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.
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Unfortunately, we must now respond to PCL's lawsuit with our affirmative defenses as well as counterclaims against PCL which will detail their numerous contract and performance breaches.
He offered affirmative defenses for his conduct, such as that his Quicken software had malfunctioned and that he did not know that none of his actions should be considered misconduct.
With years of experience in all phases of defensive Hatch-Waxman pharmaceutical patent litigation, Sussman now works with clients to minimize vulnerability of his clients' patent claims to affirmative defenses in prospective enforcement and/or challenges in post-grant proceedings.
and Manny Pacquiao in their establishment, the defendants' affirmative defenses for "license and payment" and waiver may not be stricken because they present questions of fact for the court to resolve.
Employer asserted affirmative defenses, pursuant to Virginia Code 65.2-306, that claimant engaged in willful misconduct and violated a statutory duty to wear his seatbelt.
"Considering that the accused-movant's arguments all relate to evidentiary matters that will no doubt constitute his affirmative defenses, the court will refrain from addressing the same at this early stage in the proceedings," it added.
Although it's unclear exactly how the affirmative defenses will be interpreted in the courts, Gorny said he anticipates some cases will be thrown out based on the security measures the businesses put in place.
They cover establishing the professional relationship; negligence-based claims; intentional torts; informed decision making; causation and damage; affirmative defenses, limitations, and immunities; vicarious liability and strict liability, liability of health care institutions, and review of care and reform of liability.
After defendant's motion to dismiss was denied, plaintiffs amended their complaint and defendant served an answer to the amended complaint, which included 23 affirmative defenses. Plaintiff then moved to strike 16 of the affirmative defenses, arguing that the defenses failed to meet the specificity requirements of Fed.
Using logic that applies to all affirmative defenses, one court summarized the reasoning of several cases that held the omission of a prescription instruction was fundamental error as follows:
Rebutting the Complaint's Allegations and Affirmative Defenses

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