Acquiescence “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “acquiescence” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

A tacit approval or at least an indication of lack of disapproval. Acceptance, perhaps without approval, as acquiescence in a decision [Stockstrom v Commissioner, 88 App DC 286, 190 F2d 383, 20 ALR2d 443, disapproved on the grounds in Automobile Club of Michigan v. Commissioner, 353 US 180, 1 L Ed 2d 746, 77 S Ct 707]. Conduct from which may be inferred assent with a consequent estoppel or quasi-estoppel [Uccello v. Gold’n Foods, 325 Mass 319, 90 NE2d 530, 16 ALR2d 459]. The position of one who knows that he is entitled to impeach a transaction or to enforce a right and who neglects to do so for such a length of time that under the circumstances of the case the other party may fairly infer that he has waived or abandoned his fight [Scott v Jackson, 89 Cal 258, 26 P 899, quoting Rapalje and Lawrence’s Law Dictionary; see also, Lux v Haggin, 69 Cal 255, 10 P 674].

 

(Bouvier’s)

  1. The consent which is implied given by one or both parties, to a proposition, a clause, a condition, a judgement, or to any act whatever.
  2. When a party is bound to elect between a paramount right and a testamentary disposition, his acquiescence in a state of things which indicates an election, when he was aware of his rights will be prima facie evidence of such election [Vide 2 Ves. Jr. 371; 12 Ves. 136 1 Ves. Jr. 335; 3 P. Wms. 315. 2 Rop. Leg. 439].
  3. The acts of acquiescence which constitute an implied election, must be decided rather by the circumstances of each case than by any general principle [1 Swanst. R. 382, note, and the numerous cases there cited].
  4. Acquiescence in the acts of an agent, or one who has assumed that character, will, be equivalent to an express authority [2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1309; Kent, Com. 478; Story on Eq. 255; 4 W. C. C. R. 559; 6 Miss. R. 193; 1 John. Cas. 110; 2 John. Cas. 424 Liv. on Ag. 45; Paley on, Ag. By Lloyd, 41 Pet. R. 69, 81, 12 John. R. 300; 3 Cowen’s R. 281; 3 Pick. R. 495, 505; 4 Mason’s R. 296]. Acquiescence differs from assent.

 

(Black’s)

Acquiescence is where a person who knows that he is entitled to impeach a transaction or enforce a right neglects to do so for such a length of time that, under the circumstances of the case, the other party may fairly infer that he has waived or abandoned his right [Scott v. Jackson, 89 Cal. 258, 26 Pac. 898; Lowndes v. Wicks, 69 Conn. 15, 36 Atl. 1072; Norfolk & W. R. Co. v. Perdue, 40 W. Va. 442, 21 S. E. 755; Pence v. Langdon, 99 U. S. 578, 25 L. Ed. 420].

  • Acquiescence and laches are cognate but not equivalent terms. The former is a submission to, or resting satisfied with, an existing state of things, while laches implies a neglect to do that which the party ought to do for his own benefit or protection. Hence laches may be evidence of acquiescence. Laches imports a merely passive assent, while acquiescence implies active assent [Lux v. Haggin, 69 Cal. 255, 10 Pac. 678; Kenyon v. National Life Ass’n, 39 App. Div. 276, 57 N. Y. Supp. 60; Johnson-Brinkman Commission Co. v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 126 Mo. 345, 28 S. W. 870, 26 L.R.A. 840, 47 Am. St. Rep. 675].

 

(Webster’s)

ACQUIES’CENCE, n.

A quiet assent; a silent submission, or submission with apparent content; distinguished from avowed consent on the one hand, and on the other, from opposition or open discontent; as, an acquiescence in the decisions of a court, or in the allotments of providence.

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