Count Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Count?

It refers to the opening complain statement by the plaintiff in the lawsuit which declares that a course of action be taken for such declaration, is known as count. A plaintiffs complain may have more than two counts and it can lead to different set of action by the court. In a criminal case such counts are different offences that has been put forward by plaintiff.

History and Meaning of Count

Count is a term used in legal proceedings to denote the separate allegations or claims for relief brought forth by a plaintiff in a complaint. It is a specific charge or claim against the defendant in a lawsuit, whether civil or criminal. The term 'count' is generally applied to indictments or any written statements of charges, and refers to each separate offense that is charged.

The term ‘count’ dates back to early English common law, where it was an essential part of the pleadings used in civil actions. Each separate claim for relief was contained in a separate document known as a count. The complaints in the civil and criminal cases were typically divided into counts, enabling the parties to know the specific charges or claims for relief.

##Examples of Count

  1. In a civil lawsuit, a plaintiff might have multiple counts against the defendant, each count representing a different claim or cause of action, such as breach of contract or negligence.
  2. In criminal proceedings, a prosecutor may have multiple counts against a defendant, each count representing a different criminal offense that the defendant is being charged with, such as theft or assault.
  3. A complaint may have a single count or multiple counts, with each count identifying a specific cause of action.
  4. In a class action lawsuit, there may be multiple counts on behalf of a large number of plaintiffs.
  5. In a divorce proceeding, there may be multiple counts of fault, such as adultery or abandonment, which could impact the outcome of the case.

Legal Terms Similar to Count

  1. Indictment - a formal charge or accusation of a serious crime usually committed by a grand jury.
  2. Cause of action - a set of facts or allegations that gives rise to a legal right to sue someone in the court of law usually in the context of a civil case.
  3. Complaint - a written statement filed by a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit that identifies the action they wish to take, and usually includes claims of damages or other relief.