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When does a complaint need to be verified?

New York, NY |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

And if it's verified, does it need to be notarized? And if it's not notarized, can it be nullified?

What if it's a civil suit like breach of contract, tortious intereference, unfair competition.

Attorney Answers 4


A complaint, or any pleading, must be verified by the party or by the party's attorney if attorneys office is not within the County where the party resides. If it's verified by the party, it must be notarized.

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Gregory Scott Gennarelli

Gregory Scott Gennarelli


just so there's no confusion, while might not have to verify every, in practice I would never file a complaint that is not verified as there are benefits to having it verified.


If it is a divorce action it needs to be verified. If it needs to be verified, then you need to have it notarized.

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Generally, complaints in NY state practice do not have to be verified except in matrimonial cases and petitions in certain special proceedings (such as an eviction proceeding). So, a complaint in garden variety personal injury suit, or a breach of contract action does not have to be verified.

If you are looking to attack a complaint served upon you for an improper verification, you are spinning your wheels. Take a look at CPLR 3022. Courts are generally not impressed with an objection based upon an alleged improper verification

Good Luck

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. The answer given is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for contacting an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and obtaining legal advice from such an attorney.

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Dear when does a complaint need to be verified?

From your description of the causes of action in the lawsuit, your complaint does not require a verification.

If you are the plaintiff and you signed the last page, and your signature was notarized, that is a verification of the complaint. If you have a true copy of the filed complaint, the signature page should show that your signing the verification is notarized.

If your attorney performed the verification, as allowed by statute if certain conditions are met, then his signature is not notarized as attorneys may verify a complaint in the form of an affirmation, subject to penalty of perjury.

And in the real world, it almost makes no difference any longer if a pleading is improperly verified, as the burden is placed on the opposing party to "reject" the pleading in a timely manner, on a claim of defective verification. And that also is largely ignored as well, because no attorney wants to take the chance that his client would be in default in answering the complaint, and so, even if "rejected" the defendant is likely to answer.

The time there is some significance to an issue relating to a defective verification is if the defendant defaults and the plaintiff seeks summary judgment. Then you may support the motion with an affidavit of merit as the complaint alone cannot take the place of an affidavit if not verified.

And even then, courts ignore defects in papers that are not prejudicial.

And if you have an attorney you should ask her or ask him.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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