Plea in Abatement

Plea in Abatement

In Common-Law Pleading, a response by the defendant that does not dispute the plaintiff's claim but objects to its form or the time or place where it is asserted.

A plea in abatement does not absolutely defeat the plaintiff's claim because, even if the plea is successful, the plaintiff may renew the lawsuit in a proper form, time, or place. For this reason, it is called a dilatory plea, because it has the effect of postponing the time when a court considers the actual merits of the case of each party.

The plea in abatement was abolished as a particular form of response by the defendant when common-law pleading was replaced by Code Pleading and later by pleading rules, such as the federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Sometimes the term is still loosely used for modern procedural devices that accomplish what the old plea in abatement used to do.


Civil Procedure.

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

plea in abatement

n. (See: plea).

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(14) And then it addresses matters in abatement, using language that foreshadows the language now in section 2105: But there shall be no reversal in either court on such writ of error for error in ruling any plea in abatement, other than a plea to the jurisdiction of the court, or such plea to a petition or bill in equity, as in the nature of a demurrer, or for any error in fact.
From the outset, courts have disfavored resolving an action on a plea in abatement, as it turns on procedure rather than the merits of the action.
(104) Conversely, a court may grant a stay where a plea in abatement could not be sustained.