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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
28370), clarified that an assertion of honest error or a difference of opinion is only an affirmative defense. This means that it is the person alleged to have committed research misconduct (known as the "respondent"), if shown to have committed an act that meets the definition of misconduct, who must carry the burden of proof to show that it was done as an honest error or resulted from a difference of opinion.
Oil refiners had sought that so-called affirmative defense to reduce their financial burden as a result of future fraud cases.
"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." In a separate filing, the NCUA reiterated its belief that it cannot be compelled to pay the legal fees of the WesCorp defendants.
The decisions may have even broader implications, however, as many federal district courts have already applied this pleading standard to a defendant's affirmative defenses. This Article makes sense of Twombly and Iqbal in the context of the affirmative defense.
He said the law should more resemble that of Massachusetts, banning the question, but not allowing it as the basis for legal action in most cases if the applicant's pay is known, referred to as an "affirmative defense."
A reverse trial occurred, in which the accused pleaded not guilty but interposed an affirmative defense. In this case, Reyes agreed to a reverse trial only because he put up an affirmative defense that he had duly filed his 2010 SALN.
It is an affirmative defense that must be proved by the accused with clear and convincing evidence.
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"First, by asserting the affirmative defense of 'license and payment' Defendants presumably meant to claim that they had properly obtained a license and paid for the use of Plaintiff's media content before they broadcast the fight on May 2, 2015.
Even if such a duty is found to exist, the business can raise an affirmative defense if it has security measures in place, the injured person was a trespasser or engaging in a felony, or the incident occurred when the business was closed.

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