When pleading a cause of action there are two standards that might be in play in order for a person to plead his or her case. These two pleading standards are referred to as notice pleading and fact pleading. The differences between these two pleading standards are important to consider when filing a claim.
To start, notice pleading, allows one to state his or her claim generally without needing to assert detailed facts to support one’s cause of action. The notice pleading standard is in alignment with the ideology that the pleading is needed to notify the relevant parties of the issues in the case. As such, notice pleading is a more relaxed pleading requirement than its counterpart fact pleading (see below). Notice pleading was adopted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the 1930s, and numerous jurisdictions have followed the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and have embraced notice pleading.
On the other hand, fact pleading requires one to provide to the court all facts that are needed to prove the cause of action. Fact pleading mandates that one must assert detailed facts that underlie the cause of action. This means that one must provide more comprehensive details when pleading the facts that he or she alleges.
With all of this in mind, it is particularly important to consider when filing a claim whether one is in a jurisdiction that has embraced a notice pleading approach or maintains a fact pleading standard. This is vital to understand at the outset because depending on what the pleading requirements are will dictate how particular one must assert his or her claim.
Remembering the differences between notice and fact pleadings gives one a base understanding of what will be required in order to plead a claim.