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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.

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


the 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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
While, in our view, this undermines the logic behind a 15-year assumed economic life, we believe there is a risk of generators receiving higher capacity payments for only the first 10 years of the 15-year estimated economic life of new projects.
Analyzing the dependence of costs and capacity usually involves the process of classifying costs as variable and fixed.
Injection capacity: 0.8 to 2.3 oz, rates to 6.5 cu in./sec
Through the closures, UPM plans to reduce 17% of its coated magazine paper capacity in Europe and 12% of its coated fine paper capacity in Europe.
NAS virtualization switches provide the ability to dynamically balance capacity utilization across back end file systems.
* The energy industry in the United States and much of the rest of the world also lacks the capacity to deliver adequate supplies to consumers where they need it.
The total investment for the expansion of motorcycle production capacity in the Asia Oceania region by 2006 is expected to be approximately 30 billion yen.
Two critical components of the leadership institute that supported the expansion of teachers' leadership capacity emerged from the analysis.
This study supports the theory that deficits in DNA repair capacity are associated with higher susceptibility of breast cancer development.
Polyethylene capacity in Asia is expected to increase from 39.87 mtpa in 2018 to 57.10 mtpa in 2023, at an Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) of 7.2 per cent.
* In North America, 35,000 tons of new capacity has or will enter the market (Fitesa, UniqueTex) during 2018 - 2019 preceded by 20,000 tons by Avgol in 2017.
Japan is second in the region with an installed capacity of 49,905 MW.

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