De Minimis Law and Legal Definition

De minimis is an abbreviated form of Latin maxim de minimus non curat lex. De minimis means “of minimum importance”. It refers to something that is so small or trivial that law does not consider it. It is often used to describe exemptions in government rules and regulations. For example, tax is not payable on amounts below the de minimis limit of £100 per year

Courts applies the maxim to avoid trivial matters that are not worthy of judicial scrutiny. Courts usually dismiss an action on trivial matter, if the only relief sought is for nominal sum or a negligible wrong. In trivial matters, there may exist technical violation of a law but its effect is too small to be of any consequence. In civil and criminal proceedings trivial matters will not be considered as a sufficient cause of action