Who has the burden of proof of affirmative defenses in a civil lawsuit?

Asked about 3 years ago - Miami, FL

I have read that defendants have this burden of proof. Is that correct? If so, what is the standard of proof?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Bradley Winston

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The burden of proof in Florida civil courts is t"he greater weight of the evidence". This means the more convincing force and effect of the entire evidence in the case.

    The plaintiff has the burden of proving a prima facia case, and the defense has to prove its affirmative defenses by the same standard.

    Affirmative defenses admit arguendo that the plaintiff has a legally sufficient case, but constitute an avoidance of liability for a legal reason, for example, the statute of limitations has run, the debt has been satisfied, the right plaintiff asserts has been waived, etc.

    The reader should not consider this information to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship and should... more
  2. Barry A. Stein

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Someone who is attempting to avoid a claim asserts an affirmative defense. That party would have the burden of proving up that defense. Burden of proof in a civil case is generally the preponderance or greater weight of the evidence. There are defenses that may require a higher legal standard. Consult with an attorney about the legal case you are involved in, if any.

    The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual... more
  3. Michael Anthony Rossi

    Contributor Level 7

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . An affirmative defense is alleged on behalf of a defendant and therefore, the defendant must prove the elements of the affirmative defense. In a civil case the burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence (proof outweighs, even so slightly, in favor of defendant).

    I am a New York Civil and Criminal Trial Attorney and handle serious Personal Injury cases, Criminal Defense cases,... more

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