Latin: A term, of the civil law, meaning fault, neglect, or negligence. There are three degrees of culpa, lata culpa, gross fault or neglect; levis culpa, ordinary fault or neglect; levissima culpa, slight fault or neglect, and the definitions of these degrees are precisely the same as those in our law. Story, Bailm. 18. This term is to be distinguished from dolus, which means fraud, guile, or deceit. Culpa caret qui seit sed prohibere non potest. He is clear of blame who knows, but cannot prevent. Dig. 50, 17, 50. Culpa est immiscere se rei ad se non pertinenti. 2 Inst 208. It is a fault for any one to meddle in a matter not pertaining to him. Culpa lata dolo asquiparatur. Gross negligence is held equivalent to intentional wrong. Culpa tenet [teneat] suos auctores. Misconduct binds [should bind] its own authors. It is a never-failing axiom that every one is accountable only for his own delicts. Ersk. Inst. 4, 1, 14.
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