The definition of abstention is the act of purposely not doing something.
1. An example of abstention is when a Congressman chooses not to vote on an issue.2. An example of abstention is refraining from drinking alcohol.
the act or an instance of abstaining
Origin of abstentionClassical Latin abstentio from abstinere, abstain
- The act or habit of deliberate self-denial.
- An abstaining vote or voter: 12 ayes, 10 nays, and 8 abstentions.
Origin of abstentionLate Latin abstentiō abstentiōn- from abstentus past participle of Latin abstinēre to hold back ; see abstain .
abstention - Legal Definition
- The act of voluntarily refraining from taking some action, such as casting a vote or participating in a decision or deliberation.
- A federal court’s act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction while awaiting or deferring to a decision by a state court. In doing so, the federal court retains jurisdiction of the legal issues at hand and may decide those issues if the plaintiff is not satisfied with the state court’s decision. See also comity and relinquishment. Several rationales for a federal court’s abstention are named for the United States Supreme Court decision in which the rationale was first applied. These include:
The refusal of a federal court to consider a challenge to a state’s administrative regulations and proceedings or to review a state court’s decision involving those regulations and proceedings when they involve a substantial or sensitive area of state concern. Burford v. Sun Oil Co. (1943).Colorado River abstention
A federal court’s act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction when there is underway a state court proceeding involving the same parties and questions. Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States (1976).Pullman abstention
A federal court’s decision to await the interpretation of a state law by that state’s court before deciding a federal constitutional question that is dependant upon how that law is interpreted. Railroad Commission of Texas v. Pullman Co. (1941).Rooker–Feldman abstention
A federal court’s declining to consider the argument that a state court judge violates a party’s federal rights for the reason that the proper venue to challenge that judge is that state’s court system. Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co. (1923) and District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman (1983).Thibodaux abstention
A federal court’s act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction to allow a state court to decide difficult issues if importance in order to avoid unnecessary friction between federal and state authorities. Louisiana Power & Light Co. v. City of Thibodaux (1959).Younger abstention
- A federal court’s decision to halt or interfere with a state court’s criminal proceeding unless the prosecution has been brought in bad faith or harassment.
- A federal court’s decision to halt or interfere with a state court proceeding on the grounds that the arguments of the party seeking the federal courts involvement can be raised and fairly determined in the state court. Younger v. Harris (1971).