Color of Office

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COLOR OF OFFICE

A description of an act by an officer done without authority under the pretext that he or she has an official right to do the act by reason of the officer's position.

An officer acts under color of office when he or she extracts a fee from another under the pretense that the office confers the authority on him or her to do so. Such conduct may constitute extortion, a crime proscribed by statute in most states. The penalty imposed on a public officer for extortion may include forfeiture of office in addition to a fine, imprisonment, or both.