Extrinsic Fraud

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Extrinsic fraud is an act of deception or misrepresentation outside the event itself which deprives the victim of material information or participation. Compare to: intrinsic fraud.

Extrinsic fraud commonly arises in contract disputes and in civil actions. Courts’ ability to cure extrinsic fraud falls within their equitable powers. For example, in Aheroni v. Maxwell, the California Court of Appeals invoked their inherent equity power and found extrinsic fraud where a plaintiff induced the defendant not to contest the action by misrepresenting the facts and falsely promising to settle the action. Other examples from the California Court of Appeals include filing a false return of summons (County of San Diego v. Gorham) or inducing a party not to retain an attorney by representing that they will not sue (Department of Industrial Relations v. Davis Moreno Construction, Inc.). To establish a case of extrinsic fraud, a plaintiff must prove the elements of fraud

[Last updated in November of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]