Nonfeasance

Failing to execute or perform an act or duty required by position/office or law that results in harm or damage to a person or property. The perpetrator can be found liable and subject to prosecution.

For example, if a daycare provider is employed to supervise children and s/he fails to prevent a child from climbing out on a window ledge from which the child falls, the daycare provider could be found liable of nonfeasance because it was her contracted duty to watch and protect the child from harm and she failed to take action when necessary.

Nonfeasance is different than malfeasance, which is the undertaking of an illegal or wrongful act. It also difference from misfeasance, which is legal action performed improperly.

While nonfeasance – the absence of action to help prevent harm or damage – was not originally subject to penalty of law, legal reforms evolved to make it possible for courts to use the term to describe inaction which assigns liability.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • nonfeasance — non·fea·sance /ˌnän fēz əns/ n [non + obsolete English feasance doing, execution, from Anglo French fesance, from Old French faisance act, from fais , stem of faire to do, from Latin facere]: the failure or omission to do something that should be …   Law dictionary

  • nonfeasance — non‧fea‧sance [nɒnˈfiːzns ǁ nɑːn ] noun [uncountable] LAW when someone does not do what they have to do by law compare malfeasance, misfeasance * * * nonfeasance UK US /ˌnɒnˈfiːzəns/ noun [U] LAW ► …   Financial and business terms

  • nonfeasance — (n.) also non feasance, failure to do what should be done, 1590s, from NON (Cf. non ) + FEASANCE (Cf. feasance) …   Etymology dictionary

  • nonfeasance — [nän΄fē′zəns] n. Law failure to do what duty requires to be done: distinguished from MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE …   English World dictionary

  • nonfeasance — /nonfiyzans/ Nonperformance of some act which person is obligated or has responsibility to perform; omission to perform a required duty at all; or, total neglect of duty. Desmarais v. Wachusett Regional School Dist., 360 Mass. 591, 276 N.E.2d 691 …   Black's law dictionary

  • nonfeasance — noun Etymology: non + obsolete English feasance doing, execution Date: 1596 failure to act; especially failure to do what ought to be done …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nonfeasance — /non fee zeuhns/, n. Law. the omission of some act that ought to have been performed. Cf. malfeasance, misfeasance (def. 2). [1590 1600; NON + obs. feasance; see MALFEASANCE] * * * …   Universalium

  • nonfeasance — noun a) The intentional failure to perform an official duty or legal requirement. b) The lack of liability associated with the failure to act …   Wiktionary

  • nonfeasance — Synonyms and related words: Sisyphean labor, atrocity, bad policy, breach, crime, crime against humanity, culpa, culpable negligence, deadly sin, default, delinquency, dereliction, disconformity, disregard, endless task, enormity, error, evil,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • nonfeasance — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun Law. Nonperformance of what ought to be done: default, delinquency, dereliction, failure, neglect, omission. See DO …   English dictionary for students

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