Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Quasi-Contract Definition:

Civil law: a contract implied and imposed by law resulting from certain actions of a person.

Related Terms: Contract

In civil law, contractual obligations that arise from certain facts.

From the 2009 version of the Civil Code of France, §1371:

"Quasi-contracts are purely voluntary acts of man, from which there results some undertaking towards a third party, and sometimes a reciprocal undertaking of both parties."

In Dominion Distillery Products v R, Justice Maclean of Exchequer Court of Canada wrote:

"A contract is in some cases said to be implied by law, which really is an obligation imposed by law independently of any actual agreement between the parties, and may even be imposed notwithstanding an expressed intention by one of the parties to the contrary; it is an obligation of the class known in the civil law as quasi-contracts."

In Canada v Becker, Justice Berger of the Alberta Court of Appeal adopted these words:

"Quasi contract ... an obligation which law creates in absence of an agreement; it is invoked by courts where there is unjust enrichment ... sometimes referred to as implied-in-law contracts (as a legal fiction) to distinguish them from implied-in-fact contracts (voluntary agreements inferred from the parties' conduct).

"Quasi-contract operates to raise an obligation in law where in fact the parties made no promise.

"Quasi-contract is therefore a notional or fictional contract implied in law and not based upon the intention of the parties."

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