Legal Certainty

Legal Certainty

A test in Civil Procedure designed to establish that a complaint has met the minimum amount in controversy required for a court to have jurisdiction to hear the case. Under this test, if it is apparent from the face of the pleadings, to a "legal certainty" that the plaintiff cannot recover or was never entitled to the amount in the complaint, then the case will be dismissed.

For example, the existence of federal diversity jurisdiction on the part of a federal district court—one aspect of which is the presence of an amount in controversy in excess of $75,000—is a threshold Question of Law, or one which must be determined by the judge at the start of the action by applying the legal-certainty test.

Further readings

Glannon, Joseph W. 2001. Civil Procedure: Examples and Explanations. Gaithersburg, Md.: Aspen Law & Business.

Kane, Mary Kay. 1996. Civil Procedure in a Nutshell. 4th ed. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group.


Amount in Controversy; Dismissal; Jurisdiction.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(107) The good faith requirement is not met when the court determines that to a legal certainty the plaintiff could not recover more than the amount in controversy requirement, and, therefore, the plaintiff essentially has no burden to establish the amount in controversy.
Dimyati said currently all major horticulture companies especially those producing plant seeds are owned by foreign investors Agriculture minister Suswono said the law gives legal certainty for investors in the horticultural sector and greater opportunity for domestic investors.
That may be somewhat easier in cases where divorces are by mutual consent, but the regulation is also intended to ensure that a divorce would be governed by law with which spouses have a close connection to guarantee legal certainty and to prevent "shopping around".
Ms Purdy, 45, from Undercliffe, Bradford, West Yorkshire, said that she was "disappointed and shocked" when the High Court recently failed to provide her with the legal certainty and peace of mind that she had been seeking.
Ms Purdy, 45, from Under cliffe, Bradford, West Yorkshire, said she was "disappointed and shocked" when the High Court recently rejected her bid to obtain legal certainty and peace of mind.
Legal certainty is a central tenet of the rule of law as understood
Parliament has a duty to give "legal certainty" on whether such controversial content should be allowed, according to the firms.
EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes commented: "This case shows that, with good co-operation from the member state concerned, the Commission can move very fast to provide legal certainty for temporary rescue measures."
Then, the country where a contract was to be fulfilled is the first choice, but, said a council decision, "to achieve more legal certainty, some of the most typical contracts should be explicitly mentioned" as covered by this rule.
By ensuring the uniform and consistent treatment of taxpayers across Europe and increasing the legal certainty of the tax results of business transactions, the Commission will enhance the competitiveness of European businesses and promote growth in the European economy.
The central question in Rhetoric, however, is whether we can square a belief in the Rule of Law, which entails a belief in legal certainty, with a belief in (what MacCormick refers to as) the Arguable Character of Law, that is, the notion that the content of law depends on argumentation: Argument from commonplace propositions or starting points (topoi) [In this case the possibility and value of the Rule of Law, and the notion that the content of law depends on argumentation] is common in rhetoric, but the commonplace truths of everyday thinking may sometimes appear to be in flat mutual contradiction....
As such, it will instill crucial legal certainty in transactions involving both tainted and untainted properties.