Complaint Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Complaint, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Complaint?

The first set of legal document that is filed with the court by the complainant to initiate legal proceedings accusing a person of an offense.Complaint must state evidences of the crime commited and on what legal basis the complainant is filing the case.When filing a compalint certain legal rules and principles should be taken into consideartion.

History and Meaning of Complaint

Complaint is a formal legal document submitted by a plaintiff, or complainant, who has a legal issue with another party, known as the defendant. The document initiates the legal process, stating the reasons for the complaint and requesting that the court take action. Complaints have been used for centuries in legal systems all over the world, and the way in which they are formatted and filed has evolved over time.

The modern American complaint typically includes a caption identifying the parties involved, followed by an introduction stating the basis for the court's jurisdiction. The bulk of the complaint is comprised of numbered paragraphs setting forth the claims or allegations against the defendant, and each claim must be supported by factual allegations. The complaint concludes with a request for relief, which is the remedy the plaintiff seeks.

Examples of Complaint

  1. A man files a complaint in court against his neighbor for repeatedly playing loud music late at night and disturbing his peace.
  2. An employee files a complaint against their boss for sexual harassment in the workplace.
  3. A company files a complaint against a former employee for stealing trade secrets and sharing confidential information.

Legal Terms Similar to Complaint

  • Petition: A formal written request made to a court, asking for a particular action to be taken.
  • Indictment: A formal accusation that a person has committed a crime, issued by a grand jury based on evidence presented by prosecutors.
  • Appeal: A legal process whereby a higher court is asked to review and revise the decision of a lower court.
  • Motion: A written or oral request made to a court or judge for a ruling or order.