Definition of Estoppel

“Estoppel” means that party is prevented by his own acts from claiming a right to detriment of other party who was entitled to rely on such conduct and has acted accordingly. Graham v. Asbury, 112 Ariz. 184, 540 P.2d 656, 658. An estoppel arises when one is concluded and forbidden by law to speak against his own act or deed. Gural v. Engle, 128 N.J.L. 252, 25 A.2d 257, 261. An inconsistent position, attitude or course of conduct may not be adopted to loss or injury of another. Brand v. Farmers Mut. Protective Ass’n of Texas, Tex.Civ. App., 95 S.W.2d 994, 997. See Restatement, Agency, Second § 8B.

Estoppel is a bar or impediment which precludes allegation or denial of a certain fact or state of facts, in consequence of previous allegation or denial or conduct or admission, or in consequence of a final adjudication of the matter in a court of law. It operates to put party entitled to its benefits in same position as if thing represented were true. May v. City of Kearney, 145 Neb. 475, 17 N.W.2d 448, 458. Under law of “estoppel” where one of two innocent persons must suffer, he whose act occasioned loss must bear it. Buxbaum v. Assicurazioni Generali, 175 Misc. 785, 25 N.Y.S.2d 357, 360; Sackenreuther v. Winston, Tex.Civ.App., 137 S.W.2d 93, 96. Elements or essentials of estoppel include change of position of parties so that party against whom estoppel is invoked has received a profit or benefit or party invoking estoppel has changed his position to his detriment.

Estoppel is or may be based on acceptance of benefits, Rhodus v. Geatley, 347 Mo. 397, 147 S.W.2d 631, 637, 638, 639; Harjo v. Johnston, 187 Okl. 561, 104 P.2d 985, 992, 998; actual or constructive fraudulent conduct, Peterson v. Hudson Ins. Co., 41 Ariz. 31, 15 P.2d 249, 252; admissions or denials by which another is induced to act to his injury, Wabash Drilling Co. v. Ellis, 230 Ky. 769, 20 S.W.2d 1002, 1004; agreement on and settlement of facts by force of entering into contract, Masterson v. Bouldin, Tex.Civ. App., 151 S.W.2d 301, 307; In re Schofield’s Estate, 101 Colo. 443, 73 P.2d 1381; assertion of facts on which another relies; assumption of position which, if not maintained, would result in injustice to another; concealment of facts, Greer v. Franklin Life Ins. Co., Tex.Civ.App., 109 S.W.2d 305, 315; Rosser v. Texas Co., 173 Okl. 309, 48 P.2d 327, 330; conduct or acts amounting to a representation or a concealment; consent to copyright infringement, whether express or implied from long acquiescence with knowledge of the infringement, Edwin L. Wiegand Co. v. Harold E. Trent Co., C.C.A.Pa., 122 F.2d 920, 925; election between rights or remedies, Mason & Mason v. Brown, Tex.Civ.App., 182 S.W.2d 729, 733; inaction, Utah State Building Commission, for Use and Benefit of Mountain States Supply Co. v. Great American Indemnity Co., 105 Utah 11, 140 P.2d 763, 771, 772; Hankins V. Waddell, 26 Tenn.App. 71, 167 S.W.2d 694, 696; laches; language or conduct which has induced smother to act, Brown v. Federal Land Bank of Houston, Tex.Civ.App., 180 S.W.2d 647, 652.

Estoppels at common law are sometimes said to be of three kinds: (1) by deed; (2) by matter of record; (3) by matter in pais. The first two are also called legal estoppels, as distinguished from the last kind, known as equitable estoppels.

For Acquiescence, estoppel by; Collateral attack; Contract, estoppel by; Deed, estoppel by; Election, estoppel by; Equitable estoppel; In pais, estoppel; Judgment, estoppel by; Judicial estoppel; Laches, estoppel by; Legal estoppel; Negligence, estoppel by; Promissory estoppel; Quasi estoppel; Record, estoppel by; Representation, estoppel by; Silence, estoppel by; and Verdict, estoppel by, see those titles.

Acts and declarations. An “estoppel by acts and declarations” is such as arises from the acts and declarations of a person by which he designedly induces another to alter his position injuriously to himself.

Estoppel by deed. A grantor in a warranty deed who does not have title at the time of the conveyance but who subsequently acquires title is estopped from denying that he had title at the time of the transfer and such after-acquired title inures to the benefit of the grantee or his successors. See also Deed, estoppel by.

Estoppel by judgment. Term means that when a fact has been agreed on, or decided in a court of record, neither of the parties shall be allowed to call it in question, and have it tried over again at any time thereafter, so long as judgment or decree stands unreversed. Humphrey v. Faison, 247 N.C. 127, 100 S.E.2d 524, 529. Final adjudication of material issue by a court of competent jurisdiction binds parties in any subsequent proceeding between or among them, irrespective of difference in forms or causes of action. Mansker v. Dealers Transport Co., 160 Ohio St. 255, 116 N.E.2d 3, 6. See also Judgment, estoppel by.

Estoppel certificate. A signed statement by a party, such as a tenant or a mortgagee, certifying for the benefit of another party that a certain statement of facts is correct as of the date of the statement, such as that a lease exists, that there are no defaults, and that rent is paid to a certain date. Delivery of the statement by the tenant prevents (estops) the tenant from later claiming a different state of facts.

Estoppel in pais. The doctrine by which a person may be precluded by his act or conduct, or silence when it is his duty to speak, from asserting a right which he otherwise would have had. Mitchell v. Mclntee, 15 Or.App. 85, 514 P.2d 1357, 1359. See also Equitable estoppel.

Misrepresentation. See Representation, estoppel by.

Pleading. Pleader must allege and prove not only that person sought to be estopped made misleading statements and representations, but that pleader actually believed and relied on them and was misled to his injury thereby. Stanolind Oil & Gas Co. v. Midas Oil Co., Tex.Civ.App., 173 S.W.2d 342, 345.

Under rules practice in most states, and in the federal courts, estoppel is an affirmative defense which must be pleaded. Fed.R. Civil P. 8(c).

Ratification distinguished. The substance of “estoppel” is the inducement of another to act to his prejudice. The substance of “ratification” is confirmation after conduct.

By ratification party is bound because he intended to be, while under “estoppel” he is bound because other party will be prejudiced unless the law treats him as legally bound. Carlile v. Harris, Tex.Civ.App., 38 S.W.2d 622. See Ratification.

Res judicata distinguished. A prior judgment between same parties, which is not strictly res judicata because based upon different cause of action, operates as an “estoppel” only as to matters actually in issue or points controverted, vttna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Martin, C.C.A.Ark., 108 F.2d 824, 827; Cunningham v. Oklahoma City, 188 Okl. 466, 110 P.2d 1102, 1104. In a later action upon a different cause of action a judgment operates as an “estoppel” only as to such issues in second action as were actually determined in the first action. Lorber v. Vista Irr. Dist., C.C.A.Cal., 127 F.2d 628, 634. The doctrine of “res judicata” is a branch of law of “estoppel”. Krisher v. McAllister, 71 Ohio App. 58, 47 N.E.2d 817, 819. The plea of “res judicata” is in its nature an "estoppel” against the losing party from again litigating matters involved in previous action, but the plea does not have that effect as to matters transpiring subsequently. Fort Worth Stockyards Co. v. Brown, Tex.Civ.App., 161 S.W.2d 549, 555. See Res ( Res judicata ).

Waiver distinguished. Waiver is voluntary surrender or relinquishment of some known right, benefit, or advantage; estoppel is the inhibition to assert it. In insurance law, however, the two terms are commonly used interchangeably. See Waiver.

That's the definition of Estoppel in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of