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Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Table of Contents
Rule 12. Defenses and Objections: When and How Presented; Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; Consolidating Motions; Waiving Defenses; Pretrial Hearing
(1) In General.
Unless another time is specified by this rule or a federal statute, the time for serving a responsive pleading is as follows:
(A) A defendant must serve an answer:
(i) within 21 days after being served with the summons and complaint; or
(ii) if it has timely waived service under Rule 4(d), within 60 days after the request for a waiver was sent, or within 90 days after it was sent to the defendant outside any judicial district of the United States.
(B) A party must serve an answer to a counterclaim or crossclaim within 21 days after being served with the pleading that states the counterclaim or crossclaim.
(C) A party must serve a reply to an answer within 21 days after being served with an order to reply, unless the order specifies a different time.
(2) United States and Its Agencies, Officers, or Employees Sued in an Official Capacity.
The United States, a United States agency, or a United States officer or employee sued only in an official capacity must serve an answer to a complaint, counterclaim, or crossclaim within 60 days after service on the United States attorney.
(3) United States Officers or Employees Sued in an Individual Capacity.
A United States officer or employee sued in an individual capacity for an act or omission occurring in connection with duties performed on the United Statesâ behalf must serve an answer to a complaint, counterclaim, or crossclaim within 60 days after service on the officer or employee or service on the United States attorney, whichever is later.
(4) Effect of a Motion.
Unless the court sets a different time, serving a motion under this rule alters these periods as follows:
(A) if the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until trial, the responsive pleading must be served within 14 days after notice of the court's action; or
(B) if the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleading must be served within 14 days after the more definite statement is served.
Every defense to a claim for relief in any pleading must be asserted in the responsive pleading if one is required. But a party may assert the following defenses by motion:
(1) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction;
(2) lack of personal jurisdiction;
(3) improper venue;
(4) insufficient process;
(5) insufficient service of process;
(6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and
(7) failure to join a party under Rule 19.
A motion asserting any of these defenses must be made before pleading if a responsive pleading is allowed. If a pleading sets out a claim for relief that does not require a responsive pleading, an opposing party may assert at trial any defense to that claim. No defense or objection is waived by joining it with one or more other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or in a motion.
After the pleadings are closed but early enough not to delay trial a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.
If, on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) or 12(c), matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56. All parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to the motion.
A party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response. The motion must be made before filing a responsive pleading and must point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the court orders a more definite statement and the order is not obeyed within 14 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.
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 either before responding to the pleading or, if a response is not allowed, within 21 days after being served with the pleading.
(1) Right to Join.
A motion under this rule may be joined with any other motion allowed by this rule.
(2) Limitation on Further Motions.
Except as provided in Rule 12(h)(2) or (3), a party that makes a motion under this rule must not make another motion under this rule raising a defense or objection that was available to the party but omitted from its earlier motion.
(1) When Some Are Waived.
A party waives any defense listed in Rule 12(b)(2)-(5) by:
(A) omitting it from a motion in the circumstances described in Rule 12(g)(2); or
(B) failing to either:
(i) make it by motion under this rule; or
(ii) include it in a responsive pleading or in an amendment allowed by Rule 15(a)(1) as a matter of course.
(2) When to Raise Others.
Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, to join a person required by Rule 19(b), or to state a legal defense to a claim may be raised:
(A) in any pleading allowed or ordered under Rule 7(a);
(B) by a motion under Rule 12(c); or
(C) at trial.
(3) Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction.
If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.
If a party so moves, any defense listed in Rule 12(b)(1)-(7) — whether made in a pleading or by motion — and a motion under Rule 12(c) must be heard and decided before trial unless the court orders a deferral until trial.
LinksFederal Rules of Civil Procedure
I. SCOPE OF RULES--ONE FORM OF ACTION
1. Scope of Rules
2. One Form of Action
II. COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION; SERVICE OF PROCESS, PLEADINGS, MOTIONS, AND ORDERS
3. Commencing an Action
4.1. Serving Other Process
5. Serving and Filing Pleadings and Other Papers
5.1. Constitutional Challenge to a Statute - Notice, Certification, and Intervention
5.2. Privacy Protection For Filings Made with the Court
6. Computing and Extending Time; Time for Motion Papers
III. PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS
7. Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions and Other Papers
7.1. Disclosure Statement
8. General Rules of Pleading
9. Pleading Special Matters
10. Form of Pleadings
11. Signing Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to the Court; Sanctions
12. Defenses and Objections: When and How Presented; Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; Consolidating Motions; Waiving Defenses; Pretrial Hearing
13. Counterclaim and Crossclaim
14. Third-Party Practice
15. Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management
17. Plaintiff and Defendant; Capacity; Public Officers
18. Joinder of Claims
19. Required Joinder of Parties
20. Permissive Joinder of Parties
21. Misjoinder and Nonjoinder of Parties
23. Class Actions
23.1. Derivative Actions
23.2. Actions Relating to Unincorporated Associations
25. Substitution of Parties
V. DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY
26. Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery
27. Depositions to Perpetuate Testimony
28. Persons Before Whom Depositions May Be Taken
29. Stipulations Regarding Discovery Procedure
30. Deposition by Oral Examination
31. Depositions by Written Questions
32. Using Depositions in Court Proceedings
33. Interrogatories to Parties
34. Producing Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Things, or Entering onto Land, for Inspection and Other Purposes
35. Physical and Mental Examinations
36. Requests for Admission
37. Failure to Make Disclosures or to Cooperate in Discovery; Sanctions
38. Right to a Jury Trial; Demand
39. Trial by Jury or by the Court
40. Scheduling Cases for Trial
41. Dismissal of Actions
42. Consolidation; Separate Trials
43. Taking Testimony
44. Proving an Official Record
44.1. Determining Foreign Law
46. Objecting to a Ruling or Order
47. Selection of Jurors
48. Number of Jurors: Verdict
49. Special Verdict; General Verdict and Questions
50. Judgment as a Matter of Law in a Jury Trial; Related Motion for a New Trial; Conditional Ruling
51. Instructions to the Jury; Objections; Preserving a Claim of Error
52. Findings and Conclusions by the Court; Judgment on Partial Findings
54. Judgments; Costs
55. Default; Default Judgment
56. Summary Judgment
57. Declaratory Judgments
58. Entry of Judgment
59. New Trial; Altering or Amending a Judgment
60. Relief from Judgment or Order
61. Harmless Error
62. Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment
63. Judges Inability to Proceed
VIII. PROVISIONAL AND FINAL REMEDIES
64. Seizing a Person or Property
65. Injunctions and Restraining Orders
65.1 Proceedings Against a Surety
67. Deposit into Court
68. Offer of Judgment
70. Enforcing a Judgment for a Specific Act
71. Enforcing Relief For or Against a Nonparty
IX. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
71.1 Condemning Real or Personal Property
72. Magistrate Judges: Pretrial Orders
73. Magistrate Judges: Trial by Consent; Appeal
X. DISTRICT COURTS AND CLERKS
77. Conducting Business; Clerks Authority; Notice of an Order or Judgment
78. Hearing Motions; Submission on Briefs
79. Records Kept by the Clerk
80. Stenographic Transcript as Evidence
XI. GENERAL PROVISIONS
81. Applicability of the Rules in General; Removed Actions
82. Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected
83. Rules by District Courts; Judge's Directives
86. Effective Date
XII. APPENDIX OF FORMS (U.S. Courts site)
XIII. SUPPLEMENTAL RULES FOR CERTAIN ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME CLAIMS
A. Scope of Rules
B. In Personam Actions: Attachment and Garnishment
C. Actions in Rem: Special Provisions
D. Possessory, Petitory, and Partition Actions
E. Actions in Rem and Quasi in Rem: General Provisions
F. Limitation of Liability
G. Forfeiture Actions In Rem
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
Federal Rules of Evidence
Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual
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