Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Law and Legal Definition

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure refers to the rules governing civil actions in the U.S. District Courts (federal). In a nut shell it can taken as the methods, procedures, and practices used in civil cases in Federal District Courts. However, the admissibility and use of evidence in civil proceedings is governed by the separate Federal Rules of Evidence.

Before 1938, the procedural rules followed by the U.S. District court varied from circuit to circuit. In order to rectify the procedural complexities, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Rules Enabling Act in 1934. The Act conferred on the Supreme Court the power to make new rules for federal courts.

There are 86 Rules in the FRCP, grouped into 11 chapters. The commonly referred to provisions are -Chapter I on the scope of the FRCP, Chapter II about commencement of Suits, Chapter II speaks about pleadings and motions, Chapter IV speaks about parties, Chapter V speaks about discovery, Chapter VI speaks about trial, Chapter VII speaks about judgment, Chapter VIII speaks about provisional and final remedies and Chapter IX is about special proceedings.

Over the years there have been many amendments to the FRCP. More than half of the states in U.S have adopted these rules in their entirety or in large part.