Advisory Commission Comments to Rules 7.01-7.03

Advisory Commission Comments

7.01. Rule 7.01 adopts the federal practice of cutting off pleadings after complaint and answer, except that a reply or answer by plaintiff is allowed in cases of counterclaim and cross-claim, and a third-party answer is allowed where a third-party complaint is filed.

7.02Because of the importance of motions in the procedures set out in these Rules, it is desirable that motions, other than those made at a hearing or trial and which may not have been anticipated in time to put them in writing, be made in writing.

7.03Rule 7.03 is a corollary to the simplification of a pleading provided in Rule 7.01. The function of the demurrer, plea, etc., can be served by one of the pleadings allowed under Rule 7.01 or by motion.

Advisory Commission Comment [2012]

Effective July 1, 2012, the Supreme Court adopted Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, governing motions seeking disqualification or recusal of a judge. Section 1 of Rule 10B provides a procedural framework for determining when the judge of a court of record should not preside over the case. In summary, Section 1 provides for the filing of a motion for disqualification or recusal and also provides for the judge’s prompt ruling on the motion. Section 2 of Rule 10B governs appeals from the denial of such motions, and it provides that such appeals may be effected either by filing an interlocutory appeal as of right authorized by the rule or by raising the disqualification or recusal issue in an appeal as of right at the conclusion of the case. Under Section 2.01, those two methods of appeal are “the exclusive methods for seeking appellate review of any issue concerning the trial court’s ruling on a motion filed pursuant to this Rule.” (Emphasis added.) As a result, “neither Tenn. R. App. P. 9 nor Tenn. R. App. P. 10 may be used to seek an interlocutory or extraordinary appeal by permission concerning the judge’s ruling on such a motion.” Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, Explanatory Comment to Section 2.

Attorneys or self-represented litigants should consult Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B concerning the procedure for filing motions seeking the disqualification or recusal of a judge and for appealing from a denial of such a motion.

Advisory Commission Comment [2013]

The 2013 Advisory Commission Comment to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 3 provides guidance for determining whether a statutorily authorized “petition” is considered a “complaint” or a “motion” for purposes of the Rules of Civil Procedure.


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