Saturday, 15 September 2012

Commencing a Lawsuit

Commencing a Lawsuit

THE FOLLOWING IS STRICTLY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES - NO LAWYER CLIENT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS UNTIL I HAVE CONFIRMED SAME IN WRITING AND RECEIVED THE AGREED UPON RETAINER

The First Step in commencing a lawsuit is filing a complaint.  In most instances, a complaint is filed in Florida State Court.  If the amount in controversy is less than $5,000.00, it is filed in small claims court.  If the amount in controversy is between $5,000.00 and $15,000.00 it gets filed in county court, and if its over $15,000.00 it gets filed in circuit court (all limits subject to change).  Occasionally, if you're suing someone from a different State for more than $75,000.00 or under a Federal Statute, it gets filed in Federal Court.

A well written complaint has the following parts:

1.   The Name of the Court
2.   The Case Caption - naming the Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s).
3.   The word "Complaint" and a run on sentence listing the names of all Plaintiffs suing all Defendants.
4.   The legal reason why the Court has jurisdiction, i.e. see amounts above.
5.   The legal reason why suit is proper in the area (venue).  Generally, you must sue a Defendant where they live or where the incident occurred.
6.   The names and legal capacities of the parties, i.e. adult individuals, minor or disabled individuals, corporations.
7.   The first cause of action against the Defendant.
8.   At the end of the first cause of action, a Wherefore clause, setting out the relief requested.
9.   Any other causes of action.
10. At the end of a complaint, your name, address and phone number (signature block).
11. If your claim arises because of a piece of paper or contract, attach a copy if you have one (Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.130).

I've included a template below of a complaint I filed, with personal information redacted.  (Remember you'll also need to file a civil cover sheet that you get from the Court, and have a summons issued to get your lawsuit going).  If you're looking for a template for some other cause of action, just shoot me a message.  I have lots of template, from auto collisions to breach of contract, insurance etc.  If I have one you're looking for, a $5 charge applies to cover my time.

SAMPLE COMPLAINT FILED IN CIRCUIT COURT


IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND
FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
CASE NO.: 
JAMES DOE and JANE DOE,
husband and wife,

            Plaintiffs,

vs.

STEVE DOWRONGER

Defendants.
___________________________________/

COMPLAINT

COME NOW, the Plaintiffs, JAMES DOE and JANE DOE, husband and wife, by and through their undersigned counsel, and sues the Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER, and allege:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1.         This is an action where the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000.00, exclusive of costs, interest or attorneys’ fees, as well as for partition and equitable relief.
            2.         Venue is proper in Brevard County Florida, where the cause of action accrued and where the property and Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER is located.
PARTIES
3.                  Plaintiffs JAMES DOE and JANE DOE, husband and wife, are adult individuals, residents of Brevard County, Florida.  JAMES DOE is over sixty-five years of age.
4.         Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER, an adult individual and resident of Brevard County, Florida, residing at 1 Rue Street, Cocoa, FL 32000.
FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS
5.         Plaintiff JAMES DOE lived at 1 Rue Street, Cocoa, FL 32000 with Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER.
            7.         Plaintiff JAMES DOE and Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER owned that property as joint tenants with right of survivorship.  Plaintiffs’ Exhibit “1”.
8.         Plaintiff JAMES DOE kept the following personalty on the property, hereinafter collectively referred to as “PERSONAL PROPERTY LIST”:
a)                  5 Penn brand deep sea fishing poles;
b)                  1 electric fishing pole;
9.                  Plaintiff JAMES DOE had a financial account at X Credit Union, where he contributed, on information and belief, more than $4,000.00 into same. 
10.       At some point, Plaintiff JAMES DOE had Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER added to that account as a joint tenant for his convenience, in the event of his death.
            11.       Additionally, Plaintiff JAMES DOE purchased 2 vehicles with Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER.  One vehicle was a 2002 Chevrolet Astro Extended Sport Van, having VIN # A, while the second was a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, with VIN # B.  Both vehicles were originally titled between Plaintiff JAMES DOE and STEVE DOWRONGER, as either co-tenants or joint tenants.
            12.       Also, Plaintiff JAMES DOE purchased assorted personalty and furniture for normal household use, including the furniture, which will be more fully listed with further discovery.  It is averred that Plaintiff JAMES DOE purchased same individually, or in the alternative, as a co-tenant or joint tenant.
            13.       Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER ousted JAMES DOE from possession of the property located at 1 Rue Street, Cocoa, FL 32000, including all personalty therein.
            14.       Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER removed the contributions made by JAMES DOE from the X Credit Union account, averred to be more than $4,000.00.
            15.       Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER then had the 2 vehicles titled solely in her name.
            16.       Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER has failed return Plaintiff JAMES DOE to possession of his personalty, listed in the PERSONAL PROPERTY LIST above, or to allow him access to the premises.
            17.       Plaintiff JAMES DOE later added JENNY GUMP to the title of the real property listed above.  Plaintiff’s Exhibit “2”.
18.       All conditions precedent have been satisfied, performed or waived.
COUNT I
PARTITION OF REAL PROPERTY
JAMES DOE and JENNY GUMP vs. STEVE DOWRONGER and
CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC
19.       Plaintiffs incorporate by reference all prior paragraphs, as if same were set forth more fully at length herein.
20.       This is an action for partition of the real property located at 1 Rue Street, Cocoa, FL 32000.
21.       Plaintiffs and Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER, as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, own the above listed parcel of real property.
22.       Defendant CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC may claim some interest in the property by virtue of a mortgage or other such lien.
23.       Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER is in possession of the real property, and has ousted Plaintiffs from same, and has refused access to the property, even with Sheriffs present.
24.       Plaintiffs are entitled to their share of the reasonable rental value of the property during the period of ouster.
25.       The property is not divisible and is not subject to partition in kind without prejudice to the owners.
26.       Plaintiffs know of no other person besides Defendant STEVE DOWRONGER, or CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC who owns, or claims to own, any interest in the property.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff pray that this Court will determine the equities between the parties, grant a partition of the property by ordering the property sold, award Plaintiffs attorneys fees and costs to be paid from the sale proceeds, as provided by statute, together with any equity determination in Plaintiff’s favor, and grant such other relief as may be just and proper.
Dated this 11th day of September, 2009.

   By:   __________________________________________
                                                                        Michael B. Lesage
                                                            815 South Washington Ave
                                                                        Titusville, FL 32780
                                                                        321-269-xxxx                                                                                                                                           
                                                                        Florida Bar No.:  xxxxxx
                                                                        Attorney for the Plaintiff


3 comments:

  1. I need a form for filing suit in Escambia County Florid against the Escambia County Sheriffs Department for Malpractice and illegal Surveillance/harassment

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  2. I like seeing this template, and wonder WHY IN HELL the Florida circuits do not provide a similar template to guide pro se litigants.

    Regarding civil lawsuits, pro se plaintiffs have difficulty finding templates for the many causes of action. I found an excellent book from James Publishing entitled "FLORIDA CAUSES OF ACTION" with the book in print and on CD for $100. Marc Wites, one of the authors, also shows a lot of causes free at his web site http://floridalitigationguide.com. People can subscribe for $50 per year. Each cause of action entry shows the cause, the elements of the cause, supporting Florida case law, and defenses against the cause with supporting case law. This becomes an excellent tool for properly preparing the lawsuit.

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  3. HEY I NEED A COMPLAINT FORM IN REGARDS TO MY SON BOUGHT A CAR AND HE TOOK IT FOR TUNE UP THE NEXT DAY AND THE FRAME OF THE CAR WAS NOT EVEN BOLTED TO THE CAR AND THE AMOUNT HE IS TRYING TO SUE FOR IS 6800.00 OVER THE 5000.00 AND THEY SAID HE HAD TO FILE HIS ON COMPLAINT SO I NEED SOME KIND OF FORM. SO IF YOU CAN PLEASE EMAIL ME AT francesgirl35@yahoo.com

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