Legal Memorandum: Standards for Pleading Fraud and RICO Claims

Issue: Under federal law, what are the standards for properly pleading a cause of action for fraud and RICO claims?

Area of Law: Criminal Law, Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: RICO claims; Fraud claim; Standard
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 551 U.S. 89; 116 F.3d 1364
Cited Statutes: Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), Rule 9(b)
Date: 12/01/2013


The generally applicable principle is found in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) TA l "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2)" s "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2)" c 4  which requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”  “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the … claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”  Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L. Ed. 2d 1081, 1085 (2007).

Of course, to the extent the RICO claims are a type of fraud claim, they must be pled with the increased level of specificity required under Rule 9(b).  American Dental Ass’n v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283 (11th Cir. 2010) TA s "Am. Dental Ass’n v. Cigna Corp. (11th Cir. 2010)" .  Pursuant to this standard, a plaintiff must allege: “(1) the precise statements, documents, or misrepresentations made; (2) the time, place, and person responsible for the statement; (3) the content and manner in which these statements misled the Plaintiffs; and (4) what the defendants gained by the alleged fraud.”  Brooks v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Fla., Inc., 116 F.3d 1364, 1380–81 (11th Cir.1997) TA l "Brooks v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Fla., Inc., 116 F.3d 1364 (11th Cir.1997)" s "Brooks v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Fla., […]

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