civ pro - motley and declaratory judgment

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redsox550
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:15 am

civ pro - motley and declaratory judgment

Postby redsox550 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:22 pm

I understand the Motley rule - where the complaint has to arise under

and I believe I understand Declaratory judgement - where the action has to be in controversy

What I dont understand is when the two mix. Like i think when u plead under Declaratory judgement or something and u either apply well pleaded complaint rule and allow the action or unscramble the parties.

can someone please explain that?

thankyou

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bk1
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Re: civ pro - motley and declaratory judgment

Postby bk1 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:37 pm

Basically you unwind the DJA and ask, hypothetically, what would the action have looked like had it been a regular suit. You then apply the Mottley rule to the unwound action.

Example (based on Mottley facts): A brings a DJA to determine the contract rights between A and B because A thinks that a new federal statute nullifies the K between A and B. The face of the DJA will necessarily contain a federal element since A will have to include the federal statute to show that there is a dispute between A and B over the contract's validity. This is what the Court in Skelly Oil was worried about (DJAs expanding the number of cases covered by the Mottley rule). Thus you have to unwind the DJA. Unwinding it shows that a normal suit would have been B suing to enforce the K against A (A would not sue to enforce a K that A does not actually want to comply with) and thus the federal statute would only appear as a defense in this unwound suit. Thus the unwound suit fails the well pleaded complaint rule and there is no federal question jurisdiction over this DJA.

redsox550
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:15 am

Re: civ pro - motley and declaratory judgment

Postby redsox550 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:48 pm

AWESOME. thanks. now is the unwinding the approach uncontested? like do some courts do other things, or is that the law period. ?

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bk1
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Re: civ pro - motley and declaratory judgment

Postby bk1 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:52 pm

The 2 main subsequent cases are Franchise Tax Board and Verizon Maryland but I suspect those aren't covered by 1L civ pro classes.




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