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How to Draft a Statement of Claim

Updated March 16, 2017

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure dictate that the filing of a complaint initiates the start of a lawsuit. At the heart of any complaint is the statement of the claim. The statement of the claim sets forth the facts the plaintiff will rely on to prove his claim in court. According to Duhaime.org. there are two schools of thought when it comes to drafting statements of the claim: those who prefer full disclosure and those who prefer succinctness. Whichever choice you prefer, statements must be drafted in plain language.

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  1. Write the case caption at the top of the page. Captions list where the lawsuit is filed, the names and titles of the parties (plaintiff vs. defendant), and the name of the judge. The court clerk will assign a case number and list it on the caption.

  2. Write “Statement of the Claim” centred beneath the caption.

  3. List one fact per paragraph in your statement of the claim. Use numbered paragraphs. For instance, you could start by writing “1. [Plaintiff’s name], “plaintiff”, lives at [address and county].”

  4. Include every fact necessary to support your claim. Basic facts such as the name and address of the plaintiff and defendant are necessary because it shows the court that it has jurisdiction to hear the case. Further, omitting a fact may allow the defendant to dismiss the claim. While the level of detail varies, each paragraph should contain one fact to support your claim.

  5. Ask the court to enter judgment in your favour based on your statement. Sign the form. Deliver a copy to the defendant and file your statement with the court.

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About the Author

George Lawrence J.D.

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.

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