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Rule8. 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) statement of the claim showing that the party is entitled to relief; and(2) demand for judgment for specified relief. Relief in the alternative or ofseveral different types may be demanded. A party who claims damages but doesnot plead an amount must plead that the damages are such as to qualify for aspecified tier defined by Rule 26(c)(3). Apleading that qualifies for tier 1 or tier 2 discovery constitutes a waiver ofany right to recover damages above the tier limits specified in Rule26(c)(3),unless the pleading is amended under Rule 15.

(b) Defenses; form of denials. A party must state insimple, short and plain terms any defenses to each claim asserted and must admitor deny the statements in the claim. A party without knowledge or informationsufficient to form a belief about the truth of a statement must so state, andthis has the effect of a denial. Denials must fairly meet the substance of thestatements denied. A party may deny all of the statements in a claim by generaldenial. A party may specify the statement or part of a statement that isadmitted and deny the rest. A party may specify thestatement or part of a statement that is denied and admit the rest.

(c) Affirmative defenses. An affirmative defensemust contain a short and plain: (1) statement of the affirmative defense; and(2) a demand for relief. A party must set forth affirmatively in a responsivepleading accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, comparativefault, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure ofconsideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches,license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute oflimitations, waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance oraffirmative defense. If a party mistakenly designates a defense as acounterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court, on terms, may treat thepleadings as if the defense or counterclaim had been properly designated.

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

(e) Consistency. A party may state a claim ordefense alternately or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or inseparate counts or defenses. If statements are made in the alternative and oneof them is sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by theinsufficiency of an alternative statement. A party may state legal andequitable claims or legal and equitable defenses regardless of consistency.

(f) Construction of pleadings. All pleadings will beconstrued to do substantial justice.

Advisory Committee Notes


Effectivedate May 1, 2016