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The Civil Procedure Flashcard Deck

CivPro cover

The Civil Procedure Flashcard Deck does more than show you how the rules fit together - it allows you to quiz yourself in sequence. The front of each electronic "card" in the deck shows you the topic, and how it fits into the big picture. The back of each card shows you the rules.

The Decks are designed for Android phones and iPads - but they're also great on Macs and PCs.  For $9.99, you can use the Civil Procedure Flashcard deck on up to two devices.

CivPro PJ1A

CivPro PJ1B

Card 1: Personal Jurisdiction Overview

The question of Personal Jurisdiction is the question of whether it is reasonable for a court to have power over a person or a thing.  Part A is Constitutional requirements - the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and the Full Faith and Credit Clause.  The Constitution limits the power of Federal and State courts. In order to have power over a person or thing, the court in question must have jurisdiction over a given Defendant, and that Defendant must have notice (Part C).  Part B, Personal Jurisdiction, is where things get complicated.  

Pennoyer v. Neff introduces the topic, and some circumstances in which jurisdiction is proper: (a) in personam jurisdiction (jurisdiction over a person), which includes "tag" or transient jurisdiction and jurisdiction by consent, and (b) in rem jurisdiction, or jurisdiction over a thing, and quasi in rem jurisdiction.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 4(k)(1)(A) provides that the reach of a Federal district court is the same as that of a court of the State where the Federal court is located.  State Long Arm Statutes extend the power of State courts (and therefore respective Federal courts) up to the Constitutional limit.

International Shoe v. State of Washington established the framework for the modern personal jurisdiction analysis.  The Minimum Contacts analysis plays out differently in the context of General Jurisdiction and Specific Jurisdiction; in both situations, jurisdiction over the Defendant must be reasonable (that is, jurisdiction must meet the requirements of fair play and substantial justice).

Notice is the requirement that the Defendant have adequate notice of the suit. 

CivPro PJ2A

CivPro PJ2B

Card 2: Pennoyer v. Neff


Neff lives in California. Mitchell sues Neff in Oregon. Neff is not personally served with process, and does not appear. Mitchell gets a default judgment. Later, Neff acquires land in Oregon. Mitchell has the sheriff seize and sell the land to satisfy the judgment. Pennoyer buys the land. Neff sues Pennoyer.

Neff‛s argument is that the sale was invalid because the Oregon court lacked jurisdiction. The Supreme Court agrees with Neff. First, there was no in personam jurisdiction over Neff, because he was never served with process. Second,  there was no in rem jurisdiction over the property because the court did not attach property owned by Neff at the beginning of the suit.

a. In Personam Jurisdiction: This is jurisdiction over a person. According the the Pennoyer scheme, there are two kinds: by consent, and by "tag."

i. Transient ("Tag") Jurisdiction:  Jurisdiction is proper if the Defendant is present in the state or served  while in the state. Upheld in Burnham v. Superior Court (1990).

ii. Consent: The Defendant consents to jurisdiction.  This includes (a) the Defendant's consent by signing a contract that contains a choice of forum clause; (b) consent by statute (in Hess v. Pawloski, the Defendant was deemed to have consented to a State's jurisdiction by using its highways); and (c) consent by waiver, where the Defendant waives the right to contest jurisdiction by appearing in court.  Note that the Defendant may make a special appearance for the purpose of contesting jurisdiction - in that case, she or he has not waived the right to contest jurisdiction. 

b. In Rem Jurisdiction:  Jurisdiction over property within state.  The cause of action must be related to the property. Constructive notice  is OK.

c. Quasi In Rem Jurisdiction:  Jurisidiction over an individual through property owned in state.  The cause of action is unrelated to the property.  The Plaintiff must attach property at outset of suit.

Both In Rem & Quasi In Rem must satisfy Due Process Requirements- use the Minimum Contacts and Fair Play/Reasonableness test.  Schaffer v. Heitner (1977)


Major topics covered:

I. Personal Jurisdiction

A. Power

B. Constitutional  and Statutory Framework

1. U.S. Constitution

2. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

3. State Long Arm statutes

C. Pennoyer v. Neff

1. In Personam Jurisdiction

2. In Rem Jurisdiction

3. Quasi In Rem Jurisdiction

D. International Shoe v. Washington

1. Minimum Contacts

a. General Jurisdiction

b. Specific Jurisdiction

i. Internet

ii. Stream of Commerce

iii. Contracts

iv. Effects Test

2. Reasonableness

E. Notice

II. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

A. Diversity Jurisdiction

1. Complete Diversity

2. Amount in Controversy

3. Supplemental Jurisdiction

B. Federal Question Jurisdiction

C. Removal

D. Remand

III. Venue

A.  For Diversity Cases

B. For Federal Question Cases

C. For Corporations

D. For Aliens

E.  Transfer

F. Dismissal/ Forum Non Conveniens


IV. Pleadings and Motions

A. Complaint

B. Pre-Answer Motions

1. Kinds

a. Motion to Dismiss

b. Motion to Strike

c. Motion for a More Definite Statement

2. Timing

C. Answer

D. Joinder

1. Joinder of Claims

a. Permissive

i. Joinder of Claims: Rule 18(a)

ii. Permissive Counterclaim: Rule 13(b)

b. Compulsory

i. Compulsory Counterclaim: Rule 13(a)

ii. Cross Claims: Rule 13(g)

2. Joinder of Parties

a. Permissive

i. Permissive Joinder: Rule 20(a)

ii. Impleader: Rule 14(a)

b. Compulsory: Rule 19 Joinder of Parties for Just Adjudication

E. Amendments: Rule 15 an the Relation Back Doctrine

F. Limits to Pleadings: Rule 11

V. Discovery

A. Methods of Discovery

1. Automatic Disclosures

2. Request for Admissions

3. Questions

a. Interrogatories: Rule 33

b. Depositions

4. Inspection

a. Document Requests: Rule 34

b. Examination of Persons: Rule 35

B. Scope of Discovery: Rule 26

1. Relevant to Claim or Defense: Rule 26(b)(2)

2. Refusing Disclosure

a. Work Product: Rule 26(b)(3)

b. Privilege

c. Protective Orders: Rule 26(c)

C. Compelling Disclosure: Rule 37

1.  Objection or Motion for Protective Order: Rule 37(a)

2. No Response: Rule 37(d)

VI. Summary Judgment: Rule 56

VII. Former Adjudication/ Res Judicata

A. Claim Preclusion

B. Issue Preclusion