well-pleaded complaint rule

noun
well-plead·​ed complaint rule

Legal Definition of well-pleaded complaint rule

: a rule of procedure that federal question jurisdiction cannot be acquired over a case unless an issue of federal law appears on the face of a properly pleaded complaint

Note: The well-pleaded complaint rule is not satisfied by a defense based on federal law, including a defense of federal preemption, or by anticipation of such a defense in the complaint.

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“Well-pleaded complaint rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/well-pleaded%20complaint%20rule. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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