Advisory Committee Notes

The pleading standard under Rule 8 remains “notice pleading” as exemplified by the official forms appended to the Rules. But parties are encouraged to plead facts that entitle them to relief or establish affirmative defenses because more expansive pleadings will trigger broader disclosures from the opponent under Rule 26. This encouragement is consistent with the general approach of the 2011 amendments which require each party to disclose its affirmative case early in the process so that the adversary might evaluate its merits and focus the need for discovery.

The amount of damages pled will determine the amount of standard discovery available under Rule 26(c)(3). It would be unfair for a party to plead a smaller amount of damages in order to take advantage of the streamlined discovery and then seek to recover greater damages. Thus, Rule 8 provides that a party waives its right to recover damages in excess of the maximums provided for that tier unless the pleading is amended. The trial court may determine if the amendment requires further discovery.