Brief Fact Summary. Petitioner African-Americans, Conley et al., sought a declaratory judgment, injunction and damages against Respondents, Gibson et al., for Respondents’ failure to adequately represent them as members of their union.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires complaint to contain only a short and plain statement of the claim rather than a long detailed set of facts.
Issue. The issue is whether Petitioners failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
Held. The United States Supreme Court dismissed all three of Respondents arguments. Specifically, the Court held that Petitioner’s complaint satisfied Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Their complaint contained a short and plain statement of the claim. The complaint sufficiently stated circumstances in which there was a harm done and wherein there was a judicial remedy. Petitioners did not have to list a set of detailed facts supporting their complaint.
Discussion. The courts intentionally take a liberal approach to pleading requirements since it occurs before discovery and pre-trial proceedings. At this early stage it makes no sense to require a party to already prove their case to the degree that would be required later in the process.