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 >>>> Official Misconduct >>>> 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]

1. The failure or omission dto do something that should be done or especially something that should be done or especially something that one is under a duty or obligation to do. [4]

1. The law of the agency, “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.” 191 N.E. 2d. 588, 591.

Also, it is the “substantial failure  [of an officer] to perform a duty,” 115 N.W.2d 411, 413. or, in other words, the neglect or refusal, without sufficient excuse, to do that which[is the  officer’s legal duty to do.  It differs from misfeasance, which is the improper doing of an act that one might lawfully do, and from malfeasance, which is the doing of an act that is wholly wrongful and unlawful.  See 323 P. 2d 301 309.  See misconduct. [5]

     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. [6]

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]: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law Revised (2011) ISBN 978-0-87779-719-7.

[5]: Barron’s Law Dictionary Third Edition by Steven H. Gifis (1975, 1991). ISBN0-8120-4633-1.

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

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