Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Converting a Rule 12c motion to a rule 56 motion: Sensations Inc. v. City of Grand Rapids

In case you haven’t seen this yet on the Federal Civil Practice Bulletin, the Sixth Circuit recently decided  Sensations Inc. v. City of Grand Rapids. There, Plaintiffs-Appellants argued that by considering the legislative record attached to Defendants' motion, the district judge improperly converted a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) into a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. The Sixth Circuit had  previously held that a district court improperly converts a Rule 12(c) motion into a Rule 56 motion when the district judge merely “fail[s] to exclude presented outside evidence.”  In this case, however, the court held that the legislative record did not constitute such an external document because Sensations attached a copy of the ordinance to its complaint as Exhibit A.  Therefore, under Rule 10(c), the court treated the ordinance as part of the pleadings.

A more in-depth synopsis of this case can be found on the Federal Practice Bulletin here: http://federalcivilpracticebulletin.blogspot.com/2008/06/sixth-circuit-permits-consideration-of.html

The case in full may be found here.  --Counseller/eh

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civpro/2008/06/converting-a-ru.html

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