Exaction “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “exaction” 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)

The excessive or unauthorized taking or collection of moneys as fees or dues by an officer or by a person pretending to be an officer. An excessive demand. An amount demanded and taken without right.

See extortion.

 

(Bouvier’s)

A willful wrong done by an officer, or by one who, under color of his office, takes more fee or pay for his services than what the law allows. Between extortion and exaction there is a difference; that in the former case the officer extorts more than his due, when something is due to him; in the latter, he exacts what is not his due, when there is nothing due to him [Wishard; Co. Litt. 368].

 
 

(Black’s)

The wrongful act of an officer or other person in compelling payment of a fee or reward for his services, under color of his official authority, where no payment is due.

  • Between “extortion” and “exaction” there is a difference: that in the former case the officer extorts more than his due, when something is due to him; in the latter, he exacts what is not his due, when there is nothing due to him [Co. Litt. 368].

 

(Webster’s)

EXAC’TION, n. [The act of demanding with authority, and compelling to pay or yield; authoritative demand; a levying or drawing from by force; a driving to compliance; as the exaction of tribute or of obedience.]

  1. Extortion; a wresting from one unjustly; the taking of advantage of one’s necessities, to compel him to pay illegal or exorbitant tribute, fees or rewards.

  • Take away your exactions from my people, Ezek. 45

  1. That which is exacted; tribute, fees, rewards or contributions demanded or levied with severity or injustice. Kings may be enriched by exactions, but their power is weakened by the consequent disaffection of their subjects.

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