Limited Interpretation Law and Legal Definition

Limited interpretation refers to a restrictive interpretation warranted when an ambiguity cannot be resolved by means of the usual principles of interpretation. A genuine interpretation seeks to determine what a statute means as to a particular situation. However, a limited interpretation is influenced by principles other than those that are strictly interpretive.

“If more than one "plausible" reading of the statutory provision exists, or there are two possible interpretations of "equal likelihood", then court must choose the interpretation that produces the more limited award. If a statute is susceptible to a plausible reading under which sovereign immunity is not waived, the statute fails to establish an unambiguous waiver and sovereign immunity therefore remains intact". [Zatuchni v. Sec'y of HHS (In re Snyder), 2006 U.S. Claims LEXIS 127, 53-54 (Ct. Cl. 2006)]