Rule 15. Amended and Supplemental Pleadings

Advisory Commission Comments to Rules 15.01-15.04

Advisory Commission Comments

15.02. Rule 15 grants a party an absolute right to amend once within a specified time, and allows amendment freely at any time by consent of the parties or by leave of court. Where issues not raised by the pleadings are actually tried, amendment may conform the pleadings to the evidence. Amendment after verdict is permitted, but it is expressly provided that no amendment after verdict may increase the amount sued for. Specified times for response to amendments are set out, but these may be changed by order of the court, and continuances may be granted when necessary.

15.04. Rule 15.04 authorizes the court to permit a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions or occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented, and empowers the court to order a responsive pleading to the supplemental pleading where advisable. This Rule has especial significance in the light of Rule 7.01 which limits the pleadings which may ordinarily be filed.

Advisory Commission Comment [1995]

The amendment to Rule 15.03 incorporates language similar to that adopted in the federal version to change the unfortunate result of decisions such as Schiavone v. Fortune, 477 U.S. 21 (1986). Under the revised wording, an action commenced under a corporate defendant’s trade name just before the statute of limitations runs – but not served on the corporation’s agent until two weeks after the statute runs – could be corrected by amendment.

Advisory Commission Comment [2007]

The need for the new third sentence of Rule 15.01 was highlighted by Jones v. Professional Motorcycle Escort Service, L.L.C., 193 S.W.3d 564 (Tenn. 2006). Because Tenn. Code Ann. §20-1-119 allows potential comparative tortfeasors pleaded in the answer to be added to the complaint, there is no reason to trouble the trial court with permission to amend. The new language resolves an ambiguity created by the statute and the earlier version of the rule.


Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 2023-2024 Copyright © 2024 by BirdDog Law, LLC (No copyright claimed as to government works.). All Rights Reserved.