Action ex contractu – a personal action arising out of a contract

ex contractu:
[Latin ‘from a contract]


1. Arising from a contract<action ex contractu>.

1. Arising out of a contract; founded upon a contract, as an obligation ex contractu, or an action ex contractu.  See 3 Bl Comm 117.
See quasi ex contractu. [2]

action ex contractu:

1. A personal action arising out of a contract. [1]

     Excerpt from Edwin E. Bryant’s The Law of Pleading Under the Codes of Civil Procedure (2d ed. 1899):

     “Actions ex contractu were somewhat illogically classified thus: covenant, debt, assumpslt, detinue, and account.  The action of covenant lay where the party claimed damages for a breach of contract or promise under seal.  The writ of debt lay for the recovery of a debt; that is, a liquidated or certain sum of money alleged to be due from defendant to plaintiff.  The writ of detinue was the ancient remedy where the plaintiff claimed the specific recovery of goods, chattels, deeds, or writings detained from him.  This remedy fell into disuse by reason of the unsatisfactory mode of trial of ‘wager of law,’ which the defendant could claim; and recourse was had to the action of replevin.  In the American States an action of replevin founded upon statute provisions is almost universally the remedy for the recovery of specific personal property. [3]

action en declaration de simulation:

1. Louisiana law. An action to void a contract.  See simulated contract under CONTRACT. [1]


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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]: Edwin E. Bryant, The Law of Pleading Under the Codes of Civil Procedure 5 (2d ed. 1899).

To be Added:

[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.


Back to Types of Civil Actions

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Legal Precepts Adopted (from Europe) into The U.S. Constitution

§ § of Law Embedded into the Constitution Pursuant to the American Revolution

Indian Country Law

Civil Proceedings (Torts) Self-Help

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Federal Rules of Procedure

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