burden of proof

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Burden of Proof

The obligations one party must meet to prove a fact in court. The party holding the burden of proof in a case must back each of his/her assertions with evidence for them to be legally acceptable. In a criminal case, the burden of proof rests with the prosecutor; in a civil case, it resides with the plaintiff. See also: Beyond a reasonable doubt, Preponderance of evidence.

burden of proof

In court, the responsibility to come forward with credible evidence that a thing happened or did not happen.Normally,the party who complains about a wrongdoing has the burden of proof. In some circumstances, primarily under federal laws related to discrimination, the aggrieved party need only make an allegation of wrongful behavior and the defendant has the burden of proof that his or her behavior was reasonable under the circumstances.The burden of proof may be set at different levels for various types of litigation. For example:

• When contesting a property tax valuation, the owner must generally prove that the assessment was manifestly excessive, clearly erroneous, or confiscatory. This burden of proof is very high, much more than required to show the assessment was simply inaccurate.

• Housing discrimination cases involve a three-step process that moves the burden of proof back and forth. Under what is called the McDonnell Douglas test, plaintiffs have the burden of showing they are a member of a protected minority; they applied for and were qualified to rent or purchase property; and they were rejected and the housing or rental opportunity remained available afterward. That creates a presumption of discrimination, which shifts the burden to the defendants to prove they had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for their actions. If successful, the burden shifts back to the plaintiffs to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning, “more likely than not”) that the offered reason was a pretext and there really was a discriminatory purpose.

References in periodicals archive ?
for most civil issues, clear and convincing evidence is often required
In its decision, the Court focused solely on the Federal Circuit's interpretation that the presumption of validity requires proof by clear and convincing evidence and ignored the fundamental logic behind the presumption of patent validity--that the PTO had examined the patent properly.
On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the final order, reasoning that when an agency seeks to revoke an existing license based on violations of statutory prohibitions, the agency must prove the violations by clear and convincing evidence.
121) Justice Stevens concluded this section with the observation that in cases where the defendant is more likely than not incompetent but does not quite meet the standard of clear and convincing evidence, the defendant's "fundamental right to be tried only while competent outweighs the State's interest in the efficient operation of its criminal justice system.
Ohio: Beginning with the 1999 tax year, all corporations are required to add back to Federal taxable income interest and intangible expenses/costs paid to specified related members, unless the corporation: (1) establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the adjustments are unreasonable; (2) establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that, during the same tax year, the related member paid or accrued the expense to an unrelated person and the transaction did not have as a principal purpose the avoidance of tax; or (3) agrees in writing with the commissioner to the use of alternative adjustments; see HB 215, Laws 1997; Ohio Rev.
The Maryland statute also required a plaintiff to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the harm was the result of actual malice or fraud before punitive damages could be awarded and required a separate trial on punitive damages issues.
Because reasonable cause existed for failing to report the bonus, the employer is treated as having clear and convincing evidence of its intent to provide the bonus as compensation for services when paid.
The judgment is binding whether it was based on the preponderance of evidence standard of proof or the clear and convincing evidence standard of proof.