ab·sten·tion /əb-'sten-chən/ n: the staying of the exercise of federal jurisdiction in a case that involves a question of state law or policy which the federal court prefers to have resolved by a state court or agencyBur·ford abstention /'bər-fərd-/: an abstention grounded on the involvement in the federal case of a challenge to the exercise of a usu. complex state administrative functionCol·o·ra·do Riv·er abstention /ˌkä-lə-'ra-dō-, -'rä-/: an abstention grounded esp. on the involvement in the federal case of questions of state concern that are also at issue in a parallel case in state courtPull·man abstention /'pu̇l-mən-/: an abstention grounded on the involvement in the federal case of the interpretation of an ambiguously worded state law whose constitutionality would have to be determined by the federal court◇ A party to a case subjected to a Pullman abstention may reserve the right to return to federal court once the state court has resolved the state law question. Pullman abstentions are the most common type of abstention.Thi·bo·daux abstention /ˌtē-bə-'dō-/: an abstention grounded on the involvement in the federal case of an issue that greatly affects and concerns a stateYoun·ger abstention /'yəŋ-gər-/: an abstention grounded on the plaintiff's invocation of federal jurisdiction for the purpose of restraining an ongoing usu. criminal state proceeding that has been brought in good faith and not for harassment
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster. 1996.
abstainment, abstemiousness, abstinence, abstinence from action, avoidance, elusion, eschewal, evasion, forbearance, holding off, inaction, nonparticipation, refrainment
associated concepts: abstention awaiting the state court's decision, abstention based on deferral, abstention based on state issues, doctrine of abstention
absence (nonattendance), continence, desuetude, temperance
Burton's Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006
(USA) the staying of a federal case because that court considers the issue can better be dealt with by a state court.
Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001.
n.1 The act of voluntarily refraining from taking some action, such as casting a vote or participating in a decision or deliberation.2 A federal court's act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction while awaiting or deferring to a decision by a state court. In doing so, the federal court retains jurisdiction of the legal issues at hand and may decide those issues if the plaintiff is not satisfied with the state court's decision.Several rationales for a federal court's abstention are named for the United States Supreme Court decision in which the rationale was first applied. These include:@ Burford abstentionThe refusal of a federal court to consider a challenge to a state's administrative regulations and proceedings or to review a state court's decision involving those regulations and proceedings when they involve a substantial or sensitive area of state concern. Burford v. Sun Oil Co. (1943).=>> abstention.@ Colorado River abstentionA federal court's act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction when there is underway a state court proceeding involving the same parties and questions. Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States (1976).=>> abstention.@ Pullman abstentionA federal court's decision to await the interpretation of a state law by that state's court before deciding a federal constitutional question that is dependant upon how that law is interpreted. Railroad Commission of Texas v. Pullman Co. (1941).=>> abstention.@ Rooker-Feldman abstentionA federal court's declining to consider the argument that a state court judge violates a party's federal rights for the reason that the proper venue to challenge that judge is that state's court system. Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co. (1923) and District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman (1983).=>> abstention.@ Thibodaux abstentionA federal court's act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction to allow a state court to decide difficult issues if importance in order to avoid unnecessary friction between federal and state authorities. Louisiana Power & Light Co. v. City of Thibodaux (1959).=>> abstention.@ Younger abstention1 A federal court's decision to halt or interfere with a state court's criminal proceeding unless the prosecution has been brought in bad faith or harassment.2 A federal court's decision to halt or interfere with a state court proceeding on the grounds that the arguments of the party seeking the federal courts involvement can be raised and fairly determined in the state court. Younger v. Harris (1971).=>> abstention.@
Webster's New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000.