Contract of Record – declared by a court and entered into the court’s record (not a true contract)

contract of record:

1. A contract that is declared by a court and entered into the court’s record.  *  Contracts of record include judgments, recognizances, and (in England) statutes staple. [1]

    Excerpt from Stewart Rapalje & Robert L. Lawrence’s A Dictionary of American and English Law (1883):

     “Contracts of record are not really contracts at all, but are transactions which, being entered on the records of certain courts called ‘courts of record,’ are conclusive proof of the facts thereby appearing, and could formerly be enforced by action of law as if they had been put in the shape of a contract. [2]

     Excerpt from P.S. Atiyah’s An Introduction to the Law of Contract (30 ed. 1981):

     “A contract of record is in point of fact no contract at all, and has nothing whatever to do with the law of contracts.  These so-called contracts are the obligations incurred by a judgment or recognizance of a Court of Record. They come to be called contracts only because they were enforceable by the same type of action as was used for genuinely contractual cases in the old common law system of procedure. [3]


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

[2]: 1 Stewart Rapalje & Robert L. Lawrence, A Dictionary of American and English Law 282 (1883).

[3]: P.S. Atiyah, An Introduction to the Law of Contract 31 (30 ed. 1981).


Back to Contract Law and Types of Contracts

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