Civil Procedure Other Pleadings Law and Legal Definition

Pleadings is a term referring to all legal documents filed in a civil lawsuit, petition, motion and/or hearing, including a complaint, petition, answer, demurrer, motion, declaration and legal memorandum. State or federal statutes and/or court rules exist requiring pleadings to be of a particular form and format: typed, signed, dated, with the name of the court, title and number of the case, name, address and telephone number of the attorney or person acting for himself/herself (in pro per) included.

Old rules of pleading were complex and strictly construed. Meritorious complaints were often thrown out of court for technical flaws in form rather than substance. Today, in most if not all states, a pleading may be a simple petition or complaint setting forth the relevant facts and asking for a remedy and modern courts are opposed to invalidating pleadings on technical grounds.