Severance Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Severance?

(n)Severnce is separation of depended but severable law suits by an order issued by the court. For example conductance of separate trials for different offences made by an accused

History and Meaning of Severance

Severance in legal terms implies separating or dividing legal claims or issues that are dependent on each other but capable of being resolved independently. The court may issue an order for severance in order to conduct separate trials for different offenses made by the accused, or if two or more claims arise from the same set of operative facts. The purpose of the severance is to provide clarity to the issues presented in the court and ensure a fair trial.

Examples of Severance

  1. In a court case where the defendant was charged with multiple offenses, severance could be granted to conduct separate trials for each of the offenses.
  2. When two or more claims arise from the same set of operative facts, a court may order the severance of the claims to avoid confusion and inconsistency.
  3. In a divorce proceeding, severance may be granted to decide on child custody and property division issues separately.

Legal Terms Similar to Severance

  1. Consolidation: Consolidation refers to the combining of two or more legal actions into one. Unlike severance, which separates related issues, consolidation brings separate legal actions together.
  2. Joinder: Joinder refers to the process of joining multiple parties or claims into a single lawsuit. Joinder is the opposite of severance.
  3. Bifurcation: Bifurcation refers to the separation of a lawsuit into two or more distinct phases. This is different from severance, which involves separating distinct issues into separate lawsuits.