The claimant must subject to the rules and in such time as is prescribed deliver a statement of claim and of the relief or remedy which he claims to be entitled.
The defendant shall in accordance with the rules deliver his defence and set off / counterclaim if any. The claimant shall deliver his reply to such defence an set off / counterclaim in accordance with the rules.
The statement and defence shall be as brief as the nature of the case will admit. The taxing master in dealing with costs may disallow costs if the pleadings of the party who seeks costs are unnecessarily long.
A defendant in an action may set off or set up a counterclaim against the claimant any right or claim whether in damages or not and this will have effect as a cross action. The court may give a final judgement in the same action both on the original and cross-claim.
The court may on an application of the claimant before trial, if it is of the opinion that such set-off or counterclaim cannot be conveniently disposed of in the same action or ought not to be allowed, refuse permission to the defendant to avail of it.
No action or pleading shall be open to objection on the ground that it is merely a declaratory judgement or order is sought. The court may if thinks fit make a binding declaration of rights whether any consequential relief is or could be claimed or not.
No pleading (not being a petition) shall, except by way of amendment raise any new ground of claim or contain any allegation of fact inconsistent with previous pleadings of the party pleading the same.
General Requirements I
Every pleading shall contain only a statement in a summary form of the material facts on which the party relies for his claim or defence, as the case may be. It shall not set out the evidence by which the facts are to be proved. It shall, when necessary, be divided into paragraphs and numbered consecutively.
Any pleading which shall contain less than 15 folios may be either printed or written or partly printed or written. Every other pleading not being a petition shall be printed unless the court otherwise orders.
Every pleading or document required to be delivered to a party or between parties shall be delivered to the solicitor of every party who appears by a solicitor or if he does not appear by a solicitor, to the party. If no appearance has been entered by or on behalf of any party, such pleading or document shall be delivered by being filed with the central office.
Pleadings set out the title of the case, the parties, the type of pleading concerned and the record number.
Every allegation of fact in any pleading (other than a petition) which is not specifically denied expressly or by necessary implication, or stated to be not admitted in the pleadings of the other party shall be taken to be admitted except against any person under 18 or a person of unsound mind.
General Requirements II
Any condition precedent, the performance or occurrence of which is intended to be contested shall be distinctly specified in the pleadings of the relevant party. Subject to this, an averment of the performance or occurrence of all conditions precedent, necessary for the case of the claimant or defendant, as the case may be, shall be implied in his pleading.
The defendant or claimant as the case may be, must raise in his pleading all matters which show the action or counter claim not to be maintainable or that the transactions are either void or voidable in law. He must also raise all other grounds of defence or reply, as the case may be, as if not raised, would be likely to take the opposite party by surprise or would raise issues of fact not arising out of the preceding pleadings. This may include, for example, fraud, the statute of limitations, release, payment, performance, facts showing illegality either law or by statute or the Statute of Frauds (requiring writing in some cases).
Neither party in any pleading need allege any matter of fact which the law presumes in his favour or as to which the burden of proof lies on the other side unless the same has been specifically denied.
No technical objection is to be raised to any pleading on the ground of any alleged want of form.
Particular Requirements I
Dates, sums and numbers shall be expressed in figures and not in words. Signature of counsel (a barrister) shall not be necessary. Where these pleadings have been settled by counsel, they shall be signed by him and if not so settled shall be signed by a solicitor or by the party if he sues or defends in person. The prescribed headings shall be used in pleadings.
In cases alleging a civil wrong under the Civil Liability Act, particulars of the wrong, any personal injury suffered and any items or special damage shall be set out in the statement of claim or counterclaim or particulars of any contributory negligence shall be set out in the defence.
In cases alleging misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, wilful default or undue influence and in all other cases in which particulars may be necessary, particulars with dates and items if necessary shall be set out in the pleadings.
In any case, where the particulars of debt, expenses or damages exceed three folios, that fact must be stated with reference to full particulars already delivered or to be delivered with the pleadings.
Particular Requirements II
In probate actions, it should be stated with regard to every claim or defence, what is the substance of the case in which it is intended to rely. Where undue influence is pleaded, the party making such plea shall before the case is set down, give particulars of the names of the persons against whom the charge of undue influence is preferred, the nature of the conduct alleged to constitute undue influence and the dates upon which the acts alleged to constitute undue influence were exercised.
Where it is pleaded that the testator was not of sound disposing mind, the party making such plea shall, where if the case is set down for trial, give particulars of any instance of delusion or mental incapacity. Except by leave of court, no evidence shall be given in any other instance of undue influence, delusion or mental incapacity at the trial.
Whenever the contents of any document are material, it is sufficient in any pleading to state the effect of it as briefly as possible without setting out the whole or any part unless the precise words of the document or any part of it arematerial. Whenever it is material to allege matters of fraudulent intention, knowledge or the condition of mind of any person, it is sufficient to allege the same as a fact without setting out the circumstances from which the same is to be inferred.
Where it is material to allege notice to any person of any fact, matter or thing, it is sufficient to allege such notice as a fact, unless the form and the precise terms of notice or the circumstances from which it may be inferred are material.
Whenever any contract or any legal relationship between any parties is to be implied from a series of letters, conversations other circumstances, it is sufficient to allege such contract or relationship as a fact and to refer generally to such letters, conversations and circumstances, without setting them out in detail. If in such case, a party wishes to rely in the alternative upon more than one contract or relationship that are to be implied from the circumstances, then he may so state in the alternative.
It is not sufficient for a defendant in his statement of defence to deny generally the grounds alleged by the statement of claim for the claimant in his reply to deny generally the grounds alleged in the counterclaim. Each party must deal specifically with each allegation fact of which he does not admit the truth, except damages.
The claimant may by his reply join issue upon the defence and each party in his pleading subsequent to his reply may join issue upon the previous pleading. Such joinder of issue shall operate as a denial of every material allegation in the pleading upon which issue is joined. Alternatively, he may accept any facts which he is willing to admit and in this event, it acts as a denial of the facts not so admitted.
Where a party denies an allegation of facts in the previous pleading of the opposing party, he may not do so evasively, but must answer the point in substance. Therefore if it is alleged that he received a certain sum of money, it is not enough to deny that he receive that particular amount. He must deny that he received that sum or any part of it or set out what, if anything, he has received. If an allegation is made with the various circumstances, it is not sufficient only to deny it along with those circumstances.
Where a contract, promise or agreement is alleged, a bare denial of the same by the opposite party is to be interpreted as a denial of the fact of such contract promise or agreement alleged or of the matters and facts from which same may be implied by law. It is not a denial of the legality or sufficiency in law of such contract promise or agreement whether under the statute of frauds or otherwise.
Where any ground of defence arises after the defendant has delivered a defence, or at any time limited for his doing so has expired, the defendant may and where any ground of defence to any set-off or counterclaim arises after reply has expired, the claimant, each may within eight days of such ground of defence arising or any subsequent time by leave of the Court, deliver a further defence, further reply as the case may be.
Whenever any defendant, in his defence or in any further defence alleges any ground of defence which has arisen after the commencement of the action, the claimant may deliver a confession of such defence in a prescribed form or may thereupon sign judgment for his costs up to the time of the pleading of such defence, unless the Court shall, either before or after the delivery of such confession, otherwise order.
Any ground of defence which has arisen after the action has been brought but before the defendant has delivered his defence, may be raised by the defendant in his defence, either alone or together with other grounds of defence. If, after the defence has been delivered, any ground of defence arises to any set-off or counterclaim by the defendant, it may be raised by the claimant in his reply.
Stiking Out Pleadings
The court may at any stage of proceedings order to be struck out or amended, any matter in any indorsement or pleading which may be unnecessary or scandalous or which may tend to prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the action. It may in such case if it thinks fit award the cost of the application, to be awarded on a solicitor and client basis.
The court may order any pleading to be struck out on the ground that it discloses no reasonable cause of action or answer and in any such case where the claim in the action or defence being affirmed by the pleadings is frivolous or vexatious. The court may order to the action to be stayed or dismissed or judgement to be entered accordingly as may be just.
Further and Better Particulars
A further and better statement of the nature of the claim or defence or further and better particulars of any matters stated in the pleadings notice or written proceedings, requiring further particulars, may in all cases be ordered upon such terms as to costs as may be just. Particulars shall not be regarded to be delivered before defence or reply unless the court shall be of the opinion that it is necessary and desirable to enable the Claimant or Defendant to plead or for any of the special reason to be delivered.
Before applying for such an order, a party may apply for particulars by letter. The costs of each letter and of any particulars delivered shall be allowed on taxation. The requirement for a prior request or letter shall be taken into account on taxation.
The party at whose instance further particulars have been delivered under court order shall unless the order otherwise provides, have the same length of time for pleading after delivery of particulars that he had at the date of service of the notice of the application. An order for particulars shall not unless otherwise provided, operate as a stay or proceedings or give an extension of time.
Point of Law
Any party shall be entitled to raise by his pleading any point of law. Any point so raised shall be disposed of by the Judge who tries the matter. By consent of the parties or by order of the Court on the application of either party, the same may be set down and heard and disposed of at any time before the trial.
If in the opinion of the Court, the decision on such point of law substantially disposes of the whole action, or of any distinct claim, ground of defence, set-off, counterclaim, or reply, the Court may thereupon dismiss the action and make such other order as may be just.
Where a statement of claim concerns a matter under the EU Judgement\’s Regulation or Convention, the statement of claim shall be indorsed with the statement that the court has the power to hear and determine the claim and shall specify the particular provisions under which the court should assume jurisdiction. The statement of claim shall be indorsed with a statement that no proceedings between the parties concerning the same cause of action are pending between the parties in another EU or contracting state. Similar provisions apply claims under the judgement regulation under Lugano Convention.