Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Voidable Definition:

A legal entitlement, such as a contract, that is extinguishable at the option of a party.

Related Terms: Void or Void Ab Initio, Ab Initio

The law distinguishes between contracts which are void and those which are voidable.

Some contracts have such a latent defect, some vitiating element, that they are said to have never been good,  void (see Legal Definition of Void).

Other have more minor defects to them and are voidable at the option of the party victimized by the defect.

For example, contracts signed by a person when they are totally drunk are voidable by that person upon recovering sobriety.

In Re American Lodging, Justice Robert Grant of the United States Bankruptcy Court noted:

"An act which is completely void, or void ab initio, has no validity and can be challenged by anyone at any time.

"An act which is simply voidable, however, is valid unless and until it is undone at the behest of someone who has a legitimate interest in doing so. "

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