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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 ?
They challenge themselves to live by the moral and professional standard of never off duty, and most believe if this standard is not carried to its fullest, individuals and teams can break down in discipline, morals, and ethics, thereby drawing discredit, failure, or embarrassment to one's unit, Service, country, family, and self.
Gwent Police prosecuted 18 officers caught speeding off duty.
PC Smith was off duty in his own vehicle, with his two children, when he saw two men breaking into a vehicle.
Police officers in Tennessee still possess their full array of official authority even when off duty, the court noted.
Do police brass want this hushed up, lest a random shooter do it again--kill with impunity knowing California cops are disarmed off duty?
"Detail Kommander is the first 21st century solution to the old school process of Off Duty Detail management.
"[Police] disregard whether they're on or off duty and they respond, and quite frankly they're expected to do that; it's the way of life for a police officer."
"It's been an incredibly tough week for police officers and this shows that they are never off duty.
As he was getting away, the off duty police officer, who had his mother in the car at the time, realised what was going on and went after him.
Charter Arms announces the introduction of two new pistols designed for women--the Chic Lady and the Chic Lady Off Duty. In response to customer input, the revolvers are finished in a high-polish stainless steel with a pink anodized frame, and feature a rubber grip, 2" barrel, 5-shot capacity and weigh 13 oz.
I want to book off duty. I didn't finish my shift."