Utile per inutile non vitiatur

Utile per inutile non vitiatur mans that what is useful is not vitiated by the useless. And the origin is from Latin.


Utile per inutile non vitiatur is well settled as a general rule of pleading, in criminal as well as civil cases, that mere surplusage will not vitiate.  This maxim means one which is otherwise useful is not rendered invalid by a useless one.


A deed or any instrument in writing, which is otherwise valid and effective, cannot be invalidated by a useless addition to it. 

Case References

Suber v. Fountain, 259 SE 2d 685 (1979)

“The canon utile per inutile non vitiatur – surplusage does not spoil the remaining part if that is good in itself … is relevant for the verdict complained of was $40,000 civil fine for punitive damages. The jury did not award a civil fine and punitive damages. They awarded a civil fine for punitive damages. Thus, the words civil fine is surplusage as they were used to describe punitive damages which the jury was authorized to award if they found aggravating circumstances. With the surplusage omitted the verdicts not subject to the objection made.”

Statler v. United States, 1895 SCC OnLine US SC 102

In this case, the rule is thus stated: ‘If the jury gives a verdict of the whole issue and of more, that which is more is surplusage, and shall not stay the judgment, for. this maxim.

Author: Shubham siwach

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