What is Bill Of Particulars?

Legal Definition
In law, a bill of particulars is a detailed, formal, written statement of charges or claims by a plaintiff or the prosecutor given upon the defendant's formal request to the court for more detailed information. A bill of particulars may be used in either criminal defense or in civil litigation.

In criminal law, defense attorneys may file a motion requesting a bill of particulars from prosecuting attorneys. However, prosecuting attorneys cannot request the same of the defense. This request may be part of an omnibus motion, motion in limine, or similar motion.

In a civil action such as a tort or breach of contract case, either attorney or party can request it. It is rarely used in American small claims cases. It is not entirely clear whether this can be done in practice in Britain on the Allocation questionnaire. An insufficient response to a request for a bill of particulars may be grounds for dismissal of the claim, or other sanctions against the responding party. In civil cases, a bill of particulars is a pleading, which "amplifies" the complaint, but can also act as a discovery device or tool.

The bill of particulars was abolished in nearly all U.S. court systems in the 1940s and 1950s due to the widespread recognition that much of the information requested could be obtained more efficiently through the discovery process. Today, only a minority of U.S. states, like New York, Illinois, California (CCP 454), and Virginia, use the bill of particulars, and even there motions for a bill of particulars may be disfavored or disused.

In Illinois, for instance, it is more common for defendants to file a motion to dismiss under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure § 2-615, claiming the pleaded facts to be insufficient to support the causes of action alleged. It has been observed, however, that the motion for a bill of particulars may have strategic advantages over a § 2-615 motion, because the latter, even where successful, usually results in the plaintiff being given an opportunity to refile. A bill of particulars, however, once submitted, confines the pleader to any causes of action or defenses in the bill.

The closest modern equivalent, though rarely used, is the motion for a more definite statement.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A written itemization of claims in a lawsuit that the defendant may demand of the plaintiff in some situations in order to clarify the details of the claims.
Legal Definition
Practice. A detailed informal statement of a plaintiff is cause of action, or of the defendants's set-off.

2. In all actions in which the plaintiff declares generally, without specifying his cause of action, a judge upon application will order him to give the defendant a bill of the particulars, and in the meantime stay, proceedings. 3 John. R. 248. And when the defendant gives notice or pleads a set-off, he will be required to give a bill of the particulars of his set-off, on failure of which he will be precluded from giving any evidence in support of it at the trial. The object in both cases is to prevent surprise and procure a fair trial. 1 Phil. Ev. 152; 3 Stark Ev. 1055. The bill of particulars is an account of the items of the demand, and states in what manner they arose. Mete. & Perk. Dig. h. t. For forms, see Lee's Dict. of Pr., Particulars of demand.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
In practice. A written statement or specification of the particulars of the demand for which an action at law is brought, or of a defendant's set-off against such demand, (including dates, sums, and items in detail,) furnished by one of the parties to the other, either voluntarily or in compliance with a judge's order for that purpose. 1 Tidd, Pr. 596-600; 2 Auhb. Pr. 221; Ferguson v. Ashbell, 53 Tex. 250; Baldwin v. Gregg, 13 Mete. (Mass.) 255. 14. In English law, a draft of a patent for a charter, commission, dignity, office, or appointment. Such a bill is drawn up in the attorney general's patent bili office, is submitted by a secretary ot state for the King's signature, when it is called the "King's bill," and is then countersigned by the secretary of state and sealed by the privy seal, and then the patent is prepared and sealed. Sweet.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
An itemized statement of accounts or matters set forth generally in a pleading. See 12 Misc. Rep. 457, 34 N. Y. Supp. 255.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary