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A provision in a statute, rule of procedure, or the like, that is a mere direction or instruction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard, as opposed to an imperative or mandatory provision, which must be followed. The general rule is that the prescriptions of a statute relating to the performance of a public duty are so far directory that, though neglect of them may be punishable, it does not affect the validity of the acts done under them, as in the case of a statute requiring an officer to prepare and deliver a document to another officer on or before a certain day.

Generally, statutory provisions that do not relate to the essence of a thing to be done, and as to which compliance is a matter of convenience rather than of substance, are directory, while provisions that relate to the essence of a thing to be done, that is, matters of substance, are mandatory.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

DIRECTORY. That which points out a thing or course of proceeding; for example, a directory law.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Microsoft plans to integrate the Zoomit technology with Active Directory to gather data from directories, address books, databases, and repositories into one metadirectory, with the ability to "push" information on adds, deletes, and changes to the appropriate systems.
DirXML is a metadirectory that uses the extensible markup language (XML) for retrieving and transforming directory data as it moves between directories.
The news comes just a couple of days after Microsoft Corp announced it had acquired Canadian firm, Zoomit Corp for its metadirectory product, Via.
Microsoft Corp, building up for the release of its own Active Directory, declined to join the group, and instead announced yesterday the acquisition of Canadian metadirectory firm Zoomit Corp.