What is a Bill of Particularsin Virginia, What is a Grounds of Defense Document in Virginia?
Simply put: It's a document that requires the Plaintiff to spell out exactly what the Defendant has supposedly done wrong. It is frequently filed after the Plaintiff files a complaint, in a case where the complaint does clearly not address specific issues. The Defendant files a motion for a Bill of Particulars--a simple request by the defendant, through the court to the Plaintiff. If the court grants such a motion then the plaintiff will be ordered to provide the requested details. If the plaintiff fails to respond to a bill of particulars, the court may enter summary judgment against the Plaintiff
What Happens When the Plaintiff Receives a Bill of Particulars?
When the Plaintiff receives a Bill of Particulars he/she must answer the motion within a certain timeframe (often set by the court). Additionally, the Plaintiff will frequently respond with a motion for "grounds of defense", which, if granted, will result in an order requiring the Defendant submit a written response indicating what defenses the Defendant intends to use. If defendant fails to provide requested grounds of defense, the court may enter summary judgment against the Defendant.
How Do You File a Bill of Particulars?
The Virginia Courts maintain a web-site with a simple to fill out Bill of Particulars form and instructions for filling out the form. Simply file a completed copy with the clerk of the court (General District Court) in your county/city.
Is a Lawyer Required to File Bill of Particulars or a Grounds of Defense?
No. A pro se litigant (a non-lawyer appearing in court) can use the VA Court system Forms to move his/her litigation through the process, inform the court as to exactly what is happening and what to expect on the day of court appearance.
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