Legalese

Your Information Is Criminal! Incompetent! Unchaste!

What does the phrase "libel of information" mean?

|

I just came across the phrase "libel of information" for the first time, and had to look it up. In case you were as ignorant of this as I was, the answer offered by Black's Law Dictionary is:

The complaint or initial pleading in an admiralty or ecclesiastical case.

But as best I can tell from glancing at some of the cases that use the term, it also more generally refers to the initial pleadings in a civil forfeiture case. The term is pretty common in old cases and even appears in some current statutes; but it has recently fallen, as they say, into desuetude—a Westlaw query uncovers only 4 references since 2000.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

NEXT: No Lawsuits for Negligent Lobbying

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I hope the terms “libel of information” and “desuetude” continue to stay in desuetude.

Please to post comments