ad hoc

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This phrases mean “for this purpose only.”  Its literal translation from the Latin is “to this.”

Common examples are an ad hoc committee or an ad hoc commission created for a specific or one-time purpose to address issues that fall outside the scope of  other existing committees or commissions. Ad hoc committees are formed on a temporary basis.

In Schmidt v. Contra Costa County, the Ninth Circuit wrote,  “An ad hoc decision is one taken based on the circumstances of a particular case. An ‘ad hoc’ decision is made ‘with a particular end or purpose,’ as distinguished from ‘a coordinated policy.’ ”

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]