ORCP 21 – DEFENSES AND OBJECTIONS; HOW PRESENTED; BY PLEADING OR MOTION; MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

DEFENSES AND OBJECTIONS; HOW PRESENTED; BY PLEADING OR MOTION; MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

RULE 21

A How presented. Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or third party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion to dismiss: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, (2) lack of jurisdiction over the person, (3) that there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause, (4) that plaintiff has not the legal capacity to sue, (5) insufficiency of summons or process or insufficiency of service of summons or process, (6) that the party asserting the claim is not the real party in interest, (7) failure to join a party under Rule 29, (8) failure to state ultimate facts sufficient to constitute a claim, and (9) that the pleading shows that the action has not been commenced within the time limited by statute. A motion to dismiss making any of these defenses shall be made before pleading if a further pleading is permitted. The grounds upon which any of the enumerated defenses are based shall be stated specifically and with particularity in the responsive pleading or motion. No defense or objection is waived by being joined with one or more other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or motion. If, on a motion to dismiss asserting defenses (1) through (7), the facts constituting such defenses do not appear on the face of the pleading and matters outside the pleading, including affidavits, declarations and other evidence, are presented to the court, all parties shall be given a reasonable opportunity to present affidavits, declarations and other evidence, and the court may determine the existence or nonexistence of the facts supporting such defense or may defer such determination until further discovery or until trial on the merits. If the court grants a motion to dismiss, the court may enter judgment in favor of the moving party or grant leave to file an amended complaint. If the court grants the motion to dismiss on the basis of defense (3), the court may enter judgment in favor of the moving party, stay the proceeding, or defer entry of judgment.

B Motion for judgment on the pleadings. After the pleadings are closed, but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings.

C Preliminary hearings. The defenses specifically denominated (1) through (9) in section A of this rule, whether made in a pleading or by motion, and the motion for judgment on the pleadings mentioned in section B of this rule shall be heard and determined before trial on application of any party, unless the court orders that the hearing and determination thereof be deferred until the trial.

D Motion to make more definite and certain. Upon motion made by a party before responding to a pleading, or if no responsive pleading is permitted by these rules upon motion by a party within 10 days after service of the pleading, or upon the court’s own initiative at any time, the court may require the pleading to be made definite and certain by amendment when the allegations of a pleading are so indefinite or uncertain that the precise nature of the charge, defense, or reply is not apparent. If the motion is granted and the order of the court is not obeyed within 10 days after service of the order or within such other time as the court may fix, the court may strike the pleading to which the motion was directed or make such order as it deems just.

E Motion to strike. Upon motion made by a party before responding to a pleading or, if no responsive pleading is permitted by these rules, upon motion made by a party within 10 days after the service of the pleading upon such party or upon the court’s own initiative at any time, the court may order stricken: (1) any sham, frivolous, or irrelevant pleading or defense or any pleading containing more than one claim or defense not separately stated; (2) any insufficient defense or any sham, frivolous, irrelevant, or redundant matter inserted in a pleading.

F Consolidation of defenses in motion. A party who makes a motion under this rule may join with it any other motions herein provided for and then available to the party. If a party makes a motion under this rule, except a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction over the person or insufficiency of summons or process or insufficiency of service of summons or process, but omits therefrom any defense or objection then available to the party which this rule permits to be raised by motion, the party shall not thereafter make a motion based on the defense or objection so omitted, except a motion as provided in subsection G(3) of this rule on any of the grounds there stated. A party may make one motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction over the person or insufficiency of summons or process or insufficiency of service of summons or process without consolidation of defenses required by this section.

G Waiver or preservation of certain defenses.

G(1) A defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person, that there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause, insufficiency of summons or process, or insufficiency of service of summons or process, is waived under either of the following circumstances: (a) if the defense is omitted from a motion in the circumstances described in section F of this rule, or (b) if the defense is neither made by motion under this rule nor included in a responsive pleading. The defenses referred to in this subsection shall not be raised by amendment.

G(2) A defense that a plaintiff has not the legal capacity to sue, that the party asserting the claim is not the real party in interest, or that the action has not been commenced within the time limited by statute, is waived if it is neither made by motion under this rule nor included in a responsive pleading or an amendment thereof. Leave of court to amend a pleading to assert the defenses referred to in this subsection shall only be granted upon a showing by the party seeking to amend that such party did not know and reasonably could not have known of the existence of the defense or that other circumstances make denial of leave to amend unjust.

G(3) A defense of failure to state ultimate facts constituting a claim, a defense of failure to join a party indispensable under Rule 29, and an objection of failure to state a legal defense to a claim or insufficiency of new matter in a reply to avoid a defense, may be made in any pleading permitted or ordered under Rule 13 B or by motion for judgment on the pleadings, or at the trial on the merits. The objection or defense, if made at trial, shall be disposed of as provided in Rule 23 B in light of any evidence that may have been received.

G(4) If it appears by motion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the action.

[CCP 12/2/78; §§F,G amended by 1979 c.284 §§15,16; §F amended by CCP 12/13/80; §A amended by CCP 12/4/82; §E amended by 1983 c.763 §58; §E amended by CCP 12/8/84; §G amended by 1987 c.714 §6; §G amended by 1995 c.658 §118; §A amended by CCP 12/9/00; §A amended by 2003 c.194 §8; §A amended by CCP 12/11/10]

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