Complaint
(Federal)


Summary

This form is a complaint that may be used in federal district court. It includes practical guidance, drafting notes, and alternate clauses. Unlike the practice in many states, there are few form complaints in federal court, and they are geared toward pro se litigants. The viability of a complaint and its required contents are governed by Fed. R. Civ. P., Rules 8–11, local rules, and the governing substantive law elements. Before drafting the complaint, your initial task is to investigate the facts of the case, verify the claims to be asserted, and determine related issues (jurisdiction, parties, relief, etc.). The complaint is the first document that will be filed in your case and generally the first document that will be read by the court and anyone trying to obtain basic information about your case. As such, it should be well organized and readable. As seen below, it consists of a caption page, jurisdictional and venue allegations, factual allegations, claims for relief, a demand for...