Amended Answer in Florida Circuit Court – At A Glance

Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to amended answer in Florida Circuit Courts. For more detailed information, please see the SmartRules Amended Answer guides for the court where your action is pending.

An answer (or an amended answer) must contain an admission or denial of each averment on which the adverse party relies. If the defendant is without knowledge, the defendant shall so state and this will operate as a denial. Denials must fairly meet the substance of the allegations. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(c).

A defendant may make a general denial to all of the averments, including the court’s jurisdiction. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(c).

An averment that is not denied, except for damages, is deemed admitted. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(e).

An answer must state in “short and plain terms the pleader’s defenses to each claim asserted.” Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(c). Each defense other than denials “shall be stated in a separate count or defense when a separation facilitates the clear presentation of the matter set forth.” Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(f).

Case law authority holds that a defendant may plead alternative or inconsistent affirmative defenses.

An avoidance or defense must be pled as an affirmative defense. The Code lists common affirmative defenses: accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, and waiver. This list is not exhaustive. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(d).

Except for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, and failure to join an indispensable party, affirmative defenses are waived if not pled. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(h).

Affirmative defenses raised in an answer (or amended answer) are deemed denied by plaintiff. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(e).

A verified complaint may be answered in the same manner as a non-verified complaint. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(b).

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

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