Heightened Federal Pleading Standard After Iqbal


The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009), affirmed the application of a heightened pleading standard in federal court and reiterated that the heightened standard applies to all civil cases. As such, a complaint must set forth facts that plausibly support a claim for relief to survive a motion to dismiss.

Federal authorities arrested Javaid Iqbal in November 2001 in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Iqbal pleaded guilty to charges of fraud relating to identification documents and conspiracy to defraud the United States. After serving his prison term, Iqbal was deported to his native Pakistan. Iqbal then filed a Bivens action against, among others, former Attorney General John Ashcroft and current Director of the FBI Robert Mueller. Iqbal’s complaint stemmed from his alleged mistreatment while confined to a maximum security wing of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.

To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.

Re-published with permission of Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, The Dicta, December 2009 (www.dayl.com).

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