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A complaint is the document that states the basis of the plaintiff’s lawsuit.  There are two different standards for complaints: notice pleading and code pleading.  Notice pleading merely puts the defendant on notice of the plaintiff’s complaint.  Code pleading must plead sufficient facts to state a claim.  California is a code pleading jurisdiction.

Federal courts are a notice pleading jurisdiction.  However, under the two cases Twombly and Iqbal, Federal complaint standard requires something than mere notice.  Indeed, the complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible.  Plausible is closer to likely than merely possible.

When evaluating whether a complaint pleads sufficient facts, a Federal Court performs a two-step analysis.  First, the court looks at all facts plead.  Only facts plead with sufficient detail are entitled to a presumption of truth.  Threadbare facts are mere recitations of the elements.  Threadbare facts are not considered by the court.  Second, once the court has established which facts merit the presumption of truth, the court considers whether those facts are sufficient to state a claim for relief and thus survive a motion to dismiss.

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