Demurrer Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Demurrer?

n. A complaint’s written response that pleads for dismissal claiming that while the alleged facts were correct, they do not constitute a legal basis for a lawsuit. The validity of the demurrer will be determined during a hearing before a judge. While some causes of action will be defeated by a demurrer, others may survive. If a judge determines that the complaint is unclear or omits an essential element of fact, he/she will sustain the demurrer but “with leave to amend” which allows changes to make the original complaint good. Demurrers cannot always be corrected by amendments to the complaints, for instance, this would not work in a case that was filed after the time that was allowed to file a suit. When this occurs, the demurrer will be granted sustained. Rarely, a demurrer can be used to attack a complaint’s answer.