These forms are examples of some typical pleadings filed in civil cases. A complaint is the document that a plaintiff files to begin a lawsuit. It contains a clear statement of the important facts underlying the plaintiff’s claims and states the legal cause(s) of action. An answer is a document filed by a defendant in response to the allegations made in the plaintiff’s complaint.
The forms do not give legal advice. Using a form does not guarantee that what you file will be legally or factually correct or sufficient. The forms are not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
A form complaint may ask for more or less information than what the court requires. You should consult the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules of the Middle District of Tennessee, and the laws that apply to your particular case to make sure you understand what information is required.
These forms do not cover all of the different types of claims or defenses that you may need to make in your case. They also do not cover all of the types of filings that you may need to make. They are general examples only. Be careful to use the form that fits your case and change the information that the form asks for as needed.
The forms do not give guidance on when certain filings have to be raised in your case. They do not tell you who should be sued as a defendant to your claims. Some filings have to be made by certain deadlines that are set by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules of this court, and the substantive law of your case. There are also limits on who can be sued and when defendants have to be named in a particular case. You should consult the applicable rules and law to learn the deadlines and other limits that apply to your case.
Everything you file with the court will be included in the electronic docket of your case and will be available to the public. For that reason, you should consult Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2, which addresses privacy concerns. Under that rule, nothing you file with the court should include anyone’s full Social Security Number or birth date, the name of a minor, or a complete financial account number. You may identify minors by their initials and include the last four digits of a Social Security Number or other account number.
Computer terminals are available for use by pro se litigants in Room 803 in the Clerk’s Office, located on the eighth floor of the U.S. Courthouse, 801 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee. The Clerk’s Office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.
The following form complaints and answer are provided by the United States Courts here:
- Complaint for a Civil Case
- Complaint and Request for Injunction
- Defendant’s Answer to the Complaint
- Complaint for a Civil Case Alleging Breach of Contract
- Complaint for a Civil Case Alleging Negligence
- Complaint for a Civil Case Alleging that the Defendant Owes the Plaintiff a Sum of Money
- Complaint for Employment Discrimination
- Complaint for Violations of Fair Labor Standards
- Complaint for Specific Performance or Damages Based on a Contract to Convey Real Property
- Complaint for the Conversion of Property
- Third Party Complaint
- Complaint for Interpleader and Declaratory Relief
- Complaint for Review of Social Security Decision
- Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights–—Prisoner
- Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights—Non-prisoner
You may need to use the following forms to address other aspects of your case after the complaint and answer have been filed: (all can be found here)
- Civil Cover Sheet (JS 44)(to be filed with the complaint)
- Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (AO 239)
- Summons in a Civil Action (AO 440)
- Subpoena to Testify at a Deposition in a Civil Action (AO 88A)
- Subpoena to Appear and Testify at a Hearing or Trial in a Civil Action (AO 88)
- Subpoena to Produce Documents, Information, or Objects or to Permit Inspection of Premises in a Civil Action (AO 88B)
- Judgment in a Civil Case (AO 450)
Other forms that you may find useful may be found on the court's website.
NOTHING ON THIS PAGE IS INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE OR TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL COUNSEL OF A LAWYER.