For cases in Superior Court all pleadings and other papers are to adhere to a specific form. Your local court rules may have additional requirements for the formatting of pleadings and other court documents. You should consult your local court rules and an attorney for proper formatting for the court that has jurisdiction over your civil action.
Generally, pleadings and other papers are to include a caption. The caption must state the name of the court with jurisdiction, the title of the action, a case file number and identification of what the document is. For a complaint, the title must include the names of all the parties to the action. If a party is unknown, then you must state that you do not know the name of the party and refer to the unknown party by a name to be amended once you learn the true name of the defendant. There are additional formatting requirements, including paragraph numbering, titles, footer notation, etc. that must be adhered to. These additional formatting requirements are found in Civil Rule 10 and your local court rules.
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Superior Court Civil Rule 10 is as follows:
CR 10: FORM OF PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS
(a) Caption. Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the action, the file number if known to the person signing it, and an identification as to the nature of the pleading or other paper.
(1) Names of Parties. In the complaint, the title of the action shall include the names of all the parties, but in other pleadings it is sufficient to state the name of the first party on each side with an appropriate indication of other parties.
(2) Unknown Names. When the plaintiff is ignorant of the name of the defendant, it shall be so stated in the plaintiff’s pleading, and such defendant may be designated in any pleading or proceeding by any name, and when the defendant’s true name shall be discovered, the pleading or proceeding may be amended accordingly.
(3) Unknown Heirs. When the heirs of any deceased person are proper parties’ defendant to any action relating to real property in this state, and when the names and residences of such heirs are unknown, such heirs may be proceeded against under the name and title of the “unknown heirs” of the deceased. In any action brought to determine any adverse claim, estate, lien, or interest in real property, or to quiet title to real property, unknown parties shall be designated as “also all other persons or parties unknown claiming any right, title, estate, lien, or interest in the real estate described in the complaint herein.”
(b) Paragraphs; Separate Statements. All averments of claim or defense shall be made in numbered paragraphs, the contents of each of which shall be limited as far as practicable to a statement of a single set of circumstances; and a paragraph may be referred to by number in all succeeding pleadings. Each claim founded upon a separate transaction or occurrence, and each defense other than denials, shall be stated in a separate count or defense whenever a separation facilitates the clear presentation of the matters set forth.
(c) Adoption by Reference; Exhibits. Statements in a pleading may be adopted by reference in a different part of the same pleading or in another pleading or in any motion. A copy of any written instrument which is an exhibit to a pleading is a part thereof for all purposes.
(d) Format Requirements. [Reserved. See GR 14.]
(e) Format Recommendations. It is recommended that all pleadings and other papers include or provide for the following:
(1) Service and Filing. Space should be left at the top of the first page to provide on the right half space for the clerk’s filing stamp, and space at the left half for acknowledging the receipt of copies.
(2) Title. All pleadings under the space under the docket number should contain a title indicating their purpose and party presenting them. For example:
- Petition for Dissolution
- Defendant’s Motion for Support, etc.
- Order for Support
- Plaintiff’s Trial Brief
DO NOT USE
- Trial Brief
(3) Bottom Notation. At the left side of the bottom of each page of all pleadings and other papers an abbreviated name of the pleading or other paper should be repeated, followed by the page number. At the right side of the bottom of the first page of each pleading or other paper the name, mailing address and telephone number of the attorney or firm preparing the paper should be printed or typed.
(4) Typed Names. The names of all persons signing a pleading or other paper should be typed under their signatures.
(5) Headings and Subheadings. Headings and subheadings should be used for all paragraphs which shall be numbered with roman and/or Arabic numerals.
(6) Numbered Paper. Use numbered paper.
(f) Personal Identifiers Prohibited. [Reserved. See GR 31(e).]
(g) Unpublished Opinions. [Reserved. See GR 14.1.] [Originally effective July 1, 1976; amended effective September 1, 1990; September 1, 2007; April 28, 2015.]
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