noun | plead·ing
  1. a : one of the formal declarations (as a complaint or answer) exchanged by the parties in a legal proceeding (as a suit) setting forth claims, averments, allegations, denials, or defenses; also : a written document embodying such a declaration — see also relation back : a written document embodying such a declaration — see also relation back

    b : any of the allegations, averments, claims, denials, or defenses set forth in a pleading

    — alternative pleading
    : a pleading that sets out an alternative theory in support of a plaintiff's claim for relief or a defendant's defense

    — amended pleading
    : a pleading that is filed to replace an original pleading and that contains matters omitted from or not known at the time of the original pleading

    — responsive pleading
    : a pleading that directly responds to another pleading (as by denying in an answer allegations in a complaint)

    — sham pleading
    : a pleading that is factually false, is not made in good faith, and that may be struck

    — supplemental pleading
    : a pleading that supplements an earlier pleading with matters that have occurred or come into existence since the date of the original pleading

  1. : a process or system through which the parties in a legal proceeding present their allegations

    — code pleading
    : pleading (as fact pleading) done in accordance with the rules set down in a code Note: Code pleading began in 1848 in New York State and was a departure from the complex system of common-law pleading, which included a lengthy set of stages by which a single issue was produced, and which was determined by the type of writ under which the plaintiff proceeded.

    — fact pleading
    : pleading that requires a plaintiff to set out in the complaint facts sufficient to establish a cause of action — compare notice pleading in this entry

    — notice pleading
    : pleading that is characterized especially by a simplified description sufficient to give notice of a claim or defense rather than by a technical account of any facts pertinent to the claim or defense — compare fact pleading in this entry Note: Notice pleading is allowed under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and in a majority of states, although complex cases often require substantial detail in the pleading.