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

    A plea of justification in replevin.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A pleading in the action of replevin, by which the defendant avows, that is, acknowledges, the taking of the distress or property complained of, where he took It in his own right, and sets forth the reason of it; as for rent In arrear, damage done, etc. 3 Bl. Comm. 149; 1 Tidd. Pr. 645. Brown v. Bissett, 21 N. J. Law, 274; Hill v. Miller, 5 Serg. & R. (Pat) 357. Avowry is the setting forth, as in a declaration, the nature and merits of the defendant's case, showing that the distress taken by him was lawful, which must be done with such sufficient authority as will entitle him to a retor-no habendo. Hill v. Stocking, 6 Hill (N. Y.) 284. An avowry must be distinguished from a justification. The former species of plea admits the plaintiff's ownership of the property, but alleges a right in the defendant sufficient to warrant him in taking the property and which still subsists. A justification, on the other hand, denies that the plaintiff had the right of property or possession in the subject-matter, alleging it to bave been in the defendant or a third erson, or avers a right sufficient to warrant the efendant in taking it, although such right has not continued in 'force to the time of making answer.