Non Tenure Law and Legal Definition

Non tenure is an archaic pleading form in a real property action whereby the defendant denies holding the land in question or some part of it.

Non tenure may be either a plea in bar or a plea in abatement. It is in bar, when the plea goes to the tenure, as when the tenant denies that s/he holds of the defendant and says s/he holds of some other person. It is in abatement, when the plea goes to the tenancy of the land, as when the defendant pleads that s/he is not the tenant of the land.

“The plea of non-tenure, although it prays judgment of the writ, is not strictly in abatement; for, instead of giving the demandant a better writ, it shows that the tenant is not liable to the action in any shape.” [Otis v. Warren, 14 Mass. 239 (Mass. 1817)]