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The ability, capability, or fitness to do something; a legal right, power, or competency to perform some act. An ability to comprehend both the nature and consequences of one's acts.
Capacity relates to soundness of mind and to an intelligent understanding and perception of one's actions. It is the power either to create or to enter into a legal relation under the same conditions or circumstances as a person of sound mind or normal intelligence would have the power to create or to enter.
A person of normal intelligence and sound mind has the capacity to dispose of his or her property by will as he or she sees fit.
A capacity defense is used in both criminal and civil actions to describe a lack of fundamental ability to be accountable for one's action that nullifies the element of intent when intent is essential to the action, thereby relieving a person of responsibility for it.
An individual under duress lacks the capacity to contract; a child under the age of seven accused of committing a crime lacks criminal capacity.
capacitythe ability of a person to effect a legal transaction. The paradigm natural person of full age and sound mind usually has full capacity. Others face limitations from time to time and system to system, such as, for example, the young, the mentally ill and corporations.
CAPACITY. This word, in the law sense, denotes some ability, power,
qualification, or competency of persons, natural, or artificial, for the
performance of civil acts, depending on their state or condition, as defined
or fixed by law; as, the capacity to devise, to bequeath, to grant or convey
lands; to take; or to take. and hold lands to make a contract, and the like.
2 Com. Dig. 294; Dane's Abr. h.t.
2. The constitution requires that the president, senators, and representatives should have attained certain ages; and in the case of the senators and representatives, that out these they have no capacity to serve in these offices.
3. All laws which regulate the capacity of persons to contract, are considered personal laws; such are the laws which relate to minority and majority; to the powers of guardians or parents, or the disabilities of coverture. The law of the domicil generally governs in cases of this kind. Burge. on Sureties, 89.