ASSUMPSIT (“he has undertaken,” from Lat. assumere), a
word applied to an action for the recovery of damages by reason
of the breach or non-performance of a simple contract, either
express or implied, and whether made orally or in writing.
Assumpsit was the word always used in pleadings by the plaintiff
to set forth the defendant’s undertaking or promise, hence the
name of the action. Claims in actions of assumpsit were ordinarily
divided into (a) common or indebitatus assumpsit, brought
usually on an implied promise, and (b) special assumpsit, founded
on an express promise. Assumpsit as a form of action became
obsolete after the passing of the Judicature Acts 1873 and 1875.
(See further Contract; Pleading and Tort.)
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