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CAUSE OF ACTION Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Matter for which an action may be brought. The ground on which an action may be sustained. The right to bring a suit. Cause of action is properly the ground on which an action can be maintained; as when we say that such a person lias no cause of action. But the phrase is often used to signify the matter of the complaint or claim on which a given action is in fact grounded, whether or not legally maintainable. Mozley & Whitley. It sometimes means a person having a right of action. Thus, where a legacy is left to a married woman, and she and her husband bring an action to recover it, she is called in the old books the “meritorious cause of action.” 1 H. Bl. 10S. The term is synonymous with right of action, right of recovery. Graham v. Scripture, 20 Iow. Prac. (N. Y.) 501. Cause of action is not synonymous with chose in action; the latter includes debts, etc., not due, and even stocks. Bank of Commerce v. Rutland & W. R. Co., 10 How. Prac. (N. Y.) 1.


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