penalty

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Penalty

A punitive measure that the law imposes for the performance of an act that is proscribed, or for the failure to perform a required act.

Penalty is a comprehensive term with many different meanings. It entails the concept of punishment—either corporal or pecuniary, civil or criminal—although its meaning is usually confined to pecuniary punishment. The law can impose a penalty, and a private contract can provide for its assessment. Pecuniary penalties are frequently negotiated in construction contracts, in the event that the project is not completed by the specified date.

penalty

n. 1) in criminal law, a money fine or forfeiture of property ordered by the judge after conviction for a crime. 2) an amount agreed in advance if payment or performance is not made on time, such as a "late payment" on a promissory note or lease, or a financial penalty for each day a building contractor fails to complete a job.

penalty

noun amercement, castigation, compulsory payment, cost, deprivation, disadvantage, disciplinary accion, fine, forefeiture, forfeit, handicap, infliction, liability, loss, onus, penal retribution, penance, poena, preecribed punishment, punishment, punishment fixed by law, punishment prescribed by law, reprisal, retributive justice, sconce, sentence
Associated concepts: action for penalty, civil penalty, confissatory penalty, criminal penalty, excessive penalty, penalty clause, penalty for forfeiture, subject to penalty
Foreign phrases: Quod a quoque poenae nomine exactum est id eidem restituere nemo cogitur.No one is commelled to restore that which has been exacted as a penalty.
See also: amercement, condemnation, conviction, correction, damages, disadvantage, discipline, expense, finding of guilt, fine, forfeiture, imposition, indemnification, infliction, punishment, reparation, reprisal, retribution, sacrifice, sanction, sentence, surcharge, tax, trover

PENALTY, contr. A clause in an agreement, by which the obligor agrees to pay a certain sum of money, if he shall fail to fulfill the contract contained in another clause of the same agreement.
     2. A penal clause in an agreement supposes two obligations, one of which is the primitive or principal; and the other, is, conditional or accessory.
     3. The penal obligation differs from an alternative obligation, for this is but one in its essence; while a penalty always includes two distinct engagements, and, when the first is fulfilled, the second is void. When a breach has taken place, the obligee has his option to require the fulfillment of the first obligation, or' the payment of the penalty, in those cases which cannot be relieved in equity, when the penalty is considered as liquidated damages. Dalloz, Dict. mots Obligation avec clause penale.
     4. It is difficult, in many cases, to distinguish between a penalty and liquidated damages. In general, the courts have inclined to consider the sum reserved by such agreement to be a penalty, rather than as stipulated damages. (q.v.)
     5. The sum will be considered as a penalty, and not as liquidated damages, in the following cases: 1. When the parties to the agreement have expressly declared the sum to be a penalty, and no other intent is to be collected from the instrument. 2 Bos. & P. 346; 1 H. Bl. 227; 1 Pick. 45 1; 4 Pick. 179; 7 Wheat. 14; 3 John. Cases, 297. 2. When from the form of the instrument, as in the case of a money bond, it is sufficiently clear a penalty was intended.
     3. When it is doubtful whether the sum was intended as a penalty or not, and a certain damage or debt is made payable on the face of the instrument. 2 B. & P. 350; 3 C. & P. 240. 4. When the agreement was evidently made for the attainment of another object, to which the sum, specified is wholly collateral, 11 Mass. 76; 15 Mass. 488; 1 Bro. C. C. 418, 419. 5. When the agreement contains several matters, of different degrees of importance, and yet the sum mentioned is payable for the breach of any, even the least. 6 Bing. 141; 5 Bing. N. C. 390; 7 Scott, 364. 6. When the contract is not under seal, and the damages may be ascertained and estimated; and this though the parties have expressly declared the sum to be as liquidated damages. 2B. & Ald. 704; 6 B. & C. 216; 4 Dall. 150; 5 Cowen, 144. See 2 Greenl. Ev. 258. 1 Holt N. P. C. 43 1 Bing. R. 302; S. C. 8 Moore, 244; 4 Burr. 2229.
     6. The penalty remains unaffected, although the condition may have been partially performed; as in a case where the penalty was one thousand dollars, and the condition was to pay an annuity of one hundred dollars, which had been paid for ten years; the penalty was still valid. 5 Verm. 365.
     7. A distinction seems to be made in courts of equity between penalties and forfeitures. In cases of forfeiture for the breach of any covenant other than a covenant to pay rent, relief will not be granted in equity, unless upon the ground of accident, fraud, mistake, or surprise, when the breach is capable of compensation. Edin. on Inj. 22; 16 Ves. 403; S. C. 18 Ves. 58 3 Ves. 692; 4 Bouv. List. n. 3915.
     8. By penalty is understood, also, the punishment inflicted by law for its violation; the term is mostly applied to a pecuniary punishment. See 6 Pet. 404; 10 Wheat. 246; 1 Gall. R. 26; 2 Gall. R. 515; 1 Mason, R. 243; 3 John. Cas. 297: R. 451; 15 Mass. 488; 7 John. 72 4 Mass. 433; 8 Mass. 223; 8 Com. Dig. 846; 16 Vin. Ab. 301; 1 Vern. 83, n.; 1 Saund. 58, n.; 1 Swans. 318; 1 Wash. C. C. R. 1; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 323; Paine, C. C. R. 661; 7 Wheat. 13. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
The tax penalty aside, Californians who have a lifechanging event for example, having a baby, getting married, losing their health care coverage because they have changed jobs or moving to another area can qualify for a specialenrollment period through Covered California.
55) Further, civil tax penalty rules often allow taxpayers to claim specified defenses, such as "reasonable cause" or reliance on "substantial authority," that enable them to escape the imposition of these penalties.
The determination was made that the deferred annuity's owner was the "holder" for purposes of applying the exemption to the tax penalty.
After being made aware that Pennsylvania s CHIP Buy-in Plan does not qualify as MEC because it does not meet certain requirement(s), and therefore, families are required to find new health plans for their children, the Wolf Administration moved quickly to persuade the federal government to not only exempt these families from facing any tax penalty for 2014, but also to guarantee that there would be an extended enrolment period to April 15, 2015.
We would note that these amounts equal or exceed the tax penalty for civil fraud (75%).
REITs were not designed to become "dealers" in real estate and Kaplan said there can be a 100 percent tax penalty if certain rules are not followed.
The estimated tax penalty should be converted to an interest charge and a safe harbor should be created for all taxpayers, corporations and individuals.
Forbes' plan also calls for an end to the death tax and the marriage tax penalty.
Care must be taken to ensure that sufficient estimated tax payments have been made for the first and second installment periods so that the taxpayer will not become liable for an estimated tax penalty.
For example, she said, last year the IRS enforced a payroll tax penalty on one-third of U.