PROTESTANDO, pleading. According to Lord Coke, Co. Litt. 124, it is an
exclusion of a conclusion. It has been more fully defined to be a saving to
the party who takes it, from being concluded by any matter alleged or
objected against him, upon which he cannot join issue. Plowd. 276, b;
Finch's L. 359, 366, Lawes, Pl. 141.
2. Matter on which issue may be joined, whether it be the gist of the action, plea, replication or other pleading, cannot be taken by protestation; Plowd. Com. 276, b; although a man may take by protestation matter that he cannot plead, as in an action for taking goods of the value of one hundred dollars, the defendant may make protestation that they were not worth more than fifty dollars. It is obvious that a protestation, repugnant to or inconsistent with the gist of the plea, &c., cannot be of any benefit to the party making it. Bro. Abr. tit. Protestation, pl. 1, 5. It is also idle and superfluous to make protestation of the same thing that is traversed by the plea; Plowd. 276, b: or of any matter of fact which must necessarily depend upon another fact protested against; as, to protest that A made no will, and that he made no executor, which he could not do if there was no will. Id.
3. The common form of making a protestando is in these words, "Because protesting that," &c., excluding such matters of the adversary's pleading as are intended to be excluded in the protestando, if it be matter of fact; or if it be against the legal sufficiency of his pleading, "Because protesting that the plea by him above pleaded in bar, or by way of reply, or rejoinder, &c., as the case may be, is wholly insufficient in law." No answer is necessary to a protestando, because it is never to be tried in the action in which it is made, but of such as is excluded from any manner of consideration in that action. Lawes' Civ. Pl. 143.
4. Protestations are of two sorts; first, when a man pleads anything which he dares not directly affirm, or cannot plead for fear of making his plea double; as if, in conveying to himself by his plea a title to land, the defendant ought to plead divers descents from several persons, but dares not affirm that they were all seised at the time of their death; or, although he could do so, it would make his plea double to allege two descents, when one descent would be a sufficient bar, then the defendant ought to plead and allege the matter introducing the word "protesting," thus, protesting that such a one died seised, &c., and this the adverse party cannot traverse.
5. The other sort of protestation is, when a person is to answer two matters, and yet by law he can only plead one of them, then in the beginning of his plea he may say, protesting or not acknowledging such part of the matter to be true, and add, "but for plea in this behalf," &c., and so take issue, or traverse, or plead to the other part of the matter; and by this he is not concluded by any of the rest of the matter, which he has by protestation so denied, but may afterwards take issue upon it. Reg. Plac. 70, 71; 2 Saund. 103 a, n. 1. See 1 Chit. Pl. 534; Arch. Civ. Pl. 245; Doct. Pl. 402; Com. Dig. Pleader, N; Vin. Abr. Protestation Steph. Pl. 235.