Actio non datur non damnificato

Actio non datur non damnificato

Literal Meaning

An action is not given to one who is not injured.

Explanation & Origin

Legal maxim and Latin

Latin maxims developed in the Medieval era in European countries that used Latin as their language for law and courts. An action is not given to him who is not injured. None who has not suffered a damage has a cause of action. This maxim is only applicable to cases where damage is essential to the cause of action. The injury here referred to must be such as the law makes actionable, otherwise the party is non damnificatus, and it is a case of damnum sine injuria. Actio non datur non damnificato is a maxim of law which governs that branch of the law which deals with the rights of subjects to maintain actions at law.

An action is not given to him who has received no damages.

Statutory acts ask for compensation when there is no injured party. This is theft by coercion under duress. 


An employee cannot sue his employer for wrongful dismissal when he is neither threatened nor stopped from work and was not denied his salary and/or his other entitlements anytime.

Case Reference

Smith V. Scott [2007 SC 345]

Sir John Pennycuick VC explains : It is not open to the court to reshape the law relating to the rights and liabilities of landowners and thus saying the landowner owed a duty of care to his neighbour when selecting his tenants. Where the land is let by a landlord to a tenant , the landlord is not liable for acts of nuisance permitted by his tenants unless he has specifically authorised them.

Harris V. James [(1876) 35 LT 240]

In this case Sir John Pennycuick VC said : It is established beyond question that the person to be sued in nuisance is the occupier of the property from which the nuisance emanates. In general , a landlord is not liable for nuisance committed by his tenants , but to this rule there is , so far as now in point , one recognised exception , namely , that the landlord is liable if he has authorised his tenants to commit the nuisance. This exception has in the reported cases been rigidly confined to circumstances in which the nuisance has either been expressly authorised or is certain to result from the purposes for which the property is let.

Sir Dinshaw Manockji Petit And … vs Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy And Others


The plaintiffs in this case, either collectively or individually, are not in any way injured or damnified by the action of the defendants. The Resolutions and Notifications published by the defendants have not injured the plaintiffs or invaded their rights. They have no complaint to make on their own behalf. All they say is: “The defendants have announced their determination to deprive converts to Zoroastrianism of certain rights and privileges of participating in Properties and Funds under their management. We are of opinion that their action is unjustifiable. We, ask the Court to declare that the defendants are guilty of wrongful conduct. They have threatened to infringe the rights of two ladies, and their conduct amounts to an invasion not only on the rights of these two ladies, but of others who may in the future embrace Zoroastrian-ism.” We, sitting here, have not heard that those two ladies claim any such rights as the plaintiffs claim for them in this suit. The plaintiffs know nothing whatever about the Rajput lady: and, as to the French lady, none of the plaintiffs have taken the trouble of telling us that this lady has felt hurt at the action of the defendants, or has expressed a desire to participate in the Charitable Funds and Properties administered by the defendants.