Negative Pregnant Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Negative Pregnant?

Ambiguiously negative admission of the fact in pleading which makes one understand or implies the positive/affirmative in the fact.Say for instance a thief accepts the fact that he/she has stolen 10000 $ and not 20000$. The fact accepted here is stealing but denying on the amount, is a negative pregnant.

History and Meaning of Negative Pregnant

Negative Pregnant is a legal term that was commonly used in common law pleadings. It means an implicitly admitting a positive fact by denying an alternative fact. This can lead to ambiguity in legal documents as the denial may imply the truthfulness of something else. The term Negative Pregnant comes from the Latin phrase "Negativa pregnans," which means a negative implying an affirmative.

In legal terms, Negative Pregnant was used as an attempt to avoid raising an issue. For instance, if someone is accused of stealing $10,000 and not $20,000, and they admit to stealing $10,000, Negative Pregnant might be used if they say they didn't steal the $20,000. It is a way of admitting to an underlying fact while denying some of the details.

Examples of Negative Pregnant

  1. Defendant: I did not punch the plaintiff in the face.
  • The Negative Pregnant here would be that the defendant may have attacked the plaintiff in another way.
  1. Defendant: I did not steal from the store.
  • The Negative Pregnant here would be that the defendant might have taken something without paying for it.
  1. Witness: I do not remember seeing the defendant at the scene of the crime.
  • The Negative Pregnant here would be that the witness may have seen someone else at the scene.

Legal Terms Similar to Negative Pregnant

  1. Affirmative Defense: a defense raised by the defendant that admits the allegations are true but argues that the plaintiff's claim is still not valid.

  2. Equitable Estoppel: a legal doctrine that prevents someone from denying the truth of a statement they previously made or from acting inconsistently with that statement.

  3. Admissions Against Interest: statements made by a party that are contrary to their interest and can be used against them in court.