August 09, 2017

At-a-Glance: 2016 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Aaron Gleaton Clay – January 23, 2017

It is important to JIOP's continued success that our alumni and participating students stay informed of recent changes in the law, particularly litigators, judicial law clerks, and interns for substantive changes to the procedural rules governing civil litigation in federal courts. As a result, and as a part of JIOP's commitment to periodically provide practice advice to our students and alumni, we provide below a summary regarding this year's final amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

On April 28, 2016, the Supreme Court approved the following amendments to Rules 4, 6, and 82, which took effect on December 1, 2016. The chart below provides a redline version of the rule, the final rule, and a brief summary of the amendment. Of particular note is the amendment to Rule 6(d), which modifies the time period for calculating deadlines for service in civil cases.

Amended Rule

Final Rule - Effective December 1, 2016

 

Rule 4. Summons

(m) Time Limit for Service. If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(f), 4(h)(2), or 4(j)(1) or to service of a notice under Rule 71.1(d)(3)(A).

Rule 4. Summons

(m) Time Limit for Service. If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(f), 4(h)(2), or 4(j)(l).

 

Amendment adds Rule 4(h)(2) to the types of service that do not apply to the time limits for service under 4(m).

Rule 6. Computing and Extending Time; Time for Motion Papers

(d) Additional Time After Certain Kinds of Service.

When a party may or must act within a specified time after service being served and service is made under Rule 5(b)(2)(C) (mail), (D) (leaving with the clerk), (E), or (F) (other means consented to), 3 days are added after the period would otherwise expire under Rule 6(a).

Rule 6. Computing and Extending Time; Time for Motion Papers

(d) Additional Time After Certain Kinds of Service.

When a party may or must act within a specified time after being served and service is made under Rule 5(b)(2)(C) (mail), (D) (leaving with the clerk), or (F) (other means consented to), 3 days are added after the period would otherwise expire under Rule 6(a).

 

 

 

 

Amendment removes electronic service under Rule 5(b)(2)(E) from the modes of service that allow 3 added days to act after being served.

Rule 82. Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected

These rules do not extend or limit the jurisdiction of the district courts or the venue of actions in those courts. An admiralty or maritime claim under Rule 9(h) is not a civil action for purposes of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391-1392 governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1390.

Rule 82. Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected

These rules do not extend or limit the jurisdiction of the district courts or the venue of actions in those courts. An admiralty or maritime claim under Rule 9(h) is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1390.

 

 

Amendment reflects repeal of 28 U.S.C. § 1392 and enactment of 28 U.S.C. § 1390.

Aaron Gleaton Clay – January 23, 2017