Particulars (in the context of litigation)
In pleadings, particulars are the details of a claim or a defence. They are usually outlined in a written, detailed and formal manner, upon request of the other party in litigation – as such, you may have heard of or received a ‘request for particulars’ in the course of negotiations and discussions leading up to litigation.
Particulars have several purposes:
- To inform the other party of the matters to be discussed at trial
- To control the scope of pleadings and specify the issues of fact to be tried
- To avoid unpleasant and unfair surprises for either party at trial
- To allow the other side to prepare accordingly
Specifically, particulars provide context behind general allegations and/or pleadings. For example, where a party is alleging losses, they must specify the nature of the damages, and the method used to calculate the monetary amount sought.
Once a party has provided their particulars, they will be bound to conduct their case accordingly. If the party seeks to rely on allegations not particularised, the other party will have grounds for objection.
Where a request for particulars has been fulfilled with insufficient detail, a party may make a second request for ‘better particulars’, naming their issues with the original document. If the responding party does not provide new particulars within 14-28 days, the requesting party may make an application to the Court to order they be provided.