ABATEMENT - Black's Law Dictionary

What is ABATEMENT? Definition of ABATEMENT in Black's Law Dictionary

A reduction, a decrease, or a diminution. The Vestris, D.C.N.Y., 53 F.2d 847, 852.

A judgment afforded a defense by way of abatement. Panos v. Great Western Packing Co., Cal.App, 126 P.2d 889, 892.


A reduction made by the creditor for the prompt payment of a debt due by the payor or debtor. Wesk. Ins. 7.


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 cequitas est quasi cequalitas.


The unlawful entry upon and keeping posses- sion of an estate by a stranger, after the death of the ancestor and before the heir or devisee takes possession. Such an entry is technically called an "abatement," and the stranger an "aba- tor." It is, in fact, a figurative expression, de- noting that the rightful possession or freehold of the heir or devisee is overthrown by the unlawful intervention of a stranger. Abatement differs from intrusion, in that it is always to the preju- dice of the heir or immediate devisee, whereas the latter is to the prejudice of the reversioner or remainder-man; and disseisin differs from them both, for to disseise is to put forcibly or fraudu- lently a person seised of the freehold out of pos- session. Brown v. Burdick, 25 Ohio St. 268. By the ancient laws of Normandy, this term was used to signify the act of one who, having an ap- parent right of possession to an estate, took pos- session of it immediately after the death of the actual possessor, before the heir entered. (How- ard, Anciennes Lois des Francais, tome 1, p. 539.)


A proportional diminution or reduction of the pecuniary legacies, when the funds or assets out of which such legacies are payable are not suffi- cient to pay them in full. Ward, Leg. p. 369, c. 6, § 7; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. § 555; 2 Bl. Comm. 512, 513;

In re 'Hawgood's Estate, 37 S.D. 565, 159 N.W. 117, 123. Legacy accepted in lieu of dower. In re Hartman's Estate, 233 Iowa 405, 9 N.W.2d 359, 362.


The removal of a nuisance. 3 Bla. Comm. 5. See Nuisance.

Taxes and Duties

A drawback or rebate allowed in certain cases on the duties due on imported goods, in considera- tion of their deterioration or damage suffered during importation, or while in store. A diminu- tion or decrease in the amount of tax imposed upon any person. Rogers v. Gookin, 198 Mass. 434, 85 N.E. 405 (real estate taxes); Central Na- tional Bank v. City of Lynn, 156 N.E. 42 (Shares in national banks) 259 Mass. 1.

As applied to taxation, it presupposes error or mistake in assessment. Gulf States Steel Co. v. U. S., C.C.A.Ala., 56 F.2d 43, 46.

Abatement of taxes relieves property of its share of the burdens of taxation after the assessment has been made and the tax levied. Sheppard v. Hidalgo County, 126 Tex. 550, 83 S.W.2d 649, 657.

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