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Extraneous matter; impertinent, superfluous, or unnecessary.
In pleadings, surplusage refers to allegations that are not relevant to the Cause of Action. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, upon a motion, a court can strike from the pleadings any surplusage, such as an insufficient defense or an immaterial matter.
n. a term used in analyzing legal documents and pleadings to refer to wording or statements which have no legal effect and, therefore, can be ignored.
surplusagenoun balance, continuing, extra, left, leftover, over, spare, staying
Associated concepts: no child left behind, remainder
See also: balance, bonus, overage, plethora, surfeit, surplus
surplusagein pleadings, irrelevant matter, such as a superfluous allegation.
SURPLUSAGE, pleading. A superfluous and useless statement of matter wholly
foreign and impertinent to the cause.
2. In general surplusagium non nocet, according to the maxim utile per inutile non vitiatur; therefore if a man in his declaration, plea, &c., make mention of a thing which need, not be stated, but the matter set forth is grammatically right, and perfectly sensible, no advantage can be taken on demurrer. Com. Dig. Pleader, C 28, E 2; 1 Salk. 325; 4 East, 400; Gilb. C. P. 131; Bac. Ab. Pleas, 1, 4; Co. Litt. 303, b; 2 Saund. 306, n. 14; 5 East 444; 1 Chit. Pl. 282; Lawes on Pl. 63; 7 John. 462; 3 Day, 472; 2 Mass. R. 283; 13 John. 80.
3. When, by an unnecessary allegation the plaintiff shows he has no cause of action, the defendant may demur. Com. Dig. Pleader, c. 29; Bac. Ab. Pleas, 1, 4; see 2 East, 451; 4 East, 400; Dougl. 667; 2 Bl. Rep. 842; 3 Cranch, 193; 2 Dall. 300; 1 Wash. R. 257.
4. When the surplusage is not grammatically set right, or it is unintelligible and, no sense at all can be given it, or it be contradictory or repugnant to what is before alleged, the adversary may take advantage of it on special demurrer. Gilb. C. P. 132; Lewes on Pl. 64.
5. When a party alleges a material matter with an unnecessary detail of circumstances, and the essential and non-essential parts of a statement are, in their nature, so connected as to be incapable of separation, the opposite party may include under his traverse the whole matter alleged. And as it is an established rule that the evidence must correspond with the allegations, it follows that the party who has thus pleaded such unnecessarily matter will be required to prove it, and thus he is required to sustain an increased burden of proof, and incurs greater danger of failure at the trial. For example, if in justifying the taking of cattle damage feasant, in which case it is sufficient to allege that they were doing damage to his freehold, he should state a seisin in fee, which is traversed, be must prove a seisin in fee. Dyer, 365; 2 Saund. 206, a, note 22 Steph. on Pl. 261, 262; 1 Smith's Lead. Cas. 328, note; 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 51 1 Chit. Pl. 524, 525; U. S. Dig. Pleading, VII. c.
SURPLUSAGE, accounts. A greater disbursement than the charges of the accountant amount to.