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An assumption that something is true irrespective of whether it is really true or not. In English legal history fictions were used by the courts during the development of forms of court action. They enabled the courts to avoid cumbersome procedures, to make remedies available when they would not be otherwise, and to extend their jurisdiction. For example, the action of trover was originally based on the defendant's finding the claimant's goods and taking them for himself. In time, it became unnecessary to prove the “finding”: a remedy was granted on the basis only of proving that the goods were the claimant's and that the defendant had taken them.

Subjects: Law.

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