Professor Joseph Glannon Civil Procedure: Answering the Complaint
Here are three condensed case summaries from my Civil Procedure class which explains the rules of answering a complaint.
ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT
1.) Schulansky v. Ronan (Rule 8(b)(6))
Prince’s Takeaway: If you ignore allegation against you, you fail to deny the allegations. Rule 8b6. Counter claims must be raised in the original litigation.
If a plaintiff makes a declaration, the defendant can do three types of defenses: (1) demurrer (pose question of law) (2) traverse (you deny the factual allegations to “the country”) (3) confess and avoid (affirmative defense) you admitted the facts but added new matter for relief (confess and avoid)
Reis Robotics USA, Inc. v. Concept Industries, Inc., No. 06 CV 1430., 462 F.Supp.2d 897 (2006) (Rule 8c: Affirmative defenses.)
Prince’s Takeaway: All Affirmative defenses must have factual support
Affirmative defense is an excuse from liability, even if the plaintiff prove its allegations.
3.) Ingraham v. United States, 22 Ill.808 F.2d 1075 (5th Cir. 1987), (medical malpractice law suit)
Prince’s Takeaway: If defendant omits an affirmative defense in its answer, he waives its defenses.
No unexpected or surprise defense
Rule 8(b)(6): Effect of Failing to Deny. An allegation–other than one relating to the amount of damages–is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and the allegation is not denied. if a responsive pleading is not required, an allegation is considered denied or avoided.
Rule 8(c) Affirmative Defenses. (1) In General. In responding to a pleading, a party must affirmatively state any avoidance or affirmative defense, including: accord and satisfaction; arbitration and award; assumption of risk; contributory negligence; duress; estoppel; failure of consideration; fraud; illegality; injury by fellow servant; laches; license; payment; release; res judicata; statute of frauds; statute of limitations; and waiver.
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