ac·tion n [Latin actio legal proceeding, from agere to do, carry out, initiate legal proceedings]
1 a: a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense compare special proceeding at proceeding
b: the right to bring or maintain such a legal or judicial proceeding
2: an act or decision by an executive or legislative body of a government (as an administrative agency) or of an organization (as a Board of Directors)
the power of courts to invalidate statutes and executive action s — R. H. Bork
3: a voluntary act of will that manifests itself externally: a mode of conduct

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (performance) noun accomplishment, achievement, administration, carrying out, concrete results, consummation, course of conduct, discharge, doing, effectuation, enforcement, execution, factum, implementation, line of action foreign phrases:
- Non quod dictum est, sed quod factum est inspicitur. — Not what is said, but what is done, is to be regarded.
- Factum cuique suum, non adversario, nocere debet. — A man's own acts should prejudice himself, not his adversary.
- Factum infectum fieri nequit. — A thing which has been done cannot be undone.
- Les lois ne se chargent de punir que les actions exterieures. — Laws do not assume to punish other than overt acts
II (proceeding) noun actio, action at law, case, cause, cause in court, court proceeding, formal prosecution, hearing, hearing on the merits, judicial contest, judicial proceeding, lawsuit, legal action, legal contest, legal proceeding, lis, litigation, litigation of the charges, prosecution, suit, suit at law, suit in law, trial, trial of a case, trial of the issues associated concepts: abatement, action arising under the laws of the United States, action at law, action brought, action by one party against another, action ex delicto, action ex parte, action for a declaratory judgment, action for bodily injury, action for breach of a contract, action for damages, action for deceit, action for disparagement, action for dissolution, action for divorce, action for fraud, action for injury to property, action for liquidated damages, action for misrepresentation, action for money damages, action for recovery of chattel, action for rescission and restitution, action in assumpsit, action in conversion, action in detinue, action in ejectment, action in equity, action in interpleader, action in personam, action in quantum meruit, action in rem, action in replevin, action in tort, action in trespass, action in trover, action of foreclosure, action of garnishment, action on a contract, action on a debt, action on account rendered, action on contract, action quasi in rem, action to quiet title, action to remove a cloud, affirmative action, cause of action, chose in action, civil action, class action, commence an action, consolidation, continuance of action on submitted facts, criminal action, cross action, derivative action, independent actions, joinder of actions, joint action, legal action, local actions, main action, multiplicity of actions, pending action, right of action, severance of actions, stockholders action, third-party action foreign phrases:
- Ex nudo pacto non oritus nascitur actio. — No action arises on a contract without a consideration.
- Cum actio fuerit mere criminalis; institui poterit ab initio criminaliter vet civiliter. — When an action is merely criminal, it can be instituted either criminally or civilly at the outset
- In rem actio est per quam rem nostram quae ab alio possidetur petimus, et semper adversus eum est qui rem possidet. — An action in rem is one by means of which we seek our property which is owned by another, and is always against him who possesses the property
- Actio quaelibet it sua via. — Every action proceeds in its own course
- Secta est pugna civilis, sicut actores armantur actionibus, et quasi, accinguntur gladiis, ita rei (e contra) muniuntur exceptionibus, et defenduntur, quasi, clypeis. — A suit is a civil battle, for as the plaintiffs are armed with actions, and as it were, girded with swords, so the defendants are fortified with pleas, and defended, as it were, by shields
- Remoto impedimento, emergit actio. — The impediment being removed, the action emerges
- Omnis querela et omnis actio injuriarum limitata est infra certa tempora. — Every complaint and every action for injuries is limited within certain times
- Omnes actiones in mundo infra certa tempora habent limitationem. — All actions in the world are limited within certain periods of time.
- In haeredes non solent transire actiones quae poenales ex maleficio sunt. — Penal actions arising from anything of a criminal nature do not pass to heirs
- Actio personalis moritur cum persona. — A personal action dies with the person.
- Ex tupi causa non oritur actio. — No cause of action arises out of an immoral or illegal consideration
III index act (undertaking), award, campaign, case (lawsuit), cause (lawsuit), cause of action, contest (dispute), controversy (lawsuit), course, day in court, fight (battle), happening, hearing, holding (ruling of a court), lawsuit, matter (case), operation, overt act, performance (execution), performance (workmanship), ploy, procedure, proceeding, process (course), prosecution (criminal trial), step, suit, transaction, trial (legal proceeding)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

(1) A proceeding or an action; the right to pursue a lawsuit.
(2) A court proceeding; a lawsuit; a formal complaint brought by one party to prosecute another or demand rights within a court of law.
See also case

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

Another term for a lawsuit. For example, a plaintiff might say, "I filed this negligence action last fall after the defendant, Ms. Adams, struck me while I was crossing the street at Elm and Main."
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 Any behavior, conduct, or series of acts by a person.
2 A civil or criminal judicial proceeding intended to resolve a legal dispute, claim, or accusation.
@ civil action
An action brought to enforce, protect, or redress a civil or private right or to compel a civil remedy; any action brought other than a criminal action.
=>> action.
@ class action
1 An action brought by a person or a group of people as representatives of a larger group who have a common legal claim but are so numerous that it is impracticable for all of them to participate or be joined as individual parties in the case.
2 An action brought against a large group of people who have a common legal defense to a claim that they are all potentially liable for but are so numerous that it is impracticable for all of them to participate or be joined as individual parties in the case.
=>> action.
@ criminal action
An action initiated by the government to punish a person or entity for a crime.
@ damage action
An action seeking an award of money from the defendant for a wrong committed upon the plaintiff.
@ derivative action
1 An action brought on behalf of a corporation by a shareholder when that corporation is entitled to bring an action and, deliberatively or otherwise, fails to do so.
2 An action that is based upon the injury suffered by someone other than the plaintiff. For example, a husband may sue for loss of consortium or services if the defendant injured his wife.
n. Litigation brought by a shareholder on behalf of a corporation against an officer, on the theory that the corporation is powerless to act on its own behalf.
@ in personam action
@ action in personam
=>> in personam.
@ in rem action
@ action in rem
=>> in rem.
@ quasi in rem action
@ action quasi in rem
An action against an out-of-state defendant over whom the state lacks in personam jurisdiction that is commenced by the attachment, garnishment, or other seizure of property owned by the defendant that is located within the state and that is unrelated to the plaintiff's claim.
@ third-party action
An action initiated by a defendant in a civil case against a person or entity who is not a party to the proceeding that is against the defendant and against whom the defendant claims a right of contribution or indemnity, should the defendant be found liable to the plaintiff.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

Conduct; behavior; something done; a series of acts.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

Conduct; behavior; something done; a series of acts.
A case or lawsuit; a legal and formal demand for enforcement of one's rights against another party asserted in a court of justice.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   a lawsuit in which one party (or parties) sues another.
   See also: cause of action, lawsuit

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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