Nonfeasance – the negligent failure to act when a duty to act exists

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help Walkthrough >>>> Section 1 >>>> Torts >>>> Legal Terms pertaining to Torts >>>> Feasance:

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nonfeasance:
n. (16c)

1. The failure to act when a duty to act exists.nonfeasant, adj. — nonfeasor, n. [1]

1. The failure to act where duty requires an act.

Of public officer: — neglect or refusal, without sufficient excuse, to do that which it is the officer’s legal duty to do, whether willfully, or through malice, ignorance, or oversight.  State ex rel. Hardie v Coleman, 115 Fla 119, 155 So 129, 92 ALR 988.

Of employee: — the failure to enter upon the performance of a duty which the contract of employment imposes upon an employee, Anno: 20 ALR 104 s. 99 ALR 409; the total omission or failure of an employee to enter upon the performance of some distinct duty or undertaking which he has agreed with his employer to do, Hagerty v Montana Ore Purchasing Co. 38 Mont 69, 98 P 643; the omission to do some act which ought to be performed.

A matter of “not doing.”  35 Am J1st M & S § 586.

Of agent: — the total omission or failure of an agent to enter upon the performance of some distinct duty or undertaking which he has agreed with his principal to do. Anno: 20 ALR 104. [2]

1. The failure of a person to act when duty requires him to act. [3]

     Excerpt from W. Page Keeton’s Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts (5th ed. 1984):

     “Hence there arose very early a difference, still deeply rooted in the law of negligence, between ‘misfeasance’ and ‘nonfeasance’ — that is to say, between active misconduct working positive injury to others and passive inaction or a failure to take steps to protect them from harm. [4]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: W. Page Keeton et al., Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 56, at 374 (5th ed. 1984).

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