Terms Used In This Law
- answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
- complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
- trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
- writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
(1) LANDLORD NOT A DEFENDANT.–When it appears before trial that a defendant in ejectment is in possession as a tenant and that his or her landlord is not a party, the landlord shall be made a party before further proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the court.(2) DEFENSE MAY BE LIMITED.-A defendant in an action of ejectment may limit his or her defense to a part of the property mentioned in the complaint, describing such part with reasonable certainty.(3) WRIT OF POSSESSION; EXECUTION TO BE JOINT OR SEVERAL.-When plaintiff recovers in ejectment, he or she may have one writ for possession, damages and costs or, if the plaintiff elects, have separate writs for possession and damages.(4) CHAIN OF TITLE.-Plaintiff with his or her complaint and defendant with his or her answer shall serve a statement setting forth chronologically the chain of title on which he or she will rely at trial. If any part of the chain of title is recorded, the statement shall set forth the names of the grantors and the grantees and the book and page of the record thereof; if an unrecorded instrument is relied on, a copy shall be attached. The court may require the original to be submitted to the opposite party for inspection. If the party relies on a claim or right without color of title, the statement shall specify how and when the claim originated and the facts on which the claim is based. If defendant and plaintiff claim under a common source, the statement need not deraign title before the common source.(5) TESTING SUFFICIENCY.-If either party wants to test the legal sufficiency of any instrument or court proceeding in the chain of title of the opposite party, the party shall do so before trial by motion setting up his or her objections with a copy of the instrument or court proceedings attached. The motion shall be disposed of before trial. If either party determines that he or she will be unable to maintain his or her claim by reason of the order, that party may so state in the record and final judgment shall be entered for the opposite party.