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URCP Rule 12 (Rules of Civil Procedure)
Rule 12. Defenses and objections.Rule printed on June 10, 2023 at 1:25 am. Go to https://www.utcourts.gov/rules for current rules.
(a) When presented.
(1) In actions other than domestic relations. Unless otherwise provided by statute or order of the court, a defendant must serve an answer within 21 days after the service of the summons and complaint is complete within the state and within 30 days after service of the summons and complaint is complete outside the state. A party served with a pleading stating a cross-claim must serve an answer thereto within 21 days after the service. The plaintiff must serve an answer to a counterclaim in the answer within 21 days after service of the answer or, if a reply is ordered by the court, within 21 days after service of the order, unless the order otherwise directs. The service of a motion under this rule alters these periods of time as follows, unless a different time is fixed by order of the court, but a motion directed to fewer than all of the claims in a pleading does not affect the time for responding to the remaining claims:
(A) If the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until the trial on the merits, the responsive pleading must be served within 14 days after notice of the court's action;
(B) If the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleading must be served within 14 days after the service of the more definite statement.
(2) In domestic relations actions. A party served with a domestic relations action must serve an answer within 21 days after service of the summons and petition is complete within the state and within 30 days after service of the summons and petition is complete outside the state. Any counterpetition must be filed with the answer. A party served with a counterpetition must serve an answer within 21 days after service of the counterpetition.
(b) How presented. Every defense, in law or fact, to claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, must be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, (2) lack of jurisdiction over the person, (3) improper venue, (4) insufficiency of process, (5) insufficiency of service of process, (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, (7) failure to join an indispensable party. A motion making any of these defenses must be made before pleading if a further pleading is permitted. No defense or objection is waived by being joined with one or more other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or motion or by further pleading after the denial of such motion or objection. If a pleading sets forth a claim for relief to which the adverse party is not required to serve a responsive pleading, the adverse party may assert at the trial any defense in law or fact to that claim for relief. If, on a motion asserting the defense numbered (6) to dismiss for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56, and all parties must be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56.
(c) 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 must be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56, and all parties must be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56.
(d) Preliminary hearings. The defenses specifically enumerated (1) - (7) in subdivision (b) of this rule, whether made in a pleading or by motion, and the motion for judgment mentioned in subdivision (c) of this rule must be heard and determined before trial on application of any party, unless the court orders that the hearings and determination thereof be deferred until the trial.
(e) 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 must 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 14 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 make such order as it deems just.
(f) 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 21 days after the service of the pleading, the court may order stricken from any pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.
(g) Consolidation of defenses. A party who makes a motion under this rule may join with it the other motions herein provided for and then available. If a party makes a motion under this rule and does not include therein all defenses and objections then available which this rule permits to be raised by motion, the party must not thereafter make a motion based on any of the defenses or objections so omitted, except as provided in subdivision (h) of this rule.
(h) Waiver of defenses. A party waives all defenses and objections not presented either by motion or by answer or reply, except (1) that the defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the defense of failure to join an indispensable party, and the objection of failure to state a legal defense to a claim may also be made by a later pleading, if one is permitted, or by motion for judgment on the pleadings or at the trial on the merits, and except (2) that, whenever it appears by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court must dismiss the action. The objection or defense, if made at the trial, must be disposed of as provided in Rule 15(b) in the light of any evidence that may have been received.
(i) Pleading after denial of a motion. The filing of a responsive pleading after the denial of any motion made pursuant to these rules must not be deemed a waiver of such motion.
(j) Security for costs of a nonresident plaintiff. When the plaintiff in an action resides out of this state, or is a foreign corporation, the defendant may file a motion to require the plaintiff to furnish security for costs and charges which may be awarded against such plaintiff. Upon hearing and determination by the court of the reasonable necessity therefor, the court must order the plaintiff to file a $300.00 undertaking with sufficient sureties as security for payment of such costs and charges as may be awarded against such plaintiff. No security must be required of any officer, instrumentality, or agency of the United States.
(k) Effect of failure to file undertaking. If the plaintiff fails to file the undertaking as ordered within 30 days of the service of the order, the court must, upon motion of the defendant, enter an order dismissing the action.
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