Pleading Fraud With Particularity California
"In California, fraud must be pled specifically; general and conclusory allegations do not suffice." (Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 645 49 Cal. Rptr. 2d 377, 909 P.2d 981.)
This requirement serves two purposes.
First, it gives the defendant notice of the definite charges to be met.
Second, the allegations "should be sufficiently specific that the court can weed out nonmeritorious actions on the basis of the pleadings.
Thus the pleading should be sufficient '"to enable the court to determine whether, on the facts pleaded, there is any foundation, prima facie at least, for the charge of fraud." ' " (Committee on Children's Television, Inc. v. General Foods Corp. (1983) 35 Cal.3d 197, 216-217 197 Cal. Rptr. 783, 673 P.2d 660.)
Thus, a plaintiff must plead facts which show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were made. (Lazar v. Superior Court, supra, 12 Cal.4th at p. 645.)
When the defendant is a corporate defendant, the plaintiff must further allege the names of the persons who made the representations, their authority to speak, to whom they spoke, what they said or wrote, and when it was said or written. (Ibid.)
There are certain exceptions to the particularity requirement. "Less specificity is required when 'it appears from the nature of the allegations that the defendant must necessarily possess full information concerning the facts of the controversy.'" (Committee on Children's Television, Inc. v. General Foods Corp., supra, 35 Cal.3d at p. 217.)