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RULE 12. DEFENSES AND OBJECTIONS: WHEN AND HOW PRESENTED: BY PLEADING OR MOTION: MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON PLEADINGS

July 25, 2011

RULE 12.01: WHEN PRESENTED.

A defendant shall serve an answer within thirty (30) days after the service of the summons and complaint upon him. A party served with a pleading stating a cross-claim against such party shall serve an answer thereto within thirty (30) days after the service upon him or her. The plaintiff shall serve a reply to a counterclaim in the answer within thirty (30) days after service of the answer, or, if a reply is ordered by the court, within thirty (30) days after service of the order, unless the order otherwise directs. The service of a motion permitted under this rule alters these periods of time as follows, unless a different time is fixed by order of the court: (1) if the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until the trial on the merits, the responsive pleading shall be served within fifteen (15) days after notice of the court’s action; (2) if the court grants a motion for a more definite statement the responsive pleading shall be served within fifteen (15) days after the service of the more definite statement. [As amended by order entered January 26, 1999, effective July 1, 1999.]

RULE 12.03: 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. If, on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56, and all parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56.

RULE 12.04: PRELIMINARY HEARINGS.

On application of any party, the defenses specifically enumerated (1) through (8) in 12.02, whether made in a pleading or by motion, and the motion for judgment mentioned in 12.03 shall be heard and determined before trial unless the court orders that the hearing and determination thereof be deferred until the trial.

RULE 12.05: MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT.

If a pleading to which a responsive pleading is permitted is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, the party may move for a more definite statement before interposing a responsive pleading. The motion shall point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the motion is granted and the order of the court is not obeyed within fifteen (15) days after notice 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 may make such order as it deems just.

RULE 12.06: 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 thirty (30) days after the service of the pleading upon him or upon the court’s own initiative at any time, the court may order stricken from any pleading insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous matter.

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