Attacking Federal Pleadings At A Glance

There is no need to miss any possible defenses you or your client may have to plaintiff’s complaint.  Please use this list to review grounds for attacking pleadings in the United States District Courts pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), and federal caselaw.

1. Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 12(b).

  • Grounds: A Rule 12(b) motion can be based on: (1) lack of subject matter jurisdiction FRCP 12(b)(1); (2) lack of personal jurisdiction FRCP 12(b)(2); (3) improper venue FRCP 12(b)(3); (4) insufficient process FRCP 12(b)(4); (5) insufficient service of process FRCP 12(b)(5); (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted FRCP 12(b)(6); and (7) failure to join a party under Rule 19 FRCP 12(b)7).
  • For more information regarding Motions to Dismiss, including timing requirements, more specific grounds, and information regarding filing, service, hearing and disposition, please see the SmartRules Motion to Dismiss Guide for the jurisdiction where your action is pending.

2. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings pursuant to FRCP 12(c).

  • For more information regarding Motions for Judgment on the pleadings, please check the SmartRules Codes, Courts and Forms links for the jurisdiction where your action is pending.

3.  Motion for More Definite Statement pursuant to FRCP 12(e).

  • Grounds:  A Rule 12(e) motion must be based on the allegation that the pleading is so vague and ambiguous that a party cannot reasonable be required to frame a responsive pleading.
  • For more information regarding Motions for a More Definite Statement, please check the SmartRules Codes, Courts and Forms links for the jurisdiction where your action is pending.

4. Motion to Strike pursuant to FRCP 12(f).

  • Grounds:  A Rule 12(f) motion must be based on the allegation that material contained within the pleading is “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or
    scandalous.”
  • For more information regarding Motions to Strike, please check the SmartRules Motion to Strike Guide for the jurisdiction where your action is pending.

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

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