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Rules of Civil Procedure

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Nov 19, 2019

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
(( abridged, edited version 1.0 - RCRP use only ))

Rule 101. Scope and Purpose
These rules should be construed, administered, and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.

Rule 201. Commencing an Action
A civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.

Rule 202. Summons
  1. Contents. A summons must:
    1. name the court and the parties;
    2. be directed to the defendant;
    3. state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend;
    4. notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint; and
    5. bear the court's seal.
  2. Issuance. On or after filing the complaint, the plaintiff may present a summons to the judge for signature and seal. If the summons is properly completed, the judge must sign, seal, and issue it to the plaintiff for service on the defendant.
  3. Service.
    1. In General. A summons must be served with a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for having the summons and complaint served within the time allowed and must furnish the necessary copies to the person who makes service.
    2. By Whom. Any person who is at least 18 years old and not a party may serve a summons and complaint.
  4. Serving an Individual. May be done by:
    1. delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally;
    2. leaving a copy of each at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or
    3. delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
  5. Serving a Corporation, Partnership, or Association. Must be served:
    1. in the manner prescribed for serving an individual; or
    2. by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and—if the agent is one authorized by statute and the statute so requires—by also mailing a copy of each to the defendant.
  6. Serving San Andreas and Its Agencies, Corporations, Officers, or Employees. To serve a San Andreas agency or corporation, or a San Andreas officer or employee sued only in an official capacity, a party must serve a copy of the summons and of the complaint by registered or certified mail to the agency, corporation, officer, or employee.
  7. Proving Service. Except for service by a law enforcement officer or employee of the court, proof must be by the server's affidavit.
  8. Time Limit for Service. If a defendant is not served within 2 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period.

Rule 301. Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions and Other Papers
  1. Pleadings. Only these pleadings are allowed:
    1. a complaint (initial complaint);
    2. an answer to a complaint;
    3. a counter-claim;
    4. a third-party complaint;
    5. an answer to a third-party complaint; and
    6. if the court orders one, a reply to an answer.
  2. Motion. A request for a court order must be made by motion. The motion must:
    1. be in writing unless made during a hearing or trial;
    2. state with particularity the grounds for seeking the order; and
    3. state the relief sought.

Rule 302. General Rules of Pleading
  1. Claim for Relief. A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain:
    1. a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support;
    2. a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
    3. a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.
  2. Defenses; Admissions and Denials.
    1. In General. In responding to a pleading, a party must:
      1. state in short and plain terms its defenses to each claim asserted against it; and
      2. admit or deny the allegations asserted against it by an opposing party.
    2. Denials—Responding to the Substance. A denial must fairly respond to the substance of the allegation.
    3. Denying Part of an Allegation. A party that intends in good faith to deny only part of an allegation must admit the part that is true and deny the rest.
    4. Lacking Knowledge or Information. A party that lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of an allegation must so state, and the statement has the effect of a denial.
    5. Effect of Failing to Deny. An allegation—other than one relating to the amount of damages—is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and the allegation is not denied. If a responsive pleading is not required, an allegation is considered denied or avoided.
  3. Construing Pleadings. Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.

Rule 303. Form of Pleadings
  1. Caption; Names of Parties. Every pleading must have a caption with the court's name, a title, a docket number. The title of the complaint must name all the parties; the title of other pleadings, after naming the first party on each side, may refer generally to other parties.
  2. Paragraphs; Separate Statements. A party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances. A later pleading may refer by number to a paragraph in an earlier pleading. If doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence—and each defense other than a denial—must be stated in a separate count or defense.

Rule 304. Representations to the Court
By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies 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, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;
  2. the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;
  3. the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely 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 belief or a lack of information.

Rule 305. Defenses and Objections: When and How Presented; Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
  1. Time to Serve a Responsive Pleading. A defendant must serve an answer within 5 days after being served with the summons and complaint.
  2. How to Present Defenses. Every defense to a claim for relief in any pleading must be asserted in the responsive pleading. But a party may assert the following defenses by motion:
    1. improper venue;
    2. failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
  3. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. After the pleadings are closed—but early enough not to delay trial—a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.
  4. Motion for a More Definite Statement. A party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response. If the court orders a more definite statement and the order is not obeyed within 5 days after notice of the order or within the time the court sets, the court may strike the pleading or issue any other appropriate order.
  5. Motion to Strike. The court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter. The court may act:
    1. on its own; or
    2. on motion made by a party.

Rule 306. Relief Sought in a Counterclaim
A counterclaim need not diminish or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party. It may request relief that exceeds in amount or differs in kind from the relief sought by the opposing party.

Rule 307. Pretrial Conferences
In any action, the court may order the attorneys and any unrepresented parties to appear for one or more pretrial conferences for such purposes as:
  1. expediting 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 settlement.

Rule 401. Capacity - Minor or Incompetent Person
  1. With a Representative. The following representatives may sue or defend on behalf of a minor or an incompetent person:
    1. a general guardian; or
    2. a committee;
  2. Without a Representative. A minor or an incompetent person who does not have a duly appointed representative may sue by a next friend or by a guardian ad litem. The court must appoint a guardian ad litem—or issue another appropriate order—to protect a minor or incompetent person who is unrepresented in an action.

Rule 402. Substitution of Parties
  1. Death.
    1. Substitution if the Claim Is Not Extinguished. If a party dies and the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper party. A motion for substitution may be made by any party. If the motion is not made within 10 days after service of a statement noting the death, the action by or against the decedent must be dismissed.
    2. Continuation Among the Remaining Parties. After a party's death, if the right sought to be enforced survives only to or against the remaining parties, the action does not abate, but proceeds in favor of or against the remaining parties. The death should be noted on the record.
  2. Incompetency. If a party becomes incompetent, the court may, on motion, permit the action to be continued by or against the party's representative.
  3. Transfer of Interest. If an interest is transferred, the action may be continued by or against the original party unless the court, on motion, orders the transferee to be substituted in the action or joined with the original party.
  4. Public Officers; Death or Separation from Office. An action does not abate when a public officer who is a party in an official capacity dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office while the action is pending. The officer's successor is automatically substituted as a party.

Rule 501. Discovery; Depositions
Discovery and taking of Depositions shall be governed in the same manner as in Criminal Procedure, with "government" being replaced with "Plaintiff" and types of evidence that are irrelevant (e.g. defendant's record, testimony prior to arrest, etc.) shall be omitted.

Rule 502. Producing Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Things, or Entering onto Land, for Inspection and Other Purposes
  1. In General. A party may serve on any other party a request::
    1. to produce and permit the requesting party or its representative to inspect, copy, test, or sample the following items in the responding party's possession, custody, or control:
      1. any designated documents or electronically stored information—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form; or
      2. any designated tangible things;
    2. to permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect, measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property or any designated object or operation on it.
  2. Procedure. The request:
    1. must describe with reasonable particularity each item or category of items to be inspected;
    2. must specify a reasonable time, place, and manner for the inspection and for performing the related acts; and
    3. may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.

Rule 601. Right to a Jury Trial; Demand
  1. Right Preserved. The right of trial by jury as declared by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution is preserved to the parties inviolate.
  2. Demand. On any issue triable of right by a jury, a party may demand a jury trial by serving the other parties with a written demand, which may be included in a pleading. In its demand, a party may specify the issues that it wishes to have tried by a jury; otherwise, it is considered to have demanded a jury trial on all the issues so triable.
  3. Waiver; Withdrawal. A party waives a jury trial unless its demand is properly served and filed. A proper demand may be withdrawn only if the parties consent.

Rule 602. Dismissal of Actions.
  1. Dismissal by Plaintiff. The Plaintiff may move to dismiss without a judgment, only if there is no counter-claim made by the Defendant. The Court shall normally grant such a motion unless it is not in the interest of justice.
  2. Dismissal by Court. The Court may dismiss without prejudice if there is substantial delay in proceedings, or with other strong reason.

Rule 603. Taking Testimony
Taking testimony shall be subject to the same requirements as in Criminal Procedure.

Rule 604. Subpoena
Ordering and executing a subpoena shall be governed by the same rules as in Criminal Procedure.

Rule 605. Judgment as a Matter of Law in a Jury Trial
  1. In General. If a party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue, the court may:
    1. resolve the issue against the party; and
    2. grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against the party on a claim or defense that, under the controlling law, can be maintained or defeated only with a favorable finding on that issue.
  2. Motion. A motion for judgment as a matter of law may be made at any time before the case is submitted to the jury. The motion must specify the judgment sought and the law and facts that entitle the movant to the judgment.

Rule 606. Instructions to the Jury.
Instructions shall be given to the jury under the same rules as in Criminal Procedure.

Rule 701. Judgment; Costs
  1. Demand for Judgment; Relief to Be Granted. A default judgment must not differ in kind from, or exceed in amount, what is demanded in the pleadings. Every other final judgment should grant the relief to which each party is entitled, even if the party has not demanded that relief in its pleadings.
  2. Costs; Attorney's Fees.
    1. Costs Other Than Attorney's Fees. Costs other than attorney's fees should be allowed to the prevailing party.
    2. Attorney's Fees. A prevailing Plaintiff shall seek to enter their attorney fees as part of their initial complaint (initial pleading). A prevailing Defendant shall be entitled to request attorney's fees from the Plaintiff through a timely motion to the Court.

Rule 702. Default; Default Judgment
  1. Application. The party must apply to the court for a default judgment.
  2. Against Incompetent Persons. A default judgment may be entered against a minor or incompetent person only if represented by a general guardian who has appeared.
  3. Necessity of Evidence. A default judgment shall not be entered if there insufficient evidence or the Court is unsatisfied with the amount of evidence.

Rule 703. Summary Judgment.
  1. Application. A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense — or the part of each claim or defense — on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.
  2. Procedures.
    1. Supporting Factual Positions. A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:
      1. citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
      2. showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
    2. Objection That a Fact Is Not Supported by Admissible Evidence. A party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.
    3. Materials Not Cited. The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.
    4. Affidavits or Declarations. An affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated.

Rule 704. New Trial
Altering or Amending a Judgment. Shall be governed by the same rules as in Criminal Procedure.

Rule 705. Harmless Error
Unless justice requires otherwise, no error in admitting or excluding evidence—or any other error by the court or a party—is ground for granting a new trial, for setting aside a verdict, or for vacating, modifying, or otherwise disturbing a judgment or order. At every stage of the proceeding, the court must disregard all errors and defects that do not affect any party's substantial rights.

Rule 801. Contents and Scope of Every Injunction and Restraining Order
  1. Contents. Every order granting an injunction and every restraining order must:
    1. state the reasons why it issued;
    2. state its terms specifically; and
    3. describe in reasonable detail—and not by referring to the complaint or other document—the act or acts restrained or required.
  2. Persons Bound. The order binds only the following who receive actual notice of it by personal service or otherwise:
    1. the parties;
    2. the parties’ officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys; and
    3. other persons who are in active concert or participation.

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