amendment

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Amendment

The modification of materials by the addition of supplemental information; the deletion of unnecessary, undesirable, or outdated information; or the correction of errors existing in the text.

In practice, a change in the pleadings—statements of the allegations of the parties in a lawsuit—may be achieved if the parties agree to the amendment or if the court in which the proceeding is pending grants a motion for the amendment made by one party. A judgment may be altered by an amendment if a motion to do so is made within a certain time after its entry and granted by the court. The amendment of pleadings and judgments is regulated by state codes of Civil Procedure and the rules of federal civil procedure.

A constitution or a statute may be changed by an amendment.

A will, trust, corporate charter, and other legal documents are also subject to amendment.

Cross-references

Constitutional Amendment.

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

amendment

the alteration of a writ, pleading, indictment or other document for the purpose of correcting some error or defect in the original or to raise some new matter, claim or allegation.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

AMENDMENT, legislation. An alteration or change of something proposed in a bill.
     2. Either house of the legislature has a right to make amendments; but, when so made, they must be sanctioned by the other house before they can become a law. The senate has no power to originate any money bills, (q. v,) but may propose and make amendments to such as have passed the House of representatives. Vide Congress; Senate.
     3. The constitution of the United States, art. 5, and the constitutions of some of the states, provide for their amendment. The provisions contained in tho constitution of the United States, are as follows: "Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by Congress: Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, shall, in any manner, affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

AMENDMENT, practice. The correction, by allowance of the court, of an error committed in the progress of a cause.
     2. Amendments at common law, independently of any statutory provision on the subject, are in all cases in the discretion of the court, for the furtherance of justice they may be made while the proceedings are in paper, that is, until judgment is signed, and during the term in which it is signed; for until the end of the term the proceedings are considered in fieri, and consequently subject to the control of the court; 2 Burr. 756; 3 Bl. Com. 407; 1 Salk. 47; 2 Salk. 666 ; 8 Salk. 31; Co. Litt. 260; and even after judgment is signed, and up to the latest period of the action, amendment is, in most cases, allowable at the discretion of the court under certain statutes passed for allowing amendments of the record; and in later times the judges have been much more liberal than formerly, in the exercise of this discretion. 3 McLean, 379; 1 Branch, 437; 9 Ala. 647. They may, however, be made after the term, although formerly the rule was otherwise; Co. Litt. 260, a; 3 Bl. Com. 407; and even after error brought, where there has been a verdict in a civil or criminal case. 2 Serg. & R. 432, 3. A remittitur damna may be allowed after error; 2 Dall. 184; 1 Yeates, 186; Addis, 115, 116; and this, although error be brought on the ground of the excess of damages remitted. 2 Serg. & R. 221. But the application must be made for the remittitur in the court below, as the court of error must take the record as they find it. 1 Serg. & R. 49. So, the death of the defendant may be suggested after errer coram nobis. 1 Bin. 486; I Johns. Cases, 29; Caines' Cases, 61. So by agreement of attorneys, the record may be amended after error. 1 Bin. 75; 2 Binn. 169.
     3. Amendments are, however, always limited by due consideration of the rights of the opposite party; and, when by the amendment he would be prejudiced or exposed to unreasonable delay, it is not allowed. Vide Bac. Ab Com. Dig. h.t.; Viner's. Ab. h.t.; 2 Arch. Pr. 200; Grah. Pt. 524; Steph. Pl. 97; 2 Sell. Pr. 453; 3 Bl. Com. 406; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.