Legal Dictionary

estoppel by deed

Definition of estoppel by deed


estoppel by deed (uncountable)

  1. (law) A legal doctrine under which a first party who purports to sell real property that the first party does not actually own to a second party must actually convey that property to the second party if the first party later acquires title to that property.
  2. (law)(archaic) The doctrine that a party is bound to a claim which that party made in order to induce another party to act.

Usage notes

The archaic use of the term is now generally referred to in legal practice simply as estoppel.

See also

Further reading

Estoppel by deed is a doctrine where rules of evidence prevent a litigant from denying the truth of what was said or done.

In the context of real property transfers, the grantor of a deed (generally the seller of a piece of real property) is estopped (barred) from denying the truth of the deed. The doctrine may only be invoked in a suit arising out of the deed, or involving a particular right arising out of the deed.

In contract law this can refer to a representation in the recitals to an agreement. Once the agreement is made, one party may claim that the other party cannot enforce certain rights under the agreement due to representations made in the recitals.


If O conveys property she doesn't own to A by warranty deed, but O later acquires title to that land, then title immediately passes to A.

If O conveys property she doesn't own to A by quitclaim deed, but O later acquires title to that land, then A owns nothing. This is because O passed her interest to A with a quitclaim deed. At the time of the conveyance, her interest was nothing, so she passed nothing.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     lex fori
2.     landed property
3.     lex situs
4.     respondent
5.     default judgment
6.     tort law
7.     living will
8.     lex causae
9.     law
10.     salacious