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Latin. By or from force or fear. On the ground of force or fear. Any deed granted under coercion may be reduced on this ground, because consent under such circumstances is not free, and cannot therefore be binding. The degree of force or fear used may be varied, and its degree will be inquired into as material in deciding whether the deed is valid or not. The fear induced must be justus metus, a just or sufficient fear, such as would overpower a mind of ordinary firmness; or such as, applied to the mind of a person of weaker age or sex, would have that effect. Thus a threat of death, or infamy, will be regarded as sufficient to render the deed invalid, but the mere threat of annoyance, or a lawsuit, will not. Force may also be varied in degree, and it will always be a question of circumstances whether it was a force which could not have been resisted. Vis major, in regard to this subject, represents actual personal violence.

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