Reply (legal term)

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This article is about the legal term. For the language use, see Reply.

The reply is a response by plaintiff to defendant's answer. A reply occurs only when defendant has asserted a counterclaim or the court has ordered a reply.

It is important to keep in mind that "plaintiff" in this context may also refer to an impleaded party. So, if a defendant impleads a party, this new party is the third-party defendant and the original defendant is the third-party plaintiff. The third-party plaintiff must file a complaint on the third-party defendant, who then must answer. The court may order a reply to this third-party defendant's answer.