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Fed. R. Civil P. 12

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In our March 2011 report, we indicated that following the Supreme Court decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim were granted more frequently with leave to amend the complaint. We also noted that the opportunity to amend the complaint may cure the defect and change the findings of the study. The Advisory Committee asked that we follow the events in the study cases, determine the extent to which the respondents submitted amended complaints, and report the outcome of any subsequent motions to dismiss.

This report presents the findings of a Federal Judicial Center study on the filing and resolution of motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The study was requested by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. This request was prompted by two recent Supreme Court decisions Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)  that interpreted Rule 8(a) by stating that a plaintiff must present a "plausible" claim for relief.

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Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows the defense of "failure [of a complaint] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." The Center conducted the study at the request of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States and its reporter, Professor Paul Carrington. After considering the data in the paper at its April 1989 meeting, the Advisory Committee decided not to change Rule 12(b)(6).

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