State of Confusion
“The state of Confusion enacted a statute requiring all trucks and towing trailers that use its highways to use a B-type truck hitch. This hitch is manufactured by only one manufacturer in Confusion. The result of this statute is that any trucker who wants to drive through Confusion must stop and have the new hitch installed, or drive around Confusion. The federal government has not made any attempt to regulate the truck hitches used on the nation’s highways. Tanya Trucker, who owns a trucking company in the state of Denial, is not happy about the additional expense this statute imposes on her business. She intends to file suit against Confusion to overturn the statute” (University of Phoenix, 2011, p. 2). This essay will describe which court will have jurisdiction over Tanya’s suit, whether or not the Confusion statute is constitutional, and the provisions of the U.S. Constitution that will be applied by a court to determine the validity of the statute. This essay will also determine whether Tanya will be able to prevail on her suit, as well as providing details of the stages of a civil suit (University of Phoenix, 2011).
A Federal District Court would have jurisdiction over this suit because this case presents a federal question. The district courts will have all original jurisdictions of all civil actions that arise under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. The statute of Confusion imposes a burden for interstate commerce which violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, that the Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations. Because the state of Confusion is violating this clause, they are not acting constitutionally (Cheeseman, 2010).
With the only manufacturer of the new hitch being in the state of Confusion, this poses a huge problem for any truckers that do not have the necessary hitch. Truckers are on tight schedules to make it to their destination in a certain amount of time. When they will either need to travel completely around Confusion or stop within Confusion to have the new hitch installed, this will take much time added to their schedule either causing them to have to leave early or miss a deadline. However, if the court has seen this statute to be a regulation of interstate commerce itself, it is considered to be a direct burden on interstate commerce and impermissible; where as if the court sees it as anything besides a regulation of interstate commerce, it will be considered to only affect interstate commerce or impose only an indirect burden which can be maintained by the police force of Confusion. The courts are the only ones that can decide whether or not this statute is an indirect or direct burden (Cheeseman, 2010).
Tanya can absolutely sue the state of Confusion in a Federal court held within Confusion for a declaratory judgment that the state regulations are in violation of the commerce clause; therefore making them invalid to imposing an undue burden on interstate commerce. With the only B-type truck hitch only being manufactured in Confusion, it will be difficult to have truckers enter Confusion to have the new hitch installed; this act alone will be in violation of this new law as soon as they enter the state. In order, for this to be avoided Tanya would have to purchase these hitches from Confusion and have her mechanic in the state of Denial install them before any truckers go through Confusion during their trip. Again, this act alone will be very costly for Tanya and her company (Cheeseman, 2010).
There are six stages included in a civil suit. Bosco (2011) “Stage one: Pleadings. The first step involves one party filing a complaint in the pleadings stage. This may include: A complaint in which the plaintiff bringing the suit must set forth the facts supporting the claims and state the causes of action. Stage two: Discovery. After the pleadings, the lawsuit enters the discovery stage. Usually discovery entails: Depositions, where the parties can depose under oath the other party before the trial. Interrogatories, which involve each party, can ask written questions of the other party prior to trial. Stage three: Motions. A motion is basically a request or an application to a court asking for a ruling. There are many different types that can occur in a civil lawsuit, including a motion: To dismiss the case outright before answering the complaint; to compel, usually when a party is not providing documentary evidence or required information. Stage four: Pre-Trial. After the discovery stage, the parties must prepare for trial. This is very time consuming because in order to be well prepared for a trial, each party must develop its case and defenses. This includes crafting opening and closing statements, preparing direct and cross examinations, providing jury instructions to the court and getting the witnesses ready to testify. Stage five: Trial. A trial is usually based on the specific facts supporting a money damage or equitable relief claim. The trial could be a jury trial, or a non-jury trial. Stage six: Post-Trial. If the trial is a “bench trial,” in which a judge hears the case, the judge may request each party to submit a post-trial memorandum or brief. These documents set forth the cases so the judge can review the positions of each party before making a decision. After the judge or jury reaches a decision, the losing party can attempt to appeal or vacate the decision. In conclusion, the stages of a civil lawsuit are generally complex and can involve cumbersome tasks. Depending on the case and the parties involved in the action, many lawsuits can be extremely expensive and take years to complete. Attempting settlement may save you money and time, and most importantly, peace of mind” (The six stages of a civil lawsuit).
With all these implications of a civil suit, Tanya will spend a lot of money being a small trucking company in Denial trying to sue the state of Confusion. She needs to consider the costs of both purchasing and installing the new hitches on the trucks, and having her truckers drive around the state completely. As opposed to the time, money, and effort she will be spending to sue the state of Confusion.
Bosco, D. (2011). Bosco Law Firm, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.boscolegal.com/articles/the-six-stages-of-a-civil-lawsuit.html
Cheeseman, H. R. (2010). The legal environment of business and online commerce: Business ethics, e-commerce, regulatory, and international issues. (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
University of Phoenix. (2011). Syllabus. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, BUS415 website.