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2019 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Rules 5, 23, 62, and 65.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended effective December 1, 2018.  The summaries of the rules are in our new 2019 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Summary Trial Guide.  

For your convenience, the text of the actual amendments is as follows:

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

Rule 5. Serving and Filing Pleadings and Other Papers

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(b) Service: How Made.

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(2) Service in General. A paper is served under this rule by:
(A) handing it to the person;

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(E) sending it to a registered user by filing it with the court’s electronic-filing system or sending it by other electronic means that the person consented to in writing—in either of which events service is complete upon filing or sending, but is not effective if the filer or sender learns that it did not reach the person to be served; or

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(3) Using Court Facilities. [Abrogated (Apr. 2018, eff. Dec. 1, 2018.)]

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(d) Filing.

(1) Required Filings; Certificate of Service.

(A) Papers after the Complaint. Any paper after the complaint that is required to be served must be filed no later than a reasonable time after service. But disclosures under Rule 26(a)(1) or (2) and the following discovery requests and responses must not be filed until they are used in the proceeding or the court orders filing: depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents or tangible things or to permit entry onto land, and requests for admission.

(B) Certificate of Service. No certificate of service is required when a paper is served by filing it with the court’s electronic-filing system. When a paper that is required to be served is served by other means:
(i) if the paper is filed, a certificate of service must be filed with it or within a reasonable time after service; and
(ii) if the paper is not filed, a certificate of service need not be filed unless filing is required by court order or by local rule.
(2) Nonelectronic Filing. A paper not filed electronically is filed by delivering it:
(A) to the clerk; or
(B) to a judge who agrees to accept it for filing, and who must then note the filing date on the paper and promptly send it to the clerk.
(3) Electronic Filing and Signing.
(A) By a Represented Person—Generally Required; Exceptions. A person represented by an attorney must file electronically, unless nonelectronic filing is allowed by the court for good cause or is allowed or required by local rule.
(B) By an Unrepresented Person—When Allowed or Required. A person not represented by an attorney:
(i) may file electronically only if allowed by court order or by local rule; and
(ii) may be required to file electronically only by court order, or by a local rule that includes reasonable exceptions.
(C) Signing. A filing made through a person’s electronic-filing account and authorized by that person, together with that person’s name on a signature block, constitutes the person’s signature.
(D) Same as a Written Paper. A paper filed electronically is a written paper for purposes of these rules.

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Rule 23. Class Actions


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(c) Certification Order; Notice to Class Members; Judgment; Issues Classes; Subclasses.

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(2) Notice.

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(B) For (b)(3) Classes. For any class certified under Rule 23(b)(3)—or upon ordering notice under Rule 23(e)(1) to a class proposed to be certified for purposes of settlement under Rule 23(b)(3)—the court must direct to class members the best notice that is practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort. The notice may be by one or more of the following: United States mail, electronic means, or other appropriate means. The notice must clearly and concisely state in plain, easily understood language:

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(e) Settlement, Voluntary Dismissal, or Compromise. The claims, issues, or defenses of a certified class—or a class proposed to be certified for purposes of settlement—may be settled, voluntarily dismissed, or compromised only with the court’s approval. The following procedures apply to a proposed settlement, voluntary dismissal, or compromise:
(1) Notice to the Class.
(A) Information That Parties Must Provide to the Court. The parties must provide the court with information sufficient to enable it to determine whether to give notice of the proposal to the class.
(B) Grounds for a Decision to Give Notice. The court must direct notice in a reasonable manner to all class members who would be bound by the proposal if giving notice is justified by the parties’ showing that the court will likely be able to:
(i) approve the proposal under Rule 23(e)(2); and
(ii) certify the class for purposes of judgment on the proposal.
(2) Approval of the Proposal. If the proposal would bind class members, the court may approve it only after a hearing and only on finding that it is fair, reasonable, and adequate after considering whether:
(A) the class representatives and class counsel have adequately represented the class;
(B) the proposal was negotiated at arm’s length;
(C) the relief provided for the class is adequate, taking into account:
(i) the costs, risks, and delay of trial and appeal;
(ii) the effectiveness of any proposed method of distributing relief to the class, including the method of processing class-member claims;
(iii) the terms of any proposed award of attorney’s fees, including timing of payment; and
(iv) any agreement required to be identified under Rule 23(e)(3); and
(D) the proposal treats class members equitably relative to each other.
(3) Identifying Agreements. The parties seeking approval must file a statement identifying any agreement made in connection with the proposal.
(4) New Opportunity to Be Excluded. If the class action was previously certified under Rule 23(b)(3), the court may refuse to approve a settlement unless it affords a new opportunity to request exclusion to individual class members who had an earlier opportunity to request exclusion but did not do so.
(5) Class-Member Objections.
(A) In General. Any class member may object to the proposal if it requires court approval under this subdivision (e). The objection must state whether it applies only to the objector, to a specific subset of the class, or to the entire class, and also state with specificity the grounds for the objection.
(B) Court Approval Required for Payment in Connection with an Objection. Unless approved by the court after a hearing, no payment or other consideration may be provided in connection with:
(i) forgoing or withdrawing an objection, or
(ii) forgoing, dismissing, or abandoning an appeal from a judgment approving the proposal.
(C) Procedure for Approval After an Appeal. If approval under Rule 23(e)(5)(B) has not been obtained before an appeal is docketed in the court of appeals, the procedure of Rule 62.1 applies while the appeal remains pending.
(f) Appeals. A court of appeals may permit an appeal from an order granting or denying class-action certification under this rule, but not from an order under Rule 23(e)(1). A party must file a petition for permission to appeal with the circuit clerk within 14 days after the order is entered, or within 45 days after the order is entered if any party is the United States, a United States agency, or a United States officer or employee sued for an act or omission occurring in connection with duties performed on the United States’ behalf. An appeal does not stay proceedings in the district court unless the district judge or the court of appeals so orders.

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Rule 62. Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment

(a) Automatic Stay. Except as provided in Rule 62(c) and (d), execution on a judgment and proceedings to enforce it are stayed for 30 days after its entry, unless the court orders otherwise.
(b) Stay by Bond or Other Security. At any time after judgment is entered, a party may obtain a stay by providing a bond or other security. The stay takes effect when the court approves the bond or other security and remains in effect for the time specified in the bond or other security.
(c) Stay of an Injunction, Receivership, or Patent Accounting Order. Unless the court orders otherwise, the following are not stayed after being entered, even if an appeal is taken:
(1) an interlocutory or final judgment in an action for an injunction or receivership; or
(2) a judgment or order that directs an accounting in an action for patent infringement.
(d) Injunction Pending an Appeal. While an appeal is pending from an interlocutory order or final judgment that grants, continues, modifies, refuses, dissolves, or refuses to dissolve or modify an injunction, the court may suspend, modify, restore, or grant an injunction on terms for bond or other terms that secure the opposing party’s rights. If the judgment appealed from is rendered by a statutory three-judge district court, the order must be made either:
(1) by that court sitting in open session; or

(2) by the assent of all its judges, as evidenced by their signatures.

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Rule 65.1. Proceedings Against a Security Provider

Whenever these rules (including the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions) require or allow a party to give security, and security is given with one or more security providers, each provider submits to the court’s jurisdiction and irrevocably appoints the court clerk as its agent for receiving service of any papers that affect its liability on the security. The security provider’s liability may be enforced on motion without an independent action. The motion and any notice that the court orders may be served on the court clerk, who must promptly send a copy of each to every security provider whose address is known.