Forms of Action Law and Legal Definition
The forms of action are the different procedures by which a legal claim can be made. A plaintiff could start an action only when it is possible to state the claim in words that followed one of the forms. The forms of action govern all common-law pleadings. The common law actions are eleven in number. They are: trespass, trespass on the case, trover, ejectment, detinue, replevin, debt, covenant, account, special assumpist and general assumpist. Failure to analyze the cause of action properly results in dismissal of the action.
However, pursuant to USCS Fed Rules Civ Proc R 2, “there is one form of action-the civil action”.
In Smith v. Badlam, 111 Vt. 328, 330 (Vt. 1940), the court held that contract and tort are still separate forms of action and cannot be joined.