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EXPLANATION OF LAW TERMS

A. ABANDONMENT.—The relinquishment of a claim or privilege.

The voluntary leaving of a person to whom one is bound by a particular relation, as a wife, husband, or child. In marine insurance, the relinquishment of all the property saved from

loss by shipwreck, capture, or other peril stated in the policy. ABATE.-To enter or intrude into a freehold after the death of

the last possessor, and before the heir or devisee takes posses

sion. To throw down. ABET.—One who encourages, instigates or counsels another to

commit a crime, or assist in a criminal act. ABDUCTION.—The taking away of a child, or wife, by fraud,

persuasion or open violence. ABSCOND.—To go away, or conceal one's self, to avoid the serv

ing of a process or notice. ACCEPTANCE.-An agreeing to the act or contract of another,

by some act which binds the person in law. ACCESSION.—A mode of acquiring property by which the owner

receives addition by growth, or by labor, and has a right to

the part added. ACCESSORY.-One guilty of an offense, not principally, but by

participation. An accessory before the fact is one, who though absent, yet procures, counsels or commands another to commit a felony; after the fact, when one knowing of the felony as

sists, comforts, or conceals the criminal. ACCRETION.—The increase of property by which the owner of

one thing becomes possessed of a right of another; generally, gain of land by the washing up of sand or soil from the sea,

or a river. ACCRUE.—To increase; to augment; proceed or spring from;

as increase profit added to the principal. ACKNOWLEDGMENT. — it declaration or avowal of one's own act,

to give it legal vitality; as, the acknowledgment of a deed before a proper

officer. ACTION.- A suit or process, by which a demand is made of a

right in a court of law; a claim made before a tribunal. A

right of action; as, the law gives an action for every claim. AD INQUIRENDUM.—A judicial writ; commanding inquiry to be

made of anything relating to a cause. ADDITION.- À title annexed to a man's name, to show his rank, occupation, or place of residence, as John Doe, Esq.; Richard

Roe, Gent. AD LITEM.-For the suit. A court has the power to appoint a

guardian for the suit for one who needs assistance. ADJOURNMENT.—Pu ting off, or postponing until another day. ADMINISTRATOR. - A man who manages or settles the estate of

ac intestate, or of a testator where there is no competent executor; one to whom the right of administration has been com

mitted by competent authority. ADMIRALTY, COURT OF.—A court having cognizance of ques

tions arising out of maritime affairs, and of crimes committed

on the high-seas. ADULTERY. —The voluntary sexual intercourse of a married per

son with one of the opposite sex. ADVANCEMENT.—Settlement on a wife or child, or jointure.

That which a person has received from a person living in an

ticipation of what he might receive by inheritance. ADVERSE POSSESSIONS.—That kind of continued occupation and

enjoyment of real estate which indicates an assertion of right

on the part of the person maintaining it. Advocate.—One who pleads the cause of another. Advocates

are the same as counsel. AFFIDAVIT.-A statement in writing, signed and made upon

oath before an authorized person. It is always made ex parte, and without cross-examination, and in this differs from a De

position. AFFINITY.—In civil law, the relationship in wbich each of the

parties married stands to the kindred of the other, and which is of three kinds: 1. Direct, that subsisting between a husband and his wife's relatives, or between a wife and her husband's relatives. 2. Secondary, between the husband and his wife's relatives by marriage. 3. Collateral, between the

husband and the relations of his wife's relatives. AFFIRM.—To make affirmation; to make a solemn promise, be

fore an authorized magistrate ur tribunal, by persons who conscientiously decline taking an oath; which declaration is

in law equivalent to an oath. AGENT.-One intrusted with the business of another; an attorney. AGENCY.—The office of an agent. Having charge of the busi

ness of another. ALIAS.—A second or further writ which is issued after the first

writ has expired without effect. Another name; an assumed ALIBI.-In another place; elsewhere. When a person on trial

for crime, shows that he was in another place at the time when the act was committed, he is said to prove an Alibi ; hence, the plea, or defense under which this proof is made.

name.

ance.

ALIEN.-One born out of the jurisdiction of the United States,

and not naturalized. ALIMONY. -An allowance made to a wife out of her husband's

estate or income for her support, upon her divorce or separa

tion from him. ALLEGIANCE.—The faithful o'e 'ience which every citizen owes

his country. Fidelity and attachment to the goveromept. ALLUVION.–The gradual increase of earth on a shore, or a bank

of a river, by the force of water, as by a current or by waves. The owner of the land thus augmeuted has a right to the allu

vial earth. AMBIGUITY.—Doubtfulness or uncertainty; want of particularity

of signification of language in a written instrument. ANCESTOR.-In law, one who preceded another in the possession

of property; one from whom an inheritance is derived ;-the

correlative of heir. ANNUITY.—A sum of money, payable yearly, to continue for a given number of years, for life, or forever; an annual allow

An annuity upon land is termed a land charge. ANTE-NUPTIAL.-A settlement or agreement made before marriage. APPEAL.—The removal of a cause or suit from an inferior to a

superior court or judge for re-examination or review. A sum

mons to answer to a charge. APPRAISEMENT.—To set a value or estimate the worth of a par

ticular article. A valuation. APPRENTICE.-One who is bound by indentures to serve a me

cbanic, or other person for a certain period. APPROPRIATION.—The serving or sequestering of a benefice to

the perpetual use of a spiritual corporation, sole or aggregate, being the patron of the living. The application of the payment of a sum of money, by a debtor to his creditur, to one

of several debts which are due. APPROVER.-In English law, one who being indicted of treason

or felony, confesses himself guilty, and takes an oath to reveal all he knows respecting the crime charged, and all engaged

with him. Tbis is technically called turning State's evidence. APPURTENANCES.—That which belongs to something else; in

common and legal acceptation, something belonging to another thing, as principal, and which passes as incident to it, as a right of way; a right of common to pasture an out-house,

barn, garden, or orchard, to a house or messuage. ARRAIGN.--To call a prisoner to the bar of a court to answer to

the matter charged in an indictment or complaint. ARRAY.—To set in order, as a jury, for trial of a cause, calling

them one by one. ARREST.–To take, seize or apprehend by authority of law; as,

to arrest a person for debt, or for a crime.

ARREST OF JUDGMENT.—The staying or stopping of a judgment

after verdict for legal cause. The motion for this purpose is

called a motion in arrest of judgment. ARSON.—The malicious burning of a dwelling house of another

person, which by the common law is felony; the malicious

and voluntary firing of buil·lings and ships. ARTICLES.—The distinct portions of a document in writing; as

Articles of Agreement, an account consisting of many articles. ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.- The compact which was first

mede by the original thirteen States of the United States. ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.—An instrument, which, in cases of

impeachment, performs the same office which an indictment

does in a criminal case. ARTICLES OF WAR.-- The code or regulations for the Army and

Navy of the United States. AssassINATION.—Killing or murdering by surprise or secret as

sault, with no personal motive. Assault.-An attempt or offer to beat another, accompanied by

a degree of violence, but without touching his person, as by .ifting the fist, or a cane in a violent manner, or by striking at him, and missing him. If the blow aimed takes effect, it

is a Battery. ASSIGN.—To transfer, or make over to another. To transfer to,

and vest in, certain persons called Assignees for the benefit of

creditors. ABsizes. — A periodical sitting of the judges by virtue of a com

mission to hear and determine causes. ASSURANCE.—Any written or other legal evidence of the convey.

ance of property. Equivalent to INSURANCE. ATTACHMENT. -A seizure or taking by virtue of a legal process;

a laying on of hands, or taking the person by virtue of a precept; and so far differing from an arrest, inasmuch as it lays hold of the goods as well as the person ; and also from a distress, which seizes only on lands, tenements, and goods; whereas an Attachment takes both the goods and body. Attachments are issued at common law against persons for contempt of court. In some States a writ of Attachment is a species of mesne process upon which the property of a defendant may be seized at the commencement of a suit and before summons to him, and may be held to satisfy the judgment the plaintiff may recover. In other States this writ can issue only against

absconding debtors and those who conceal themselves. ATTAINDER.—The corruption of blood which follows from being

convicted of treason or felony. A Bill of Attninder was a bili brought into Parliament for attaining persons condemned for high-treason. By the Constitution of the United States, no Bill of Attainder shall be passed; and no Attainder of Trea

son (in consequence of judicial sentence) shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the life of the person at

tained. ATTORNEY.—One who is appointed by another to transact any

business for him, in his absence, and either private or public. A Public Attorney, or Attorney at Liu, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in such court. Å Private Attorney, or an Attorney in Fact, is a person appointed by another, by a letter or power of attorney,

to transact any business for liim out of court. ATTORNEY-GENERAL.-An officer of the State empowered to act

in all cases in which the State is a party. AUTHORITIES.—Government, the persons or the borly exercising

power; as, the local authorities of the State. The decisions

of the court in declaring or confirming points of law. AUTHORITY,-Lezal or rightful power delegated by one person to

another to perform some act. AVERAGE.-In mercantile law, every species of loss incurred, on

any part of the cargo in the course of the voyage. General Average means any damage or loss incurred by any part of the ship or cargo for the preservation of the rest; and in case of such damage, the several parties interested in the vessel and cargo, are bound to contribute their shares to indemnify the owner of the damaged part again t the damage which has been incurred, for the general good of the whole. Particular Average signifies the damage or partial loss happening to the ship, or cargo, or freight, in consequence of some unavoidable accident; and it is borne by the individual owners of the arti

cles damaged. AWARD.—The judgment pronounced by one or more arbitrators,

at the request of two or more parties at variance, in order to end the dispute without appealing to a public tribunal. Awards must be made in writing, signed by the arbitrators.

B. BAIL.—To liberate from arrest and imprisonment. Thus the

magistrate Bails a man when he sets him at liberty upon bond given with securities; and the surety Bails a man when he procures his release by giving bond for his appearance. The powers of Bail over a defendant are very great. He may be arrested at any time or place, even on Sunday, and they may

command assistanre from the sheriff and other civil officers. BAIL-BOND.-A bond or obligation given by a prisoner and his

surety, to insure the prisoner's appearance in court, at the re

turn of the writ. Special Bail in court to abide the judgment. BAILMENT -The del very of goods in trust, upon a contract ex.

pressed or implied, that the trust shall be faithfully executed

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