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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The term count has been replaced by the word complaint in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and many state codes of civil procedure.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 ?
Comtesse Michele, a self-styled French aristocrat, used to be Heather's US spokeswoman but was hired as her "official worldwide spokesperson" after previous publicist Phil Hall ditched her over a series of emotional telly rants.
Jennifer is the Comtesse de Vache, who is infinitely more concerned with her own affairs than with the rising tide of blood around the palace of Versailles.
Hosts include Kate Bouquard, Daniel Colon, Muffy Flouret, Nathalie Kaplan, Comtesse Elisabeth de Kergorlay, Clemence von Mueffling, and Marie-Noelle Pierce.
On Boulevard des Moulins there are now shops slightly more affordable than the Comtesse du Barry's foiegras and truffle emporium.
THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, The Comtesse d'Egmont Pignatelli in Spanish Costume by Alexander Roslin, (1718-98), 1763.
Outsider Comtesse de Loir put in a strong late run and almost drew level but, even with her rider unable to use his whip, Sea-Bird's daughter was holding the other filly close home and gained the verdict by a head.
Otterburn rider Diana Gilbertson and her seven-year-old Anglo Arab High Crane Comtesse took the Junior Restricted ODE section after scoring a 47.
Saunders plays the Comtesse de Vache, while French stars as her maid Lisette, who listens to her dish the dirt on her enemies.
Winners were Allan Bell of NIB Health Funds in Australia; Carita Vallinkoski of Competence Call Center AG in Austria; Isabel Cristina Silva of Merck Sharp & Dohme Brasil in Brazil; Sandi Laird of The London Free Press in Canada; Cendrine Martinez of Comtesse Du Barry in France; Markus Schwarz of SellByTel/HelpbyCom in Germany; Ahmad Tahlak of Emirates Airline in the United Arab Emirates, Beat Stettler Mobility CarSharing in Switzerland; Vicky Jenkins of Ventura in the United Kingdom, and Frank Veros of Ford Motor Co.
The dinner featured five Cristal vintages as well as wines from Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and Adriano Ramos Pinto Port paired with three star Michelin Chef Daniel Boulud's menu.
On the agenda will be the heist at Graff, the 2004 theft of the Comtesse de Vendome diamond necklace in Tokyo by the Balkan-based Pink Panther gang and the bold robbery of pounds 21million in diamonds from a Belgian bank in March.
Also worth considering are other hybrid varieties that bloom on new wood, such as the late summer-flowering Comtesse de Bouchard, which has cyclamen pink petals with just a hint of mauve.