ABATEMENTLegal Dictionary -> ABATEMENT
ABATEMENT, pleading, is the overthrow of an action in consequence of some
error committed in bringing or conducting it when the plaintiff is notforever barred from bringing another action. 1 Chit. Pl. 434. Abatement isby plea. There can be no demurrer
in abatement. Willes' Rep. 479; Salk.220. 2. Pleas in abatement will be considered as relating, 1, to thejurisdiction of the court; 2, to the person of the plaintiff; 3, to that
ofthe defendant; 4, to the writ; 5, to the qualities of such pleas ; 6, to theform of such pleas; 7, to the affidavit of the truth of pleas in abatement. 3.-1. As to pleas relating to
the jurisdiction of the court, seearticle Jurisdiction, and Arch. Civ. Pl. 290; 1 Chit. Pl. Index. tit,Jurisdiction. There is only one case in which the jurisdiction of the courtmay be
inquired of under the general issue, and that is where no court ofthe country has jurisdiction of the cause, for in that case no action can bemaintained by the law of the land. 3
Mass. Rep. Rea v. Hayden, 1 Dougl. 450;3 Johns. Rep. 113; 2 Penn. Law Journal 64, Meredith v. Pierie. 4.-2. Relating to the person of the plaintiff. (1.) The defendant
mayplead to the person of the plaintiff that there never was any such person inrerum natura. Bro. Brief, 25 ; 19 Johns. 308 Com. Dig. Abatement, E 16. Andif one of several
plaintiffs be a fictitious person, it abates the writ.Com. Dig. Abatement, E 16; 1 Chit. Pl. 435; Arch. Civ. Pl. 304. But anominal plaintiff in ejectment may sustain an action. 5
Verm. 93; 19 John.308. As to the rule in Pennsylvania, see 5 Watts, 423. 5.-(2.) The defendant may plead that the plaintiff is a feme covert.Co. Lit. 132, b.; or that she is his
own wife. 1 Brown. Ent. 63; and see 3T. R. 631; 6 T. R. 265; Com. Dig. Abatement, E 6; 1 Chit. Pl. 437; Arch.Civ. Pl. 302. Coverture occurring after suit brought is a plea in
abatementwhich cannot be pleaded after a plea in bar, unless the matter arose afterthe plea in bar; but in that case the defendant must not suffer acontinuance to intervene
between the happening of this new matter, or itscoming to his knowledge, and pleading it. 4 S & R. 238; Bac. Abr. Abatement,G; 4 Mass. 659; 4 S. & R. 238; 1 Bailey, 369; 4
Vern. 545; 2 Wheat. 111; 14Mass. 295 ; 1 Blackf. 288; 2 Bailey, 349. See 10 S. & R. 208; 7 Verm. 508; 1Yeates, 185; 2 Dall. 184; 3 Bibb, 246. 6.-(3.) That the plaintiff
(unless he sue with others as executor) isan infant and has declared by attorney. 1 Chit. Pl. 436; Arch. Civ. Pi. 301;Arch. Pr. B. R. 142 ; 2 Saund. 212, a, n. 5; 1 Went. 58,
62; 7 John. R. 373;3 N. H. Rep. 345; 8 Pick. 552; and see 7 Mass. 241; 4 Halst. 381 2 N. H.Rep. 487. 7.-(4.) A suit brought by a lunatic under guardianship, shall
abate.Brayt. 18. 8.-(5.) Death of plaintiff before the purchase of the original writ,may be pleaded in abatement. 1 Arch. Civ. Pl. 304, 5; Com. Dig. Abatement, E17. Death of
plaintiff pending the writ might have been pleaded since thelast continuance, Com. Dig. Abatement, H 32; 4 Hen. & Munf. 410; 3 Mass. 296; Cam. & Nor. 72; 4 Hawks, 433; 2
Root, 57; 9 Mass. 422; 4 H. & M. 410;Gilmer, 145; 2 Rand. 454; 2 Greenl. 127. But in some states, as inPennsylvania, the, death of the plaintiff does not abate the writ; in
suchcase the executor or administrator is substituted. The rule of the commonlaw is, that whenever the death of any party happens, pending the writ, andyet the plea is in the
same condition, as if such party were living, thensuch death makes no alteration; and on this rule all the diversities turn.Gilb. Com. Pleas 242. 9.-(6.) Alienage, or that the
plaintiff is an alien enemy. Bac. Abr.h.t.; 6 Binn. 241 ; 10 Johns. 183; 9 Mass. 363 ; Id. 377 ; 11 Mass. 119 ; 12Mass. 8 ; 3 31. & S. 533; 2 John. Ch. R. 508; 15 East, 260;
Com. Dig.Abatement, E 4; Id. Alien, C 5; 1 S. & R. 310; 1 Ch. Pl. 435; Arch. Civ. Pl.3, 301. 10.-(7.) Misnomer of plaintiff may also be pleaded in abatement. Arch.Civ. Pi.
305; 1 Chitty's Pleading, Index, tit. Misnomer. Com. Dig.Abatement, E 19, E 20, E 21, E 22; l Mass. 75; Bac. Abr. h.t. 11.-(8.) If one of several joint tenants, sue in action
ex contractu,Co. Lit. 180, b; Bac. Abr. Joint-tenants, K; 1 B. & P. 73; one of severaljoint contractors, Arch. Civ. Pl. 48-51, 53 ; one of several partners, Gowon Part. 150; one of
several joint executors who have proved the will, oreven if they have not proved the will, 1 Chit. Pl. 12, 13; one of severaljoint administrators, Ibid. 13; the defendant may plead
the non-joinder inabatement. Arch. Civ. Pl. 304; see Com. Dig. Abatement, E 9, E 12, E 13, E14. 12.-(9.) If persons join as plaintiffs in an action who should not,the
defendant may plead the misjoinder in abatement. Arch. Civ. Pl. 304;Com. Dig. Abatement, E 15. 13.-(10.) When the plaintiff is an alleged corporation, and it isintended to
contest its existence, the defendant must plead in abatement.Wright, 12; 3 Pick. 236; 1 Mass 485; 1 Pet. 450; 4 Pet. 501; 5 Pet. 231. Toa suit brought in the name of the
"judges of the county court," after suchcourt has been abolished, the defendant may plead in abatement that thereare no such judges. Judges, &c. v. Phillips; 2 Bay, 519.
14.-3. Relating to the person of the defendant. (1.) In an actionagainst two or more, one may plead in abatement that there never was such aperson in rerum natura as A, who
is named as defendant with him. Arch. Civ.Pl. 312. 15.-(2.) If the defendant be a married woman, she may in general pleadher coverture in abatement, 8 T. R. 545 ; Com.
Dig. Abatement, F 2. Theexceptions to this rule arise when the coverture is suspended. Com. Dig.Abatement, F 2, Sec. 3; Co. Lit. 132, b; 2 Bl. R. 1197; Co. B. L. 43.
16.-(3.) The death of the defendant abates the writ at common law, andin some cases it does still abate the action, see Com. Dig. Abatement, H 34;1 Hayw. 500; 2 Binn. l.; 1
Gilm. 145; 1 Const. Rep. 83; 4 McCord, 160; 7Wheat. 530; 1 Watts, 229; 4 Mass. 480; 8 Greenl. 128; In general where thecause of action dies with the person, the suit
abates by the death of thedefendant before judgment. Vide Actio Personalis moritur cum persona. 17.-(4.) The misnomer of the defendant may be pleaded in abatement,but
one defendant cannot plead the misnomer of another. Com. Dig. Abatement,F 18; Lutw. 36; 1 Chit. Pl. 440; Arch. Civ. Pl. 312. See form of a plea inabatement for a misnomer
of the defendant in 3 Saund. 209, b., and seefurther, 1 Show. 394; Carth. 307 ; Comb. 188 ; 1 Lutw. 10 ; 5 T. R. 487. 18.-(5.) When one joint tenant, Com. Dig. Abatement, F
5, or onetenant in common, in cases, where they ought to be joined, Ibid. F 6, issued alone - he may plead in abatement. And in actions upon contracts ifthe plaintiff do not
sue all the contractors, the defendant may plead thenon-joinder in abatement. Ibid. F 8, a; 1 Wash. 9; 18 Johns. 459; 2 Johns.Cas. 382 ; 3 Caines's Rep. 99 ; Arch.. Civ. Pl.
309; 1 Chit. Pl. 441. Whenhusband and wife should be sued jointly, and one is sued alone, the non-joinder may be pleaded in abatement. Arch. Civ. Pl. 309. The non-joinder
ofall the executors, who have proved the will; and the non-joinder of all theadministrators of the deceased, may be pleaded in abatement. Com. Dig.Abatement, F 10. 19.-(6.)
In a real action if brought against several persons, they mayplead several tenancy, that is, that they hold in severalty and not jointly,Com. Dig. Abatement, F 12; or one of them
may take the entire tenancy onhimself, and pray judgment of the writ. Id. F 13. But mis-joinder ofdefendant in a personal action is not the subject of a plea in abatement.Arch.
Civ. Pl. 68, 310. 20.-(7.) In cases where the defendant may plead non-tenure, see Arch.Civ. Pl. 310; Cro. El. 559. 21.-(8.) Where he may plead a disclaimer, see Arch. Civ.
Pl. 311; Com.Dig. Abatement, F 15. 22.-(9.) A defendant may plead his privilege of not being sued, inabatement. Bac. Ab. Abridgment C ; see this Dict. tit. Privilege.
23.-4. Plea in, abatement of the writ. (1.) Pleas in abatement of thewrit or a bill are so termed rather from their effect, than from their beingstrictly such pleas, for as oyer of the
writ can no longer be craved, noobjection can be taken to matter which is merely contained in the writ, 3 B.& P. 399; 1 B. & P. 645-648; but if a mistake in the writ be carried
intothe declaration, or rather if the declaration, which is resumed tocorrespond with the writ or till, be incorrect in respect of some extrinsicmatter, it is then open to the
defendant to plead in abatement to the writor bill, 1 B. & P. 648; 10 Mod. 210; and there is no plea to the declarationalone but in bar; 10 Mod. 210 ; 2 Saund. 209, d. 24.-(2.)
Pleas in abatement of the writ or bill and to the form or tothe action. Com. Dig. Abatement, H. 1, 17. 25.-(3.) Those of the first description were formerly either matterapparent
on the face of the ;Writ, Com. Dig. Abatement, H l, or mattersdehors. Id. H 17. 26.-(4.) Formerly very trifling errors were pleadable in abatement, 1Lutw. 25; Lilly's Ent. 6 ; 2
Rich. C. P. 5, 8 ; 1 Stra. 556; Ld. Raym. 1541;2 Inst. 668; 2 B. & P. 395. But as oyer of the writ can no longer be had,an omission in the defendant's declaration of the
defendant's addition,which is not necessary to be stated in a declaration, can in no case bepleaded in abatement. 1 Saund. 318, n. 3; 3 B. & B. 395; 7 East, 882. 27.-(5.)
Pleas in abatement to the form of the writ, are therefore nowprincipally for matters dehors, Com. Dig. Abatement,H 17; Glib. C.P., 51,existing at the time of suing out the writ,
or arising afterwards, such asmisnomer of the plaintiff or defendant in Christian or surname. 28.-(6.) Pleas in abatement to the action of the writ, and that theaction is
misconceived, as that it is in case where it ought to have, beenin trespass, Com. Dig. Abatement, G 5 ; or that it was prematurely brought,Ibid. Abatement, G 6, and tit. Action
E ; but as these matters are groundsof demurrer or nonsuit, it is now very unusual to plead them in abatement.It may also be pleaded that there is another action pending. See
tit. Autreaction pendant. Com. Dig. Abatement, H. 24; Bac. Ab. Abatement, M; 1Chitty's Pi. 443. 29.-6. Qualities of pleas in abatement. (1.) A writ is divisible, andmay be
abated in part, and remain good for the residue; and the defendantmay plead in abatement to part, and demur or plead in bar to the residue ofthe declaration. 1 Chit. Pl. 444; 2
Saund. 210, n. The general rule is,that whatever proves the writ false at the time of suing it out, shall abatethe writ entirely Gilb. C. P. 247 1 Saund. Rep. 286, (n) 7; 2 do. 72,
(i)sub fin. 30.-(2.) As these pleas delay the trial of the merits of the action,the greatest accuracy and precision are required in framing them; theyshould be certain to every
intent, and be pleaded without any repugnancy. 3T. R. 186; Willes, 42 ; 2 Bl. R. 1096 2 Saund. 298, b, n. 1 ; Com. Dig. 1,11 Co. Lit. 392; Cro. Jac. 82; and must in general
give the plaintiff abetter writ. This is the true criterion to distinguish a plea in abatementfrom a plea in bar. 8 T. IR. 615; Bromal. 139; 1 Saund. 274, n. 4 ; 284 n.4; 2 B. & P.
125 ; 4 T. R. 227 ; 6 East) 600 ; Com. Dig. Abatement, J 1, 2;1 Day, 28; 3 Mass. 24; 2 Mass. 362; 1 Hayw. 501; 2 Ld. Raym. 1178; 1 East,634. Great accuracy is also
necessary in the form of the plea as to thecommencement and conclusion, which is said to make the plea. Latch. 178 ; 2Saund. 209, c. d; 3 T. R. 186. 31.-6. Form of pleas
in abatement. (1.) As to the form of pleas inabatement, see 1 Chit. Pl. 447; Com. Dig. Abatement, 1 19; 2 Saund. 1, n. 2. 32.-7. Of the affidavit of truth. (1.) All pleas in
abatement must besworn to be true, 4 Ann. c. 16, s. 11. The affidavit may be made by thedefendant or a third person, Barnes, 344, and must be positive as to thetruth of every
fact contained in the plea, and should leave nothing to becollected by inference; Sayer's Rep. 293; it should be stated that the pleais true in substance and fact, and not
merely that the plea is a true plea.3 Str. 705, Litt. Ent. 1; 2 Chitt. Pl. 412, 417; 1 Browne's Rep. 77 ; see. 2Dall. 184; 1 Yeates, 185. See further on the subject of abatement
of actions, Vin. Ab. tit.Abatement; Bac. Abr. tit. Abatement; Nelson's Abr. tit. Abatement; AmericanDig. tit. Abatement; Story's Pl. 1 to 70; 1 Chit. Pl. 425 to 458; Whart.Dig.
tit. Pleading, F. (b.) Penna. Pract. Index, h.t.; Tidd's Pr. Index,h.t.; Arch. Civ. Pl. Index, h.t.; Arch. Pract. Index, h.t. Death; Partiesto actions; Plaintiff; Puis darrein