Forfeiture – a divestiture of property without compensation, in consequence of a default or an offense

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n. (14c)

1. The divestiture of property without compensation.

2. The loss of a right, privilege, or property because of a crime, breach of obligation, or neglect of duty.  *  Title is instantaneously transferred to another, such as the government, a corporation, or a private person.

3. Something (esp. money or property) lost or confiscated by this process; a penalty, fine, or mulct. 5. A judicial proceeding, the object of which is to effect a confiscation or divestiture.forfeit, vb. — forfeitable, adj. [1]

1. A word often used as a synonym of “penalty” but which is, precisely, a divestiture of property without compensation, in consequence of a default or an offense, 36 Am J2d Forf & P § 1; an enforced and involuntary loss of a right. Storm v Barbara Oil Co. 177 Kan 589, 282 P2d 417.

A judicial act, such as the forfeiture of a bail bond or recognizance. Re Wright, 228 NC 584, 46 SE2d 696.

An incident of the old attainder whereby, as a form of punishment for crime, the estate of a convicted felon was extinguished, the . property going to the king. 21 Am J2d Crim L § 616.

An incident of attainder consequent upon the flight of a felon. 23 Am J2d Desc & D § 91. — aka forfeitment. [2]

civil forfeiture (1867) An in rem proceeding brought by the government against property that either facilitated a crime or was acquired as a result of criminal activity.

completed-elective forfeiture (1917) A forfeiture accomplished by the exercise of the will of one of the parties interested, as when a lease becomes voidable upon the breach of a covenant and the lessor then elects to terminate the lease.

criminal forfeiture (1866) A governmental proceeding brought against a person to seize property as punishment for the person’s criminal behavior.

forfeiture by wrongdoing (1976) Criminal law. 1. The loss of a property right (as to a car or cash) by virtue of one’s involvement in crime.  2.A defendant’s intentional or wrongful act of making a declarant unavailable to testify, thereby waiving the hearsay rule regarding the declarant’s statement and waiving the right to confront the witness.

forfeiture of pay (17c) Military law. A punishment depriving the guilty party of all or part of his or her military pay.

potential-elective forfeiture (1917) A situation from which a forfeiture may or may not be accomplished, as when a lease becomes voidable upon the breach of a covenant and the lessor has not yet elected whether to terminate the lease.

real forfeiture (1917) A forfeiture that operates automatically, as when an estate is granted upon conditional limitation and terminates in accordance with the stipulation.

forfeit verb: To lose, particularly in consequence off a default or an offense. 36 Am J2d Forf & P § 3.

Noun: That which is forfeited or lost by neglect of duty, or, in other words a fine, a mulct, a penalty, a forfeiture. State v Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. (Md) 12 Gill & J 399. [2]



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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[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.


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