Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Release Definition:

A with prejudice concession made by a party to give up all claims in regards to an alleged tort or contract.

Related Terms: Waiver, Pierringer Release

The term has three usages in law.

In the law of leases, it is customary to spell the term re-lease and it means to renew an existing lease.

In environmental law, it refers to the escape of a noxious material or gas.

In contract, tort and property law, a release aptly described by Justice Widdifield in Re Donnell:

"In law, release implies a relinquishment or surrender of some claim or interest in property."

In Litts v Pierce County, an estate matter, Justice Petrie of the Washington Court of Appeals wrote:

"A release is a surrender of a claim, which may be given for less than full consideration, even gratuitously."

An example of a form of release is:

"... to release and forever discharge Mr. Doe from any and all actions known and unknown, direct and indirect, which has or may be sustained by the undersigned in consequence of said accident or injury."

In Bowes v Foster, Justice Pollock compared a release and a receipt as follows:

"The distinction between a receipt and a release is the release extinguishes the claim and when, in itself annihilates the debt. But a receipt is only evidence of payment."


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