traverse


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Traverse

In Common-Law Pleading, a denial of the plaintiff's assertions.

For example, a plaintiff could bring a lawsuit in order to collect money that he claimed the defendant owed him. If the defendant answered the plaintiff's claim by stating in answer that she did not fail to pay the money owed on the date it was due, this is a denial of a fact essential to the plaintiff's case. The defendant can be said to traverse the plaintiff's declaration of an outstanding debt, and her plea itself could be called a traverse.

The system of common-law pleading has been replaced throughout the United States by Code Pleading and by rules patterned on the system of pleading in Federal Civil Procedure, but lawyers still use the word traverse for a denial. In some instances, it has taken on specialized meanings for different purposes. For example, in criminal practice, a traverse is a denial of the charges in an indictment that usually has the effect of delaying a trial on the indictment until a later term of the court. A traverse jury is one that hears the claims of the plaintiff and denials of the defendant—a trial jury or petit jury. A traverse hearing may be a pretrial hearing to determine whether the court has authority to hear the case—as when the defendant denies having been properly served with the plaintiff's summons and complaint.

traverse

verb course, crisscross, cross, cross in opposiiion, cross in traveling, cut across, ford, go across, intersect, march, over pass, pass, pass from point to point, pass through, patrol, probe, survey carefully, tramp, travel over, trek
See also: answer, balk, circumvent, collide, contest, contradict, contravene, counteract, countervail, cross, demonstrate, demur, deny, disaccord, disagree, disavow, disobey, disown, disprove, dispute, fight, gainsay, hinder, negate, oppugn, patrol, perambulate, prohibit, protest, refuse, refute, reject, repel, reply, thwart

traverse

the formal denial of a fact alleged in the opposite party's pleading.

TRAVERSE, crim. law practice. This is a technical term, which means to turnover: it is applied to an issue taken upon an indictment for a misdemeanor, and means nothing more than turning over or putting off the trial to a following sessions or assize; it has, perhaps with more propriety, been applied to the denying or taking issue upon an indictment, without reference to the delay of trial. Dick. Sess. 151; Burn's Just. h.t.; 4 Bl. Com. 351.

TRAVERSE, pleading. This term, from the French traverser, signifies to deny or controvert anything which is alleged in the declaration, plea, replication or other pleadings; Lawes' Civ. Plead. 116, 117 there is no real distinction between traverses and denials, they are the same in substance. Willes. R. 224. however, a traverse, in the strict technical meaning, and more ordinary acceptation of the term, signifies a direct denial in formal words, "without this that," &c. Summary of Pleadings, 75; 1 Chit. Pl. 576, n. a.
     2. All issues are traverses, although all traverses cannot be said to be issues, and the difference is this; issues are where one or more facts are affirmed on one side, and directly and merely denied on the other; but special traverses are where the matter asserted by one party is not directly and merely denied or put in issue. by the other, but he alleges some new matter or distinction inconsistent with what is previously stated, and then distinctly excludes the previous statement of his adversary. The new matter so alleged is called the inducement to the traverse, and the exclusion of the previous statement, the traverse itself. Lawes' Civ. Pl. 117. See, in general, 20 Vin. Abr. 339; Com. Dig. Pleader, G; Bac. Abr. Pleas, H; Yelv. R. 147, 8; 1 Saund. 22, n. 2; Gould. on Pl. ell. 7 Bouv. Inst. Index, n. t.
     3. A traverse upon a traverse is one growing out of the same point, or subject matter, as is embraced in a preceding traverse on the other side. Gould on Pl. ch. 7, Sec. 42, n. It is a general rule, that a traverse, well tendered on one side, must be accepted on the other. And hence it follows, as a general rule, that there cannot be a traverse upon a traverse, if the, first traverse is material. The meaning of the rule is, that when one party has tendered a material traverse, the other cannot leave it and tender another of his own to the same point upon the inducement of the first traverse, but must join in that first tendered; otherwise the parties might alternately tender traverses to each other, in unlimited succession, without coming to an issue. Gould on Pl. ch. 7, Sec. 42.
     4. In cases where the first traverse is immaterial, there may be a traverse upon a traverse. Id. ch. 7, Sec. 43. And where the plaintiff might be ousted of some right or liberty the law allows him, there may be a traverse upon a traverse, although the first traverse include what is material. Poph. 101; Mo. 350; Com. Dig. Pleader, G 18; Bac. Abr. Pleas, H 4; Hob. 104, marg.; Cro. Eliz. 99, 418; Gould on Pl. ch. 7, 44.
     5. Traverses may be divided into general traverses, (q.v.) and special traverses. (q.v.) There is a third kind called a common traverse. (q.v.)

References in classic literature ?
In the sunken woods that traverse the neighbourhood of the burying- ground the last glimmer failed them, and it became necessary to kindle a match and re-illumine one of the lanterns of the gig.
The distance between Suez and Aden is precisely thirteen hundred and ten miles, and the regulations of the company allow the steamers one hundred and thirty-eight hours in which to traverse it.
I suppose it took her a minute or so to traverse the place, but to me she seemed to shoot across the room like a rocket.
The poet ought to traverse, with a rapid flight, the lofty regions of philosophy, without deviating from the narrow way of truth.
Two guards attended the mercer who made him traverse a court and enter a corridor in which were three sentinels, opened a door and pushed him unceremoniously into a low room, where the only furniture was a table, a chair, and a commissary.
Dantes was a man of great simplicity of thought, and without education; he could not, therefore, in the solitude of his dungeon, traverse in mental vision the history of the ages, bring to life the nations that had perished, and rebuild the ancient cities so vast and stupendous in the light of the imagination, and that pass before the eye glowing with celestial colors in Martin's Babylonian pictures.
For the Phaeacians have no pilots; their vessels have no rudders as those of other nations have, but the ships themselves understand what it is that we are thinking about and want; they know all the cities and countries in the whole world, and can traverse the sea just as well even when it is covered with mist and cloud, so that there is no danger of being wrecked or coming to any harm.
They had to traverse the most dreary and desolate mountains, and barren and trackless wastes, uninhabited by man, or occasionally infested by predatory and cruel savages.
Hetty walked hastily across the short space of pleasure-ground which she had to traverse, dreading to meet Mr.
I have thought her crafty, dissembling, interested sometimes, it is true; but may not much that looks like cunning and dissimulation in her conduct be only the efforts made by a bland temper to traverse quietly perplexing difficulties?
Grimaud looked at Raoul with a melancholy air as the young man passed out; observing that his head nearly touched the traverse of the doorway, stroking his white royale, he slowly murmured:
The old man was still erect in form, strong in limb, and unflinching in spirit, and as he stood on the river bank, watching the departure of an expedition destined to traverse the wilderness to the very shores of the Pacific, very probably felt a throb of his old pioneer spirit, impelling him to shoulder his rifle and join the adventurous band.