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A provision in a statute, rule of procedure, or the like, that is a mere direction or instruction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard, as opposed to an imperative or mandatory provision, which must be followed. The general rule is that the prescriptions of a statute relating to the performance of a public duty are so far directory that, though neglect of them may be punishable, it does not affect the validity of the acts done under them, as in the case of a statute requiring an officer to prepare and deliver a document to another officer on or before a certain day.

Generally, statutory provisions that do not relate to the essence of a thing to be done, and as to which compliance is a matter of convenience rather than of substance, are directory, while provisions that relate to the essence of a thing to be done, that is, matters of substance, are mandatory.

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

DIRECTORY. That which points out a thing or course of proceeding; for example, a directory law.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The health information network includes both clinical messaging that meets the Meaningful Use Stage 2 transition of care objectives and also a network directory, enabling providers to efficiently locate community partners they need to exchange clinical data with.
The Children's Network Directory has information about County Durham services and organisations which can give help and advice.
Chinese telecomms equipment provider ZTE and Apertio, a subscriber-centric network company, have announced that ZTE has selected the Apertio One-NDS (Network Directory Server) in its new generation core network infrastructure for communication service providers.
One of the most important tools for establishing and monitoring traffic policies is the network directory service, which can store the information needed to create and monitor the policies and provide a single site for administration.
In addition to other Chai products due soon, HP is also crafting a currently unnamed network directory system for Chai, similar to Sun's Jini, but more functional, less proprietary and higher- level it says.

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