De Minimis Non-Curat Lex | Law Is Not Concerned With Small Things | Justification Of The Doctrine

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De minimis Non-Curat Lex 

 

De- about 

Minimis- very small 

Non-curat - not take care

Lex- the body of law

 

This is a Latin maxim which means: 
`Law is not concerned with small things. This is a legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider unimportant things. Court generally does this to avoid unimportant matters that are not worthy of judicial scrutiny.’

This is a principle of common law that stipulates judges will not sit in judgment of very minor violation of law as it is a complete waste of time and a waste of resources. 

 

Illustrations 

 A promised B that they will go to a restaurant on Sunday, A did not appear B suffered mental trauma, agony, and frustration B sued A for damages. 

Here, Court will dismiss B’s appeal because it is just a waste of time and it is a very minor issue. 

 

 

Justification of the doctrine 

1. it reserves the right to apply criminal law to serious misconduct 

2. protects accused from the stigma of a criminal conviction 

 

Under Indian penal code Section 95

Section 95 Is recognized by this doctrine and it is based wholly upon this. This section ignores minor offenses.

It says that if harm is so slight that nobody in ordinary prudence would complain about it. Its object is to prevent punishment for negligible mistakes. 

 

 

Exception 

Helford v. Bailey 1849 

Plaintiff has the exclusive right of fishing in water in a particular water body and defendants cast the nets and draws a net out of water.

Plaintiff filed it as a trespassing and file petition. 

Court held that though it is a trivial act and still considered it as a tortious act and held the defendant liable. 

 

Conclusion 

This maxim saves court time as this maxim avoids costly litigation and it solely depends upon judicial discretion.

 

 

 

 

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