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4 definitions found
 for demurrer
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Demurrer \De*mur"rer\, n.
     1. One who demurs.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Law) A stop or pause by a party to an action, for the
        judgment of the court on the question, whether, assuming
        the truth of the matter alleged by the opposite party, it
        is sufficient in law to sustain the action or defense, and
        hence whether the party resting is bound to answer or
        proceed further.
        [1913 Webster]
     Demurrer to evidence, an exception taken by a party to the
        evidence offered by the opposite party, and an objecting
        to proceed further, on the allegation that such evidence
        is not sufficient in law to maintain the issue, and a
        reference to the court to determine the point. --Bouvier.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings [syn:
           demur, demurral, demurrer]
      2: (law) any pleading that attacks the legal sufficiency of the
         opponent's pleadings
      3: a defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges
         against him; "he gave evidence for the defense" [syn:
         defense, defence, denial, demurrer] [ant: criminal
         prosecution, prosecution]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  65 Moby Thesaurus words for "demurrer":
     answer, apostate, argument, beef, bitch, boycott, challenge,
     complaint, compunction, counterstatement, defense, demonstration,
     demur, demurral, denial, difficulty, dissenter, dissentient,
     dissident, exception, expostulation, grievance,
     grievance committee, howl, indignation meeting, kick, march,
     nonconformist, nonviolent protest, objection, objector, opinionist,
     opposition voice, picketing, plea, pleading, pleadings, protest,
     protest demonstration, protestant, protestation, protester, qualm,
     question, rally, rebuttal, recusant, refutation, remonstrance,
     remonstration, reply, response, riposte, schismatic, scruple,
     sectarian, sectary, separatist, sit-in, special demurrer,
     special pleading, squawk, statement of defense, strike, teach-in

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  DEMURRER. (From the Latin demorari, or old French demorrer, to wait or 
  stay.) In pleading, imports, according to its etymology, that the objecting 
  party will not proceed with the pleading, because no sufficient statement 
  has been made on the other side; but will wait the judgment of the court 
  whether he is bound to answer. 5 Mod. 232; Co. Litt. 71, b; Steph. Pl. 61. 
       2. A demurrer may be for insufficiency either in substance or in form 
  that is, it may be either on the ground that the case shown by the opposite 
  party is essentially insufficient, or on the ground that it is stated in an 
  artificial manner; for the law requires in every pleading, two thing's; 
  the one, that it be in matter sufficient; the other, that it be deduced and 
  expressed according to the forms of law; and if either the one or the other 
  of these be wanting, it is cause of demurrer. Hob. 164. A demurrer, as in 
  its nature, so also in its form, is of two kinds; it is either general or 
       3. With respect to the effect of a demurrer, it is, first, a rule, that 
  a demurrer admits all such matters of fact as are sufficiently pleaded. Bac. 
  Abr. Pleas, N 3; Com. Dig. Pleader, Q 5. Again, it is it rule that, on a 
  demurrer, the court will consider the whole record, and give judgment for 
  the party who, on the whole, appears to be entitled to it. Com. Dig. 
  Pleader, M. 1, M 2; Bad. Abr. Pleas. N 3; 5 Rep. 29 a: Hob. 56; 2 Wils. 150; 
  4 East, 502 1 Saund. 285 n. 5. For example, on a demurrer to the 
  replication, if the court think the replication bad, but perceive a 
  substantial fault in the plea, they will give judgment, not for the 
  defendant, but for the plaintiff; 2 Wils. R. 1&0; provided the declaration 
  be good; but if the declaration also be bad in substance, then upon the same 
  principle, judgment would be given for the defendant. 5 Rep. 29 a. For when 
  judgment is to be given, whether the issue be in law or fact, and whether 
  the cause have proceeded to issue or not, the court is always to examine the 
  whole record, and adjudge for the plaintiff or defendant, according to the 
  legal right, as it may on the whole appear. 
       4. It is, however, subject to, the following exceptions; first, if the 
  plaintiff demur to a plea in abatement, and the court decide against the 
  plea, they will give judgment of respondeat ouster, without regard to any 
  defect in the declaration. Lutw. 1592, 1667; 1 Salk. 212; Carth. 172 
  Secondly, the court will not look back into the record, to adjudge in favor 
  of an apparent right in the plaintiff, unless the plaintiff have himself put 
  his action upon that ground. 5 Barn. & Ald 507. Lastly, the court, in 
  examining the whole record, to adjudge according to the apparent right, will 
  consider the right in matter of substance, and not in respect of mere form, 
  such as should have been the subject of a special demurrer. 2 Vent. 198-222. 
       5. There can be no demurrer to a demurrer: for a demurrer upon a 
  demurrer, or pleading over when an issue in fact is offered, is a 
  discontinuance. Salk. 219; Bac. Abr. Pleas, N 2. 
       6. Demurrers are general and special, and demurrers to evidence, and to 
       7.-1. A general demurrer is one which excepts to the sufficiency of a 
  previous pleading in general terms, without showing specifically the nature 
  of the objection; and such demurrer is sufficient, when the objection is on 
  matter of substance. Steph. Pl. 159; 1 Chit. Pl. 639; Lawes, Civ. Pl. 167; 
  Bac. Abr. Pleas, N 5; Co. Lit. 72 a. 
       8.-2. A special demurrer is one which excepts to the sufficiency of 
  the pleadings on the,opposite side, and shows specifically the nature of the 
  objection and the particular ground of exception. Co. Litt. 72, a.; Bac. 
  Abr. Pleas, N 5. 
       9. A special demurrer is necessary, where it turns on matter of form 
  only; that is, where, notwithstanding such objections, enough appears to 
  entitle the opposite party to judgment, as far as relates to the merits of 
  the cause. For, by two statutes, 27 Eliz. ch. 5, and 4 Ann. ch. 16, passed 
  with a view to the discouragement of merely formal objections, it is 
  provided in nearly the same terms, that the judges "shall give judgment 
  according to the very right of the cause and matter in law as it shall 
  appear unto them, without regarding any imperfection, omission, defect or 
  want of form, except those only 'Which the party demurring shall, 
  specifically. and particularly set down and express, together with his 
  demurrer, as the causes of the same." Since these statutes, therefore, no 
  mere matter of form can be objected to on a general demurrer; but the 
  demurrer must be in the special form, and the objection specifically stated. 
  But, on the other hand, it is to be observed, that, under a special 
  demurrer, the party may, on the argument, not only take advantage of the 
  particular faults which his demurrer specifies, but also of all objections 
  in substance, or regarding the very right of the cause, (as the statute 
  expresses it.) as under those statutes, need not be particularly set down. 
  It follows, therefore, that unless the objection be clearly of the 
  substantial kind, it is the safer course, in all cases, to demur specially. 
  Yet, where a general demurrer is plainly efficient, it is more usually 
  adopted in practice; because the effect of the special form being to apprise 
  the opposite party more distinctly of the nature of the objection, it is 
  attended with the inconvenience, of enabling him to prepare to maintain his 
  pleading by argument, or of leading him to apply the earlier to amend. With 
  respect to the degree of particularity, with which, under these statutes, 
  the special demurrer must assign the ground of objection, it may be 
  observed, that it is not sufficient to object, in general terms, that the 
  pleading is "uncertain, defective, and informal," or the like, but if is 
  necessarily to show in what, it respect, uncertain, defective, and informal. 
  1 Saund. 161, n. 1, 337 b, n. 3; Steph. Pl. 159, 161; 1 Chit. Pl. 642. 
      10.- 3. A demurrer to evidence is analogous to a demurrer in pleading; 
  the party from whom it comes declaring that he will not proceed, because the 
  evidence offered on the other side, is not sufficient to maintain the issue. 
  Upon joinder in demurrer, by the opposite party, the jury are, in general, 
  discharged from giving any verdict; 1 Arch. Pr. 186; and the demurrer being 
  entered on record, is afterwards argued and decided by the court in banc; 
  and the judgment there given upon it, may ultimately be brought before a 
  court of error. See 2 H. Bl. 187 4 Chit. Pr. 15 Gould on Pl. c. 9, part 2, 
  Sec. 47 United States Dig. Pleading, Viii. 
      11.-4. Demurrer to interrogatories. By this phrase is understood the 
  reasons which a witness tenders for not answering a particular question in 
  interrogatories. 2 Swanst. R. 194. Strictly speaking, this is not a 
  demurrer, which admits the facts stated, for the purpose of taking the. 
  opinion of the court but by an abuse of the term, the witness objection to 
  answer is called a demurrer, in the popular sense. Gresl. Eq. Ev. 61. 
      12. The court are judicially to determine their validity. The witness 
  must state his objection very carefully, for these demurrers are held to 
  strict rules, and are readily overruled if they cover too much. 2 Atk. 524; 
  1 Y. & J. 32. See, in general, as to demurrers,, Bac. Abr. Pleas, N; Com. 
  Dig. Pleader, Q; Saund. Rep. Index, tit. Demurrers; Lawes Civ. Pl. ch. 8; 1 
  Chit. Pl. 639-649 Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t. 

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