action on the case

action on the case
A common law species of personal action of formerly extensive application, otherwise called "trespass on the case," or simply "case," from the circumstance of the plaintiffs whole case or cause of complaint being set forth at length in the original writ by which formerly it was always commenced.
In its most comprehensive signification it includes assumpsit as well as an action in form ex delicto ; though when it is mentioned it is usually understood to mean an action in form ex delicto. It is founded on the common law or upon acts of Parliament, and lies generally to recover damages for torts not committed with force, actual or implied; or having been occasioned by force where the matter affected was not tangible, or the injury was not immediate but consequential; or where the interest in the property was only in reversion, in all of which cases trespass is not sustainable. In the progress of judicial contestation it was discovered that there was a mass of tortious wrongs unattended by direct and immediate force, or where the force, though direct, was not expended on an existing right of present enjoyment, for which the then known forms of action furnished no redress. The action on the case was instituted to meet this want. And wrongs which will maintain an action on the case are frequently committed in the nonobservance of duties, which are but the implication of contract obligation, duties of requisite skill, fidelity, diligence, and a proper regard for the rights of others, implied in every obligation to serve another. If the cause of action arises from a breach of promise, the action is "ex contractu"; but if the cause of action arises from a breach of duty growing out of the contract, it is in form ex delicto and case. When there is a contract, either express or implied, from which a common-law duty results, an action on the case lies for the breach of that duty. Such form of action no longer exists under Code and Rule pleading.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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  • Action on the case — Case Case, n. [F. cas, fr. L. casus, fr. cadere to fall, to happen. Cf. {Chance}.] 1. Chance; accident; hap; opportunity. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] By aventure, or sort, or cas. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. That which befalls, comes, or happens; an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • action on the case — action on the case: trespass on the case at trespass Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. action on the case …   Law dictionary

  • action on the case — A common law species of personal action of formerly extensive application, otherwise called trespass on the case, or simply case, from the circumstance of the plaintiffs whole case or cause of complaint being set forth at length in the original… …   Black's law dictionary

  • action on the case — See trespass on the case …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • action sur le case — Same as action on the case. See trespass on the case …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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  • trespass on the case — Case Case, n. [F. cas, fr. L. casus, fr. cadere to fall, to happen. Cf. {Chance}.] 1. Chance; accident; hap; opportunity. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] By aventure, or sort, or cas. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. That which befalls, comes, or happens; an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The Negro Family: The Case For National Action — The Negro Family: The Case For National Action, also known as the Moynihan Report was written by then sociologist and later U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and released in 1965. It focused on the deep roots of black poverty in America and… …   Wikipedia

  • Trespass on the case — A Writ of Trespass and Writ of Trespass on the Case are the two catchall torts from English Common Law, the former involving trespass against person, the latter involving trespass against anything else which may be actionable. The writ is also… …   Wikipedia

  • trespass on the case — A common law form of action, otherwise known as case and action on the case, for an injury resulting from a wrongful act other than physical force, or for an injury resulting from nonfeasance or negligence, or for an injury which is consequential …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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