Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

No Private Right of Action for Violation of State or Federal Rule of Civil Procedure

From Shahin v. Darling, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26956 (D.Del. Mar. 31, 2009):

Although not addressed by Delaware courts, other state courts have determined that alleged violations of state rules of civil procedure do not create a basis for civil liability. See Douglas v. Anson Fin., Inc., Civ. No. 2-05-283-CV, 2006 WL 820402 (Tex. Ct. App. Mar. 30, 2006) (failure to comply with Texas rules of civil procedure does not give rise to a private cause of action); McShane v. Recordex Acquisition Corp., Civ. No. 01117 Feb. Term 2003, 070576, 2003 WL 22805233 (Pa. Ct. Com. PI. Nov. 14, 2003)(court unaware of any private causes of action established for violations of Pennsylvania rules of evidence or civil procedure). Similarly, the federal rules of civil procedure do not create a private cause of action. Digene Corp. v. Ventana Med. Sys., Inc., 476 F. Supp. 2d 444, 452 (D. Del. 2007); see Good v. Khosrowshahi, 296 F. App'x 676 (10th Cir. 2008) (not reported) (holding that Rule 5.2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure did not create a private right of action); Living Designs, Inc. v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Co., 431 F.3d 353, 372 (9th Cir. 2005); Rogers v. Furlow, 729 F. Supp. 657, 660 (D. Minn.1989).

Based upon the foregoing, the court will grant the motions to dismiss to the extent that plaintiff raises claims for violations of rules of civil procedure and/or professional conduct, as they fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

See also In re Baldwin-United Corp., 770 F.2d 328, 336 (2d Cir. 1985), denying an injunction ostensibly sought pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23: "[T]hat rule is a rule of procedure and creates no substantive rights or remedies enforceable in federal court. See Piambino v. Bailey, 610 F.2d 1306, 1331 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1011, 66 L. Ed. 2d 469, 101 S. Ct. 568 (1980)."

There is Rule 11-specific case law to this effect as well. See Joseph, Sanctions: The Federal Law of Litigation Abuse § 17(A)(8) (4th ed. 2008) (no cause of action for violation of Rule 11).

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