If you are a student of Law or just doing research on this field, you must have come across the term ‘parole evidence rule’. If you are just starting out, you may have an unclear idea about this legal term. This blog is perfect resource for clarifying all the doubts you may have regarding the topic. Read the information provided below to get a clear idea about parole evidence rule.
What is the Parole Evidence Rule?
The parole evidence rule is codified in ‘California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1856’. This legal rule explains that if a written agreement is duly signed by all the parties concerned, no alteration can be made to it, and also it cannot be withdrawn using oral evidence that can oppose the terms of the agreement. The only exception can be made if there is any mistake or fraud.
Generally, the parole evidence rule does not let any party introduce any prior or contemporaneous negotiation evidence that alters or oppose a written contract’s terms. This is applicable only when the written contract is a full and final expression of both parties’ agreement. However, this presumption that the written contract includes the full agreement between the parties can be denied or refuted. The rule also does not apply if any party seek any rectification in the contract.
Parole Evidence Rule: The Exceptions
There are, however, some exceptions to this legal rule. Some pieces of evidence are admissible under this rule. Followings are the evidence that is permissible in this rule:
The intent of the parties about unclear or vague terms in the contract
An issue with the consideration
Defects in the contract formation
Succeeding alteration of the contract
A previously made valid agreement that is not presented in the written contract appropriately
A condition or situation that took place prior to the contract was made
Any relevant agreement, only if it does not change or oppose the primary contract
Why is the Parole Evidence Rule Important?
This legal rule is necessary because of the following reasons:
The rule helps in enhancing commercial transactions’ finality and predictability by motivating the parties to prepare better contracts.
It also assists in understanding the actual intentions of the parties when the contract is being formed.
Theparole evidence rule helps in decreasing litigation and dispute between the parties regarding the meaning of a written contract.
Application of the Parole Evidence Rule
A state employs the parole evidence rule on the basis of the parole evidence approach it uses. There are many questions that courts examine to decide if any external evidence prevails over the parole evidence rule. These questions are:
Has the agreement been integrated?
Any contract that has been formally documented will be considered as being integrated.
Has the written contract partially or completely integrated?
A partially integrated contract is one, within which each of the related terms has not been included. Any external evidence that is relevant to the agreement will be shown to the jury to decide if the evidence must be allowed to modify the existing contractual terms.
A completely integrated contract is one in which all the related terms have been included. Any external evidence that is considered ‘within the scope’ will be barred as it must have been included while the contract was being created.
The information provided above will help you clear out your concept of parole evidence rule. You can use the above-mentioned details as a reference to write any paper on this specific legal rule.
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