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Plea in avoidance, is one which confesses the matters contained in the declaration, and avoids the effect of them, by some new matter which shows that the plaintiff is not entitled to maintain his action. For example, the plea may admit the contract declared upon, and show that it was void or voidable, because of the inability of one of the parties to make it, on account of coverture, infancy, or the like. Plea in bar, is one that denies that the plaintiff has any cause of action. Or it is one which shows some ground for barring or defeating the action; and makes prayer to that effect. A plea in bar is, therefore, distinguished from all pleas of the dilatory class, as impugning the right of the action altogether, instead of merely tending to divert the proceedings to another jurisdiction, or suspend them, or abate the particular writ. It is in short a substantial and conclusive answer to the action. It follows, from this property, that in general, it must either deny all, or some essential part of the averments of fact in the declaration; or, admitting them to be true, allege new facts, which obviate and repel ...

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