Therefore, pleading in indebitatus assumpsit
rather than tort would result in payment of the defendant's ill-gotten gains to the plaintiff as if those gains were owed to the plaintiff as a debt.
Before the abolition of the forms of action, much of unjust enrichment was pleaded through indebitatus assumpsit
, which was also used to enforce a great deal of what we would now call contract law.
at 271 ("It is a statutory liability, quasi-contractual in nature, enforceable, if there is no exclusive statutory remedy, in the civil courts by the common law action of debt or indebitatus assumpsit
however, might bring an action of debt (or later, indebitatus assumpsit)
indebitatus assumpsit as prima facie evidence of a debt or implied
Brewster, a colonial Massachusetts decision, a doctor's executor brought a contract action for "a long Doctor's Bill for Medicines, Travel into the Country and Attendance." (168) The patient said the action lay in quantum meruit, not indebitatus assumpsit
, because the parties had not set an exact sum.
evolved from the common law action of indebitatus assumpsit
357, 358 (K.B.) (holding that the inferior court lacked jurisdiction because, in an indebitatus assumpsit
action to recover for the defendant's use of the plaintiff's pond to wash horses, the plaintiff failed to allege that the pond was within the court's jurisdiction); Stanyon v.
could not." (125) Yet they could not adjudge "for the [plaintiff] upon this Decl[aration]." (126) He ultimately decided that because the court gave a judgment "substantially right in law," he could "not say it ought to be reversed." (127) In other cases, the county court permitted defective pleadings in indebitatus assumpsit
, a common action for the recovery of debts arising from everyday transactions such as goods sold and delivered, work done, money lent, and money due by account.