What is a Legal Pleading Paper?
A legal pleading is a document drafted and filed with the court. It is a document that can trigger a complaint against another person in civil court, or it is the answer to a complaint that has been filed against you. It may also serve as formal notification to the judge in your current case that something has occurred that needs judicial intervention.
What is the purpose of pleading paper?
Pleading paper is the paper used for documents that are submitted to the court and is numbered down the left hand side. It contains information about your case as well as the text of the filing you are turning into the court.
* If your case is complicated or has many issues that need to be addressed by a court, seek the advice of an attorney prior to drafting your own legal pleading.
How to fill out the legal pleading template?
The legal pleading template has 1-28 lines along the left side of the template and a vertical line along the left and right sides of the template. These forms can be difficult to draft if you do not know how to format a legal pleading. Here are the steps you can follow to formatting the pleading.
1.Use the correct paper
If the court requires special pleading paper, you can get it on the internet, from the courthouse, or from an office supply store. Pleading paper is a legal paper that has numbers 1 through 28 in the left hand margin.
- If the court requires pleading paper, then you must draft legal pleadings on pleading paper. Otherwise, the court will refuse your document.
- If pleading paper is not required, the paper should be standard 8.5”x11” white paper, printed on only one side.
2. Include identifying information
Type your name, address, and phone number in the top left corner of the pleading paper. Use single-spaced lines. The format should look like this:
- On the first line, place your full name.
- The second line must state your street address.
- On the third line, list your city, state, and zip code information.
- The fourth and final line is for your complete phone number. The complete phone number includes all numbers needed to contact you for those calling you from outside of your local calling area.
3. Insert a caption
The caption states the court where the case has been filed, the parties (for example, “John Smith, Plaintiff v. Jane Smith, Defendant”), the case number, and in some situations the type of case (e.g., “Negligence”).
- Leave a double space after the court's information. On the left side of the pleading paper, state the full name of the plaintiff in the case. On the next line, type the word "Plaintiff." Space down two lines and type a "v" which is an abbreviation for the word "versus." Double space one more time and state the full name of the defendant. On the next line type the word "Defendant."
- The case number will be assigned by the court clerk after the case has been filed. You can locate this number on your copy of the complaint. If you are filing the complaint, then type “Case No.” and leave a line blank.
4. Draft the body of the pleading
After you've listed the parties, double-space down to begin drafting the pleading. The body of your pleading will include whatever information you want the judge to be made aware of, presented in the proper format.
- Number each paragraph if you are drafting an answer to the original complaint. Each numbered paragraph will correspond to each allegation in the complaint. Make your answers concise, only addressing one issue per numbered paragraph.
- Use double spacing for the entire body of the pleading. If you use single spacing, your pleading may be rejected by the court.
- Capitalize, underline, and place in bold the headings for your pleading. Unless you are drafting an answer to the original complaint, you will use headings to distinguish issues from one another. The judge will want to identify your headings quickly. By making them stand out in the document, the judge can more readily find them.
- Place page numbers at the bottom and in the center of each page. A page number must be used even if your pleading is only one page in length.
5. Sign and date the pleading
After the body of your pleading, double space and sign your pleading. Under your signature, type your full name. Across from your signature, date the document.
6. Include a certificate of service
You can insert the certificate of service at the bottom of the page. Center “Certificate of Service” on the page in all caps. Then, state that you served a copy of the pleading on the other party.
- Sample language could include, “I hereby certify that I have served a copy of this document on [insert name of other party] either by person or by mailing it postage prepaid on [insert the date].”
- Then insert a signature line and sign.
The free legal forms and information displayed in this document is designed to provide you with an example that you can follow when creating your own business legal documents. As you know, local country, city and state laws vary. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek professional legal counsel (from an attorney) before you enter into any legal binding contract or agreement. We are not responsible for any liability that comes from the use of this free legal form.
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