Friday, December 16, 2005

D.C. Circuit Publishes Opinion Addressing Pleading and Amendment Issues

Judge Janice Rogers Brown in Jones v. District of Columbia Dept. of Corrections, 429 F.3d 276 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 15, 2005) has issued a brief opinion announcing the following two procedural holdings:

1. Based on the language of Rule 8(c), A party who fails to raise an affirmative defense in their responsive pleading and fails to seek an amendment of their pleadings to raise the defense may not raise the defense for the first time in a motion for summary judgment. In this case, the district court considered the newly raised affirmative defense in the summary judgment motion and Judge Brown concluded that was erroneous.

2. A district court's denial of a motion for leave to amend the complaint without stating the reasons for doing so is an abuse of discretion.


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