Practice. The statement in a logical, and legal form, of the facts which constitute the plaintiff's cause of action, or the defendant's ground of defence; it is the formal mode of alleging that on the record, which would be the support, or the defence of the party in evidence
. 8 T. R. 159; Dougl. 278; Com. Dig. Pleader, A; Bac. Abr. Pleas and Pleading; Cowp. 682-3. Or in the language of Lord Coke, good pleading consists in good matter pleaded in good form, in apt time
, and due order. Co. Lit. 303. In a general sense, it is that which either party to a suit at law alleges for himself in a court, with respect to the subject-matter of the cause, and the mode in which it is carried on, including the demand which is made by the plaintiff; but in strictness, it is no more than setting forth those facts or arguments which show the justice or legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's demand, and the defendant's defence, without including the statement of the demand itself, which is contained in the declaration or count. Bac. Abr. Pleas and Pleading.
2. The science of pleading was designed only to render the facts of each party's case plain and intelligible, and to bring the matter in dispute between them to judgment. Steph. Pl. 1. It is, as has been well observed, admirably calculated for analyzing a cause, and extracting, like the roots of an equation, the true points in dispute; and referring them with all imaginable simplicity, to the court and jury. 1 Hale's C. L. 301, n
3. The parts of pleading have been considered as arrangeable under two heads; first, the regular, or those which occur, in the ordinary course of a suit; and secondly, the irregular, or collateral, being those which are occasioned by mistakes in the pleadings on either side.
4. The regular parts are, 1st. The declaration or count. 2d. The plea, which is either to the jurisdiction of the court, or suspending the action, a's in the case of a parol demurrer, or in abatement, or in bar of the action, or in replevin
, an avowry or cognizance. 3d . The replication, and, in case of an evasive plea, a new assignment
, or in replevin the plea in bar
to the avowry or cognizance. 4th. The rejoinder, or, in replevin, the replication to the plea in bar. 5th. The sur-rejoinder, being in replevin, the rejoinder. 6th. The rebutter. 7th. The sur-rebutter. Vin. Abr. Pleas and Pleading, C; Bac. Abr. Pleas and Pleadings, A. 8th. Pleas puis darrein continuance
, when the matter of defence arises pending the suit.
6. The irregular or collateral parts of Pleading are stated to be, 1st. Demurrers to Illly art of the pleadings above mentioned. 2dly. Demurrers to evidence given at trials. 3dly. Bills of exceptions. 4thly. Pleas in scire facias
. And, 5thly. Pleas in error. Vin. Abr. Pleas and Pleadings, C.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.