File Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is File?

(v) File is the action by which a lawsuit, complaint, petition , replay etc are formally entered in to the records of the legal or statutory authority for the commencement of process related to such written documents.

History and Meaning of File

In the legal context, "File" is the formal entry of a written document into the records of a court or other legal or statutory authority. Filing a document initiates the legal process related to that document, such as a complaint or petition. The act of filing creates a record that is accessible to the public and can be used as evidence in court proceedings.

Filing is an essential part of the legal process, and it serves several purposes. For one, it establishes a timeline for when a document was filed, which is important for determining deadlines and statutes of limitations. Additionally, filing ensures that all parties involved in a case are aware of the document's existence and contents.

Examples of File

Here are a few examples of how the term "file" would be used in various contexts:

  • "The plaintiff's attorney filed a complaint in court against the defendant."
  • "The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case."
  • "The petitioner filed a petition for divorce."
  • "The respondent failed to file an answer within the required timeframe."
  • "The court clerk stamped the document 'filed' and entered it into the docket."

Legal Terms Similar to File

Here are a few related terms that are commonly used in legal contexts:

  • Docket: A list of cases that are pending or have been heard by a court.
  • Service: The act of delivering a legal document to another party or their attorney.
  • Summons: A legal document that notifies a person they are being sued and must appear in court.
  • Pleadings: Written documents submitted by parties to a case that set out the issues and arguments for or against each party.