Rule 7 – Pleadings allowed
(through July 14, 2022)
(a) Pleadings. Only these pleadings are allowed: (1) a complaint; (2) an answer to a complaint; (3) an answer to a counterclaim designated as a counterclaim; (4) an answer to a crossclaim; (5) a third-party complaint; (6) an answer to a third-party complaint; and (7) if the court orders one, a reply to an answer.
(b) Motions and Other Papers. (1) In General. A request for a court order must be made by motion. The motion must: (A) be in writing unless made during a hearing or trial; (B) state with particularity the grounds for seeking the order; and (C) state the relief sought. (2) Form. The rules governing captions and other matters of form in pleadings apply to motions and other papers.
Selected Committee Notes
The language of Rule 7 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Civil Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.
Former Rule 7(a) stated that “there shall be * * * an answer to a cross-claim, if the answer contains a cross-claim * * *.” Former Rule 12(a)(2) provided more generally that “[a] party served with a pleading stating a cross-claim against that party shall serve an answer thereto * * *.” New Rule 7(a) corrects this inconsistency by providing for an answer to a crossclaim.
For the first time, Rule 7(a)(7) expressly authorizes the court to order a reply to a counterclaim answer. A reply may be as useful in this setting as a reply to an answer, a third-party answer, or a crossclaim answer.
Former Rule 7(b)(1) stated that the writing requirement is fulfilled if the motion is stated in a written notice of hearing. This statement was deleted as redundant because a single written document can satisfy the writing requirements both for a motion and for a Rule 6(c)(1) notice.
The cross-reference to Rule 11 in former Rule 7(b)(3) is deleted as redundant. Rule 11 applies by its own terms. The force and application of Rule 11 are not diminished by the deletion.
Former Rule 7(c) is deleted because it has done its work. If a motion or pleading is described as a demurrer, plea, or exception for insufficiency, the court will treat the paper as if properly captioned.