Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9


Rule 9. Pleading Special Matters


(1) In General. Except when required to show that the courthas jurisdiction, a pleading need not allege:

(A) a party’s capacity to sue or be sued;

(B) a party’s authority to sue or be sued in a representative capacity; or

(C) the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made a party.

(2) Raising Those Issues. To raise any of those issues, a party

must do so by a specific denial, which must state any supporting facts that are peculiarly within the party’s knowledge.

(b) FRAUD OR MISTAKE; CONDITIONS OF MIND. In alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may be alleged generally.

(c) CONDITIONS PRECEDENT. In pleading conditions precedent, it suffices to allege generally that all conditions precedent have occurred or been performed. But when denying that a condition precedent has occurred or been performed, a party must do so with particularity.

(d) OFFICIAL DOCUMENT OR ACT. In pleading an official document or official act, it suffices to allege that the document was legally issued or the act legally done.

(e) JUDGMENT. In pleading a judgment or decision of a domestic or foreign court, a judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or a board or officer, it suffices to plead the judgment or decision without showing jurisdiction to render it.

(f) TIME AND PLACE. An allegation of time or place is material when testing the sufficiency of a pleading.

(g) SPECIAL DAMAGES. If an item of special damage is claimed, it must be specifically stated.


(1) How Designated. If a claim for relief is within the admiralty or maritime jurisdiction and also within the court’s sub- ject-matter jurisdiction on some other ground, the pleading may designate the claim as an admiralty or maritime claim for purposes of Rules 14(c), 38(e), and 82 and the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions. A claim cognizable only in the admiralty or maritime jurisdiction is an admiralty or maritime claim for those pur- poses, whether or not so designated.

(2) Designation for Appeal. A case that includes an admiralty or maritime claim within this subdivision (h) is an admiralty case within 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(3).

Essential Points

  • Although there are other important sections of Rule 9, most law school examinations and real life litigation will focus on 9(b) which requires parties to plead the circumstances of fraud or mistake with particularity.  This means that a party (i) raising a claim which is based on fraud; and any party defending against a claim who (ii) raises mistake as a defense, must meet the particularity requirements of Rule 9(b).

What does it mean to plead fraud with particularity?

Most courts require parties to plead who, what, where, when, and how. Who made the false statement? What was said? Where? When? How was it communicated (mail, letter, phone)?

What is state of mind?

“State of mind” may be alleged generally as contemplated by Rule 8. This means that a plaintiff can allege that a defendant lied, without having to introduce proof that the defendant deliberately deceived him. As long as the plaintiff alleges the circumstances of the fraud with particularity, he can allege generally that the defendant intentionally deceived him.
  • Below is an older video on my YouTube page regarding Rule 9’s pleading requirements.