Preponderance Of The Evidence Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Preponderance Of The Evidence, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Preponderance Of The Evidence?
The level or the standard of the proof that needs to be met for the plaintiff to have a superior position in the case by convincing the judicial officers that the proof or fact submitted is correct and true.
History and Meaning of Preponderance Of The Evidence
Preponderance of the evidence is a legal standard that requires a party to prove the truth of a claim. It is based on the idea that when two parties have presented evidence and arguments, the decision should be made in favor of the side that has the stronger or more convincing evidence. This standard is used in civil cases and it is often referred to as a "more likely than not" standard or "51% standard".
Examples of Preponderance Of The Evidence
A person is suing their neighbor for damage caused by a fallen tree. To win the case, the person must prove that it is more likely than not that the neighbor was negligent in maintaining the tree.
In a child custody case, a judge must determine which parent is better suited to have custody of the child. The judge will consider the evidence and decide which parent has shown that it is more likely than not that they are the better parent.
In a wrongful death case, the family of the deceased is suing the driver of a car for negligence. The family must prove that it is more likely than not that the driver's negligence caused the accident and the death.
Legal Terms Similar to Preponderance Of The Evidence
Clear and convincing evidence - A higher standard of proof than preponderance of the evidence, commonly used in cases where the plaintiff is seeking punitive damages.
Beyond a reasonable doubt - A higher standard of proof than preponderance of the evidence, commonly used in criminal cases.
Reasonable belief - A lower standard of proof than preponderance of the evidence, commonly used in administrative law.