officious intermeddler

Primary tabs

A person who confers a benefit on another without request or without a legal obligation, and is therefore not entitled to compensation from the recipient. The officious intermeddler rule protects those who have unsolicited benefits thrust upon them and punishes those who thrust benefits upon others.

While the recipient is enriched by the officious intermeddler’s actions, it is not considered unjust enrichment. For example, if a gardener mows the lawn of the wrong house and the owner of the house watches and is pleased that the gardener is mowing his lawn, then the gardener conferred a benefit to owner, and it would be unjust for the owner not to pay the gardener. However, the gardener cannot foist this benefit on the homeowner, for example, by mowing the lawn while the owner is not home and then requesting payment.

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