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Author Topic: well pleaded complaint  (Read 506 times)

old_student

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well pleaded complaint
« on: October 17, 2007, 11:25:39 PM »
I'm not clear what this "well pleaded complaint" means in terms of federal subject matter jurisdiction.

It's got nothing to do with how well written the complaint is but, rather, whether the subject of the complaint is one that federal statute says can be heard in federal court?

KC#11

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Re: well pleaded complaint
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 11:29:21 PM »
I'm not clear what this "well pleaded complaint" means in terms of federal subject matter jurisdiction.

It's got nothing to do with how well written the complaint is but, rather, whether the subject of the complaint is one that federal statute says can be heard in federal court?

Basically; 28 USC 1331 has been interpreted such that the complaint must relate to a federal question and one cannot be injected as an anticipated defense (as in Mottley) or even an actual defense. Is that what you're looking for?
Potential is just a word for something you haven't done yet.

oscarsonthepond

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Re: well pleaded complaint
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 11:49:12 PM »
In other words...if the defense is where the federal issue lies, then there is no subject matter jx.  If the prima facie case is where the federal issue lies, then you must ask a number of other questions before you know for sure whether there is - but that's the only situation where you can have subject matter jx is when the federal issue lies in the prima facie case.

old_student

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Re: well pleaded complaint
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2007, 12:14:01 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I just wanted to confirm that "well pleaded" didn't have anything to do with having done a good job with the complaint.