Demand Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Demand, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Demand?

1\) v. To claim a requirement or entitlement. For example: to demand performance or payment under a contract. In lawsuits for performance or debt payment, plaintiffs should allege that they made a demand. 2) n. An unqualified request for payment or action. 3) During negotiations to settle a lawsuit, the amount requested by a plaintiff that is usually in writing. 4) adj. A promissory note that is payable whenever a request to pay it is made.

History and Meaning of Demand

The term "demand" in legal contexts refers to a claim of right by one person against another, typically to require payment or performance of an obligation. Demands can be made both orally or in writing, but in legal disputes, it is often advisable to make written demands to provide evidence of the request.

In addition to contractual demands for payment or performance, demands can also be made in other legal settings. For example, a demand may be made for the return of property wrongfully taken or for the cessation of a harmful activity. Demands can also be made during the settlement process of a lawsuit, where one party demands a certain amount in exchange for ending the legal dispute.

Examples of Demand

  1. A landlord might make a demand for rent payment from their tenant who has not paid in several months.
  2. A contractor who completed work for a client may make a demand for payment if the client has not paid the agreed-upon amount.
  3. A car owner may make a demand for compensation from the person who caused an accident, either through their insurance or through a personal payment.

Legal Terms Similar to Demand

  1. Claim: In legal contexts, a claim is a demand or assertion by one party of a legal right or alleged facts against another party.
  2. Subpoena: A subpoena is a legal demand for someone to appear in court or provide certain evidence to be used in a legal dispute.
  3. Breach of Contract: A breach of contract is when one party to a contract fails to fulfill their obligation. In such cases, the other party may make demands for compensation or performance.