Color of Office Law and Legal Definition

Color of office refers to a person acting as if in an official capacity as an employee of a governmental unit, but taking action which isn't authorized. It is an act by an public official done without authority under the pretense that he or she has an official right to do the act by reason of the officer's position. It is something actually, purportedly, or allegedly done under any law, ordinance, resolution, order, or other pretension to official right, power, or authority. Typically, the term is used in connection with a form of official misconduct, such as extortion or soliciting of bribes.