Rule 9. Pleading special matters.

(a)        Capacity. - Any party not a natural person shall make an affirmative averment showing its legal existence and capacity to sue. Any party suing in any representative capacity shall make an affirmative averment showing his capacity and authority to sue. When a party desires to raise an issue as to the legal existence of any party or the capacity of any party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, he shall do so by specific negative averment, which shall include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the pleader's knowledge.

(b)        Fraud, duress, mistake, condition of the mind. - In all averments of fraud, duress or mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake shall be stated with particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other condition of mind of a person may be averred generally.

(c)        Conditions precedent. - In pleading the performance or occurrence of conditions precedent, it is sufficient to aver generally that all conditions precedent have been performed or have occurred. A denial of performance or occurrence shall be made specifically and with particularity.

(d)       Official document or act. - In pleading an official document or official act it is sufficient to aver that the document was issued or the act done in compliance with law.

(e)        Judgment. - In pleading a judgment, decision or ruling of a domestic or foreign court, judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or of a board or officer, it is sufficient to aver the judgment, decision or ruling without setting forth matter showing jurisdiction to render it.

(f)        Time and place. - For the purpose of testing the sufficiency of a pleading, averments of time and place are material and shall be considered like all other averments of material matter.

(g)        Special damage. - When items of special damage are claimed each shall be averred.

(h)        Private statutes. - In pleading a private statute or right derived therefrom it is sufficient to refer to the statute by its title or the day of its ratification if ratified before January 1, 1996, or the date it becomes law if it becomes law on or after January 1, 1996, and the court shall thereupon take judicial notice of it.

(i)         Libel and slander. -

(1)        In an action for libel or slander it is not necessary to state in the complaint any extrinsic facts for the purpose of showing the application to the plaintiff of the defamatory matter out of which the claim for relief arose, but it is sufficient to state generally that the same was published or spoken concerning the plaintiff, and if such allegation is controverted, the plaintiff is bound to establish on trial that it was so published or spoken.

(2)        The defendant may in his answer allege both the truth of the matter charged as defamatory, and any mitigating circumstances to reduce the amount of damages; and whether he proves the justification or not, he may give in evidence the mitigating circumstances.

(j)         Medical malpractice. - Any complaint alleging medical malpractice by a health care provider pursuant to G.S. 90-21.11(2)a. in failing to comply with the applicable standard of care under G.S. 90-21.12 shall be dismissed unless:

(1)        The pleading specifically asserts that the medical care and all medical records pertaining to the alleged negligence that are available to the plaintiff after reasonable inquiry have been reviewed by a person who is reasonably expected to qualify as an expert witness under Rule 702 of the Rules of Evidence and who is willing to testify that the medical care did not comply with the applicable standard of care;

(2)        The pleading specifically asserts that the medical care and all medical records pertaining to the alleged negligence that are available to the plaintiff after reasonable inquiry have been reviewed by a person that the complainant will seek to have qualified as an expert witness by motion under Rule 702(e) of the Rules of Evidence and who is willing to testify that the medical care did not comply with the applicable standard of care, and the motion is filed with the complaint; or

(3)        The pleading alleges facts establishing negligence under the existing common-law doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.

Upon motion by the complainant prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, a resident judge of the superior court for a judicial district in which venue for the cause of action is appropriate under G.S. 1-82 or, if no resident judge for that judicial district is physically present in that judicial district, otherwise available, or able or willing to consider the motion, then any presiding judge of the superior court for that judicial district may allow a motion to extend the statute of limitations for a period not to exceed 120 days to file a complaint in a medical malpractice action in order to comply with this Rule, upon a determination that good cause exists for the granting of the motion and that the ends of justice would be served by an extension. The plaintiff shall provide, at the request of the defendant, proof of compliance with this subsection through up to ten written interrogatories, the answers to which shall be verified by the expert required under this subsection. These interrogatories do not count against the interrogatory limit under Rule 33.

(k)        Punitive damages. - A demand for punitive damages shall be specifically stated, except for the amount, and the aggravating factor that supports the award of punitive damages shall be averred with particularity. The amount of damages shall be pled in accordance with Rule 8.  (1967, c. 954, s. 1; 1995, c. 20, s. 10; c. 309, s. 2; c. 514, s. 3; 1998-217, s. 61; 2001-121, s. 1; 2011-400, s. 3.)