well–pleaded complaint rule

well–pleaded complaint rule
well–plead·ed complaint rule n: 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
◇ 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.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

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