Statements, in logical and legal form, of the facts that constitute a plaintiff’s cause of action and a defendant’s ground of defense. They are either allegations by the parties affirming or denying certain matters of fact, or other statements by them in support or derogation of certain principles of law, which are intended to have the effect of disclosing to the court or jury the real matter in dispute.
Modern code procedure often includes only a complaint an answer, and where necessary, a reply to the answer. Pleadings may be on the merits, and thus peremptory, or else they may be based on some other ground which prevents the case from going to the jury, in which case they are referred to as dilatory pleas. Modern procedure permits liberal amendments to leadings and thus defects in pleadings will directly affect a party’s case only in rare instances.