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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 ?
'Oman is expanding its oil storage capacity to increase crude oil and petroleum products exports from the country.
Soorya Tejomoortula, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, explains: "Oman is expanding its oil storage capacity to increase crude oil and petroleum products exports from the country.
The annual storage capacity of the Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facility will be increased from 2.3 bcm to 5 bcm in 2020.
Additionally, Navigator will expand its storage capacity by over 50,000 bbls to 750,000 bbls.
The massive data of Apple's latest operating system installed in virtually all its mobile devices the iOS 8 takes up a substantial amount of space thus reducing the overall storage capacity by 21%.
The project includes building two reservoirs with a storage capacity of 120 million gallons of desalinated water.
Buckeye Partners LP added the 19 acquired domestic terminals are located primarily in major metropolitan locations along the US East Coast, with approximately 29m barrels of refined petroleum products storage capacity, including approximately 15m barrels of capacity strategically located in New York Harbor.
This expansion includes an additional 4 million barrels of new crude oil storage capacity at Enterprise's ECHO and Bertron facilities and approximately 55 miles of 24-inch and 36-inch pipeline to directly connect ECHO with the major refineries in the Southeast Texas market.
The Khurram Tungi Dam, which is designed to generate 83.4 MW power with a storage capacity of 0.90 MAF water, is in the planning stage.
President American Business Forum (ABF) Salim Ghauri has expressed concerns over diminishing water storage capacity in Pakistan due to lack of political consensus, leading to severe water shortage for the country ahead.