PLEA. In Equity. A special answer show ing or relying upon one or more things as a cause why the suit should be either dismiss ed, or delayed, or barred. Mitf. Eq. Pl. Jer. ed. 219; Coop. Eq. 223; Story, Eq. Pl. § 649.
The modes of making defence to a bill in equity are said to be by demurrer, which demands of the court whether from the matter apparent from the bill the defendant shall answer at all; by plea, which resting on the foundation of a new matter offered, demands whether the defendant shall an swer further ; by answer, which responds generally to the charges of the bill; by dis claimer, which denies any interest in the matters in question ; Mitf. Eq. Pl. Jer. ed. 13; Ocean Ins.. Co. v. Fields, 2 Sto. 59, Fed. Cas. No. 10,406;. Story, Eq. Pl. § 437.
Pleas are said to be pure which rely upon foreign matter to discharge or stay the suit, and anomalous or negative which con sist mainly' of denials of the substantial mat ters set forth in the bill ; Story, Eq. Pl. §§ 651, 667; 2 Dan. Ch. Pr. 97, 110; Beames, Eq. Pl. 123 ; Adams, Eq. 236.
Pleas to the jurisdiction assert that the court before which the cause is brought is not the proper court to take cognizance of the matter.
Pleas to the person may be to the person of the plaintiff or defendant. Those of the former class are mainly outlawry, excom munication, popish recusant convict, which are never pleaded in America and very rare ly now In England ; attainder, which is now seldom pleaded; 2 Atk. 399; alienage, which is not a disability unless the matter respect lands, when the alien may not hold them, or he be an alien enemy not under license; 2 V. & B. 323 ; infancy, coverture, and idiocy, which are pleadable as at law (see ABATE MENT) ; bankruptcy and insolvency, in which case all the facts necessary to establish the plaintiff as a legally declared bankrupt must be set forth; 3 Mer. 667 ; though not neces sarily as of the defendant's own knowledge; 4 Beay. 554; 1 Y. & C. 39 ; malt D., char (toter in which he sues, as that he is not an administrator ; 2 Dick. 510; is not heir ; 2 V. & B. 159; 2 Bro. C. C. 143; is not a cred itor ; 2 S. & S. 274 ; is not a partner ; 6 Madd. 61; as he pretends to be that the plaintiff named is a fictitious person, or was dead at the commencement of the suit ; Story, Eq. Pl. § 727. Those to the person of the defendant may show that the defendant is not the person he is alleged to be, or does not sustain the character given by the bill; 6 Madd. 61; Cas. temp. Finch 334; or that he is bankrupt, to require the assignees to be joined ; Story, Eq. Pl. § 732. These pleas to the person are pleas in •Abatement, or, at least, in the nature of pleas in abatement.
Pleas to the bill or the frame of the bill object to the suit as framed, or contend that it is unnecessary. These may be—the pendency of another suit, which is analo gous to the same plea at law and is governed in most respects by the same principles; Story, Eq. Pl. § 736; 2 My. & C. 602 ; 1
Mitf. Eq. Pl. Jer. ed. 248; see AUTEB ACTION PENDANT; the other suit must be in equity, and not at law ; Beames, Eq. Pl. 146 ; . want of proper parties, which goes to both dis covery and relief, where both are prayed for; Story, Eq. Pl. § 745; but not to a bill of discovery merely; Mitchell v. Lennox, 2 Paige Ch. (N. Y.) 280; Milligan v. Milledge, 3 Cra. 220, 2 L. Ed. 417; a multiplicity of swits; 1 P. Wms. 428 ; West v. Randall, 2 Mils. 190, Fed. Cas. No. 17,424 ; multifarious ness, which should be taken by way of de murrer, when the joining or confession of the distinct matters appears. from the face of the bill, as it usually does; Story, Eq. Pl.
§ 271. A plea to the jurisdiction which sets up matters affecting the validity of the serv ice, matters showing want of proper citizen ship, and also the pendency of a prior suit, is bad for duplicity; Briggs v. Stroud, 58 Fed. 717.
Pleas in bar rely upon a bar created by statute; as, the statute of limitations; 1 S. & S. 4; 3 Sumn. 152 ; which is a good plea in equity as well as at law, and with similar' exceptions ; Cooper, Eq. Pl. 253; see LIMITATION, STATUTE OF; the statute of frauds, where its provisions apply ; Stevens v. Cooper, 1 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 425, 7 Am. Dec. 499 ; 4 Ves. 24, 720 ; 2 Bro. C. C. 559; or some other public or private statute; 2 Story, Eq. Jur. § 768; matter of record or as of record in some court, as a common recov ery; 1 P. Wms. 754; a judgment at law; 2 My. & C. 602; Story, Eq. PL § 781, n.; the sentence or judgment of a foreign court or a court not of record; 12 Cl. & F. 368; especially where its jurisdiction is of a peculiar or exclusive nature; 12 Ves. 307; Gains v. Chew, 2 How. (TJ. S.) 619, 11 L. Ed. 402; with limitation in case of fraud ; 1 Ves. 284 ; Story, Eq. Pl. § 788; or a decree of the same or another court of equity; Neafie v. Neafle, 7 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 1, 11 Am. Dec. 380; 2 S. & S. 464; 2 Y. & C. 43; matters purely in pais, in which case the pleas may go to discovery, relief, or either, both, or a part of either, of which the prin cipal (though not the only) pleas are : Ac count, stated or settled; Weed v. Smull, 7 Paige, Ch. (N. Y.) 573; 1 My. & K. 231; accord and satisfaction; 1 Hare 564 ; award; 2 V. & B. 764; purchase for valuable sideration ; Flagg v. Mann, 2 Sumn. 486, Fed. Cas. No. 4,847; 2 Yo. & C. 457; release; 3 P. Wms. 315 ; lapse of time analogous to the statute of limitations; 1 Yo. & C. 432, 453 ; 1 Hare 594 ; Ellison v. Moffatt, 1 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 46 ; Elmendorf v. Taylor, 10 Wheat. (U. S.) 152, 6 L. Ed. 289; title in the defendant ; Story, Eq. Pl. § 812.