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New York Civil Practice: CPLR
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

5-3018 New York Civil Practice: CPLR 3018.syn


Responsive Pleadings


David L. Ferstendig

Chapter Summary


This chapter discusses CPLR 3018, which governs the pleading of denials and affirmative defenses in every type of responsive pleading permitted by CPLR 3011, Kinds of Pleadings.

The chapter begins with an overview of how other CPLR provisions affect the content and format of responsive pleadings, typically answers, under CPLR 3018. It then provides detailed information on the types of denials of statements, including general, specific, qualified, and argumentative denials, as well as "negative pregnants." The chapter also discusses the basis for the denial, which may be upon information and belief. The chapter notes the procedure when a pleader has insufficient information to justify either an admission or a denial of a statement made in his or her opponent's pleading. In addition, the chapter describes the circumstances under which a denial, a denial on information and belief, or a statement of lack of knowledge or information may not be used. It also explains the effect of failing to deny when a denial could be interposed. The chapter next covers affirmative defenses that must be pleaded, and it mentions the nonexhaustive list of such defenses provided in CPLR 3018. It also sets forth the standard for a pleader to use to determine whether a defense must be pleaded affirmatively or is within the scope of a general denial. The chapter briefly mentions that defenses and matters that tend to mitigate damages must be pleaded affirmatively. Finally, it describes the effect of failing to plead an affirmative defense.

This chapter includes a historical appendix with amendments to, legislative and judicial reports for, and the Civil Practice Act counterpart for CPLR 3018. It also provides a references section containing court rules and essential forms relating to CPLR 3018, as well as the Federal Practice counterpart to CPLR 3018.

New York Civil Practice:CPLR (more commonly known as Weinstein, Korn & Miller) is the leading treatise on New York civil procedure and litigation, and is cited frequently by New York State and federal courts as the authority on civil practice issues.It provides in-depth analysis and interpretation of New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), along with expert guidance and information on common and complex procedural issues facing New York civil law practitioners.


CPLR 3018,Responsive Pleadings,Answer,Denial,Specific Denial,Qualified Denial,Argumentative Denial,Negative Pregnant,Affirmative Defense,Arbitration and Award,Collateral Estoppel,Culpable Conduct,Discharge in Bankruptcy,Illegality,Fraud,Infancy,Disclaimer,Payment,Release,Res Judicata,Statute of Frauds,Statute of Limitations,Surprise,New Issues of Fact,Mitigation of Damages,Waiver


For a discussion of when a responsive pleading is required, see CPLR 3011, Kinds of Pleadings.

For a discussion of the time within in which a responsive pleading must be served, see CPLR 3012, Service of Pleadings and Demand for Complaint.

For a discussion of the general requirements for all pleadings, which apply to denials and affirmative defenses, see CPLR 3013, Particularity of Statements Generally; and CPLR R3014, Statements.

For a discussion of the particular requirements for pleading certain matters and pleading in certain types of actions, which may apply to denials and affirmative defenses, see CPLR 3015, Particularity As to Specific Matters; and CPLR R3016, Particularity in Specific Actions.

For a discussion of the scope of counterclaims and crossclaims, which may be asserted in an answer, see CPLR 3019, Counterclaims and Crossclaims.


For further discussion of remedies and pleadings, including discussion of responsive pleadings, see:
  • Bender's Forms for Civil Practice: Civil Litigation, CPLR Article 30, Remedies and Pleading (Matthew Bender).
  • LexisNexis AnswerGuide New York Civil Litigation, Ch. 1, Initial Pleadings; and Ch. 3, Responding to Initial Pleadings (Matthew Bender).
  • Federal Litigation Guide: New York and Connecticut, Ch. 2, Formatting, Serving, and Filing Papers; Ch. 6, Drafting the Summons and Complaint; Ch. 8, Serving Process; Ch. 10, Raising Defenses and Objections; Ch. 11, Drafting Counterclaims, Cross-Claims, and Replies; and Ch. 15, Amending and Supplementing Pleadings (Matthew Bender).
  • Moore's Manual: Federal Practice and Procedure, Ch. 9, Pleadings and Motions in General; Ch. 10, Plaintiff's Pleadings; Ch. 11, Defendant's Response; Ch. 12, Plaintiff's Response; and Ch. 25A, Declaratory Judgment (Matthew Bender).
  • Moore's Federal Practice-Civil, Ch. 7, Pleadings Allowed; Form of Motions and Other Papers; Ch. 8, General Rules of Pleading; Ch. 9, Pleading Special Matters; Ch. 10, Form of Pleadings; Ch. 13, Counterclaim and Crossclaim; Ch. 15, Amended and Supplemental Pleadings; Ch. 57, Declaratory Judgment; Ch. 60, Relief from a Judgment or Order; and Ch. 131, Claim Preclusion and Res Judicata (Matthew Bender).
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