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MINNESOTA COURT RULES

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Rule 8.General Rules of Pleading

8.01Claims for Relief

A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief and a demand for judgment for the relief sought; if a recovery of money is demanded, the amount shall be stated. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. If a recovery of money for unliquidated damages is demanded in an amount less than $50,000, the amount shall be stated. If a recovery of money for unliquidated damages in an amount greater than $50,000 is demanded, the pleading shall state merely that recovery of reasonable damages in an amount greater than $50,000 is sought.

8.02Defenses; Form of Denials

A party shall state in short and plain terms any 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. A pleader who intends in good faith to deny only a part or to qualify an averment 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. However, a pleader who intends to controvert all its averments may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11.

8.03Affirmative 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 such terms as justice may require, shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation.

8.04Effect of Failure to Deny

Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to 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.

8.05Pleading to be Concise and Direct; Consistency

(a) Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleading or motions are required.

(b) 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. When 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 equitable grounds or both. All statements shall be made subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11.

8.06Construction of Pleadings

All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.

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