Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Do you need to have the code numbers for each cause of action in your complaint somewhere. Also where do you place the page with the names and addresses of all the defendants in the complaint. Thanks

Asked on 10/24/13, 7:03 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

You don't need code sections for the causes of action in your complaint. The caption should name each defendant, and the complaint should plead at least one cause of action to each named defendant.

California is a "code pleading state." That does not mean that you plead the code section violated, but rather that the form of pleading is set forth in a code, namely the Code of Civil Procedure, starting at Code of Civil Procedure section 420. "The forms of pleading in civil actions, and the rules by which the sufficiency of the pleadings is to be determined, are those prescribed in this Code." (Code Civ. Proc., sect. 421.)

What is important is that your complaint contain the statement of facts that constitute the cause of action in ordinary and concise language. (Code Civ. Proc., sect. 425.10.)

Although that is a basic statement, properly drafting a complaint that states proper causes of action is an art, that is developed over years of practice. If you need help, I suggest consulting with an attorney as soon as possible, especially if you want to avoid demurrers and other attacks on your pleadings.

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Answered on 10/24/13, 7:55 am

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

I agree with Mr. Roach. Additionally, the defendants' addresses do not belong in the complaint. You may need to say what country, state, county, and/or city they live in, but there is usually no good reason to say exactly where they live.

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Answered on 10/24/13, 11:47 am

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