Legal Questions

What is Laches?

Can't share this digest on Facebook? Here's why.

image_printPrint this!

Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length time to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier,   thus giving rise to a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned or declined to assert it.  It is not concerned with mere lapse of time; the fact of delay, standing alone, is insufficient to constitute laches.

The doctrine of laches is based upon grounds of public policy which requires, for the peace of society, the discouragement of stale claims, and is principally a question of the inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be enforced or asserted.  There is no absolute rule as to what constitutes laches; each case is to be determined according to its particular circumstances. The question of laches is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, and since it is an equitable doctrine, its application is controlled by equitable considerations. It cannot be worked to defeat justice or to perpetrate fraud and injustice.

image_printPrint this!

Leave a Reply