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Rule 8. General rules of pleadings.

(a) Claims for relief. An original claim, counterclaim,cross-claim or third-party claim must contain a short and plain: (1) statementof the claim showing that the party is entitled to relief; and (2) demand forjudgment for specified relief. Relief in the alternative or of severaldifferent types may be demanded. A party who claims damages but does not pleadan amount must plead that the damages are such as to qualify for a specifiedtier defined by Rule 26(c)(3). A pleading that qualifies for tier 1 ortier 2 discovery constitutes a waiver of any right to recover damages above thetier limits specified in Rule 26(c)(3), unless the pleading is amendedunder Rule 15.A pleading requesting relief must include the following caution language at thetop right of the first page, in bold print: If you do not respond to this document within applicable time limits,judgment could be entered against you as requested. Failure to include thecaution language may provide the responding party with a basis under Rule 60(b)for excusable neglect to set aside any resulting judgment or order.

(b) Defenses; form of denials. A party must state in simple, shortand plain terms any defenses to each claim asserted and must admit or deny thestatements in the claim. A party without knowledge or information sufficient toform a belief about the truth of a statement must so state, and this has theeffect of a denial. Denials must fairly meet the substance of the statementsdenied. A party may deny all of the statements in a claim by general denial. Aparty may specify the statement or part of a statement that is admitted anddeny the rest. A party may specify the statement or part of a statement that isdenied and admit the rest.

(c) Affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense must contain ashort and plain: (1) statement of the affirmative defense; and (2) a demand forrelief. A party must set forth affirmatively in a responsive pleading accordand satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, comparative fault,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. If aparty mistakenly designates a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as adefense, the court, on terms, may treat the pleadings as if the defense orcounterclaim had been properly designated.

(d) Effect of failure to deny. Statements in a pleading to which aresponsive pleading is required, other than statements of the amount of damage,are admitted if not denied in the responsive pleading. Statements in a pleadingto which no responsive pleading is required or permitted are deemed denied oravoided.

(e) Consistency. A party may state a claim or defensealternately or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or in separate countsor defenses. If statements are made in the alternative and one of them issufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of analternative statement. A party may state legal and equitable claims or legaland equitable defenses regardless of consistency.

(f) Construction of pleadings. All pleadings will be construed to dosubstantial justice.

 

Effective May 1, 2021