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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 ?
Variables that impact whether the unused capacity is abnormal and whether unused capacity costs should be expensed in the current period include the ending inventory level, the production divisor/base used to calculate a fixed manufacturing overhead predetermined rate, the deemed normal capacity level for the production divisor used, and the level of fixed manufacturing costs.
"The normal capacity of the company's blending plant is 12,000 metric tonnes per annum.
LIVERPOOL John Lennon airport was operating at around 90% of its normal capacity yesterday.
He said: "We talk about her in a very normal capacity. Like when they're cleaning their teeth - Jade was a dental nurse and they're very aware of that.
Asked whether they still talk about Goody, who died of cervical cancer aged 27, he said: "Yes, in a very normal capacity. They say things like, 'Mummy did this, didn't she?' or 'Mummy had one of those cars!' She's always on their minds.
I would like to know what how they worked out a normal capacity need per head that allows for this variation.
The number of prisoners in England and Wales yesterday rose above normal capacity for the first time.
Required for all inventory costs incurred during fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2005, it states that "unallocated overheads are recognized as an expense in the period in which they are incurred," and that abnormal freight, handling costs, and wasted materials must be treated as "current period charges rather than as a portion of the inventory cost." The standard also requires that "the allocation of fixed production overheads to the costs of conversion is based on the normal capacity of the production facilities."
"Local businesses such as hotels are running at a third of their normal capacity and if the pounds 3m figure is correct then I would say we are about pounds 2m down this year.
There were 873 prisoners in Durham at the end of July - 316 over its normal capacity but within its operational capacity of 921.
American Airlines is reportedly the biggest carrier at the Miami airport and although the airline operates about 500 flights a day from Miami, it said yesterday (25 October) that it would operate about 50% of the normal capacity until aircraft and crews flown out of the airport had arrived back.
THOUSANDS of rail commuters face further misery today as the rail company Silverlink confirmed they will be running at only 20 per cent of their normal capacity.