28 U.S.C. Chapter 85 establishes the jurisdiction of federal district courts in civil cases. It includes provisions for federal question jurisdiction (cases arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States), diversity jurisdiction (cases between citizens of different states or between a citizen and a foreign state/entity), and supplemental jurisdiction (state law claims related to federal questions). This chapter is fundamental in determining whether a civil case can be heard in federal court.
28 U.S.C. Chapter 87 sets forth the rules for venue in civil actions. Venue refers to the geographic location where a lawsuit can be filed. The chapter includes provisions for general venue, change of venue, and venue in cases involving multiple defendants or corporate parties. It is designed to ensure that cases are brought in a location that is fair and convenient for the parties.
28 U.S.C. Chapter 91 outlines the process by which a defendant can remove a civil action filed in state court to federal court. This is typically done when the case involves a federal question or when there is diversity of citizenship between the parties. The chapter details the notice of removal, the timing for removal, and the procedure for remanding cases back to state court if removal was improper.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) provide the framework for conducting civil litigation in federal courts. They cover all procedural aspects of a civil case, from the initial filing through appeal. Key areas include pleadings, motions, discovery, trials, and judgments. The FRCP ensures fairness and efficiency in the legal process and is designed to provide a uniform procedure for all civil cases in federal courts.
The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) establishes a strong federal policy favoring arbitration agreements. It applies to any arbitration agreement within the scope of interstate commerce or involving maritime transactions. The FAA provides the procedures for enforcing arbitration agreements, initiating arbitration proceedings, and confirming or vacating arbitration awards. It preempts state laws that limit the enforceability of arbitration agreements, ensuring that such agreements are as enforceable as other contracts.
The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) amends the procedures for class action lawsuits and expands federal jurisdiction over them. It allows for federal jurisdiction in class actions where the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, and where any member of a plaintiff class is a citizen of a state different from any defendant. CAFA also includes provisions for notice to class members and review of proposed settlements, aiming to protect class members' rights and interests.