False Representation Law & Legal Definition


False representation means a false or wrongful representation regarding a material fact with the knowledge or belief of its inaccuracy. False representation depends upon the peculiar circumstances and conditions involved in each case. False representation is the most common foundation for actions in fraud and deceit and for equitable relief on the ground of fraud. Usually, false representations can be made by acts, words, or by any of the ways in which ideas may be communicated from one person to another. In addition, a false representation can be made either by an affirmative statement that is itself false, or by concealing or not disclosing certain facts that render the facts that are disclosed misleading. Some jurisdictions mandate that the false representation must be an affirmative statement, while others do not make an affirmative statement mandatory for stating a claim for fraud.

False representations can have a dual role. On one side they may be the basis for an independent action for fraud. On the other hand it can form the basis for an equitable estoppel forbidding the defendant from pleading the statute of limitations against a cause of action for breach of fiduciary relations.