2009 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 898 Pleading
Sec. 52-91. Pleadings; contents of complaint.

      Sec. 52-91. Pleadings; contents of complaint. There shall be one form of civil action. The first pleading on the part of the plaintiff shall be known as the complaint and shall contain a statement of the facts constituting the cause of action and, on a separate page of the complaint, a demand for the relief, which shall be a statement of the remedy or remedies sought. When money damages are sought in the demand for relief, the demand for relief shall set forth: (1) That the amount, legal interest or property in demand is fifteen thousand dollars or more, exclusive of interest and costs; or (2) that the amount, legal interest or property in demand is two thousand five hundred dollars or more but is less than fifteen thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs; or (3) that the amount, legal interest or property in demand is less than two thousand five hundred dollars, exclusive of interest and costs. In addition, in a contract action in which only money damages are sought and in which the amount, legal interest or property in demand is less than fifteen thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs, the demand for relief shall also set forth whether or not the remedy sought is based upon an express or implied promise to pay a definite sum.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7813; P.A. 77-497, S. 2, 7; 77-604, S. 61, 84; P.A. 78-379, S. 19, 27; P.A. 81-416, S. 4, 5; P.A. 82-160, S. 47; P.A. 83-144.)

      History: P.A. 77-497 clarified provisions, specifying that complaint shall not allege amount of money damages sought but that it shall be a statement of remedy sought, an allegation of court's jurisdiction and, on and after July 1, 1978, a statement that amount, legal interest or property demanded is or is not less than $7,500; P.A. 77-604 changed effective date of P.A. 77-497 but not with respect to this section; P.A. 78-379 deleted provision allowing defendant to "plead to jurisdiction or in abatement, or both" and form for that plea; P.A. 81-416 provided that on or after July 1, 1981, a complaint must state whether the amount in demand is less than or not less than $15,000, replacing the former amount of $7,500; P.A. 82-160 added provisions concerning the statement required if the amount, legal interest or property in demand is less than $5,000 or less than $2,500; P.A. 83-144 replaced provisions re allegations of the amount in demand and the threshold amounts with the provision that when money damages are sought the demand for relief shall set forth that the amount, legal interest or property in demand, exclusive of interest and costs, is (1) $15,000 or more, (2) $2,500 or more, but less than $15,000 or (3) less than $2,500, and added provision that in a contract action in which money damages of less than $15,000 are sought the demand for relief shall set forth whether or not the remedy sought is based upon an express or implied promise to pay a definite sum.

      See Sec. 52-122 re inability of this section to affect flowage petitions on certain proceedings.

      See Sec. 52-519 re form of writ, affidavit and bond in replevin actions.

      Judgment set aside as it did not conform to pleadings. 146 C. 639. Judgment of appellate court in Southington `84 Association v. Silver Dollar Stores, Inc., 39 CA 608 reversed. 237 C. 758. P.A. 77-497 cited. Id. P.A. 83-144 cited. Id.

      Practice Act. Does not change law as to statute of limitations. 52 C. 145. Formal and technical objections should be made known as soon as possible. 53 C. 52; 57 C. 161; 75 C. 279. Does not apply to quo warranto; 55 C. 121; nor to criminal prosecution. 72 C. 606. Application to replevin. 77 C. 463. Rules concerning departure still in force. 60 C. 83; 85 C. 271. Purpose is to do away with artificial forms and distinctions; 56 C. 24; 63 C. 560; 73 C. 5; 83 C. 670; as between law and equity; 63 C. 559; 81 C. 402; but it goes only to matters of form; 68 C. 372; 90 C. 581; pleadings conform to equity practice. 72 C. 195. It did not profess to introduce a complete new system, but to make the old system more convenient; 71 C. 198; to distinguish between what is a defect of substance and one of form; 72 C. 449; to simplify and unify all pleadings; 71 C. 717; to bring into the record a plain statement of facts. 74 C. 702. It encourages but does not require the settlement of all controversies in one action. 79 C. 693; 80 C. 218; 81 C. 246. It enables the court to determine ultimate rights and grant all proper relief. 81 C. 552. It does not seek to bring parties to a single issue. 67 C. 377. Power of court over issues. 80 C. 223; 85 C. 434; 86 C. 561. Controversy in probate court not an action. 90 C. 50. Rules apply to book debt. 78 C. 645. Act has not changed substantive law; same facts give right to same redress as before and no other. 90 C. 576. Rules of pleading not applicable to hearing before judge under special statute. 95 C. 89.

      Complaint. Term is applicable to action either at law or in equity. 60 C. 213. Recovery in contract may be had, if necessary facts proved, though plaintiff treated action as in tort. 68 C. 459. Necessity of counting on statute in action for statutory relief. 69 C. 210; 72 C. 159; 77 C. 569; 80 C. 434; 81 C. 626. It is better to refer to statute in prayer for relief. 75 C. 694; 84 C. 47. Compliance with all its terms must be alleged. 86 C. 568; 90 C. 527. All material facts must appear. 51 C. 433; 67 C. 378; 79 C. 255. Should not anticipate defense. 73 C. 477; 77 C. 638; 99 C. 311; 81 C. 287. Sufficient to show prima facie right; 77 C. 638; need not allege matter necessary only for complete adjudication of rights; 72 C. 86; or offsets or partial payments; 65 C. 537; in action of contract, general allegation sufficient to give notice of claim suffices. 81 C. 653. Bill of particulars after special count improper. 79 C. 257. Equitable relief should be specially demanded, unless facts show what it should be. 71 C. 251; 78 C. 497. Both legal and equitable relief may be sought. 72 C. 554; 77 C. 214. Need not allege that plaintiff was "specially damaged," where facts show it. 66 C. 420. Broad conclusion of law insufficient if facts fail to support it. 81 C. 325. Alternative relief may be claimed against corporation or its officers according as contract made by latter is found to be authorized or not. 93 C. 479. In action on specialty not necessary to allege a consideration. 97 C. 195. Necessary averments in complaints by trustee in bankruptcy to recover property conveyed away by bankrupt in fraud of creditors. 99 C. 310. In appeal from doings of former board of relief, no specific prayer for relief is necessary if relief desired is obvious from allegations of complaint. 109 C. 360. Necessity for averment showing how plaintiff is aggrieved. Id. Cited. 179 C. 406.

      Pleas to the jurisdiction and in abatement. Plea in abatement is not favored. 69 C. 272; 73 C. 428; 74 C. 126. Must be certain. 64 C. 74; 69 C. 272; 73 C. 538; Id., 563. Will not be aided by inference. 79 C. 526. Must demand relief. 72 C. 444; 74 C. 127. In construing, ordinary import of language followed; not necessary to negative every claim contra. 64 C. 76; 85 C. 618. Proper function to state facts not appearing of record. 82 C. 483; 83 C. 677. Where facts undisputed, plea should be framed to raise question of law. 75 C. 544. Requisites to attack premature bringing of action; 70 C. 157; another action pending; 68 C. 473; 70 C. 157; absence of recognizance in injunction suit; 73 C. 538; defective service; 73 C. 559; tax appeal; 72 C. 330; failure to take appeal to supreme court in proper time. 79 C. 526. Plea to jurisdiction unnecessary when. 72 C. 430. Defect in jurisdiction of subject matter may be taken advantage of at any time; 71 C. 270; 74 C. 265; 89 C. 200; court may act suo motu; 86 C. 351; 85 C. 517; motion to erase proper when. 79 C. 58; 90 C. 293; 97 C. 123; Id., 399. Demurrer not proper way to raise question. 85 C. 679. Certain issues may be raised either by answer, plea in abatement or plea to jurisdiction. 85 C. 263. Waiver of lack of jurisdiction where nonresident appears, answers and defends. 96 C. 266. Necessity of special appearance and plea to raise issue of jurisdiction. 97 C. 127. See note to section 52-123. When one not a party defendant in trial court entered an appearance there, was treated throughout trial as a party and filed a request for a finding, his status as a party defendant may not be attacked for first time in supreme court on plea in abatement. 109 C. 330. Plea to jurisdiction not improper, but plea in abatement may raise any issue going to jurisdiction of court. 121 C. 347. Plea in abatement appropriate remedy for taking appeal to wrong term of court. 122 C. 153. Not necessary that supreme court be in session when plea in abatement to appeal filed, and defects in appeal proceedings not waived because counsel filing plea entered general appearance. 130 C. 467. Where defect of jurisdiction appears on face of record, either plea in abatement or motion to erase may be used; 131 C. 532; but plea in abatement necessary if facts are relied upon which do not appear in record, and costs are not recoverable upon granting of motion to erase but are upon sustaining of plea. 133 C. 280. Plea in abatement, defects unavoidable. 132 C. 147. Irregularity in physician's certificate in bastardy proceeding may be subject matter for plea in abatement. 147 C. 418. Plea in abatement filed in the second suit is the proper method of raising the claim of a prior action pending. Id., 482. When want of jurisdiction appears on the face of the record, a motion to erase held proper rather than a plea in abatement. 148 C. 336; 150 C. 588. Cited. 169 C. 646. Cited. 176 C. 401. Cited. 180 C. 223. Cited. 184 C. 569. Cited. 209 C. 526. Cited. 240 C. 576.

      Cited. 1 CA 109. Cited. 15 CA 185. Cited. 30 CA 129. Cited. 39 CA 544; Id., 608; judgment reversed, see 237 C. 758. Cited. 45 CA 775.

      It is not proper to plead the same matter in abatement and in bar. 1 CS 59. Mortgage creditor seeking to procure a deficiency judgment must allege facts in complaint sufficient to support a judgment in personam. 6 CS 121. Cited. 10 CS 305. Plea in abatement is not favored and should, therefore, comply strictly with the statutory requirements. 16 CS 503. Plea in abatement and to the jurisdiction which contains no prayer for judgment demurrable. 18 CS 155. Motion to erase is proper when court's lack of jurisdiction is evident on the face of the record. 21 CS 19; 156; 352. A demurrer to a plea in abatement, raising the claim that an injured plaintiff is covered by the workmen's compensation act and therefore cannot sue at common law, sustained since the matter raised is actually a matter in bar. Id., 240. Purpose of a plea in abatement is to bring before the court facts affecting the jurisdiction not apparent on the face of the record. Id., 375. Pendency of a prior suit between same parties for the same thing will abate an action unless it appears that the prior suit would be ineffectual. 23 CS 308. Application to court to examine corporate records must be made by writ, summons and complaint. 25 CS 253. Authorization by claims commission for plaintiff to sue the state was related to the amount requested under section 4-147, and suit for more than that amount was abatable. 26 CS 24. Where plea in abatement specified that under a contract between the parties a condition precedent to any right of legal action was a decision by arbitrators, the plaintiff was sufficiently apprised of how the cause of abatement could have been avoided. Id., 42, 43. Where defendant claimed court had no jurisdiction of the action, a plea in abatement was proper. Id., 43. Cited. 34 CS 628. Cited. 35 CS 609. Cited. 36 CS 47. Cited. 38 CS 389. Cited. 40 CS 188.

      Concurrent remedies do not conflict so as to be pleadable in abatement, even though recovery in one case may operate as bar to another. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 96. Demurrer allowed where unable to determine what causes of action were directed to defendant as individual and in her representative capacity. Id., 116. Cited. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 317. Where jurisdictional defect claimed is lack of service, the proper pleading is a plea in abatement and not to the jurisdiction. Id., 321.


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