Also known as a Petition, this is the document that begins a lawsuit. It tells the defendant why they are being sued.
Parts of a Complaint:
Most Complaints include the following sections:
- Caption: identifies the court in which it’s filed, names of the plaintiff and defendant, and titles the document
- Cause of Action (allegations): describes the parties, explains proper jurisdiction and venue (why case was filed in that specific court), provides the factual basis for the lawsuit, and describes the losses/damages incurred
- Prayer (or “wherefore clause”): request of relief/remedy from the court
- Subscription: signature, address, and email of the attorney filing the document as well as the date
- Verification: a statement at the end of the complaint that declares the contents of the document to be true under penalty or perjury (only required for certain types of complaints)