confession and avoidance

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Confession and Avoidance

A form of plea that served as the formal answer to a plaintiff's complaint or declaration.

Under the old system of Common-Law Pleading, a defendant might choose to respond to the plaintiff's claim with a plea of confession and avoidance. By that, the defendant acknowledged the truth of the allegations in the plain-tiff's declaration, either specifically or by implication, and then asserted that there were additional facts that neutralized the legal effect of the plaintiff's allegations.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

confession and avoidance

n. when a defendant admits the allegations in a complaint against him/her in a lawsuit or accusations in a criminal case but alleges other facts (affirmative defenses) to show that the original allegations do not prove a case against him/her. Often this means the defendant confesses to the accuracy of the stated facts and tries to avoid their legal impact.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

confession and avoidance

a defence pleading that admits certain material facts for attempts to avoid the legal consequence of those facts by alleging further facts to establish some defence to the claim. The facts relied on as constituting the avoidance must be specifically pleaded and the burden of proof is on the party relying on the plea.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006