Definition of Forfeiture

A comprehensive term which means a divestiture of specific property without compensation; it imposes a loss by the taking away of some preexisting valid right without compensation. L & K Realty Co. v. R.W. Farmer Const. Co., Mo.App., 633 S.W.2d 274, 279. A deprivation or destruction of a right in consequence of the nonperformance of some obligation or condition. Loss of some right or property as a penalty for some illegal act. Loss of property or money because of breach of a legal obligation (e.g. default in payment).

Forfeiture of property (including money, securities, and real estate) is one of the penalties provided for under certain federal and state criminal statutes (e.g., RICO and Controlled Substances Acts). Such forfeiture provisions apply to property used in the commission of a crime under the particular statutes, as well as property acquired from the proceeds of the crime. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 981, 982 (criminal and civil forfeiture), 21 U.S.C.A. § 853 (forfeiture in drug cases).

In old English law, the loss of land by a tenant to his lord, as the consequence of some breach of fidelity. The loss of goods or chattels, as a punishment for some crime or misdemeanor in the party forfeiting, and as a compensation for the offense and injury committed against him to whom they are forfeited.

See also Confiscate; Default; Divestiture; Foreclosure; Forfeit; Seizure.

That's the definition of Forfeiture in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of

Official tim editorial.