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N Cal Attorney
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What is the definition of the pleadings are closed in CR

Resolved Question:

What is the definition of "the pleadings are closed" in CR 12? When are the pleadings closed in a Washington State case?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
In general, you can say that the pleadings are closed when all complaints and cross-complaints have been answered, and the time to demur to or otherwise attack the legal sufficiency of the answers has expired. At that point, the case is said to be at issue.

I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am looking for the applicability of CR 8(d), where a plaintiff fails to answer a counterclaim. With the answer you have just given, one could argue the "pleadings" phase stays open forever. But I seek a theoretical limit for that.
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
8(d) says
Averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted
shall be taken as denied or avoided.

If no answer is required to a particular counterclaim then it is deemed denied. But in general, failure to answer a counterclaim can result in a default
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I refer to the sentence just prior to that one:

"(d) Effect of Failure To Deny. 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."

We have a case here in Washington, Jansen v. Nu-West, Inc., where the court applied CR 8(d) rigorously on summary judgment:

"Failure to deny an averment in a counterclaim constitutes an admission. CR 8(d). ... [The] averment [contained in the counterclaim]...was therefore admitted at the time of the summary judgment."

The Court then affirmed the summary judgment, i.e., the counterclaims were granted without further evidence as a matter of law.

At some point, the Court has apparently drawn a line to say that the
pleadings are closed. I seek a definition of that line. Would it be correct to say that pleadings are closed at the deadline for filing the answer (20 days after the counterclaim is filed)?

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
Yes, once the time to respond to the last pleading expires, the pleadings are closed.
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Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.