act,n.1. Something done or performed, esp. voluntarily; a deed. — Also termed action.
“ ‘[A]ct’ or ‘action’ means a bodily movement whether voluntary or involuntary ….” Model
Penal Code § 1.13.
2. The process of doing or performing; an occurrence that results from a person’s will being
exerted on the external world; ACTION(2). — Also termed positive act; act of commission.“The
term act is one of ambiguous import, being used in various senses of different degrees of
generality. When it is said, however, that an act is one of the essential conditions of liability, we
use the term in the widest sense of which it is capable. We mean by it any event which is subject
to the control of the human will. Such a definition is, indeed, not ultimate, but it is sufficient for
the purpose of the law.” John Salmond, Jurisprudence 367 (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed.
“The word ‘act’ is used throughout the Restatement of this Subject to denote an external
manifestation of the actor’s will and does not include any of its results, even the most direct,
immediate, and intended.” Restatement (Second) of Torts § 2 (1965).
abstract juridical act.Civil law. A juridical act whose validity may be independent of the
existence or lawfulness of the underlying cause. • In some systems, examples include negotiable A
instruments, debt remission, debt ac-knowledgment, and the novation of an obligation. See
act in pais (in pay). [Law French] An act performed out of court, such as a deed made
between two parties on the land being transferred. See IN PAIS.
act in the law.An act that is intended to create, transfer, or extinguish a right and that is
effective in law for that purpose; the exercise of a legal power. — Also termed juristic act; act of
the party; legal act.
act of hostility.See ACT OF HOSTILITY.
act of law.See act of the law.
act of omission.See negative act.
act of the law.The creation, extinction, or transfer of a right by the operation of the law itself,
without any consent on the part of the persons concerned. — Also termed legal act; act of law. Cf.
act of the party.See act in the law.
administrative act.An act made in a management capacity; esp., an act made outside the
actor’s usual field (as when a judge supervises court personnel). • An administrative act is often
subject to a greater risk of liability than an act within the actor’s usual field. See IMMUNITY(1).
bilateral act.An act that involves the consenting wills of two or more distinct parties, as with
a contract, a con-veyance, a mortgage, or a lease; AGREEMENT(1).
conversionary act.An act that, unless privileged, makes the actor liable for conversion.
external act.An act involving bodily activity, such as speaking.
intentional act.An act resulting from the actor’s will directed to that end. • An act is
intentional when it is foreseen and desired by the doer, and this foresight and desire resulted in the
act through the operation of the will.
internal act.An act of the mind, such as thinking.
judicial act.An act involving the exercise of judicial power. — Also termed act of court.
“The distinction between a judicial and a legislative act is well defined. The one determines
what the law is, and what the rights of parties are, with reference to transactions already had; the
other prescribes what the law shall be in future cases arising under it.” Union Pacific R.R. v.
United States, 99 U.S. 700, 721 (1878)(Field, J., dissenting).
jural act (joor-<<schwa>>l). An act taken in the context of or in furtherance of a society’s
legal system. — Also termed jural activity.
“In order to identify an act as a jural act, it must be the kind of act that would be engaged in
by someone who is enforcing a law, determining an infraction of the law, making or changing a A
law, or settling a dispute.” Martin P. Golding, Philosophy of Law 23 (1975).
juridical act.Civil law. A lawful volitional act intended to have legal consequences. Cf.
abstract juridical act.
juristic act.See act in the law.
legal act.See LEGAL ACT.
ministerial act.An act performed without the independent exercise of discretion or judgment.•
If the act is man-datory, it is also termed a ministerial duty. See ministerial duty under DUTY(2).
negative act.The failure to do something that is legally required; a nonoccurrence that
involves the breach of a legal duty to take positive action. • This takes the form of either a
forbearance or an omission. — Also termed act of omission.
negligent act.An act that creates an unreasonable risk of harm to another.
predicate act.See PREDICATE ACT.
quasi-judicial act.See QUASI-JUDICIAL ACT.
tortious act.An act that subjects the actor to liability under the principles of tort law.
unilateral act.An act in which there is only one party whose will operates, as in a
testamentary disposition, the exercise of a power of appointment, or the voidance of a voidable
unintentional act.An act not resulting from the actor’s will toward what actually takes place.
verbal act. 1. An act performed through the medium of words, either spoken or written.
2.Evidence. A statement offered to prove the words themselves because of their legal effect (e.g.,
the terms of a will). • For this purpose, the statement is not considered hearsay.
3. The formal product of a legislature or other deliberative body; esp., STATUTE. • For the
various types of acts, see the subentries under STATUTE. [Blacks Law 8th]