Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dioguardi v. Durning case brief

139 F.2d 774 (1944).

-Plaintiff attempts to assert grievances against “collector of customs” at port of NY based on endeavors to import merchandise of great value (bottles of tonic) from Italy.

  • (1) On auction day (Oct. 9, 1940), defendant sold his merchandise at public custom, and sold it to another bidder with plaintiff’s price of 110, not def.’s price of $120.

  • (2) 3 weeks before sale, 2 cases of 19 bottles each disappeared.
-Plaintiff does not make clear how goods came into collector’s hands.
-Plaintiff alleges compliance with the revenue laws, but does not say he made a claim for refund of merchandise, and that the collector denied the claim.

-Plaintiff claimed $500 in damages, with interests and costs, against the defendant individual as collector.
-Dismissed by District Court, with leave for plaintiff to amend, “fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.”

The Plaintiff filed amended complaint

(Heightened conviction of being unjustly treated)
-”Medicinal extracts” given to the Springdale distilling company “with my betting price of $100: and not the price of $120,” and “it isn’t so easy to do away with two cases with 37 bottles in one quart. Being protected, they can take this chance.”
-Plaintiff suggested sefendant explained loss saying they had leaked, Plaintiff states “which could never be true in the manner they were bottled.”
Defendant motions to dismiss

Court made final judgement to dismiss complaint, comes to United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

“Here is another instance of judicial haste which in the long run makes waste.”
-Under the new rules of civil procedure, there is no pleading requirement of stating “facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action,” but only that there be “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief” (Rule 8(a)).
-The motion for dismissal under Rule 12(b) is for failure to state “a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

-The court states that it thinks that the Pl. has disclosed his claims, although” inartistically stated”.
-D did not need to move on the complaint alone; he could have disclosed the facts from his point of view, in advance of a trail if he chose, by asking for a pretrial hearing or by moving for summary judgment with supporting affidavits.
-As it stands, we do not see how the Pl. may properly be deprived of his day in court to show what he obviously so firmly believes and for what present purposes Def. must be taken as admitting.
-In view of P’s limited ability to write/speak English, it will be difficult for the District Court to arrive at justice unless he consents to receive legal assistance in the presentation of his case.
-Plaintiff declined legal help, and it is his privilege.

-Judgement was reversed and remanded for further proceedings "not inconsistent with this opinion."

Other Case Briefs: http://www.mycasebriefs.com/dioguardi-v-durning-case-brief/

Course: Civil Procedure

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1 comment:

  1. Summary of Dioguardi v. Durning
    139 F.2d 774 (1944).

    Facts: P claimed that D improperly handled his imported goods and sold them at an action. P brought an action for conversion against D. P drafted his own complaint and D filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action.

    Procedure: District court dismissed P’s complaint.

    Issue: Does a P have to describe in detail all causes of action in the complaint for the complaint to be sufficient?

    Holding: No

    Rationale: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure follow the notice pleading standard. A complaint need only put the court and the defendant on notice of the causes of action. For proper notice, a complaint only need to present a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. Therefore, the district court erred by granting D’s motion.

    Note: Filing of a complaint commences the action. Complaints in federal courts usually require: (1) statement of subject matter jurisdiction; (2) short and plain statement of the claim, showing P entitled to relief; (3) demand for judgment.

    **Special matters (e.g. fraud, mistake or special damages) must be pleaded with more specificity.


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