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September 2017

The Scrivener: Answers Revisited, Part 2

By Elizabeth Scott Moïse

S.C. Lawyer

Reprinted with permission from the S.C. Bar’s S.C. Lawyer

The following have been found to be deficient responses in answers:

  • Refusing to answer because the complaint “states a legal conclusion”
    Many defendants allege that the complaint “states a legal conclusion to which no response is necessary.” Presumably, the basis for believing that no response is necessary for a legal conclusion arises from Rule 8(d), which states that “[a]verments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided.” Rule 8(d), however, likely refers to situations such as affirmative defenses, to which the plaintiff is not required to answer.