1

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE
FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

1Rule 1. Scope and Purpose
2

These rules govern the procedure in all civil actions

3and proceedings in the United States district courts, except
4as stated in Rule 81.

They should be construed, and

5administered, and employed by the court and the parties to
6secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of
7every action and proceeding.

2 New material is underlined; matter to be omitted is lined
3through.

4

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
6
7
8
8Rule 4. Summons
9

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10(m) Time Limit for Service. If a defendant is not served
11

within 12090 days after the complaint is filed, the

12

court — on motion or on its own after notice to the

13

plaintiff — must dismiss the action without prejudice

14

against that defendant or order that service be made

15

within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows

16

good cause for the failure, the court must extend the

17

time for service for an appropriate period.

18

subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign

19

country under Rule 4(f) or 4(j)(1) or to service of a

20

notice under Rule 71.1(d)(3)(A).

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9

This

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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12
13
22Rule 16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management
23

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24(b) Scheduling.
25

(1) Scheduling Order.

Except in categories of

26

actions exempted by local rule, the district judge

27

— or a magistrate judge when authorized by

28

local rule — must issue a scheduling order:

29

(A) after receiving the parties’ report under

30
31

Rule 26(f); or
(B) after consulting with the parties’ attorneys

32

and

33

scheduling conference by telephone, mail,

34

or other means.

35

any

(2) Time to Issue.

unrepresented

parties

at

a

The judge must issue the

36

scheduling order as soon as practicable, but in

37

any eventunless the judge finds good cause for

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154
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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

delay, the judge must issue it within the earlier of

39

12090 days after any defendant has been served

40

with the complaint or 9060 days after any

41

defendant has appeared.

42

(3) Contents of the Order.

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44
45

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(B) Permitted Contents. The scheduling order
may:

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47

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(iii)

provide for disclosure, ordiscovery,

48

or preservation of electronically

49

stored information;

50

(iv)

include any agreements the parties

51

reach

52

privilege or of protection as trial-

53

preparation

19

for

asserting

claims

material

of

after

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21
22
23
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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

5

information is produced, including

55

agreements reached under Federal

56

Rule of Evidence 502;

57

(v)

direct that before moving for an

58

order relating to discovery, the

59

movant must request a conference

60

with the court;

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63
64

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(vvi) set dates for pretrial conferences and
for trial; and
(vivii) include other appropriate matters.
*****

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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27
28
65Rule 26. Duty to Disclose; General Provisions
66
Governing Discovery
67

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68(b) Discovery Scope and Limits.
69

(1) Scope in General. Unless otherwise limited by

70

court order, the scope of discovery is as follows:

71

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any

72

nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any

73

party’s claim or defense and proportional to the

74

needs of the case, considering the importance of

75

the issues at stake in the action, the amount in

76

controversy, the parties’ relative access to

77

relevant information, the parties’ resources, the

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importance of the discovery in resolving the

79

issues, and whether the burden or expense of the

80

proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.

81

Information within this scope of discovery need

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31
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33
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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

7

not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

83

— including the existence, description, nature,

84

custody,

85

documents or other tangible things and the

86

identity and location of persons who know of

87

any discoverable matter. For good cause, the

88

court may order discovery of any matter relevant

89

to the subject matter involved in the action.

90

Relevant information need not be admissible at

91

the trial if the discovery appears reasonably

92

calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible

93

evidence. All discovery is subject to the

94

limitations imposed by Rule 26(b)(2)(C).

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96

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condition,

and

location

(2) Limitations on Frequency and Extent.
*****

of

any

358
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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

(C) When Required. On motion or on its own,

98

the court must limit the frequency or extent

99

of discovery otherwise allowed by these

100
101
102

rules or by local rule if it determines that:
*****
(iii) the burden or expense of the proposed

103

discovery

104

permitted by Rule 26(b)(1)outweighs

105

its likely benefit, considering the

106

needs of the case, the amount in

107

controversy, the parties’ resources, the

108

importance of the issues at stake in the

109

action, and the importance of the

110

discovery in resolving the issues.

111

39

is

*****

outside

the

scope

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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42
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112(c) Protective Orders.

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113

(1) In General. A party or any person from whom

114

discovery is sought may move for a protective

115

order in the court where the action is pending —

116

or as an alternative on matters relating to a

117

deposition, in the court for the district where the

118

deposition will be taken.

119

include a certification that the movant has in

120

good faith conferred or attempted to confer with

121

other affected parties in an effort to resolve the

122

dispute without court action. The court may, for

123

good cause, issue an order to protect a party or

124

person

125

oppression, or undue burden or expense,

126

including one or more of the following:

127

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44

from

annoyance,

The motion must

embarrassment,

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

(B) specifying

terms,

including

time

and

129

place or the allocation of expenses, for the

130

disclosure or discovery;

131

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132(d) Timing and Sequence of Discovery.
133
134

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(2) Early Rule 34 Requests.

135

(A) Time to Deliver. More than 21 days after

136

the summons and complaint are served on a

137

party, a request under Rule 34 may be

138

delivered:

139

(i)

140

(ii) by that party to any plaintiff or to any

141

other party that has been served.

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to that party by any other party, and

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

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(B) When Considered Served. The request is

143

considered to have been served at the first

144

Rule 26(f) conference.

145

(23) Sequence.

Unless, on motion, the parties

146

stipulate or the court orders otherwise for the

147

parties’ and witnesses’ convenience and in the

148

interests of justice:

149

(A) methods of discovery may be used in any

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152
153
154 (f)
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156
157

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sequence; and
(B) discovery by one party does not require any
other party to delay its discovery.
*****
Conference of the Parties; Planning for Discovery.
*****
(3) Discovery Plan. A discovery plan must state the
parties’ views and proposals on:

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

*****
(C) any issues about disclosure, ordiscovery, or

160

preservation

of

electronically

stored

161

information, including the form or forms in

162

which it should be produced;

163

(D) any issues about claims of privilege or of

164

protection as trial-preparation materials,

165

including — if the parties agree on a

166

procedure to assert these claims after

167

production — whether to ask the court to

168

include their agreement in an order under

169

Federal Rule of Evidence 502;

170

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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171Rule 30. Depositions by Oral Examination

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172(a) When a Deposition May Be Taken.
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174

(2) With Leave. A party must obtain leave of court,

175

and the court must grant leave to the extent

176

consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2):

177

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178(d) Duration; Sanction; Motion to Terminate or Limit.
179

(1) Duration.

Unless otherwise stipulated or

180

ordered by the court, a deposition is limited to

181

one day of 7 hours.

182

additional time consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and

183

(2) if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if

184

the deponent, another person, or any other

185

circumstance impedes or delays the examination.

186

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The court must allow

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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187Rule 31. Depositions by Written Questions
188(a) When a Deposition May Be Taken.
189

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(2) With Leave. A party must obtain leave of court,

191

and the court must grant leave to the extent

192

consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2):

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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194Rule 33. Interrogatories to Parties

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195(a) In General.
196

(1) Number. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered

197

by the court, a party may serve on any other

198

party no more than 25 written interrogatories,

199

including all discrete subparts. Leave to serve

200

additional interrogatories may be granted to the

201

extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2).

202

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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203Rule 34. Producing Documents, Electronically Stored
204
Information, and Tangible Things, or
205
Entering onto Land, for Inspection and
206
Other Purposes
207

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208(b) Procedure.
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210

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(2) Responses and Objections.

211

(A) Time to Respond. The party to whom the

212

request is directed must respond in writing

213

within 30 days after being served or — if

214

the request was delivered under Rule 26(d)

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(2) — within 30 days after the parties’ first

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Rule 26(f) conference. A shorter or longer

217

time may be stipulated to under Rule 29 or

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be ordered by the court.

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(B) Responding to Each Item. For each item or

220

category, the response must either state that

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

17

inspection and related activities will be

222

permitted as requested or state an objection

223

with specificity the grounds for objecting to

224

the request, including the reasons.

225

responding party may state that it will

226

produce

227

electronically stored information instead of

228

permitting inspection. The production must

229

then be completed no later than the time for

230

inspection specified in the request or

231

another reasonable time specified in the

232

response.

233

copies

(C) Objections.

of

documents

The

or

of

An objection must state

234

whether any responsive materials are being

235

withheld on the basis of that objection. An

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238

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

objection to part of a request must specify
the part and permit inspection of the rest.
*****

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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239Rule 37. Failure to Make Disclosures or to Cooperate
240
in Discovery; Sanctions
241(a) Motion for an Order Compelling Disclosure or
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243
244
245

Discovery.
*****
(3) Specific Motions.
*****

246

(B) To Compel a Discovery Response. A party

247

seeking discovery may move for an order

248

compelling

249

production, or inspection. This motion may

250

be made if:

251

an

answer,

designation,

*****

252

(iv) a party fails to produce documents or

253

fails to respond that inspection will be

254

permitted — or fails to permit

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

inspection — as requested under

256

Rule 34.

257

*****

258(e) Failure to ProvidePreserve Electronically Stored
259

Information. Absent exceptional circumstances, a

260

court may not impose sanctions under these rules on a

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party for failing to provide electronically stored

262

information lost as a result of the routine, good-faith

263

operation of an electronic information system.If

264

electronically stored information that should have

265

been preserved in the anticipation or conduct of

266

litigation is lost because a party failed to take

267

reasonable steps to preserve it, and it cannot be

268

restored or replaced through additional discovery, the

269

court:

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101
102
103
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(1) upon finding prejudice to another party from loss

271

of the information, may order measures no

272

greater than necessary to cure the prejudice; or

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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

21

(2) only upon finding that the party acted with the

274

intent

275

information’s use in the litigation may:

276

(A) presume that the lost information was

277

to

deprive

another

party

of

the

unfavorable to the party;

278

(B) instruct the jury that it may or must

279

presume the information was unfavorable to

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the party; or

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282
283

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(C) dismiss the action or enter a default
judgment.
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FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
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284Rule 55. Default; Default Judgment
285

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286(c) Setting Aside a Default or a Default Judgment.
287

The court may set aside an entry of default for good

288

cause, and it may set aside a final default judgment

289

under Rule 60(b).

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Committee Note
Rule 55(c) is amended to make plain the interplay
between Rules 54(b), 55(c), and 60(b). A default judgment
that does not dispose of all of the claims among all parties
is not a final judgment unless the court directs entry of final
judgment under Rule 54(b). Until final judgment is
entered, Rule 54(b) allows revision of the default judgment
at any time. The demanding standards set by Rule 60(b)
apply only in seeking relief from a final judgment.

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291Rule 84. Forms
292[Abrogated (Apr. __, 2015, eff. Dec. 1, 2015).]
293

The forms in the Appendix suffice under these rules

294and illustrate the simplicity and brevity that these rules
295contemplate.

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296

APPENDIX OF FORMS

297[Abrogated (Apr. __, 2015, eff. Dec. 1, 2015).]

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298Rule 4. Summons
299

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300(d) Waiving Service.
301

(1) Requesting

a

Waiver.

An

individual,

302

corporation, or association that is subject to

303

service under Rule 4(e), (f), or (h) has a duty to

304

avoid unnecessary expenses of serving the

305

summons.

306

defendant that an action has been commenced

307

and request that the defendant waive service of a

308

summons. The notice and request must:

309

*****

The plaintiff may notify such a

310

(C) be accompanied by a copy of the complaint,

311

2 copies of athe waiver form appended to

312

this Rule 4, and a prepaid means for

313

returning the form;

314

(D) inform the defendant, using text prescribed

315

in Form 5the form appended to this Rule 4,

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of the consequences of waiving and not

317

waiving service;

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*****

319Rule 4 Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive
320Service of Summons.
321

(Caption)

322To (name the defendant or — if the defendant is a
323corporation, partnership, or association — name an officer
324or agent authorized to receive service):
325

Why are you getting this?

326
A lawsuit has been filed against you, or the entity you
327represent, in this court under the number shown above. A
328copy of the complaint is attached.
329
This is not a summons, or an official notice from the
330court. It is a request that, to avoid expenses, you waive
331formal service of a summons by signing and returning the
332enclosed waiver. To avoid these expenses, you must return
333the signed waiver within (give at least 30 days or at least
33460 days if the defendant is outside any judicial district of
335the United States) from the date shown below, which is the
336date this notice was sent. Two copies of the waiver form
337are enclosed, along with a stamped, self-addressed
338envelope or other prepaid means for returning one copy.
339You may keep the other copy.

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340

What happens next?

341
If you return the signed waiver, I will file it with the
342court. The action will then proceed as if you had been
343served on the date the waiver is filed, but no summons will
344be served on you and you will have 60 days from the date
345this notice is sent (see the date below) to answer the
346complaint (or 90 days if this notice is sent to you outside
347any judicial district of the United States).
348
If you do not return the signed waiver within the time
349indicated, I will arrange to have the summons and
350complaint served on you. And I will ask the court to
351require you, or the entity you represent, to pay the expenses
352of making service.
353
Please read the enclosed statement about the duty to
354avoid unnecessary expenses.
355
I certify that this request is being sent to you on the
356date below.
357Date: ___________
358___________________________
359(Signature of the attorney
360or unrepresented party)
361___________________________
362(Printed name)
363___________________________
364(Address)
365___________________________
366(E-mail address)

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367___________________________
368(Telephone number)
369Rule 4 Waiver of the Service of Summons.
370

(Caption)

371To (name the plaintiff’s attorney or the unrepresented
372plaintiff):
373
I have received your request to waive service of a
374summons in this action along with a copy of the complaint,
375two copies of this waiver form, and a prepaid means of
376returning one signed copy of the form to you.
377
I, or the entity I represent, agree to save the expense
378of serving a summons and complaint in this case.
379
I understand that I, or the entity I represent, will keep
380all defenses or objections to the lawsuit, the court’s
381jurisdiction, and the venue of the action, but that I waive
382any objections to the absence of a summons or of service.
383
I also understand that I, or the entity I represent, must
384file and serve an answer or a motion under Rule 12 within
38560 days from _____________________, the date when this
386request was sent (or 90 days if it was sent outside the
387United States). If I fail to do so, a default judgment will be
388entered against me or the entity I represent.
389Date: ___________
390___________________________
391(Signature of the attorney

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392or unrepresented party)
393___________________________
394(Printed name)
395___________________________
396(Address)
397___________________________
398(E-mail address)
399___________________________
400(Telephone number)
401

(Attach the following)

402
403

Duty to Avoid Unnecessary Expenses
of Serving a Summons

404
Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
405requires certain defendants to cooperate in saving
406unnecessary expenses of serving a summons and complaint.
407A defendant who is located in the United States and who
408fails to return a signed waiver of service requested by a
409plaintiff located in the United States will be required to pay
410the expenses of service, unless the defendant shows good
411cause for the failure.
412
“Good cause” does not include a belief that the
413lawsuit is groundless, or that it has been brought in an
414improper venue, or that the court has no jurisdiction over
415this matter or over the defendant or the defendant’s
416property.

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417
If the waiver is signed and returned, you can still
418make these and all other defenses and objections, but you
419cannot object to the absence of a summons or of service.
420
If you waive service, then you must, within the time
421specified on the waiver form, serve an answer or a motion
422under Rule 12 on the plaintiff and file a copy with the
423court. By signing and returning the waiver form, you are
424allowed more time to respond than if a summons had been
425served.

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