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

    Constraint or danger, inflicted or threatened and impending, sufficient to overcome the mind and will of one of ordinary firmness. See 94 Am. St. Rep. 411, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    n. Uniawful constraint exercised upon a man whereby he is forced to do some act against his will. It may be either "duress of imprisonment," where the person is deprived of his liberty in order to force him to compliance or by violence, beating or other actual injury or duress per minas, consisting in threats of imprisonment or great physical injury or death. Duress may also include the same injuries, threats or restraint exercised upon the man's wife, child or parent Noble v. Enos, 19 Ind. 78; Bank v. Sargent, 65 Neb. 594, 91 N. W. 597, 59 I R. A. 296; Pierce v. Brown, 7 Wall. 214, 19 L. Ed. 134; Galusha v. Sherman, 105 Wis. 263, 81 N. W. 495, 47 In R. A. 417; Radich v. Hutchins, 95 U. S. 213, 24 L. Ed. 409; Rollings v. Cate, 1 Heisk. (Tenn.) 97; Joan-nin v. Ogilvie, 49 Minn. 564, 52 N. W. 217, 16 In R. A. 376, 32 Am. St. Rep. 581; Burnes v. Burnes (C. C.) 132 Fed. 493. Duress consists in any illegal imprisonment, or legal imprisonment used for an illegal purpose, or thrcats of bodliy or other harm, or other means amounting to or tending to coerce the will of another, and actually inducing him to do an act contrary to his free will. Code Ga. 1882, § 2637. ' By duress, in its more extended sense, is meant that degree of severity, either threatened or impending or actually inflicted, which is sufficient to overcome the mind and will of a person of ordinary firmness. Duress per minas la restricted to fear of loss of life, or of mayhem, or luSs of limb, or other remediless harm to the person. Fellows v. School Dist., 39 Me. 559.
    —Duress of imprisonment. The wrongful imprisonment of a person, or the illegal restraint of his liberty, in order to compel him to do some act. 1 Bl. Comm. 130, 131, 136, 137; 1 Steph. Comm. 137; 2 Kent, Comm. 453.
    — Duress per minas. Duress by threats. The use of threats and menaces to compel a person, by the fear of death, or grievous bodily harm, as mayhem or loss of limb, to do some lawful act, or to commit a misdemeanor. 1 Bl. Comm. 130; 4 Bl. Comm. 30; 4 Steph. Comm. 83. See Metus.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    v. To subject to duress. A word used by Lord Bacon. "If the party duressed do make any motion," etc. Bac. Max. 89, reg. 22.