Complaint

Complaint in the United States

Contents:

A charging method generally reserved for less serious criminal violations. A complaint may also be used in civil cases in which the assertion of a claim is made to initiate the legal action. In criminal cases, a complaint is submitted to a judicial officer and asserts that someone has committed a crime. If sufficient evidence is provided to establish probable cause, an arrest warrant will be issued.

See Also

Information (Criminal Process) Warrant (Criminal Process).

Analysis and Relevance

A complaint is a document based on the sworn assertions of a victim or an investigating police officer. Complaints are used most often in initiating misdemeanor charges. An information is almost identical, but is generally used to commence felony charges. An information is signed by the prosecuting attorney. The complaint is formal and submitted in writing. The written complaint complies with the Sixth Amendment mandate that a defendant be made aware of the charges in order to allow presentation of a defense.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Complaint from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Complaint Definition

In Criminal Law. The allegation made to a proper officer that some person, whether known or unknown, has been guilty of a designated offense, with an offer to prove the fact, and a request that the offender may be punished. It is a technical term, descriptive of proceedings before a magistrate. 11 Pick. (Mass.) 436. In Code Pleading. The plaintiff’s flrst pleading in a civil action. COMPLETE.Old forms; Complet, compleet, compleate, com/pleat (adap. Lat. completus, pa. pple. of complere to fill up, finish: cp. Fr. complet). 1. Wanting no part, member, or element; entire, perfect full. The word applied in this sense to title to land, in general means the right of property as well as possession and right of possession. A complete title to land, according to Blackstone, consists of juris et sesinae conjunctio; the possession, the right of possession and the right of property. (60 Miss. 1054; 6 Hill. 539.) 2. Perfect in nature, kind, or quality; consummate; thorough. 3. Finished; completed; ended. The premises were sold, in consideration of machinery to be furnished, complete, in the mill. This includes, not only the cost of the machinery, but the labor and material necessary to place it in proper position for operation. (58 111. 339.) 4. To add or supply what is wanting to; to finish, perfect, make complete. 5. To accomplish; to fulfill; to consummate, execute, achieve, realize. (28 N. Y. Supp. 445.)

Complaint in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

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Complaint Complaint in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Complaint Complaint in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Complaint Complaint in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Complaint Complaint in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Complaint Complaint in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Complaint Complaint in the Family Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the IP Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Commercial Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Criminal Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Antritrust Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Bankruptcy Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Constitutional Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Tax Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the and Finance and Banking Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Employment and Labor Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Personal Injury and Tort Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Complaint Complaint in the Environmental Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.

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Complaint in the Dictionaries Complaint in our legal dictionaries
https://lawi.us/complaint The URI of Complaint (more about URIs)
Complaint related entries Find related entries of Complaint

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Legal Issue for Attorneys

In Criminal Law. The allegation made to a proper officer that some person, whether known or unknown, has been guilty of a designated offense, with an offer to prove the fact, and a request that the offender may be punished. It is a technical term, descriptive of proceedings before a magistrate. 11 Pick. (Mass.) 436. In Code Pleading. The plaintiff’s flrst pleading in a civil action. COMPLETE.Old forms; Complet, compleet, compleate, com/pleat (adap. Lat. completus, pa. pple. of complere to fill up, finish: cp. Fr. complet). 1. Wanting no part, member, or element; entire, perfect full. The word applied in this sense to title to land, in general means the right of property as well as possession and right of possession. A complete title to land, according to Blackstone, consists of juris et sesinae conjunctio; the possession, the right of possession and the right of property. (60 Miss. 1054; 6 Hill. 539.) 2. Perfect in nature, kind, or quality; consummate; thorough. 3. Finished; completed; ended. The premises were sold, in consideration of machinery to be furnished, complete, in the mill. This includes, not only the cost of the machinery, but the labor and material necessary to place it in proper position for operation. (58 111. 339.) 4. To add or supply what is wanting to; to finish, perfect, make complete. 5. To accomplish; to fulfill; to consummate, execute, achieve, realize. (28 N. Y. Supp. 445.)

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Notice

This definition of Complaint Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Practical Information

Note: Some of this information was last updated in 1982

In the practice of law, the name given to the statement of the case of the plaintiff (in U.S. law) or complaining party. (See parties to an action (in U.S. law).) It is a formal and methodical specification of the facts and circumstances surrounding the cause of action. Known also as the plaintiffs first pleading (see pleadings (in U.S. law)), the complaint sets forth in detail the grounds upon which the plaintiff is suing the defendant (in U.S. law), and asks the court for damages or other relief. The first pleading is called the complaint in the majority of states; the petition or the declaration in a few states; still other states distinguish between actions at law and in equity (in U.S. law) and call the first pleading the bill of complaint in an action at law, or bill in equity in an equity case. Regardless of the variance in terminology in the various states, a complaint follows a standard pattern, which consists of the following parts:

Caption

The caption (in U.S. law) to the complaint designates the court in which the action is brought and lists the full names of all plaintiffs and defendants. It does not show the clerk’s index number because that is not available at the time the complaint is prepared. (See clerk of the court (in U.S. law), Index System.)

Introduction

The opening paragraph of the complaint simply states, “The plaintiff, by his attorney, John Jones, complaining of the defendant, alleges as follows:” or words to that effect.

Body

The body of the complaint states the facts and circumstances that are the basis for the action. The complaint may contain one or more causes of action, each of which is a separate and complete division within itself. These divisions are referred to as counts in some jurisdictions. A cause of action, or count, is composed of one or more allegations. These are statements that the plaintiff expects to prove. Complaints in certain actions must contain standard allegations, which the lawyer dictates from memory or from a practice manual. (See forms (in U.S. law). )

Prayer

The prayer, also called the wherefore clause (in U.S. law), is the final paragraph of the complaint and “demands” judgment against the defendant for a specified sum, or, in equity actions, “prays” for or seeks other relief to which the plaintiff believes he is entitled. The complaint will also demand interest if the action is for a definite amount of money owed by the defendant, as when the action is on a stated account or a promissory note.

Signature

Either the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney must sign the complaint. The original must be signed manually in every state except New York, where a typed signature is sufficient. In federal courts, pleadings must be signed by an attorney in his or her individual name, not in the firm name.

Verification

The law in the various states specifies which complaints must be verified, but many lawyers follow the practice of having all complaints verified. The verification (in U.S. law) is signed before a notary public.

(Revised by Ann De Vries)

What is Complaint?

For a meaning of it, read Complaint in the Legal Dictionary here. Browse and search more U.S. and international free legal definitions and legal terms related to Complaint.

Concept of Complaint in Labor Law

In this context, a definition of Complaint is offered here: Formal papers issued by the NLRB to start an unfair labor practice hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The complaint states the basis for the Board’s jurisdiction and the alleged unfair labor practice.

Meaning of Complaint

In plain or simple terms, Complaint means: The first pleading on the part of the plaintiff in a civil action.

Procedure: Filing a Complaint (in Disability Claims)

Some information about Procedure: Filing a Complaint in this context.

The Complaint and Service of Process: Main Elements

The coverage of The Complaint and Service of Process includes the following element(s):

Pretrial Procedure

Find out an overview of this topic, in relation to The Complaint and Service of Process, in the legal Ecyclopedia.

References

See Also

  • Civil Procedure
  • Federal Courts

Resources

See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Civil Procedure.

    Further Reading (Articles)

    Complaints about the Nhs Up by 8%, States News Service; November 9, 2012

    Complaints against the Regulators, States News Service; October 4, 2013

    Complaints about Next Door Flood In, Tamworth Herald, The; March 20, 2014

    WHISTLEBLOWER; Complaints about Bus Drivers Soar; Metro Transit Says That Because of Social Media, itAEs Easier Than Ever to Report Possible Problems, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN); November 24, 2013

    COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICE ROSE IN 2010; Of 79 allegations, 8 were ruled valid, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA); February 23, 2011; Meghann M Cuniff

    Utilities complaints drop 14%, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT); March 14, 2006; Cara Baruzzi

    Complaints Against Police Fell in ’95, Are Down This Year, The Washington Post; June 13, 1996; Philip P. Pan

    769 Complaints Flood AMC in a Day!, DNA : Daily News & Analysis; July 25, 2013

    Complaints About Airlines Are Soaring, The Washington Post; January 8, 1987; Sharon Warren Walsh

    Complaints against lawyers up 30 per cent, reveals Law Society, The Scotsman; March 18, 2006; MICHAEL HOWIE

    Complaints against lawyers soar, The Herald; May 18, 2004; Paul Rogerson

    Complaints may hinder Forbes’ bid for counsel: ; But disciplinary board official says filings may not hold much weight, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV); October 10, 2000; Fanny Seiler

    Prisoner Complaints, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY); May 26, 2013; New

    COMPLAINTS AGAINST PORTLAND POLICE DROP IN 2002, Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME); January 17, 2003; DAVID HENCH

    Complaints double as PPI claims continue to flood in, The Scotsman; August 3, 2011; Jeff Salway

    ‘Slamming’ complaints explode, Journal of Business; July 24, 1997; Anonymous

    Complaints Against Police Rise 63% in Pr. George’s, The Washington Post; April 12, 2000; Craig Whitlock

    Police Complaints Soar by a Third, The Birmingham Post (England); November 11, 2000

    Complaint Alleges Trail of Fraud, The Register Guard (Eugene, OR); February 15, 2012

    Complaints against five poll candidates filed., Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia); October 7, 2011

    Complaint Closures and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    The number of complaints that were completed in the formal complaint process during the fiscal year.

    Complaint Rate and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    The percentage of individuals who filed a complaint per the total work force.

    Complaint in the context of Juvenile and Family Law

    Definition ofComplaint published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges:The initiating pleading in a criminal or civil case, filed by the moving party and setting out the cause of action.

    Complaint Definition in the context of the Federal Court System

    A written statement filed by a plaintiff initiating a civil case, stating the jurisdiction of the court to resolve the legal dispute, the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant, and the requested relief.

    Complaint in Juvenile Law

    In this context, Complaint information is available through this American legal Encyclopedia.

    Complaint: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

    Federal Primary Materials

    The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Complaint. This part provides references, in relation to Complaint, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

    Federal primary materials about Complaint by content types:

    Laws and Regulations

    US Constitution
    Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

    Federal Case Law and Court Materials

    U.S. Courts of Appeals
    United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

    Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

    Presidential Materials

    Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

    Executive Materials

    Federal Legislative History Materials

    Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Complaint and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Complaint or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

    State Administrative Materials and Resources

    State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Complaint and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Complaint. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Complaint should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

    State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

    State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Complaint when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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