An amended complaint is a written revision of the original complaint filed by a plaintiff or petitioner. Rule 15 of the federal rules of civil procedure allows the plaintiff to amend their complaint one time within 21 days of serving the original complaint or at any point before the defendant answers the complaint. In all other circumstances, the plaintiff must seek consent of the court or consent from the defendant to amend the original complaint. Rule 15 provides that the court should allow the plaintiff to amend the complaint when justice requires it. Once the defendant receives the amended complaint, they are given the opportunity to send a responsive pleading.
Plaintiffs may choose to amend a complaint for numerous reasons such as to include additional claims, correct facts, add additional parties to the suit, include additional requests for relief, or clear up inadequate claims.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]