An action for money had and received to the plaintiff's use is the name for a common law claim derived from the form of action known as indebitatus assumpsit. The action enabled one person to recover money which has been received by another: for example, where a plaintiff paid money to the defendant while labouring under a mistake of fact or where there was a total failure of consideration. The action was a personal action only available in respect of money, rather than other benefits. Where the benefit received by the defendant was services or goods, the appropriate action was a quantum meruit or a quantum valebant, respectively.

The action for money had and received formed a part of the law of quasi-contract. Although the forms of action were abolished in the mid-19th century, reference continues to be made to the action in modern pleading.[1] The terminology of "quasi-contract" has been replaced by the more modern terminology of unjust enrichment in most common law jurisdictions.

Case law

See also


  1. ^ Cf. Graham Virgo, The Principles of the Law of Restitution (3rd ed, 2015).