Preponderance of Evidence

Preponderance of Evidence in the United States

Standard of proof used in civil cases. The preponderance of evidence standard requires that one party to the legal action offer proof that is more persuasive or convincing than the other. The standard demands evidence that convinces the fact-finder—whether judge or jury—that one party’s case is more probable or has superior weight than the case of the other party. A party possesses a preponderance of evidence when he or she provides sufficient proof to overcome doubt or mere speculation.

See Also

Reasonable Doubt (Civil Process) Standards of Proof (Civil Process), 188.

Analysis and Relevance

Preponderance of evidence is not a quantitative standard. Evidence is not measured by numbers of witnesses appearing for one side, for example. Rather, it is a qualitative standard that reflects the believability and persuasive weight of evidence. Use of the preponderance of evidence standard is one of the major differences between civil and criminal cases. In the latter, the more stringent “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of proof is used. This standard requires proof so conclusive that it eliminates all reasonable uncertainty.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Preponderance of Evidence from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Concept of Preponderance of Evidence in relation to Safe Place

Definition of Preponderance of Evidence in this context: The standard of proof that must be used in a school’s Title IX proceedings for resolving complaints of student-on-student sexual harassment and violence. Proof is required indicating it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred.

Meaning of Preponderance of Evidence

In plain or simple terms, Preponderance of Evidence means: Evidence which is even a little bit more convincing. This is the standard by which a plaintiff must prove his case in a civil suit.

Preponderance of Evidence: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Preponderance of Evidence. This part provides references, in relation to Preponderance of Evidence, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Preponderance of Evidence by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Preponderance of Evidence and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Preponderance of Evidence or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Preponderance of Evidence and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Preponderance of Evidence. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Preponderance of Evidence should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Preponderance of Evidence when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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