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Materials About the Federal Rules

The materials listed below, produced or made available by the Center, are related to the Federal Rules of Procedure (civil, criminal, evidence, appellate, and bankruptcy).

For a list of projects or other reports of FJC research that the Center has published, click on Research Projects or Reports and Studies.

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Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2017—Transmittal to the Supreme Court

This package of materials was transmitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on September 28, 2016, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2017.

Proposed are amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 1001, 1006(b), and 1015(b) and amendments to Federal Rules of Evidence 803(16) and 902.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1001, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1015, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 803, Fed. R. Evid. 902 December 8, 2016
Pro Se Case Management for Nonprisoner Civil Litigation

This manual provides a practical guide to steps that courts can take before and during litigation to manage nonprisoner pro se litigation more efficiently, steps that may also help pro se litigants better navigate the complexities of federal civil litigation. Part I discusses the concept of procedural fairness and the goal of increasing access to justice; it also addresses some of the potential ethical concerns about providing assistance to pro se litigants. Part II examines specific case-management techniques that federal courts have applied or that have been recommended as potentially useful in pro se cases. Part III provides a more in-depth look at many of the legal issues that can arise during pro se litigation, focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and case law, in order to give judges a better understanding of the scope of their authority and discretion in pro se matters.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence September 28, 2016
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2017—Transmittal to the Judicial Conference

These packages of materials was transmitted to the Judicial Conference, and they include proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2017.

Proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure in a September 2016 transmittal are as follows:

  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 1001, 1006(b), and 1015(b).
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Evidence 803(16) and 902.

Proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure in a March 2017 transmittal are as follows:

  • Amendment to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(4)(B).
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 2002, 3002, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5009, 7001, and 9009, new Rule 3015.1, and new Form 113.
  • Amendment to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 4(m).

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1001, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1015, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 803, Fed. R. Evid. 902 June 27, 2016
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2016—Transmittal to Congress

This package of materials was transmitted to Congress on April 28, 2016, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2016.

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure are as follows:

  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 4, 5, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 28.1, 29, 32, 35, and 40, and Forms 1, 5, and 6, and adoption of new Form 7 and a new Appendix.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 1010, 1011, 2002, 3002.1, 7008, 7012, 7016, 9006, 9027, and 9033, and adoption of new Rule 1012.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 4, 6, and 82.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 4, 41, and 45.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fed. R. App. P. 1, Fed. R. App. P. 21, Fed. R. App. P. 25, Fed. R. App. P. 26, Fed. R. App. P. 27, Fed. R. App. P. 28, Fed. R. App. P. 28.1, Fed. R. App. P. 29, Fed. R. App. P. 32, Fed. R. App. P. 35, Fed. R. App. P. 4, Fed. R. App. P. 40, Fed. R. App. P. 5, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1010, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1011, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1012, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2002, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002.1, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7008, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7016, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9006, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9027, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9033, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 4, Fed. R. Civil P. 6, Fed. R. Civil P. 82, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed. R. Crim. P. 4, Fed. R. Crim. P. 41, Fed. R. Crim. P. 45 April 28, 2016
Review of Scientific Literature on the Reliability of Present Sense Impressions and Excited Utterances

This review of scientific literature regarding the reliability of present sense impressions and excited utterances as it pertains to the Federal Rules of Evidence was presented as a memorandum to the Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 803 March 5, 2016
West v. Dobrev (Case Analysis)

West v. Dobrev, 735 F.3d 921 (10th Cir. 2013)

Summary Judgment | Sua Sponte Orders

This case touches on motions for summary judg­ment in connection with Hague Convention cases. Because of the emphasis on expedited proceedings, many courts have used summary judgment procedures to eliminate unmeritorious cases and narrow issues to those where there is a real and material dispute. Rule 56 sets out con­siderations and procedures for summary judgments, and provides that a court may grant a summary judgment where there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Facts

Mother petitioned the district court for the return of her two children to Belgium; they were being retained in Utah by their father after the conclusion of their vacation with him. The district court held a preliminary hearing six days after the petition was filed, during which time the parties provided documentation to support their claims. Mother presented evidence that established a prima facie case for the return of the children—that the children’s habitual residence was Belgium, that she had enforceable custody rights, and that father had wrongfully retained the children. Father asserted an Article 13(b) defense that the children would be exposed to a grave risk if returned to Belgium, but he had no actual evidence that he could present that such a grave risk existed. What father really wanted was additional time to be able to investigate whether there was abuse. Based upon the oral and written submissions of the parties, the district court issued a brief written decision granting mother’s petition and ordered the children returned to Belgium.

Discussion

Summary Judgment Procedure. The Tenth Circuit recognized that Article 11 of the Convention exhorts court to act expeditiously to determine petitions made for return of children. The court noted that a district court has a great deal of discretion to determine the procedures necessary to resolve a Hague case. Quoting March v. Levine,[1] the court observed that neither the Convention, nor ICARA, nor any constitutional provisions require that an evidentiary hearing or discovery be allowed, as a matter of right, in Hague Convention proceedings. In this case, mother had easily made out a prima facie case for return, and father was unable to provide any credible evidence that supported his claim of a grave risk under Article 13. At most, his submissions amounted to a “fishing expedition.” Rejecting father’s claims that he had been denied due process by the lack of an evidentiary hearing, the court held that the father had a meaningful opportunity to be heard and no denial of due process occurred.

 

[1]. 249 F.3d 462, 474 (6th Cir. 2001).

 

This document is part of The 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction: A Resource for Judges, a Special Topic Webpage.

Fed. R. Civil P. 56 March 5, 2016
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 2015—PowerPoint Presentation

Judge Paul W. Grimm, District of Maryland, developed the attached PowerPoint presentation describing the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The amendments reformed discovery rules to maximize efficiency, including cost containment, and were not intended to deprive parties in civil litigation of proof or defense.

Additional information is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 1, Fed. R. Civil P. 16, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 34 January 29, 2016
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Early and Active Case Management

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1, 2015, respond to findings that early intervention by judges helps to narrow issues and reduce discovery. Litigation results are more satisfactory when a judge actively manages a case from the beginning and stays involved. The amendments do not break new ground; they emphasize the importance of early, hands-on, and continuing case management. The times for service of a complaint and the time for holding an initial case-management conference are reduced. The rules now recognize that live conferences are almost always the most effective way to identify the needs of a case and issue orders tailored to efficient resolution. Discovery disputes should be addressed by discussion before motion. The amendments also concern preservation of electronically stored information (ESI) and Federal Rule of Evidence 502's protections against inadvertent waiver of the attorney–client privilege and work-product protections.

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 502 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Proportional Discovery

This video describes amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), 26(c)(1)(B), 26(d), and 34 that became effective on December 1.

Amendments to Rule 26(b)(1) are designed to promote proportional discovery: discovery tailored by the judge and the parties to meet the reasonable needs of the case. Proportional discovery provides the information needed by the litigants to prove their cases, but avoids excess and waste. Judges are encouraged to engage in a dialogue with the parties regarding the amount of discovery reasonably needed to resolve the litigation.

This video also describes amended Rule 26(c)(1)(B) on cost shifting, an amendment to Rule 26(d) on document production, and changes to Rule 34 on objections to document production requests.

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 34 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2015—Civil Rules Redline

Amendments to the following Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became effective on December 1, 2015: 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, and 55. Rule 84 and the Appendix of Forms were abrogated.

Additional information about these amendments is available at FJC.gov:

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 1, Fed. R. Civil P. 16, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 30, Fed. R. Civil P. 31, Fed. R. Civil P. 33, Fed. R. Civil P. 34, Fed. R. Civil P. 37, Fed. R. Civil P. 4, Fed. R. Civil P. 55, Fed. R. Civil P. 84 December 1, 2015

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