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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.

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