The principle pleading on the part of the defendant in response to a plaintiff’s complaint. It may contain:
- A denial of all of the allegations of the plaintiff’s complaint which the defendant wishes to controvert
- Any affirmative defenses which the defendant may have, which should be stated separately
- A statement of any permissive counterclaim which the defendant has against the plaintiff and which is legally available to him in the action
If the defendant wishes to make any compulsory counterclaims arising out of the same transaction, they must generally be pleaded in the answer as well, or they will be barred in any subsequent separate suit.