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VOID Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Null; ineffectual; nugatory; having no legal force or binding effect; unable, in law, to support the purpose for which it was intended. “Void” does not always imply entire nullity; but it is, in a legal sense, subject to large qualifications in view of all the circumstances calling for its application, and the rights and interests to be affected in a given case. Brown v. Brown, 50 N. II. 53S, 552.

“Void,” as used in statutes and by the courts, does not usually mean that the act or proceeding is in absolute nullity. Kearney v. Vaugliau, 50 Mo. 2S4.

There is this difference between the two words “void” and “voidable;” void means that an instrument or transaction is so nugatory and ineffectual that nothing can cure it; voidable, when an imperfection or defect can be cured by the act or confirmation of him who could take advantage of it Thus, while acceptance of rent will make good a voidable lease, it will not alter in a void lease. Wharton. The true distinction between void and voidable acts, orders, and judgments is that the former can always be assailed in any proceeding, and the latter only in a direct proceeding. Alexander v. Nelson. 42 Ala. 462.

The term “void.” as applicable to conveyances or other agreements, has not at all times been used with technical precision, nor restricted to its peculiar and limited sense, as contradistinguished from “voidable;” it being frequently introduced, even by legal writers and jurists, when the purpose is nothing further than to indicate that a contract was invalid, and not binding in law. But the distinction between the terms “void” and “voidable,” in their application to contracts, is often one of great practical importance; and, whenever entire technical accuracy is required, the term “void” can only be properly applied to those contracts that are of no effect whatsoever, such as are a mere nullity, and incapable of confirmation or ratification. Allis v. Billings, 6 Mete. (Mass.) 415, 30 Am. Dec. 744.

Void in part, void in toto. Curtis v. Leavitt, 15 N. Y. 9, 90.

Void things are as no things. People v. Shall, 9 Cow. (N. Y.) 778, 7S4.

See, e.g., 7 Ways to Legally Void a Contract


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