Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California

Q: Are the exhibits part of the complaint?

I filed a complaint, added 33 exhibits. The defendant is filing a motion to dismiss for prolix evidentiary averments. My complaint is 10 pages and rest are exhibits for the jury to see and examine (about 140 pages of exhibits). Shall I lessen my exhibits?

2 Lawyer Answers
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The accusation of "prolix evidentiary averments" is quite unusual and at most could result in the court's requiring the complaint to be amended, not dismissed. But if the complaint itself is not padded with excess evidentiary matter, and the over-abundance is in the exhibits, it is not objectionable. The exhibits need not have been filed with the complaint if they are intended ultimately to be offered and used at trial. The complaint is adequate if it clearly states its claims in conclusory terms without detailed evidentiary support.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In both federal and California state courts, exhibits can be part of the complaint to help illustrate or support the allegations contained within it. However, it is not customary to attach a large number of exhibits to a complaint; usually, the essential facts are pled in the complaint itself, and the evidence (including exhibits) is introduced as the case progresses. Given that the defendant is moving to dismiss for prolix evidentiary averments, it may be prudent to consider streamlining the complaint to focus on the most critical evidence, thereby addressing concerns of over-complexity and perhaps strengthening your position against the motion to dismiss.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp agrees with this answer

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