State of Confusion: The Case of Tanya Trucker

Introduction

This paper investigates the case between Tanya Trucker, a business lady owning a trucking firm in the state of Denial, and the state of Confusion which has established a new statute. The statute requires all trucks using the highways within the state to use B-type truck hitches that are manufactured within the state. Tanya is concerned that all her trucks entering the state of Confusion would have to buy the hitches. To file the case, Tanya must understand the US court system by answering the following questions: Which court has responsibility for the case? Is the Confusion statute constitutional? What provisions of the United States Constitution will be applied to determine the validity of the statutes? Is she likely to prevail on her case? What are the stages to filing a civil suit?

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Which court has jurisdiction over the case?

The case in question is between two parties from different states. Tanya hails from the state of Denial and is filing a case against the state of Confusion. In this respect, the federal court has jurisdiction over Tanya’s lawsuit. The federal court is responsible for lawsuits where there is a diversity of citizenship (Cheeseman, 2010). Tanya would file the case as a violation of the Commerce Article of the United States constitution. According to the clause, the US Congress is mandated to control business amongst states, with foreign entities, and with the Indians. Therefore, the federal government is given the authority to control interstate commerce including that between the states of Confusion and Denial. Interstate commerce can enact laws that regulate the practices of businesses in response to the federal constitution rather than the state constitutions.

Is the statute constitutional?

The statute enacted by the state of Confusion is not constitutional. As Cheeseman (2010) observes, the states are not supposed to enact laws that violate the federal constitution. Clearly, the case explains that the federal government had not adjusted the laws regarding truck requirements. In addition, the clause about interstate commerce illustrates that the statute is unconstitutional in Article I, Section 9. There should be no predilections offered by any law of revenue or commerce to neither the ports of a particular state over those of another state, nor shall vessels be compelled to pay duties in another state (Cheesam, 2010, p.87). This suggests that the state of Confusion is not obliged to charge dues to businesses from other states. By requiring trucks to buy hinges that are manufactured just by one company within the state of Confusion, the state is determined to increase its revenue and thus violates the commerce clause.

What provisions are relevant to the validity of the suit?

The responsibility of enacting safety requirements for motor vehicles lies with the federal government. Trucks from any state including Denial should be allowed to enter the state of Confusion as long as they follow the federal requirements rather than the state requirements. As noted earlier, Article I of the Constitution mandates Congress to control commerce amongst states, foreign countries, and with the Indians. The Commerce Article is the sole determinant of whether a state statute is valid or not. The constitution incorporates the statutes into a new standard that identifies three classes of activity that Congress should control under the commerce clause: the networks of interstate commerce, instrumentalities (persons or things) of interstate commerce, and activities of significant relationship with interstate commerce (activities that have a significant effect on interstate commerce). These are the key provisions that the federal court will use to determine whether the Confusion Statute is constitutionally valid or not.

Is Tanya likely to succeed in her case?

The provisions discussed above suggest that the Confusion Statute is not constitutionally valid and Tanya will likely succeed in her case. The state under question is obliging trucks to use B-type hitches that are manufactured just within the state. This type of hinge is not a necessity in other states and it can then be argued that Confusion has planned to increase its revenue through the statute. In addition to violating the federal constitution, the statute is working against the interstate commerce clause discussed above. However, if the objective of the clause was to protect the highways and the people that drive on them, then Tanya could be defeated under the provisions in property and human rights acts. The motive behind the Confusion statute however is to generate extra income by denying truckers the opportunity offered by the federal constitution to operate in any state without being exploited.

What are the stages to filing a civil suit?

There are seven major steps to filing a civil case. First, the complainant files the legal papers or pleadings with the court. The Petition/Complaint is the first pleading and involves the outline of the complainant’s case against the defendant. Next is to get Summons from the court or order specifying where the case will be litigated. The defendant sends an Answer addressing each paragraph in the petition to the complainant. The second step is about fact-finding and discovery as the court system requires the parties to disclose all relevant information. Through a systematic process called discovery, the court officials perform a formal interrogation about the facts and claims presented by both parties. The third step is the Resolution or pre-trial motions where questions about the case are solved. If the motion terminates the conflict before trial, according to Find Law (2010), the motion is dispositive otherwise it is non-dispositive.

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The fourth step involves the Resolution where the parties appear before Alternative Dispute Resolution. At this stage, most of the legal complaints filed in civil courts are solved via a negotiated settlement between the parties. The parties may agree on a certain amount of money or some action and cease the litigation. The fifth step involves the trial and judgment where the judge evaluates the evidence as the plaintiff argues his/her case. The sixth step involves the collection of the money after the verdict which should be in favor of the plaintiff. The final step in a civil case involves the review of the suit by an appeal court. Since most of the civil suits do not end up in the district courts, the appellate courts may be required to review the verdict and reverse the decision if an error is found (Find Law, 2010). The decision by the appeal court might restrict further appeals.

Conclusion

Although many statutes are used by states to regulate various public amenities, Tanya has sued the state of Confusion in a federal court. The motive behind the statute makes it unconstitutional as stipulated in the Commerce Article. The plaintiff is likely to succeed in the suit according to the provisions defined by the article. However, the conclusion of the case might require several steps which can be dropped before or after the parties face trial.

References

Cheeseman, H. R. (2010). The legal environment of business and online commerce: Business ethics, e-commerce, regulatory, and international issues. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Find law (2010). Stages of a civil case. Web.

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Paperroni. 2022. "State of Confusion: The Case of Tanya Trucker." June 10, 2022. https://paperroni.com/state-of-confusion-the-case-of-tanya-trucker/.

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Paperroni. (2022) 'State of Confusion: The Case of Tanya Trucker'. 10 June.

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