Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An action at law; a right to sue.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Lat In the civil law. An action or suit; a right or cause of action. It should be noted that this term means both the proceeding to enforce a right in a court and the right itself which is sought to be enforced.
    —Actio ad exhibendum. An action for the purpose of compelling a defendant to exhibit a thing or title in his power. It was preparatory to another action, which was always a real action in the sense of the Roman law; that is, for the recovery of a thing, whether it was movable or immovable. Merl. Quest, tome i. 84.
    — Actio aestimatoria; actio quanti miuoris. Two names of an action which lay in behalf of a buyer to reduce the contract price, not to cancel the sale; the judex had power, however, to cancel the sale. Hunter, Rom Law, 332.
    — Actio arbitraria. Action depending on the discretion of the judge. In this, unless the defendant would make amends to the plaintiff as dictated by the judge in his discretion, he was liable to be condemned. Id. 825.
    —Actio bonæ fidei. A class of actions in which the judge might at the trini, ex officio, take into account any equitable circumstances that were presented to him affecting either of the parlies to the action. 1 Spence, Eq. Jur. 218
    —Actio calumniæ. An action to restrain the defendant from prosecuting a groundless proceeding or trumped-up charge agninst the plaintiff. Hunter, Rom. Law, 859.
    —Actio commodati. Included several actions appropriate to enforce the obligations of a borrower or a lender. Id. 305.
    —Actio commodati contraria. An action by the borrower against the lender, to compel the execution of the contract. Poth. Pret d Usage, □. 75.
    —Actio commodati directa. An action by a lender against a borrower, the principal obj'ect of which is to obtain a restitution of the thing lent. Poth. Pret & Usage, nn. 65, 68.
    —Actio communi dividundo. An action to procure a judicial division of joint property. Hunter, Rom. Law, 194. It was analogous in its object to proceedings for partition in modem law.
    —Actio condictio indebitati. An action by which the plnintiff recovers the amount of a sum of money or other thing he paid by mistake. Poth. Promutuum, n. 140; Merl. Repert.
    —Actio confessoria. An affirmative petitory action for the recognition and enforcement of a servitude. So called because based on the plaintiff's affirmative nilegation. of a right in defendant's land. Distinguished from an actio negatoria, which was brought to repel a claim of the defendant to a servitude in the plaintiff's land. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 324.
    —Actio damni injuria. The name of a general class of actions for damages, including many species of suite for losses caused by wrongful or negligent acts. The term is about equivalent to our "action for damages."
    —Actio de dolo malo. An action of fraud ; an action which lay for a defrauded person against the defrauder and his heirs, who had been enriched by the fraud, to obtain the restitution of the thing of which he had been fraudulently deprived, with all its accessions (cum omnt causa;) or, where this was not practicable, for compensation in damages. Mackeld. Rom. .Law, § 227.
    —Actio de pecnlio. An action concerning or against the peculium, or separate property of a party.
    —Actio de pecnnia constituta. An action for money engaged to be paid ; an action which lay against any person who had engaged to pay money for himself, or for another, without any formal stipulation. Inst. 4, 6, 9; Dig. 13, 5 ; Cod. 4, 18.
    —Actio depositi contraria. An action which the depositary has against the depositor, to compel him to fulfil his engagement towards him. Poth. Du DSp6t, n. 69.
    —Actio depositi directa. An action which is brought by the depositor against the depositary, in order to get back the thing deposited. Poth. Du D6p6t, n. 60,
    —Actio directa. A direct action ; an action founded on strict law, and conducted according to fixed forms; an action founded on certnin legal obligations which from their origin were accurately defined and recognized as actionable.
    —Actio empti. An action employed in behalf of a buyer to compel a seller to perform his obligations or pay compensation ; niso to enforce any special agreements by him, embodied in a contract of sale. Hunter, Rom. Law. 332,
    —Actio ex condncto. An action which the bailor of a thing for hire may bring against the bailee, in order to compel him to redeliver the thing hired.
    —Actio ex locato. An action upon letting; an action which the person who let a thing for hire to another might have against the hirer. Dig. 19, 2; Cod. 4, 65,
    —Actio ex stipnlatu. An action, brought to enforce a stipulation.
    —Actio exercitoria. Am action against the exercitor or employer of a vessel.
    —-Actio families erciscnndæ. An action for the partition of an inheritance. Inst. 4, 6, 20; Id. 4, 17, 4. Called, by Bracton and Fleta, a mixed action, and classed among actions arising ex quasi contractu. Bract, fol. 100b; Id. fols. 448b, 444; Fleta, lib. 2, c. 60, § 1.
    —Actio furti. An action of theft; arr action founded upon theft. Inst. 4, 1, 13-17; Bract fol. 444. This could only be brought for the penalty attached to the offense, and not to recover the thing stolen itself, for which other actions were provided. Inst. 4, 1, 19.
    —Actio honoraria. An honorary, or prætonan action. Dig. 44, 7, 25, 35.
    —Actio in factum. An action adapted to the particular case, having an analogy to some actio in jus, the latter being founded on some subsisting acknowledged law. Spence, Eq. Jur. 212. The origin of these actions is similar to that of actions on the case at common law.
    —Actio judicati. An action instituted, after four months had elapsed after the rendition of judgment, in which the judge issued his warrant to seize, first, the movables, which were sold within eight days afterwards; and then the immovables, which were delivered in pledge to the creditors, or put under the care of a curator, and if, at the end of two months, the debt was not paid, the land was sold. Dig. 42, 1; Code, 8, 34,
    —Actio legis Aquiliae. An action under the Aquilian law; an action to recover damages for maliciously or injuriously killing or wounding the slave or beast of another, or injuring in any way a thing belonging to another. Otherwise called damni injuries actio.
    —Actio mandati. Included actions to enforce contracts of mandate. or obligations arising out of them. Hunter, Rom. Law, 316.
    —Actio mixta. A mixed action; an action brought for the recovery of a thing, or compensation for" damages, and also for the payment of a penalty; partaking of the nature both of an actio in rem and tn personam. Inst. 4, 6, 16, 18, 19, 20; Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 209
    —Actio negatoria. An action brought to repel a clnim of the defendant to a servitude in the plaintiff's land. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 324.
    —Actio negotiornm gestorum. Included actions between principal and agent and other parties to an engagement, whereby one person undertook the transacti9n of business for another.
    —Actio noxalis.' A noxal action ; an action which lay against a master for a crime Committed or injury done by his slave; and in which the master had the alternative either to pay for the damage done or to deliver up the slave to the complnining party. Inst. 4, 8, pr.; Heinecc. Elem. lib. 4, lit. 8. So called from noxa, the offense or injury committed . Inst. 4, 8, 1,
    —Actio pignoratitia. An action of pledge; an action founded on the contract of pledge, (pignus.) Dig. 13, 7; Cod. 4, 24.
    —Actio praejudicialis. A preliminary or preparatory action. An action instituted for the determination of some preliminary matter on which other litigated matters depend, or for the determination of some point or question arising in another or principal action; and so called from its being determined before, (prius, or prœ judicari.)
    —Actio praescriptis verbis. A form of action which derived its force from continued usage or the responsa prudentium, and was founded on the unwritten law. 1 Spence, Eq. Jur. 212.
    —Actio praetoria. A praetorian action; one introduced by the prætor, as distinguished from the more ancient actio civilis, (q. v.) Inst. 4, 6, 3; Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 207.
    —Actio pro socio. An action of partnership. An action brought by one partner against his associates to compel them to carry out the terms of the partnership agreement
    —Actio puhliciana. An action which lay for one who had lost a thing of which he had bona fide obtained possession. before he had gnined a property in it, in older to have it restored, under color that he had obtained a property in it by prescription. Inst 4, 6k 4; Heinecc. Elem. lib. 4, tit. 6, § 1131; Hallifax, Anal. b. 3, c. 1, n. 9. It was an honorary action, and derived its name from the prætor Publicius, by whose edict it was first given. Inst. 4, 6, 4.
    —Actio quod jnssn. An action given against a master, founded on some business done by his slave, acting under his order, (jussu.) Inst. 4, 7, 1; Dig. 15, 4; Cod. 4, 26.
    —Actio quod metns cansa. An action granted to one who had been compelled by unlawful force, or fear (metUs causa) that was not groundless, (metus probabilis or justus,) to deliver, sell, or promise a thing to another. Bract, fol. 103b; Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 226.
    —Actio realis. A real action. The proper term in the civil law was rei vindicatio. Inst. 4, 6, 3.
    —Actio redhibitoria. An action to cancel a sale in consequence of defects in the thing sold It was prosecuted to compel complete restifution to the seller of the thing sold, with its produce and accessories, and to give the buyer back the price, with interest, as an equivalent for the restitution of the produce. Hunter, Rom. Law, 332.
    —Actio rerum amotarum. An action for things removed; an action which, in cases of divorce, lay for a husband against a wife, to recover things carried away by the latter, in contemplation of such divorce. Dig. 25, 2 ; Id. 25, 2, 25, 30. It also lay for the wife against the husband in such cases. Id. 25, 2, 7, 11; Cod. 5, 21.
    —Actio reseissoria. An action for restoring the plaintiff to a right or title which he has lost by prescription, in a case where the equities are such that he should be relieved from the operation of the prescription. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 226,
    —Actio, serviana. An action which lay for the lessor of a farm, or rural estate, to recover the goods of the lessee or farmer, which were pledged or bound for the rent. Inst. 4, 6, 7.
    —Actio stricti juris. An action of strict right. The class of civil law personal actions, which were adjudged only by the strict law, and in which the judge was limited to the precise language of the formula, and had no discretionary power to regard the bona fides of the transaction. See Inst. 4, 6, 28; Gaius, iii. 137; Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 210.
    —Actio tutelæ. Action founded on the duties or obligations arising on the relation analogous to that of guardian and ward.
    —Actio utilis. A beneficial action or equitable action. An action founded on equity instead of strict law, and available for those who had equitable rights or the beneficial ownership of property. Actions are divided into directed or utiles actions. The former are founded on certain legal obligations which from their origin were accurately defined and recognized as actionable. The latter were formed analogically in imitation of the former. They were permitted in legal obligations for which the actiones directœ were not originally intended, but which resembled the legal obligations which formed the basis of the direct action. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 207,
    —Actio venditi. An action employed in behalf of a seller, to compel a buyer to pay the price, or perform any special obligations embodied in a contract of sale. Hunter, Rom. Law, 332,
    —Actio vi bonorum raptorum. An action for goods taken by force; a species of mixed action, which lay for a party whose goods or movables (bona) had been taken from him by force, (vt,) to recover the things so taken, together with a penalty of triple the value. Inst. 4, 2; Id. 4, 6. 19. Bracton describas it as lying de rebus mobilibus vi ablatis sive robbatis, (for movable things taken away by force, or robbed.) Bract, fol. 103b.
    —Actio vulgaris. A legal action ; a common action. Sometimes used for actio dvrecta. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 207.