States, see U.S.C., Title 40, §270b (Suit by persons furnishing labor and material for work on public building contracts * * * may sue on a payment bond, “in the name of the United States for the use of the person suing”); and U.S.C., Title 25, §201 (Penalties under laws relating to Indians—how recovered). Compare U.S.C., Title 26, [former] §1645(c) (Suits for penalties, fines, and forfeitures, under this title, where not otherwise provided for, to be in name of United States).

Note to Subdivision (b). For capacity see generally Clark and Moore, A New Federal Civil Procedure—II. Pleadings and Parties, 44 Yale L.J. 1291, 1312–1317 (1935) and specifically Coppedge v. Clinton, 72 F.(2d) 531 (C.C.A.10th, 1934) (natural person); David Lupton's Sons Co. v. Automobile Club of America, 225 U.S. 489 (1912) (corporation); Puerto Rico v. Russell & Co., 288 U.S. 476 (1933) (unincorporated ass'n.); United Mine Workers of America v. Coronado Coal Co., 259 U.S. 344 (1922) (federal substantive right enforced against unincorporated association by suit against the association in its common name without naming all its members as parties). This rule follows the existing law as to such associations, as declared in the case last cited above. Compare Moffat Tunnel League v. United States, 289 U.S. 113 (1933). See note to Rule 23, clause (1).

Note to Subdivision (c). The provision for infants and incompetent persons is substantially [former] Equity Rule 70 (Suits by or Against Incompetents) with slight additions. Compare the more detailed English provisions, English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r.r. 16–21.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

The new matter [in subdivision (b)] makes clear the controlling character of Rule 66 regarding suits by or against a federal receiver in a federal court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1948 Amendment

Since the statute states the capacity of a federal receiver to sue or be sued, a repetitive statement in the rule is confusing and undesirable.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The minor change in the text of the rule is designed to make it clear that the specific instances enumerated are not exceptions to, but illustrations of, the rule. These illustrations, of course, carry no negative implication to the effect that there are not other instances of recognition as the real party in interest of one whose standing as such may be in doubt. The enumeration is simply of cases in which there might be substantial doubt as to the issue but for the specific enumeration. There are other potentially arguable cases that are not excluded by the enumeration. For example, the enumeration states that the promisee in a contract for the benefit of a third party may sue as real party in interest; it does not say, because it is obvious, that the third-party beneficiary may sue (when the applicable law gives him that right.)

The rule adds to the illustrative list of real parties in interest a bailee—meaning, of course, a bailee suing on behalf of the bailor with respect to the property bailed. (When the possessor of property other than the owner sues for an invasion of the possessory interest he is the real party in interest.) The word “bailee” is added primarily to preserve the admiralty practice whereby the owner of a vessel as bailee of the cargo, or the master of the vessel as bailee of both vessel and cargo, sues for damage to either property interest or both. But there is no reason to limit such a provision to maritime situations. The owner of a warehouse in which household furniture is stored is equally entitled to sue on behalf of the numerous owners of the furniture stored. Cf. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501 (1947).

The provision that no action shall be dismissed on the ground that it is not prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest until a reasonable time has been allowed, after the objection has been raised, for ratification, substitution, etc., is added simply in the interests of justice. In its origin the rule concerning the real party in interest was permissive in purpose: it was designed to allow an assignee to sue in his own name. That having been accomplished, the modern function of the rule in its negative aspect is simply to protect the defendant against a subsequent action by the party actually entitled to recover, and to insure generally that the judgment will have its proper effect as res judicata.

This provision keeps pace with the law as it is actually developing. Modern decisions are inclined to be lenient when an honest mistake has been made in choosing the party in whose name the action is to be filed—in both maritime and nonmaritime cases. See Levinson v. Deupree, 345 U.S. 648 (1953); Link Aviation, Inc. v. Downs, 325 F.2d 613 (D.C.Cir. 1963). The provision should not be misunderstood or distorted. It is intended to prevent forfeiture when determination of the proper party to sue is difficult or when an understandable mistake has been made. It does not mean, for example, that, following an airplane crash in which all aboard were killed, an action may be filed in the name of John Doe (a fictitious person), as personal representative of Richard Roe (another fictitious person), in the hope that at a later time the attorney filing the action may substitute the real name of the real personal representative of a real victim, and have the benefit of suspension of the limitation period. It does not even mean, when an action is filed by the personal representative of John Smith, of Buffalo, in the good faith belief that he was aboard the flight, that upon discovery that Smith is alive and well, having missed the fatal flight, the representative of James Brown, of San Francisco, an actual victim, can be substituted to take advantage of the suspension of the limitation period. It is, in cases of this sort, intended to insure against forfeiture and injustice—in short, to codify in broad terms the salutary principle of Levinson v. Deupree, 345 U.S. 648 (1953), and Link Aviation, Inc. v. Downs, 325 F.2d 613 (D.C.Cir. 1963).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1988 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

1988 Amendment

Subd. (a). Pub. L. 100–690, which directed amendment of subd. (a) by striking “with him”, could not be executed because of the intervening amendment by the Court by order dated Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Aug. 1, 1988.

Cross References

Action by—

One or more on behalf of class, see rule 23.

United States for use of materialmen on public building contracts, see section 270b of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works.

Perpetuation of testimony when minor or incompetent is expected adverse party, see rule 27.

Rule 18. Joinder of Claims and Remedies

(a) Joinder of Claims. A party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join, either as independent or as alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has against an opposing party.

(b) Joinder of Remedies; Fraudulent Conveyances. Whenever a claim is one heretofore cognizable only after another claim has been prosecuted to a conclusion, the two claims may be joined in a single action; but the court shall grant relief in that action only in accordance with the relative substantive rights of the parties. In particular, a plaintiff may state a claim for money and a claim to have set aside a conveyance fraudulent as to that plaintiff, without first having obtained a judgment establishing the claim for money.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. Recent development, both in code and common law states, has been toward unlimited joinder of actions. See Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §168; N.J.S.A. 2:27–37, as modified by N.J.Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 21, 2 N.J.Misc. 1208 (1924); N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §258 as amended by Laws of 1935, ch. 339.

2. This provision for joinder of actions has been patterned upon [former] Equity Rule 26 (Joinder of Causes of Action) and broadened to include multiple parties. Compare the English practice, English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 18, r.r. 1–9 (noting rules 1 and 6). The earlier American codes set forth classes of joinder, following the now abandoned New York rule. See N.Y.C.P.A. §258 before amended in 1935; Compare Kan.Gen.Stat.Ann. (1935) §60–601; Wis.Stat. (1935) §263.04 for the more liberal practice.

3. The provisions of this rule for the joinder of claims are subject to Rule 82 (Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected). For the jurisdictional aspects of joinder of claims, see Shulman and Jaegerman, Some Jurisdictional Limitations on Federal Procedure (1936), 45 Yale L.J. 393, 397–410. For separate trials of joined claims, see Rule 42(b).

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule is inserted to make it clear that in a single action a party should be accorded all the relief to which he is entitled regardless of whether it is legal or equitable or both. This necessarily includes a deficiency judgment in foreclosure actions formerly provided for in [former] Equity Rule 10 (Decree for Deficiency in Foreclosures, Etc.). In respect to fraudulent conveyances the rule changes the former rule requiring a prior judgment against the owner (Braun v. American Laundry Mach. Co., 56 F.(2d) 197 (S.D.N.Y. 1932)) to conform to the provisions of the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act, §§9 and 10. See McLaughlin, Application of the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act, 46 Harv.L.Rev. 404, 444 (1933).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The Rules “proceed upon the theory that no inconvenience can result from the joinder of any two or more matters in the pleadings, but only from trying two or more matters together which have little or nothing in common.” Sunderland, The New Federal Rules, 45 W.Va.L.Q. 5, 13 (1938); see Clark, Code Pleading 58 (2d ed. 1947). Accordingly, Rule 18(a) has permitted a party to plead multiple claims of all types against an opposing party, subject to the court's power to direct an appropriate procedure for trying the claims. See Rules 42(b), 20(b), 21.

The liberal policy regarding joinder of claims in the pleadings extends to cases with multiple parties. However, the language used in the second sentence of Rule 18(a)—“if the requirements of Rules 19 [necessary joinder of parties], 20 [permissive joinder of parties], and 22 [interpleader] are satisfied”—has led some courts to infer that the rules regulating joinder of parties are intended to carry back to Rule 18(a) and to impose some special limits on joinder of claims in multiparty cases. In particular, Rule 20(a) has been read as restricting the operation of Rule 18(a) in certain situations in which a number of parties have been permissively joined in an action. In Federal Housing Admr. v. Christianson, 26 F.Supp. 419 (D.Conn. 1939), the indorsee of two notes sued the three comakers of one note, and sought to join in the action a count on a second note which had been made by two of the three defendants. There was no doubt about the propriety of the joinder of the three parties defendant, for a right to relief was being asserted against all three defendants which arose out of a single “transaction” (the first note) and a question of fact or law “common” to all three defendants would arise in the action. See the text of Rule 20(a). The court, however, refused to allow the joinder of the count on the second note, on the ground that this right to relief, assumed to arise from a distinct transaction, did not involve a question common to all the defendants but only two of them. For analysis of the Christianson case and other authorities, see 2 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure, §533.1 (Wright ed. 1961); 3 Moore's Federal Practice, par. 18.04[3] (2d ed. 1963).

If the court's view is followed, it becomes necessary to enter at the pleading stage into speculations about the exact relation between the claim sought to be joined against fewer than all the defendants properly joined in the action, and the claims asserted against all the defendants. Cf. Wright, Joinder of Claims and Parties Under Modern Pleading Rules, 36 Minn.L.Rev. 580, 605–06 (1952). Thus if it could be found in the Christianson situation that the claim on the second note arose out of the same transaction as the claim on the first or out of a transaction forming part of a “series,” and that any question of fact or law with respect to the second note also arose with regard to the first, it would be held that the claim on the second note could be joined in the complaint. See 2 Barron & Holtzoff, supra, at 199; see also id. at 198 n. 60.4; cf. 3 Moore's Federal Practice, supra, at 1811. Such pleading niceties provide a basis for delaying and wasteful maneuver. It is more compatible with the design of the Rules to allow the claim to be joined in the pleading, leaving the question of possible separate trial of that claim to be later decided. See 2 Barron & Holtzoff, supra, §533.1; Wright, supra, 36 Minn.L.Rev. at 604–11; Developments in the Law—Multiparty Litigation in the Federal Courts, 71 Harv. 874, 970–71 (1958); Commentary, Relation Between Joinder of Parties and Joinder of Claims, 5 F.R.Serv. 822 (1942). It is instructive to note that the court in the Christianson case, while holding that the claim on the second note could not be joined as a matter of pleading, held open the possibility that both claims would later be consolidated for trial under Rule 42(a). See 26 F.Supp. 419.

Rule 18(a) is now amended not only to overcome the Christianson decision and similar authority, but also to state clearly as a comprehensive proposition, that a party asserting a claim (an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim) may join as many claims as he has against an opposing party. See Noland Co., Inc. v. Graver Tank & Mfg. Co., 301 F.2d 43, 49–51 (4th Cir. 1962); but cf. C. W. Humphrey Co. v. Security Alum. Co., 31 F.R.D. 41 (E.D.Mich. 1962) This permitted joinder of claims is not affected by the fact that there are multiple parties in the action. The joinder of parties is governed by other rules operating independently.

It is emphasized that amended Rule 18(a) deals only with pleading. As already indicated, a claim properly joined as a matter of pleading need not be proceeded with together with the other claim if fairness or convenience justifies separate treatment.

Amended Rule 18(a), like the rule prior to amendment, does not purport to deal with questions of jurisdiction or venue which may arise with respect to claims properly joined as a matter of pleading. See Rule 82.

See also the amendment of Rule 20(a) and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto.

Free joinder of claims and remedies is one of the basic purposes of unification of the admiralty and civil procedure. The amendment accordingly provides for the inclusion in the rule of maritime claims as well as those which are legal and equitable in character.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Forms

Claim for debt and to set aside fraudulent conveyance, see form 13, Appendix of Forms.

Cross References

Counterclaims and cross-claims, see rule 13.

General rules of pleading, see rule 8.

One form of action, see rule 2.

Separate trial of joined claims, see rule 42.

Severance of claim against party, see rule 21.

Rule 19. Joinder of Persons Needed for Just Adjudication

(a) Persons To Be Joined if Feasible. A person who is subject to service of process and whose joinder will not deprive the court of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action shall be joined as a party in the action if (1) in the person's absence complete relief cannot be accorded among those already parties, or (2) the person claims an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so situated that the disposition of the action in the person's absence may (i) as a practical matter impair or impede the person's ability to protect that interest or (ii) leave any of the persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations by reason of the claimed interest. If the person has not been so joined, the court shall order that the person be made a party. If the person should join as a plaintiff but refuses to do so, the person may be made a defendant, or, in a proper case, an involuntary plaintiff. If the joined party objects to venue and joinder of that party would render the venue of the action improper, that party shall be dismissed from the action.

(b) Determination by Court Whenever Joinder Not Feasible. If a person as described in subdivision (a)(1)–(2) hereof cannot be made a party, the court shall determine whether in equity and good conscience the action should proceed among the parties before it, or should be dismissed, the absent person being thus regarded as indispensable. The factors to be considered by the court include: first, to what extent a judgment rendered in the person's absence might be prejudicial to the person or those already parties; second, the extent to which, by protective provisions in the judgment, by the shaping of relief, or other measures, the prejudice can be lessened or avoided; third, whether a judgment rendered in the person's absence will be adequate; fourth, whether the plaintiff will have an adequate remedy if the action is dismissed for nonjoinder.

(c) Pleading Reasons for Nonjoinder. A pleading asserting a claim for relief shall state the names, if known to the pleader, of any persons as described in subdivision (a)(1)–(2) hereof who are not joined, and the reasons why they are not joined.

(d) Exception of Class Actions. This rule is subject to the provisions of Rule 23.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). The first sentence with verbal differences (e.g., “united” interest for “joint” interest) is to be found in [former] Equity Rule 37 (Parties Generally—Intervention). Such compulsory joinder provisions are common. Compare Alaska Comp. Laws (1933) §3392 (containing in same sentence a “class suit” provision); Wyo.Rev.Stat.Ann. (Courtright, 1931) §89–515 (immediately followed by “class suit” provisions, §89–516). See also [former] Equity Rule 42 (Joint and Several Demands). For example of a proper case for involuntary plaintiff, see Independent Wireless Telegraph Co. v. Radio Corp. of America, 269 U.S. 459 (1926).

The joinder provisions of this rule are subject to Rule 82 (Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected).

Note to Subdivision (b). For the substance of this rule see [former] Equity Rule 39 (Absence of Persons Who Would be Proper Parties) and U.S.C., Title 28, §111 [now 1391] (When part of several defendants cannot be served); Camp v. Gress, 250 U.S. 308 (1919). See also the second and third sentences of [former] Equity Rule 37 (Parties Generally—Intervention).

Note to Subdivision (c). For the substance of this rule see the fourth subdivision of [former] Equity Rule 25 (Bill of Complaint—Contents).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

General Considerations

Whenever feasible, the persons materially interested in the subject of an action—see the more detailed description of these persons in the discussion of new subdivision (a) below—should be joined as parties so that they may be heard and a complete disposition made. When this comprehensive joinder cannot be accomplished—a situation which may be encountered in Federal courts because of limitations on service of process, subject matter jurisdiction, and venue—the case should be examined pragmatically and a choice made between the alternatives of proceeding with the action in the absence of particular interested persons, and dismissing the action.

Even if the court is mistaken in its decision to proceed in the absence of an interested person, it does not by that token deprive itself of the power to adjudicate as between the parties already before it through proper service of process. But the court can make a legally binding adjudication only between the parties actually joined in the action. It is true that an adjudication between the parties before the court may on occasion adversely affect the absent person as a practical matter, or leave a party exposed to a later inconsistent recovery by the absent person. These are factors which should be considered in deciding whether the action should proceed, or should rather be dismissed; but they do not themselves negate the court's power to adjudicate as between the parties who have been joined.

Defects in the Original Rule

The foregoing propositions were well understood in the older equity practice, see Hazard, Indispensable Party: The Historical Origin of a Procedural Phantom, 61 Colum.L.Rev. 1254 (1961), and Rule 19 could be and often was applied in consonance with them. But experience showed that the rule was defective in its phrasing and did not point clearly to the proper basis of decision.

Textual defects.—(1) The expression “persons * * * who ought to be parties if complete relief is to be accorded between those already parties,” appearing in original subdivision (b), was apparently intended as a description of the persons whom it would be desirable to join in the action, all questions of feasibility of joinder being put to one side; but it was not adequately descriptive of those persons.

(2) The word “Indispensable,” appearing in original subdivision (b), was apparently intended as an inclusive reference to the interested persons in whose absence it would be advisable, all factors having been considered, to dismiss the action. Yet the sentence implied that there might be interested persons, not “indispensable.” in whose absence the action ought also to be dismissed. Further, it seemed at least superficially plausible to equate the word “indispensable” with the expression “having a joint interest,” appearing in subdivision (a). See United States v. Washington Inst. of Tech., Inc., 138 F.2d 25, 26 (3d Cir. 1943); cf. Chidester v. City of Newark, 162 F.2d 598 (3d Cir. 1947). But persons holding an interest technically “joint” are not always so related to an action that it would be unwise to proceed without joining all of them, whereas persons holding an interest not technically “joint” may have this relation to an action. See Reed, Compulsory Joinder of Parties in Civil Actions, 55 Mich.L.Rev. 327, 356 ff., 483 (1957).

(3) The use of “indispensable” and “joint interest” in the context of original Rule 19 directed attention to the technical or abstract character of the rights or obligations of the persons whose joinder was in question, and correspondingly distracted attention from the pragmatic considerations which should be controlling.

(4) The original rule, in dealing with the feasibility of joining a person as a party to the action, besides referring to whether the person was “subject to the jurisdiction of the court as to both service of process and venue,” spoke of whether the person could be made a party “without depriving the court of jurisdiction of the parties before it.” The second quoted expression used “jurisdiction” in the sense of the competence of the court over the subject matter of the action, and in this sense the expression was apt. However, by a familiar confusion, the expression seems to have suggested to some that the absence from the lawsuit of a person who was “indispensable” or “who ought to be [a] part[y]” itself deprived the court of the power to adjudicate as between the parties already joined. See Samuel Goldwyn, Inc. v. United Artists Corp., 113 F.2d 703, 707 (3d Cir. 1940); McArthur v. Rosenbaum Co. of Pittsburgh, 180 F.2d 617, 621 (3d Cir. 1949); cf. Calcote v. Texas Pac. Coal & Oil Co., 157 F.2d 216 (5th Cir. 1946), cert. denied, 329 U.S. 782 (1946), noted in 56 Yale L.J. 1088 (1947); Reed, supra, 55 Mich.L.Rev. at 332–34.

Failure to point to correct basis of decision. The original rule did not state affirmatively what factors were relevant in deciding whether the action should proceed or be dismissed when joinder of interested persons was infeasible. In some instances courts did not undertake the relevant inquiry or were misled by the “jurisdiction” fallacy. In other instances there was undue preoccupation with abstract classifications of rights or obligations, as against consideration of the particular consequences of proceeding with the action and the ways by which these consequences might be ameliorated by the shaping of final relief or other precautions.

Although these difficulties cannot be said to have been general analysis of the cases showed that there was good reason for attempting to strengthen the rule. The literature also indicated how the rule should be reformed. See Reed, supra (discussion of the important case of Shields v. Barrow, 17 How. (58 U.S.) 130 (1854), appears at 55 Mich.L.Rev., p. 340 ff.); Hazard, supra; N.Y. Temporary Comm. on Courts, First Preliminary Report, Legis.Doc. 1957, No. 6(b), pp. 28, 233; N.Y. Judicial Council, Twelfth Ann.Rep., Legis.Doc. 1946, No. 17, p. 163; Joint Comm. on Michigan Procedural Revision, Final Report, Pt. III, p. 69 (1960); Note, Indispensable Parties in the Federal Courts, 65 Harv.L.Rev. 1050 (1952); Developments in the Law—Multiparty Litigation in the Federal Courts, 71 Harv.L.Rev. 874, 879 (1958); Mich.Gen.Court Rules, R. 205 (effective Jan. 1, 1963); N.Y.Civ.Prac.Law & Rules, §1001 (effective Sept. 1, 1963).

The Amended Rule

New subdivision (a) defines the persons whose joinder in the action is desirable. Clause (1) stresses the desirability of joining those persons in whose absence the court would be obliged to grant partial or “hollow” rather than complete relief to the parties before the court. The interests that are being furthered here are not only those of the parties, but also that of the public in avoiding repeated lawsuits on the same essential subject matter. Clause (2)(i) recognizes the importance of protecting the person whose joinder is in question against the practical prejudice to him which may arise through a disposition of the action in his absence. Clause (2)(ii) recognizes the need for considering whether a party may be left, after the adjudication, in a position where a person not joined can subject him to a double or otherwise inconsistent liability. See Reed, supra, 55 Mich.L.Rev. at 330, 338; Note, supra, 65 Harv.L.Rev. at 1052–57; Developments in the Law, supra, 71 Harv.L.Rev. at 881–85.

The subdivision (a) definition of persons to be joined is not couched in terms of the abstract nature of their interests—“joint,” “united,” “separable,” or the like. See N.Y. Temporary Comm. on Courts, First Preliminary Report, supra; Developments in the Law, supra, at 880. It should be noted particularly, however, that the description is not at variance with the settled authorities holding that a tortfeasor with the usual “joint-and-several” liability is merely a permissive party to an action against another with like liability. See 3 Moore's Federal Practice 2153 (2d ed. 1963); 2 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure §513.8 (Wright ed. 1961). Joinder of these tortfeasors continues to be regulated by Rule 20; compare Rule 14 on third-party practice.

If a person as described in subdivision (a)(1)(2) is amenable to service of process and his joinder would not deprive the court of jurisdiction in the sense of competence over the action, he should be joined as a party; and if he has not been joined, the court should order him to be brought into the action. If a party joined has a valid objection to the venue and chooses to assert it, he will be dismissed from the action.

Subdivision (b).—When a person as described in subdivision (a)(1)–(2) cannot be made a party, the court is to determine whether in equity and good conscience the action should proceed among the parties already before it, or should be dismissed. That this decision is to be made in the light of pragmatic considerations has often been acknowledged by the courts. See Roos v. Texas Co., 23 F.2d 171 (2d Cir. 1927), cert. denied, 277 U.S. 587 (1928); Niles-Bement-Pond Co. v. Iron Moulders, Union, 254 U.S. 77, 80 (1920). The subdivision sets out four relevant considerations drawn from the experience revealed in the decided cases. The factors are to a certain extent overlapping, and they are not intended to exclude other considerations which may be applicable in particular situations.

The first factor brings in a consideration of what a judgment in the action would mean to the absentee. Would the absentee be adversely affected in a practical sense, and if so, would the prejudice be immediate and serious, or remote and minor? The possible collateral consequences of the judgment upon the parties already joined are also to be appraised. Would any party be exposed to a fresh action by the absentee, and if so, how serious is the threat? See the elaborate discussion in Reed, supra; cf. A. L. Smith Iron Co. v. Dickson, 141 F.2d 3 (2d Cir. 1944); Caldwell Mfg. Co. v. Unique Balance Co., 18 F.R.D. 258 (S.D.N.Y. 1955).

The second factor calls attention to the measures by which prejudice may be averted or lessened. The “shaping of relief” is a familiar expedient to this end. See, e.g., the award of money damages in lieu of specific relief where the latter might affect an absentee adversely. Ward v. Deavers, 203 F.2d 72 (D.C.Cir. 1953); Miller & Lux, Inc. v. Nickel, 141 F.Supp. 41 (N.D.Calif. 1956). On the use of “protective provisions,” see Roos v. Texas Co., supra; Atwood v. Rhode Island Hosp. Trust Co., 275 Fed. 513, 519 (1st Cir. 1921), cert. denied, 257 U.S. 661 (1922); cf. Stumpf v. Fidelity Gas Co., 294 F.2d 886 (9th Cir. 1961); and the general statement in National Licorice Co. v. Labor Board, 309 U.S. 350, 363 (1940).

Sometimes the party is himself able to take measures to avoid prejudice. Thus a defendant faced with a prospect of a second suit by an absentee may be in a position to bring the latter into the action by defensive interpleader. See Hudson v. Newell, 172 F.2d 848, 852 mod., 176 F.2d 546 (5th Cir. 1949); Gauss v. Kirk, 198 F.2d 83, 86 (D.C.Cir. 1952); Abel v. Brayton Flying Service, Inc., 248 F.2d 713, 716 (5th Cir. 1957) (suggestion of possibility of counterclaim under Rule 13(h)); cf. Parker Rust-Proof Co. v. Western Union Tel. Co., 105 F.2d 976 (2d Cir. 1939) cert. denied, 308 U.S. 597 (1939). See also the absentee may sometimes be able to avert prejudice to himself by voluntarily appearing in the action or intervening on an ancillary basis. See Developments in the Law, supra, 71 Harv.L.Rev. at 882; Annot., Intervention or Subsequent Joinder of Parties as Affecting Jurisdiction of Federal Court Based on Diversity of Citizenship, 134 A.L.R. 335 (1941); Johnson v. Middleton, 175 F.2d 535 (7th Cir. 1949); Kentucky Nat. Gas Corp. v. Duggins, 165 F.2d 1011 (6th Cir. 1948); McComb v. McCormack, 159 F.2d 219 (5th Cir. 1947). The court should consider whether this, in turn, would impose undue hardship on the absentee. (For the possibility of the court's informing an absentee of the pendency of the action, see comment under subdivision (c) below.)

The third factor—whether an “adequate” judgment can be rendered in the absence of a given person—calls attention to the extent of the relief that can be accorded among the parties joined. It meshes with the other factors, especially the “shaping of relief” mentioned under the second factor. Cf. Kroese v. General Steel Castings Corp., 179 F.2d 760 (3d Cir. 1949), cert. denied, 339 U.S. 983 (1950).

The fourth factor, looking to the practical effects of a dismissal, indicates that the court should consider whether there is any assurance that the plaintiff, if dismissed, could sue effectively in another forum where better joinder would be possible. See Fitzgerald v. Haynes, 241 F.2d 417, 420 (3d Cir. 1957); Fouke v. Schenewerk, 197 F.2d 234, 236 (5th Cir. 1952); cf. Warfield v. Marks, 190 F.2d 178 (5th Cir. 1951).

The subdivision uses the word “indispensable” only in a conclusory sense, that is, a person is “regarded as indispensable” when he cannot be made a party and, upon consideration of the factors above mention, it is determined that in his absence it would be preferable to dismiss the action, rather than to retain it.

A person may be added as a party at any stage of the action on motion or on the court's initiative (see Rule 21); and a motion to dismiss, on the ground that a person has not been joined and justice requires that the action should not proceed in his absence, may be made as late as the trial on the merits (see Rule 12(h)(2), as amended; cf. Rule 12(b)(7), as amended). However, when the moving party is seeking dismissal in order to protect himself against a later suit by the absent person (subdivision (a)(2)(ii)), and is not seeking vicariously to protect the absent person against a prejudicial judgment (subdivision (a)(2)(i)), his undue delay in making the motion can properly be counted against him as a reason for denying the motion. A joinder question should be decided with reasonable promptness, but decision may properly be deferred if adequate information is not available at the time. Thus the relationship of an absent person to the action, and the practical effects of an adjudication upon him and others, may not be sufficiently revealed at the pleading stage; in such a case it would be appropriate to defer decision until the action was further advanced. Cf. Rule 12(d).

The amended rule makes no special provision for the problem arising in suits against subordinate Federal officials where it has often been set up as a defense that some superior officer must be joined. Frequently this defense has been accompanied by or intermingled with defenses of sovereign community or lack of consent of the United States to suit. So far as the issue of joinder can be isolated from the rest, the new subdivision seems better adapted to handle it than the predecessor provision. See the discussion in Johnson v. Kirkland, 290 F.2d 440, 446–47 (5th Cir. 1961) (stressing the practical orientation of the decisions); Shaughnessy v. Pedreiro, 349 U.S. 48, 54 (1955). Recent legislation, P.L. 87–748, 76 Stat. 744, approved October 5, 1962, adding §§1361, 1391(e) to Title 28, U.S.C., vests original jurisdiction in the District Courts over actions in the nature of mandamus to compel officials of the United States to perform their legal duties, and extends the range of service of process and liberalizes venue in these actions. If, then, it is found that a particular official should be joined in the action, the legislation will make it easy to bring him in.

Subdivision (c) parallels the predecessor subdivision (c) of Rule 19. In some situations it may be desirable to advise a person who has not been joined of the fact that the action is pending, and in particular cases the court in its discretion may itself convey this information by directing a letter or other informal notice to the absentee.

Subdivision (d) repeats the exception contained in the first clause of the predecessor subdivision (a).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Class actions, see rule 23.

Indispensable party, defense of failure to join, see rule 12.

Interpleader, see rule 22.

Intervention, see rule 24.

Jurisdiction and venue unaffected by these rules, see rule 82.

Lien enforcement, ordering absent defendant to appear or plead, see section 1655 of this title.

Misjoinder and nonjoinder of parties, see rule 21.

Permissive joinder of parties, see rule 20.

Substitution of parties, see rule 25.

Rule 20. Permissive Joinder of Parties

(a) Permissive Joinder. All persons may join in one action as plaintiffs if they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all these persons will arise in the action. All persons (and any vessel, cargo or other property subject to admiralty process in rem) may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. Judgment may be given for one or more of the plaintiffs according to their respective rights to relief, and against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.

(b) Separate Trials. The court may make such orders as will prevent a party from being embarrassed, delayed, or put to expense by the inclusion of a party against whom the party asserts no claim and who asserts no claim against the party, and may order separate trials or make other orders to prevent delay or prejudice.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

The provisions for joinder here stated are in substance the provisions found in England, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. They represent only a moderate expansion of the present federal equity practice to cover both law and equity actions.

With this rule compare also [former] Equity Rules 26 (Joinder of Causes of Action), 37 (Parties Generally—Intervention), 40 (Nominal Parties), and 42 (Joint and Several Demands).

The provisions of this rule for the joinder of parties are subject to Rule 82 (Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected).

Note to Subdivision (a). The first sentence is derived from English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 1. Compare Calif.Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §§378, 379a; Ill.Rev.Stat. (1937) ch. 110, §§147–148; N.J.Comp.Stat. (2 Cum.Supp., 1911–1924), N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §§209, 211. The second sentence is derived from English Rules Under the Judicature Act (he Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 4. The third sentence is derived from O. 16, r. 5, and the fourth from O. 16, r.r. 1 and 4.

Note to Subdivision (b). This is derived from English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r.r. 1 and 5.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

See the amendment of Rule 18(a) and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto. It has been thought that a lack of clarity in the antecedent of the word “them,” as it appeared in two places in Rule 20(a), contributed to the view, taken by some courts, that this rule limited the joinder of claims in certain situations of permissive party joinder. Although the amendment of Rule 18(a) should make clear that this view is untenable, it has been considered advisable to amend Rule 20(a) to eliminate any ambiguity. See 2 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure 202 (Wright Ed. 1961).

A basic purpose of unification of admiralty and civil procedure is to reduce barriers to joinder; hence the reference to “any vessel,” etc.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Collusive and improper joinder of parties, jurisdiction of district courts, see section 1359 of this title.

Interpleader, see rule 22.

Intervention, see rule 24.

Misjoinder and nonjoinder of parties, see rule 21.

Necessary joinder of parties, see rule 19.

Substitution of parties, see rule 25.

Rule 21. Misjoinder and Non-Joinder of Parties

Misjoinder of parties is not ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion of any party or of its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just. Any claim against a party may be severed and proceeded with separately.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

See English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 11. See also [former] Equity Rules 43 (Defect of Parties—Resisting Objection) and 44 (Defect of Parties—Tardy Objection).

For separate trials see Rules 13(i) (Counterclaims and Cross-Claims: Separate Trials; Separate Judgments), 20(b) (Permissive Joinder of Parties: Separate Trials), and 42(b) (Separate Trials, generally) and the note to the latter rule.

Cross References

Collusive and improper joinder of parties, jurisdiction of district courts, see section 1359 of this title.

Intervention of parties, see rule 24.

Necessary joinder of parties, see rule 19.

Permissive joinder of parties, see rule 20.

Removal of causes, realignment of parties, see section 1447 of this title.

Rule 22. Interpleader

(1) Persons having claims against the plaintiff may be joined as defendants and required to interplead when their claims are such that the plaintiff is or may be exposed to double or multiple liability. It is not ground for objection to the joinder that the claims of the several claimants or the titles on which their claims depend do not have a common origin or are not identical but are adverse to and independent of one another, or that the plaintiff avers that the plaintiff is not liable in whole or in part to any or all of the claimants. A defendant exposed to similar liability may obtain such interpleader by way of cross-claim or counterclaim. The provisions of this rule supplement and do not in any way limit the joinder of parties permitted in Rule 20.

(2) The remedy herein provided is in addition to and in no way supersedes or limits the remedy provided by Title 28, U.S.C., §§1335, 1397, and 2361. Actions under those provisions shall be conducted in accordance with these rules.

(As amended Dec. 29, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

The first paragraph provides for interpleader relief along the newer and more liberal lines of joinder in the alternative. It avoids the confusion and restrictions that developed around actions of strict interpleader and actions in the nature of interpleader. Compare John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Kegan et al., (D.C.Md., 1938) [22 F.Supp. 326]. It does not change the rules on service of process, jurisdiction, and venue, as established by judicial decision.

The second paragraph allows an action to be brought under the recent interpleader statute when applicable. By this paragraph all remedies under the statute are continued, but the manner of obtaining them is in accordance with these rules. For temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions under this statute, see Rule 65(e).

This rule substantially continues such statutory provisions as U.S.C., Title 38, §445 [now 1984] (Actions on claims; jurisdiction; parties; procedure; limitation; witnesses; definitions) (actions upon veterans’ contracts of insurance with the United States), providing for interpleader by the United States where it acknowledges indebtedness under a contract of insurance with the United States; U.S.C., Title 49, §97 [now 80110(e)] (Interpleader of conflicting claimants) (by carrier which has issued bill of lading). See Chafee, The Federal Interpleader Act of 1936: I and II (1936), 45 Yale L.J. 963, 1161.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1948 Amendment

The amendment substitutes the present statutory reference.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Rule 23. Class Actions

(a) Prerequisites to a Class Action. One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all only if (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class, (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

(b) Class Actions Maintainable. An action may be maintained as a class action if the prerequisites of subdivision (a) are satisfied, and in addition:

(1) the prosecution of separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create a risk of

(A) inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class, or

(B) adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests; or


(2) the party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class, thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with respect to the class as a whole; or

(3) the court finds that the questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy. The matters pertinent to the findings include: (A) the interest of members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions; (B) the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class; (C) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular forum; (D) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of a class action.


(c) Determination by Order Whether Class Action To Be Maintained; Notice; Judgment; Actions Conducted Partially as Class Actions.

(1) As soon as practicable after the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shall determine by order whether it is to be so maintained. An order under this subdivision may be conditional, and may be altered or amended before the decision on the merits.

(2) In any class action maintained under subdivision (b)(3), the court shall direct to the members of the class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort. The notice shall advise each member that (A) the court will exclude the member from the class if the member so requests by a specified date; (B) the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion; and (C) any member who does not request exclusion may, if the member desires, enter an appearance through counsel.

(3) The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subdivision (b)(1) or (b)(2), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and describe those whom the court finds to be members of the class. The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subdivision (b)(3), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in subdivision (c)(2) was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.

(4) When appropriate (A) an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues, or (B) a class may be divided into subclasses and each subclass treated as a class, and the provisions of this rule shall then be construed and applied accordingly.


(d) Orders in Conduct of Actions. In the conduct of actions to which this rule applies, the court may make appropriate orders: (1) determining the course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetition or complication in the presentation of evidence or argument; (2) requiring, for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action, that notice be given in such manner as the court may direct to some or all of the members of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent of the judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they consider the representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims or defenses, or otherwise to come into the action; (3) imposing conditions on the representative parties or on intervenors; (4) requiring that the pleadings be amended to eliminate therefrom allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly; (5) dealing with similar procedural matters. The orders may be combined with an order under Rule 16, and may be altered or amended as may be desirable from time to time.

(e) Dismissal or Compromise. A class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court, and notice of the proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class in such manner as the court directs.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

Note to Subdivision (a). This is a substantial restatement of [former] Equity Rule 38 (Representatives of Class) as that rule has been construed. It applies to all actions, whether formerly denominated legal or equitable. For a general analysis of class actions, effect of judgment, and requisites of jurisdiction see Moore, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Some Problems Raised by the Preliminary Draft, 25 Georgetown L.J. 551, 570 et seq. (1937); Moore and Cohn, Federal Class Actions, 32 Ill.L.Rev. 307 (1937); Moore and Cohn, Federal Class Actions—Jurisdiction and Effect of Judgment, 32 Ill.L.Rev. 555—567 (1938); Lesar, Class Suits and the Federal Rules, 22 Minn.L.Rev. 34 (1937); cf. Arnold and James, Cases on Trials, Judgments and Appeals (1936) 175; and see Blume, Jurisdictional Amount in Representative Suits, 15 Minn.L.Rev. 501 (1931).

The general test of [former] Equity Rule 38 (Representatives of Class) that the question should be “one of common or general interest to many persons constituting a class so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring them all before the court,” is a common test. For states which require the two elements of a common or general interest and numerous persons, as provided for in [former] Equity Rule 38, see Del.Ch.Rule 113; Fla.Comp.Gen.Laws Ann. (Supp., 1936) §4918 (7); Georgia Code (1933) §37–1002, and see English Rules Under the Judicature Act (The Annual Practice, 1937) O. 16, r. 9. For statutory provisions providing for class actions when the question is one of common or general interest or when the parties are numerous, see Ala.Code Ann. (Michie, 1928) §5701; 2 Ind.Stat.Ann. (Burns, 1933) §2–220; N.Y.C.P.A. (1937) §195; Wis.Stat. (1935) §260.12. These statutes have, however, been uniformly construed as though phrased in the conjunctive. See Garfein v. Stiglitz, 260 Ky. 430, 86 S.W.(2d) 155 (1935). The rule adopts the test of [former] Equity Rule 38, but defines what constitutes a “common or general interest”. Compare with code provisions which make the action dependent upon the propriety of joinder of the parties. See Blume, The “Common Questions” Principle in the Code Provision for Representative Suits, 30 Mich.L.Rev. 878 (1932). For discussion of what constitutes “numerous persons” see Wheaton, Representative Suits Involving Numerous Litigants, 19 Corn.L.Q. 399 (1934); Note, 36 Harv.L.Rev. 89 (1922).

Clause (1), Joint, Common, or Secondary Right. This clause is illustrated in actions brought by or against representatives of an unincorporated association. See Oster v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, 271 Pa. 419, 114 Atl. 377 (1921); Pickett v. Walsh, 192 Mass. 572, 78 N.E. 753, 6 L.R.A. (N.S.) 1067 (1906); Colt v. Hicks, 97 Ind.App. 177, 179 N.E. 335 (1932). Compare Rule 17(b) as to when an unincorporated association has capacity to sue or be sued in its common name; United Mine Workers of America v. Coronado Coal Co., 259 U.S. 344 (1922) (an unincorporated association was sued as an entity for the purpose of enforcing against it a federal substantive right); Moore, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Some Problems Raised by the Preliminary Draft, 25 Georgetown L.J. 551, 566 (for discussion of jurisdictional requisites when an unincorporated association sues or is sued in its common name and jurisdiction is founded upon diversity of citizenship). For an action brought by representatives of one group against representatives of another group for distribution of a fund held by an unincorporated association, see Smith v. Swormstedt, 16 How. 288 (U.S. 1853). Compare Christopher, et al. v. Brusselback, 58 S.Ct. 350 [302 U.S. 500] (1938).

For an action to enforce rights held in common by policyholders against the corporate issuer of the policies, see Supreme Tribe of Ben Hur v. Cauble, 255 U.S. 356 (1921). See also Terry v. Little, 101 U.S. 216 (1880); John A. Roebling's Sons Co. v. Kinnicutt, 248 Fed. 596 (D.C.N.Y., 1917) dealing with the right held in common by creditors to enforce the statutory liability of stockholders.

Typical of a secondary action is a suit by stockholders to enforce a corporate right. For discussion of the general nature of these actions see Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 297 U.S. 288 (1936); Glenn, The Stockholder's Suit—Corporate and Individual Grievances, 33 Yale L.J. 580 (1924); McLaughlin, Capacity of Plaintiff-Stockholder to Terminate a Stockholder's Suit, 46 Yale L.J. 421 (1937). See also Subdivision (b) of this rule which deals with Shareholder's Action; Note, 15 Minn.L.Rev. 453 (1931).

Clause (2). A creditor's action for liquidation or reorganization of a corporation is illustrative of this clause. An action by a stockholder against certain named defendants as representatives of numerous claimants presents a situation converse to the creditor's action.

Clause (3). See Everglades Drainage League v. Napoleon Broward Drainage Dist., 253 Fed. 246 (D.C.Fla., 1918); Gramling v. Maxwell, 52 F.(2d) 256 (D.C.N.C., 1931), approved in 30 Mich.L.Rev. 624 (1932); Skinner v. Mitchell, 108 Kan. 861, 197 Pac. 569 (1921); Duke of Bedford v. Ellis (1901) A.C. 1, for class actions when there were numerous persons and there was only a question of law or fact common to them; and see Blume, The “Common Questions” Principle in the Code Provision for Representative Suits, 30 Mich.L.Rev. 878 (1932).

Note to Subdivision (b). This is [former] Equity Rule 27 (Stockholder's Bill) with verbal changes. See also Hawes v. Oakland, 104 U.S. 450, 26 L.Ed. 827 (1882) and former Equity Rule 94, promulgated January 23, 1882, 104 U.S. IX.

Note to Subdivision (c). See McLaughlin, Capacity of Plaintiff-Stockholder to Terminate a Stockholder's Suit, 46 Yale L.J. 421 (1937).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

Subdivision (b), relating to secondary actions by shareholders, provides among other things, that in, such an action the complainant “shall aver (1) that the plaintiff was a shareholder at the time of the transaction of which he complains or that his share thereafter devolved on him by operation of law . . .”

As a result of the decision in Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (decided April 25, 1938, after this rule was promulgated by the Supreme Court, though before it took effect) a question has arisen as to whether the provision above quoted deals with a matter of substantive right or is a matter of procedure. If it is a matter of substantive law or right, then under Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins clause (1) may not be validly applied in cases pending in states whose local law permits a shareholder to maintain such actions, although not a shareholder at the time of the transactions complained of. The Advisory Committee, believing the question should be settled in the courts, proposes no change in Rule 23 but thinks rather that the situation should be explained in an appropriate note.

The rule has a long history. In Hawes v. Oakland (1882) 104 U.S. 450, the Court held that a shareholder could not maintain such an action unless he owned shares at the time of the transactions complained of, or unless they devolved on him by operation of law. At that time the decision in Swift v. Tyson (1842) 16 Peters 1, was the law, and the federal courts considered themselves free to establish their own principles of equity jurisprudence, so the Court was not in 1882 and has not been, until Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins in 1938, concerned with the question whether Hawes v. Oakland dealt with substantive right or procedure.

Following the decision in Hawes v. Oakland, and at the same term, the Court, to implement its decision, adopted [former] Equity Rule 94, which contained the same provision above quoted from Rule 23 F.R.C.P. The provision in [former] Equity Rule 94 was later embodied in [former] Equity Rule 27, of which the present Rule 23 is substantially a copy.

In City of Quincy v. Steel (1887) 120 U.S. 241, 245, the Court referring to Hawes v. Oakland said: “In order to give effect to the principles there laid down, this Court at that term adopted Rule 94 of the rules of practice for courts of equity of the United States.”

Some other cases dealing with [former] Equity Rules 94 or 27 prior to the decision in Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins are Dimpfel v. Ohio & Miss. R. R. (1884) 110 U.S. 209; Illinois Central R. Co. v. Adams (1901) 180 U.S. 28, 34; Venner v. Great Northern Ry. (1908) 209 U.S. 24, 30; Jacobson v. General Motors Corp. (S.D.N.Y. 1938) 22 F.Supp. 255, 257. These cases generally treat Hawes v. Oakland as establishing a “principle” of equity, or as dealing not with jurisdiction but with the “right” to maintain an action, or have said that the defense under the equity rule is analogous to the defense that the plaintiff has no “title” and results in a dismissal “for want of equity.”

Those state decisions which held that a shareholder acquiring stock after the event may maintain a derivative action are founded on the view that it is a right belonging to the shareholder at the time of the transaction and which passes as a right to the subsequent purchaser. See Pollitz v. Gould (1911) 202 N.Y. 11.

The first case arising after the decision in Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, in which this problem was involved, was Summers v. Hearst (S.D.N.Y. 1938) 23 F.Supp. 986. It concerned [former] Equity Rule 27, as Federal Rule 23 was not then in effect. In a well considered opinion Judge Leibell reviewed the decisions and said: “The federal cases that discuss this section of Rule 27 support the view that it states a principle of substantive law.” He quoted Pollitz v. Gould (1911) 202 N.Y. 11, as saying that the United States Supreme Court “seems to have been more concerned with establishing this rule as one of practice than of substantive law” but that “whether it be regarded as establishing a principle of law or a rule of practice, this authority has been subsequently followed in the United States courts.”

He then concluded that, although the federal decisions treat the equity rule as “stating a principle of substantive law”, if [former] “Equity Rule 27 is to be modified or revoked in view of Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, it is not the province of this Court to suggest it, much less impliedly to follow that course by disregarding the mandatory provisions of the Rule.”

Some other federal decisions since 1938 touch the question.

In Piccard v. Sperry Corporation (S.D.N.Y. 1941) 36 F.Supp. 1006, 1009–10, affirmed without opinion (C.C.A.2d, 1941) 120 F.(2d) 328, a shareholder, not such at the time of the transactions complained of, sought to intervene. The court held an intervenor was as much subject to Rule 23 as an original plaintiff; and that the requirement of Rule 23(b) was “a matter of practice,” not substance, and applied in New York where the state law was otherwise, despite Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins. In York v. Guaranty Trust Co. of New York (C.C.A.2d, 1944) 143 F.(2d) 503, rev'd on other grounds (1945) 65 S.Ct. 1464, the court said: “Restrictions on the bringing of stockholders’ actions, such as those imposed by F.R.C.P. 23(b) or other state statutes are procedural,” citing the Piccard and other cases.

In Gallup v. Caldwell (C.C.A.3d, 1941) 120 F.(2d) 90, 95, arising in New Jersey, the point was raised but not decided, the court saying that it was not satisfied that the then New Jersey rule differed from Rule 23(b), and that “under the circumstances the proper course was to follow Rule 23(b).”

In Mullins v. De Soto Securities Co. (W.D.La. 1942) 45 F.Supp. 871, 878, the point was not decided, because the court found the Louisiana rule to be the same as that stated in Rule 23(b).

In Toebelman v. Missouri-Kansas Pipe Line Co. (D.Del. 1941) 41 F.Supp. 334, 340, the court dealt only with another part of Rule 23(b), relating to prior demands on the stockholders and did not discuss Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, or its effect on the rule.

In Perrott v. United States Banking Corp. (D.Del. 1944) 53 F.Supp. 953, it appeared that the Delaware law does not require the plaintiff to have owned shares at the time of the transaction complained of. The court sustained Rule 23(b), after discussion of the authorities, saying:

“It seems to me the rule does not go beyond procedure. * * * Simply because a particular plaintiff cannot qualify as a proper party to maintain such an action does not destroy or even whittle at the cause of action. The cause of action exists until a qualified plaintiff can get it started in a federal court.”

In Bankers Nat. Corp. v. Barr (S.D.N.Y. 1945) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 23b.11, Case 1, the court held Rule 23(b) to be one of procedure, but that whether the plaintiff was a stockholder was a substantive question to be settled by state law.

The New York rule, as stated in Pollitz v. Gould, supra, has been altered by an act of the New York Legislature (Chapter 667, Laws of 1944, effective April 9, 1944, General Corporation Law, §61) which provides that “in any action brought by a shareholder in the right of a . . . corporation, it must appear that the plaintiff was a stockholder at the time of the transaction of which he complains, or that his stock thereafter devolved upon him by operation of law.” At the same time a further and separate provision was enacted, requiring under certain circumstances the giving of security for reasonable expenses and attorney's fees, to which security the corporation in whose right the action is brought and the defendants therein may have recourse. (Chapter 668, Laws of 1944, effective April 9, 1944, General Corporation Law, §61–b.) These provisions are aimed at so-called “strike” stockholders’ suits and their attendant abuses. Shielcrawt v. Moffett (Ct.App. 1945) 294 N.Y. 180, 61 N.E.(2d) 435, rev'g 51 N.Y.S.(2d) 188, aff'g 49 N.Y.S.(2d) 64; Noel Associates, Inc. v. Merrill (Sup.Ct. 1944) 184 Misc. 646, 53 N.Y.S.(2d) 143.

Insofar as §61 is concerned, it has been held that the section is procedural in nature. Klum v. Clinton Trust Co. (Sup.Ct. 1944) 183 Misc. 340, 48 N.Y.S.(2d) 267; Noel Associates, Inc. v. Merrill, supra. In the latter case the court pointed out that “The 1944 amendment to Section 61 rejected the rule laid down in the Pollitz case and substituted, in place thereof, in its precise language, the rule which has long prevailed in the Federal Courts and which is now Rule 23(b) . . .” There is, nevertheless, a difference of opinion regarding the application of the statute to pending actions. See Klum v. Clinton Trust Co., supra (applicable); Noel Associates, Inc. v. Merrill, supra (inapplicable).

With respect to §61–b, which may be regarded as a separate problem (Noel Associates, Inc. v. Merrill, supra), it has been held that even though the statute is procedural in nature—a matter not definitely decided—the Legislature evinced no intent that the provision should apply to actions pending when it became effective. Shielcrawt v. Moffett, supra. As to actions instituted after the effective date of the legislation, the constitutionality of §61–b is in dispute. See Wolf v. Atkinson (Sup.Ct. 1944) 182 Misc. 675, 49 N.Y.S.(2d) 703 (constitutional); Citron v. Mangel Stores Corp. (Sup.Ct. 1944) — Misc. —, 50 N.Y.S.(2d) 416 (unconstitutional); Zlinkoff, The American Investor and the Constitutionality of Section 61–B of the New York General Corporation Law (1945) 54 Yale L.J. 352.

New Jersey also enacted a statute, similar to Chapters 667 and 668 of the New York law. See P.L. 1945, Ch. 131, R.S.Cum.Supp. 14:3–15. The New Jersey provision similar to Chapter 668 (§61–b) differs, however, in that it specifically applies retroactively. It has been held that this provision is procedural and hence will not govern a pending action brought against a New Jersey corporation in the New York courts. Shielcrawt v. Moffett (Sup.Ct.N.Y. 1945) 184 Misc. 1074, 56 N.Y.S.(2d) 134.

See also generally, 2 Moore's Federal Practice (1938) 2250–2253, and Cum.Supplement §23.05.

The decisions here discussed show that the question is a debatable one, and that there is respectable authority for either view, with a recent trend towards the view that Rule 23(b)(1) is procedural. There is reason to say that the question is one which should not be decided by the Supreme Court ex parte, but left to await a judicial decision in a litigated case, and that in the light of the material in this note, the only inference to be drawn from a failure to amend Rule 23(b) would be that the question is postponed to await a litigated case.

The Advisory Committee is unanimously of the opinion that this course should be followed.

If, however, the final conclusion is that the rule deals with a matter of substantive right, then the rule should be amended by adding a provision that Rule 23(b)(1) does not apply in jurisdictions where state law permits a shareholder to maintain a secondary action, although he was not a shareholder at the time of the transactions of which he complains.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Difficulties with the original rule. The categories of class actions in the original rule were defined in terms of the abstract nature of the rights involved: the so-called “true” category was defined as involving “joint, common, or secondary rights”; the “hybrid” category, as involving “several” rights related to “specific property”; the “spurious” category, as involving “several” rights affected by a common question and related to common relief. It was thought that the definitions accurately described the situations amendable to the class-suit device, and also would indicate the proper extent of the judgment in each category, which would in turn help to determine the res judicata effect of the judgment if questioned in a later action. Thus the judgments in “true” and “hybrid” class actions would extend to the class (although in somewhat different ways); the judgment in a “spurious” class action would extend only to the parties including intervenors. See Moore, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Some Problems Raised by the Preliminary Draft, 25 Geo.L.J. 551, 570–76 (1937).

In practice, the terms “joint,” “common,” etc., which were used as the basis of the Rule 23 classification proved obscure and uncertain. See Chaffee, Some Problems of Equity 245–46, 256–57 (1950); Kalven & Rosenfield, The Contemporary Function of the Class Suit, 8 U. of Chi.L.Rev. 684, 707 & n. 73 (1941); Keeffe, Levy & Donovan, Lee Defeats Ben Hur, 33 Corn.L.Q. 327, 329–36 (1948); Developments in the Law: Multiparty Litigation in the Federal Courts, 71 Harv.L.Rev. 874, 931 (1958); Advisory Committee's Note to Rule 19, as amended. The courts had considerable difficulty with these terms. See, e.g., Gullo v. Veterans’ Coop. H. Assn., 13 F.R.D. 11 (D.D.C. 1952); Shipley v. Pittsburgh & L. E. R. Co., 70 F.Supp. 870 (W.D.Pa. 1947); Deckert v. Independence Shares Corp., 27 F.Supp. 763 (E.D.Pa. 1939), rev'd, 108 F.2d 51 (3d Cir. 1939), rev'd, 311 U.S. 282 (1940), on remand, 39 F.Supp. 592 (E.D.Pa. 1941), rev'd sub nom. Pennsylvania Co. for Ins. on Lives v. Deckert, 123 F.2d 979 (3d Cir. 1941) (see Chafee, supra, at 264–65).

Nor did the rule provide an adequate guide to the proper extent of the judgments in class actions. First, we find instances of the courts classifying actions as “true” or intimating that the judgments would be decisive for the class where these results seemed appropriate but were reached by dint of depriving the word “several” of coherent meaning. See, e.g., System Federation No. 91 v. Reed, 180 F.2d 991 (6th Cir. 1950); Wilson v. City of Paducah, 100 F.Supp. 116 (W.D.Ky. 1951); Citizens Banking Co. v. Monticello State Bank, 143 F.2d 261 (8th Cir. 1944); Redmond v. Commerce Trust Co., 144 F.2d 140 (8th Cir. 1944), cert. denied, 323 U.S. 776 (1944); United States v. American Optical Co., 97 F.Supp. 66 (N.D.Ill. 1951); National Hairdressers’ & C. Assn. v. Philad. Co., 34 F.Supp. 264 (D.Del. 1940); 41 F.Supp. 701 (D.Del. 1940), aff'd mem., 129 F.2d 1020 (3d Cir. 1942). Second, we find cases classified by the courts as “spurious” in which, on a realistic view, it would seem fitting for the judgments to extend to the class. See, e.g., Knapp v. Bankers Sec. Corp., 17 F.R.D. 245 (E.D.Pa. 1954); aff'd 230 F.2d 717 (3d Cir. 1956); Giesecke v. Denver Tramway Corp., 81 F.Supp. 957 (D.Del. 1949); York v. Guaranty Trust Co., 143 F.2d 503 (2d Cir. 1944), rev'd on grounds not here relevant, 326 U.S. 90 (1945) (see Chafee, supra, at 208); cf. Webster Eisenlohr, Inc. v. Kalodner, 145 F.2d 316, 320 (3d Cir. 1944), cert. denied, 325 U.S. 807 (1945). But cf. the early decisions, Duke of Bedford v. Ellis [1901], A.C. 1; Sheffield Waterworks v. Yeomans, L.R. 2 Ch.App. 8 (1866); Brown v. Vermuden, 1 Ch.Cas. 272, 22 Eng.Rep. 796 (1676).

The “spurious” action envisaged by original Rule 23 was in any event an anomaly because, although denominated a “class” action and pleaded as such, it was supposed not to adjudicate the rights or liabilities of any person not a party. It was believed to be an advantage of the “spurious” category that it would invite decisions that a member of the “class” could, like a member of the class in a “true” or “hybrid” action, intervene on an ancillary basis without being required to show an independent basis of Federal jurisdiction, and have the benefit of the date of the commencement of the action for purposes of the statute of limitations. See 3 Moore's Federal Practice, pars. 23.10[1], 23.12 (2d ed. 1963). These results were attained in some instances but not in others. On the statute of limitations, see Union Carbide & Carbon Corp. v. Nisley, 300 F.2d 561 (10th Cir. 1961), pet. cert. dism., 371 U.S. 801 (1963); but cf. P. W. Husserl, Inc. v. Newman, 25 F.R.D. 264 (S.D.N.Y. 1960); Athas v. Day, 161 F.Supp. 916 (D.Colo. 1958). On ancillary intervention, see Amen v. Black, 234 F.2d 12 (10th Cir. 1956), cert. granted, 352 U.S. 888 (1956), dism. on stip., 355 U.S. 600 (1958); but. cf. Wagner v. Kemper, 13 F.R.D. 128 (W.D.Mo. 1952). The results, however, can hardly depend upon the mere appearance of a “spurious” category in the rule; they should turn no more basic considerations. See discussion of subdivision (c)(1) below.

Finally, the original rule did not squarely address itself to the question of the measures that might be taken during the course of the action to assure procedural fairness, particularly giving notice to members of the class, which may in turn be related in some instances to the extension of the judgment to the class. See Chafee, supra, at 230–31; Keeffe, Levy & Donovan, supra; Developments in the Law, supra, 71 Harv.L.Rev. at 937–38; Note, Binding Effect of Class Actions, 67 Harv.L.Rev. 1059, 1062–65 (1954); Note, Federal Class Actions: A Suggested Revision of Rule 23, 46 Colum.L.Rev. 818, 833–36 (1946); Mich.Gen.Court R. 208.4 (effective Jan. 1, 1963); Idaho R.Civ.P. 23(d); Minn.R.Civ.P. 23.04; N.Dak.R.Civ.P. 23(d).

The amended rule describes in more practical terms the occasions for maintaining class actions; provides that all class actions maintained to the end as such will result in judgments including those whom the court finds to be members of the class, whether or not the judgment is favorable to the class; and refers to the measures which can be taken to assure the fair conduct of these actions.

Subdivision (a) states the prerequisites for maintaining any class action in terms of the numerousness of the class making joinder of the members impracticable, the existence of questions common to the class, and the desired qualifications of the representative parties. See Weinstein, Revision of Procedure; Some Problems in Class Actions, 9 Buffalo L.Rev. 433, 458–59 (1960); 2 Barron & Holtzoff, Federal Practice & Procedure §562, at 265, §572, at 351–52 (Wright ed. 1961). These are necessary but not sufficient conditions for a class action. See, e.g., Giordano v. Radio Corp. of Am., 183 F.2d 558, 560 (3d Cir. 1950); Zachman v. Erwin, 186 F.Supp. 681 (S.D.Tex. 1959); Baim & Blank, Inc. v. Warren Connelly Co., Inc., 19 F.R.D. 108 (S.D.N.Y. 1956). Subdivision (b) describes the additional elements which in varying situations justify the use of a class action.

Subdivision (b)(1). The difficulties which would be likely to arise if resort were had to separate actions by or against the individual members of the class here furnish the reasons for, and the principal key to, the propriety and value of utilizing the class-action device. The considerations stated under clauses (A) and (B) are comparable to certain of the elements which define the persons whose joinder in an action is desirable as stated in Rule 19(a), as amended. See amended Rule 19(a)(2)(i) and (ii), and the Advisory Committee's Note thereto; Hazard, Indispensable Party; The Historical Origin of a Procedural Phantom, 61 Colum.L.Rev. 1254, 1259–60 (1961); cf. 3 Moore, supra, par. 23.08, at 3435.

Clause (A): One person may have rights against, or be under duties toward, numerous persons constituting a class, and be so positioned that conflicting or varying adjudications in lawsuits with individual members of the class might establish incompatible standards to govern his conduct. The class action device can be used effectively to obviate the actual or virtual dilemma which would thus confront the party opposing the class. The matter has been stated thus: “The felt necessity for a class action is greatest when the courts are called upon to order or sanction the alteration of the status quo in circumstances such that a large number of persons are in a position to call on a single person to alter the status quo, or to complain if it is altered, and the possibility exists that [the] actor might be called upon to act in inconsistent ways.” Louisell & Hazard, Pleading and Procedure; State and Federal 719 (1962); see Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur v. Cauble, 255 U.S. 356, 366–67 (1921). To illustrate: Separate actions by individuals against a municipality to declare a bond issue invalid or condition or limit it, to prevent or limit the making of a particular appropriation or to compel or invalidate an assessment, might create a risk of inconsistent or varying determinations. In the same way, individual litigations of the rights and duties of riparian owners, or of landowners’ rights and duties respecting a claimed nuisance, could create a possibility of incompatible adjudications. Actions by or against a class provide a ready and fair means of achieving unitary adjudication. See Maricopa County Mun. Water Con. Dist. v. Looney, 219 F.2d 529 (9th Cir. 1955); Rank v. Krug, 142 F.Supp. 1, 154–59 (S.D.Calif. 1956), on app., State of California v. Rank, 293 F.2d 340, 348 (9th Cir. 1961); Gart v. Cole, 263 F.2d 244 (2d Cir. 1959), cert. denied 359 U.S. 978 (1959); cf. Martinez v. Maverick Cty. Water Con. & Imp. Dist., 219 F.2d 666 (5th Cir. 1955); 3 Moore, supra, par. 23.11[2], at 3458–59.

Clause (B): This clause takes in situations where the judgment in a nonclass action by or against an individual member of the class, while not technically concluding the other members, might do so as a practical matter. The vice of an individual actions would lie in the fact that the other members of the class, thus practically concluded, would have had no representation in the lawsuit. In an action by policy holders against a fraternal benefit association attacking a financial reorganization of the society, it would hardly have been practical, if indeed it would have been possible, to confine the effects of a validation of the reorganization to the individual plaintiffs. Consequently a class action was called for with adequate representation of all members of the class. See Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur v. Cauble, 255 U.S. 356 (1921); Waybright v. Columbian Mut. Life Ins. Co., 30 F.Supp. 885 (W.D.Tenn. 1939); cf. Smith v. Swormstedt, 16 How. (57 U.S.) 288 (1853). For much the same reason actions by shareholders to compel the declaration of a dividend the proper recognition and handling of redemption or pre-emption rights, or the like (or actions by the corporation for corresponding declarations of rights), should ordinarily be conducted as class actions, although the matter has been much obscured by the insistence that each shareholder has an individual claim. See Knapp v. Bankers Securities Corp., 17 F.R.D. 245 (E.D.Pa. 1954), aff'd, 230 F.2d 717 (3d Cir. 1956); Giesecke v. Denver Tramway Corp., 81 F.Supp. 957 (D.Del. 1949); Zahn v. Transamerica Corp., 162 F.2d 36 (3d Cir. 1947); Speed v. Transamerica Corp., 100 F.Supp. 461 (D.Del. 1951); Sobel v. Whittier Corp., 95 F.Supp. 643 (E.D.Mich. 1951), app. dism., 195 F.2d 361 (6th Cir. 1952); Goldberg v. Whittier Corp., 111 F.Supp. 382 (E.D.Mich. 1953); Dann v. Studebaker-Packard Corp., 288 F.2d 201 (6th Cir. 1961); Edgerton v. Armour & Co.,94 F.Supp. 549 (S.D.Calif. 1950); Ames v. Mengel Co., 190 F.2d 344 (2d Cir. 1951). (These shareholders’ actions are to be distinguished from derivative actions by shareholders dealt with in new Rule 23.1). The same reasoning applies to an action which charges a breach of trust by an indenture trustee or other fiduciary similarly affecting the members of a large class of security holders or other beneficiaries, and which requires an accounting or like measures to restore the subject of the trust. See Bosenberg v. Chicago T. & T. Co., 128 F.2d 245 (7th Cir. 1942); Citizens Banking Co. v. Monticello State Bank, 143 F.2d 261 (8th Cir. 1944); Redmond v. Commerce Trust Co., 144 F.2d 140 (8th Cir. 1944), cert. denied, 323 U.S. 776 (1944); cf. York v. Guaranty Trust Co., 143 F.2d 503 (2d Cir. 1944), rev'd on grounds not here relevant, 326 U.S. 99 (1945).

In various situations an adjudication as to one or more members of the class will necessarily or probably have an adverse practical effect on the interests of other members who should therefore be represented in the lawsuit. This is plainly the case when claims are made by numerous persons against a fund insufficient to satisfy all claims. A class action by or against representative members to settle the validity of the claims as a whole, or in groups, followed by separate proof of the amount of each valid claim and proportionate distribution of the fund, meets the problem. Cf. Dickinson v. Burnham, 197 F.2d 973 (2d Cir. 1952), cert. denied, 344 U.S. 875 (1952); 3 Moore, supra, at par. 23.09. The same reasoning applies to an action by a creditor to set aside a fraudulent conveyance by the debtor and to appropriate the property to his claim, when the debtor's assets are insufficient to pay all creditors’ claims. See Hefferman v. Bennett & Armour, 110 Cal.App.2d 564, 243 P.2d 846 (1952); cf. City & County of San Francisco v. Market Street Ry., 95 Cal.App.2d 648, 213 P.2d 780 (1950). Similar problems, however, can arise in the absence of a fund either present or potential. A negative or mandatory injunction secured by one of a numerous class may disable the opposing party from performing claimed duties toward the other members of the class or materially affect his ability to do so. An adjudication as to movie “clearances and runs” nominally affecting only one exhibitor would often have practical effects on all the exhibitors in the same territorial area. Cf. United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 66 F.Supp. 323, 341–46 (S.D.N.Y. 1946); 334 U.S. 131, 144–48 (1948). Assuming a sufficiently numerous class of exhibitors, a class action would be advisable. (Here representation of subclasses of exhibitors could become necessary; see subdivision (c)(3)(B).)

Subdivision (b)(2). This subdivision is intended to reach situations where a party has taken action or refused to take action with respect to a class, and final relief of an injunctive nature or of a corresponding declaratory nature, settling the legality of the behavior with respect to the class as a whole, is appropriate. Declaratory relief “corresponds” to injunctive relief when as a practical matter it affords injunctive relief or serves as a basis for later injunctive relief. The subdivision does not extend to cases in which the appropriate final relief relates exclusively or predominantly to money damages. Action or inaction is directed to a class within the meaning of this subdivision even if it has taken effect or is threatened only as to one or a few members of the class, provided it is based on grounds which have general application to the class.

Illustrative are various actions in the civil-rights field where a party is charged with discriminating unlawfully against a class, usually one whose members are incapable of specific enumeration. See Potts v. Flax, 313 F.2d 284 (5th Cir. 1963); Bailey v. Patterson, 323 F.2d 201 (5th Cir. 1963), cert. denied, 377 U.S. 972 (1964); Brunson v. Board of Trustees of School District No. 1, Clarendon City, S.C., 311 F.2d 107 (4th Cir. 1962), cert. denied, 373 U.S. 933 (1963); Green v. School Bd. of Roanoke, Va., 304 F.2d 118 (4th Cir. 1962); Orleans Parish School Bd. v. Bush, 242 F.2d 156 (5th Cir. 1957), cert. denied, 354 U.S. 921 (1957); Mannings v. Board of Public Inst. of Hillsborough County, Fla., 277 F.2d 370 (5th Cir. 1960); Northcross v. Board of Ed. of City of Memphis, 302 F.2d 818 (6th Cir. 1962), cert. denied 370 U.S. 944 (1962); Frasier v. Board of Trustees of Univ. of N.C., 134 F.Supp. 589 (M.D.N.C. 1955, 3-judge court), aff'd, 350 U.S. 979 (1956). Subdivision (b)(2) is not limited to civil-rights cases. Thus an action looking to specific or declaratory relief could be brought by a numerous class of purchasers, say retailers of a given description, against a seller alleged to have undertaken to sell to that class at prices higher than those set for other purchasers, say retailers of another description, when the applicable law forbids such a pricing differential. So also a patentee of a machine, charged with selling or licensing the machine on condition that purchasers or licensees also purchase or obtain licenses to use an ancillary unpatented machine, could be sued on a class basis by a numerous group of purchasers or licensees, or by a numerous group of competing sellers or licensors of the unpatented machine, to test the legality of the “tying” condition.

Subdivision (b)(3). In the situations to which this subdivision relates, class-action treatment is not as clearly called for as in those described above, but it may nevertheless be convenient and desirable depending upon the particular facts. Subdivision (b)(3) encompasses those cases in which a class action would achieve economies of time, effort, and expense, and promote, uniformity of decision as to persons similarly situated, without sacrificing procedural fairness or bringing about other undesirable results. Cf. Chafee, supra, at 201.

The court is required to find, as a condition of holding that a class action may be maintained under this subdivision, that the questions common to the class predominate over the questions affecting individual members. It is only where this predominance exists that economies can be achieved by means of the class-action device. In this view, a fraud perpetrated on numerous persons by the use of similar misrepresentations may be an appealing situation for a class action, and it may remain so despite the need, if liability is found, for separate determination of the damages suffered by individuals within the class. On the other hand, although having some common core, a fraud case may be unsuited for treatment as a class action if there was material variation in the representation made or in the kinds or degrees of reliance by the persons to whom they were addressed. See Oppenheimer v. F. J. Young & Co., Inc., 144 F.2d 387 (2d Cir. 1944); Miller v. National City Bank of N.Y., 166 F.2d 723 (2d Cir. 1948); and for like problems in other contexts, see Hughes v. Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 199 F.2d 295 (7th Cir. 1952); Sturgeon v. Great Lakes Steel Corp., 143 F.2d 819 (6th Cir. 1944). A “mass accident” resulting in injuries to numerous persons is ordinarily not appropriate for a class action because of the likelihood that significant questions, not only of damages but of liability and defenses of liability, would be present, affecting the individuals in different ways. In these circumstances an action conducted nominally as a class action would degenerate in practice into multiple lawsuits separately tried. See Pennsylvania R.R. v. United States, 111 F.Supp. 80 (D.N.J. 1953); cf. Weinstein, supra, 9 Buffalo L.Rev. at 469. Private damage claims by numerous individuals arising out of concerted antitrust violations may or may not involve predominating common questions. See Union Carbide & Carbon Corp. v. Nisley, 300 F.2d 561 (10th Cir. 1961), pet. cert. dism., 371 U.S. 801 (1963); cf. Weeks v. Bareco Oil Co., 125 F.2d 84 (7th Cir. 1941); Kainz v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 194 F.2d 737 (7th Cir. 1952); Hess v. Anderson, Clayton & Co., 20 F.R.D. 466 (S.D.Calif. 1957).

That common questions predominate is not itself sufficient to justify a class action under subdivision (b)(3), for another method of handling the litigious situation may be available which has greater practical advantages. Thus one or more actions agreed to by the parties as test or model actions may be preferable to a class action; or it may prove feasible and preferable to consolidate actions. Cf. Weinstein, supra, 9 Buffalo L.Rev. at 438–54. Even when a number of separate actions are proceeding simultaneously, experience shows that the burdens on the parties and the courts can sometimes be reduced by arrangements for avoiding repetitious discovery or the like. Currently the Coordinating Committee on Multiple Litigation in the United States District Courts (a subcommittee of the Committee on Trial Practice and Technique of the Judicial Conference of the United States) is charged with developing methods for expediting such massive litigation. To reinforce the point that the court with the aid of the parties ought to assess the relative advantages of alternative procedures for handling the total controversy, subdivision (b)(3) requires, as a further condition of maintaining the class action, that the court shall find that that procedure is “superior” to the others in the particular circumstances.

Factors (A)–(D) are listed, non-exhaustively, as pertinent to the findings. The court is to consider the interests of individual members of the class in controlling their own litigations and carrying them on as they see fit. See Weeks v. Bareco Oil Co., 125 F.2d 84, 88–90, 93–94 (7th Cir. 1941) (anti-trust action); see also Pentland v. Dravo Corp., 152 F.2d 851 (3d Cir. 1945), and Chaffee, supra, at 273–75, regarding policy of Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, §16(b), 29 U.S.C. §216(b), prior to amendment by Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, §5(a). [The present provisions of 29 U.S.C. §216(b) are not intended to be affected by Rule 23, as amended.]

In this connection the court should inform itself of any litigation actually pending by or against the individuals. The interests of individuals in conducting separate lawsuits may be so strong as to call for denial of a class action. On the other hand, these interests may be theoretic rather than practical; the class may have a high degree of cohesion and prosecution of the action through representatives would be quite unobjectionable, or the amounts at stake for individuals may be so small that separate suits would be impracticable. The burden that separate suits would impose on the party opposing the class, or upon the court calendars, may also fairly be considered. (See the discussion, under subdivision (c)(2) below, of the right of members to be excluded from the class upon their request.)

Also pertinent is the question of the desirability of concentrating the trial of the claims in the particular forum by means of a class action, in contrast to allowing the claims to be litigated separately in forums to which they would ordinarily be brought. Finally, the court should consider the problems of management which are likely to arise in the conduct of a class action.

Subdivision (c)(1). In order to give clear definition to the action, this provision requires the court to determine, as early in the proceedings as may be practicable, whether an action brought as a class action is to be so maintained. The determination depends in each case on satisfaction of the terms of subdivision (a) and the relevant provisions of subdivision (b).

An order embodying a determination can be conditional; the court may rule, for example, that a class action may be maintained only if the representation is improved through intervention of additional parties of a stated type. A determination once made can be altered or amended before the decision on the merits if, upon fuller development of the facts, the original determination appears unsound. A negative determination means that the action should be stripped of its character as a class action. See subdivision (d)(4). Although an action thus becomes a nonclass action, the court may still be receptive to interventions before the decision on the merits so that the litigation may cover as many interests as can be conveniently handled; the questions whether the intervenors in the nonclass action shall be permitted to claim “ancillary” jurisdiction or the benefit of the date of the commencement of the action for purposes of the statute of limitations are to be decided by reference to the laws governing jurisdiction and limitations as they apply in particular contexts.

Whether the court should require notice to be given to members of the class of its intention to make a determination, or of the order embodying it, is left to the court's discretion under subdivision (d)(2).

Subdivision (c)(2) makes special provision for class actions maintained under subdivision (b)(3). As noted in the discussion of the latter subdivision, the interests of the individuals in pursuing their own litigations may be so strong here as to warrant denial of a class action altogether. Even when a class action is maintained under subdivision (b)(3), this individual interest is respected. Thus the court is required to direct notice to the members of the class of the right of each member to be excluded from the class upon his request. A member who does not request exclusion may, if he wishes, enter an appearance in the action through his counsel; whether or not he does so, the judgment in the action will embrace him.

The notice setting forth the alternatives open to the members of the class, is to be the best practicable under the circumstances, and shall include individual notice to the members who can be identified through reasonable effort. (For further discussion of this notice, see the statement under subdivision (d)(2) below.)

Subdivision (c)(3). The judgment in a class action maintained as such to the end will embrace the class, that is, in a class action under subdivision (b)(1) or (b)(2), those found by the court to be class members; in a class action under subdivision (b)(3), those to whom the notice prescribed by subdivision (c)(2) was directed, excepting those who requested exclusion or who are ultimately found by the court not to be members of the class. The judgment has this scope whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the class. In a (b)(1) or (b)(2) action the judgment “describes” the members of the class, but need not specify the individual members; in a (b)(3) action the judgment “specifies” the individual members who have been identified and described the others.

Compare subdivision (c)(4) as to actions conducted as class actions only with respect to particular issues. Where the class-action character of the lawsuit is based solely on the existence of a “limited fund,” the judgment, while extending to all claims of class members against the fund, has ordinarily left unaffected the personal claims of nonappearing members against the debtor. See 3 Moore, supra, par. 23.11[4].

Hitherto, in a few actions conducted as “spurious” class actions and thus nominally designed to extend only to parties and others intervening before the determination of liability, courts have held or intimated that class members might be permitted to intervene after a decision on the merits favorable to their interests, in order to secure the benefits of the decision for themselves, although they would presumably be unaffected by an unfavorable decision. See, as to the propriety of this so-called “one-way” intervention in “spurious” actions, the conflicting views expressed in Union Carbide & Carbon Corp. v. Nisley, 300 F.2d 561 (10th Cir. 1961), pet. cert. dism., 371 U.S. 801 (1963); York v. Guaranty Trust Co., 143 F.2d 503, 529 (2d Cir. 1944), rev'd on grounds not here relevant, 326 U.S. 99 (1945); Pentland v. Dravo Corp., 152 F.2d 851, 856 (3d Cir. 1945); Speed v. Transamerica Corp., 100 F.Supp. 461, 463 (D.Del. 1951); State Wholesale Grocers v. Great Atl. & Pac. Tea Co., 24 F.R.D. 510 (N.D.Ill. 1959); Alabama Ind. Serv. Stat. Assn. v. Shell Pet Corp., 28 F.Supp. 386, 390 (N.D.Ala. 1939); Tolliver v. Cudahy Packing Co., 39 F.Supp. 337, 339 (E.D.Tenn. 1941); Kalven & Rosenfield, supra, 8 U. of Chi.L.Rev. 684 (1941); Comment, 53 Nw.U.L.Rev. 627, 632–33 (1958); Developments in the Law, supra, 71 Harv.L.Rev. at 935; 2 Barron & Holtzoff, supra, §568; but cf. Lockwood v. Hercules Powder Co., 7 F.R.D. 24, 28–29 (W.D.Mo. 1947); Abram v. San Joaquin Cotton Oil Co., 46 F.Supp. 969, 976–77 (S.D.Calif. 1942); Chaffee, supra, at 280, 285; 3 Moore, supra, par. 23.12, at 3476. Under proposed subdivision (c)(3), one-way intervention is excluded; the action will have been early determined to be a class or nonclass action, and in the former case the judgment, whether or not favorable, will include the class, as above stated.

Although thus declaring that the judgment in a class action includes the class, as defined, subdivision (c)(3) does not disturb the recognized principle that the court conducting the action cannot predetermine the res judicata effect of the judgment; this can be tested only in a subsequent action. See Restatement, Judgments §86, comment (h), §116 (1942). The court, however, in framing the judgment in any suit brought as a class action, must decide what its extent or coverage shall be, and if the matter is carefully considered, questions of res judicata are less likely to be raised at a later time and if raised will be more satisfactorily answered. See Chafee, supra, at 294; Weinstein, supra, 9 Buffalo L.Rev. at 460.

Subdivision (c)(4). This provision recognizes that an action may be maintained as a class action as to particular issues only. For example, in a fraud or similar case the action may retain its “class” character only through the adjudication of liability to the class; the members of the class may thereafter be required to come in individually and prove the amounts of their respective claims.

Two or more classes may be represented in a single action. Where a class is found to include subclasses divergent in interest, the class may be divided correspondingly, and each subclass treated as a class.

Subdivision (d) is concerned with the fair and efficient conduct of the action and lists some types of orders which may be appropriate.

The court should consider how the proceedings are to be arranged in sequence, and what measures should be taken to simplify the proof and argument. See subdivision (d)(1). The orders resulting from this consideration, like the others referred to in subdivision (d), may be combined with a pretrial order under Rule 16, and are subject to modification as the case proceeds.

Subdivision (d)(2) sets out a non-exhaustive list of possible occasions for orders requiring notice to the class. Such notice is not a novel conception. For example, in “limited fund” cases, members of the class have been notified to present individual claims after the basic class decision. Notice has gone to members of a class so that they might express any opposition to the representation, see United States v. American Optical Co., 97 F.Supp. 66 (N.D.Ill. 1951), and 1950–51 CCH Trade Cases 64573–74 (par. 62869); cf. Weeks v. Bareco Oil Co., 125 F.2d 84, 94 (7th Cir. 1941), and notice may encourage interventions to improve the representation of the class. Cf. Oppenheimer v. F. J. Young & Co., 144 F.2d 387 (2d Cir. 1944). Notice has been used to poll members on a proposed modification of a consent decree. See record in Sam Fox Publishing Co. v. United States, 366 U.S. 683 (1961).

Subdivision (d)(2) does not require notice at any stage, but rather calls attention to its availability and invokes the court's discretion. In the degree that there is cohesiveness or unity in the class and the representation is effective, the need for notice to the class will tend toward a minimum. These indicators suggest that notice under subdivision (d)(2) may be particularly useful and advisable in certain class actions maintained under subdivision (b)(3), for example, to permit members of the class to object to the representation. Indeed, under subdivision (c)(2), notice must be ordered, and is not merely discretionary, to give the members in a subdivision (b)(3) class action an opportunity to secure exclusion from the class. This mandatory notice pursuant to subdivision (c)(2), together with any discretionary notice which the court may find it advisable to give under subdivision (d)(2), is designed to fulfill requirements of due process to which the class action procedure is of course subject. See Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U.S. 32 (1940); Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306 (1950); cf. Dickinson v. Burnham, 197 F.2d 973, 979 (2d Cir. 1952), and studies cited at 979 n. 4; see also All American Airways, Inc. v. Elderd, 209 F.2d 247, 249 (2d Cir. 1954); Gart v. Cole, 263 F.2d 244, 248–49 (2d Cir. 1959), cert. denied, 359 U.S. 978 (1959).

Notice to members of the class, whenever employed under amended Rule 23, should be accommodated to the particular purpose but need not comply with the formalities for service of process. See Chafee, supra, at 230–31; Brendle v. Smith, 7 F.R.D. 119 (S.D.N.Y. 1946). The fact that notice is given at one stage of the action does not mean that it must be given at subsequent stages. Notice is available fundamentally “for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action” and should not be used merely as a device for the undesirable solicitation of claims. See the discussion in Cherner v. Transitron Electronic Corp., 201 F.Supp. 934 (D.Mass. 1962); Hormel v. United States, 17 F.R.D. 303 (S.D.N.Y. 1955).

In appropriate cases the court should notify interested government agencies of the pendency of the action or of particular steps therein.

Subdivision (d)(3) reflects the possibility of conditioning the maintenance of a class action, e.g., on the strengthening of the representation, see subdivision (c)(1) above; and recognizes that the imposition of conditions on intervenors may be required for the proper and efficient conduct of the action.

As to orders under subdivision (d)(4), see subdivision (c)(1) above.

Subdivision (e) requires approval of the court, after notice, for the dismissal or compromise of any class action.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Cross References

Capacity of unincorporated association to sue or be sued, see rule 17.

Process on corporations in stockholder's derivative action, see section 1695 of this title.

Venue in stockholder's derivative action, see section 1401 of this title.