Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Non Potest Adduci Exceptio Ejusdem Rei Cujus Petitur Dissolutio Definition:

Latin: A plea of a matter sought from a court, cannot be contradicted by the same litigant.

Related Terms: Estoppel

In a nutshell, a litigant may not present conflicting pleadings.

James Ballentine rendered the maxim as follows:

"A plea of a matter itself the determination of which is sought, cannot be interposed."

In Strother v Hutchinson, Justice Tindal wrote, quoting Francis Bacon, Maxims of the Law:

"It is a well known maxim of law - non potest adduci exceptio ejusdem rei cujus petitur dissolutio - which is thus paraphrased by Lord Bacon: 'It were impertinent and contrary in itself, for the law to allow of a plea in bar of such matter as is to be defeated by the same suit; for it is included: otherwise a man should never come to the end and effect of his suit, but be cut off in the way'."

Non potest adduci exceptio ejusdem rei cujus petitur dissolutioThese are the very words repeated by Herbert Broom in his treatise on Latin maxims, though he adds:

"The above maxim, which is in strict accordance with logical reasoning, may be thus more generally expressed - where the legality of some proceeding is the subject matter in dispute between two parties, he who maintains its legality, and seeks to take advantage of it, cannot rely upon the proceeding itself as a bar to the adverse party ; for otherwise the person aggrieved would be clearly without redress."

William Hughes presented as follows:

"Non potest adduci exceptio ejusdem rei cujus petitur dissolutio: A plea of the same matter the dissolution of which is sought by the action.

"The plea should be responsive to the statement of the cause of action and not present the same matter."


  • Ballentine, James, Ballentine's Law Dictionary (Rochester: Lawyers Co-op. Publishing Co., 1969)
  • Broom, Herbert, A Selection of Legal Maxims Classified and Illustrated, 10th Ed., (London: Sweet & Maxwell Limited, 1939)
  • Hughes, William, The Law Restated. The Roots of the Law, Where they are Found and Best Illustrated in Both the Old and the Latest Cases, the Great Maxims, General Principles and Leading Cases, the Six Leading Subjects in Miniature (1915)
  • Strother v Hutchinson, reported at 2 Jurist 16 (1839) at page 17.

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