ESTOPPEL, pleading. An estoppel is a preclusion, in law, which prevents a man from alleging or denying a fact, in consequence o his own previous act, allegation or denial of a contrary tenor. Stepb. Pl. 239. Lord Coke says, " an estoppel is, when a man is concluded by his own act or acceptance, to say the truth." Co. Litt. 352, a. And Blackstone defines "an estoppel to be a special plea in bar, which happens where a man has done some act, or executed some deed, which estops or precludes him from averring any thing to the contrary. 3 Cora. 308. Estoppels are odious in law; 1 Serg. & R. 444; they are not admitted in equity against the truth. Id. 442. Nor can jurors be estopped from saying the truth, because they are sworn to do so, although they are estopped from finding against the admission of the parties in their pleadings. 2 Rep. 4; Salk. 276; B. N. P. 298; 2 Barn. & Ald. 662; Angel on Water Courses, 228-9. See Co. Litt. 352, a, b, 351, a. notes.
3. Thus, any confession or admission made in pleading, in a court of record, whether it be express, or implied from pleading over without a traverse, will forever preclude the party from afterwards contesting the same fact in any subsequent suit with his adversary. Com. Dig. Estoppel, A 1. This is an estoppel by matter of record.
4. As an instance of an estoppel by deed, may be mentioned the case of a bond reciting a certain fact. The party executing that bond, will be precluded from afterwards denying in any action brought upon that instrument, the fact , so recited. 5 Barn. & Ald. 682.
5. An example of an estoppel by matter in pays occurs when one man Las accepted rent of another. He will be estopped from afterwards. denying, in any action, with that person, that he was, at the time of such acceptance, his tenant. Com. Dig. Estoppel, A 3 Co. Litt. 352, a.
6. This doctrine of law gives rise to a kind of pleading that is neither by way of traverse, nor confession. and avoidance: viz. a pleading, that, waiving any question of fact, relies merely on the estoppel, and, after stating the previous act, allegation, or denial, of the opposite party, prays judgment, if he shall be received or admitted to aver contrary to what he before did or said. This pleading is called pleading by way of estoppel. Steph. 240a
7. Every estoppel ought to be reciprocal, that is, to bind both parties: and this is the reason that regularly a stranger shall neither take advantage or be bound by an estoppel. It should be directly affirmative, and not by inference nor against an estoppel. Co. Lit. 352, a, b; 1 R. 442-3; 9 Serg. & R. 371, 430; 4 Yeates' 38 1 Serg. & R. 444; Corn. Dig. Estoppel, C 3 Johns. Cas. 101; 2 Johns. R. 382; 8 W. & S. 135; 2 Murph. 67; 4 Mont. 370. Privies in blood, privies in estate, and privies in law, are bound by, and may take advantage of estoppels. Co. Litt. 352; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 509; 6 Day, R. 88. See the following cases relating to estoppels by; Matter of record: 4 Mass. R. 625; 10 Mass. R. 155; Munf. R. 466; 3 East, R. 354; 2 Barn. & Ald. 362, 971; 17 Mass. R. 365; Gilm. R. 235; 5 Esp. R. 58; 1 Show. 47; 3 East, R. 346. Matter of writing: 12 Johns. R. 347; 5 Mass. R. 395; Id. 286; 6 Mass. R. 421; 3 John. Cas. 174; 5 John. R. 489; 2 Caines' R. 320; 3 Johns. R. 331; 14 Johns. R. 193; Id. 224; 17 Johns. R. 161; Willes, R. 9, 25; 6 Binn. R. 59; 1 Call, R. 429; 6 Munf. R. 120; 1 Esp. R. 89; Id. 159; Id. 217; 1 Mass. R. 219. Matter in pays: 4 Mass. R. 181; Id. 273 15 Mass. R. 18; 2 Bl. R. 1259; 1 T. R. 760, n.; 3 T. R. 14; 6 T. R. 62; 4 Munf. 124; 6 Esp. R. 20; 2 Ves. 236; 2 Camp. R. 844; 1 Stark. R. 192. And see, in general, 10 Vin. Abr. 420, tit. Estoppel; Bac. Abr. Pleas, 111; Com. Dig. Estoppel; Id. Pleader, S 5; Arch. Civ. Pl. 218; Doct. Pl. 255; Stark. Ev. pt. 2, p. 206, 302; pt. 4, p. 30; 2 Smith's Lead. Cas. 417-460. Vide Term.