Estop Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Estop?

v. to halt, bar or prevent.

History and Meaning of Estop

The term "estop" comes from the French word "estopper," meaning to stop up or impede. In the legal context, estoppel is commonly used to refer to a legal principle that prevents a party from denying or alleging a certain fact or state of affairs because that party has previously acted in a way that is inconsistent with that fact or state of affairs. Essentially, estoppel is a legal doctrine that bars a person from adopting a position that is contrary to their own prior actions or assertions.

Examples of Estop

  1. If a landlord accepts rent payments from a tenant after discovering that the tenant has violated a no-pets clause in their lease, the landlord may be estopped from enforcing the clause at a later time.
  2. If a person gives an insurance company false information about a car accident they were involved in, and the insurance company relies on that information to settle the claim, the person may be estopped from later denying any of the information they provided.
  3. If a party fails to raise an objection to evidence during a trial, they may be estopped from raising that objection on appeal.

Legal Terms Similar to Estop

  1. Res judicata: a legal principle that bars a claim that has already been adjudicated.
  2. Collateral estoppel: a legal doctrine that prevents the relitigation of issues that have already been decided in an earlier case.
  3. Waiver: the intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege.