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.
Other Word Forms of Abstention
Origin of Abstention
Late Latin abstentiō abstentiōn- from abstentus past participle of Latin abstinēre to hold back abstain
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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