Vestigial Words

Definition - What does Vestigial Words mean?

Vestigial words are words that appear in laws or statutes, but that have lost their meaning for one reason or another.

Generally, vestigial words lose their meaning because as time has passed, changes have been made, or other laws have been passed that make the words irrelevant. Therefore, even if they are included in a law, these words usually don't count for anything legally significant.

Justipedia explains Vestigial Words

It is possible for claims to be made or for cases to be dismissed if they are founded on vestigial words. For example, if a plaintiff makes a claim involving zoning laws from the 1800s that are no longer relevant (because the laws have completely changed), the case could be dismissed for vestigial words.

It is important to be aware of the current law of the land for people who are trying to file lawsuits, and to make sure that the specific law does not have any vestigial words.

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