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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The term count has been replaced by the word complaint in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and many state codes of civil procedure.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 ?
Dr Styliani Andronikou, chief embryologist at Dubai Health Authority's Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Centre (DGFC), said: "More than 90 per cent of male infertility cases are due to low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or abnormal morphology or combination of more than one of these.
Andrew Drakeley, clinical director at Liverpool's Hewitt Fertility Centre, said: "The results do give cause for concern, but as always there should be some caution due to the variables that come naturally with testing of sperm counts.
The reason was that some of the studies only investigated smaller number of men, or included only men who attended fertility clinics and in any case more likely to have low sperm counts.
5% having total sperm count of < 40 x 106/ejaculate.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Human exposure to aluminum may be a significant factor in falling sperm counts and reduced male fertility, new research suggests.
Editor's Note: Sperm counts around the world have been dropping.
Low levels of the hormone testosterone decreases sperm count.
The pathological causes for decreased sperm count arise from abnormality in the control mechanism of sperm production at pre-testicular, testicular or post testicular level.
An analysis of about 200 men ages 18-22 found sperm concentration and total sperm count were directly related to physical activity and inversely related to hours spent watching TV.
The World Health Organization defines anything over 16 million sperm per milliliter of semen as a normal sperm count.
Sperm count is an informal term that refers to the concentration of sperm in a given volume of semen.
New research shows that watching TV for more than 20 hours a week can reduce the sperm count to almost half.