Definition

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  • Connector.

    Complaint is the initial pleading in an action formally setting forth the facts and reasons on which the demand for relief is based

    New York State Unified Court System. “Glossary of Legal Terms” (2016)

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    Another definition of complaint is the first pleading on the part of a plaintiff in a civil action, setting out the plaintiff’s claims. In criminal law, the initial charge filed by the prosecuting attorney or a complainant against an accused in a felony case.

    Missouri Press-Bar Commission. “News Reporter’s Legal Glossary” (2009)

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    The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit. It states the facts and identifies the action the court is asked to take. 2. Formal written charge that a person has committed a criminal offense.

    National Center for State Courts. “Glossary of Commonly Used Court & Justice System Terminology”, Rev. 2/8/11 (2011)

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    The initiating pleading in a criminal or civil case, filed by the moving party and setting out the cause of action.

    National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (1988). Glossary of Selected Legal Terms for Juvenile Justice Personnel. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Washington, DC.

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    The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit and is also used to start a criminal case. Says what the plaintiff thinks the defendant did and asks the court for help. Also called the "initial pleading" or "petition."

    California Superior Court. “English Legal Glossary” (2005)

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    The first pleading document filed in a lawsuit. It initiates a civil case and it includes a statement of the wrong or harm done to the plaintiff by the defendant and a request for a specific remedy from the court. A complaint (indictment or information) in a criminal case is a sworn statement regarding the defendant's actions that constitute a crime.

    Colorado Bar Association. “Glossary of Legal Terms”

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    Complaint (Criminal) is defined as a written statement of the essential facts about the offense charged; usually filed at the beginning of the case.

    Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Women’s Legal Rights Handbook” (2015)

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    Complaint (Civil) is the first document filed with the court by the plaintiff stating his or her claim(s) against the defendant.

    Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Women’s Legal Rights Handbook” (2015)

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    The initial pleading or legal document filed on the part of the complainant in a civil action or by a prosecutor in a criminal action.

    State Bar of Wisconsin. “News Reporters’ Legal Handbook”, 6th Ed. (2013)