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Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: A Brief Guide

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: A Brief Guide

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Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: A Brief Guide

What are the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure?


• The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are the laws that govern the civil process or civil lawsuits in the United States district court system. The Federal Rules of Civil procedure is promulgated by the Supreme Court of the United States in accordance to the Rules Enabling Act and the United States Congress.
• The Court system’s modifications to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are typically based on suggestions from the Judicial Conference of the United States—the federal judicial system’s internal policy-constructing body. 
• Although the federal court system of the United States is required to apply the substantive law of the individual states (only with rules of decisions in cases were a state law is in question) the federal system typically uses the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as their main guideline. A state court system may establish their own rules and subsequently apply them to their courts; that being said, the majority of states have adopted the rules based on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 

Brief History of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure:
• The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were established in 1938; when instituted they formally replaced the earlier common law pleading systems. Since their establishment, significant modifications have been applied to the Federal Rules of Civil procedure. Currently, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure contains a notes section that details all changes made since 1938.
• The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were completely restructured on December 1st of 2007, under the leadership of an experienced committee. The rewriting of the rules was not intended to drastically change the civil process, but instead to elucidate on the wording of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Before the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were established, the common-law pleading system was far more traditional, formal and particular in its phrasing. 

Chapter Breakdown of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure:


In total, there are 86 rules listed in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; these rules are grouped into the 11 chapters listed below
Chapter 1—The opening chapter to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure reads as a mission statement; the rule simply states that the civil process shall be construed and administered to secure a just, inexpensive and speedy determination of the law
Chapter 2—Chapter 2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure talks about the proper commencement of civil suits, the service of process and the procedure to file a summons
Chapter 3—This chapter of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure covers defenses, counterclaims, motions and pleadings
Chapter4—This chapter of the Federal Rules of Civil procedure contains Rules 17 to 25 and elucidates on parties.
Chapter 5—Contains rules 26 to 37 and discusses discovery
o Chapter 6—Contains rules 38 to 53 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; this chapter goes over the rules of the trial
Chapter 7—Contains rules 54 to 63 and discusses rules surrounding the issuance of a judgment
Chapter 8—Rules 64 to 71; goes over provisional and final remedies
Chapter 9—Rules 74 to 76 and discusses special proceedings

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