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In Common-Law Pleading, the response of a plaintiff to the defendant's plea in an action at law, or to the defendant's answer in a suit in Equity.

Common-law Pleading required the plaintiff to set out the claim in a declaration or, in equity, in a bill. The defendant responded with a plea or answer. When the defendant raised a new point in his or her response, the plaintiff was required to introduce an additional fact that defeated this new point. The plaintiff had an opportunity to respond in a paper called a replication. The modern equivalent is known as the reply.

See: acceptance, acknowledgment, answer, counterargument, reply, response


in reply. Evidence in replication is evidence allowed after the other side has said something but when the party seeking to lead in replication has already had its proper say, an example being where something new emerges in re-examination that was not covered in cross-examination.

REPLICATION, pleading. The plaintiff's answer to the defendant's plea.
     2. Replications will be considered, 1. With regard to their several kinds. 2. To their form. 3. To their qualities.
     3.-Sec. 1. They are to pleas in abatement and to pleas in bar.
     4.-1. When the defendant pleads to the jurisdiction of the court, the plaintiff may reply, and in this case the replication commences with a statement that the writ ought not to be quashed, or that the court ought not to be ousted of their jurisdiction, because &c., and concludes to the country, if the replication merely deny the subject-matter of the plea. Rast. Entr. 101 Thomps. Entr. 2; Clift's Entr. 17; 1 Chit. Pl. 434. As a general rule, when the plea is to the misnomer of the plaintiff or defendant, or when the plea consists of matter of fact which the plaintiff denies, the replication may begin without any allegation that the writ or bill ought not to be quashed. 1 Bos. & Pull. 61.
     5.-2. The replication is, in general, governed by the plea, and most frequently denies it. When the plea concludes to the country, the plaintiff must, in general, reply by adding a similiter; but when the plea concludes with a verification, the replication must either, 1. Conclude the defendant by matter of estoppel; or, 2. May deny the truth of the matter alleged in the plea, either in whole or in part; or, 3. May confess and avoid the plea; or, 4. In the case of an evasive plea, may new assign the cause of action. For the several kinds of replication as they relate to the different forms of action, see 1 Chit. Pl. 551, et seq.; Arch. Civ. Pl. 258.
     6.-Sec. 2. The form of the replication will be considered with regard to, 1. The title. 2. The commencement. 3. The body. 4. The conclusion.
     7.-1. The replication is usually entitled in the court and of the term of which it is pleaded, and the names of the plaintiff and defendant are stated in the margin, thus "A B against C D." 2 Chit. Pl. 641.
     8.-2. The commencement is that part of the replication which immediately follows the statement of the title of the court and term, and the names of the parties. It varies in form when it replies to matter of estoppel from what it does when it denies, or confesses and avoids the plea; in the latter case it commences with an allegation technically termed the preclude non. (q.v.) It generally commences with the words, "And the said plaintiff saith that the said defendant," &c. 1 Chit. Pl. 573.
     9.-3. The body of the replication ought to contain either. 1. Matter of estoppel. 2. Denial of the plea. 3. A confession and avoidance of it; or, 4. In case of an evasive plea, a new assignment. 1st. When the matter of estoppel does not appear from the anterior pleading, the replication should set it forth; as, if the matter has been tried upon a particular issue in trespass, and found by the jury, such finding may be replied as an estoppel. 3 East, R. 346; vide 4 Mass. R. 443. 2d. The second kind of replication is that which denies or traverses the truth of the plea, either in part or in whole. Vide Traverse, and 1 Chit. Pl. 576, note a. 3d. The third kind of replication admits, either in words or in effect, the fact alleged in the plea, and avoids the effect of it by stating new matter. If, for example, infancy be pleaded, the plaintiff may reply that the goods were necessaries, or that the defendant, after he came of full age, ratified and confirmed the promise. Vide Confession and Avoidance. 4th. When the plea is such as merely to evade the allegation in the declaration, the plaintiff in his replication may reassign it. Vide New Assignment, and 1 Chit. Pl. 601.
    10.-4. With regard to the conclusion, it is a general rule, that when the replication denies the whole of the defendant's plea, containing matter of fact, it should conclude to the country. There are other conclusions in particular cases, which the reader will find fully stated in 1 Chit. Pl. 615, et seq.; Com. Dig. Pleader, F 5 vide 1 Saund. 103, n.; 2 Caines' R. 60 2 John. R. 428; 1 John. R. 516; Arch. Civ. Pl. 258; 19 Vin. Ab 29; Bac. Ab. Trespass, I 4; Doct. Pl. 428; Beames' Pl. in Eq. 247, 325, 326.
    11.-Sec. 3. The qualities of a replication are, 1. That it must answer so much of the defendant's plea as it professes to answer, and that if it be bad in part, it is bad for the whole. Com. Dig. Pleader, F 4, W 2; 1 Saund. 338; 7 Cranch's Rep. 156. 2. It must not depart from the allegations in the declaration in any material matter. Vide Departure, and 2 Saund. 84 a, note 1; Co. Lit. 304 a. See also 3 John. Rep. 367; 10 John. R. 259; 14 John., R. 132; 2 Caines' R. 320. 3. It must be certain. Vide Certainty. 4. It must be single. Vide U. S. Dig. Pleading, XI.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; Duplicity; Pleadings.

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