Dioguardi v. Durning – Case Brief Summary
Summary of Dioguardi v. Durning, 139 F.2d 774 (1944).
Dioguardi (P) imported “bottles and tonics” from Italy and claimed that Durning (D), Collector of Customs at the Port of New York, improperly seized and sold them at auction. Dioguardi, representing himself pro se, drafted his own defective complaint for an action for conversion. Durning filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
The district court granted Durning’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim with leave for Dioguardi to amend his complaint. The Durning moved for dismissal of the amended pleading on the same grounds and the district court again granted the motion.
What must be set forth in a complaint in order to withstand summary judgment?
Holding and Rule
In order to withstand summary judgment, the complaint need only put the court and defendant on notice of the cause of action. The complaint need only present a short and plain statement of the claim demonstrating that the pleader is entitled to relief.
The federal courts through the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have adopted the notice pleading standard. With the exception for claims addressed in Rule 9 (i.e. claims alleging fraud, mistake, or special damages), the federal courts require that complaints include merely a statement of subject matter jurisdiction, a short and plain statement of the claim, and a demand for judgment.
Reversed and remanded.
See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife for a constitutional law case brief in which the Supreme Court held that a party must set forth specific acts to support its claim through affidavit or other evidence in order to survive a motion for summary judgment for lack of standing.