Doctrine of the Last Preceding Antecedent Law and Legal Definition

Doctrine of the Last Preceding Antecedent is a rule of interpretation whereby a court determines that qualifying words or phrases modify the words or phrases immediately preceding them and not words or phrases more remote, unless otherwise it is clearly evident that it refers to a different reference contained there in. For example, the phrase Texas courts, New Mexico courts, and New York courts in the federal system, the words in the federal system might be held to modify only New York courts and not Texas courts or New Mexico courts.

Doctrine of the Last Preceding Antecedent is also referred to as doctrine of the last antecedent.