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A legal obligation that entails mandatory conduct or performance. With respect to the laws relating to Customs Duties, a tax owed to the government for the import or export of goods.

A fiduciary, such as an executor or trustee, who occupies a position of confidence in relation to a third person, owes such person a duty to render services, provide care, or perform certain acts on his or her behalf.

In the context of Negligence cases, a person has a duty to comport himself or herself in a particular manner with respect to another person.

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


n. 1) a legal obligation, the breach of which can result in liability. In a lawsuit a plaintiff must claim and prove that there was a duty by defendant to plaintiff. This can be a duty of care in a negligence case or a duty to perform in a contract case. 2) a tax on imports. (See: duty of care)

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

DUTY, natural law. A human action which is, exactly conformable to the laws which require us to obey them.
     2. It differs from a legal obligation, because a duty cannot always be enforced by the law; it is our duty, for example, to be temperate in eating, but we are under no legal obligation to be so; we ought to love our neighbors, but no law obliges us to love them.
     3. Duties may be considered in the relation of man towards God, towards himself, and towards mankind. 1. We are bound to obey the will of God as far as we are able to discover it, because he is the sovereign Lord of the universe who made and governs all things by his almighty power, and infinite wisdom. The general name of this duty is piety: which consists in entertaining just opinions concerning him, and partly in such affections towards him, and such, worship of him, as is suitable to these opinions.
     4.-2. A man has a duty to perform towards himself; he is bound by the law of nature to protect his life and his limbs; it is his duty, too, to avoid all intemperance in eating and drinking, and in the unlawful gratification of all his other appetites.
     5.-3. He has duties to perform towards others. He is bound to do to others the same justice which he would have a right to expect them to do to him.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The CM, in his message, said that the late Abdul Qayyum was an honest, upright and dutiful officer and prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace.
The IGP lauded the efforts of officers and officials and said that Punjab police was a brave force whose dutiful officers and personnel laid their lives for the safety and security of civilians and established rule of law.
The companion then asked, "And what is next?" to which Prophet (PBUH) replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents-".
As you've been gone for so long The years have flown quickly by As tears stream from my eye Our love was supposed to last forever Now we are no longer together Alone the hurt and pain Makes me feel as I am going insane If I had my time with you again Things between us would not be the same Our love did not last Now it's in a distant past You never knew me at all But I was always at your beck and call My love for you was so deep Now it's been put to sleep You were and always will be so dutiful Witty, intelligent, funny and beautiful I will never forget you If only you knew by Christopher Leggett, Toxteth
Extraction is a dutiful servant to the recently minted formula for young adult dystopias.
and tipped to up support House of have become as dutiful Just a shortish international royal progress behind them and William and Kate, tipped to drum up Queen support for the House of Windsor, have become as boringly dutiful as the Queen, known for her "And where have YOU come from today?" on walkabouts.
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Dutiful Son can make it a hattrick for Jeremy Noseda in the 6 Places At Aintree At BetVictor.com Handicap.
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*** ***And download the Kindle & Nook eBook by Don Canaan and Shawn Graves: "Dutiful Daughter" ($.99) http://DutifulDaughter.com Video: http://tinyurl.com/PromoDutifulDaughter Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/daughter-Kindle
Summary: Author of Second Sex (1949) and Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1958), the French philosopher pioneered the first wave of feminism.