“Waiver of Contract” refers to the giving up of contract rights by one party.  This can be done either by a positive act or through a deliberate failure to take certain actions.  The waiver of contract needs to be both voluntary as well as intentional in order to constitute a legal waiver or release of the contract rights.

For example, if the recipient of goods turns away the deliveryman, or rejects the goods being delivered, it might be deemed a waiver of contract.  Or, the recipient may expressly waive their contract rights by sending the other party a written message regarding the goods. 

On the other hand, if the party accidentally refused the goods because they thought they were a different type of goods, it might not be considered a waiver, since they didn’t act voluntarily and intentionally. 

What Types of Contract Rights Can Be Waived?

This depends on the types of rights listed in the contract itself; waivers can therefore vary according to each individual contract.  In general, some waiver of contract cases may involve forfeiting rights to:

  • Receive payment for a product or for services
  • Have a product delivered at a certain time
  • Have exclusive rights to use or access to copyrighted or protected material
  • Have exclusive rights to sell or purchase the goods in question

When dealing with a waiver of contract, it is also important to consider the laws regarding the assignment or delegation of contractual duties to a third party.  Not all contract rights can be waived through a transfer of the duties to another party. 

Can Silence be Considered a Waiver?

Generally not- as mentioned, the waiver needs to occur in a way that indicates a voluntary, intentional decision.  The waiver can be accomplished either by a positive act or by an omission (a failure to do something).  However, mere silence on a matter is generally not enough to constitute a waiver of contract.  The party needs to actually take steps to give up their contractual rights in order for the court to find that a waiver existed. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Waiver of Contract?

Contract laws can vary from state to state.  If you need assistance with any contract matters such as a waiver of contract, you may wish to consult with a qualified contract lawyer in your area.  An experienced attorney will be able to determine exactly how your contractual duties and rights play out in your situation.  In the event that you need to file a civil lawsuit, your attorney can help you obtain the proper remedy for your case.