Answer Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Answer, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Answer?

v. a battery is unlawfully touching the person by an aggressor with an intention of hurting the person. Hence any injury caused in an angry, spiteful, rude or insolent manner, as by spitting in face, or touching in anger, or violent jostling are all batteries in the eye of the law. While assault can be an attempt, battery calls for necessary bodily harm.

History and Meaning of Answer

In legal terms, an Answer is a formal written response given by a defendant in a lawsuit or legal case, in which they address each of the allegations made against them in the complaint or petition filed by the plaintiff. The answer usually admits or denies each allegation and sets out any defenses or counterclaims the defendant has in relation to the case.

This process helps courts to ensure a fair trial as both parties are given a chance to respond to the allegations and evidence presented. The legal system recognizes that there are two sides to every story, and an answer is the defendant's opportunity to share their side of events.

Examples of Answer

  1. In a car accident case, the driver being sued may file an answer to deny that they caused the accident or argue that the plaintiff was partially at fault.
  2. In a breach of contract case, the defendant may file an answer admitting that they breached the terms of the contract, but asserting that the plaintiff did not perform their obligations either.
  3. In a divorce case, the respondent may file an answer to deny the petitioner's allegations of wrongdoing, or to assert their own claims for marital property or custody.

Legal Terms Similar to Answer

  1. Complaint: The legal document that initiates a lawsuit or legal action, filed by the plaintiff to state the allegations and demand relief.
  2. Counterclaim: A claim made by the defendant in response to the plaintiff’s complaint, alleging that the plaintiff has committed some wrongdoing or owes the defendant something.
  3. Motion: A formal request made to the court to take a specific action or to rule on a particular issue.