act

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Act

Something done; usually, something done intentionally or voluntarily or with a purpose.

The term encompasses not only physical acts—such as turning on the water or purchasing a gun—but also refers to more intangible acts such as adopting a decree, edict, law, judgment, award, or determination. An act may be a private act, done by an individual managing his or her personal affairs, or it may be a public act, done by an official, a council, or a court. When a bill is favorably acted upon in the process of legislation, it becomes an act.

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

act

1) n. in general, any action by a person. 2) n. a statutory plan passed by Congress or any legislature which is a "bill" until enacted and becomes law. 3) v. for a court to make a decision and rule on a motion or petition, as in "the court will act on your motion for a new trial."

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

act

1 the formally codified result ofdeliberation by a legislative body; a law, edict, decree, statute, etc. See ACT OF PARLIAMENT.
2 a formal written record of transactions, proceedings, etc., as of a society, committee or legislative body.
3 in Scottish practice an indication of the lawyer who represents the pursuer.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ACT, civil law, contracts. A writing which states in a legal form that a thing has been said, done, or agreed. In Latin, Instrumentum. Merl. Rep.

ACT. In the legal sense, this word may be used to signify the result of a public deliberation, the decision of a prince, of a legislative body, of a council, court of justice, or a magistrate. Also, a decree, edict, law, judgment, resolve, award, determination. Also, an instrument in writing to verify facts, as act of assembly, act of congress, act of parliament, act and deed. See Webster's Dict. Acts are civil or criminal, lawful or unlawful, public or private.
    2. Public acts, usually denominated authentic, are those which have a public authority, and which have been made before public officers, are authorized by a public seal, have been made public by the authority of a magistrate, or which have been extracted and been properly authenticated from public records.
    3. Acts under private signature are those which have been made by private individuals, under their hands. An act of this kind does not acquire the force of an authentic act, by being registered in the office of a notary. 5 N. S. 693; 8 N. S. 568 ; 3 L. R. 419 ; 8 N. S. 396 ; 11 M. R. 243; unless it has been properly acknowledged before the officer, by the parties to it. 5 N. S. 196.
     4. Private acts are those made by private persons, as registers in relation to their receipts and expenditures, schedules, acquittances, and the like. Nov. 73, c. 2 ; Code, lib. 7, tit. 32, 1. 6; lib. 4, t. 21; Dig. lib. 22, tit.. 4; Civ. Code of Louis. art. 2231 to 2254; Toull. Dr. Civ. Francais, tom. 8, p. 94.

ACT, evidence. The act of one of several conspirators, performed in pursuance of the common design, is evidence against all of them. An overt act of treason must be proved by two witnesses. See Overt.
     2. The terra. acts, includes written correspondence, and other papers relative to the design of the parties, but whether it includes unpublished writings upon abstract questions, though of a kindred nature, has been doubted, Foster's Rep. 198 ; 2 Stark. R. 116, 141.
     3. In cases of partnership it is a rule that the act or declaration of either partner, in furtherance of the common object of the association, is the act of all. 1 Pet. R. 371 5 B. & Ald. 267.
     4. And the acts. of an agent, in pursuance of his authority, will be binding on his principal. Greenl. Ev. Sec. 113.

ACT, legislation. A statute or law made by a legislative body; as an act of congress is a law by the congress of the United States; an act of assembly is a law made by a legislative assembly. If an act of assembly expire or be repealed while a proceeding under it is in fieri or pending, the proceeding becomes abortive; as a prosecution for an offence, 7 Wheat. 552; or a proceeding under insolvent laws. 1 Bl. R. 451; Burr. 1456 ; 6 Cranch, 208 ; 9 Serg. & Rawle, 283.
     2. Acts are general or special; public or private. A general or public act is a universal rule which binds the whole community; of which the courts are bound to take notice ex officio.
     3. Explanatory acts should not be enlarged by equity Blood's case, Comb. 410; although such acts may be allowed to have a retrospective operation. Dupin, Notions de Droit, 145. 9.
     4. Private or special acts are rather exceptions, than rules; being those which operate only upon particular persons and private concerns; of these the courts are not bound to take notice, unless they are pleaded. Com. 85, 6; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 105.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr McCormack said: "Him taking the vehicle and driving in the circumstances that he did was an impulsive act on his behalf and he simply was not thinking clearly."
It was an impulsive act and an immediate custodial sentence would be catastrophic for him."
She added: "It was an impulsive act and he did what he could to put the matter right."
Chief Gemme said the use of a knife is usually a spontaneous or impulsive act during an altercation.
Their warmly romantic and casually carnal relationship is the most compelling element in "Boy A." But Jack's happily-ever-aftering is cut Short when, ironically, an impulsive act of heroism leads to his exposure.
It seems that a combination of factors came to a head on this particular night--a fight with his sister, a major fight with his father and the fact that he was "tired of being diabetic and [didn't] want to be one anymore." In an impulsive act, Freddie grabbed every available medicine in the cabinet--narcotic pain pills, sleep aids, Tylenol products, even antibiotics--and ingested them in what he said was an attempt to kill himself.
In treating impulse control disorders, clinicians need to identify whether the impulsive act is meeting a need in itself or is acting to satisfy some other primary or secondary goal for the patient, Dr.
It also referred to the inquest and said Shaun's actions were described as "a rash and impulsive act" by the coroner.
Judge Simon Hickey told Foster: "This was an impulsive act, probably influenced by the sad news that your grandmother had recently passed away.
This was an impulsive act. He had never lost his sanity before."