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The Complaint

The complaint, when filed by the plaintiff, commences a lawsuit.

A. Requirements

A valid complaint should include the proper:

1. Elements

a. Jurisdictional basis for the claim.
b. A statement of the claim.
c. The relief sought.

2. Language
The complaint need not be overly specific but should contain plain language (i.e., plaintiff need not specify which codes or statutes defendant allegedly violated). Thus, the defendant cannot say that the allegations were not technical enough or that he could not understand certain allegations.
B. Code Requirements
To be valid, a complaint must allege the material and ultimate facts upon which plaintiffs rights of action is based.

C. Federal Rules Requirements

Under FRCP 8(a) a complaint must contain the following:

1. A short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court’s jurisdiction depends.

2. A short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief.

3. A demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks.

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