Equitable Estoppel Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Equitable Estoppel, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Equitable Estoppel?

n. where a court will not grant a judgment or other legal relief to a party who has not acted fairly; for example, by having made false representations or concealing material facts from the other party. This illustrates the legal maxim: “he who seeks equity, must do equity.” Example: Larry Landlord rents space to Dora Dressmaker in his shopping center but falsely tells her a Sears store will be a tenant and will draw customers to the project. He does not tell her a new freeway is going to divert traffic from the center. When she fails to pay her rent due to lack of business, Landlord sues her for breach of lease. Dressmaker may claim he is equitably estopped.