Free US Law DictionaryBETA
A Case Information Statement (or Cover Sheet) is a document which is filed with a court clerk at the commencement of a civil lawsuit in many of the court systems of the United States. It is generally filed along with the complaint. Some states use similar documents for criminal cases as well.
The purpose of a Case Information Statement is to let the judge and court clerk know what type of case is being brought by the parties, so that the they can better prepare for the case to come to trial. Some courts (for example, the New Jersey Superior Court) put different types of cases on different "tracks", to place limits on how long discovery should take.
If the lawyer filling out the Case Information Statement makes a mistake, or if circumstances change or new information is discovered, the party wishing to amend the statement may do so by making a motion to the judge in charge of the case.
Some courts use the term Cover Sheet for this document, but the content and purpose is the same. For example, the equivalent document in federal district courts is Form JS-44, Civil Cover Sheet. Similarly, California superior courts have a Form CM-010, Civil Case Cover Sheet.