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Rule 8. General Rules of Pleading

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of ArizonaEffective: September 1, 2019

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
III. Pleadings and Motions; Pretrial Procedures
Effective: September 1, 2019
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8
Rule 8. General Rules of Pleading
<For applicability of amending Order No. R-17-0010, effective July 1, 2018, see the Application Provisions note at the beginning of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.>
(a) Claim for Relief. A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain:
(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support;
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.
(b) Claims for Damages.
(1) Restrictions on Pleading Dollar Amounts. In all actions in which a party is pursuing a claim other than for a sum certain or for a sum which can by computation be made certain, no dollar amount or figure for damages sought may be stated in any pleading allowed under Rule 7. The pleading setting forth the claim may include a statement reciting that the minimum jurisdictional amount established for filing the action has been satisfied.
(2) Requirement to Plead Damage Tier. A party who claims damages but does not plead an amount must plead that their damages are such as to qualify for a specified tier defined by Rule 26.2(c)(3).
(c) Defenses; Admissions and Denials.
(1) Generally. In responding to a pleading, a party must:
(A) state in short and plain terms its defenses to each claim asserted against it; and
(B) admit or deny the allegations asserted against it by an opposing party.
(2) Denials--Responding to the Substance. A denial must fairly respond to the substance of the allegation. A denial does not fairly respond to the substance of an allegation if it:
(A) answers an allegation by stating that “the document speaks for itself”;
(B) answers an allegation by stating that the answering party “denies any allegations inconsistent with the language of a document”; or
(C) answers a factual allegation, or an allegation applying law to fact, by claiming that it states a legal conclusion.
(3) General and Specific Denials. A party who intends in good faith to deny all the allegations of a pleading--including the jurisdictional grounds--may do so by a general denial subject to the obligations provided in Rule 11(a). A party who does not intend to deny all the allegations must either specifically deny designated allegations or generally deny all except those specifically admitted.
(4) Denying Part of an Allegation. A party who intends in good faith to deny only part of an allegation must admit the part that is true and deny the rest.
(5) Lacking Knowledge or Information. A party who lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of an allegation must so state, and the statement has the effect of a denial. A party thus cannot deny an allegation “on information and belief.” Instead, it must either admit or deny an allegation if it has information sufficient to form a belief, or must instead state that it has insufficient information to form a belief about the truth of an allegation.
(6) Effect of Failing to Deny. An allegation--other than one relating to the amount of damages--is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and the allegation is not denied. If a responsive pleading is not required, an allegation is considered denied or avoided.
(d) Affirmative Defenses.
(1) Generally. In responding to a pleading, a party must affirmatively state any avoidance or affirmative defense, including:
(A) accord and satisfaction;
(B) arbitration and award;
(C) assumption of risk;
(D) contributory negligence;
(E) duress;
(F) estoppel;
(G) failure of consideration;
(H) fraud;
(I) illegality;
(J) laches;
(K) license;
(L) payment;
(M) release;
(N) res judicata;
(O) statute of frauds;
(P) statute of limitations; and
(Q) waiver.
(2) Mistaken Designation. If a party mistakenly designates a defense as a counterclaim, or a counterclaim as a defense, the court must, if justice requires, treat the pleading as though it were correctly designated, and may impose terms for doing so.
(e) Pleading to Be Concise and Direct; Alternative Statements; Inconsistency.
(1) Generally. Each allegation of a pleading must be simple, concise, and direct. No technical form is required.
(2) Alternative Statements of a Claim or Defense. A party may set out two or more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in a single count or defense or in separate ones. If a party makes alternative statements, the pleading is sufficient if any one of them is sufficient.
(3) Inconsistent Claims or Defenses. A party may state as many separate claims or defenses as it has, regardless of consistency.
(f) Construing Pleadings. Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.
(g) Civil Cover Sheets.
(1) Generally.
(A) When filing a civil action, a plaintiff must complete and submit a Civil Cover Sheet in a form approved by the Supreme Court. The public may obtain this form from the website of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
(B) The Civil Cover Sheet must contain:
(i) the plaintiff's correct name and mailing address;
(ii) the plaintiff's attorney's name and bar number;
(iii) the defendant's name(s);
(iv) the nature of the civil action or proceeding;
(v) the main case categories and subcategories designated by the Administrative Director;
(vi) the amount in controversy pleaded, or if that amount is not pled, the discovery tier to which the pleading alleges the action would belong; and
(vii) such other information as the Supreme Court may require.
(C) A superior court may require by local rule that additional information be provided in an Addendum to the Civil Cover Sheet.
(2) Writs of Garnishment. A writ of garnishment does not require a Civil Cover Sheet, but it must include, under the case number on the petition's or complaint's first page, one of the following notations, as applicable:
(A) federal exemption;
(B) enforce order of support;
(C) enforce order of bankruptcy;
(D) enforce collection of taxes; or
(E) non-earnings.
(h) Verification. Unless a rule or statute specifically states otherwise, a pleading need not be verified or supported by an affidavit. If a rule or statute requires a pleading to be verified, the pleading must be accompanied by an affidavit by the party--or a person acting on the party's behalf who is acquainted with the facts--attesting under oath that, to the best of the party's or person's knowledge, the facts set forth in the pleading are true and accurate.
(i) Compulsory Arbitration. A complaint and an answer must be accompanied by the certificate required by Rule 72(e) and any corresponding local rule.


Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Amended Aug. 31, 2017, effective July 1, 2018.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 8, AZ ST RCP Rule 8
Current with amendments received through 08/15/2020.
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