Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Plea in abatement. A plea interposed for delay, or a plea to the jurisdiction or to the persons. Suspension or determination of an action by death, insanity or other disability of a party to the action. A proportionate reduction of the debt or legacy due where the fund or the estate is insufficient to meet full payment. See 79 Va. 648.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In pleading. The effect produced upon an action at law, when the defendant pleads matter of fact showing the writ or declaration to be defective and incorrect. This defeats the action for the time being, but the plaintiff may proceed with it after the defect is removed or may recommence it in a better way. In England, in equity pleading, declinatory pleas to the jurisdiction and dilatory' to the persons were (prior to the judicature act) sometimes, by analogy to common law, termed "pleas in abatement." In chancery practice. The determination, cessation or suspension of all proceedings in a suit, from the want of proper parties capable of proceeding therein, as upon the death of one of the parties pending the suit See 2 Tidd, Pr. 932; Story, Eq. PL I 354; Witt v. Ellis, 2 Cold. (Tennt) 38. In mercantile law. A drawback or rebate allowed in certain cases on the duties due on imported goods, in consideration of their deterioration or damage suffered during importation or while in store. A diminution or decrease in the amount of tax imposed upon any person. In contracts. A reduction made by the creditor for the prompt payment of a debt due by the payor or debtor. Wesk. Ins. 7. Of legacies and debts. A proportional diminution or reduction of the pecuniary legacies, when the funds or assets out of which such legacies are payable are not sufficient to pay them in full. Ward, Leg. p. 369, c. 6, § 7; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. § 555; 2 Bl. Comm. 512, 513; Brown v. Brown. 79 Vn. 648; Neistrath's Estate, 66 Cal. 330, 5 Pac. 507. In equity, when equitable assets are insufficient to satisfy fully all the creditors, their debts must abate in proportion. and they must be content with a dividend ; for œquitas est quasi œqualitas.