What Does "Non Adimpleti Contractus" Mean?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 January 2020
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The term “non adimpleti contractus” basically means that a contract was not fulfilled or not completed. It is a Latin term commonly applied to several concepts in law. One basic meaning of this term is in regard to a contract between two individuals that was violated in some way. This typically indicates that the person who violated or otherwise did not meet the requirements of the contract may be required to pay compensation due to this failing. A related term, “exceptio non adimpleti contractus,” however, indicates an exception to this rule, in which one person is excused from completing a contract if the other person has not lived up to his or her side of the agreement.

As with many other legal terms, the phrase comes from Latin and Roman laws and codes. In this instance, the term refers to a contract between two or more people, and that one of the parties has failed to uphold his or her side of the agreement. “Non adimpleti contractus” basically translates to “not fulfilled contract” and is often used as grounds upon which someone may bring a lawsuit against someone else for failure to meet the terms of a contract.


When an instance of “non adimpleti contractus” occurs, then the person who has failed to meet his or her side of a contract is potentially liable for civil action. For example, a homeowner can have a contract with a builder, establishing payment in exchange for the builder completing the roof on a house. If the builder does not complete the project within the terms of the contract, then he or she may be found to be “non adimpleti contractus” as the contract has not been fulfilled. This can make the builder liable for damages or compensation to the person who agreed to the contract.

In some instances, however, someone may be forgiven for being in this condition. This is typically referred to as “exceptio non adimpleti contractus” and refers to an “exception for a not fulfilled contract.” In this type of situation, someone who has not fulfilled a contract may be excused from legal obligations due to the fact that the other party has failed to fulfill some aspect of the agreement. The builder in the previous example might not be liable if the contract indicated the homeowner had to pay a certain amount prior to construction beginning, and the homeowner failed to pay that amount.


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