Bill of Particulars


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Bill of Particulars

A written statement used in both civil and criminal actions that is submitted by a plaintiff or a prosecutor at the request of a defendant, giving the defendant detailed information concerning the claims or charges made against him or her.

In civil actions a bill of particulars is a written demand for the specifics of why an action at law was brought. Although usually requested by a defendant, it can be demanded by a plaintiff if the defendant makes a counterclaim for a setoff or asserts a defense against him or her. A bill can be submitted either voluntarily or pursuant to a court order for compliance with the demand. Its function is to give the party who requests it knowledge of what the opposing party has alleged in order to protect the party requesting the bill from surprise and in order to establish the real issues of the action. It also serves to expedite the orderly progress of judicial proceedings by reducing, if not eliminating, the need for the amendment of ambiguous or vague pleadings. A bill of particulars is neither a Pleading nor proof of the facts it states, but, rather, an elucidation of a pleading. It is not to be used as a discovery device to learn the evidence or strategy to be used at trial by the opposing party.

State codes of Civil Procedure impose rules that govern the use of bills of particulars in civil actions brought in state court. In federal courts the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have replaced the use of a bill of particulars with a motion for a more definite statement. If, however, the information sought by such a motion is obtainable by use of discovery mechanisms, the motion will be denied.

In Criminal Law, a bill of particulars serves the same purpose. It is submitted by the prosecution to the defendant, at the defendant's demand, to provide the facts alleged in the complaint or the indictment that related to the commission of the crime. The defendant is given notice of the offenses with which he or she is charged so that a defense may be prepared and the possibility of surprise or Double Jeopardy avoided. As in civil procedure, a bill of particulars is not intended to serve as a discovery device.

State codes of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure regulate the use of bills of particulars in criminal prosecutions in their respective courts.

bill of particulars

n. a written itemization of claims which a defendant in a law suit can demand of the plaintiff to find out what are the details of the claims. Thus, a general claim that defendant owes plaintiff $50,000 for goods delivered or damaged must be broken down so the defendant can understand and defend. In criminal cases it can give an accused person notice of the factual bases for the charges.

BILL OF PARTICULARS, practice. A detailed informal statement of a plaintiff is cause of action, or of the defendants's set-off.
     2. In all actions in which the plaintiff declares generally, without specifying his cause of action, a judge upon application will order him to give the defendant a bill of the particulars, and in the meantime stay, proceedings. 3 John. R. 248. And when the defendant gives notice or pleads a set-off, he will be required to give a bill of the particulars of his set- off, on failure of which he will be precluded from giving any evidence in support of it at the trial. The object in both cases is to prevent surprise and procure a fair trial. 1 Phil. Ev. 152; 3 Stark Ev. 1055. The bill of particulars is an account of the items of the demand, and states in what manner they arose. Mete. & Perk. Dig. h. t. For forms, see Lee's Dict. of Pr., Particulars of demand.

References in periodicals archive ?
(96) Still not having received the material, the defendant moved to enforce the order on May 21, 2007, "asserting that plaintiff failed to serve a supplemental bill of particulars within [forty-five] days of the [conditional] order and, [therefore,] that the ...
With the bill of particulars out of the way, the court has set the arraignment of Allejos on June 21, 2019, at 8:30 a.m inside the Fifth Division courtroom.
'We emphasize that our ruling to grant the present motion is limited only to the documents that have relation to matters specified in the matrix appended to the prosecution's bill of particulars,' the court noted.
The court held, inter alia, that the defendants' motion to dismiss the second cause of action, and, in effect, to strike the allegations in the bill of particulars corresponding to that cause of action.
Reyes said Enrile in fact cited the Bill of Particulars in his motion to quash the information, which Tang even denied.
On the other hand, Andaya's case is put on hold to give the prosecution time to comment on his motion for reconsideration regarding the denial of his bill of particulars.
In her motion, Reyes argued that the court's Third Division denied her quashal motion because the Supreme Court in August 2015 ruled that the case was presupposed to be valid when Enrile filed a motion for a bill of particulars.
has asked the Sandiganbayan Third Division to reconsider its ruling junking his omnibus motion for bill of particulars and to defer arraignment.
In her motion, Reyes explained that the court's Third Division, in denying her quashal motion, cited the Supreme Court's August 2015 ruling that the case is presupposed to be valid when Enrile filed a motion for bill of particulars to specify the details.
Andaya filed an omnibus motion for bill of particulars and to defer arraignment, while pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, her kids James Christopher and Jo Christine Napoles and her nephew Ronald Francisco Lim filed motions to quash.
As an alternative to the outright dismissal of her case, Quisumbing asked the court's Second Division to require the Ombudsman to submit a bill of particulars specifying the details of the criminal charges against her.
Reyes said Tang clearly showed bias when it applied the Supreme Court decision on Enrile's bill of particulars that found Enrile's plunder information valid, in finding Reyes' plunder charge valid as well, but did not apply the same decision when it prohibited Reyes from benefiting in Enrile's bill of particulars.