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Three Elements Of An Adequate Pleading In A Civil RICO Case


Through a federal or state civil RICO lawsuit, a business or consumer has the right to hold another party legally liable for damages caused by racketeering activity. As civil RICO lawsuits can be a powerful tool for justice—a successful claim allows for the recovery of treble damages. At the same time, civil RICO cases can be more difficult to prevail in than other types of lawsuits.

There are very strict pleading requirements in a civil RICO case. If an initial pleading is deemed “inadequate”, a civil RICO lawsuit may be dismissed early on in the claims process.  In this article, our West Palm Beach RICO claims lawyers highlight key elements that plaintiffs need to satisfy in order to submit an adequate pleading in a civil RICO claim.

Background: Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure 

Pleadings are governed, in part, by the rules of civil procedure. For a federal civil RICO claim, a plaintiff must satisfy the requirements set forth in Rule 8(a), Fed. R. Civ. P. For a state-based civil RICO claim, a plaintiff must satisfy the requirements set forth in Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110. On this matter, the state and federal rules for civil procedures are relatively similar. 

Know the Elements of an Adequate Pleading in a Civil RICO

  1. A Short, Plain Statement of Jurisdiction 

A court can only hear a civil RICO case if it has jurisdiction to do so. In civil RICO claims, jurisdiction can sometimes be complicated—there may be questions about whether or not a claim should be filed in a federal court or state court. A civil RICO pleading should clearly and comprehensively state why the court has jurisdiction over the legal dispute. 

  1. A Short, Plain Statement of Entitlement to Relief 

Next, a pleading in a civil RICO claim should include a short and plain statement explaining the plaintiff’s entitlement to relief. This is the most important part of a civil RICO pleading. Many claims are dismissed outright for failure to satisfy this requirement. You must raise allegations that, if accepted as true, would constitute a civil RICO violation. If you cannot do so, the court will dismiss the civil RICO lawsuit. 

  1. A Specific Demand for Relief 

Finally, a civil RICO pleading should include a specific demand for relief. Depending on the allegations raised in the complaint, a plaintiff may seek several different types of relief in a civil RICO lawsuit.

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With Civil RICO Attorney in Southeast Florida

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida civil RICO lawyers have the professional expertise that you can rely on in a complex federal or state case. If you have any specific questions or concerns about how to plead a civil RICO case, we are more than happy to get you answers that you can trust. Call us now for your confidential consultation. From our offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Miami, our firm provides civil RICO representation throughout Southeastern Florida.

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