As amended through October 16, 2020
Rule 8 - General Rules of Pleading.(a) Claims for Relief. A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain: (1) A short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and(2) A demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. In an action for personal injury, injury to property, or wrongful death, the pleading shall not state the amount claimed, but only that the amount is sufficient to establish the jurisdiction of the court. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. (b) Defenses; Form of Denials. A party shall state in short and plain terms the party's defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If the party is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, the party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials shall fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. When a pleader intends in good faith to deny only a part or a qualification of an averment, the pleader shall specify so much of it as true and material and shall deny only the remainder. Unless the pleader intends in good faith to controvert all the averments of the preceding pleading, the pleader may make denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs, or the pleader may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as the pleader expressly admits; but, when the pleader does so intend to controvert all its averments, the pleader may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11. Denial of the authenticity or validity of a signature shall be by specific negative averment, and a general denial shall not put such signature in issue. (c) Affirmative Defenses. In pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth affirmatively accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense. When a party has mistakenly designated a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court on terms, if justice so requires, shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation. (d) Effect of Failure to Deny. Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to the amount of damages, are admitted when not denied in the responsive pleading. Averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided. (e) Pleading to Be Concise and Direct; Consistency. (1) Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleading or motions are required. (2) A party may set forth two (2) or more statements of a claim or defense alternately or hypothetically, either in one (1) count or defense or in separate counts or defenses. When two (2) or more statements are made in the alternative and one (1) of them if made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one (1) or more of the alternative statements. A party may also state as many separate claims or defenses as the party has regardless of consistency and whether based on legal or equitable grounds or on both. All statements shall be made subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 11. (f) Construction of Pleadings. All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.
R.I. Super. Ct. R. Civ. P. 8