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Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions. Rule 9(b), for example, provides for greater particularity in all averments of fraud or mistake. 'In all averments of fraud or mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake shall be stated with particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other condition of mind of a person may be averred generally.' The Court has declined to extend such exceptions to other contexts. In Leatherman the court stated: '[T]he Federal Rules do address in Rule 9(b) the question of the need for greater particularity in pleading certain actions, but do not include among the enumerated actions any reference to complaints alleging municipal liability under 1983. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius.' 507 U.S., at 168. 


The requirements of Rule 9(b) must be read in conjunction with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which establishes the general rules of pleading. Subsections (a) and (e) of Rule 8 require a short and plain statement of the claim and that each averment be simple, concise, and direct. Then the sufficiency of a complaint under Rule 9(b) is challenged, 'is is the duty of the Court to balance' ...

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