Bill of particulars


“A detailed informal statement of a plaintiff’s cause of action or of a defendant’s set-off.” If a plaintiff makes a general declaration without specifying a cause of action, the judge may stay the proceedings and order the plaintiff to provide such a bill. If a defendant pleads a set-off, he or she may be required to give a bill for the set-off. Failure to do so will preclude defendant from giving supporting evidence at trial. The purpose of a bill of particulars is to “prevent surprise and procure a fair trial.”