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Litigation

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Fact pleading

2021

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A Formulaic Recitation Will Not Do: Why The Federal Rules Demand More Detail In Criminal Pleading, Charles Eric Hintz Jan 2021

A Formulaic Recitation Will Not Do: Why The Federal Rules Demand More Detail In Criminal Pleading, Charles Eric Hintz

All Faculty Scholarship

When a plaintiff files a civil lawsuit in federal court, her complaint must satisfy certain minimum standards. Specifically, under the prevailing understanding of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a complaint must plead sufficient factual matter to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, rather than mere conclusory statements. Given the significantly higher stakes involved in criminal cases, one might think that an even more robust requirement would exist in that context. But in fact a weaker pleading standard reigns. Under the governing interpretation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(c), indictments that simply parrot the …