Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hanna v. Plumer case brief

Hanna v. Plumer case brief summary
380 U.S. 460 (1965)

Petitioner injured party sought review of the decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which affirmed the district court's decision, which granted respondent executor's motion for summary judgment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Petitioner injured party brought a personal injury suit against respondent executor. Service of process was made in compliance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(1).


  • The appeals court affirmed the decision of the district court, which granted summary judgment for respondent and the Court reversed on appeal. 
  • Petitioner argued that in a civil action where jurisdiction was based upon diversity, service of process could be made according to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(1) and did not have to be made in the manner prescribed by state law. 
  • The Court held that in a suit where a plaintiff happened to be a non-resident, and a right was enforceable in a federal as well as in a state court, the forms and mode of enforcing the right may at times, vary because the two judicial systems were not identical. 
  • The Court held that the adoption of Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(1), designed to control service of process in diversity actions, neither exceeded the congressional mandate embodied in the Rules Enabling Act nor transgressed constitutional bounds, and that Rule 4(d)(1) was therefore the standard against which the district court should have measured the adequacy of the service.
The Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals, which affirmed the grant of summary judgment to respondent executor in petitioner injured suit for personal injuries. The Court held that service of process under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was the standard, which the district court should have measured the adequacy of service.

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