Bill to Overturn Ashcroft v. Iqbal Introduced in the House

Late last month, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), along with original cosponsors Hank Johnson (D-GA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) and Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), introduced H.R. 4115, the Open Access to Courts Act of 2009. Although intended to accomplish the same purpose as the Notice Pleading Restoration Act of 2009, S. 1504, introduced in the Senate - to overturn Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) and Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and to restore the Conley v. Gibson notice pleading standard, the language of this bill is different than S. 1504. Here is the language that H.R. 4115 would add to chapter 131 of title 28, United States Code:

Sec. 2078. Limitation on dismissal of complaints
(a) A court shall not dismiss a complaint under subdivision (b)(6), (c) or (e) of Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim which would entitle the plaintiff to relief. A court shall not dismiss a complaint under one of those subdivisions on the basis of a determination by the judge that the factual contents of the complaint do not show the plaintiff's claim to be plausible or are insufficient to warrant a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) govern according to their terms except as otherwise expressly provided by an Act of Congress enacted after the date of the enactment of this section or by amendments made after such date to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure pursuant to the procedures prescribed by the Judicial Conference under this chapter.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, chaired by Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA), followed up on the bill's introduction with a hearing on December 16, 2009


Source: NELA