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 party’s change in his pleadings from his original theory of offense or defense. See 158 U. S. 285, 39 L. Ed. 983, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 877.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In maritime law. A deviation from the course prescribed in the policy of insuraube. In pleading. The statement of matter in a replication, rejoinder, or subsequent pleading, as a cause of action or defense, which is not pursuant to the previous pleading of the same party, and which does not support and fortify it. 2 Williams, Saund. 84a, note 1; 2 Wlls. 98; Co. Litt 3O4o; Railway Co. v. Wyler, 158 U. S. 285, 15 Sup. CL 877, 39 L. Ed. 983. A departure, in pleading, is when a party quits or departs from the case or defense which he has first made, and has recourse to another. White v. Joy, 13 N. Y. 83; Alien v. Watson, 16 Johns. (N. Y.) 205; Kimberlin v. Carter, 49 Ind. 111. A departure takes place when, in any pleading, the party deserts the ground that he took in his last antecedent pleading, and resorts to another. Steph. PI. 410. Or, in other words, when the second pleading contains matter not pursuant to the former, and which does not support and fortify it. Co.. Litt. 3O4o. Hence a departure obviously can never take place till the replication. Steph. Pi. 410. Each subsequent pleading must pursue or support the former one ; i.e., the replication must support the declaration, and the rejoinder the plea, without departing out of it. 3 Bl. Comm. 310.