Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings

Though they are not nearly as common as “ordinary” motions to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment, motions for judgments on the pleadings are occasionally filed. They usually only occur when a party admits certain facts in the pleadings and those admissions are conclusive.

Under Rule 55.27(b), any party may move for a judgment on the pleadings after
the pleadings are closed. “A motion for judgment on the pleadings should be sustained if, from the face of the pleadings, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Wood v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 595 S.W.3d 504, 505 (Mo. 2020). “Judgment on the pleadings is appropriate where the question before the court is strictly one of law.” Eaton v. Mallinckrodt, Inc., 224 S.W.3d 596, 600 (Mo. 2007). When reviewing a judgment on the pleadings for a defendant, courts accept as true all facts alleged in the plaintiff’s petition. Armstrong v. Cape Girardeau Physician Associates, 49 S.W.3d 821 (Mo. Ct. App. 2001). When reviewing a judgment on the pleadings, courts review the answer. Id.

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