ANSWER - Black's Law Dictionary

What is ANSWER? Definition of ANSWER in Black's Law Dictionary

As a verb, the word denotes an assumption of liability, as to "answer" for the debt or default of another.

Strictly speaking, it is a pleading by which defendant in suit at law endeavors to resist the plaintiff's demand by an allegation of facts, either denying allegations of plaintiff's complaint or confessing them and alleging new matter in avoidance, which defendant alleges should prevent recovery on facts alleged by plaintiff. In re Herle's Will, 173 Misc. 879, 19 N.Y.S.2d 263, 265.

In chancery pleading, the term denotes a defense in writing, made by a defendant to the allegations contained in a bill or information filed by the plaintiff against him.

In pleading, under the Codes of Civil Procedure, the answer is the formal written statement made by a defendant setting forth the grounds of his defense; corresponding to what, in actions under the common-law practice is called the "plea." But as used in a statute providing that defendant must appear and answer the petition, "answer" refers to any sort of pleading filed by defendant. State ex rel. Oliver Hast Auction Co. v. Grimm, 197 Mo.App. 566, 196 S.W. 1019, 1021. Cross-complaint. Celina Mut. Casualty Co. v. Baldridge, 213 Ind. 193, 12 N.E.2d 258, 260. Counterclaim. Long v. Mutual Trust Life Ins. Co., 191 Minn. 163, 253 N.W. 762. Motion to quash service of summons. Phillips v. Manufacturers Trust Co., C.C. A.Idaho, 101 F.2d 723, 727. Objections by contestants to petition for probate of will. In re Swim's Will, 258 N.Y.S. 458, 144 Misc. 206. Objections to executor's final report. Meier v. Union Trust Co. of Indianapolis, 93 Ind.App. 457, 176 N. E. 42, 51. Demurrer. Evans v. Superior Court in and for Los Angeles County, 14 Cal.App.2d 743, 59 P.2d 159, 160, contra. Mariner v. Milisich, 45 Nev. 193, 200 P. 478.

In Massachusetts, the term denotes the statement of the matter intended to be relied upon by the defendant in avoidance of the plaintiff's action, taking the place of special pleas in bar, and the general issue, except in real and mixed actions. Pub.St.Mass.1882, p. 1287.

In matrimonial suits in the (English) probate, divorce, and admiralty division, an answer is the pleading by which the respondent puts forward his defense to the petition. Browne, Div. 223.

Under the old admiralty practice in England, the defendant's
first pleading was called his "answer." Williams & B. Adm. Jur. 246.

Frivolous answer. See Sham Answer, infra.

An irrelevant answer is one that has no substantial relation to the controversy;—distinguishable from a sham answer. Rosatti v. Common School Dist. No. 96 of Cass County, 53 N.D. 268, 205 N.W. 678, 679.

A sham answer is one sufficient on its face but so clearly false that it presents no real issue to be tried. Bank of Richards, Mo., v. Sheasgreen, 153 Minn. 363, 190 N.W. 484. One good in form, but false in fact and not pleaded in good faith. Burkhalter v. Townsend, 139 S.C. 324, 138 S.E. 34, 36.  A frivolous answer, on the other hand, is one which on its face sets up no defense, although it may be true in fact.

A voluntary answer, in chancery, was an answer put in by a defendant, when plaintiff had filed no interrogatories which required to be answered. Hunt, Eq.

A reply to interrogatories; an affidavit in answer to interrogatories. The declaration of a fact by a witness after a question has been put, asking for it.


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