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In Common-Law Pleading or Code Pleading, the initial statements made by a plaintiff that set forth a Cause of Action to commence a civil lawsuit; the different points of a plaintiff's declaration, each of which constitute a basis for relief. In Criminal Procedure, one of several parts or charges of an indictment, each accusing the defendant of a different offense.

The term count has been replaced by the word complaint in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and many state codes of civil procedure. Sometimes count is used to denote the numbered paragraphs of a complaint, each of which sets out an essential element of the claim.

Federal and state rules of criminal procedure govern the standards that a criminal count must satisfy in federal and state criminal matters.


n. each separate statement in a complaint which states a cause of action which, standing alone, would give rise to a lawsuit), or each separate charge in a criminal action. For example, the complaint in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit might state: First Count (or cause of action) for negligence, and then state the detailed allegations; Second Count for breach of contract, Third Count for debt, and so forth. In a criminal case each count would be a statement of a different alleged crime. There are also so-called common counts which cover various types of debt. (See: common counts)


noun accusation, allegation, assertion, case for the prosecution, charge, citation, claim, comes, condemnation, countercharge, crimination, delation, denunciation, distinct statement, imputation, inculpation, indictment, item, item in the indictment, main charge, particular charge, statement of a cause of action
Associated concepts: count in an accusatory instrument, ommibus count
See also: accusation, amount, appraise, assess, calculate, canvass, census, charge, complaint, computation, enumerate, item, itemize, poll, quantity, sum, surmise, survey


a paragraph in an indictment containing a distinct and separate charge.

COUNT, pleading. This word, derived from the French conte, a narrative, is in our old law books used synonymously with declaration but practice has introduced the following distinction: when the plaintiff's complaint embraces only a single cause of action, and he makes only one statement of it, that statement is called, indifferently, a declaration or count; though the former is the more usual term.
    2. But when the suit embraces two or more causes of action, (each of which of course requires a different statement;) or when the plaintiff makes two or more different statements of one and the same cause of action, each several statement is called a count, and all of them, collectively, constitute the declaration.
    3. In all cases, however, in which there are two or more counts, whether there is actually but one cause of action or several, each count purports, upon the face of it, to disclose a distinct right of action, unconnected with that stated in any of the other counts.
    4. One object proposed, in inserting two or more counts in one declaration, when there is in fact but one cause of action, is, in some cases, to guard against the danger of an insufficient statement of the cause, where a doubt exists as to the legal sufficiency of one or another of two different modes of declaring; but the more usual end proposed in inserting more than one count in such case, is to accommodate the statement to the cause, as far as may be, to the possible state of the proof to be exhibited on trial; or to guard, if possible, against the hazard of the proofs varying materially from the statement of the cause of action; so that if one or more or several counts be not adapted to the evidence, some other of them may be so. Gould on Pl. c. 4, s. 2, 3, 4; Steph. Pl. 279; Doct. Pl. 1 78; 8 Com. Dig. 291; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t. In real actions, the declaration is most usually called a count. Steph. Pl. 36, See Common count; Money count.

References in periodicals archive ?
rig count for November 2015 was 760, down 31 from the 791 counted in October 2015, and down 1,165 from the 1,925 counted in November 2014.
We have counted more than 5 million ballots on the InkaVote system since 2003-04 and we have shared our experience with them and everything has been fine,'' McCormack said.
In effect, the Supreme Court was saying "We had to refuse to count your (possibly incorrectly rejected) votes in order to vindicate your right to have your votes counted fairly.
rig count for October 2015 was 791, down 57 from the 848 counted in September 2015, and down 1,134 from the 1,925 counted in October 2014.
Cycle counting is cited as being more accurate; the amount of inventory counted at a given time is smaller (e.
When a premier, Spanish-language station decides to stand up to Nielsen and demand that all viewers are counted, it only reinforces and amplifies what the Don't Count Us Out coalition has been advocating.
7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) announced today that the international rig count for September 2015 was 1,140, up 3 from the 1,137 counted in August 2015, and down 183 from the 1,323 counted in September 2014.
That group counted more than 35 different species including the Cedar Waxwing, a stout, buff-colored bird with a black mask.
Cells are classified and counted based on three individual measurements of each cell, including the fluorescence intensity values for the live and dead cell based on uptake of the dyes in Guava's ViaCount solution.
8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) announced today that the international rig count for August 2015 was 1,137, up 19 from the 1,118 counted in July 2015, and down 202 from the 1,339 counted in August 2014.
With a record number of absentee ballots cast and a deluge of last-minute voter registrations, hundreds of thousands of ballots remain to be counted Wednesday across California, officials said Wednesday.
Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI)(PCX:BHI)(EBS:BHI) announced today that the international rig count for March 2002 was 734, up 18 from the 716 counted in February 2002 and up 12 from the 722 counted in March 2001.