Definition of CAUSE OF ACTION


CAUSE OF ACTION

By this phrase is understood the right to bring
an action, which implies, that there is some person in existence who can
assert, and also a person who can lawfully be sued; for example, where the
payee of a bill was dead at the time when it fell due, it was held the cause
of action did not accrue, and consequently the statute of limitations did
not begin to run until letters of administration had been obtained by some
one. 4 Bing. 686.

2. There is no cause of action till the claimant can legally sue, therefore
the statute of limitations does not run from the making of a promise, if
it were to perform something at a future time, but only from the expiration
of that time, though, when the obligor promises to pay on demand, or generally,
without specifying day, he may be sued immediately, and then the cause of
action has accrued. 5 Bar. & Cr. 860; 8 Dowl. & R. 346.When a wrong has
been committed, or a breach of duty has occurred, the cause of action has
accrued, though the claimant may be ignorant of it. 3 Barn. & Ald. 288,
626 5 B. & C. 259; 4 C. & P. 127.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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