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How to Update a Pleadings Index

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Pleadings are official court filings that pertain to a case. Normally, attorneys and counselors at law organize all the pleadings in a particular matter into a single binder or file. The first page of a pleadings binder is a pleadings index. Pleadings indexes catalog the pleadings by date of filing.

Determine the column headings used in the pleadings index. Normally, indexes include headings for the tab number, filing party, the type of pleading and the file date. For instance, the first item in a pleadings index usually indicates the plaintiff, the complaint and the date that the complaint was filed with the court under the first tab.

Review the new pleadings that must be filed or added to the pleadings binder. Determine the earliest date of filing among these pleadings. Remove from the pleadings binder any pleadings filed later than this date.

Arrange these pleadings by date of filing. If pleadings share a file date, order the pleadings according to your own system or rules, such as filing plaintiff's pleadings before defendant's pleadings.

Delete the entries, if updating an electronic pleadings index, for pleadings removed from the binder. Erase or use white tape to remove these entries from a handwritten pleadings index.

Add entries for each pleading to be indexed (or re-indexed, if removed to follow pleadings with an earlier file date). Indicate the tab number, filing party, pleading type and file date. File the pleadings behind a designated tab to correspond to the newly updated index.


Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.