Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    77

    Question Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Arizona

    I have a case where the Defendant is listing the affirmative defenses just in name with no substance of any kind. I've done some research on this and it appears such pleadings do not meet the pleading standards, but I want to get something a bit more solid than what I have. I was curious if anyone had additional information in support of punching through such lazy and improper statement of Affirmative Defenses. (i.e. they just state "estoppel" and nothing more).

    Also, the Defendants refuse to answer the complaint with Admitted, Denied and Without Knowledge. All of their answers are convoluted word-play statements such as "Defendants acknowledge the purported statement in part, but deny the rest." etc.

    I was hoping to receive some advice on dealing with this sort of garbage which really just convolutes the process.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    this Answer is filed by an Attorney ..?? ..

    or someone " pro se " ..??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    Ask to make their answer more definitive. And motion to strike affirmative defenses.....

    I think you would have to wait for the answer to make more definitive on their goofy answers before the motion to strike ... or if you can file both regarding the different sections may be OK too...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    Not sure it matters, but the answers were provided by attorneys.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    Some attorneys love to mess with pro se's. I'd file a motion to compel compliance with discovery, providing copies of my requests and their answers. IMHO this borders on contempt, and if they don't provide proper answers next time I'd file a motion for sanctions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    72,965

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    State court rules typically hold that the parties are to plead facts in support of their affirmative defenses, but it's pretty commonplace for lawyers and judges to ignore that provision. A lot of law firms spew out a long list of mostly irrelevant affirmative defenses, no references to facts, because they think it covers the bases. Your state's court rules, assuming you're in superior court, don't appear to require any facts in support of a listed affirmative defense. Maybe your judge will be receptive to the argument that the affirmative defenses are inadequate, particularly if you can find a rule requiring the recitation of supporting facts; maybe not. You won't know unless and until you bring a motion.
    Quote Quoting 16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8(c)
    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, 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.
    It is completely proper for a party to admit an answer in part and deny the rest, or vice versa, or to admit or deny part but claim inadequate information to speak to other allegations, etc.
    Quote Quoting 16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8(b)
    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 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. 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 when the pleader does so intend to controvert all its averments, including averments of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, the pleader may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11(a).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    I have never seen a response where part was admitted and part denied (or insufficient knowledge claimed, etc.) where the parts weren't separated with specificity. For example:

    "My client admits there was an accident, but denies he disobeyed a red light, and has insufficient knowledge to respond to the rest of the request."

    But then, I haven't seen it all, LOL.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Dealing with Improper Answers and Failure to Define Affirmative Defenses

    Chances are the paragraphs in the complaint are too complex. They should be limited to a single thing, concept, idea or fact. You state ultimate facts, especially in the claims.

    The affirmative defenses are a typical response. Boilerplate. That is not acceptable. An affirmative defense must include the necessary facts and law to support it.

    If the affirmative defenses are boilerplate, you need attack them with a Motion to Strike.

    The affirm defs change the burden. You need to attack them, typically within 20 days, though check the rules in your state. Also research the law on the affirmative defenses to see which ones you can discredit right away and which ones you are going to fight. Perhaps one of them might kill your case, like sol, but that is a rare situation.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Discovery: Can I Revise or Add to My Affirmative Defenses
    By bobby623 in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-22-2012, 03:30 PM
  2. Discovery: Effect of Striking Affirmative Defenses
    By KeyWestDan in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-21-2011, 08:30 AM
  3. Defenses: Affirmative Defenses in Federal Court
    By sirpissalot in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-10-2009, 05:55 PM
  4. Discovery: How to Amend My Affirmative Defenses
    By om83 in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-10-2009, 05:40 PM
  5. How to Add to My Affirmative Defenses to the Court
    By bobby623 in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-11-2008, 06:07 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Find A Lawyer - Free, confidential referrals.
Legal Forms - Buy easy-to-use legal forms.




Untitled Document