When filing a pleading with the Court for a personal injury case, an attorney has to be careful to make sure that the pleadings are consistent with what is required by the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure. While Rule 7(a) describes the types of pleadings that are allowed, such as a complaint, or an answer to a complaint or a crossclaim, Rule 10 describes how the pleadings should look.
Next, Rule 10 specifies that each party should separate all of their claims and defenses into separate, numbered paragraphs. This is very useful because it allows for later documents to reference specific claims or defenses, or a specific part of a claim or defense, quickly and easily.
Then Idaho Civil Rule 10 explicitly states that a party can adopt a statement by reference.
Lastly, Idaho Civil Rule 10 gives guidance on how to handle the situation when one party does not know the true name of the other party.
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Idaho Civil Rule 10: Form of Pleading
- Designation of pleading. Every pleading must comply with Rule 2 and must have a Rule 7(a) designation.
- Paragraphs; Separate Statements. A party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances. A later pleading may refer by number to a paragraph in an earlier pleading. If doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence—and each defense other than a denial, must be stated in a separate count or defense.
- Adoption by reference; Exhibits. A statement in a pleading may be adopted by reference elsewhere in the same pleading or in any other pleading or motion. A copy of a written instrument that is an exhibit to a pleading is a part of the pleading for all purposes.
- Unknown party. When a party does not know the true name of another party, that fact may be stated, and that party may be designated by any name and the words, “whose true name is unknown.” When the true name is discovered, the pleading must be amended accordingly.
Rule 10 describes how the pleading should look before it is submitted to the court. In the rule, there are cross-references to Rule 2 and Rule 7(a).
Rule 2, as described earlier, sets forth the formatting that the court requires. These are items such as that paper being 8 ½” by 11”, the paper being white, and that the words have to all be in black ink. In addition, Rule 2 requires that there is a title for the document and that the case number is on the document as well.
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