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Within the system of pleading as it has been handed down from the English common law system must be noted the modern pleadings in chancery. These include usually an original pleading known as a "petition", and the responsive pleadings are "demurrers" and "responses".

One problematic term is the "application". In some modern chancery contexts, such as bankruptcy, an "application" is treated as a mere motion, which is not a pleading. On the other hand, in the Uniform Probate Code, an "application" is treated as the same as a "petition", and thus is a pleading.

In addition to probate and bankruptcy, other modern chancery contexts where "petitions" and "responses" are encountered in many states include family court, juvenile court, and the courts which hear "original writ petitions".

As a general rule, "petitions" are treated by the courts in the same manner as "complaints", which is why they are subject to "demurrers" and "motions to strike". "Responses" are treated by the courts as roughly equivalent to "answers".

One distinction that legal outsiders might especially note is that between "pleadings" and "papers". Anything filed with the court that is not a "pleading" is a mere "paper".

Finally, Black's Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition, page 1311 notes that the "oral advocacy of a client's cause in court, by his barrister or counsel, is sometimes called "pleading;" but this is a popular, rather than technical, use."

William Snow Hume, CPA, JD

This page had become rather a mess, with all of the text appearing twice. I cut off the "second coming" and added a few cites to U.S. law. Can somebody fill in the English, etc.? Piledhigheranddeeper 22:00, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I have rewritten the England and Wales section to provide citations to the Civil Procedure Rules. I have removed most of the material concerning pre-action protocols and time limits, which are not directly relevant to pleading and belong elsewhere. The section now focuses on the content of statements of case. -- (talk) 21:52, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

What is a "special defence"?[edit]

In the Angelika Kluk case, the defendant (accused of rape and murder) is making a "special defence" that while he did have sex with the victim (Kluk), that sex was consensual. This phrase seems to be being used in a very precise way (as at the bottom of this BBC page) which leads me to think that it may well be a specific legal term - yet I have seen no explanation of it, and we are left to infer from context something that may not be entirely accurate. This case is being held in Scotland, so perhaps the phrase is only used in Scots law? 01:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

May be it is - I only know that under Scottish law there are three defences - Guilty, Not Guilty, Special defence. In the special defence, the accused does not deny that they were responsible for the actions of which they are accused; but that the circumstances are not as portrayed. In the example above, e.g, the accused's defence was Consent. Other special defences of which I am aware are coercion, self-defence and provocation. This Paper may be useful? Haruth (talk) 20:13, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Type of Pleadings[edit]

Over the next couple of months, I would like to expand this article and incorporate "stub" articles such as complaint, answer, and counter-claim. This would be put at the end of this article under the heading "type of pleadings." The idea is to expand both this article (keeping all of the information under one source) and expanding the other articles. Thoughts, suggestions, comments, complaints, etc?????????? Morning277 (talk) 14:15, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Began by cleaning up the "notice pleading" section. Made it clearer for people who do not fully understand the legal terminology associated with the article. Morning277 (talk) 16:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
The article currently reads as if Louisiana is the only state that utilizes fact pleading. The article should be amended to either show that Louisiana is simply one such state, or to explicitly point out the other fact pleading jurisdictions (such as Illinois). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Here in the UK pleading (v.) is most commonly heard in the context of criminal proceedings. Suppose a link on top to Plea would be sufficient, or is it better to explain? Littledogboy (talk) 19:10, 31 March 2013 (UTC)