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DISTRICT COURT (CIVIL PROCEDURE) RULES, 2004

 

      Rule        

 

 

ORDER 18

WRITTEN STATEMENTS

 

Circumstances which require written statements

 

1. (1) An action shall ordinarily be heard and determined in a sum­mary manner without written statements, but where it appears to the Court (for reasons recorded in the minutes) that the nature and circum­stances of a case make it expedient in the interest of justice to have writ­ten statements, the Court may order

(a) the plaintiff to file a written statement of claim, and

                (b) the defendant to file a written answer or statement of defence.

 

        (2) The order to file a written statement may be made at any stage of an action, either before or during the hearing.

 

         (3) Despite subrule 1, written statements shall be filed in cases of

 

             (a) probate and administration,

(b) matrimonial causes,

(c) defamation,

(d) adoption, and

(e) negligence.

Illiterate parties

2. (1) In making the order under rule 1, the Court shall

(a) have regard to the background of the parties, and

               (b) not require a party who is incapable of preparing or under­standing a written statement, to file a written statement.

 

         (2) Despite subrule (1) where the Court considers it necessary in the interest of justice that the statement of a party should be reduced into writing before the hearing, the Court may direct that the statement

  (a) be takendown in writing by the Registrar, other officer of the Court or any other literate person, and

 

 (b) after it has been read and interpreted to the party by the person who took it and the party appears satisfied with it, and the Court has verified this by oral examination of the party, be filed as a written statement.

a

3. A written statement shall contain all the material facts which the party presenting the written statement relies on, but not the evidence by which those facts are to be proved, and the statement shall be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively with each paragraph containing, as nearly as may be, a separate allegation.

 

How facts are to be stated

 

4. Facts in a written statement shall be alleged directly, precisely, dis­tinctly, and as briefly as is consistent with clarity.

Further and better particulars by letter

5. Before making an application to the Court for an order for further and better particulars, a party may apply for the further and better par­ticulars by a letter.

The relief claimed to be stated

6. A statement of claim shall state specifically the relief claimed by the plaintiff either simply or in the alternative, and may also ask for general relief and the same applies to a counterclaim made or a relief claimed by the defendant in the statement of defence.

Grounds of claim founded on separate facts to be separately stated

7. Where the plaintiff seeks relief in respect of several distinct claims or causes of action founded upon separate and distinct facts those facts shall be stated, as far as possible, separately and distinctly and this rule applies where the defendant relies on several distinct grounds of set-off or counterclaim founded on separate and distinct facts.

Defendant's written statement to answer allegations in statement of claim

 

8. (1) A defendant shall in the written statement of defence deny all the material allegations in the statement of the plaintiff that the defen­dant intends to deny at the hearing. -

(2) Every allegation of fact in a written statement of claim which is

(a) specifically denied,

(b) denied by necessary implication, or

(c) stated to be not admitted

in the statment of defence shall, at the hearing, be taken as admitted.

Allegations shall not be denied generally, but specifically

10. It is not sufficient to deny generally the facts alleged by the state­ment of claim, the defendant shall in the statement of defence deal specifically with every alleged fact either by

 

(a) admitting or denying one after the other, the truth of each allegation of fact that is within the knowledge of the defendant, or

 

(b) stating that the defendant does not know whether the allegation is true or otherwise.  

Denial of fact must answer point of substance

11. (1) Where a party denies an allegation of fact, that party shall not do so evasively but answer to the point of substance.

(2) Where a matter of fact is alleged with diverse circumstances, it is not sufficient to deny it as alleged along with those circumstances, but a fair and substantial answer as regards the circumstances shall also be given.

Admissions: their effect

12. The defendant shall allege any fact which the defendant relies on in defence but which is not stated in the statement of claim and which for instance

(a) establishes fraud on the part of the plaintiff, or

 

(b) shows that the plaintiff's right to

(i) recover any sum or property, or

(ii) any relief capable of being granted on the statement of claim,

has not yet accrued, has been released, is barred, or other­WIse gone.

Set-off or counterclaim to be pleaded

13. Where a defendant seeks to rely on any fact, which supports a right of set-off or counterclaim, the defendant shall in the statement of defence, state specifically that the defendant does so by way of set-off or counterclaim, and give the particulars of the set-off or counterclaim.

Evidence in denial of allegation or in support of defence not set up in pleading

 

14. (1) The fIling of a statement of defence by a defendant does not prevent the defendant from

(a) disproving at the hearing any allegation of the plaintiff not admitted by the statement of defence, or

 

(b) giving evidence in support of a defence not expressly set up by the statement of the defence.

      

(2) Despite subrule (1), if the Court is of the opinion that the defence

 

               (a) ought to have been expressly set up by the statement of defence,

(b) is inconsistent with the statement of defence, or

               (c) is likely to take the plaintiff by surprise and to raise new issues

.the Court may prevent the defendant from presenting that defence at the hearing or make an order that the justice of the case may require.

Costs in certain cases

15. Where the Court is of the opinion that any a·llegations of fact, denied or not admitted in a pleading, ought to have been admitted, the Court may make an order as to costs that considers just.

Filing and service of written statements

16. A written statement from the plaintiff or defendant shall, if the Court thinks fit, be

           (a) fIled at the time directed by the Court, and

 (b) served on the opposite party at the time and in the manner directed by the Court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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