Pleading in Civil Action in Canada

Pleadings function to include written statements of the parties to an action, served by each party in turn on the
other, and filed in court, which set forth in a summary form the material facts on which each party relies in support of the claim or defence, as the case may be.

By the time the pleadings are closed, there will be a precise definition of the issues between the parties.

There are 3 fundamental principles of pleading:

a) Each party must plead the material facts on which he/she/it relies for the claim
or defence;

b) The material facts stated in the preceding pleading will be deemed to be admitted if not expressly denied or joined in issue by the other side; and

c) Any fresh matter must be specifically pleaded if it might have the effect of

(i) making the claim or defence in the preceding pleading not maintainable;
(ii) taking the opposite party by surprise; or
(iii) raising issues of fact not arising out of the preceding pleading.