(A) Civil Court the first step in starting a lawsuit. The complaint is a written statement made by the plaintiff which sets forth the facts and legal claims against the defendant and request for remedy. Filing the complaint with the court starts the process of a lawsuit. The complaint must be served upon the defendant. (B) crim. law. The allegation made to a proper officer, that some person, whether known or unknown, has been guilty of a designated offence, with an offer to prove the fact, and a request that the offender may be punished. 2. To have a legal effect, the complaint must be supported by such evidence as shows that an offence has been committed, and renders it certain or probable that it was committed by the person named or described in the complaint.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In civil practice. In those states having a Code of Civil Procedure, the complaint is the first or initiatory pleading on the part of the plaintiff in a civil action. It corresponds to the declaration In the common law practice. Code N. Y.