A Civil Complaint initiates a lawsuit by laying out for the Court the claim for compensation from the damages caused by the defendant. The Complaint outlines all of the Plaintiff’s causes of action and the relevant facts associated with the matter including the who, what, when, where, and how of the incident. Additionally, the complaint lays out the all theories of how Defendant is responsible, as well as, the damages alleged to have been suffered by the Plaintiff. Further, the Complaint lays out the identities of the parties, their relationship to the matter and the court where the action is being filed. Federal Courts and state courts have specific rules governing their Courts and requirements for what a Complaint must contain to satisfy that Court’s rules.
By contrast, claims filed in Federal court are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically F.R.C.P. 7-10. These rules require a short plain statement of the reasoning that this Court is the proper place to file the claim, a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the person filing the complaint is entitled to relief and a demand for the relief sought. This is often referred to as a notice pleading.
As stated previously, each court has its own rules governing the requirements of what must be contained in a complaint. That is why it is important to seek the assistance of attorneys who are well-versed in personal injury matters and can help navigate the specific rule requirements.