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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.


noun balance, continuing, extra, left, leftover, over, spare, staying
Associated concepts: no child left behind, remainder
See also: balance, bonus, overage, plethora, surfeit, surplus


in 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.

References in periodicals archive ?
212, 218 (1988) (declining to read a particular provision of a statute in a way that renders a prior statutory exclusion mere surplusage in the absence of a clearly expressed congressional intent to do so).
Asadi did not follow the Chevron process, but instead used canons of statutory construction to avoid contradicting sections of the statute and surplusage.
So why do courts continue to rely on the surplusage canon in
being surplusage because the possession of marijuana over a twenty day
matching rights were no more than boilerplate, or mere surplusage, then
The jury's "verdict could be treated as binding, advisory, or surplusage, depending on the eventual resolution of the issue.
98) To treat federal fallback Exchanges as equivalent to state Exchanges established under Section 1311 is to ignore the PPACA's repeated reference to Exchanges "established by the State" and render this latter language into mere surplusage.
Browning states that in his ability to "resuscitate" the past, "man, bounded, yearning to be free, / May so project his surplusage of soul / In search of body, so add self to self" (ll.
As has been observed, the presumption against surplusage is of little weight in the interpretation of commercial contracts: see per Staughton LJ in Howard v Shirlstar Container Transport [1990] 1 WLR 1292, 1298.
The exclusion of office and related expenses from the exclusion of legal expenses is pure surplusage in a contract that excepts, rather than covers, legal expenses.
When determining legislative intent, courts assume no part of its statutory scheme be rendered mere surplusage.
In such a scenario, Section 4312 is rendered utter surplusage because of reliance on Section 4311.