Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An objection to a pleading that one ought not to answer it for some defect of law in the pleading. 7 How. (U. S.) 573, 12 L. Ed. 824.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In pleading. The formal mode of disputing the sufficiency in law of the pleading of the other side, in effect It is an allegation that, even lf the facts as stated in the pleading to which objection is taken be true, yet their legal consquencos are not such as to put the demurring party to the necessity of answering them or proceeding further with the cause. Reid v. Field, 83 Va. 26, 1 S. E. 395; Parish v. Sloan, 38 N. C. 609; Goodman v. Ford, 23 Miss. 595; Hos-tetter Co. v. Lyons Co. (C. C.) 99 Fed. 735. An objection made by one party to his opponent's pleading, alleging that he ought not to answer it, for seme defect in law in the plcading. It admits the facts, and refers the law arising thereon to the court. 7 How. 581. It Imports that the objecting party will net proceed, but wlll wait the judgment of the court whether he is bound so to do. Co. Litt 71b; Steph. PI. 61. In Equity. An allegation of a defendant, which, admitting the matters of fact alleged by the bill to be true, shows that as they are therein set forth they are insufficient for the plaintiff to proceed upon or to oblige the defendant to answer; or that, for some reason apparent on the face of the bill, or on ac-ceunt of the omission of some matter which ought to be contained therein, or for want of some circumstances which ought to be attendant thereon, the defendant ought not to be compelled to answer to the whole bill, or to some certain part thereof. Mitf. Eq. PL 107. Classification and varieties. A general demurrer is a demurrer framed in general terms, without showing specifically the nature of the objection, and which is usually resorted to where the objection is to matter of substance. Steph. PI. 140-142; 1 Chit. PI. 663. See Reid v. Field, 83 Va. 26, 1 S. E. 395; In S. v. National Bank (C. C.) 73 Fed. 381; McGuire v. Van Pelt, 55 Ala. 344; Taylor v. Taylor, 87 Mich. 64, 49 N. W. 519. 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 the exception. 3 Bouv. Inst. no. 3022. Darcey v. Lake, 46 Miss. 117; Christmas v. Russell, 5 Wall. 303, 18 In Ed. 475; Shaw v. Chase, 77 Mich. 436, 43 N. W. 883. A speaking demurrer is one which, in order to sustain itself, requires the aid of a fact not appearing on the face of the pleading objected to, or, in other words, which alleges or assumes the existence of a fact not already pleaded, and which constitutes the ground of objection. Wright v. Weber, 17 Pa. Super. Ct. 455; Walker v. Co.nant, 65 Mich. 194, 31 N. W. 786; Brooks v. Gibbons, 4 Paige (N. Y.) 375; Clarke v. Land Co., 113 Ga. 21, 38 S. E. 323. A parol demurrer (not properly a demurrer at all) was a staying of the pleadings; a suspension of the proceedings in an action during the nonage of an infant, especially in a real action. Now abolished. 3 BlComm. 300.
    —Demurrer book. In practice. A record of the issue on a demurrer at law, containing a transcript of the pleadings, with proper entries; and intended for the use of the court and counsel on the argument 3 Bl. Comm. 317; 3 Steph. Comm. 581.
    —Demurrer ore tenus. This name is sometimes given to a ruling on an objection to evidence, but la not properly a demurrer at all. Mandelert v. Land Co.., 104 Wis. 423, 80 N. W. 726.
    —Demurrer to evidence. This proceeding (now practically obsolete) was analogous to a demurrer to a pleading. It was an objection or exception by one of the parties in an action at law, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary had produced was insufficient in point of law (whether true or not) to make out his case or sustain the issue. Upon joinder in demurrer, the jury was discharged, and the case was ar gued to the court in bano, who gave judgment upon the facte as shown in evidence. See 3 Bl. Con 372; Bass v. Rublee, 76 Vt. 395, 57 Atl. 966; Patteson v. Ford, 2 Grat. (Va.) 18; Suydam v. Williamson, 20 How. 436, 15 It. Ed. 978; Railroad Co. v. McArthur, 43 Miss. 180.
    —Demurrer to interrogatories. Where a witness objects to a question propounded (particularly on the taking of a deposition) and states his reason for objecting or refusing to answer, it is called a "demurrer to the interrogatory," though the term cannot here be understood as used in its technical sense.