\mˈɛɹɪts], \mˈɛɹɪts], \m_ˈɛ_ɹ_ɪ_t_s]\
Definitions of MERITS
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In practice. Matter of substance in law, as distinguished from matter of mere form; a substantial ground of defense in law. A defendant is said â€œto swear to meritsâ€ or â€œto make affidavit of meritsâ€ when he makes affidavit that he has a good and sufficient or substantial defense to the action on the merits. 3 Chit. Gen. Pr. 543, 544. â€œMerits,â€ in this application of it, has the technical sense of merits in law, and is not confined to a strictly moral and conscientious defense. Id. 545; 1 Burrill, Pr. 214; Rahn v. Gunnison, 12 Wis. 529; Bolton v. Donovan, 9 N. D. 575, 84 N. W. 357; Ordway v. Boston & M. R. Co., 69 N. H. 429, 45 Atl. 243; Blakely v. Frazier, 11 S. C. 134; Rogers v. Rogers, 37 W. Va. 407, 16 S. E. 633; Oatman v. Bond, 15 Wis. 26. As used in the New York Code of Procedure, 5 340, it has been held to mean â€œthe strict legal rights of the parties, as contradistinguished from those mere questions of practice which every court regulates for itself, and from all matters which depend upon the discretion or favor of the court.â€ St. Johns v. West, 4 IIow. Prac. (N. Y.) 332. A â€œdefense upon the meritsâ€ is one which depends upon the inherent justice of the defendantâ€™s contention, as shown by the substantial facts of the case, as distinguished from one which rests upon technical objections or some collateral matter. Thus there may be a good defense growing out of an error in the plaintiffâ€™s pleadings, but there is not a defense upon the merits unless the real nature of the transaction in controversy shows the defendant to be in the right.
By Henry Campbell Black