What is a Statement of Case?

Daphne Mallory

A statement of case in English law refers to formal documents filed by the parties to a lawsuit. According to the rules of civil procedure, the particulars of claim, defense, and reply and counterclaims are collectively the statement of the case. The documents show the factual and legal basis that the plaintiff or defendant uses to plead the case.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

In American law, the statement of case is one document that is filed with the court. It often consists of several pages that detail the case background, statement of facts, and legal argument. The statement of case is not often used to advance legal arguments in English law, but to allege facts that will be used in the case to substantiate the claims that the parties make.

Legal pleadings and a statement of case are used interchangeably in some jurisdictions. Its purpose is to provide documentation of the facts that underline the disputes between the parties who must file the required documents. For example, a plaintiff who alleges that the defendant is liable for negligence has to prepare a particulars of claim and possibly a reply that allege the facts that are necessary to prove the elements of negligence. The parties often have to exchange those documents so they can respond accordingly, and it’s helpful in preparing their cases.

The three parts that are common to a statement of case filed in the courts in the United States, such as the district courts, include the background of the case, the facts that support the claims made, and the legal argument used to prove or defend a case. The background is often a brief and chronological account of the facts of the case written in a narrative style, and it ends with what the plaintiff or defendant will attempt to prove throughout the litigation proceedings. The facts of the case are often one or two sentences that are written as numbered paragraphs and address each element of a case that the plaintiff has to prove in order to win the case. The legal argument is often written like an essay, listing the applicable statutes and case laws that the plaintiff is relying on for favorable ruling from the court. The statement of case is filed with the court like any other legal proceeding, listing the names of the parties, the case number, and a title, such as “Plaintiff’s Statement of Case.”

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