Rule 84. Forms

The forms in the Appendix suffice under these rules and illustrate the simplicity and brevity that these rules contemplate.


(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

In accordance with the practice found useful in many codes, provision is here made for a limited number of official forms which may serve as guides in pleading. Compare 2 Mass. Gen. Laws (Ter. Ed., 1932) ch. 231, §147, Forms 1–47; English Annual Practice (1937) Appendix A to M, inclusive; Conn. Practice Book (1934) Rules, 47–68, pp. 123–427.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

The amendment serves to emphasize that the forms contained in the Appendix of Forms are sufficient to withstand attack under the rules under which they are drawn, and that the practitioner using them may rely on them to that extent. The circuit courts of appeals generally have upheld the use of the forms as promoting desirable simplicity and brevity of statement. Sierocinski v. E. I. DuPont DeNemours & Co. (C.C.A. 3d, 1939) 103 F.(2d) 843; Swift & Co. v. Young (C.C.A. 4th, 1939) 107 F.(2d) 170; Sparks v. England (C.C.A. 8th, 1940) 113 F.(2d) 579; Ramsouer v. Midland Valley R. Co. (C.C.A. 8th, 1943) 135 F.(2d) 101. And the forms as a whole have met with widespread approval in the courts. See cases cited in 1 Moore's Federal Practice (1938), Cum. Supplement §8.07, under “Page 554”; see also Commentary, The Official Forms (1941) 4 Fed. Rules Serv. 954. In Cook, “ Facts” and “Statements of Fact” (1937) 4 U.Chi.L.Rev. 233, 245–246, it is said with reference to what is now Rule 84: “. . . pleaders in the federal courts are not to be left to guess as to the meaning of [the] language” in Rule 8 (a) regarding the form of the complaint. “All of which is as it should be. In no other way can useless litigation be avoided.” Ibid. The amended rule will operate to discourage isolated results such as those found in Washburn v. Moorman Mfg. Co. (S.D.Cal. 1938) 25 F.Supp. 546; Employers Mutual Liability Ins. Co. of Wisconsin v. Blue Line Transfer Co. (W.D.Mo. 1941) 5 Fed. Rules Serv. 12e.235, Case 2.

Committee Notes on Rules—2007 Amendment

The language of Rule 84 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Civil Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

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