Issue (legal)

genealogical and legal term referring to one's lineal descendants

In legal use, an "issue" means a point disputed by parties to a lawsuit.[1] Legal issue may also refer to either a person's lineal descendants or a group of securities offered for sale.[2] An issue of law is a question of how a law is applied rather than a question of fact.[3]

Disputed Point


evidence as well as civil and criminal procedure, there are issues of fact. Issues of fact are presented by statements of fact which are each put to a test: Is the statement true or false?[4]

Often, different parties have conflicting statements of fact.[5] These statements are then presented as alternative questions. The justifications are presented by proposing evidence in favor or in opposition. Formally the issues follow the form of "this statement is true and it is true because... (or it is false because) ... ".

The list of issues is the list of the questions the parties request the court to answer. The court's answers usually must be provided before a legally acceptable date and the court should give reason when it decides not to answer any of them. Plaintiffs as well as defendants sometimes do not present their issues according to these due process premises. It is then the court that must decide the probable statements of fact and assume what is in need of legal answers.


  1. "legal issue". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. Issue, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).
  3. "issue of law". Merriam-Webster Dictionaries. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  4. "Fact, Opinion, False Claim, or Untested Claim?". Auburn University. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  5. Iowa State Bar Association, Proceedings of the 1st- Annual Session of the Iowa State Bar Association (Iowa City, IA: Iowa State Bar Association, 1912), p. 220