Burden Of Proof

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Burden Of Proof

Meaning of Burden Of Proof

A necessity to prove affirmatively the truth of facts alleged by a litigant by preponderance of evidence . In a civil trial , as a normal rule, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff and it is his obligation to present to the court a preponderance of evidence in his favour. In this sense the burden of proof” does not shift during the trial but there is another usage of the term synonymous with burden of going forward with evidence and in this sense the burden can shift from party to party during trial. In Re Zey”s estate , (Fla.) 223 So.2d 42. In a criminal trial, the burden of proof lies with the state with reference to establishing the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt .

Burden Of Proof Alternative Definition

The duty of proving the facts in dispute on an issue raised between the parties in a cause. See 16 N. Y. 66; 1 Gray (Mass.) BOO; 6 Wheat. (U.S.) 481. Burden of proof is to be distinguished from prima facie evidence or a prima facie case. Generally, when the latter is shown, the duty imposed upon the party having the burden will be satisfied, but it is not necessarily so. 6 Gush. (Mass.) 364; 11 Mete. (Mass.) 460; 22 Ala. 20; 7 Blackf. (Ind.) 427; 1 Gray (Mass.) 61; 7 Boston Law Rep. 439.

Related Entries of Burden Of Proof in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Burden Of Proof in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Burden Of Proof in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Burden Of Proof in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Burden Of Proof in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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Burden of Proof Legal Definition

The duty to establish a claim or allegation by admissible evidence. This is usually the duty of the plaintiff in a civil case and always is the duty of the state in a criminal case. (Does not apply to the IRS).

Translate Burden of Proof from English to Spanish

Translation of Burden of Proof, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Carga de la prueba and other legal terms is available here.

What does Burden Of Proof mean in American Law?

The definition of Burden Of Proof in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

This term conflates, and often confuses, several distinguishable jobs that must be allocated in any trial. The first is introducing enough evidence really to inject into a case an issue of some sort, in default of which that issue is deemed not present. If, e.g., fraud is pleaded by the defendant in a contract action, but he puts in no evidence of fraud, he has not met this burden (sometimes called the “burden of coming forward”), and the issue, so to speak, disappears.

Closely allied, however, is what is sometimes called the “burden of evidence” or “burden of producing evidence” or “duty to make a prima facie case.” This involves producing enough evidence such that the judge will let the issue go to the jury for determination, unless the opponent”s evidence is overwhelming.

It is understandable that these various meanings of burden of proof tend to get confused. Most frequently one with the burden of persuasion also has the burden of coming forward and the duty to make a prima facie case, so disentangling the meanings is unimportant. But under some circumstances one party has a duty to come forward, i.e., really to raise an issue, even though the other will have the burden of persuasion once the issue is raised, e.g., a defense of duress in a criminal case. And since “burden of proof” in the sense of “burden of going forward” involves the duty to come up with enough to avoid a judicial (as opposed to jury) determination of the issue, that burden may shift back and forth between the parties as the trial progresses, i.e., at any given moment the state of the evidence may be such that, absent new evidence produced by one party, the judge will find against him without submitting the question to the jury.


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English Spanish Translation of Burden of proof

Carga o peso de la prueba

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Burden of proof) and the Word reference legal translator.

Burden of proof in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of burden of proof.


Legal English Vocabulary: Burden of Proof in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term burden of proof into Spanish: carga de la prueba (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

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See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Burden of Proof

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Burden of Proof : The duty of a party to litigation to prove a fact or facts in issue. Generally the burden of proof falls upon the party who substantially asserts the truth of a particular fact (the prosecution or the claimant). A distinction is drawn between the persuasive (or legal) burden, which is carried by the party who as a matter of law will lose the case if he fails to prove the fact in issue; and the evidential burden (burden of adducing evidence or burden of going forward), which is the duty of showing that there is sufficient evidence to raise an issue fit for the consideration of the *trier of fact as to the existence or nonexistence of a fact in issue.

The normal rule is that a defendant is presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty; it is therefore the duty of the prosecution to prove its case by establishing both the *actus reus of the crime and the *mens rea. It must first satisfy the evidential burden to show that its allegations have something to support them. If it cannot satisfy this burden, the defence may submit or the judge may direct that there is *no case to answer, and the judge must direct the jury to acquit. The prosecution may sometimes rely on presumptions of fact to satisfy the evidential burden of proof (e.g. the fact that a woman was subjected to violence during sexual intercourse will normally raise a presumption to support a charge of rape and prove that she did not consent). If, however, the prosecution has established a basis for its case, it must then continue to satisfy the persuasive burden by proving its case beyond reasonable doubt (See also proof beyond reasonable doubt). It is the duty of the judge to tell the jury clearly that the prosecution must prove its case and that it must prove it beyond reasonable doubt; if he does not give this clear direction, the defendant is entitled to be acquitted.

There are some exceptions to the normal rule that the burden of proof is upon the prosecution. The main exceptions are as follows.

(1) When the defendant admits the elements of the crime (the actus reus and mens rea) but pleads a special defence, the evidential burden is upon him to create at least a reasonable doubt in his favour. This may occur, for example, in a prosecution for murder in which the defendant raises a defence of self-defence.

(2) When the defendant pleads *coercion, *diminished responsibility, or *insanity, both the evidential and persuasive burden rest upon him. In this case, however, it is sufficient if he proves his case on a balance of probabilities (i.e. he must persuade the jury that it is more likely that he was insane than not).

(3) In some cases statute expressly places a persuasive burden on the defendant; for example, a person who carries an *offensive weapon in public is guilty of an offence unless he proves that he had lawful authority or a reasonable excuse for carrying it.

United States Tax Concept of Burden of Proof

A legal doctrine that places the burden of proving an issue on one party or the other. In income tax law it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to prove that his or her tax return is accurate, rather than the IRS having to provide convincing evidence that it is inaccurate. In most cases the burden of proof remains on the taxpayer’s shoulders.

Definition of Burden of Proof

The responsibility of proving a disputed charge, allegation or violation. In civil cases it refers to whether a complainant or the alleged violator (defendant) has to prove on the balance of probabilities whether a violation or breach has occurred.

Meaning of Burden of Proof in the U.S. Legal System

Definition of Burden of Proof published by the National Association for Court Management: In the law of evidence, the necessity or duty of affirmatively proving a fact or facts in dispute on an issue raised between the parties in a lawsuit. The responsibility of proving a point (the burden of proof) is not the same as the standard of proof. Burden of proof deals with which side must establish a point or points; standard of proof indicates the degree to which the point must be proven. For example, in a civil case the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, who must establish his or her case by such standards of proof as a preponderance of evidence or clear and convincing evidence.

Burden of Proof


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