Affirmative Defense

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Affirmative Defense

A new fact or set of facts that operates to defeat a claim even if the facts supporting that claim are true.

A plaintiff sets forth a claim in a civil action by making statements in the document called the complaint. These statements must be sufficient to warrant relief from the court. The defendant responds to the plaintiff's claims by preparing an answer in which the defendant may deny the truth of the plaintiff's allegations or assert that there are additional facts that constitute a defense to the plaintiff's action. For example, a plaintiff may demand compensation for damage done to his or her vehicle in an automobile accident. Without denying responsibility for the accident, the defendant may claim to have an affirmative defense, such as the plain-tiff's contributory Negligence or expiration of the Statute of Limitations.

An affirmative defense is also allowed under rules of Criminal Procedure. For example, a defendant accused of assault may claim to have been intoxicated or insane, to have struck out in Self-Defense, or to have had an alibi for the night in question. Any one of these affirmative defenses must be asserted by showing that there are facts in addition to the ones in the indictment or information charging the defendant and that those additional facts are legally sufficient to excuse the defendant.

The rules that govern Pleading in most courts require a defendant to raise all affirmative defenses when first responding to the civil claim or criminal charges against him or her. Failure to do so may preclude assertion of that kind of defense later in the trial.

affirmative defense

n. when a defendant files an answer, in addition to denying some or all of the allegations, he/she can state what are called "affirmative defenses." These defenses can contain allegations, take the initiative against statements of facts contrary to those stated in the original complaint against them, and include various defenses based on legal principles. Many of these defenses fall into the "boilerplate" (stated in routine, non-specific language) category, but one or more of the defenses may help the defendant.

References in periodicals archive ?
Hoege III, "Overshift" The Unconstitutional Double Burden-Shifting on Affirmative Defenses in the New Article 120, Army Law.
Florida courts have applied the D'Oench Duhme doctrine to preclude claims, defenses, and affirmative defenses in which the three preconditions described above are satisfied.
One of the affirmative defenses it raised was an allegation that Mr.
the pleading standard by which a court should judge a defendant's affirmative defenses," wrote Western District of Kentucky Chief District Judge Thomas Russell.
Because the NCUA's prefailure conduct does not give rise to legally sufficient affirmative defense, the court should strike all affirmative defenses that are based on conduct by the NCUA prior to WesCorp's failure.
104) Moreover, in other instances where default judgments are vacated, the defendants then have an opportunity to serve answers and assert affirmative defenses.
1957) (discussing fair use as a doctrine of infringement, as distinct from the affirmative defenses that the defendant pleaded).
Unlike a frivolous counterclaim, affirmative defenses do not expose a Title VII claimant to liability and the risk of a monetary judgment.
I'm a little reluctant to offer this proposal in the midst of academics and people who have spent a lot more time thinking about this than I have, but this is the idea that has been rolling around in my mind as a former trial lawyer and someone who deals with this now as the chief lawyer for a public company: After the corporation performs the internal investigation and unsuccessfully attempts all of the creative and good measures it can to obtain a declination or a deferred prosecution agreement from the prosecutor, perhaps it should be able to avail itself of an affirmative defense.
Accordingly, as a matter of the plain language of the statute, the court ruled that the "reasonableness" exception should be treated as an "affirmative defense" because it is listed in the statute in a place where one would expect to find affirmative defenses, and because it sits right after another affirmative defense which, as all parties had already accepted, the defendant has the burden to prove.
Designed to complement other civil case books by discussing many of the principal cases for those books by discussing many of the principal cases for those books, the new title includes 60 chapters, including: an overview of claims and affirmative defenses, In Rem and Quast In Rem jurisdiction, venues; removal; pre-suit investigations; complaints; authority to join parties; steps for adding claims or parties; motions; and, defendant options, among many other topics.

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