(a) Claims for Relief. A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross‑claim, or third‑party claim, shall contain (1) a caption, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. If the recovery of money be demanded, the amount of special damages shall be stated but the amount of general damages shall not be stated; and if interest thereon be claimed, the time from which interest is to be computed shall also be stated.
(b) Defenses; Form of Denials. A party shall state in short and plain terms the party's defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If a party is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, a party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials shall fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. When a pleader intends in good faith to deny only a part or a qualification of an averment, the pleader shall specify so much of it as is true and material and shall deny only the remainder. The pleader may make denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs, may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as are expressly admitted, or may controvert all the averments of the preceding pleading by general denial.
(c) Affirmative Defenses. In pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth affirmatively accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense. When a party has mistakenly designated a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court on terms, if justice so requires, shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation.
(d) Effect of Failure to Deny. Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to value or the amount of damage, are admitted when not denied in the responsive pleading. Averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided.
(2) A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense alternately or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or in separate counts or defenses. When two or more statements are made in the alternative and one of them if made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements. A party may also state as many separate claims or defenses as the party has regardless of consistency and whether based on legal or equitable grounds. All statements shall be subject to the standards set forth in § 25‑824.
This page was last modified on Thursday, October 25, 2012