CODE PLEADING. The supposed difficulty in satisfactorily modifying or reforming the com mon-law system by mere statutory revision or amendment led in many of the United States to legislation abolishing the common-law system of pleading and creating or attempting to create a purely statutory form of pleading to be used in both law and equity actions. This step was first taken by the Legislature of New York, which adopted in 1848 the New York Code of Civil Procedure, which has served as a model for similar legislation in most of the other States adopting code A substantially statu tory form of pleading and practiee was also adopted in England by the Judicature Acts of 1873 and 1875. Under the codes discovery in equity actions is abolished. The pleader is allowed to plead the facts upon which he relies without formality. The pleadings are limited to two unless the defendant. pleads a counter claim. i.e. an independent action against the plaintiff, in which case the plaintiff may reply to it. The plaintiff's pleading is called a com plaint, or in some States a petition. and in Eng land a statement of claim. The defendant's pleading is called an answer. or in England a
statement of defense. The defendant may demur to the plaintiff's complaint or to his reply to defendant's etamterelaim. and the plaintiff may demur to defendant's answer or counterclaim, and if the demurrer is overruled, the litigant is generally allowed to plead to the merits. Formal defects (un only be take n advantage of by motion before trial, and great freedom of amendment is allowed. Despite its apparent simplicity, the eode ,stmt has given rise to many difficulties not unlike those existing under the common-law system. and the question of further reform is still being agitated.
consult :ould. Treatise on the Principles of Pleadina in I 'irif ,letions (6111 ed., Albany. 1896) ; v common Law Pleading, Its History and Prinripbs (!Alston, 1897) ; Story, Commentaries on Equity Pleadings (10th eel.. lloston. 1892) ; Phillips. Principles of Pleadings in Action under the Cod's of (Wit Procedure ) Beale, The Law of Criminal Pleading (Boston, 1899). Consult, also, the authorities referred to under CIVIL LAW; EQUITY; CRIMINAL LAW; CODE; etc.