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such circumstances that if one had brought an action against the other, a counter-claim or set-off could have been set up, neither can be deprived of the benefit thereof by the assignment or death of the other, but the two demands must be deemed compensated so far as they equal each other.
SEC. 16. A set-off can only be pleaded in an action founded on contract, and must be a cause of action arising upon contract or ascertained by the decision of the court, held by the defendant at the time suit was commenced, and matured at or before the time it is offered as a set off.
SEC. 17. Where it is necessary for the defendant to bring a new party before the court, he may state the matter relating thereto in his answer, and demand relief; and thereupon a summons shall issue, and other proceedings be had against him, as if such matter had been exhibited in the original complaint.
SEC. 18. Several defendants may answer, jointly or severally, as the facts set forth in the complaint may require.
SEC. 19. When the facts stated in the answer are not sufficient to constitute a cause of defence, the plaintiff may demur to one or more of several defences, under the same rules and regulations as are herein before prescribed for demurring to the complaint. Unless the objection be taken by demurrer it shall be deemed as waived.
SEC. 20. It shall be the duty of the guardian of an infant, or committee of a person of unsound mind, or attorney for a person in prison, to file an answer denying the material allegations of the complaint prejudicial to such defendant, without oath.
SEC. 21. All defences, except the mere denial of the facts alleged by the plaintiff, shall be pleaded specially.
SEC. 22. There shall be no reply, except upon the allegation of a counter-claim or set-off, in the answer.
SEC. 23. When the answer contains new matter constituting a counter-claim or set-off, the plaintiff may reply to such new matter, denying, generally or specifically, each allegation controverted by him; and he may allege, in ordinary and concise language, and without repetition, any new matter, not inconsistent with the complaint, constituting a defence to such new matter in the answer; or
he may demur to the same for insufficiency, stating in his demurrer the grounds thereof; and he may demur to one or more of such defences set up in the answer, and reply to the residue.
GENERAL RULES OF PLEADING.
SEC. 24. The answer or demurrer by the defendant shall be filed on or before the fourth Saturday, and the reply or demurrer by the plaintiff on or before the seventh Saturday, after the return day of the summons or service by publication.
SEC. 25. If from any cause either party shall fail to plead or make up the issues within the time prescribed by law and the rules of the court, the court shall forthwith enter judgment as upon a default, unless, for good reasons shown, further time be given for pleading, on the payment of costs occasioned by the delay.
SEC. 26. Every pleading shall be subscribed by the party or his attorney, and when any pleading is verified every subsequent pleading, except a demurrer, must be verified also, except as is provided in the next two succeeding sections.
SEC. 27. The verification must be to the effect that the same is true to the knowledge of the person making it, except as to those matters stated on information and belief, and as to those matters that he believes them to be true, and must be by affidavit of the party, or if there be several parties united in interest and pleading together, by one at least of such parties acquainted with the facts, if such party be within this District and capable of making the affidavit. The affidavit may also be made by the agent or attorney, if the action or defence be founded upon a written instrument for the payment of money only, and such instrument be in the possession of the agent or attorney, or if all the material allegations of the pleading be within the personal knowledge of the agent or attorney. When the pleading is verified by any other person than the party, he shall set forth in the affidavit his knowledge or the grounds of his belief on the subject, and the reasons why it is not made by the party. When a corporation is a party the verification may be made by any officer thereof; and when the United States, or any officer thereof in its behalf, is a party, the verification may be made by any person acquainted with the facts. The verification may be omitted when an admission of the truth of the allegation might subject the party to prosecution for
felony. And no pleading can be used in a criminal prosecution against the party as proof of a fact admitted or alleged in such pleading.
SEC. 28. Verification of a pleading shall not make other or greater proof necessary on the side of the adverse party, except where otherwise expressly provided. The verification shall not be required to the answer of a guardian defending for an infant, or insane person, or person imprisoned. In all cases where the party pleading is a non-resident of this District, or if he shall be absent from this District, an affidavit, made before filing the pleading, stating the substance of the facts afterwards inserted in the pleading, shall be a sufficient verification; and such affidavit shall be filed with the pleading intended to be verified thereby.
SEC. 29. It shall not be necessary for a party to set forth in the pleading the items of an account therein alleged; he shall deliver to the adverse party, within ten days after a demand thereof in writing, a copy of the account, which, if the pleading is verified, must be verified by his own oath, or that of his agent or attorney, if within the personal knowledge of such agent or attorney, to the effect that he believes it to be true, or be precluded from giving evidence thereof. The court may order a further account when the one given is defective; and the court may in all cases order a bill of particulars ef the claim of either party to be furnished.
SEC. 30. In the construction of a pleading for the purpose of determining its effect, its allegations shall be liberally construed, with a view of substantial justice between the parties.
SEC. 31. If irrelevant or redundant matter be inserted in a pleading, it may be stricken out on motion of any person aggrieved thereby. And when the allegations of a pleading are so indefinite and uncertain that the precise nature of the charge or defence is not apparent, the court may require the pleading to be made definite and certain by amendment.
SEC. 32. When an action is brought upon a written instrument, and the complaint contains a copy of such instrument, or the original or a copy annexed thereto, the genuineness and due execution of such instrument shall be deemed admitted, unless the answer denying the same be verified.
SEC. 33. When the defence to an action is founded upon a written
instrument, and a copy thereof is contained in the answer, or the original or a copy is annexed thereto, the genuineness and due execution of such instrument shall be deemed admitted, unless the plaintiff file with the clerk, five days previous to the commencement of the term at which the action is to be tried, an affidavit denying the same.
SEC. 34. All fictions in pleading are abolished.
SEC. 35. In pleading a judgment or decision of a court or officer of special jurisdiction, it shall not be necessary to state the facts conferring jurisdiction; but such judgment or determination shall be stated to have been duly given or made. If such allegation be controverted, the party pleading shall be bound to establish on the trial the facts conferring jurisdiction.
SEC. 36. In pleading the performance of conditions precedent in a contract, it shall not be necessary to state the facts showing such performance; but it may be stated generally that the party duly performed all the conditions on his part; and if such allegation be controverted, the party pleading shall be bound to establish on the trial the facts showing such performance.
SEC. 37. In pleading a private statute, or a right derived therefrom, it shall be sufficient to refer to such statute by its title and the day of its passage or approval, and the court shall thereupon take judicial
SEC. 38. In an action for libel or slander, it shall not be necessary to state in the complaint any extrinsic facts for the purpose of showing the application to the plaintiff of the defamatory matter out of which the cause of action arose; but it shall be sufficient to state generally that the same was published or spoken concerning the plaintiff; and if such allegation be controverted, the plaintiff shall be bound to establish on the trial that it was so published or spoken.
SEC. 39. In the actions mentioned in the last section, the defendant may, in his answer, allege both the truth of the matter charged as defamatory, and any mitigating circumstances, to reduce the amount of damages; and whether he prove the justification or not, he may give in evidence the mitigating circumstances.
SEC. 40. The plaintiff may unite in the same complaint several causes of action, whether they be such as have been heretofore denominated legal or equitable, or both, when they are included in either one of the following classes:
1. The same transaction, or transactions connected with the same subject of action.
2. Contracts, expressed or implied.
3. Injuries, with or without force, to person and property, or
4. Injuries to character.
5. Claims to recover the possession of personal property, with or without damages for the withholding thereof.
6. Claims to recover real property, with or without damages for the withholding thereof, or for waste, and the rents and profits of the
7. Claims against a trustee, by virtue of a contract or by operation of law.
The causes of action so united must affect all the parties to the action, and not require different places of trial, and must be separately stated.
SEC. 41. When the action arises out of contract, the plaintiff may join such other matters in his complaint as may be necessary for a complete remedy and a speedy satisfaction of his judgment, although such other matters fall within some other one or more of the foregoing classes. When several causes of action are united belonging to any of the foregoing classes, the court may order separate trials for the furtherance of justice.
SEC. 42. Every material allegation of the complaint not controverted by the answer, and every material allegation of new matter in the answer constituting a counter-claim or set-off, not controverted by the reply, shall, for the purposes of the action, be taken as true; but the allegation of new matter in the answer not relating to a counter-claim or set-off, or of new matter in the reply, shall be deemed to be controverted by the adverse party, as upon a direct denial or avoidance, as the case may require. Allegations of value, or of amount of damage, shall not be considered as true by failure to contradict them.
SEC. 43. The allegations of a complaint against the defendant constructively summoned, and who has not appeared, except such as are for his benefit, shall not be taken as true, but shall be established by proof. If, however, the plaintiff in an action against a defendant constructively summoned, and who has not appeared, files with the