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Federal Bar Update: Comments accepted on Rule 45 amendments

John Maley
September 14, 2011
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Federal Bar Update2011 amendments – For December 2011, there are no amendments in process for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In April, the Supreme Court approved various amendments to the appellate rules, criminal rules, bankruptcy rules, and evidence rules. Absent action by Congress, which is not anticipated, these rule amendments will take effect Dec. 1, 2011.

2013 proposals: Rule 45 – Looking further down the road, for 2013 proposed amendments are currently published for comment through Feb. 15, 2012. The key proposal would revise Rule 45 significantly. As subpoenas are so frequently used, practitioners should review and provide comment on the proposal. Visit www.uscourts.gov and select Rules & Policies, followed by Federal Rulemaking, for the draft proposals. The committee’s proposals would simplify various provisions, particularly those dealing with where subpoenas can command compliance. The committee explains, “In particular, the amendments direct that the court where the action is pending is the ‘issuing court’ no matter where compliance is required, and they collect in one new subsection all provisions about where compliance can be required. As at present, however, they provide that court enforcement of a subpoena should be sought in the compliance district.”

Further, the proposed amendments “reject a line of cases that found authority in the current rule to compel parties or party officers to travel more than 100 miles from outside the state to testify at trial, and introduce limited authority for a court asked to enforce another court’s subpoena to transfer a subpoena-related motion to the court that issued the subpoena. Finally, they relocate and somewhat broaden the existing requirement for notice to the other parties before a subpoena is served.”

Removal/remand/amount-in-controversy – As most practitioners know, removal of personal injury diversity cases can be challenging when no dollar claim is pleaded in state court (such prayers are precluded by Indiana Trial Rule 8 in personal injury, wrongful death, and punitive damage claims). Other types of cases often lack a dollar-certain prayer as well.

In Family Express Corp. v. Creative Risk Solutions, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65351 (N.D. Ind. June 16, 2011) (DeGuilio, J.), the court remanded a removed diversity action based on the defendants’ pre-suit receipt of settlement correspondence indicating more than $75,000 was at issue. The court noted that the 7th Circuit has held that settlement letters can be used to establish the amount in controversy. Accordingly, the court held that removal was required within 30 days of receipt of the complaint (and not within 30 days of when this defendant learned from discovery that the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000).

Study on 12(b)(6) motions – The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has released a study on 12(b)(6) dismissal motions filed, granted, and denied before and after Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009). That 52-page study can be located at http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/motioniqbal.pdf/$file/motioniqbal.pdf, or go to www.uscourts.gov and drill through Rules & Policies, Overview, What’s New.

Mark your calendars – The Annual Federal Civil Practice Seminar will be held Friday, Dec. 16, in Indianapolis, starting at 1:30 p.m. Three hours CLE will be provided. See www.theindianalawyer.com for information.•

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John Maley – jmaley@btlaw.com – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters, and appeals.

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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