On the Merits Law and Legal Definition

On the Merits refers to a judgment, decision or ruling of a court based upon the facts presented in evidence and the law applied to that evidence. A judge is said to decide a case "on the merits" when he/she bases the decision on the fundamental issues and considers technical and procedural defenses as either inconsequential. A judgment or decision on merits is treated as the ultimate decision rendered by a court in an action that concludes the status of legal rights contested in a controversy.