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West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 2. Civil Procedure--Circuit Court
Chapter 300. Pleadings and Motions
MD Rules, Rule 2-303
(a) Paragraphs, Counts, and Defenses. All averments of claim or defense shall be made in numbered paragraphs, the contents of each of which shall be limited as far as practicable to a statement of a single set of circumstances; and a paragraph may be referred to by number in all succeeding pleadings. Each cause of action shall be set forth in a separately numbered count. Each separate defense shall be set forth in a separately numbered defense.
(b) Contents. Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleadings are required. A pleading shall contain only such statements of fact as may be necessary to show the pleader's entitlement to relief or ground of defense. It shall not include argument, unnecessary recitals of law, evidence, or documents, or any immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.
(c) Consistency. A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically. 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.
(d) Adoption by Reference. Statements in a pleading or other paper of record may be adopted by reference in a different part of the same pleading or paper of record or in another pleading or paper of record. A copy of any written instrument that is an exhibit to a pleading is a part thereof for all purposes.
(e) Construction of Pleadings. All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.
Committee note: This rule, authorizing the adoption by reference of statements in “papers of record” other than pleadings, must be read in conjunction with Rule 2-311(c), which requires documents to be attached to a motion or response, incorporated by reference, or set forth verbatim as permitted by Rule 2-432(b), and Rule 2-501(e), which permits the court to rule on a motion for summary judgment based on the motion and response. The court need not consider a document in ruling on a motion unless the document is (1) attached as an exhibit, (2) filed and incorporated by reference, or (3) set forth verbatim in a motion to compel discovery. Since Rule 2-401(d) prohibits the routine filing of discovery materials, any party who wishes the court to consider them will have to use one of these methods.
Cross reference: Rules 1-301; 1-311 through 1-313.
Source: This Rule is derived as follows:
Section (a) is new but is derived from former Rules 340 c, 370 a 1, and 372 a 1 and from the 1937 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 10 (b).
Section (b) is derived from former Rule 301 b.
Section (c) is derived from former Rules 301 d and 313 a.
Section (d) is derived from the last sentence of Rule 301 b.
Section (e) is new and is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 (f).


[Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended March 22, 1991, eff. July 1, 1991; Nov. 12, 2003, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.]
MD Rules, Rule 2-303, MD R RCP CIR CT Rule 2-303
Current with amendments received through May 1, 2024. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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