A pleading is a formal written statement of a party’s claims or defenses to another party’s claims in a civil action. The parties’ pleadings in a case define the issues to be adjudicated in the action.In this webinar we show you how to create your own pleading for court cases. Over the years I have noticed that many individuals who create their own paperwork do not understand how to create a professionally looking pleading. In this webinar I show you my own secrets to creating a professional looking pleading for all your documents.
In the United States, a complaint is the first pleading filed by a plaintiff which initiates a lawsuit. A complaint sets forth the relevant allegations of fact that give rise to one or more legal causes of action along with a prayer for relief and sometimes a statement of damages claimed (an ad quod damnum clause). In some situations, a complaint is called a petition, in which case the party filing it is called the petitioner and the other party is the respondent. In equity, sometimes called chancery, the initial pleading may be called either a petition or a bill of complaint in chancery.
In England and Wales, the first pleading is a Claim Form, issued under either Part 7 or Part 8 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which sets out the nature of the action and the relief sought, and may give brief particulars of the claim. The Claimant also has the option, under Practice Direction 7A.61 to serve Particulars of Claim (a document setting out the allegations which found the cause of action) within 14 days of issue of the Claim Form.
When used in civil proceedings in England and Wales, the term “complaint” refers to the mechanism by which civil proceedings are instituted in the magistrates’ court  and may be either written or oral.
A demurrer is a pleading (usually filed by a defendant) which objects to the legal sufficiency of the opponent’s pleading (usually a complaint) and demands that the court rule immediately about whether the pleading is legally adequate before the party must plead on the merits in response. Since demurrer procedure required an immediate ruling like a motion, many common law jurisdictions therefore went to a narrower understanding of pleadings as framing the issues in a case but not being motions in and of themselves, and replaced the demurrer with the motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action or the application to strike out particulars of claim.
An answer is a pleading filed by a defendant which admits or denies the specific allegations set forth in a complaint and constitutes a general appearance by a defendant. In England and Wales, the equivalent pleading is called a Defence.