Obsolete Date: 3/1/2011
(a) Claims for Relief. A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, must contain (i) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (ii) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.
(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, the party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials must fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. If 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. Unless the pleader intends in good faith to controvert all the averments of the preceding pleading, the pleader may make denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs, or may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as the pleader expressly admits; but, if the pleader does so intend to controvert all its averments, the pleader may do so by general denial, subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11.
(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 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.
(e) Pleading to Be Concise and Direct-Consistency.
(1) Each averment of a pleading must be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleading or motions are required.
(2) A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or in separate counts or defenses. If 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 on equitable grounds or on both. All statements made are subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11.
(f) Construction of Pleadings. All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.
This rule is based on Fed.R.Civ.P. 8.
Rule 8 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 26-27, 2012, page 12; January 24, 2008, page 16; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; April 26, 1984, page 17; November 29-30, 1979, pages 3 4; September 20-21, 1979, page 6; Fed.R.Civ.P. 8.
SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. § 28-01.1-03.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 7 (Pleadings Allowed-Form of Pleadings), N.D.R.Civ.P. 11 (Signing of Pleadings), N.D.R.Civ.P. 12 (Defenses and Objections-When and How Presented-By Pleading or Motion-Motions for Judgment on Pleadings), N.D.R.Civ.P. 15 (Amended and Supplemental Pleadings), N.D.R.Civ.P. 38 (Jury Trial of Right), and N.D.R.Civ.P. 44.1 (Determination of Foreign Law).