pleading paper

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					How do you create PLEADING paper? First make sure you have Microsoft Word on your computer. These instructions assume you at least have Word 2002. If you have an older version, the instructions should be similar. Just keep your wits about you and look for the Pleading Wizard and you’ll be fine. STEP 1: Start Microsoft Word

STEP 2: When you get to a blank screen, move your mouse to the TOP LEFT corner of your screen, right click on FILE, then NEW.

A dialog box should appear on the RIGHT of the screen that looks like:

Locate the words “PLEADING WIZARD” under the heading “NEW FROM TEMPLATE” (generally towards the bottom of the list).

STEP 3: Using your mouse, right click on the words “PLEADING WIZARD” which should bring up a Dialog Box looking like:

STEP 4: Clicking “Next >” will display: You now have three options: 1) You can create

a new pleading template for another court, 2) You can modify the pleading template (not
suggested) 3) Write a

pleading document for the court selected below.
This last option is comes up if you’ve already created documents for a particular court. If this is the case, you can ignore the rest of these instructions because you already know what I’m going to do for steps 5-19. Because these are instructions for beginners, make sure a black button appears next to “create a new pleading for another court” is selected.

STEP 5: Clicking “Next >” displays: Under the heading “What is the name of the court, as it should appear on the pleading?”, type the name of the court you are filing your documents in. Since the RCLL is located in California – I added the phrase “SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA (in capital letters)” and the name of our county is FUNKADELICIOUS”. Also, select how you want the title to be aligned (i.e. center or whatever). Make your choice and move onto Step 6.

STEP 6: Click “Next >” and you get: Here you can select the font type, line spacing, number of lines per page (28 is standard), paper size and the margins – or you can just leave everything alone and go to Step 7.

STEP 7: Click “Next >” and the following will appear: Since the whole idea of creating pleading paper is to have paper with numbers running along the left side of the page, make sure YES is selected for the question “Do you want line numbers to appear on this pleading”. As in step 6, you can change the options as you like but the default is pretty much what most people use.

STEP 8: Click “Next >” and you see: This screen is a preference thing. I prefer the right side to have no lines. Some people prefer having a line on the right – it’s up to you (the judge won’t deduct points on this one). When you’ve made up your mind, move on to Step 9.

STEP 9: Click “Next >” and you get: Again, this is a style thing. If you selected the courier font back in Step 6, Style 1 works best. Style 2 and 3 seem to work with a Times Roman font. Style 4 is kinda funky but, again, it’s your call. You can even select no Caption Box (which seems like a waste of time since you need something). Anyway, when you’ve made your selection move on to Step 10.

STEP 10: Click “Next >” gets you to: Now, while the Pleading Wizard assumes you’re an attorney, don’t let this throw you. When you finish this thing, you can add your name in place of the attorney name. I’ve never seen it where people add the judges name but, again, it’s your call. Play with this thing a while and you’ll be an expert Pleading Wizard person in no time. When you’re finished with this screen, move on to Step 11.

STEP 11: Click “Next >” and you get: Since most legal documents need to be signed, select a signature block. For the other stuff, click on the buttons to see what you like/don’t like. I mean, you’re going to have to play around a bit to get a feel for this thing – so go nuts. When you’re ready to move on, go to Step 12.

STEP 12: Click “Next >” and you’ll see: Unlike the other screens, this one is easy. Simple type in the name you want to call this file – or you can accept the default name. Either way, when you get done here, move to Step 13.

STEP 13: Click “Next >” and you get: Now, don’t freak out – this isn’t the start all over again. It’s actually the end of the first sequence. Click on the FINISH button (lower right corner) and go to Step 14:

STEP 14: After you click on

the button, you should see:

which is the start of the next sequence of the Pleading Wizard.

STEP 15: Clicking “Next >” gives you: which asks you what are you? Does your case involve a Plaintiff and Defendant? Are you appealing a case? Is this a family law matter? Select the type of parties based on the nature of the case and move on to Step 16.

STEP 16: Click “Next >” gets: Here, you get to add the names of the opposing parties. Since in Step 14 we selected Plaintiff vs. Defendant, this screen asks for the names of the Plaintiff and the name of Defendant. Type in the information and move along to Step 17.

STEP 17: Click “Next >” and you see: which is where you get to type 1) your Case Number (if you don’t have one yet, leave this blank), 2) how many people are filing (for some cases, there may be more than one party being represented by another attorney), 3) the Title of the Pleading (What’s this thing called?) and 4) the summary (which goes down next to the page number in the document. The summary is short – just a few words to describe the document. Is it a writ? a complaint? a declaration? What is it in a short SUMMARY). When you’re finished, move onto Step 18.

STEP 18: Clicking “Next >” brings up: which is where you get to type in the name of your attorney (or if you are in representing yourself then type your name in and the words “Pro Per” as your title) then add the address of the attorney or self representant. So you see the “Include for “Attorney(s) for”” button? Explaining this is a bit more involved than I want to get here so for argument’s sake just click on it and select something to see what it does. Nothing will explode – it’s just for your edification. If you don’t like what it does, the next time don’t select it. Hey, we’re pretty casual here – no heavy lifting is required. Anyway, when you’re done here, move on to Step 29.

STEP 19: Click “Next >” gets you: THE LAST SCREEN. Well, the last screen you’re going to see to create your pleading paper. Clicking on the FINISH button (lower right corner of the screen sends you to the finished product in Microsoft Word where you can edit and add your text for your very own legal document(s) looking very much like the picture in Step 20.

STEP 20