Nuances of Drafting a Plaint

Drafting a Plaint

                                                   Nuances of Drafting a Plaint

The civil proceedings of a suit commences with the filing of a plaint. Hence a lawyer drafts the plaint, edits, approves and then types it into a format as requisitioned by the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. The facts contained in a plaint are known as pleadings. Such pleadings contain nothing but facts of the case as narrated by the client or plaintiff.

It requires a professional approach in drafting a plaint. However, a lawyer cannot straightaway embark upon into the process of drafting a plaint. Since the pleadings of the plaint contain essential facts of the case or suit, a lawyer or a paralegal person is drafting the plaint with the facts of the case. Therefore, before drafting a plaint, a lawyer should get complete details of the case from the plaintiff, besides getting instructions as to the reliefs that he seeks.In the process, the plaintiff should also be informed about the requisite court-fee that he has to pay under the existing provisions of law and other connected expenses involved in filing the suit. Needless to say, that the lawyer should also fix his legal fee as per his standing and as per the legal practitioner’s fee rules.

While getting instructions from the plaintiff, a lawyer has to necessarily take down notes on technical details, medical terms, date and time, exact amount involved etc. In the case of a money suit involving promissory note, the details of the promissory note, the name of the borrower, real amount borrowed, the date of borrowing, the details as to the legal notice issued if any etc are considered.Similarly, in the case of a maintenance suit filed by a deserted wife against her neglecting husband, the details as to their marriage, their children along with their date of birth, the date of desertion by the wife, the reason for her desertion, the real amount of maintenance sought for etc.The detailed notes taken on the basis of the instructions obtained from the plaintiff or plaintiffs will be certainly very helpful in drafting an error-free plaint.

While drafting the plaint the lawyer must strictly follow the facts and instructions of the plaintiff. The pleadings should not contain the provisions of law, case-law and the names of the witnesses etc. The plaint should have the name of the court on the top of it as follows: ‘Before the City Civil Court of Chennai’.Then the lawyer writes the case number just below the name of the court as O.S        /2012.Then the short cause title has the skeleton particulars of the plaintiff and the defendant. Just below the short cause title of the plaint, he mentions the real law for the plaint in capital letters.

Then the draft plaint has six parts as follows:

1 and 2.The first and second parts of the plaint  are known as the long cause tile with complete details of the plaintiff and the defendants as to their names, names of their fathers or guardians, their age, religion, caste, employment, if any and their complete address.

3. The third part of the plaint has the complete details of the case that caused  the filing of the suit. The lawyer describes the facts clearly and chronologically into separate paragraphs with serial numbers. Each paragraph should contain a separate fact.

4. The fourth part of the plaint has the details of the cause of action that arose and continues, the court's jurisdiction that enables it to take into file.

5.The fifth part of the plaint has the details of court-fee paid along with legal provisions.

6.The Sixth part of the plaint known as prayer column has the details of reliefs actually sought by the plaintiff from the Honorable court of law.

Then the plaint has provisions for a verified signature by the plaintiff and his counsel on the right and left hand side of the plaint respectively.

If the drafted plaint is with regard to a dispute over an immovable property, the details of the immovable property containing complete details of its survey number, place, boundaries etc are clearly mentioned and then duly signed by the plaintiff and his counsel.

Then the plaint also has the details of documents relied upon by the plaintiff and those documents numbered serially.

After drafting the plaint with the above mentioned details, the lawyer edits the plaint more carefully for its accuracy, before preparing the fair copy of the plaint. Once he files the fair copy of the plaint into the court, any errors that may have inadvertently crept into it cannot be set right except by way of amendment of the plaint that may lead to unnecessary delay in the litigation process. Hence, a lawyer should draft a plaint more carefully to have a smooth sailing in the litigation process.