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Scandalous Matter

eq, bill and answer

SCANDALOUS MATTER. In Equity Plead ing. Unnecessary matter criminatory of the defendant or any other person, alleged in the bill, answer, or other pleading, or in the in terrogatories to or answers by witnesses. Adams, Eq. 306. "Impertinent matter which is also criminatory, or which otherwise re flects on the character of an individual." Manhattan Trust Co. v. Traction Co., 188 Fed. 1008. It consists of an unnecessary al legation bearing cruelly on the moral char acter of an individual, or stating matter con trary to good manners, or unbecoming the dignity of the court to hear ; McNulty v. Wiesen, 130 Fed. 1012.

The court has a right to preserve the puri ty of its records ; its proceedings are not to be converted into a machinery for circulat ing scandal. It may strike out allegations which wound the character of one party without being of real service to the other ; Riddle v. Stevens, 2 S. & R. (Pa.) 537.

Matter which is relevant can never be scandalous ; Story, Eq. Pl. 270 ; 15 Ves. 477'; the degree of relevancy is of no account in determining the question; Cooper, Eq. P1. 19; 2 Ves. 24. Where scandal is alleged, whether in the bill ; 2 Ves. 631; answer ;

Botrv.-189 Mitf. Eq. Pl. 313 ; or interrogatories tcr or answer of witnesses ; 2 Y. & C. 445 ; it will be referred to a master at any time ; 2 Ves. 631; and, by leave of court, even upon the application of a stranger to the suit ; 5 Beay. 82; and matter found to be scandalous by him will be expunged; Story, Eq. Pl. 266, 862 ; 4 Hen. & M. 414 ; at the cost of counsel introducing it, in some cases ; Story, Eq. Pl. 266. The circuit court has an inher ent power to strike out scandalous matter on their own motion and in the absence of plead ing, and may order a bill to be struck from its files and to permit the complainant to file a new bill excluding such matter ; Kelley v. Boettcher, 85 Fed. 55, 29 C. C. A. 14. The presence of scandalous matter in the bill is no excuse for its being in the answer ; Lang don v Pickering, 19 Me. 214. Parts of an answer, though immaterial as a defence and scandalous will not be suppressed when in tended to meet charges of bad faith in the bill; Mercantile Trust Co. v. R. Co., 84 Fed. 379.

See IMPERTINENT.