Equitable Relief, Pleadings

At trial, a court is limited to the relief requested in the pleadings. The “pleadings” generally refers to the petition, answer, affirmative defenses, and counterclaim. While there are numerous exceptions to this, a prominent exception includes equitable relief. While Missouri courts are restrained from deciding an unpleaded fatual issue, a court of equity grant any relief warranted by pleaded issues whether or not it was specifically included in the requested for relief. Colbert v. State, Family Support Div., 264 S.W.3d 699, 702 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008).  Even then, however, the relief must be supported by the facts, which were either pleaded or tried by consent.

 

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