Quasi-criminal means a lawsuit or equity proceeding that has some, but not all, of the qualities of a criminal prosecution. It may appear in either a Common law or a Civil law jurisdiction. It refers to "a court's right to punish for actions or omissions as if they were criminal." [http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/quasi-criminal The Free Dictionary] . Accessed June 30, 2008.]

The origins of the phrase comes from the Latin language word, "quasi", meaning somewhat, sort-of, alike or akin, to criminal law, as in Quasi-contract. [See also Quasimodo.] "Quasi" is used "to indicate that one subject resembles another, with which it is compared, in certain characteristics, but there are intrinsic and material differences between them." [N.Y. Jur. 2d, Words and Phrases, "Quasi".]

During a civil or equity trial, a court may act as if it were a criminal case to punish a person for contempt of court. [ [http://www.legalexplanations.com legalexplanations.com ] ] In some cases, a court may impose asset forfeiture or another penalty. [Ballentine's Law Dictionary, p. 450] For example, a court has the right to punish actions or omissions of a party in a child support case as if they were a criminal, penalizing the parent with a sentence of jail time. [ [http://dictionary.com/default2.asp?selected=1689&bold=%7C%7C%7C%7C Law Dictionary] ]


"Quasi-criminal proceedings" include a wide variety of matters, including prosecution for a Violation of law or Ordinance, Psychiatric matters, Motor vehicle law, Status offenses, Family court actions, and Equity proceedings such as a Writ. What these various legal matters have in common are these factors:
# They may be instituted by a Government agent on behalf of a private citizen, or
# They may be instituted by a private citizen on behalf of the Government, "Ex rel".
# They implicate Fundamental rights or Constitutional rights, subjecting the Law involved to Strict scrutiny by the Judiciary. [http://www.njlaws.com/quasicriminalrights.htm Quasi criminal rights of persons charged with Motor vehicle offenses including DWI and Driving While Suspended ] , citing "State v. Cooper", 129 N.J. Super. 229, 231 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 66 N.J. 329 (1974); "State v. Selzer", 57 N.J. Super. 327, 330 (Law Div. 1959); "State v. Rowe", 116 N.J.L. 48, 51 (1935); "Vickey v. Nessler", 230 N.J. Super. 141, 149 (1989); amongst other cases.]
# Because of that, they may be subject to the Miranda warning enunciated under the Legal doctrine in "Miranda v. Arizona" or foreign counterparts.
#They are subject to requirements for Bail, if any. [ [http://law.justia.com/illinois/codes/chapter54/1987.html Illinois law] ]

Types of Quasi-criminal proceedings

"Quasi-criminal" actions include:
# A Violation of law, offense, or Ordinance, especially a Motor vehicle law, Parking ticket, or Traffic ticket. [N.Y. Penal law, § 10.00, which uses the termm "offense", found at [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS] , go to "PEN", article 10.] [http://www.cookcountycourt.org/rules/rules/rulespart11.html Rules of the Cook County Circult Court, Illnois Website] . Accessed June 30, 2008.] [Montaldo, Charles [http://crime.about.com/od/g_criminal/g/quscrmnlct.htm Quasi-criminal on the About.com Website] . Accessed June 30, 2008.] David L. Ratley, Judicial Council of Georgia, Administrative Office of the Courts, Memorandum, Zoning & Traffic Fine Questions as applied to POABF, December 18, 2003, found at [http://research.georgiacourts.org/OpinionDocs/Bray17thPOABF.fin.doc.doc Georgia Courts Memo on Application of Quasi-criminal] . Accessed June 30, 2008.]
# Psychiatric matters, such as Civil confinement, Mental hygiene commitments, and similar proceedings. [New York Mental Hygiene law, article 81.]
# Regulatory offenses, such as Health department violations, hunting or fishing without a license, and Driving While Intoxicated or Ability Impaired (D.W.I. or D.W.A.I.) when such is not a Misdemeanor.
# Family court actions, including "PINS" (Person in need of supervision) or Truancy, Juvenile delinquency, Child support, Paternity or Filiation, Child custody, and Child visitation ("Parenting time"). It may also include, in some states, a Divorce action or family offense petition.
# Equity proceedings such as a Writ, Qui tam, Contempt of court, Bankruptcy, fraud, and the like.
# Zoning laws.
# Internment.
# Detention.


ee also

*Administrative law
*Asset forfeiture
*Car accident
*Court system of Canada
*Criminal law in Canada
*Equity (law)
*Hunting license
*Legal aid
*Prostitution in the People's Republic of China
*Slander and libel
*Status offense
*Strict liability (criminal)
*Summary jurisdiction
*Traffic ticket
*Trespass to Property Act of Ontario

External sources

# Dennis P. Stolle & Mark D. Stuann, "Defending Depositions in High-stakes Civil and Quasi-criminal Litigation", West. Crim. Rev. 4(2), at pp. 134-142 (2003), found at: [http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v4n2/manuscripts/stollestuaan.pdf]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • quasi-criminal — A reference to a court s right to punish for actions or omissions as if they were criminal. The most common example is finding a parent who is delinquent in child support in contempt of court and penalizing him or her with a jail sentence. When a …   Law dictionary

  • quasi-criminal action — A classification of actions such as violation of a city ordinance that is not also violation of a criminal statute, which are wrongs against the public punishable through fines but are not usually indictable offenses. Short Dictionary of (mostly… …   Law dictionary

  • quasi-criminal — adj.; quasi criminally, adv. * * * …   Universalium

  • quasi-criminal — adj.; quasi criminally, adv …   Useful english dictionary

  • quasi — qua·si 1 / kwā ˌzī, ˌsī; kwä zē, sē/ adj [Latin, as if, as it were, from quam as + si if]: having such a resemblance to another thing as to fall within its general category a quasi corporation quasi 2 adv: in some significant sense or degree… …   Law dictionary

  • Criminal law in Canada — is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government. The power to enact criminal law is derived from section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867 . Most criminal laws have been codified in the Criminal Code of Canada , as well as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Quasi-property — is a legal concept, in which some rights similar to ownership may accrue to a party who does an act which benefits society as a whole. Black s Law Dictionary defines quasi as being almost or resembling but not actually the same as the suffix item …   Wikipedia

  • Criminal law under the Constitution Act, 1867 — In Canadian Constitutional law, the Constitution Act, 1867 provides the government with the authority to legislate on matters of criminal law and quasi criminal law. The primary criminal law power is granted to the federal government under… …   Wikipedia

  • Criminal Investigation Task Force — The Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) was an organization created in early 2002 by the United States Department of Defense to conduct investigations of detainees captured in the War on Terrorism. It was envisioned that certain captured… …   Wikipedia

  • quasi crime — An act not of a nature making it a subject of criminal prosecution but for which a forfeiture or penalty may be imposed. An act subject to prosecution in a bastardy proceeding or in quo warranto. People v Bradley, 60 Ill 390, 402; Wiggins v… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”