Drafting Causes of Action

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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This is for reference only. You should check with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction to make sure the elements of each cause of action are understood, that they apply, and that you have the facts or sufficient reason to plead that cause of action.

There usually specific state or local forms like a “Civil Cover Sheet” and potentially other forms, including a summons to be issued for service of process. Consultation with an attorney is strongly advised.

The Florida Rules of Civil procedure contain sample pleadings for certain types of actions but not all causes of action. Most states have the same thing. The structure of any cause of action is as follows:

1. Why the court has jurisdiction over the parties
2. Why the court has jurisdiction over the matter in controversy
3. What is the name of the cause of action (e.g. negligence)
4. What is the duty that Plaintiff alleges that defendant had.
5. Defendant breached that duty by ….
6. As a direct and proximate cause of the breach of the aforesaid duty by Defendant, Plaintiff suffered [financial, emotional, physical] damages in excess of minimum jurisdictional amount in controversy for court to hear it]
7. Wherefore, Plaintiff prays that this Honorable Court will enter Judgment for the Plaintiff in an amount in excess of [jurisdictional amount] and grant such other and further relief that the Court may deem just and proper, plus attorney fees, costs of this action and
8. Plaintiff demands trial by jury on all issues triable as of right by jury. [It is typical to place in all capital letters on the first page of the pleading “JURY TRIAL DEMANDED”]

If the action is to get the court to enter an order to do or stop doing something, that is called equitable relief.
1. Why the court has jurisdiction over the parties
2. Why the court has jurisdiction over the matter in controversy
3. What is the name of the cause of action (e.g. injunction)
4. What is the duty that Plaintiff alleges that defendant had.
5. Defendant breached that duty by ….
6. As a direct and proximate cause of the breach of the aforesaid duty by Defendant, Plaintiff suffered [financial, emotional, physical] damages in excess of [minimum jurisdictional amount in controversy for court to hear it], which are continuing [and possibly escalating]
7. Wherefore, Plaintiff prays that this Honorable Court will enter Judgment for the Plaintiff in which the Defendant is enjoined from [describe the activity] and grant such other and further relief that the Court may deem just and proper, plus attorney fees, costs of this action
8. No jury trial is typical for equitable claims although you can ask for it.

If the action is for an intentional tort (e.g. fraud)
1. Why the court has jurisdiction over the parties
2. Why the court has jurisdiction over the matter in controversy
3. What is the name of the cause of action (e.g. fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation must be stated separately as a different cause fo action)
4. What is the duty that Plaintiff alleges that defendant had.
5. Defendant breached that duty by ….
6. Defendant’s breach was intentional and/or grossly negligent in that Defendant knew or must have known that its actions would damage the Plaintiff
7. [OPTIONAL] Defendant’s action were motivated by its intention to conceal its activities under the umbrella of a larger fraud, to wit: [describe the umbrella]
8. Defendant’s actions were undertaken with actual malice or with reckless indifference to the consequences to its illegal and wrongful actions
9. As a direct and proximate cause of the breach of the aforesaid duty by Defendant, Plaintiff suffered [financial, emotional, physical] damages in excess of [minimum jurisdictional amount in controversy for court to hear it]
10. Defendants actions were reprehensible as well as illegal and ongoing in nature such that Defendant should be required to pay punitive, exemplary or treble damages [if there is a statute providing for treble damages]
11. Wherefore, Plaintiff prays that this Honorable Court will enter Judgment for the Plaintiff in an amount in excess of [jurisdictional amount], plus punitive or exemplary damages and grant such other and further relief that the Court may deem just and proper, plus attorney fees, costs of this action and
12. Plaintiff demands trial by jury on all issues triable as of right by jury. [It is typical to place in all capital letters on the first page of the pleading “JURY TRIAL DEMANDED”]

5 Responses

  1. I wish I had this tow years ago! House gone tomorrow. 😡

  2. Flipper Home Reserves LLC bought at auction from WFB/Cal Western Reconveyance on 09/24/2012.

    When they did UD to Yin Kuen Cheung all certified mail was sent to her in her name. My sister was

    never around to pick up any mail. Myself and son were never properly served. As of today I have never

    seen any summons and complaint.

    We go back to challenge UD action (done around Nov. 2012? I have not seen any paperwork) against Home Reserves.

    I had gathered up LLC info.

    Then do Lis Pendens action against Brian Olson.

    File my own UD against him.

    Do quiet title.

    Please comment.

    Marina Yiu

    ________________________________

  3. Once I realized that whatever errors of form I made, the clerk woud be very helpful in sorting out, and whatever I wrote in claim would be objected to by my counterparty in reply, and I had the opportunity to respond or amend complaint….the process becomes much less forbidding.

  4. Anyone have something similar to contest motion to dismiss counter claim?

  5. Very helpful.

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