ALLEGATION

allegation, n.

1. The act of declaring something to be true.

2. Something declared or asserted as a matter of fact, esp. in a legal pleading; a party’s formal statement of a factual matter as being true or provable, without its having yet been proved. — allege, vb.

defensive allegation. Eccles. law. A defendant’s response in an ecclesiastical action; specif., a defendant’s pleading of the facts relied upon that require the plaintiff’s response under oath. Cf. primary allegation (2).

“The proceedings in the ecclesiastical courts are therefore regulated according to the practice of the civil and canon laws …. [T]heir ordinary course of proceeding is; first, by citation, to call the party injuring before them. Then … to set forth the complainant’s ground of complaint. To this succeeds the defendant’s answer upon oath; when, if he denies or extenuates the charge, they proceed to proofs by witnesses examined, and their depositions taken down in writing, by an officer of the court. If the defendant has any circumstances to offer in his defence, he must also propound them in what is called his defensive allegation, to which he is entitled in his turn to the plaintiff’s answer upon oath, and may from thence proceed to proofs as well as his antagonist.” 3 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 100 (1768).

disjunctive allegation. A statement in a pleading or indictment that expresses something in the alternative, usu. with the conjunction “or” (a charge that the defendant murdered or caused to be murdered is a disjunctive alle-gation). [Cases: Federal Civil Procedure 675; Indictment and Information 72; Pleading 20, 53. C.J.S. Indictments and Informations § 152; Pleading §§ 72–73, 150.]

material allegation. In a pleading, an assertion that is essential to the claim, charge, or defense (a material alle-gation in a battery case is harmful or offensive contact with a person).

primary allegation.

1. The principal charge made against an adversary in a legal proceeding.

2. Eccles. law. The opening pleading in an action in ecclesiastical court. Cf. defensive allegation.

— Also termed primary plea.

3. Eccles. law. The entire statement of facts to be used in a contested suit.