Inference-on-Inference Rule Law and Legal Definition

Inference on inference rule is a principle that when an inference is based on a fact, that fact must be clearly established and if the existence of such a fact depends upon a prior inference no subsequent inferences can legitimately be based upon it. In short, a presumption based on another presumption cannot be a basis for determining an ultimate fact. This rule was propounded in the case Commercial Credit Corp. v. Varn, 108 So. 2d 638 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1959) wherein the court held “ in civil cases if the proved circumstances justify an inference pointing to an essential fact which inference outweighs all reasonable inferences to the contrary, it can then be said that a conclusion as to the existence of the ultimate fact is justified by the circumstantial evidence. However, the established rule of evidence is that the court cannot construct a conclusion upon an inference which has been superimposed upon an initial inference supported by circumstantial evidence unless the initial inference can be elevated to the dignity of an established fact because of the presence of no reasonable inference to the contrary.”