Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Quod Ab Initio Non Valet In Tractu Temporis Non Convalesait Definition:

Latin: That which was originally void does not by lapse of time become valid.

Related Terms: Void or Void Ab Initio

A thing which is void from the start canot be made legal or enforceable. To quote from Justice Ponder, below, a dead thing is dead.

Hence, a void marriage has never been a marriage and cannot be made valid by any event.

A contract that requires one of the contracting parties to commit a crime, or to participate in criminal activites is not enforceable - it is void ab initio - quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalesait - and no amount of subsequent transactions can cure it or render it valid.

This is one Latin maxim that has actually been textually referred to in a statute, the 1954 version of the Louisiana Civil Code as follows:

"Whatever is done in contravention of a prohibitory law, is void, although the nullity be not formally directed.

"Quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalesait.

"That which was originally void does not by lapse of time become valid."

Quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalesaitJustice Ponder of the Supreme Court of Louisiana wrote, in King v Moresi:

"The maxim of law as old as Justinian - quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalesait - that which was originally void does not by lapse of time become valid.

"A dead thing is dead. There can be no resurrection.

"Our (Louisiana Civil Code) speaks prophetically on the subject - §12: whatever is done in contravention of a prohibitory law, is void, although the nullity be not formally directed.

"§1892 provides that is considered as morally impossible, which is forbidden by law, or contrary to morals. All contracts having such an object are void."

Similar, if not interchangeable with the maxim quod ab initio nullum est ratificari nequit (that which is at its origin void, cannot be ratified).1

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