2021 Georgia Code
Title 9 - Civil Practice
Chapter 11 - Civil Practice Act
Article 3 - Pleadings and Motions
§ 9-11-8. General Rules of Pleading

Universal Citation: GA Code § 9-11-8 (2021)
  1. Claims for relief.
    1. ''ACTION FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE" DEFINED. As used in this Code section, the term "action for medical malpractice" means any claim for damages resulting from the death of or injury to any person arising out of:
      1. Health, medical, dental, or surgical service, diagnosis, prescription, treatment, or care rendered by a person authorized by law to perform such services or by any person acting under the supervision and control of a lawfully authorized person; or
      2. Care or service rendered by any public or private hospital, nursing home, clinic, hospital authority, facility, or institution, or by any officer, agent, or employee thereof acting within the scope of his employment.
    2. FORM OF COMPLAINT, GENERALLY; ACTION FOR MALPRACTICE. An original complaint shall contain facts upon which the court's venue depends; and any pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, a cross-claim, or a third-party claim, shall contain:
      1. A short and plain statement of the claims showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
      2. A demand for judgment for the relief to which the pleader deems himself entitled; provided, however, that in actions for medical malpractice, as defined in this Code section, in which a claim for unliquidated damages is made for $10,000.00 or less, the pleadings shall contain a demand for judgment in a sum certain; and, in actions for medical malpractice in which a claim for unliquidated damages is made for a sum exceeding $10,000.00, the demand for judgment shall state that the pleader "demands judgment in excess of $10,000.00," and no further monetary amount shall be stated.

        Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.

    3. SANCTIONS. If the provisions of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of this subsection are violated, the court in which the action is pending shall, upon a proper motion, strike the improper portion of the demand for judgment and may impose such other sanctions, including disciplinary action against the attorney, found in Code Section 9-11-37 as are appropriate.
  2. Defenses; form of denials. A party shall state in short and plain terms his defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If he is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, he 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, he shall specify so much of it as is 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, he may make his denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs, or he may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as he expressly admits; but, when he does so intend to controvert all its averments, he may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in Code Section 9-11-11.
  3. Affirmative defenses. In pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth affirmatively accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, 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, and waiver. 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 pleadings as if there had been a proper designation.
  4. Effect of failure to deny. Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to the amount of damage, 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.
  5. Pleading to be concise and direct; alternative statements.
    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 or more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or in separate counts or defenses. When two or more statements are made in the alternative and one of them, if made independently, would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements. A party may also state as many separate claims or defenses as he has, regardless of consistency and whether based on legal or on equitable grounds or on both. All statements shall be made subject to the obligations set forth in Code Section 9-11-11.
  6. Construction of pleadings. All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.

(Ga. L. 1966, p. 609, § 8; Ga. L. 1967, p. 226, § 8; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1047, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Provision that judge is qualified to try civil case where no defense is filed, irrespective of relationship to party or interest in case, § 15-1-9.

U.S. Code.

- For provisions of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8, see 28 U.S.C.

Law reviews.

- For article comparing sections of the Georgia Civil Practice Act with preexisting provisions of the Georgia Code, see 3 Ga. St. B.J. 295 (1967). For article surveying developments in Georgia trial practice and procedure from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 275 (1981). For article surveying developments in Georgia workers' compensation law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 323 (1981). For article, "Res Ipsa Loquitur and Medical Malpractice in Georgia: A Reassessment," see 17 Ga. L. Rev. 33 (1982). For survey article on trial practice and procedure, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 299 (1982). For survey article on recent developments in Georgia law of remedies, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 397 (1982). For article, "Baby Doe Cases: Compromise and Moral Dilemma," see 34 Emory L.J. 545 (1985). For article, "On with the Old!," see 24 Ga. St. B.J. 13 (1987). For article, "Georgia's 'Door-Closing' Statute: Who Bears the Burden?," see 24 Ga. St. B.J. 141 (1988). For annual survey of trial practice and procedure, see 58 Mercer L. Rev. 405 (2006). For comment, "Legislative Limitations on Medical Malpractice Damages: The Chances of Survival," see 37 Mercer L. Rev. 1583 (1986).



  • General Consideration
  • Purpose and Construction of Pleadings
  • Form of Complaint
  • Defenses and Denials, Generally
  • Affirmative Defenses
  • Failure to Deny
  • Alternative and Inconsistent Claims and Defenses


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 1 Am. Jur. 2d, Accord and Satisfaction, § 48. 25 Am. Jur. 2d, Duress and Undue Influence, §§ 38, 48. 27A Am. Jur. 2d, Equity, § 183 et seq. 28 Am. Jur. 2d, Estoppel and Waiver, §§ 149 et seq., 204 et seq. 37 Am. Jur. 2d, Fraud and Deceit, § 441 et seq. 61A Am. Jur. 2d, Pleading, §§ 31 et seq., 107 et seq., 211 et seq. 73 Am. Jur. 2d, Statute of Frauds, § 475 et seq.

1 Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Accord and Satisfaction, § 8. 8C Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Duress and Undue Influence, § 1. 9A Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Estoppel and Waiver, § 5. 19B Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Pleading, §§ 32, 35.


- 35A C.J.S., Federal Civil Procedure, §§ 239, 241, 245, 249 et seq., 266, 289 et seq., 312, 328, 374, 389, 431. 35B C.J.S., Federal Civil Procedure, § 827 et seq. 71 C.J.S., Pleading, §§ 35 et seq., 40, 52, 61 et seq., 86, 94, 98 et seq., 127 et seq., 139, 145, 162 et seq.


- Pleadings containing self-serving declarations as evidence, 1 A.L.R. 39.

Burden of proof as regards discharge in bankruptcy, 2 A.L.R. 1672.

Judgment on claim as bar to action to recover amount of payment which was not litigated in previous action, 13 A.L.R. 1151.

Admissibility of pleadings for purposes other than the establishment of the facts set out therein, 14 A.L.R. 103.

Pleadings, depositions, testimony, or statements in court as constituting a sufficient writing within the statute of frauds, 22 A.L.R. 735.

Right under general prayer to relief inconsistent with prayer for specific relief, 30 A.L.R. 1175.

Liability to patient for results of medical or surgical treatment by one not licensed as required by law, 44 A.L.R. 1418; 57 A.L.R. 978.

Form of pleading necessary to raise issue of corporate existence, 55 A.L.R. 510.

Right of foreign corporation to plead statute of limitations, 59 A.L.R. 1336; 122 A.L.R. 1194.

Waiver of benefit of statute or rule by which allegation in pleading of execution or of consideration of written instrument must be taken as true unless met by verified denial, 67 A.L.R. 1283.

Amendment of pleadings after limitation has run by change in capacity in which suit is prosecuted, 74 A.L.R. 1269.

Amendment of pleading after limitation period by substituting new defendant, or changing allegations as to capacity in which defendant is sued or the theory upon which defendant is sought to be held responsible for another's wrong, as stating a new cause of action, 74 A.L.R. 1280.

Necessity of pleading affirmative defense in divorce suit, 76 A.L.R. 990.

Pleading particular cause of injury as waiver of right to rely on res ipsa loquitur, 79 A.L.R. 48; 2 A.L.R.3d 1335.

Sufficiency of allegations of loss of patronage or profits to permit recovery of special damages from false publication, 86 A.L.R. 848.

Necessity of alleging fact of agency in declaring upon contract made by party through agent, 89 A.L.R. 895.

Waiver of tort and recovery in assumpsit for conversion as dependent on or affected by sale of the goods by the converter, 97 A.L.R. 250.

May payment be proved under general issue or general denial, or must it be specially pleaded, 100 A.L.R. 264.

Sufficiency of allegation of insolvency without further statement of facts, 101 A.L.R. 549.

Time requirements prescribed by statute granting right to sue United States or a state as a condition of jurisdiction which renders it unnecessary to plead specially their breach in defense, 106 A.L.R. 215.

Form and sufficiency of allegations of heirship, 110 A.L.R. 1239.

Necessity and sufficiency of allegations in regard to trust in a pleading in action by trustee against third parties, 112 A.L.R. 1514.

Propriety and effect of including in plaintiff's pleading in action for negligence diverse or contradictory allegations as to status or legal relationship as between parties or as between party and third person, 115 A.L.R. 178.

Necessity and sufficiency of reply to answer pleading of statute of limitations, 115 A.L.R. 755.

Sufficiency of complaint in action against railroad for killing or injuring person or livestock as regards time, and direction and identification of train, 115 A.L.R. 1074.

Pleading waiver, estoppel, and res judicata, 120 A.L.R. 8.

Burden of allegation and proof in civil cases as regards of exception in statute, 130 A.L.R. 440.

Manner and sufficiency of pleading foreign law, 134 A.L.R. 570.

Necessary allegations in a declaration or complaint in action against physician or surgeon based on wrong diagnosis, 134 A.L.R. 683.

Necessity and sufficiency of pleading custom or usage, 151 A.L.R. 324.

Presumption as to payment or discharge of obligation from obligor's possession of paper evidencing it, 156 A.L.R. 777.

Manner of pleading statute of frauds as defense, 158 A.L.R. 89.

Failure of complaint to state cause of action for unliquidated damages as ground for dismissal of action at hearing to determine amount of damages following defendant's default, 163 A.L.R. 496.

Pleading laches, 173 A.L.R. 326.

Propriety and effect of pleading different degrees of negligence or wrongdoing in complaint seeking recovery for one injury, 173 A.L.R. 1231.

Necessity of pleading that tort was committed by servant, in action against master, 4 A.L.R.2d 292.

Setting aside default judgment for failure of statutory agent on whom process was served to notify defendant, 20 A.L.R.2d 1179.

Pleading last clear chance doctrine, 25 A.L.R.2d 254.

Pleading aggravation of a preexisting physical condition, 32 A.L.R.2d 1447.

Pleading bona fide purchase of real property as defense, 33 A.L.R.2d 1322.

Defense of adverse possession or statute of limitations as available under general denial or plea of general issue in ejectment action, 39 A.L.R.2d 1426.

Manner and sufficiency of pleading agency in contract action, 45 A.L.R.2d 583.

Pleading or raising defense of privilege in defamation action, 51 A.L.R.2d 552.

Raising defense of statute of limitations by demurrer, equivalent motion to dismiss, or by motion for judgment on pleadings, 61 A.L.R.2d 300.

Raising statute of limitations by motion for summary judgment, 61 A.L.R.2d 341.

Pleading self-defense or other justification in civil assault and battery action, 67 A.L.R.2d 405.

Necessity and manner of pleading denial of partnership in action by third person against alleged partners, 68 A.L.R.2d 545.

Enforceability of bail bond or recognizance against surety where, at time it was filed, prosecution of principal was barred by statute of limitations, 75 A.L.R.2d 1431.

Malpractice in treatment and surgery of the ear, 76 A.L.R.2d 783.

Recovery on quantum meruit where only express contract is pleaded, under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 54 and similar state statutes or rules, 84 A.L.R.2d 1077.

Pleading of election remedies, 99 A.L.R.2d 1315.

Necessity and sufficiency of allegation, in a suit for specific performance of a contract for the sale of land, as to the adequacy of the consideration or as to the fairness of the contract, 100 A.L.R.2d 551.

Modern trends as to pleading a particular cause of injury or act of negligence as waiving or barring the right to rely on res ipsa loquitur, 2 A.L.R.3d 1335.

Applicability, in action against nurse in her professional capacity, of statute of limitations applicable to malpractice, 8 A.L.R.3d 1336.

Malpractice: liability of physician or hospital where patient suffers heart attack or the like while undergoing unrelated medical procedure, 17 A.L.R.3d 796.

Mutuality of estoppel as prerequisite of availability of doctrine of collateral estoppel to a stranger to the judgment, 31 A.L.R.3d 1044.

Propriety of attaching photographs to a pleading, 33 A.L.R.3d 322.

Liability of hospital for refusal to admit or treat patient, 35 A.L.R.3d 841.

Judgment against parents in action for loss of minor's services as precluding minor's action for personal injuries, 41 A.L.R.3d 536.

When does jeopardy attach in a nonjury trial?, 49 A.L.R.3d 1039.

Duty of physician or surgeon to warn or instruct nurse or attendant, 63 A.L.R.3d 1020.

May action for malicious prosecution be predicated on defense or counterclaim in civil suit, 65 A.L.R.3d 901.

Economic duress or business compulsion in execution of promissory note, 79 A.L.R.3d 598.

Medical malpractice: patient's failure to return, as directed, for examination or treatment as contributory negligence, 100 A.L.R.3d 723.

Medical malpractice: administering or prescribing drugs for weight control, 1 A.L.R.4th 236.

Right of party litigant to defend or counterclaim on ground that opposing party or his attorney is engaged in unauthorized practice of law, 7 A.L.R.4th 1146.

Medical malpractice: administering or prescribing birth control pills or devices, 9 A.L.R.4th 372.

Validity of statute establishing contingent fee scale for attorneys representing parties in medical malpractice actions, 12 A.L.R.4th 23.

Medical malpractice: res ipsa loquitur in negligent anesthesia cases, 49 A.L.R.4th 63.

Tortious maintenance or removal of life supports, 58 A.L.R.4th 222.

Social worker malpractice, 58 A.L.R.4th 977.

Liability for medical malpractice in connection with performance of circumcision, 75 A.L.R.4th 710.

Medical malpractice: who are "health care providers," or the like, whose actions fall within statutes specifically governing actions and damages for medical malpractice, 12 A.L.R.5th 1.

Hospital liability as to diagnosis and care of patients in emergency room, 58 A.L.R.5th 613.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.