Definition of ESTOPPEL


pleading. An estoppel is a preclusion, in law, which
prevents a
man from alleging or denying a fact, in consequence o his own previous act,
allegation or denial of a contrary tenor. Stepb. Pl. 239. Lord Coke says, "
an estoppel is, when a man is concluded by his own act or acceptance, to
say the truth." Co. Litt. 352, a. And Blackstone defines "an estoppel to be
a special plea in bar, which happens where a man has done some act, or
executed some deed, which estops or precludes him from averring any thing
to the contrary. 3 Cora. 308. Estoppels are odious in law, 1 Serg. & R.
444, they are not admitted in equity against the truth. Id. 442. Nor can
jurors be estopped from saying the truth, because they are sworn to do so,
although they are estopped from finding against the admission of the
parties in their pleadings. 2 Rep. 4, Salk. 276, B. N. P. 298, 2 Barn. &
Ald. 662, Angel on Water Courses, 228-9. See Co. Litt. 352, a, b, 351, a.

2. An estoppel may, arise either from matter of record, from the deed of
the party, or from matter in Pays, that is, matter of fact.

3. Thus, any confession or admission made in pleading, in a court of
record, whether it be express, or implied from pleading over without a
traverse, will forever preclude the party from afterwards contesting the
same fact in any subsequent suit with his adversary. Com. Dig. Estoppel, A
1. This is an estoppel by matter of record.

4. As an instance of an estoppel by deed, may be mentioned the case of a
bond reciting a certain fact. The party executing that bond, will be
precluded from afterwards denying in any action brought upon that
instrument, the fact , so recited. 5 Barn. & Ald. 682.

5. An example of an estoppel by matter in pays occurs when one man Las
accepted rent of another. He will be estopped from afterwards. denying, in
any action, with that person, that he was, at the time of such acceptance,
his tenant. Com. Dig. Estoppel, A 3 Co. Litt. 352, a.

6. This doctrine of law gives rise to a kind of pleading that is neither
by way of traverse, nor confession. and avoidance: viz. a pleading, that,
waiving any question of fact, relies merely on the estoppel, and, after
stating the previous act, allegation, or denial, of the opposite party,
prays judgment, if he shall be received or admitted to aver contrary to
what he before did or said. This pleading is called pleading by way of
estoppel. Steph. 240a

7. Every estoppel ought to be reciprocal, that is, to bind both parties:
and this is the reason that regularly a stranger shall neither take
advantage or be bound by an estoppel. It should be directly affirmative,
and not by inference nor against an estoppel. Co. Lit. 352, a, b, 1 R.
442-3, 9 Serg. & R. 371, 430, 4 Yeates 38 1 Serg. & R. 444, Corn. Dig.
Estoppel, C 3 Johns. Cas. 101, 2 Johns. R. 382, 8 W. & S. 135, 2 Murph. 67,
4 Mont. 370. Privies in blood, privies in estate, and privies in law, are
bound by, and may take advantage of estoppels. Co. Litt. 352, 2 Serg. &
Rawle, 509, 6 Day, R. 88. See the following cases relating to estoppels by,
Matter of record: 4 Mass. R. 625, 10 Mass. R. 155, Munf. R. 466, 3 East, R.
354, 2 Barn. & Ald. 362, 971, 17 Mass. R. 365, Gilm. R. 235, 5 Esp. R. 58,
1 Show. 47, 3 East, R. 346. Matter of writing: 12 Johns. R. 347, 5 Mass. R.
395, Id. 286, 6 Mass. R. 421, 3 John. Cas. 174, 5 John. R. 489, 2 Caines
R. 320, 3 Johns. R. 331, 14 Johns. R. 193, Id. 224, 17 Johns. R. 161,
Willes, R. 9, 25, 6 Binn. R. 59, 1 Call, R. 429, 6 Munf. R. 120, 1 Esp. R.
89, Id. 159, Id. 217, 1 Mass. R. 219. Matter in pays: 4 Mass. R. 181, Id.
273 15 Mass. R. 18, 2 Bl. R. 1259, 1 T. R. 760, n., 3 T. R. 14, 6 T. R. 62,
4 Munf. 124, 6 Esp. R. 20, 2 Ves. 236, 2 Camp. R. 844, 1 Stark. R. 192. And
see, in general, 10 Vin. Abr. 420, tit. Estoppel, Bac. Abr. Pleas, 111,
Com. Dig. Estoppel, Id. Pleader, S 5, Arch. Civ. Pl. 218, Doct. Pl. 255,
Stark. Ev. pt. 2, p. 206, 302, pt. 4, p. 30, 2 Smiths Lead. Cas. 417-460.
Vide Term.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition