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demurrer n

[Anglo-French, from demurrer to file a demurrer, literally, to stay, dwell, delay, from Old French demorer, from Latin demorari to delay]
: a plea in response to an allegation (as in a complaint or indictment) that admits its truth but also asserts that it is not sufficient as a cause of action compare confession and avoidance NOTE: Demurrers are no longer used in federal civil or criminal procedure but are still used in some states. General demurrers are replaced in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Special demurrers are replaced by motions for more definite statement. In the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a motion to dismiss or to grant appropriate relief takes the place of a demurrer. Demurrers are sometimes used to question a court's jurisdiction.

demurrer to the evidence
: a demurrer that asserts that the evidence is not sufficient to create a question of fact for the jury to decide

general demurrer
: a demurrer that challenges the sufficiency of the substance of allegation

special demurrer
: a demurrer that challenges the structure or form of an allegation as uncertain or ambiguous NOTE: A special demurrer must specify the defect in the allegation.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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