Malfeasance Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Malfeasance?

(n) Malfeasance is the act of doing something which one should not do or which one is prohibited from doing by a legal or moral obligation, with an intention to do wrong. Eg. Marking attendance without presenting in the office

History and Meaning of Malfeasance

Malfeasance is a term that has its roots in the French word malefacer, which means to do evil or harm. In legal terms, malfeasance refers to the intentional or wrongful conduct that violates a person's legal or moral obligations. It is a term often used in the context of public officials or executives who have committed an act of abuse of power, fraud, or other illegal activities.

Examples of Malfeasance

  • A public official who takes a bribe to issue a permit or contract to a business.
  • A financial advisor who steals money from their client's accounts.
  • A company executive who lies to their shareholders about the financial health of the company.
  • A police officer who plants evidence to incriminate an innocent person.

Related Terms

  • Misfeasance: This term refers to a situation where a person is expected to perform a duty but does so in a way that causes harm to others.
  • Nonfeasance: It is a type of offense that refers to a failure to perform a legal duty or obligation.
  • Malice aforethought: This term is used to describe the intent to cause harm or injury to someone.
  • Fraud: This term refers to a deception or misrepresentation of facts, often for financial gain.