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Are federal District court hearings de novo? How to file lawsuit in Federal District court?

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Are federal District court hearings de novo?How to file lawsuit in Federal District court?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

You need to provide more detail. It is not possible to provide you with good information without you providing some detail.

This answer is not a substitute for consulting with and retaining the services of an attorney for your legal needs. By providing this answer, I am not entering into an attorney client relationship with you.

Asker

Posted

I want to file a lawsuit for breach of contract. Does the District court hear it?

James M Henderson Sr.

James M Henderson Sr.

Posted

There are, typically, two ways in which a federal district court can entertains civil litigation. One is by virtue of the diversity of the parties (I will explain) and the other is by virtue of a federal statutory cause of action (I will explain). When one party resides in State A and wants to sue another party that resides in State B, a federal statute confers power (jurisdiction) on federal district courts to entertain such a lawsuit where there is complete diversity amongst the parties. Where the defendant resides in the same district as the plaintiff such diversity is absent, where the defendant resides in a different jurisdiction such diversity is present. It is important to remember that more is required than complete diversity though. There must be an amount in controversy of $75,000.00 (currently). So, for example, if Plaintiff Virginian sues Defendant Marylander in district court over a sales contract valued at $3000.00, then the complete diversity of the two would not be sufficient to confer jurisdiction over the matter on the district court. The other manner in which federal district courts obtain jurisdiction is when a federal cause of action authorizes the filing of the suit in the district court. There are a number of such statutes, involving such issues as federal civil rights claims.

Asker

Posted

I'm emailing you through Avvo. Kindly reply.

Posted

Way more is needed

Posted

In some states, magistrate appeals can be heard in District court de novo. The first question would be are you trying to appeal a Federal magistrates order? As the others aptly stated, we need more info.

Posted

In addition to what has been said about magistrate's decisions, some types of agency decisions may also be instituted as trials de novo. (For example, a ruling by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on the tariff classification of an imported article may be challenged by a trial de novo). As others have suggested, the determinatin is highly case-specific.
I wonder why this question is of ineterst to you. If you're going to challenge a decision by a federal agency or a magistrate, a primary advantage (and also a danger, and an added expense) of a trial de novo, as distinguished from an administrative appeal, is this: facts that were not established at the agency may be introduced as evidence. And, of course, it is based on the evidence admitted at trial that the judge or jury makes its decision.
If on the other hand, you are asking a court for judicial review of an administrative decision, you are typically limited to the facts before the agency. In some cases that is quite advantageous. There may be evidence the agency would not have from its investigation, and you would not want them to have; you may not want to have to testify in a deposition or trial, which the government agency may compel you to do in a trial de novo. Discovery can be time-consuming and expensive and typically government attorneys have no where near the incentive to cut it off and enter into a settlement as does a litigant who is expending his own resources to litigate.
In an appeal, the court is reviewing the legal merits of the agency's ruling. To prevail, you generally have to show the agency's action was arbitrary and capricious or not based on substantial evidence. In general, in my experience, a trial de novo has the potential to be more costly than an administrative appeal from an agency decision, though, here again, that is ultimately dependent on the nature of the facts and the legal issues involved.
Finally, regardless of whether instituting a new trial or seeking judicial review, I would not try to represent myself in federal court. And I'm an attorney! There are invariably more pitfalls than you can imagine, certainly more than there should be, and the fail rate of pro se litigants is, I believe, tragically high.

Asker

Posted

Would you represent me in a lawsuit?

Roger Banks

Roger Banks

Posted

I would be happy to meet with you for 1/2 hour or so (by phone or in person) to see if that would make sense. (No charge for evaluation consultation. If interested, please feel free to call my office to schedule an appointment.

Roger Banks

Roger Banks

Posted

Btw, the number listed on my AVVO profile is outdated. Updating it now.

Asker

Posted

E mailing you on Avvo website.