King Vision Pay Per View v. J.C. Dimitri's Rest.

180 F.R.D. 332 (N.D. Ill. 1998)

 

RULE:

Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to the amount of damage, are admitted when not denied in the responsive pleading. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d).

FACTS:

The broadcaster filed a complaint against the restaurant. The restaurant then filed a response where 30 of the response's 35 paragraphs contained nonresponsive language to the effect that the restaurant neither admitted nor denied the allegations of a paragraph, but demanded strict proof thereof. This triggered a sua sponte opinion form the court as to how any responsive pleading to a federal complaint must be drafted.

ISSUE:

Does a non-responsive answer to an allegation in a complaint amount to an admission?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court, however, held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b) identified only three alternatives as available for use in an answer to the allegations of a complaint: to admit those allegations, to deny them, or to state a disclaimer. Accordingly, the court sua sponte issued an opinion as to how any responsive pleading to a federal complaint had to be drafted. The court held that all of the allegations of the broadcaster's complaint that were responded to by the restaurant using the nonresponsive answer were deemed to have been admitted by the restaurant, and ordered the action to proceed on that basis. The court ruled that averments in the response to which a responsive pleading was required, other than those as to the amount of damage, were admitted when not denied in the responsive pleading. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d).

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