Ministerial Act Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Ministerial Act?

(n) Ministerial Act is the execution or implementation of any statute, directions, instructions, procedures etc which one person is authorized or instructed to carryout without any arbitrary authority or personnel decision making.

History and Meaning of Ministerial Act

The term Ministerial Act has its roots in the legal system of the United States. It refers to an action or decision that a public official must carry out without the exercise of discretion or judgment. Such actions are purely mechanical, and the official does not have the authority to use personal judgment or discretion.

In simple terms, a Ministerial Act is an act that a public official must perform according to the letter of the law, without applying personal judgment or discretion.

Examples of Ministerial Act

  1. A police officer issuing a traffic ticket to a driver who has broken a traffic law.
  2. A clerk recording the minutes of a public meeting and publishing them without changing any content.
  3. A notary public verifying the identity of a signatory to a document and certifying it without questioning the validity of the document.

Legal Terms Similar to Ministerial Act

  1. Discretionary Act - The opposite of a ministerial act. This refers to an action or decision that a public official has the authority to implement based on personal judgment or discretion.
  2. Rulemaking - The process by which administrative agencies promulgate new rules and regulations that are binding on private parties.
  3. De Novo Review - Review conducted by a court without any deference to the decision of the lower court or administrative agency.