Abatement In Pleading
ABATEMENT IN PLEADING, or plea in abatement, was the defeating or quashing of a particular action by some matter of fact, such as a defect in form or the personal incompetency of the parties suing, pleaded by the defendant. It did not involve the merits of the cause, but left the right of action subsisting. In criminal proceedings a plea in abatement was at one time a common practice in answer to an indictment, and was set up for the purpose of defeating the indictment as framed, by alleging misnomer or other misdescription of the defendant. Its effect for this purpose was nullified by the Criminal Law Act 1826, which required the court to amend according to the truth, and the Criminal Procedure Act 1851, which rendered description of the defendant unnecessary. All pleas in abatement are now abolished (R.S.G. Order 21, r. 20). See PLEADING.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)