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RULE 2-323. ANSWER

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 2-323
RULE 2-323. ANSWER
(a) Content. A claim for relief is brought to issue by filing an answer. Every defense of law or fact to a claim for relief in a complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim shall be asserted in an answer, except as provided by Rule 2-322. If a pleading setting forth a claim for relief does not require a responsive pleading, the adverse party may assert at the trial any defense of law or fact to that claim for relief. The answer shall be stated in short and plain terms and shall contain the following: (1) the defenses permitted by Rule 2-322 (b) that have not been raised by motion, (2) answers to the averments of the claim for relief pursuant to section (c) or (d) of this Rule, and (3) the defenses enumerated in sections (f) and (g) of this Rule.
(b) Preliminary Determination. The defenses of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, failure to join a party under Rule 2-211, and governmental immunity shall be determined before trial on application of any party, except that the court may defer the determination of the defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted until the trial.
(c) Specific Admissions or Denials. Except as permitted by section (d) of this Rule, a party shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. A party without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials shall fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. A party may deny designated averments or paragraphs or may generally deny all the averments except averments or paragraphs that are specifically admitted.
(d) General Denials in Specified Causes. When the action in any count is for breach of contract, debt, or tort and the claim for relief is for money only, a party may answer that count by a general denial of liability.
(e) Effect of Failure to Deny. Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to the amount of damages, are admitted unless denied in the responsive pleading or covered by a general denial. Averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided. When appropriate, a party may claim the inability to admit, deny, or explain an averment on the ground that to do so would tend to incriminate the party, and such statement shall not amount to an admission of the averment.
(f) Negative Defenses. Whether proceeding under section (c) or section (d) of this Rule, when a party desires to raise an issue as to (1) the legal existence of a party, including a partnership or a corporation, (2) the capacity of a party to sue or be sued, (3) the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, (4) the averment of the execution of a written instrument, or (5) the averment of the ownership of a motor vehicle, the party shall do so by negative averment, which shall include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the pleader's knowledge. If not raised by negative averment, these matters are admitted for the purpose of the pending action. Notwithstanding an admission under this section, the court may require proof of any of these matters upon such terms and conditions, including continuance and allocation of costs, as the court deems proper.
(g) Affirmative Defenses. Whether proceeding under section (c) or section (d) of this Rule, a party shall set forth by separate defenses: (1) accord and satisfaction, (2) merger of a claim by arbitration into an award, (3) assumption of risk, (4) collateral estoppel as a defense to a claim, (5) contributory negligence, (6) duress, (7) estoppel, (8) fraud, (9) illegality, (10) laches, (11) payment, (12) release, (13) res judicata, (14) statute of frauds, (15) statute of limitations, (16) ultra vires, (17) usury, (18) waiver, (19) privilege, and (20) total or partial charitable immunity.
In addition, a party may include by separate defense any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense on legal or equitable grounds. When a party has mistakenly designated a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation, if justice so requires.
(h) Defendant's Information Report. The defendant shall file with the answer an information report substantially in the form included with the summons if (1) the plaintiff has failed to file an information report required by Rule 2-111(a), (2) the defendant disagrees with anything contained in an information report filed by the plaintiff, (3) the defendant disagrees with a differentiated case management track previously selected by the court, or (4) the defendant has filed or expects to file a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim. If the defendant fails to file a required information report with the answer, the court may proceed without the defendant's information to assign the action to any track within the court's differentiated case management system or may continue the action on any track previously assigned.
Source: This Rule is derived as follows:
Section (a) is new.
Section (b) is new.
Section (c) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 (b) and former Rule 372 a 2.
Section (d) is derived from former Rule 342 b 1 and 2.
Section (e) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 (d) and former Rules 372 b and b 1 and 312 b.
Section (f) is derived from former Rules 311 a, 342 c 1, and 2, and 323 a 5 and from the 1970 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 9 (a).
Section (g) is derived from the 1966 version of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 (c) and former Rule 342 c 1 and 2.
Section (h) is new.

Credits

[Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended June 7, 1994, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Jan. 10, 1995, eff. Feb. 1, 1995; March 5, 2001, eff. July 1, 2001; Nov. 12, 2003, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
1996 Orders
The December 10, 1996, Revised Administrative Order Exempting Certain Categories of Actions From Information Report Requirement Under Rules 2-111 and 2-323 provides:
“WHEREAS, Rule 2-111(a) requires a plaintiff filing an action in circuit court to file an information report with the complaint, except as otherwise provided by administrative order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals approved by the Court of Appeals; and
“WHEREAS, Rule 2-323 requires a defendant in circuit court to file an information report in certain circumstances, where an information report is required by the plaintiff; and
“WHEREAS, the Circuit Court Differentiated Case Management Committee and the Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure have recommended that certain categories of actions be exempted from the requirement of filing an information report; and
“WHEREAS, by Revised Administrative Order dated May 9, 1995 certain categories of actions were exempted from the requirement of an information report under Rules 2-111 and 2-323; and
“WHEREAS, by Rules Order dated June 5, 1996, effective January 1, 1997, rules pertaining to certain categories of actions were renumbered or deleted and new rules pertaining to certain categories of actions were adopted; and
“WHEREAS, the aforementioned rules changes affect certain categories of actions exempted from the requirement of filing an information report;
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the administrative head of the Judicial Branch of this State, pursuant to the authority conferred by Article IV, § 18 of the Constitution and Rule 2-111, do, this 10th day of December, 1996,
“ORDER, that the Revised Administrative Order Exempting Certain Categories of Actions from Information Report Requirement Under Rules 2-111 and 2-323 dated May 9, 1995 be, and it is hereby rescinded, effective January 1, 1997; and I further
“ORDER, that the following categories of actions be exempt from the requirement of an information report under Rules 2-111 and 2-323, effective January 1, 1997:
“(1) Appeal from District Court (Rules 7-101--7-116);
“(2) Transfer from District Court on jury trial prayer (Rule 2-326);
“(3) Judicial review of administrative agency decision (Rules 7-201--7-210);
“(4) Certiorari in circuit court (Rule 7-301);
“(5) Appeal from orphans' court (Code, Courts Art., § 12-502);
“(6) Juvenile case (Rules 11-101--11-122);
“(7) Relief under Domestic Violence Act (Code, Fam.Law Art., §§ 4-501--4-516);
“(8) Contempt for failure to pay child support, when petition filed by a government agency;
“(9) Confessed judgment (Rule 2-611);
“(10) Friendly suit; and
“(11) The following special proceedings:
“(a) Absent person--termination of property interest (Code, Courts Art., §§ 3-101--3-110);
“(b) Burial ground--action for sale (Rule 14-401);
“(c) Contempt, civil or criminal, other than for violation of order or judgment entered in divorce or other action under Code, Fam.Law Art. (Rules 15-201--15-208);
“(d) Fiduciary estate proceeding (Rules 10-501--10-712);
“(e) Foreclosure (Rules 14-201--14-210);
“(f) Guardianship, other than action to terminate parental rights (Rules 10-201--10-305);
“(g) Habeas corpus (Rules 15-301--15-312);
“(h) Judicial release of individuals confined for mental disorders (Rule 15-601);
“(i) Judicial sales (Rules 14-301--14-306);
“(j) Lien instrument--action for release of (Rule 12-103);
“(k) Lis pendens--proceeding to establish or terminate (Rule 12-102);
“(l) Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund and uninsured motorists--actions against (Rules 15-801--15-805);
“(m) Mechanics' Lien (Rules 12-301--12-308);
“(n) Name change (Rule 15-901);
“(o) Paternity action, when filed by government agency (Code, Fam.Law Art., §§ 5-1001--5-1048);
“(p) Petition for Condemnation filed by State Roads Commission pursuant to (Code, Transp.Art., §§ 8-318--8-328);
“(q) Post Conviction proceeding (Rules 4-401--4-408);
“(r) Tax sale (Rules 14-501--14-505; Code, Tax-Prop. Art., §§ 14-801--14-854); and
“(s) Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act Proceeding (Code, Fam.Law Art., §§ 10-301--10-340).”
2001 Orders
The March 5, 2001, order, in section (g), deleted former item (4), which read: “discharge in bankruptcy or insolvency from the plaintiff's claim,” and redesignated former items (5) to (21) as items (4) to (20), respectively.
2003 Orders
The November 12, 2003, order amended the source note.
2005 Orders
The December 2, 2005, Administrative Order Altering Exemptions from Information Report Requirement under Rules 2-111 and 2-323 provides:
“WHEREAS, Rule 2-111(a) requires a plaintiff filing a civil action in a circuit court to file an information report with the complaint, except as otherwise provided by administrative order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals approved by the Court; and
“WHEREAS, Rule 2-323(h) requires a defendant in a civil action in a circuit court to file an information report in certain circumstances where an information report is required from a plaintiff; and
“WHEREAS, On recommendation of the Circuit Court Differentiated Case Management Committee and the Court of Appeals' Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, certain categories of actions were exempted from the filing requirements by an Administrative Order dated May 9, 1995, superseded by an Administrative Order dated December 10, 1996; and
“WHEREAS, Rule changes and statutory amendments have affected certain categories of exempted actions;
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the administrative head of the Judicial Branch of this State, pursuant to the authority conferred by Article IV, § 18 of the Maryland Constitution and Rule 2-111(a), do, this 2nd day of December, 2005, effective immediately, rescind the Administrative Order dated December 10, 1996, and exempt instead the following actions from the requirement of an information report under Rules 2-111 and 2-323:
“(1) Appeal from District Court (Rules 7-101 through 7-116);
“(2) Appeal from orphans' court (Code, Courts Article, § 12-502);
“(3) Certiorari in circuit court (Rule 7-301);
“(4) Judicial review of administrative agency decision (Rules 7-201 through 7-210);
“(5) Transfer from District Court on jury trial prayer (Rule 2-326);
“(6) Confessed judgment (Rule 2-611);
“(7) Contempt for failure to pay child support, when filed by a government agency;
“(8) Dishonored instrument--on transfer from District Court (Code, Commercial Law § 15-802);
“(9) Domestic violence relief under Code, Family Law Article, §§ 4-501 through 4-516, including Rule 3-326(c) transfer;
“(10) Friendly suit;
“(11) Juvenile cause, other than action to terminate parental rights and related adoption or to expunge criminal record (Rules 11-101 through 11-122); and
“(12) The following special proceedings:
“(a) Absent person--termination of property interest (Code, Courts Article, §§ 3-101 through 3-110);
“(b) Burial ground sale (Rule 14-401);
“(c) Condemnation, when filed by State Roads Commission for unaccelerated quick-take (Code, Transportation Article, §§ 8-318 through 8-321);
“(d) Contempt, civil or criminal, other than for violation of order or judgment entered under Code, Family Law Article (Rules 15-201 through 15-208);
“(e) Fiduciary estate (Rules 10-501 through 10-712);
“(f) Foreclosure (Rules 14-201 through 14-210);
“(g) Guardianship, other than action to terminate parental rights (Rules 10-201 through 10-305);
“(h) Habeas corpus (Rules 15-301 through 15-312);
“(i) Judicial release from confinement for mental disorder (Rule 15-601);
“(j) Judicial sale (Rules 14-301 through 14-306);
“(k) Lien instrument--action to release (Rule 12-103);
“(l) Lis pendens--proceeding to establish or terminate (Rule 12-102);
“(m) Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund or uninsured motorist--action against (Rules 15-801 through 15-805);
“(n) Maryland Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (Code, Family Law Article §§ 10-301 through 10-359);
“(o) Mechanics' lien (Rules 12-301 through 12-308);
“(p) Name change, other than in connection with adoption or divorce (Rule 15-901);
“(q) Paternity, when filed by government agency (Code, Family Law Article §§ 5-1001 through 5-1048);
“(r) Post conviction (Rules 4-401 through 4-408); and
“(s) Tax sale (Rules 14-501 through 14-506; Code, Tax-Property Article, §§ 14-801 through 14-854).”
MD Rules, Rule 2-323, MD R RCP CIR CT Rule 2-323
Current with amendments received through September 15, 2018.
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