§55-4-10. Plea or demurrer; issue on plea; evidence admissible.
The defendant may demur to the declaration, as in personal
actions, or plead thereto, or do both. But he shall plead the
general issue only, which shall be that the defendant is not guilty
of unlawfully withholding the premises claimed by the plaintiff in
the declaration. Upon such plea, the defendant may give in
evidence any matter which, if pleaded in the former writ of right,
would have barred the action of the plaintiff.