Certainty, * pleading. By certainty is understood a clear and distinct statement of the facts which constitute the cause of action, or ground of defence, so that they may be understood by the party who is to answer them, by the jury who are to ascertain the truth of the allegations, and by the court who are to give the judgment. Cowp. 682; Co. Litt. 308; 2 Bos. & Pull. 267; 13 East, R. 107; Com. Dig. Pleader, C 17; Hob. 295. Certainty has been stated by Lord Coke, Co. Litt. 303, a, to be of three sorts namely, 1. certainty to a common intent 2. to a certain intent in general; and, 3. to a certain intent in every particular. In the case of Dovaston.v. Paine Buller, J. said he remembered to have heard Mr. Justice Ashton treat these distinctions as a jargon of words without meaning; 2 H. Bl. 530. They have, however, long been made, and ought not altogether to be departed from.

2. - 1. Certainty to a common intent is simply a rule of construction. It occurs when words are used which will bear a natural sense, and also an artificial one, or one to be made out by argument or inference. Upon the ground of this rule the natural sense of words is adopted, without addition. 2 H. Bl. 530.

3. - 2. Certainty to, a certain intent in general, is a greater degree of certainty than the last, and means what upon a fair and reasonable construction may be called certain, without recurring to possible facts which do not appear; 9 Johns. R. 317; and is what is required in declarations, replications, and indictments, in the charge or accusation, and in returns to writs of mandamus. See 1 Saund. 49, n. 1; 1 Dougl. 159; 2 Johns. Cas. 339; Cowp. 682; 2 Mass. R. 363 by some of which authorities, it would seem, certainty to a common intent is sufficient in a declaration.

4. - 3. The third degree of certainty, is that which precludes all argument, inference, or presumption against the party, pleading, and is that technical accuracy which is not liable to the most subtle and scrupulous objections, so that it is not merely a rule of construction, but of addition; for where this certainty is necessary, the party must not only state the facts of his case in the most precise way, but add to them such as show that they are not to be controverted, and, as it were, anticipate the case of his adversary. Lawes on Pl. 54, 55. See 1 Chitty on Pl. 235 to 241.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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