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Giving sufficient legal grounds for a lawsuit; giving rise to a Cause of Action.

An act, event, or occurrence is said to be actionable when there are legal grounds for basing a lawsuit on it. For example, an assault is an actionable tort.

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


adj. when enough facts or circumstances exist to meet the legal requirements to file a legitimate lawsuit. If the facts required to prove a case cannot be alleged in the complaint, the case is not "actionable" and the client and his attorney should not file a suit. Of course, whether many cases are actionable is a matter of judgment and interpretation of the facts and/or law, resulting in many lawsuits that clog the courts. Incidentally, if a case is filed which is clearly not actionable, it may result in a lawsuit against the filer of the original suit for malicious prosecution by the defendant after he/she has won the original suit. (See: cause of action, malicious prosecution, lawsuit)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


affording grounds for legal action.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
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