SABBATH. The same as Sunday. (q. v.)
SABINIANS. A sect of lawyers, whose first chief was Atteius
Capito, and the second, Caelius Sabiaus, from whom they derived their name.
Clef des Lois Rom. h. t.
SACRAMENTUM. An oath; as, qui dicunt supra sacramentum suum.
SACQUIER, maritime law. The same of an ancient officer, whose
business "was to load and unload vessels laden with salt, corn, or fish, to
prevent the ship's crew defrauding the merchant by false tale, or cheating him
of his merchandise otherwise." Laws of Oleron, art. 11, published in an English
translation in an Appendix to 1 Pet. Adm. R. XXV. See Arrameur; Stevedore.
SACRILEGE. The act of stealing from the temples or churches
dedicated to the worship of God, articles consecrated to divine uses. Pen. Code
of China, B. 1, s. 2, §6; Ayl. Par. 476.
SAEVETIA. Cruelty. (q. v.) It is required in order to constitute
saevetia that there should exist such a degree of cruelty as to endanger the
party's suffering bodily hurt. 1 Hagg. Cons. R. 85; 2 Mass. 150; 3 Mass. 821; 4
SAFE-CONDUCT, comm. law, war. A passport or permission from a
neutral state to persons who are thus authorized to go and return in safety,
and, sometimes, to carry away certain things, in safety. According to common
usage, the term passport is employed on ordinary occasions, for the permission
given to persons when there is no reason why they should not go where they
please: and safe-conduct is the name given to the instrument which authorizes
certain persons, as enemies, to go into places where they could not go without
danger, unless thus authorized by the government.
2. A safe-conduct is also the name of an instrument given to the
captain or master of a ship to proceed on a particular voyage: it usually
contains his name and residence, the name, description and destination of the
ship, with such other matters as the practice of the place requires. This
document is indispensably necessary for the safety of every neutral ship.
3. The act of congress of April 30th, 1790, s. 27, punishes the
violation of any safe-conduct or passport granted under the authority of the
United States, on conviction, with imprisonment, not exceeding three years, and
a fine at the discretion of the court. Vide Conduct; Passport; and 18 Vin. Ab.
SAFE PLEDGE, salvus-plegius. A surety given that a man shall
appear upon a certain day. Bract. lib. 4, c. 1.
SAID. Before mentioned.
2. In contracts and pleadings it is usual and proper when it is desired
to speak of a person or thing before mentioned, to designate them by the term
said or aforesaid, or by some similar term, otherwise the latter description
will be ill for want of certainty. 2 Lev. 207: Com. Dig. Pleader, C IS; Gould
on Pl: c. 3, §63.
SAILING INSTRUCTIONS, mar. law. Written or printed directions,
delivered by the commanding officer of a convoy to the several masters of the
ships under his care, by which they are enabled to understand and answer his
signals, to know the place of rendezvous appointed for the fleet, in case of
dispersion by storm, by an enemy, or by any other accident.
2. Without sailing instructions no vessel can have the full protection
and benefit of convoy. Marsh. Ins. 368.
SAILORS. Seamen, mariners. Vide Mariners; Seamen; Shipping
SAISIE-EXECUTION, French law. This term is used in Louisiana. It
is a writ of execution by which the creditor places under the custody of the
law, the movables, which are liable to seizure, of his debtor, in order that
out of them he may obtain payment of the debt due by him Code of Practice, art.
641 , Dall. Diet. h. t.. It is a writ very similar to the fieri facias.
SAISIE-FORAINE. A term used in Louisiana and in the French law;
this is a permission given by the proper judicial officer, to authorize a
creditor to seize the property of his debtor in the district which he inhabits.
Dall. Dict. h. t. It has the effect of an attachment of property, which is
applied to the payment of the debt due.
SAISIE-GAGERIE, French law. A conservatory act of execution, by
which the owner, or principal lessor of a house or farm, causes the furniture
of the house or farm leased, and on which he has a lien, to be seized, in order
to obtain the rent due to him. It is similar to the distress of the common law.
Dall. Dict. h. t.
SAISIE-IMMOBILIERE. A writ by which the creditor puts in the
custody of the law the immovables of his debtor, that out of the proceeds of
their sale, he may be paid his demand. The term is French, and is used in
SALARY. A reward or recompense for services performed.
2. It is usually applied to the reward paid to a public officer for the
performance of his official duties.
3. The salary of the president of the United States is twenty-five
thousand dollars per annum; Act of l8th Feb. 1793; and the constitution, art.
2, s. 1, provides that the compensation of the president shall not be increased
or diminished, during the time for which he shall have been elected.
4. Salary is also applied to the reward paid for the performance of
other services; but if it be not fixed for each year, it is called honorarium.
Poth. Pand. h. t. According to M. Duvergier, the distinction between honorarium
and salary is this. By the former is understood the reward given to the most
ele-vated professions for services performed; and by the latter the price of
hir-ing of domestic servants and workmen. 19 Toull. n. 268, p. 292, note.
5. There is this difference between salary and price; the former is the
re-ward paid for services, or for the hire of things; the latter is the
consideration paid for a thing sold. Lec. Elem. §907, 908.
SALE, contracts. An agreement by which one of the contracting
parties, called the seller, gives a thing and passes the title to it, in
exchange for a certain price in current money, to the other party, who is
called the buyer or purchaser, who, on his part, agrees to pay such price.
Pard. Dr. Com. n. 6; Noy's Max. ch. 42; Shep. Touch. 244; 2 Kent, Com. 363;
Poth. Vente, n. 1; 1 Duverg. Dr. Civ. Fr. n. 7.
2. This contract differs from a barter or exchange in this, that in the
latter the price or consideration, instead of being paid in money, is paid in
goods or merchandise, susceptible of a valuation. It differs from accord and
satisfaction, because in that contract, the thing is given for the purpose of
quieting a claim, and not for a price. An onerous gift, when the burden it
imposes is the payment of a sum of money, is, when accepted, in the nature of a
sale. When partition is made between two or more joint owners of a chattel, it
would seem, the contract is in the nature of a barter. See 11 Pick. 311.
3. To constitute a valid sale there must be, 1. Proper parties. 2. A
thing which is the object of the contract. 3. A price agreed upon; and, 4. The
consent of the contracting parties, and the performance of certain acts
required to complete the contract. These will be separately considered.
4. - 1. As a general rule all persons sui juris may be either buyers or
sellers. But to this rule there are several exceptions. 1. There is a class of
persons who are incapable of purchasing except sub modo, as infants, and
married women; and, 2. Another class, who, in consequence of their peculiar
relation with regard to the owner of the thing sold, are totally incapable of
becoming purchasers, while that relation exists; these are trustees, guardians,
assignees of insolvents, and generally all persons who, by their connexion with
the owner, or by being employed concerning his affairs, have acquired, a
knowledge of his property, as attorneys, conveyancers, and the like. See
5. - 2. There must be a thing which is the object of the sale, for if
the thing sold at the time of the sale had ceased to exist it is clear there
can be no sale; if, for example, Paul sell his horse to Peter, and, at the time
of the sale the horse be dead, though the fact was unknown to both parties: or,
if you and I being in Philadelphia, I sell you my house in Cincinnati, and, at
the time of the sale it be burned down, it is manifest there was no sale, as
there was not a thing to be sold. It is evident, too, that no sale can be made
of things not in commerce, as the air, the water of the sea, and the like. When
there has been a mistake made as to the article sold, there is no sale; as, for
example, where a broker, who is the agent of both parties, sells an article and
delivers to the seller a sold note describing the article sold as "St.
Petershurg clean hemp," and bought note to, the buyer, as "Riga Rhine hemp,"
there is no sale. 5 Taunt. 786, 788; 5 B. & C. 437; 7 East, 569 2 Camp.
337; 4 Ad. & Ell. N. S. 747 9 M. &, W. 805. Holt. N. P. Cas. 173; 1 M.
& P. 778.
6. There must be an agreement as to the specific goods which form the
basis of the contract of sale; in other words, to make a perfect sale, the
parties must have agreed the one to part with the title to a specific article,
and the other to acquire such title; an agreement to sell one hundred bushels
of wheat, to be measured out of a heap, does not change the property, until the
wheat has been measured. 3 John. 179; Blackb. on Sales, 122 , 5 Taunt. 176; 7
Ham. (part 2d) 127; 3 N. Ramp. R.282; 6 Pick. 280; 15 John. 349; 6 Cowen, 250 7
Cowen, 85; 6 Watts, 29.
7. - 3. To constitute a sale there must be a price agreed upon; but
upon the maxim id certum est quod reddi certum potest, a sale may be valid
although it is agreed that the rice for the thing sold shall be determined by a
third person. 4 Pick. 179. The price must have the three following qualities,
to wit: 1. It must be an actual or serious price. 2. It must be certain or
capable of being rendered certain. 3. It must consist of a sum of money.
8. - 1. The price must be an actual or serious price, with an intention
on the part of the seller, to require its payment; if, therefore, one should
sell a thing to another, and, by the same agreement, he should release the
buyer from the payment, this would not be a sale but a gift, because in that
case the buyer never agreed to pay any price, the same agreement by which the
title to the thing is passed to him discharging him from all obligations to pay
for it. As to the quantum of the price that is altogether immaterial, unless
there has been fraud in the transaction. 2. The price must be certain or
determined, but it is sufficiently certain, if, as before observed, it be left
to the deterimination of a third person. 4 Pick. 179; Poth. Vente, n. 24. And
an agreement to pay for goods what they are worth, is sufficiently certain.
Coxe, 261; Poth. Vente, n. 26. 3. The price must consist in a sum of money
which the buyer agrees to pay to the seller, for if paid for in any other way,
the contract would be an exchange or barter, and not a sale, as before
9. - 4. The consent of the contracting parties, which is of the essence
of a sale, consists in the agreement of the will of the seller to sell a
certain thing to the buyer, for a certain price, and in the will of the buyer,
to purchase the same thing for the same, price. Care must be taken to
distinguish between an agreement to enter into a future contract, and a present
actual agreement to make a sale. This consent may be shown, 1. By an express
agreement. 2. By all implied agreement.
10. - 1. The consent is certain when the parties expressly declare it.
This, in some cases, it is requisite should be in writing. By the 17tth section
of the English statute, 29 Car. II. c. 3, commonly called the Statute of
Frauds, it is enacted, "that no contract for the sale of any goods, wares, or
merchan-dise, for the price of ú10 or upwards, shall be allowed to be
good, except the buyer shall accept part of the goods so sold, and actually
receive the same, or give something in earnest to bind the bargain, or in part
payment, or some note or memorandum in writing of the said bargain be made and
signed by the parties to be charged by such contract or their agents thereunto
lawfully authorized." This statute has been renacted in most of the states of
the Union, with amendments and alterations,
11. It not unfrequently happens that the consent of the parties to a
contract of sale is given in the course of a correspondence. To make such
contract valid, both parties must concur in it at the same time. See Letter,
com. law, crim. law, §2; 4 Wheat. 225; 6 Wend. 103; 1 Pick. 278 10 Pick.
12. An express consent to a sale may be given verbally, when it is not
required by the statute of frauds to be in writing.
13. - 2. When a party, by his acts, approves of what has been done, as
if he knowingly uses goods which have been left at his house by another who
intended to sell them, he will, by that act, confirm the sale.
14. The consent must relate, 1. To the thing which is the object of the
contract; 2. To the price; and, 3. To the sale itself. 1st. Both parties must
agree upon the same object of the sale; if therefore one give consent to buy
one thing, and the other to sell another, there is no sale; nor is there a sale
if one sells me a bag full of oats, which I understand is full of wheat;
because there is no consent as to the thing which is the object of the sale.
But the sale would be valid, although I might be mistaken as to the quality of
the tiling sold. 20 John. 196 3 Rawle, 23, 168. 2d. Both parties must agree as
to the same price, for if the seller intends to sell for a greater sum than the
buyer intends to give, there is no mutual consent; but if the case were
reversed, and the seller intended to sell for a less price than the buyer
intended to give, the sale would be good for the lesser sum. Poth. Vente, n.
36. 3d. The consent must be on the sale itself, that is, one intends to sell,
and the other to buy. If, therefore, Peter intended to lease his house for
three hundred dollars a year for ten years, and Paul intended to buy it for
three thousand dollars, there would not be a contract of sale nor a lease.
Poth. Vente, n. 37.
15. In order to pass the property by a sale, there must be an express
or implied agreement that the title shall pass. An agreement for the sale of
goods is prima facie a bargain and sale of those goods; but this arises merely
from the presumed intention of the parties, and if it appear that the parties
have agreed, not that there shall be a mutual credit by which the property is
to pass from the seller to the buyer, and the buyer is bound to pay the price
to the seller, but that the exchange of the money for the goods shall be made
on the. spot, no property is transferred, for it is not the intention of the
parties to transfer any. 4 Wash. C. C. R. 79. But, on the contrary, when the
making of part payment, or naming a day for payment, clearly shows an intention
in the parties that they should have some time to complete the sale by payment
and delivery, and that they should in the meantime be trustees for each other,
the one of the property in the chattel, and the other in the price. As a
general rule, when a bargain is made for the purchase of goods, and nothing is
said about payment and. delivery, the property passes immediately, so as to
cast upon the purchaser all future risk, if nothing remains to be done to the
goods, although he cannot take them away without paying the price. 5 B. &
16. Sales are absolute or conditional. An absolute sale is one made and
completed without any condition whatever. A conditional sale is one which
depends for its validity upon the fulfilment of some condition. See 4 Wash. C.
C. R. 588; 4 Mass. 405; 17 Mass. 606; 10 Pick. 522; 13 John. 219; 18 John. 141;
8 Verm. 154; 2 Hall 561; 2 Rawle, 326; Coxe, 292; 1 Bailey 563; 2 A.K. Marsh.
17. Sales are also voluntary or forced, public or private.
18. - 1. A voluntary sale is one made without constraint freely by the
owner of the thing sold; to such the usual rules relating to sales apply. 2. A
forced sale is one made without the consent of the owner of the property by
some officer appointed by law, as by a marshal or a sheriff in obedience to the
mandate of a competent tribunal. This sale has the effect to transfer all the
rights the owner had in the property, but it does not, like a voluntary sale of
personal property, guaranty a title to the thing sold it merely transfers the
rights of the person as whose property it has been seized. This kind of a sale
is sometimes called a judicial sale. 3. A public sale is one made at auction to
the highest bidder. Auction sales sometimes are voluntary, as when the owner
chooses to sell his goods in this way, and then as between the seller and the
buyer the usual rules relating to sales apply; or they are involuntary or
foreed when the same rules do not apply. 4. Private sales are those made
voluntarily and not at auction.
19. The above rules apply to sales of personal property. The sale of
real estate is governed by other rules. When a contract has been entered into
for the sale of lands, the legal estate in such lands still remains vested in
the vendor, and it does not become vested in the vendee until he shall have
re-ceived a lawful deed of conveyance from the vendor to him; and the only
remedy of the purchaser at Iaw, is to bring an action on the contract, and
recover pecuniary damages for a breach of the contract. In equity, however,
after a contract for the sale, the lands are considered as belonging to the
purchaser, and the court will enforce his rights by a decree for a specific
performance; and the seller will be entitled to the purchase money. Will. on
Real Prop. 127. See Specific performance.
20. In general, the seller of real estate does not guaranty the title;
and if it be desired that he should, this must be done by inserting a warranty
to that effect. See, generally, Brown on Sales; Blackb. on Sales; Long on
Sales; Story on Sales, Sugd. on Vendors; Pothier, Vente; Duvergier, Vente;
Civil Code of Louisiana, tit. 7; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.; and Contracts;
Delivery; Purchaser; Seller; Stoppage in transitu.
SALE NOTE. A memorandum given by a broker to a seller or buyer
of goods, stating the fact that certain goods have been sold by him on account
of a person called the seller to another person called the buyer. Sale notes
are also called bought notes, (q. v.) and sold notes. (q. v.)
SALE AND RETURN. When goods are sent from a manufacturer or
wholesale dealer to a retail trader, in the hope that he may purchase them,
with the understanding that what he may choose to take he shall have as on a
contract of sale, and what he does not take he will retain as a consignee for
the owner, the goods are said to have been sent on sale and return.
2. The goods taken by the receiver as on a sale, will be considered as
sold, and the title to them is vested in the receiver of them; the goods he
does not buy are considered as a deposit in the hands of the receiver of them,
and the title is in the person who sent them. 1 Bell's Com., 268, 5th ed.
SALIQUE LAW. The name of a code of laws so called from the
Salians, a people of Germany, who settled in Gaul under their king Phararaond.
2. The most remarkable law of this code is that which regards
succession. De terra vero salica nulla portio haereditatis transit in mulierem,
sed hoc vir-iles sextus acquirit, hoc est filii in ipsa haereditate succedunt;
no part of the salique land passes to females, but the males alone are capable
of taking, that is, the sons succeed to the inheritance. This rule has ever
excluded females from the throne of France.
SALVAGE, maritime law. This term originally meant the thing or
goods saved from shipwreck or other loss; and in that sense it is generally to
be understood in our old books. But it is at present more frequently understood
to mean the compensation made to those by whose means the ship or goods have
been saved from the effects of shipwreck, fire, pirates, enemies, or any other
loss or misfortune. 1 Cranch, 1.
2. This compensation, which is now usually made in money, was, before
the use of money became general, made by a delivery of part of the effects
saved. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 8; Pet. Adm. Dec. 425; 2 Taunt. 302; 3 B.
& P. 612; 4 M. & S. 159; 1 Cranch, 1; 2 Cranch, 240; Cranch, 221; 3
Dall. 188; 4 Wheat. 98 9 Cranch, 244; 3 Wheat. 91; 1 Day, 193 1 Johns. R. 165;
4 Cranch, 347; Com. Dig. Salvage; 3 Kent, Com. 196. Vide Salvors.
SALVAGE CHARGES. The expenses incurred to remunerate services
rendered to a ship and cargo, which have prevented its being a total loss.
Stev. on Av. c. 2, s. 1.
SALVAGE LOSS. By salvage loss is understood the difference
between the amount of salvage, after deducting the charges, and the original
value of the property. Stev. on Av. c. 2, s. 1.
SALVORS, mar. law. When a ship and cargo, or any part thereof,
are saved at sea by the exertions of any person from impending perils, or are
recovered after an actual abandonment or loss, such persons are denominated
salvors; they are entitled to a compensation for their services, which is
called salvage. (q. v.)
2. As soon as they take possession of property for the purpose of
preserving it, as if they find a ship derelict at sea, or if they recapture it,
or if they go on board a ship in distress, and take possession with the assent
of the master or other person in possession, they are deemed boua fide
possessors, and their possession cannot be lawfully displaced. 1 Dodson's Rep.
414. They have a lien on the property for their salvage, which the, laws of all
maritime countries will respect and enforce. Salvors are responsible not only
for good faith, but for reasonable diligence in their custody of the salvage
property. Story, Bail. §623.
SAMPLE, contracts. A small quantity of any commodity or
merchandise, exhibited as a specimen of a larger quantity called the bulk. (q.
2. When a sale is made by sample, and it afterwards turns out that the
bulk does not correspond with it, the purchaser is not, in general, bound to
take the property on a compensation being made to him for the difference. 1
Campb. R. 113; vide 2 East, 314; 4, Campb. R. 22; 12 Wend. 566 9 Wend. 20; 6
Cowen, 354; 12 Wend. 413. See 5 John. R. 395.
SANCTION. That part of a law which inflicts a penalty for its
violation, or bestows a reward for its observance. Sanctions are of two kinds,
those which redress civil injuries, called civil sanctions; and those which
punish crimes, called penal sanctions. 1 Hoffm. Leg. Outl. 279; Just. Ins. lib.
2, t. 1, §10; Ruthf. Inst. b. 2, c. 6, s. 6; Toull. tit. prel. 86;
Ferguss. Inst. of Mor. Phil. p. 4, c. 3, s. 13, and p. 6, c. 1, et seq; 1 Bl.
SANCTUARY. A place of refuge, where the process of the law
cannot be executed.
2. Sanctuaries may be divided into religious and civil. The former were
very common in Europe; religious houses affording protection from arrest to all
persons, whether accused of crime, or pursued for debt. This kind was never
known in the United States.
3. Civil sanctuary, or that protection which is afforded to a man by
his own house, was always respected in this country. The house protects the
owner from the service of all civil process in the first instance but not if he
is once lawfully arrested and takes refuge in his own house. Vide Door; House.
4. No place affords protection from arrest in criminal cases; a man
may, therefore, be arrested in his own bouse in such cases, and the doors may
be broken for the purpose of making the arrest. Vide Arrest in criminal cases.
SANE MEMORY. By this is meant that understanding which enables a
man to make contracts and his will, and to perform such other acts as are
authorized by law; Vide Lunacy; Memory; Non compos mentis.
SANG or SANC. Blood. These words are nearly obsolete.
SANITY, med. jur. The state of a person who has a sound
understanding; the reverse of insanity.
2. The sanity of an individual is always presumed. 5 John. R. 144; 1
Pet. R. 163; 1 Hen. & M. 476; 4. Cowen, R. 207; 4 W. C. C. R. 262. See 9
Conn. 102; 9 Mass. 225; 3 Mass. 336 1 Mass. 71; 8 Mass. 371; 8 Greenl. 42; 15
John. 503; 4 Pick. 32.
SANS CEO QUE. The same as Absque hoc. (q. v.)
SANS NOMBRE. This is a French phrase, which signifies without
2. In England it is used in relation to the right of putting animals on
a common. The term common sans nombre does not mean that the beasts are to be
innumerable, but only indefinite, not certain; Willes, 227; but they are
limited to the commoner's own commonable cattle, levant et couchant, upon his
lands, or as many cattle as the land of the commoner can keep and maintain in
winter. 2 Brownl. 101; Vent. 54; 5 T. R. 48; 1 Saund. 28, n. 4.
SANS RECOURS. Without recourse.
2. These words are sometimes put on a bill before the payee endorses
it; they have the effect of transferring the bill without responsibility to the
endorser. Chit. on Bills, 179; 7 Taunt. 160; 1 Cowen, 538; 3 Cranch, 193; 7
Cranch, 159; 12 Mass. 172; 14 S. & R. 325.
SATISDACTION, civil law. This word is derived from the same root
as satisfaction; for, in the same manner that to fulfil the demand which is
made upon us, is called satisfaction, so satisdaction takes place when he who
demands something has agreed to receive sureties instead of the thing itself.
Dig. 2, 8, 1
SATISFACTION, practice. An entry made on the record, by which a
party in whose favor a judgment was rendered, declares that he has been
satisfied and paid.
2. In Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and, Vermont, provision
is made by statute, requiring the mortgagee to discharge a mortgage upon the
record, by entering satisfaction in the margin. The refusal or neglect to enter
satisfaction after payment and demand, renders the mortgagee liable to an
action, after the time given him by the respective statutes for doing the same
has elapsed, and subjects him to the payment of damages, and, in some cases,
treble costs. In Indiana and New York, the register or recorder of deeds may
himself discharge the mortgage upon the record on the exhibition of a
certificate of payment and satisfaction signed by the mortgagee or his
representatives, and attached to the mortgage, which shall be recorded. Ind.
St. 1836, 64; 1 N. Y. Rev. St. 761.
SATISFACTION, construction by courts of equity. Satisfaction is
defined to be the donation of a thing, with the intention, express or implied,
that such donation is to be an extinguishment of some existing right or claim
in the donee.
2. Where a person indebted bequeaths to his creditor a legacy, equal
to, or exceeding the amount of the debt, which is not noticed in the will,
courts of equity, in the absence of any intimation of a contrary intention,
have adopted the rule that the testator shall be presumed to have meant the
legacy as a satisfaction. of the debt.
3. When a testator, being indebted, bequeaths to his creditor a legacy,
simpliciter, and of the same nature as the debt, and not coming within the
exceptions stated in the next paragraph, it has been held a satisfaction of the
debt, when the legacy is equal to, or exceeds the amount of the debt. Pre. Ch.
240; 3 P. Wms. 353.
4. The following are exceptions to the rule: 1. Where the legacy is of,
less amount than the debt, it shall not be deemed a part payment or
satisfaction. 1 Ves. pen. 263.
5. - 2. Where, though the debt and legacy are of equal amount, there is
a difference in the times of payment, so that the legacy may not be equally
beneficial to the legatee as the debt. Prec. Ch. 236; 2 Atk. 300; 2 Ves. sen.
63 5; 3 Atk. 96; 1 Bro. C. C. 129; 1 Bro. C. C. 195; 1 M'Clel. & Y. Rep.
Exch. 41; 1 Swans. R. 219.
6. - 3. When the legacy and the debt are of a different nature, either
with reference, to the subjects themselves, or with respect to the interests
given. 2 P. Wms. 614; 1 Ves. jr. 298; 2 Ves. jr. 463.
7. - 4. When the provision by the will is expressed to be given for a
particular purpose, such purpose will prevent the testamentary gift being
construed a satisfaction of the debt, because it is given diverse intuitu. 2
Ves. sen. 635.
8. - 5. When the debt of the testator is contracted subsequently to
the, making of the will; for, in that case, the legacy will not be deemed a
satisfaction. 2 Salk. 508.
9. - 6. When the legacy is uncertain or contingent. 2 Atk. 300; 2 P.
10. - 7. Where the debt itself is contingent, as where it arises from a
running account between the testator and legatee; 1 P. Wms. 296; or it is a
negotiable bill of exchange. 3 Ves. jr. 561.
11. - 8. Where there is an express direction in the will for the
payment of debts end legacies, the court will infer from the circumstance, that
the testator intended that both the debt owing from him to the legatee and the
legacy, should, be paid. 1 P. Wms. 408; 2 Roper, Leg. 54.
See, generally, Tr. of Eq. 333; Yelv. 11, n.; 1 Swans. R. 221; 18 Eng.
Com. Law Rep. 201; 4 Ves. jr. 301; 7 Ves. jr. 507; 1 Suppl. to Ves. jr. 204,
308, 311, 342, 348, 329; 8 Com. Dig. Appen. tit. Satisfaction, p. 917; Rob. on
Frauds, 46, n. 15; 2 Suppl. to Ves. jr. 22, 46, 205; 1 Vern. 346; Roper, Leg.
c. 17; 1 Roper on Hush. and Wife, 501 to 511; 2 Id. 53 to 63; Math. on Pres. c.
6, p. 107; 1 Desaus. R. 814; 2 Munf. Rep. 413; Stallm. on El. and Sat.
SATISFACTION PIECE, Eng. practice. An instrument of writing in
which it is declared that, satisfaction is acknowledged between the plaintiff
and defendant. It is signed by the attorney, and on its production and the
warrant of attorney to the clerk of the judgments, satisfactio is entered on
payment, of certain fees. Lee's Dict. of Pr. tit. Satisfaction.
SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE. That which is sufficient to induce a
belief that the thing is true; in other words, it is credible evidence. 3 Bouv.
Inst. n. 3049.
SCANDAL. A scandalous verbal report or rumor respecting some
2. The remedy is an action on the case.
3. In chancery practice, when a bill or other pleading contains
scandal, it will be referred to a master to be expunged, and till this has been
done, the opposite party need not answer. 3 Bl. Com. 342. Nothing is considered
scandalous which is positively relevant to the cause, however harsh and gross
the charge may be. The degree of relevancy is not deemed material. Coop. Eq.
Pl. 19; 2 Ves. 24; 6 Ves. 514, 11 Ves. 626; 15 Ves. 477; Story Eq. Plo.
§269 Vide Impertinent.
SCANDALUM MAGNATUM. Great scandal or slander. In England it. is
the slander of the great men, the nobility of the realm.
SCHEDULE, practice. When an indictment is returned, from au
inferior court in obedience to a writ of certiorari, the, statement of the
previous proceedings sent with it, is termed the schedule. 1 Saund. 309, a, n.
2. Schedules are also frequently annexed to answers in a court of
equity, and to depositions and other documents, in order to show more in detail
the matter they contain, than could otherwise be conveniently shown.
3. The term is frequently used instead of inventory.
SCHOOLMASTER. One employed in teaching a school.
2. A schoolmaster stands in loco parentis in relation to the pupils
committed to his charge, while they are under his care, so far as to enforce
obedience to his, commands, lawfully given in his capacity of school-master,
and he may therefore enforce them by moderate correction. Com. Dig. Pleader, 3
M 19; Hawk. c. 60, sect. 23. Vide Correction.
3. The schoolmaster is justly entitled to be paid for his important and
arduous services by those who em ploy him. See 1 Bing. R. 357 8 Moore's Rep.
368. His duties are to teach his pupils what he has undertaken, and to have a
special care over their morals. See 1 Stark. R. 421.
SCIENDUM, Eng. law. The name given to a clause inserted in the
record by which it is made " known that the justice here in court, in this same
term, delivered a writ thereupon to the deputy sheriff of the county aforesaid,
to be executed in due form of law." Lee's Dict. art. Record.
2. A man may do many acts which are justifiable or not, as he is
ignorant or not ignorant of certain facts. He may pass a counterfeit coin, when
he is ignorant of its being counterfeit, and is guilty of no offence; but if he
knew the coin to be counterfeit, which is called the scienter, he is guilty of
passing counterfeit money. A man who keeps an animal which injures some person,
or his property, is answerable for damages, or in some cases he may be indicted
if he had a knowledge of such animal's propensity to do injury. 3 Blackst.
Comm. 154; 2 Stark. Ev. 178; 4 Campb. 198; 2 Str. 1264; 2 Esp. 482; Bull. N. P.
77; Burr. 2092; 2 Lev. 172; Lord Raym. 110; 2 B. & A. 620; 2 C. M. & R.
496; 5 C. & P. 1; S. C. 24 E. C. L. R. 187; 1 Leigh, N. P. 552, 553; 7 C.
& P. 755.
4. In this respect the civil law agrees with our own. Domat, Lois Civ.
liv. 2, t. 8, s. 2. As to what evidence maybe given to prove guilty knowledge,
see Archb. Cr. Pl. 109. Vide Animal; Dog.
SCILICET. A Latin adverb, signifying that is to say; to wit;
2. It is a clause to usher in the sentence of another, to particularize
that which was too general before, distribute what was too gross, or to explain
what was doubtful and obscure. It neither increases nor diminish the premises
or habendum, for it gives nothing of itself; it may make a restriction when the
preceding words may be restrained. Hob. 171 P. Wms. 18; Co. Litt. 180 b, note
3. When the scilicet is repugnant to the precedent matter, it is void;
for example, when a declaration in trover states that the plaintiff on the
third day of May was possessed of certain goods which on the fourth day of May
came to the defendant's hands, who afterwards, to wit, on the first day of May
converted them, the scilicet was rejected as surplusage. Cro. Jac. 428; and
vide 6 Binn. 15; 3 Saund. 291, note 1, and the cases there cited. This word is
sometimes abbreviated, ss. or sst.
SCINTILLA JURIS, estates; A spark of right. A legal fiction,
resorted to for the purpose of enabling feoffees to uses to support contingent
uses when they come into existence, thereby to enable the statutes of uses, 27
Henry VIII., to execute them. 4 Kent's Com. 238, et seq., and the authorities
there cited, for the learning upon this subject.
SCIRE FACIAS, remedies, practice. The name of a judicial writ,
founded upon some record, and requiring the defendant to show cause why the
plaintiff should not have the "advantage of such record; or, when it is issued
to repeal letters-patent, why the record should not be annulled and vacated. 3
Sell. Pr. 187; Grah. Pr. 649; 2 Tidd's Pr. 982; 2 Arch. Pr. 76; Bac. Abr. h. t.
2. It is, however, considered as an action, and in the nature of a new
original. Skin. 682; Com. 455.
3. The scire facias against a bail, against pledges in replevin, to
repeal letters-patent, or the like, is an original proceeding; but when brought
to revive a judgment after a year and a day, or upon the death or marriage of
the parties, when in the latter case one of them is a woman; or when brought on
a judgment quando, &c., against an executor, it is but a continuation of
the original action. Vide 1 T. R. 388. Vide generally, 11 Vin. Ab. 1; 19 Vin.
Ab. 280 Bac. Ab. Execution, H; Bac. Ab. h. t. 2 Saund. 72 e, note, 3; Doct. Pl.
436 Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
SCIRE FACIAS AD AUDIENDUM ERRORES. The name of a writ which is
sued out after the plaintiff in error has assigned his errors. F. N. B. 20;
Bac. Ab. Error F.
SCIRE FACIAS AD DISPROBANDUM DEBTTUM. The name of a writ in use
in Pennsylvania, which lies by a defendant in foreign attachment against the
plaintiff, in order to enable him, within a year and a day next ensuing the
time of payment to the plaintiff in the attachment, to disprove or avoid the
debt recovered against him. Act relating to the commencement of actions, s. 61,
passed June 13th, 1836.
SCIRE FECI, practice. The return of the sheriff, or other proper
officer, to the writ of scire facias, when it has been served; scire feci, "I
have made known."
SCIRE FIERI INQUIRY, Eng. law. The name of a writ, the history
of the origin of which is as follows: when on an execution de bonis testatoris
against an executor the sheriff returned nulla bona and also a devastavit, a
fieri fac-ias, de bonis propriis, might formerly have been issued against the
executor, without a previous inquisition finding a devastavit and a scire
facias. But the most usual practice upon the sheriff's return of nulla bona a
to a fieri facias de bonis testatoris, was to sue out a special writ of fieri
facias de bonis testatoris, with a clause in it, "et si tibi constare,
poterit," that the executor had wasted the goods, then to levy de bonis
propriis. This was the practice in the king's bench till the time of Charles I.
2. In the common pleas a practice had prevailed in early times upon a
suggestion in the special writ of fieri facias of a devastavit by the executor,
to direct the sheriff to inquire by a jury, whether the executor had wasted the
goods, and if the jury found he had, then a scire facias was issued out against
him, and unless he made a good defence thereto, an execution de bonis propriis
was awarded against him.
3. The practice of the two courts being different, several cases were
brought into the king's bench on error, and at last it became the practice of
both courts, for the sake of expedition, to incorporate the fieri facias
inquiry, and scire facias, into one writ, thence called a scire fieri inquiry,
a name compounded of the first words of the two writs of scire facias and fieri
facias, and that of inquiry, of which it consists.
4. This writ recites the fieri facias de bonis testatoris sued out on
the judgment against the executor, the return of nulla bona by the sheriff, and
then suggesting that the executor bad sold and converted the goods of the
testator to the value of the debt and damages recovered, commands the sheriff
to levy the said debt and damages of the goods of the testator in the hands of
the executor, if they could be but if it should appear to him by the
inquisition of a jury that the executor had wasted the goods of the testator,
then the sheriff is to warn the executor to appear, &c. If the judgment had
been either by or against the testator or intestate, or both, the writ of fieri
facias recites that fact, and also that the court had adjudged, upon a scire
facias to revive the judgment, that the executor or administrator should have
execution for the debt, &c. Clift's Entr. 659; Lilly's Entr. 664; 3 Rich.
Pr. K. B. 523.
5. Although this practice is sometimes adopted, yet the most usual
proceeding is by action of debt on the judgment, suggesting a devastavit,
because in the proceeding by scire fieri inquiry the plaintiff is not entitled
to costs, unless the executor appears and pleads to the scire facias. 1 Saund.
219, n. 8. See 2 Archb. Pr. 934.
SCITE. The setting or standing of may place. The seat or
situation of a capital messuage, or the ground on which it Stood. Jacob, L. D.
SCOLD. A woman who by her habit of scolding becomes a nuisance
to the neighborhood, is called a common scold. Vide Common Scold.
SCOT AND LOT, Eng. law. The name of a customary contribution,
laid upon all the subjects according to their ability.
SCOUNDREL. An opprobrious title given to a person of bad
character. General damages will not lie for calling a man a scoundrel, but
special damages may be recovered when there has been an actual loss. 2 Bouv:
Inst. n. 2250; 1 Chit. Pr. 44.
SCRIPT, conv. The original or principal instrument, where there
are part and counterpart. Vide Chirograph; Part, Rescript.
SCRIVENER. A person whose, business it is to write deeds and
other instruments for others; a conveyancer.
2. Money scriveners are those who are engaged in procuring money to be
lent on mortgages and other securities, and lending such money accordingly.
They act also as agents for the purchase and sale of real estates.
3. To be considered a money scrivener, a person must be concerned in
carrying on the trade or profession as a means of making a livelihood. He must
in the course of his occupation receive other men's moneys into his trust and
custody, to lay out for them as occasion offers. 3 Camp. R. 538; 2 Esp. Cas.
SCROLL. A mark which is to supply the place of a seal, made with
a pen or other instrument on a writing.
2. In some of the states this has all the efficacy of a seal. 1, S.
& R. 72; 1 Wash. 42; 2 McCord, 380; 4 McCord 267; 3 Blackf. 161; 3 Gill
& John. 234; 2 Halst. 272. Vide Seal; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 504; 2 Rep. 5.
a; Perk. §129. In others, a scroll has no such effect; and when a suit is
brought on an instrument sealed with a scroll, the act of limitations may be
pleaded to it, as to a simple contract. 2 Rand. 446; 6 Halst. 174; 5 John. 239;
1 Blackf. 241; Griff. Law Reg., answers to question No 110.
SCUTAGE, old Eng. law. The name of a tax or contribution raised
for the use of the king's armies by those who held lands by knight's service.
SCYREGEMOTE. The name of a court among the Saxons. It was the
court of the shire, in Latin called curia comitatus, and the principal court
among the Saxons. It was holden twice a year for determining all causes both
ecclesias-tical and secular.
SE DEFENDENDO, criminal law. Defending himself.
2. Homicide, se defendendo, is that which takes place upon a sudden
rencounter, where two persons upon a sudden quarrel, without premeditation or
malice, fight upon equal terms, and one, before a mortal stroke has been given,
declines any further combat, and retreats as far as he can with safety, and
kills his adversary, through necessity, to avoid immediate death. 2 Swift's
Dig. 289 pamphl. Rep. of Selfridge's, Trial in, 1805 Hawk. bk. 1, c. 11, s. 13;
2 Russ. on Cr. 543; Bac. Ab. Murder, &c F 2.
SEA. The ocean; the great mass of waters which surrounds the
land, and which probably extends from pole to pole, covering nearly three
quarters of the globe. Waters within the ebb and flow of the tide, are to be
considered the sea. Gilp. R. 526.
2. The sea is public and common to all people, and every person has an
equal right to navigate it, or to fish there; Ang. on Tide Wat. 44 to 49;
Dane's Abr. c. 68, a. 3, 4; Inst. 2, 1, 1; and to land upon the sea, shore. (q.
3. Every nation has jurisdiction to the distance of a cannon shot, (q,
v.) or marine league, over the water adjacent to its shore. 2 Cranch, 187, 234;
1 Circuit Rep. 62; Bynk. Qu. Pub. Juris. 61; 1 Azuni Mar. Law, 204; Id. 185;
SEA LETTER OR SEA BRIEF, maritime law. A document which should
be found on board of every neutral ship; it specifies the nature and quantity
of the cargo, the place from whence it comes, and its destination. Chit. Law of
Nat. 197; 1 John. 192.
SEA SHORE, property. That space of land, on the border of the
sea, which is alternately covered and left dry, by the rising and falling of
the tide or, in other words, that space of land between high and low water
mark. Hargr, Tr. 12; 6 Mass. 435, 439; 1 Pick. 180, 182; 5 Day, 22.
2. Generally, the sea shore belongs to the public. Angell on Tide Wat.
34, 5; 3 Kent's Com. 347.
3. By the Roman law, the shore included the land as far as the greatest
wave extended in winter; est autem littus, maris, quatenus hibernus, fluctus
maximus excurrit. Inst. lib. 2, t. 1, s. 3. Littus publicum est eatenus qua
maxime fluctus exaestuat. Dig., lib, 50, t. 16, s. 112.
4. The Civil Code of Louisiana seems to have followed the law of the
Insti-tutes and the Digest, for it enacts, art. 442, that the "sea shore is
that space, of land over which the waters of the sea are spread in the highest
water, during the winter season." Vide. 5 Rob. Adm. R. 182; Dougl. 425; 1
Halst. R. 1; 2 Roll. Ab. 170; Dyer, 326; 5 Co. 107; Bac. Ab., Courts of
Admiralty,, A; 1 Am. Law Mag. 76; 16 Pet. R. 234, 367 Ang. on Tide Waters,
Index, tit. Shore; 2 Bligh's N, S. 146; 5 M. & W. 327 Merl. Quest. de
Droit, mots Rivage de la Mer; Inst. 2, 1, 2; 22 Maine, R. 350. For the law of
Mass. vide Dane's Ab. c. 68, a 3, 4.
SEA WEED. A species of grass which grows in the sea.
2. When cast upon land, it belongs to the owner of the land adjoining
the sea shore; upon the grounds, that it increases gradually, that it is useful
as manure and a protection to the ground, and that it is some compensation for
the encroachments of the sea upon the land. 2 John. R. 313, 323. Vide 5 Verm.
3. The French differs from our law in this respect, as sea weeds there,
when cast on the beach, belong to the first occupant. Dall. Dict. Propriete,
art. 3, §2, n. 128.
SEA WORTHINESS, mer. law. The ability of a ship or other vessel
to make a sea voyage with probable safety: there is, in every insurance,
whether on ship or goods, an implied warranty that the ship shall be worthy
when she sails on the voyage insured; that is, that she shall be "tight,
staunch, and strong, properly manned, provided with all necessary stores, and
in all respects fit for the intended voyage." Marsh. Ins. 153 2 Phil. Ev. 60 10
Johns. R. 58.
2. The following rules have been established in regard, to the warranty
3. - 1. That it is of no consequence whether the insured was aware of
the condition of the ship, or not. His innocence or ignorance is no answer to
the fact that the ship was not sea-worthy.
4. - 2. - The opinion of carpenters who have repaired the vessel,
however they may strengthen the presumption that the ship is sea-worthy, when
it is favorable, is not conclusive of the fact of sea-worthiness. 4 Dow's Rep.
5. - 3. The presumption, prima facie, is for sea-worthiness. 1 Dow's R.
336; And it is presumed that a vessel continues sea-worthy, if she was so at
the inception of the risk. 20 Pick. 389. See 1 Brev. 252.
6. - 4. Any sort of disrepair left in the ship, by which she, or the
cargo may suffer, is a breach of the warranty of sea-worthiness.
7. - 5. A deficiency of force in the crew, or of skill in the master,
mate, &c., is a want of sea-worthiness. 1 Campb. 1; 14 East, R. 481. But if
there was once a sufficient crew, their temporary absence will not be
considered a breach of the warranty. 2 Barn. & Ald. 73; 1 John. Cas. 184; 1
8. - 6. A vessel may be rendered not sea-worthy by being overloaded. 2
Barn. & Ald . 320.
9. - 7. When the sea-worthiness arises from justifiable ignorance of
the cause of the defect, and is discovered and remedied before any injury
occurs, it is not to be considered as a defect. Ib. See, generally, 2 John.
124, 129; 3 John. Cas. 76; 1 John. 241; 1 Caines, 217 3 S. & R. 25 1 Whart.
10. By an act of congress, approved July 20, 1840, as amended, by the
act of July 29, 1850, it is provided, that if the first officer, (or a second
and third officer,) and a majority of the crew of any vessel, shall make
complaint in writing that she is in an unsuitable condition to go to sea,
because she is leaky, or insufficiently supplied with sails, rigging, anchors,
or any other equipment, or that the crew is insufficient to man her, or that
her provisions, stores, and supplies are not, or have not been, during the
voyage, sufficient and wholesome, thereupon, in any of these or like cases, the
consul or commercial agent who may discharge any duties of a consul shall
appoint two disinterested, competent, practical men, acquainted with maritime
affairs, to examine into the causes of complaint, who shall, in their report,
state what defects and deficiencies, if any they find to be well founded, as
well as what, in their judgment ought to be done, to put the vessel in order
for the continuance of her voyage.
SEAL, conveyancing, contracts. A seal is an impression upon wax, wafer,
or some other tenacious substance capable of being impressed. 5 Johns. R. 239.
Lord Coke defines a seal to be wax, with an impression. 3 Inst. 169. "
Sigillum," says he, "est cera impressa, quia cera sine impressione non est
sigillum." This is the common law definition of a seal. Perk. 129, 134; Bro.
tit. Faits, 17, 30; 2 Leon 21; 5 John. 239; 2 Caines, R. 362; 21 Pick. R. 417.
2. But in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the southern and western states
generally, the impression upon wax has been disused, and a circular, oval, or
square mark, opposite the name of the signer, has the same effect as a seal the
shape of it however is indifferent; and it is usually written with a pen. 2
Serg. & Rawle, 503; 1 Dall. 63; 1 Serg. & Rawle, 72; 1 Watts, R. 322; 2
Halst. R. 272.
3. A notary must use his official seal, to authenticate his official
acts, and a scroll will not answer. 4 Blackf. R. 185. As to the effects of a
seal, vide Phil. Ev. Index, h. t. Vide, generally, 13 Vin. Ab. 19; 4 Kent, Com.
444; 7 Caines' Cas. 1; Com. Dig. Fait, A 2.
4. Merlin defines a real to be a plate of metal with a flat surface, on
which is engraved the arms of a prince or nation, or private individual or
other device, with which an impression may be made on wax or other substance on
paper or parchment, in order to authenticate them: the impression thus made is
also called a seal. Repert. mot Sceau; 3 McCord's R. 583; 5 Whart. R. 563.
5. When a seal is affixed to an instrument, it makes it a specialty,
(q. v.) and whether the seal be affixed by a corporation or an individual the
effect is the same. 15 Wend. 256.
6. Where an instrument concludes with the words, "witness our hands and
seals," and is signed by two persons, with only one seal, the jury may infer,
from the face of the paper, that the person who signed last, adopted the seal
of the first. 6 Penn. St. Rep. 302. Vide 9 Am Jur. 290-297; 1 Ohio Rep. 368; 3
John. 470. 12 ohu. 76; as to the origin and use of seals, Addis. on Cont. 6;
7. The public seal of a foreign state, proves itself; and public acts,
decrees and judgments, exemplified under this seal, are received as true and
genuine. 2 Cranch, 187, 238; 4 Dall. 416; 7 Wheat. 273, 335; 1 Denio, 376; 2
Conn. 85, 90; 6 Wend. 475; 9 Mod. 66. But to entitle its seal to such
authority, the foreign state must have been acknowledged by the government,
within whose jurisdiction the forum is located. 3 Wheat. 610; 9 Ves. 347.
SEAL-OFFICE, English practice. The office at which certain
judicial writs are sealed with the prerogative seal, and without which they are
of no author-ity. The officer whose duty it is to seal such writs is called
"sealer of writs;"
SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES, government. The seal used by the
United States in congress assembled, shall be the seal of the United States,
viz.: ARMS, pale-ways of thirteen pieces argent and gules; a chief azure; the
escutcheon on the breast of the American eagle displayer proper, holding in his
dexter talon, an olive branch, and in his sinister, a bundle of thirteen
arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this motto, "E
pluribus unum." For the CREST: over the head of the eagle which appears above
the escutcheon, a glory, or breaking through a cloud, proper, and surrounding
thirteen stars, forming a constellation argent on an azure field. REVERSE, a
pyramid unfin-ished. In the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded with a
glory proper: over the eye, these words, "Annuit caeptis." On the base of the
pyramid, the numerical letters, MDCCLXXVI; and underneath, the following motto,
"Novus ordo sectorum." Resolution of Congress, June 20, 1782; Gordon's Dig.
SEALING OF A VERDICT, practice. The putting a verdict in
writing, and placing it in an envelop, which is sealed. To relieve jurors after
they have agreed, it is not unusual for the counsel to agree that the jury
shall seal their verdict, and then separate. When the court is again in
session, the jury come in and give their verdict, in all respects as if it had
not been sealed, and a juror may dissent from it, if since the sealing, he has
honestly changed his mind. 8 Ham. 405; Gilm. 333; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3257.
SEALS, matters of succession. On the death of a person, according to
the laws of Louisiana, if the heir wishes to obtain the benefit of inventory,
and the delays for deliberating, he is bound as soon as he knows of the death
of the deceased to whose succession he is called, and before committing any act
of heirship, to cause the seals to be affixed on the effects of the succession,
by any judge or justice of the peace. Civ. Code, of Lo. art. 1027.
2. In ten days after this affixing of the seals, the, heir is bound to
present a petition to the judge of the place in which the succession, is
opened, praying for the removal of the seals, and that a true and faithful
inventory of the effects of the succession be made. Id. art. 1028.
3. In case of vacant estates, and estates of which the heirs are absent
and not represented, the seals, after the decease, must be affixed by a judge
or justice of the peace within the limits of his jurisdiction, and may be fixed
by him, either ex officio, or at the request of the parties. Civ. Code of Lo.
art. 1070. The seals are affixed at the request of the parties, when a widow, a
testamentary executor, or any other person who pretends to have an interest in
a succession or community of property, requires it. Id. art. 1071.; They are
affixed ex officio, when the presumptive heirs of the deceased do not all
reside in the place where be died, or if any of them happen to be absent. Id.
4. The object of placing the seals on the effects of a succession, is
for the purpose of preserving them, and for the interest of third persons. Id.
5. The seals must be placed on the bureaus, coffers, armoires, and
other things, which contain the effects and papers of the deceased, and on the
doors of the apartments which contain these things, so that they cannot be
opened without tearing off, breaking, or altering the seals. Id. art. 1069.
6. The judge or justice of the peace, who affixes the seals, is bound
to appoint guardian, at the expense of the succession, to take care of the
seals and of the effects, of which an account is taken at the end of the
proces-verbal of the affixing of the seals; the guardian must be domiciliated
in the plaze where the inventory is taken. Id. art. 1079. And the judge; when
he retires, must take with him the keys of all things and apartments upon which
the seals have been affixed. lb.
7. The raising of the seals is done by the judge of the place, or
justice of the peace appointed by him to that effect, in the presence of the
witnesses of the vicinage, in the same manner as for the affixing of the seals.
Id. art. 1084. See, generally; Benefit of Inventory, Succession; Code de Pro.
Civ. 2e part. lib. 1, t. 1, 2, 3; Dict. de Jurisp. Scelle.
SEAMAN. A sailor; a mariner; one whose business is navigation. 2
Boulay Paty, Dr. Com. 232; Code de Commerce art. 262; Laws of Oleron, art. 7;
Laws of Wishuy, art. 19. The term seamen, in it most enlarged sense, includes
the captain a well as other persons of the crew; in a more confined
signification, it extends only to the common sailors; 3 Pardes. n. 667; the
mate; 1 Pet. Adm. Dee. 246; the cook and steward; 2 Id. 268; are considered, as
to their rights to sue in the admiralty, as common seamen; and persons employed
on board of steamboats and lighters, engaged in trade or commerce, on tide
water, are within the admiralty jurisdiction, while those employed in ferry
boats are not. Gilp. R. 203, 532. Persons who do not contribute their aid in
navigating the vessel or to its preservation in the course of their occupation,
as musicians, are not to be considered as seamen with a right to sue in the
admiralty for their wages. Gilp. R. 516, See 1 Bell's Com. 509, 5th ed.; 2 Rob.
Adm. R. 232; Dunl. Adm. Pr. h . t.
2. Seamen are employed either in merchant vessels for private service,
or in public vessels for the service of the United States.
3. - 1. Seamen in the merchant vessels are required to enter into a
contract in writing commonly called shipping articles. (q. v.) This contract
being entered into, they are bound under. severe penalties, to render
themselves on board the vessel according to the agreement: they are not at
liberty to leave the ship without the consent of the captain or commanding
officer, and for such absence, when less than forty-eight hours, they forfeit
three day's wages for every day of absence; and when the absence is more than
forty-eight hours, at one time, they forfeit all the wages due to them, and all
their goods and chattels which were on board the vessel, or in any store where
they may have been lodged at the time of their desertion, to the use of the
owners of the vessel, and they are liable for damages for hiring other hands.
They may be imprisoned for desertion until the ship is ready to bail.
4. On board, a seaman is bound to do his duty to the utmost of his
ability; and when his services are required for extraordinary exertions, either
in consequence of the death of other seamen, Or on account of unforeseen
perils, he is not entitled to an increase of wages, although it may have been
promised to him. 2 Campb. 317; Peake's N. P. Rep. 72; 1 T. R. 73. For
disobedience of orders he may be imprisoned or punished with stripes, but the
correction (q. v.) must be reasonable; 4 Mason, 508; Bee, 161; 2 Day, 294; 1
Wash. C. C. R. 316; and, for just cause, may be put ashore in a foreign
country. 1 Pet. Adm. R. 186; 2 Ibid. 268; 2 East, Rep. 145. By act of Congress,
September 28, 1850, Minot's Stat. at Large, U. S. p. 515, it is provided, that
flogging in the navy and on board vessels of commerce, be, and the same is
hereby abolished from and after the passage of this act.
5. Seamen are entitled to their wages, of which one-third is due at
every port at which the vessel shall unlade and deliver her cargo, before the
voyage be ended; and at the end of the voyage an easy and speedy remedy is
given them to recover all unpaid wages. When taken sick a seaman is entitled to
medical advice and aid at the expense of the ship: such expense being
considered in, the nature of additional wages, and as constituting a just
remuneration for his labor and services. Gilp. 435, 447; 2 Mason, 541; 2 Mass.
6. The right of seamen to wages is founded not in the shipping
articles, but in the services performed; Bee, 395; and to recover such wages
the seaman has a triple remedy, against the vessel, the owner, and the master.
Gilp. 592; Bee, 254.
7. When destitute in foreign ports, American consuls and commercial
agents are required to provide for them, and for their passages to some port of
the United States, in a reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States;
and American vessels are bound to take such seamen on board at the request of
the consul, but not exceeding two men for every hundred tons of the ship, and
transport them to the United States, on such terms, not exceeding ten dollars
for each person, as may be agreed on. Vide, generally, Story's Laws U. S.
Index, h. t.; 3 Kent, Com, 136 to 156; Marsh. Ins. 90; Poth. Mar. Contr.
translated by Cushing, Index, h. t.; 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 155.
8. - 2. Seamen in the public service are governed by particular laws.
SEAMEN'S FUND. By the act of July 16, 1798, a provision is made
for raising a fund for the relief of disabled and sick seamen: the master of
every vessel arriving from a foreign port into the United States is required to
pay to the collector of customs at the rate of twenty cents per month for every
seaman employed on board of his vessel, which sum he may, retain out of the
wages of such seaman: vessels engaged in the coasting trade, and boats, rafts
or flats navigating the Mississippi, with intention to proceed to New Orleans,
are also laid under similar obligations. The fund thus raised is to be employed
by the president of the United States as circumstances shall require, for the
benefit and convenience of sick and disabled American seamen. Act of March 3,
1802, s. 1.
2. By the act of congress, passed February 28, 1803, c. 62, 2 Story's
L. U. S. 884, it is provided, that when a seaman is discharged in a foreign
country with his own consent, or when the ship is sold there, he shall, in
addition to his usual wages, be paid three months' wages into the hands of the
American consul, two-thirds of which are to be paid to such seaman, on his
engagement on board any vessel to return home, and the remaining one-third is
retained in aid of a fund for the relief of distressed American seamen in
foreign ports. See 11 John. R. 66; 12 John. Rep. 143; 1 Mason, R. 45; 4 Mason,
R. 541; Edw. Adm. R. 239.
SEARCH, crim. law. An examination of a man's house, premises or
person, for the purpose of discovering proof of his guilt in relation to some
crime or misdemeanor of which be is accused.
2. The constitution of the United. States, amendments, art. 4, protects
the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. 3 Story, Const. §1895;
Rawle, Const. ch. 10, p. 127; 10 John. R. 263; 11 John. R. 500; 3 Cranch, 447.
3. By the act of March 2, 1799, s. 68, 1 Story's L. U. S. 632, it is
enacted, that every collector, naval officer, and surveyor, or other person
specially appointed, by either of them, for that purpose, shall have fall power
and authority to enter any ship or vessel, in which they shall have reason to
suspect any goods, wares, or merchandise, subject to duty, are concealed, and
therein to search for, seize, and secure any such goods, wares, or merchandise;
and if they shall have cause to suspect a concealment thereof in any particular
dwelling house, store, building, or other place they or either of them shall;
upon proper application, on oath, to any justice of the peace, be entitled to a
warrant to enter such house, store, or other place, (in the day time only, and
there to search for such goods; and if any shall be found, to seize and secure
the same for trial; and all such goods, wares, and merchandise, on which the
duties shall not have been paid, or secured to be paid, shall be forfeited.
SEARCH, practice. An examination made in the proper lien office
for mortgages, liens, judgments, or other encumbrances, against real estate.
The certificate given by the officer as to the result of such examination is
also called a search.
2. Conveyancers and others who cause searches to be made ought to be
very careful that they should be correct, with regard, 1. To the time during
which the person against whom the search has been made owned the premises. 2.
To the property searched against, which ought to be properly described. 3. To
the form of the certificate of search.
SEARCH, RIGHT OF, mar. law. The right existing in a belligerent
to examine and inspect the papers of a neutral vessel at sea. On the continent
of Europe, this is called the right of visit. Dalloz, Dict. mots Prises
Maritimes, n. 104-111.
2. The right does not extend to examine the cargo; nor does it extend
to a ship of war, it being strictly confined to the searching of merchant
vessels. The exercise of the right is to prevent the commerce of contraband
goods. Although frequently resisted by powerful neutral nations, yet this right
appears now to be fixed beyond contravention. The penalty for violently
resisting this right is the confiscation of the property so withheld from
visitation. Unless in extreme cases of gross abuse of his right by a
belligerent, the neutral has no right to resist a search. 1 Kent, Com. 154; 2
Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 319; Mann. Comm. B. 3, c. 11.
SEARCH WARRANT, crim. law, practice. A warrant (q. v.) requiring
the officer to whom it is addressed, to search a house or other place therein
specified, for property therein alleged to have been stolen; and if the same
shall be found upon such search, to bring the goods so found, together with the
body of the person occupying the same, who is named, before the justice or
other officer granting the warrant, or some other justice of the peace, or
other lawfully authorized officer. It should be given under the hand and seal
of the justice, and dated.
2. The constitution of the United States, amendments, art. 4, declares
that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and
no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
person or things to be seized."
3. Lord Hale, 2 P. C. 149, 150, recommends great caution in granting
such warrants. 1. That they be, not granted without oath made before a justice
of a felony committed, and that the complainant has probable cause to suspect
they are in such a house or place, and his reasons for such suspicion. 2. That
such warrants express that the search shall be made in day time. 3. That they
ought to be directed to a constable or other proper officer, and not to a
private person. 4. A search warrant ought to command the officer to bring the
stolen goods and the person in whose custody they are, before some justice of
the peace. Vide 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 57, 64; 4 Inst. 176; Hawk. B. 2, c. 13, s. 17,
n. 6; 11 St. Tr; 321; 2 Wils. 149, 291; Burn's Just. h. t.; Williams' Just. h.
SEARCHER, Eng. law. An officer of the customs, whose duty it is
to examine and search all ships outward bound, to ascertain whether they have
any prohibited or uncustomed goods on board.
SECK. This word has two significations. 1. It means a warrant of
remedy by distress. Litt. s. 218; and vide Rent. 2. It imports want of present
fruit or profit, as in the case of the reversion without rent or other service,
except fealty. Co. Litt. 151 b, note 5.
SECOND. A measure equal to one sixtieth part of a minute. Vide Measure.
SECOND DELIVERANCE, practice. The name of a writ given by
statute of Westminster the second, 13 Edw. 1. c. 2, founded on the record of a
former action of replevin. 2 Inst. 341. It commands the sheriff, if the
plaintiff make him secure of prosecuting his claim, and returning the chattels
which were adjudged to the defendant by reason of the plaintiff's default, to
make deliver-ance. On being nonsuited, the plaintiff in replevin might, at
common law, have brought another replevin, and so in infinitum, to the
intolerable vexation of the defendant. The statute of Westminster restrains the
plaintiff When nonsuited from so doing, but allows him this writ, issuing out
of the original record, in order to have the same distress delivered again to
him, on his giving the like security as before. 3 Bl. Com. 150,; Hamm. N. P.
495; F. N. B. 68; 19 Vin. Ab. 1.
SECOND SURCHARGE, WRIT OF. The name of a writ issued in England
against a commoner who has a second time surcharged the common. 3 Bl. Com. 239.
SECONDARY, construction. That which comes after the first, which
is primary: as, the primary law of, nations the secondary law of nations.
SECONDARY, English law. An officer who is second or next to the
chief officer; as secondaries to the prothonotaries of the courts of king's
bench, or common pleas; secondary of the remembrancer in the exchequer, &c.
Jacob, L. D. h. t.
SECONDARY EVIDENCE. That species of proof which is admissible on
the loss of primary evidence, and which becomes, by that event, the best
evidence. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3055.
SECONDS, crim. law. Those persons who assist, direct and support
others engaged in fighting a duel.
2. As they are often much to blame in inciting the duellists to their
rash act, and as they are always assisting in the commission of the crime, the
laws generally punish them with severity but, in consequence of the false ideas
too generally entertained on the subject of honor, the are too seldom enforced.
SECRET. That which is not to be revealed.
2. Attorneys and counsellors, who have been trusted professionally with
the secrets of their clients, are not allowed to reveal them in a court of
justice. The right of secrecy belongs to the client, and not to the attorney
3. As to the matter communicated, it extends to all cases where the
client applies for professional advice or assistance; and it does not appear
that the protection is qualified by any reference to proceedings pending or in
contem-plation. Story, Eq. Pl. §600; 1 Milne & K. 104; 3 Sim. R. 467.
3. Documents confided professionally to the counsel cannot be demanded,
unless indeed the party would himself be bound to produce them. Hare on Discov.
171. Grand jurors are sworn the commonwealth's secrets, their fellows and their
own to keep. Vide Confidential comunications; Witness.
SECRET, rights. A knowledge of something which is unknown to
orthers, out of which a profit may be made; for example, an invention of a
machine, or the discovery of the effect of the combination of certain matters.
2. Instances have occurred of secrets of that kind being kept for many
years, but they are liable to constant detection. As such secrets are not
pro-perty, the possessors of them in general prefer making them public, and
securing the exclusive right for years, under the patent laws, to keeping them
in an insecure manner, without them. See Phil. on Pat. ch. 15; Gods. on Pat.
171; Dav. Pat. Cas. 429; 8 Ves. 215; 2 Ves. & B. 218; 2 Mer. 446; 3 Mer.
157; 1 Jac. & W. 394; 1 Pick. 443; 4 Mason, 15; 3 B. & P. 630.
SECRETARY. An officer who, by order of his superior, writes
letters and other instruments. He is so called because he is possessed of the
secrets of his employer. This term wag used in France in 1343, and in England
the term secretary was first applied to the clerks of the king, who being
always near his person were called clerks of the secret, and in the reign of
Henry VIII. the term secretary of state came into it.
SECRETARY OF EMBASSY or OF LEGATION. An officer appointed by the
sovereign power, to accompany a minister of first or secoud rank, and
sometimes, though not often, of an inferior rank. He is, in fact, a species of
public minister; for independently of his protection as attached to an
ambassador's suite, be enjoys, in his own rights, the same protection of the
law of nations, and the same immunities as an ambassador. But private
secretaries of a minister must Dot be confounded with secretaries of embassy or
of legation. Such private secretaries are entitled to protection only as
belonging to the suite of the ambassador.
2. The functions of a secretary of legation consist in his employment
by his minister for objects of ceremony; in making verbal reports to the
secretary of state, or other foreign ministers; in taking care of the archives
of the mission; in ciphering and deciphering despatches; in sometimes making
rough draughts of the notes or letters whicb the minister writes to his
colleagues or to the local authorities; in drawup proces verbaux; in presenting
passports to the minister for his signature, and delivering them to the persons
for whom they are intended; and, finally, in assisting the minister, under whom
be is placed, in everything concerning the affairs of the mission. In the
absence of the minister he is admitted to conferences and to present notes
signed by the minister. Vide Ambassador; Minister; Suite.
SECRETARY OF LEGATION. An officer employed to attend a foreign
mission, and to perform certain duties as clerk.
2. His salary is fixed by the act of congress of May 1, 1810, s. 1, at
such a sum as the president of the United States may allow, not exceeding two
3. The salary of a secretary of embassy, or the secretary of a minister
plenipotentiary, is the same as that of a secretary of legation.
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, government. This officer is appointed by
the president. His duties are to execute all such orders as he shall receive
from the president, relative to the procurement of naval stores and materials,
and the construction, armament, equipment and employment of vessels of war; as
well as all other matters connected with the naval establishment of the United
States; act of 30th April, 1798, s. 1, 1 Story's Laws, 498; he appoints his own
clerks and subordinate officers. Various other duties are imposed upon him by
sundry acts of congress. Vide Gordon's Dig. art. 370 to 375.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars. Act of 20th Feb. 1819, 3 Story's
SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES, government. The
principal officer in the Department of State. (q. v.) He shall perform such
duties as shall be enjoined on or entrusted to him by the president, agreeably
to the constitution, refative to the correspondences, commissions or
instructions to or with public ministers or consuls from the United States, or
to negotiations with foreign states or princes, or to memorials or other
applications from foreign public ministers or foreigners, or to such other
matters respecting foreign affairs as the president of the United States shall
assign to such department. The secretary shall conduct the business of his
department in such manner as the president shall, from time to time, order or
instruct. Act of 27th July, 1789 act of 15th Sept: 1789, s. 1. Besides these
general laws, there are various, others which impose upon him inferior and less
2. His salary is six thousand dollars per annum. Act of 20th Feb. 1819.
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITEE STATES, government. An
officer appointed by the president. His principal duties are, 1. To superintend
the collection of the revenue. 2. To digest, prepare, and lay before congress
at the commencement of every session, a report on the subject of finance. 3. To
annex to the annual estimates of the appropriations required for the public
service, a statement of the appropriations for the service of the year, which
may have been made by former acts. 4. To give information to either house of
congress, respecting all matters connected with his office. Besides these,
there are other minor duties imposed upon him by various acts of congress.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars. Gord. Dig. art. 249 to 262.
SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF WAR, government. This officer is
appointed by the president. He is required to perform and execute such duties
as shall, from time to time, be enjoined on or entrusted to him by the
president, agreeably to the constitution, relative to military commissions or
to the land forces, or warlike stores of the United States, or to such other
matters respecting military affairs as the president shall assign to the
department of war, (q. v.) or relative to granting of lands to persons entitled
thereto for military services rendered to the United States, or relative to
Indian affairs. Act of 27th Aug., 1789, 1 Story's Laws, 31.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars per annum. Act of 20th Feb. 1819,
3 Story's Laws, 1720.
3. Various other duties are imposed upon the secretary by sundry acts
of congress. Vide Laws, Index, Departments, &c.; Gordon's Dig. art. 368 to
SECTA pleading. In ancient times the plaintiff was required to
establish the truth of his declaration in the first instance, and before it was
called in question, upon the pleading, by the simultaneous production of his
secta, that is, a number of persons prepared to confirm his allegations. Bract.
2. The practice of thus producing a secta, gave rise to the very.
ancient formula almost invariably used at the conclusion of a declaration, as
entered on the record, et inde producit sectam; and, though the actual
production has, for many centuries, fallen into disuse, the formula still
remains. Accordingly, except the count on a writ of right, and in dower, all
declarations constantly conclude thus, "And therefore he brings his suit,
&c. The count on a writ of right did not, in ancient times, conclude with
the ordinary production of suit, but with the following formula peculiar to
itself, "Et quod tale sit jus suum offert disrationare per corpus, talis liberi
hominis, &c., and it concludes, at the present day, with an abbreviated.
translation of the same phrase: "And, that such is his right, he offers,"
&c. The count in dower is an exception to the rule in question, and
concludes without any production of suit, a peculiarity which appears always to
have belonged to that action. Steph. Pl. 427, 8; 3 Bl. Com. 395; Gilb. C. P.
48; 1 Chit. Pl. 399.
SECTION OF LAND. The lands of the United States are surveyed
into parcels of six hundred and forty acres; each such parcel is called a
section. 1 Story's L. U. S. 422.
2. These sections are divided into half sections, each of which
contains three hundred and twenty acres, and into quarter sections of one
hundred and sixty acres each.
SECTORES. Among the Romans the bidders at an auction were so
called. Bab. on Auct. 2.
TO SECURE. To protect, insure, or save a right.
2. The constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 8, gives power to
congress "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing,
for Iimited times, to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their
respective writings and discoveries." The inventor of a machine has the right
to it exclusively at common law, and the author a right to his manuscript. But
they may abandon the, right by publishing the book without having secured a
copy-right, (q. v.) or by using publicly the machine, and suffering others to
use it, without having obtained a patent. (q. v.) Vide Secret.
SECURITY. That which renders a matter sure; an instrument which
renders certain the performance of a contract. The term is also sometimes
applied to designate a person who becomes the surety for another, or who
engages himself for the performance of another's contract. See 3 Blackf. R.
SECURITY FOR COSTS, practice. In some courts there is a rule
that when the plaintiff resides abroad he shall give security for costs, and
until that has been done, when demanded, he cannot proceed in his action.
2. This is a right which the defendant must claim in proper time, for
if he once waives it, he cannot afterwards claim it; the waiver is seldom, or
perhaps never expressly made, but is generally implied from the acts of the
de-fendant. When the defendant had undertaken to accept short notice of trial;
2 Hen. Bl. 573; 3 Taunt. 272 or after issue joined, and when he knew of
plain-tiff's residence abroad; or, with such knowledge, when the defendant
takes any step in the cause these several acts will amount to a waiver. 5 Bar
& Ald. 702; S. C. 1 Dow. & Ryl. 348; 1 M. & P. 30; S. C. 17 E. C.
L. R. 164. Vide 3 John. Ch. R. 520; 1 John. Ch. Rep. 202; 1 Ves. jun. 396.
3. The fact that the defendant is out of the jurisdiction of the court,
will not, alone, authorize the requisition of security for costs; he must have
his domicil abroad. 1 Ves. jr. 396. When, the defendant resides abroad, he will
be required to give such security, although he is a foreign prince. 33 E. C. L.
Rep. 214. Vide 11 S. & Rawle, 121 1 Miles, R. 321; 2 Miles, 402.
SEDITION, crimes. The raising commotions or disturbances in the
state; it is a revolt against legitimate authority, Ersk. Princ. Laws, Scotl.
b. 4, t. 4, s. 14; Dig. Lib. 49, t. 16, 1. 3, §19.
2. The distinction between sedition and treason consists in this, that
though its ultimate object is a violation of the public peace, or at least such
a course of measures as evidently engenders it, yet it does not aim at direct
and open violence against the laws, or the subversion of the constitution.
Alis. Crim. Law of Scotl. 580.
3. The. obnoxious and obsolete act of July 14, 1798, 1 Story's Laws U.
S. 543, was called the sedition law, because its professed object was to
4. In the Scotch law, sedition is either verbal or real. Verbal is
inferred from the uttering of words tending to create discord between the king
and his people; real sedition is generally committed by convocating together
any considerable number of people, without lawful authority, under the pretence
of redressing some public grievance, to the disturbing of the public peace. 1
Ersk. ut supra.
SEDUCTION. The offence of a man who abuses the simplicity and
confidence of a woman to obtain by false promises what she ought not to grant.
2. The woman being particeps criminis, has no remedy for the mere
seduction, nor is there, to the discredit of the law, a direct remedy in her
parents. The seducer may be sued, though not. directly or ostensibly for the
seduction; but for the consequent inability to perform those services for which
she was accountable to her master, or to her parent, who, for this purpose, is
obliged to assume that less endearing relation; and if it cannot be proved that
she filled that office, the action cannot be sustained. 7 Mann. & Gr. 1033.
It follows, therefore, that when the daughter is of full age, and the father is
not entitled to her services, and actually, she is not in his service, the
father can maintain no action for the seduction. 5 Harr. & J. 27; 1 Wend.
447; 3 Pennsyl. 49; 10 John. 115. Vide 2 Watts 474; 9 John. 387; 2 Wend. 459; 5
Cowen 106; 2 Penn. 583; 6 Munf. 587; 2 A. K. Marsh. 128; 2 Overt. 93; 9 John.
R. 387; 2 New Reports, 476; 6 East, 887; Peake's Rep. 253; 11 East, 24; 5 East,
45; 2 T. R. 4; 2 Selw. N. P. 1001; 2 Phil. Ev. 156; 3 Chitt. Bl. Com. 140, n.;
7 Com. Dig. 318; 6 M. & W. 55.
SEEDS. The substance which nature prepares for the reproduction
of plants or animals.
2. Seeds which have been sown in the earth immediately become a part of
the land in which they have been sown; quae sata solo cedere intelliguntur.
Inst. 2, 1, 32.
SEIGNIOR or SEIGNEUR. Among the feudists, this name signified
lord of the fee. F. N. B. 23. The most extended signification of this word
includes not only a lord or peer of parliament, but is applied to the owner or
proprietor of a thing; hence, the owner of a hawk, and the master of a fishing
vessel, is called a seigneur. 37 Edw. Ill. c. 19; Barr. on the Stat. 258.
SEIGNIORY, Eng. law. The rights of a lord as such, in lands.
SEISIN, estates. The possession of an estate of freebold. 8 N.
H. Rep. 57; 3 Hamm. 220; 8 Litt. 134; 4 Mass. 408. Seisin was used in
contradistinction to that precarious kind of possession by which tenants in
villenage held their lands, which was considered to be the possession of their
lords in, whom the freehold continued.
2. Seisin is either in fact or in law.
3. Where a freehold estate is conveyed to a person by feoffment, with
livery of seisin, or by any of those conveyances which derive their effect from
the statute of uses, he acquires a seisin in deed or in fact, and a freehold in
deed: but where the freehold comes to a person by act of law, as by descent, he
only acquires a seisin in law, that is, a right of possession, and his-estate
is called a freehold In law.
4. The seisin in law, which the heir acquires on the death of his
ancestor, May be defeated by the entry of a stranger, claiming a right to the
land, which is called an abatement. (q. v.)
5. The actual seisin of an estate may be lost by the forcible entry of
a stranger who thereby ousts or dispossesses the owner this act is called a
disseisin. (q. v.)
6. According to Lord Mansfield, the various alterations which have been
made in the law for the last three centuries, "have left us but the name of
feoffment, seisin, tenure, and, freeholder, without any precise knowledge of
the thing originally signified by these sounds."
7. In the United States, a conveyance by deed executed and
acknowledged, and properly recorded according to law, and the descent cast upon
the heir are, in general, considered as a seisin in deed without entry; and a
grant by letters- patent from the commonwealth has the same effect. 4 Mass. R.
546; 7 Mass. R. 494; 15. Mass. R. 214 1 Munf. R. 17O. The recording of a deed
is equivalent to livery of seisin. 4 Mass. 546.
8. In Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio, seisin means
merely, ownership, and the distinction between seisin in deed and in law is not
known in practice. Walk. Intr. 324, 330; 1 Hill. Abr. 24 4 Day, R. 305; 4
Mass.; R. 489 14 Pick. R. 224. A patent by the commonwealth, in Kentucky, gives
a, right entry, but not actual seisin. 3 Bibb, Rep. 57. Vide 1 Inst. 31; 19
Vin. Ab. 306; Dane's Abr. c. 104, a. 3; 4 Kent, Com. 2, 381; Cruise's Dig. t.
1, §23; Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 1, c. 1, n. 80; Poth. Traite des
Fiefs, part 1, c. 2; 3 Sumn. R. 170. Vide Livery of Seisin.
SEIZURE, practice. The act of taking possession of the property
of a person condemned by the judgment of a competent tribunal, to pay a certain
sum of money, by a sheriff, constable, or other officer, lawfully authorized
thereto, by virtue of an execution, for the purpose of having such property
sold according to law to satisfy the judgment. By seizure is also meant the
taking possession of goods for a violation of a public law; as the taking
possession of a ship for attempting an illicit trade. 2 Cranch, 18 7; 6 Cowen,
404; 4 Wheat. 100; 1 Gallis. 75; 2 Wash. C. C. 127, 567.
2. The seizure is complete as soon as the goods are within the power of
the officer. 3 Rawle's Rep. 401; 16 Johns. Rep. 287; 2 Nott & McCord, 392;
2 Rawle's Rep. 142; Wats. on Sher. 172; Com. Dig. Execution, C 5.
3. The taking of part of the goods in a house, however, by virtue of a
fieri facias in the name of the whole, is a good seizure of all. 8 East, R.
474. As the seizure must be made by virtue of an execution, it is evident that
it cannot be made after the return day. 2 Caine's Rep. 243; 4 John. R. 450.
Vide Door; House; Search Warrant.
SELECTI JUDICES. Judges among the Romans who were selected very
much like our juries. They were returned by the praetor, drawn by lot, subject
to be challenged and sworn. 3 Bl. Com. 366.
SELF-DEFENCE, crim. law. The right to protect one's person and
property from injury.
2. It will be proper to consider, 1. The extent of the right of
self-defence. 2. By whom it may be exercised. 3. Against whom. 4. For what
3. - 1. As to the extent of the right, it may be laid down, first, that
when threatened violence exists, it is the duty of the person threatened to use
all, prudent and precautionary measures to prevent the attack; for example, if
by closing a door which was usually left open, one could prevent an attack, it
would be prudent, and perhaps the law might require, that it should be closed,
in order to preserve the peace, and the aggressor might in such case be held to
bail for his good behaviour; secondly, if, after having taken such proper
precautions, a party should be assailed, he may undoubtedly repel force by
force, but in most instances cannot, under the pretext that he has been
attacked, use force enough to kill the assailant or hurt him after he has
secured himself from danger; as, if a person unarmed enters a house to commit a
larceny, while there he does not threaten any one, nor does any act which
manifests an intention to hurt any one, and there are a number of persons
present, who may easily secure him, no one will be justifiable to do him any
injury, much less to kill him; he ought to be secured and delivered to the
public authorities. But when an attack is made by a thief under such
circumstances, and it is impossible to ascertain to what extent he may push it,
the law does not requite the party assailed to weigh with great nicety the
probable extent of the attack, and he may use the most violent means against
his assailant, even to the taking of his life. For homicide may be excused, se
defendendo, where a man has no other probable means of preserving his life from
one who attacks him, while in the commission of a felony, or even on a sudden
quarrel, he beats him, so that he is reduced to this inevitable necessity.
Hawk. bk. 2, c. 11, s. 13. And the reason is that when so reduced, he cannot
call to his aid the power of society or of the commonwealth, and, being
unprotected by law, he reassumes his natural rights, which the law sanctions,
of killing his adversary to protect himself. Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. ]iv. 1, tit.
1, n. 210. See Pamph. Rep. of Selfridge's Trial in 1806 2 Swift's Ev. 283.
4. - 2. The party attacked may undoubtedly defend himself, and the law
further sanctions the mutual and reciprocal defence of such as stand in the
near relations of hushand and wife, patent and child, and master and servant.
In these cases, if the party himself, or any of these his relations, be
forcibly attacked in their person or property, it is lawful for him to repel
force by force, for the law in these cases respects the passions of the human
mind, and makes, it lawful in him, when external violence is offered to
himself, or to those to whom he bears so near a connexion, to do that immediate
justice to which he is prompted by nature, and which no prudential motives are
strong enough to restrain. 2 Roll. Ab. 546; 1 Chit. Pr. 592.
5. - 3. The party making the attack may be resisted, and if several
persons join in such attack they may all be resisted, and one may be killed
although he may not himself have given the immediate cause for such killing, if
by his presence and his acts, he has aided the assailant. See Conspiracy.
6. - 4. The cases for which a man may defend himself are of two kinds;
first, when a felony is attempted, and, secondly, when, no felony is attempted
7. - 1st. A man may defend himself, and even commit a homicide for the
prevention of any forcible and atrocious crime, which if completed would amount
to a felony; and of course under the like circumstances, mayhem, wounding and
battery would be excusable at common law. 1 East, P. C. 271; 4 Bl. Com. 180. A
man may repel force by force in defence of his person, property or habitation,
against any one who manifests, intends, attempts, or endeavors, by violence or
surprise, to commit a forcible felony, such as murder, rape, robbery, arson,
burglary and the like. In these cases he is not required to retreat, but he may
resist, and even pursue his adversary, until he has secured himself from all
8. - 2d. A man may defend himself when no felony has been threatened or
attempted; 1. When the assailant attempts to beat another and there is no
mutual combat; as, where one meets another and attempts to commit or does
commit an assault and battery on him, the person attacked may defend himself;
and an offer or, attempt to strike another, when sufficiently near, so that
that there is danger, the person assailed may strike first, and is not required
to wait until he has been struk. Bull. N. P. 18; 2 Roll. Ab. 547. 2. When there
is a mutual combat upon a sudden quarrel. In these cases both parties are the
aggressors; and if in the fight one is killed it will be manslaughter at least,
unless the survivor can prove two things: 1st. That before the mortal stroke
was given be had refused any further combat, and had retreated as far as he
could with safety; and 2d. That he killed his adversary from necessity, to
avoid his own destruction.
9. A man may defend himself against animals, and he may during the
attack kill them, but not afterwards. 1 Car. & P. 106; 13 John. 312; 10
10. As a general rule no man is allowed to defend himself with force if
he can apply to the law for redress, and the law gives him a complete remedy,
See Assault; Battery; Necessity; Trespass.
SELECTMEN. The name of certain officers in several of the United
States, who are invested by the statutes of the several states with various
SELLER, contracts. One who disposes of a thing in consideration
of money; a
2. This term is more usually applied in the sale of chattels, that of
vendor in the sale of estates.
3. The duties of the seller are, 1. To deal with fairness. 2. To
deliver the thing sold at the time and place appointed, and to take care of it
until deli-very; but when everything the seller has to do with the goods is
complete, the property and the risk of accident to the goods, rests in the
buyer, even before delivery, or payment. Noy's Max. ch. 24; 7 East, 571; 2 Bl.
Com. 448. 3. To warrant the title of personal property when he sells it as his
own, when it is in his possession. 2 Kent, Com. 374; 1 Lord Raym. 593; 1 Salk.
4. The rights of the seller are, 1. To be paid the price agreed upon.
2. To be indemnified for any expenses he may have incurred to preserve the
thing sold for the buyer, after the title to it has passed to the latter. 3. To
stop the thing in transitu when the buyer has failed and the price has not been
paid . See Stoppage, in transitu. Vide Purchaser, and the authorities there
cited; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
SEMBLE. A French word which signifies, it seems. It is commonly
used before the statement of a point of law which has not been directly
settled; but about which the court have expressed an opinion, and intimated
what it is.
SEMI-PROOF, civ. law. Presumptions of fact are so called. This
degree of proof is thus deaned: "Non est ignorandum, probationem semiplenam eam
esse, per quam rei gestae fides aliqua fit judici; non tamen tanta ut jure
debeat in pronuncianda sententia eam sequi." Mascardus, De Prob. vol. 1,
Quaest. 11, n. 1, 4.
SEMINAUFRAGIUM. A term used by Italian lawyers, which literally
signifies half-shipwreck, and by which they understand the jetsam, or casting
merchan-dise into the sea to prevent shipwreck. Locre, Esp. du Code de Com.
art. 409. It also signifies the state of a vessel which has been so much
injured by tem-pest or accident, that to repair the damages, after being
brought into port, and prepare her for sea, would cost more than her worth. 4
Law Rep. 120.
SEMPER PARATUS. The name of a plea by which the defendant
alleges that he has always been ready to perform what is demanded of him. 3 Bl.
Com. 303. The same as Tout temps prist. (q. v.)
SEN. This is said to be an ancient word which signified justice.
Co. Litt. 61 a.
SENATE, government. The less numerous branch of the legislature.
2. The constitution of the United States, article 1, s. 3, cl. 1,
directs that "the senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators
from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof for six years; and each
senator shall have one vote." The vice president of the United States," to use
the language of the constitution, art. 1, s. 3, cl. 4, "shall be president of
the senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided." In the
senate each state in its political capacity, is represented, upon a footing of
perfect equality, like a congress of sovereigns or ambassadors, or like an
assembly of peers. It is unlike the house of representatives. where the people
are represented. Story, Const. ch. 10.
3. The senate of the United States is invested with legislative,
executive and judicial powers.
4. - 1. It is a legislative body whose concurrence is requisite to the
passage of every law. It may originate any bill, except those for raising
rev-enue, which shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate
may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills. Const. art. 1, s. 7,
5. - 2. The senate is invested with executive authority in concluding
treaties and making appointments. Vide President of the United States of
6. - 3. It is invested with judicial power when it is formed into a
court for the trial of impeachments. See Courts of the United States.
7. In most of the states the less numerous branch of the legislature
bears the title of senate. In such a body the people are represented as well as
in the other house. Vide article Congress; and, for the senates of the several
states, the name of each state. See, also, articles Courts of the United
States, I; House of Representatives; Vice-President of the United States.
SENATOR, government. One who is a member of a senate.
2. No person shall be a senator [of the national senate] who shall not
have attained the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the
United States and who shall not when elected, be an inhabitant of that state
for which he shall be chosen. Const. U. S. art. 1, s. 3, cl. 5. Vide 1 Kent,
Com. 224 Story on the Const. 726 to 730.
SENATUS CONSULTUM, civ. law. A decree or decision of the Roman
senate, which had the force of law.
2. When the Roman people had so increased that there was no place where
they could meet, it was found necessary to consult the senate instead of the
people, both on public affairs and those which related to individuals. The
opinion which was rendered on such an occasion was called senatus consultum.
Inst. 1, 2, 5; Clef des Lois Rom. h. t.; Merl. Repert. h. t. These decrees
frequently derived their titles from the names of the consuls or magistrates
who proposed them; as, senatus-consultum Claudianum, Libonianum, Velleianum,
&c. from Claudius, Libonius, Valleius. Ail. Pand. 30.
SENESCHALLUS. A steward. Co. Litt. 61 a.
SENILITY. The state of being old.
2. Sometimes in this state it is exceedingly difficult to know whether
the individual is or is not so deprived of the powers of his mind as to be
unable to manage his affairs. In general, senility of energy in some of the
intellectual operations, while the affections remain natural and unperverted;
such a state may, however, be followed by actual dementia or idiocy.
3. When on account of senility the party is unable to manage his
affairs, a committee will be appointed as in case of lunacy. 1 Coll. on Lunacy,
66; 2 John. Ch. R. 232; 12 Ves. 446; 4 Call's R. 423; 5 John. Ch. R. 158; 8
Mass. 129; 2 Ves. sen. 407; 19 Ves. 285; 2 Cyclop. of Pract. Med. 872. See Aged
SENIOR. The elder. This addition is sometimes made to a man's
name, when two persons bear the same, in order to distinguish them. In practice
when nothing is mentioned, the senior is intended. 3 Miss. R. 59. See Junior.
SENTENCE. A judgment, or judicial declaration made by a judge in
a cause. The term judgment is more usually applied to civil, and sentence to
2. Sentences are final, when they put, an end to the case; or
interlocutory, when they settle only some incidental matter which has arisen in
the course of its progress. Vide Aso & Man. Inst. B. 3, t. 8, c. 1.
2. This word is sometimes used in indictments to show that the
defendants are charged separately with offences, which, without the addition of
this word, would seem, from the form of the indictment, to be charged jointly;
as, for example, when two persons are indicted together for perjury, and the
indictment states that A and B came before a commissioner, &c., this is
alleging that they were both guilty of the same crime, when by law their crimes
are distinct, and the indictment is vicious; but if the word separaliter is
used, then the affirmation is that each was guilty of a separate offence. 2
Hale, P. C. 174.
SEPARATE ESTATE. That which belongs to one only of several
persons; as, the separate estate of a partner, which does not belong to the
partnership. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1519.
2. The separate estate of a married woman, is that which belongs to
her, and over which her hushand has no right in equity. It may consist of lands
or chattels. 4 Barb. S. C. Rep. 407; 1 Const. R. 452; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3996.
SEPARATE MAINTENANCE, contracts. An allowance made by a hushand
to his wife for her separate support and maintenance.
2. When this allowance is regularly paid, and notice of it has been
given, no person who has received such notice will be entitled to recover
against the hushand for necessaries furnished to the wife, because the
liability of the hushand, depends on a presumption of authority delegated by
him to the wife, which is negatived by the facts of the case. 2 Stark. Ev. 699.
SEPARATE TRIAL, practice. The trial of one person by himself,
when he is jointly indicted with others for an alleged offence.
2. On a joint indictment against two or more defendants for a crime of
misdemeanor, it is in the discretion of the court whether to allow a separate
trial for each prisoner, or to order the whole of them to be tried together. 1
Baldw. Rep. 81; 12 Wheat. 480; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 60; but see 1 Pet., C. C.
SEPARATION, contracts. When the hushand and wife agree to live
apart they are said to have made a separation.
2. Contracts of this kind are generally made by the hushand for himself
and by the wife with trustees. 4 Paige's R. 516; 3 Paige's R. 483; 5 Bligh, N.
S. 339; 1 Dow & Clark, 519. This contract does not affect the marriage, and
the parties may, at any time agree to live together as hushand and wife. The
hushand who has agreed to a total separation cannot bring an action for
criminal conversation with the wife. Roper, Hush. and Wife, passim; 4 Vin. Ab.
173; 2 Stark. Ev. 698; Shelf. on Mar. & Div. ch. 6, p. 608.
3. Reconciliation after separation supersedes special articles of
separation in courts of law and equity. 1 Dowl. P. C. 245; 2 Cox, R. 105; 3
Bro. C. C. 619, n.; 11 Ves. 532. Public policy forbids that parties should be
permitted to make agreements for themselves to hold good whenever they choose
to live separate. 5 Bligh, N. S. 367, 375; and see 1 Carr. & P. 36. See 5
Bligh, N. S. 339; 2 Dowl. P. C. 332; 2 C. & M. 388; 3 John. Ch. R. 521; 2
Sim. & Stu. 372; 1 Edw. R. 380; Desaus. R. 45, 198; 1 Y. & C. 28; 11
Ves. 526; 2 East, R. 283; 8 N. H. Rep. 350; 1 Hoff. R. 1.
SEPULCHRE. The place where a corpse is buried. The violation of
sepulchres is a misdemeanor at common law. Vide Dead bodies.
TO SEQUESTER, civil and eccles. law. To renounce. Example, when
a widow comes into court and disclaims having anything to do, or to intermeddle
with her deceased hushand's estate, she is said to sequester. Jacob, L. D. h.
SEQUESTRATION, chancery practice. The process of sequestration
is a writ of commission, sometimes directed to the sheriff, but most usually,
to four or more commissioners of the complainant's own nomination, authorizing
them to enter upon the real or personal estate of the defendant, and to take
the rents, issues and profits into their own hands, and keep possession of, or
pay the same as the court shall order and direct, until the party who is in
contempt shall do that which he is enjoined to do, and which is specially
mentioned in the writ. 1 Harr. Ch. 191; Newl. Ch. Pr. 18; Blake's Ch. Pr. 103.
2. Upon the return of non est inventus to a commission of rebellion, a
ser-geant-at-arms may be moved for; and if he certifies that the defendant
cannot be taken, a motion may be made upon his certificate, for an order for a
sequestration. 2 Madd. Chan. 203; Newl. Ch. Pr. 18; Blake's Ch. Pr. 103.
3. Under a sequestration upon mesne process, as in respect of a
contempt for want of appearance or answer, the sequestrators may take
possession of the party's personal property and keep him out of possession; but
no sale can take place, unless perhaps to pay expenses; for this process is
only to form the foundation of taking the bill pro confesso. After a decree it
may be sold. See 3 Bro. C. C. 72; 2 Cox, 224; 1 Ves. jr. 86; 3 Bro. C. C. 372;
2 Madd. Ch. Pr. 206. See, generally, as to this species of sequestration, 19
Vin. Abr. 325; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Com.; Chancery, D 7, Y 4; 1 Hov. Supp. to Ves.
jr. 25 to 29; 1 Vern. by Raith. 58, note 1; Id. 421, note 1.
SEQUESTRATION, contracts. A species of deposit, which two or
more persons, engaged in litigation about anything, make of the thing in
contest to an indifferent person, who binds himself to restore it when the
issue is decided, to the party to whom it is adjudged to belong. Louis. Code,
art. 2942; Story on Bailm: §45. Vide 19 Vin. Ab. 325; 1 Supp. to Yes. jr.
29; 1 Vern. 58, 420; 2 Ves. jr. 23; Bac. Ab. h. t. 2. This is called a
conventional sequestration, to distinguish it from a judicial sequestration,
which is considered in the preceding article. Sec Dalloz, Dict. mot Sequestre.
SEQUESTRATION, Louisiana practice. The Code of Practice in civil
cases in Louisiana, defines and makes the following provisions on the subject
of sequestration. Art. 269. Sequestration is a mandate of the court, ordering
the sheriff, in certain cases, to take in his possession, and to keep a thing
of which another person has the possession, until after the decision of a suit,
in order that it be delivered to him who shall be adjudged entitled to have the
property or possession of that thing. This is what is properly called a
judicial sequestratian. Vide 1 Mart. R. 79; 1 L. R. 439; Civil Code of Lo.
2. - Art. 270. In this acceptation, the word sequestration does not
mean a judicial deposit, because sequestration may exist together with the
right of administration, while mere deposit does not admit it.
3. - Art. 271. All species of property, real or personal, as well as
the revenue proceeding from the same, may be sequestered.
4. - Art. 272. Obligations and titles may also be sequestered, when
their ownership is in dispute.
5. - Art. 273. Judicial sequestration is generally ordered only at the
request of one of the parties to a suit; there are cases, nevertheless, where
it is decreed by the court without such request, or is the consequence of the
execution of judgments.
6. - Art. 274. The court may order, ex officio, the sequestration of
real property in suits, where the ownership of such property is in dispute and
when one of the contending parties does not seem to have a more apparent right
to the possession than the other. In such cases, sequestration may be ordered
to continue, until the question of ownership shall have been decided.
7. - Art. 275. Sequestration may be ordered at the request of one of
the parties in a suit in the following cases: 1. When one who had possessed for
more than one year, has been evicted through violence, and sues to be restored
to his possession. 2. When one sues for the possession of movable property, or
of a slave, and fears that the party having possession, may ill treat the slave
or send either that slave, or the property in dispute, out of the jurisdiction
of the court, during the pendency of the suit. 3. When one claims the
ownership, or the possession of real property, and has good ground to
appre-hend, that the defendant may make use of his possession to dilapidate or
to waste the fruits or revenues produced by such property, or convert them to
his own use. 4. When a woman sues for a separation from bed and board, or only
for a separation of property from her hushand, and has reason to apprehend that
he will ruin her dotal property, or waste the fruits or revenues produced by
the same during the pendency of the action. 5. When one has petitioned for a
stay of proceedings, and a meeting of his creditors, and such creditors fear
that he may avail himself of such stay of proceedings, to place the whole, or a
part of his property, out of their reach. 6. A creditor by special mortgage
shall have the power of sequestering the mortgaged property, when he
appre-hends that it will be removed out of the state before he can have the
benefit of his mortgage, and will make oath of the facts which induced his
8. - Art. 276. A plaintiff wishing to obtain an order of sequestration
in any one of the cases above provided, must annex to the petition in which he
prays for such an order, an affidavit, setting forth the cause for which he
claims such order, he must besides, execute his obligation in favor of the
defendant, for such sum as the court shall determine, with the surety of one
good and solvent person, residing within the jurisdiction of the court, to be
responsible for such damages as the defendant may sustain, in case such
sequestration should have been wrongfully obtained.
9. - Art. 277. When security is given in order to obtain the
sequestration of real property which brings a revenue, the judge must require
that it be given for an amount sufficient to compensate the defendant, not only
for all damage which he may sustain, but also for the privation of such
revenue, during the pendency of the action.
10. - Art. 278. The plaintiff when he prays for a sequestration of the
property of one who has failed, is not required to give such security, though
that property bring in a revenue.
11. - Art. 279. A defendant against whom a mandate of sequestration has
been obtained, except in cases of failure, may have the same set aside, by
executing his obligation in favor of the sheriff, with one good and solvent
surety, for whatever amount the judge may determine, as being equal to the
value of the property to be left in his possession.
12. - Art. 280. The security thus given by the defendant, when the
property sequestrated consists in movables or in slaves, shall be responsible
that he shall not send away the same out of the jurisdiction of the court; that
he shall not make an improper use of them; and that he will faithfully present
them, after definitive judgment, in case he should be decreed to restore the
same to the plaintiff.
13. - Art. 281. As regards landed property, this security is given to
prevent the defendant, while in possession, from wasting the property, and for
the faithful restitution of the fruits that he may have received since the
demand, or of their value in the event of his being cast in the suit.
14. - Art. 282. When the sheriff has sequestered property pursuant to
an order of the court, he shall, after serving the petition and the copy of the
order of sequestration on the defendant, send him return in writing to the
clerk of the court which gave the order, stating in the same in what manner the
order was executed, and annex to such return a true and minute inventory of the
property sequestered, drawn by him, in the presence of two witnesses.
15. - Art. 283. The sheriff, while he retains possession of sequestered
property, is bound to take proper care of the same and to administer the same,
if it be of such nature as to admit of it, as a prudent father of a family
administers his own affairs. He may confide them to the care of guardians or
overseers, for whose acts he remains responsible, and he will be entitled to
receive a just compensation for his administration, to be determined by the
court, to be paid to him out of the proceeds of the property sequestered, if
judgment be given in favor of the plaintiff.
SEQUESTRATOR. One to whom a sequestration is made.
2. A depositary of this kind cannot exonerate himself from the care of
the thing sequestered in his hands, unless for some cause rendering it
indispens-able that he should resign his trust. Louis. Code, art. 2947. See
Stakeholder. Sequestrators are also officers appointed by a court of chancery,
and named in a writ of sequestration. As to their powers and duties, see 2
Madd. Ch. Pr. 205, 6; Blake's Ch. Pr. 103; Newl. Ch. Pr. 18, 19; 1 Harr. Ch.
SERF. During the feudal times certain persons who were bound to
perform very onerous duties towards others, were so called. Poth. Des
Personnes, p. 1, t. 1, a. 6, s. 4. There is this essential difference between a
serf and a slave; the serf was bound simply to labor on the soil where he was
born, without any right to go elsewhere without the consent of his lord; but he
was free to act as he pleased in his daily action: the slave on the contrary is
the property of his master, who may require him to act as he pleases in every
respect, and who may sell him as a chattel. Lepage, Science du Droit, c. 3,
art. 2, §2.
SERGEANT or SERJEANT, Engl. law. An officer in the courts of the
highest grade among the practitioners of the law.
SERGEANT or SERJEANT, in the army. An inferior officer of a
company of foot, or troop of dragoons appointed to see discipline observed, to
teach the soldiers the exercise of their arms, and to order, straighten and
form ranks, files, &c.
SERGEANT AT ARMS, An officer appointed by a legislative body,
whose duties are to enforce the orders given by such bodies, generally under
the warrant of its presiding officer.
SERIATIM. In a series, severally; as, the judges delivered their
SERJEANTY, Eng. law. A species of service which cannot be due or
performed from a tenant to any lord but the king; and is either grand or petit
SERVANTS, (negro or mulatto,) Pennsylvania. By the fourth
section of the act for the gradual abolition of slavery, passed the first day
of March, 1780, 1 Smith's Laws of Penn. 492, it is "provided that every negro
or mulatto child, born within this state after the passing of this act, (who
would in case this act had not been made, have been a servant for years, or
life, or a slave) shall be by virtue of this act the servant of such person, or
his assigns who would in such case have been entitled to the service of such
child, until such child attain unto the age of twenty-eight years, in the
manner and on the conditions, whereon servants bound by indenture for four
years are or may be retained or holden; and shall be liable to like correction
and punishment, and entitled to like relief, in case he be evilly treated by
his master, and to like freedom dues and privileges, as servants bound by
indenture for four years are entitled, unless the person to whom such services
belong shall abandon his claim to the same; in which case the overseers of the
poor where such child shall be abandoned shall by indenture bind out every such
child so abandoned as an apprentice for a time not exceeding the age
hereinbefore limited for the service of such children." And by the thirteenth
section it is enac-ted, "that no covenant of personal servitude or
apprenticeship whatsoever shall be valid or binding on a negro or mulatto for a
longer time than seven years, unless such servant or apprentice were at the
commencement of such servitude or apprenticeship, under the age of twenty-one
years, in which case such negro or mulatto may be holden as a servant or
apprentice, respectively, according to the covenant, as the case shall be,
until he shall attain the age of twenty-eight years, but no longer." See 6
Binn. 204; 1 Browne's R. 369, n.
2. The act requires that a register of such children as would have been
slaves shall be kept by a public officer therein designated. The want of
registry entitles such child to freedom.
SERVANTS. In Louisiana they are divided into free servants and
slaves. See Slaves; Slavery.
2. Free servants are, in general, all free persons who let, hire, or
engage their services to another in the state, to be employed therein at any
work, commerce, or occupation whatever, for the benefit of him who has
contracted with them, for a certain sum or retribution, or upon certain
3. There are three kinds of free servants in the state, to wit:
4. - 1. Those who only hire out their services by the day, week, month,
or year, in consideration of certain wages.
5. - 2. Those who engage to serve for a fixed time for a certain
consideration, and who are therefore considered not as having hired out, but as
having sold their services.
6. - 3. Apprentices that is, those who engage to serve any one, in
order to learn some art, trade, or profession. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 155, 156,
SERVANTS, menial. Domestics those who receive wages, and who are
lodged and fed in the house of another, and who are employed in his services.
Such servants are not particularly recognized by law. They are called menial
servants, or domestics, from living infra moenia, within the walls of the
house. 1 Bl. Com. 324; Wood's Inst. 53; 1 Sw. Syst. 218. The right of the
master to their services in every respect is grounded on the contract between
them. 2. Labor-ers, or persons hired by the day's work, or any longer time, are
not considered servants. 1 Sw. Syst. 218; 5 Binn. 167; 3 Serg. & Rawle,
351. Vide 12 Ves. 114; 2 Vern. 546; 16 Ves. 486; 1 Rop. on Leg. 121; 3 Deac.
& Chit. 332; 1 Mont. & Bligh. 413; 2 Mart. N. S. 652; Poth. Proc. Civ.
sect. 2, art. 5, §5; Poth. Ob. n. 710, 828, French ed.; 9 Toull. n. 314;
SERVI. This name was given by the Romans to their slaves; they
were so called from servare, to preserve, from the ancient practice of the
generals of the army, who were accustomed to sell their captives, and preserved
them rather than kill them: servi autem ex eo appellati sunt, quod imperatores
captivos vendere, ac per hoc servare, nec occidere solent. Inst. 1 3, 3.
SERVICE, contracts. The being employed to serve another.
2. In cases of seduction, the gist of the action is not injury which
the seducer has inflicted on the parent by destroying his peace of mind, and
the reputation of his child, but for the consequent inability to perform those
services for which she was accountable to her master or her parent who assumes
this character for the purpose Vide Seduction, and 2 Mees. & W. 539; 7 Car.
& P. 528.
SERVICE, feudal law. That duty which the tenant owes to his
lord, by reason of his fee or estate.
2. The services, in respect of their quality, were either free or base,
and in respect of their quantity and the time of exacting them, were either
certain or uncertain. 2 Bl. Com. 62.
3. In the civil law by service is sometimes understood servitude. (q.
SERVICE, practice. To execute a writ or process; as, to serve a
writ of capias signifies to arrest a defendant under the process; Kirby, 48; 2
Aik. R. 338; 11 Mass. 181; to serve a summons, is to deliver a copy of it at
the house of the party, or to deliver it to him personally, or to read it to
him; notices and other papers are served by delivering the same at the house of
the party, or to him in person.
2. When the service of a writ is prevented by the act of the party on
whom it is to be served, it will, in general, be sufficient if the officer do
everything in his power to serve it. 39 Eng. C. L. R. 431 1 M. & G. 238.
SERVIENT, civil law. A term applied to an estate or tenement by
which a servitude is due to another estate or tenement. See Dominant;
SERVITUDE, civil law. A term which indicates the subjection of
one person to another person, or of a person to a thing, or of a thing to a
person, or of a thing to a thing.
2. Hence servitudes are divided into real, personal, and mixed. Lois
des Bat. P. 1, c. 1.
3. A real or predial servitude is a charge laid on an estate for the
use and utility of another estate belonging to another proprietor. Louis. Code,
art. 643. When used without any adjunct, the word servitude means a real or
predial servitude. Lois des Bat. P. 1, c. 1.
4. The subjection of one person to another is a purely personal
servitude; if it exists in the right of property which a person exercises over
another, it is slavery. When the subjection of one person to another is not
slavery, it consists simply in the right of requiring of another what he is
bound to do, or not to do; this right arises from all kinds of contracts or
quasi con tracts. Lois des Bat. P. 1, c. 1, art. 1.
5. The subjection of persons to things or of things to persons, are
mixed servitudes. Lois des Bat. P. 1, c. 1, art. 2.
6. Real servitudes are divided into rural and urban. Rural servitudes
are those which are due by an estate to another estate, such as the right of
passage over the serving estate, or that which owes the servitude, or to draw
water from it, or to water cattle there, or to take coal, lime and wood from
it, and the like. Urban servitudes are those which are established over a
building fur the convenience of another, such as the right of resting the
joists in the wall of the serving building, of opening windows which overlook
the serving estate, and the like. Dict. de Jurisp. tit. Servitudes. See,
generally, Lois des Bat. Part 1 Louis. Code, tit. 4; Code Civil, B. 2, tit. 4;
This Dict. tit. Ancient Lights; Easements; Ways; Lalaure, Des Servitudes,
SERVITUDES, NATURAL, civil law. Those servitudes which arise in
consequence of the nature of the soil.
2. By law the inferior heritages, are submitted in relation to the
natural flow of waters, and the like, to the superior. An inferior field is,
therefore, subject to the injury or prejudice which the situation of the
ground, in its natural state, way cause it.
SERVITUDES, personal. Those by which the property of a subject,
in Scotland, is burdened in favor, not of a tenement, but of a person. Ersk.
Pr. L. Scot. B. 2, t. 9, s. 23. Life rent is the only personal servitude there.
SERVITUS, civil law. A service or servitude; a burden imposed by
law, or the agreement of parties upon certain persons, for the benefit of
others; or upon one estate for the advantage of another, or for the benefit of
another person than the owner.
SERVITUS. Servitude; slavery; a state of bondage. "Servitus
autem, est constitutio," say the Institutes of Justinian, 1, 3, 2, "qua quis
dominio alieno contra naturam subjicitur." Servitude is a disposition of the
law of nations, by which, against common right, one man has been subjected to
the dominion of another. See Bract. 4 b; Co. Litt. 116.
SERVITUS LUMINUM, civil law. The name of a servitude by which an
obligation is imposed on the owner of a house to allow windows or lights to be
put in his wall by the owner of the adjoining house. Dig. 4, 14, 40.
SERVITUS STILLIClDII, civil law. The name of a servitude which
obliges the owner of an estate to receive, or his right to turn aside, the
droppings or stream from his neighbor's house. Dig. 8, 2, 20 and 21, 41; Voet,
h. t. n. 13. Vide Stillicidium.
SERVITUS TIGNI IMMITTENDI, civil law. The name of a servitude
which consists in requiring him who owes it, to permit his neighbor to place
his joists on his wall. It differs from the servitude Oneris ferendi. (q. v.)
in this, that in the former the owner of the servient building is bound to
repair and rebuild the wall; whereas, in the latter he is not. Dig. lib. 8,
SESSION. The time during which a legislative body, a court or
other assembly sits for the transaction of business; as, a session of congress,
which commences on the day appointed by the constitution, and ends when
congress finally adjourns before the commencement of the next session; the
session of a court, which commences at the day appointed by law, and ends when
the court finally rises a term.
SESSION COURT, or COURT OF SESSION. The highest civil court in
the kingdom of Scotland. The judges, called lords of the session, are fifteen
2. It has extensive original jurisdiction, and its powers of review as
a court of appeal have no limits. In 1808, it was divided into two chambers,
called the first and second division; the lord president and seven judges
constituting the former, and the lord justice clerk, who is head of the court
of justiciary, with six judges, the latter. These divisions have independent
but coordinate jurisdiction.
3. The high court of justiciary, or supreme criminal jurisdiction for
Scotland consists of six judges, who are lords of the session, the lord justice
clerk presiding. In this court the number of the jury is fifteen, and a
majority decides. The court of session is divided into the inner house and
outer house, with appeal from the latter to the former, and from the former to
the house of lords of the United Kingdom. Encycl. Amer.
SET, contracts. Foreign bills of exchange are generally drawn in
parts; as, "pay this my first bill of exchange, second and third of the same
tenor and date not paid;" the whole of these parts, which make but one bill,
are called a set. Chit. Bills, 175, 6, (edition of 1836); 2 Pardess. n. 342.
TO SET ASIDE. To annul; to make void; as to set aside an award.
2. When proceedings are irregular they may be set aside on, motion of
the party whom they injuriously affect.
SET-OFF, contracts, practice. Defalcation; (q. v.) a demand
which a defen-dant makes against the plaintiff in the suit for the purpose of
liquidating the whole or a part of his claim.
2. A set-off was unknown to the common law, according to which mutual
debts were distinct and inextinguishable except by actual payment or release. 1
Rawle's R. 293; Babb. on Set-off, 1.
3. The statute 2 Geo. II., c. 22, which has been generally adopted in
the United States with some modifications however, allowed, in cases of mutual
debts, the defendant to set his debt against the other, either by pleading it
in bar, or giving it in evidence, when proper notice had been given of such
intention, under the general issue. The statute being made for the benefit of
the defendant, is not compulsory; 8 Watts, R. 39; the defendant may Waive his
right, and bring a cross action against the plaintiff. 2 Campb. 594; 5 Taunt.
148; 9 Watts, R. 179
4. It seems, however, that in some cases of intestate estates, and of
insolvent estates, perhaps owing to the peculiar wording of the law, the
statute has been held to operate on the rights of the parties before action
brought, or an act done by either of them. 2 Rawle's R. 293; 3 Binn. Rep. 135;
Bac. Ab. Bankrupt K.
5. Set-off takes place only in actions on contracts for the payment of
money, as assumpsit, debt and covenant. A set-off is not allowed in actions
arising ex delicto, as, upon the case, trespass, replevin or detinue. Bull. N.
6. The matters which may be set off, may be mutual liquidated debts or
damages, but unliquidated damages cannot be set off. 1 Black. R. 394; 2 John.
150; 8 Conn. 325; 1 M'Cord, 7; 3 Wend. 400; 1 Stew. & Port. 19; 2 Yeates,
208; 1 Sumn. 471; 2 Blackf. 31; 1 A. K. Marsh. 41; 6 Halst. 397; 5 Wash. C. C.
232 3 Bibb, 49; 2 Caines, 33. The statutes refer only to mutual unconnected
debts; for at common law, when the nature of the employment, transaction or
dealings necessarily constitute an account consisting of receipts and payments,
debts and credits, the balance only is considered to be the debt, and therefore
in an action, it is not necessary in such cases either to plead or give notice
of set-off. 4 Burr. 2221.
7. In general, when the government is plaintiff, no set-off will be
allowed. 9 Pet. 319; 4 Dall. 303. See 9 Cranch, 313; Paine, 156. But when an
act of congress authorizes such set-off, it may be made. 9 Cranch, 213.
8. Judgments in the same rights may be set off against each other at
the discretion of the court. 3 Bibb 233; 3 Watts 78; 3 Halst. 172; 4 Hamm. 90;
1 Stew. & Port. 24; 7 Mass. 140, 144; 8 Cowen 126. Vide Compensation; also
Mon-tagu on Set-off; Babington on Set-off; 3 Stark. Ev. h. t.; Amer. Dig. h.
t.; Whart. Dig. h. t.; 3 Chit. Bl. Com. 304, n.; 1 Chit. Pl. Index, h. t.; 8
Vin. Ab. 556; Bac. Ab. h. t. 1 Sell. Pr. 321; 5 Com. Dig. 595; 6 Id. 335; 7 Id.
336; 8 Id. 927; Chit. Pr. Index, h. t.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t. Vide Factor.
TO SETTLE. To adjust or ascertain to pay.
2. Two contracting parties are said to settle an account when they
ascertain what is justly due by one to the other; when one pays the balance or
debt due by him, he is said to settle such debt or balance. 11 Alab. R. 419
SETTLEMENT, domicil. The right which a person has of being
considered as resident of a particular place.
2. It is obtained in various ways, to wit: 1. By birth. 2. By the legal
settlement of the father, in the case of minor children. 3. By marriage. 4. By
continued residence. 5. By the payment of requisite taxes. 6. By the lawful
exercise of a public office. 7. By hiring and service for a year. 8. By serving
an apprenticeship; and perhaps some others which depend upon the local statutes
of the different states. Vide 1 Bl. Com. 363; 1 Dougl. 9; 2 Watts' Rep. 44,
342; 2 Penna. R. 432; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 417; 2 Yeates' R. 51; 5 Binn. R. 81;
3 Binn. R.. 22; 6 Serg. & Rawle, 103, 565; 10 Serg. & Rawle, 179. Vide
SETTLEMENT, contracts. The conveyance of an estate, for the
benefit of some person or persons.
2. It is usually made on the prospect of marriage for the benefit of
the married pair, or one of them, or for the benefit of some other persons, as
their children. Such settlements vest the property in trustees upon specified
terms, usually for the benefit of the hushand and wife during their joint
lives, and then for the benefit of the survivor for life, and afterwards for
the benefit of children. Ante-nuptial agreements of this kind will be enforced
in equity by a specific performance of them, provided they are fair and valid,
and the intention of the parties is consistent with the principles and policy
of law. Settlements after marriage, if made in pursuance of an agreement in
writing entered into prior to the marriage, are valid, both against creditors
4. When made without consideration, after marriage, and the property of
the hushand is settled upon his wife and children, the settlement will be valid
against subsequent creditors, if, at the time of the settlement being made, he
was not indebted; but, if he was then indebted, it will be void as to the
creditors existing at the time of the settlement; 3 John. Ch. R. 481; 8 Wheat.
R. 229; unless in cases where the hushand received a fair consideration in
value of the thing settled, so as to repel the presumption of fraud. 2 Ves. 16
10 Ves. 139. Vide 1 Madd. Ch. 459; 1 Chit. Pr. 57; 2 Kent, Com. 145; 2 Supp. to
Ves. jr. 80, 375; Rob. Fr. Conv. 188. See Atherl. on Mar. passim.
5. The term settlement is also applied to an agreement by which two or
more persons, who have dealings together, so far arrange their accounts, as to
ascertain the balance due from one to the other; and settlement sometimes
signifies a payment in full.
TO SEVER, practice. When defendants who are sued jointly have
separate de-fences, they may in general sever, that is, each one rely on his
own separate defence; each may plead severally and insist on his own separate
plea. See Severance.
SEVERAL. A state of separation or partition. A several agreement
or cove-nant, is one entered into by two or more persons separately, each
binding himself for the whole; a several action is one in which two or more
persons are separately charged; a several inheritance, is one conveyed so as to
descend, or come to two persons separately by moieties. Several is usually
opposed to joint. Vide 3 Rawle, 306. See Contract; Joint Contract, Parties to
SEVERALTY, title to an estate. An estate in severalty is one
which is held by the tenant in his own right only, without any other being
joined or connected with him in point of interest, during the continuance of
his estate. 2 Bl. Com. 179. Cruise, Dig. 479, 480.
SEVERANCE, pleading. When an action is brought in the name of
several plain-tiffs, in which the plaintiffs must of necessity join, aud one or
more of the persons so named do not appear, or make default after appearance,
the other may have judgment of severance, or, as it is technically called,
judgment ad sequendum solum.
2. But in personal actions, with the exception of those by executors,
and of detinue for charters, there can be no summons and severance. Co. Lit.
3. After severance, the party severed can never be mentioned in the
suit, nor derive any advantage from it.
4. When there are several defendants, each of them may use such plea
as, he may think proper for his own defence; and they may join in the same
plea, or sever at their discretion; Co. Litt. 303, a except perhaps, in the
case of di-latory pleas. Hob. 245, 250. But when the defendants have once
united in the plea, they cannot afterwards sever at the rejoinder, or other
later stage of the pleading. Vide, generally, Bro. Summ. and Sev.; 2 Rolle,
488; Archb. Civ. Pl. 59.
SEVERANCE, estates. The act by which any one of the unities of a
joint tenancy is effected, is so called; because the estate is no longer a
joint tenancy, but is severed.
2. A severance may be effected in various ways, namely: 1. By
partition, which is either voluntary or compulsory. 2. By alienation of one of
the joint tenants, which turns the estate into a tenancy in common. 3. By the
purchase or descent of all the shares of the joint tenants, so that the whole
estate becomes vested in one only. Com. Dig. Estates by Grant, K 5; 1 Binn. R.
3. In another and a less technical sense, severance is the separation
of a part of a thing from another; for example, the separation of malchinery
from a mill, is a severance, and, in that case, the machinery which while
annexed to the mill was real estate, becomes by the severance; personalty,
unless such severance be merely temporary. 8 Wend. R. 587.
SEWER. Properly a trench artificially made for the purpose of
carrying water into the sea, river, or some other place of reception. Public
sewers are, in general, made at the public expense. Crabb, R. P. §113.
SEX. The physical difference between male and female in animals.
2. In the human species the male is called man, (q. v.) and the female,
woman. (q. v.) Some human beings whose sexual organs are somewhat imperfect,
have acquired the name of hermaphrodite. (q. v.)
3. In the civil state the sex creates a difference among individuals.
Women cannot generally be elected or appointed to offices or service in public
capa-cities. In this our law agrees with that of other nations. The civil law
excluded women from all offices civil or public: Faemintae ab omnibus officiis
civilibus vel publicis remotae sunt. Dig. 50, 17, 2. The principal reason of
this exclusion is to encourage that modesty which is natural to the female sex,
and which renders them unqualified to mix and contend with men; the pre-tended
weakness of the sex is not probably the true reason. Poth. Des Personnes, tit.
5; Wood's Inst. 12; Civ. Code of Louis. art. 24; 1 Beck's Med. Juris. 94. Vide
Gender; Male; Man; Women; Worthiest of blood.
SHAM PLEA. One entered for the mere purpose of delay; it must be
of a matter which the pleader knows to be false; as judgment recovered, that
is, that judgment has already been recovered by the plaintiff for the same
cause of action.
2. These sham pleas are generally discouraged, and in some cases are
treated as a nullity. Barn. & Ald. 197, 199; 5 Id. 750; 1 Barn. & Cr.
286; Archb. Civ. Pl. 249; 1 Chit. Pl. 401.
SHARE. A portion of anything. Sometimes shares are equal, at
other times they are unequal.
2. In companies and corporations the whole of the capital stock is
usually divided into equal proportions called shares. Shares in public
companies have sometimes been held to be real estate, but most usually they are
considered as personal property. Wordsw. Jo. Sto. Co. ch. 1 P, p. 288. 3. The
proportion which descends to one of several children from his ancestor, is
called a share. The term share and share alike, signifies in equal proportions.
SHEEP. A wether more than a year old. 4 Car. & Payne, 216;
19 Engl. Com. Law Rep. 331, S. C.
SHELLEY'S CASE. This case, reported in 1 Rep. 93, contains a
rule usually known as the rule in Shelley's case, which has caused more
commentaries perhaps than any other case. It has been expressed with great
precision, though not with much elegance, to be "in any instrument, if a
freehold be limited to the ancestor for life, and the inheritance to his heirs,
either mediately or immediately, the first taker takes the whole estate; if it
be limited to the heirs of his body, he takes a fee tail; if to his heirs a fee
simple." Co. Litt. 376, b and Mr. Butler's note, 1; 3 Binn. R. 139 1 Day, Rep.
299; 1 Prest. on Estates, ch. 3; 4 Kent, Com. 206; Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 22;
2 Yeates, R. 410; 1 Hargr. Law Tracts, article "Observations concerning the
rule in Shelley's case, chiefly with a view to the application of that rule in
Last Wills;" 5 Ohio R. 465.
SHERIFF. The name of the chief officer of the county. In Latin
he is called vice comes, because in England he represented the comes or earl.
His name is said to be derived from the Saxon seyre, shire or county, and reve,
keeper, bailiff, or guardian.
2. The general duties of the sheriff are, 1st. To keep the peace within
the county; he may apprehend, and commit to prison all persons who break the
peace or attempt to break it, and bind any one in a recognizance to keep the
peace. He is required ex officio, to pursue and take all traitors, murderers,
felons and rioters. He has the keeping of the county gaol and he is bound to
defend it against all attacks. He may command the posse comitatus. (q. v.)
3. - 2d. In his ministerial capacity, the sheriff is bound to execute
within his county or bailiwick, all process issuing from the courts of the
4. - 3d. The sheriff also possesses a judicial capacity, but this is
very much circumscribed to what it was at common law in England. It is now
generally confined to ascertain damages on writs of inquiry and the like.
5. Generally speaking the sheriff has no authority out of his county. 2
Rolle's Rep. 163; Plowd, 37 a. He may, however, do mere ministerial acts out of
his county, as making a return. Dalt. Sh. 22. Vide, generally, the various
Digests and Abridgments, h. t.; Dalt. Sher.; Wats. Off. and Duty of Sheriff;
Wood's Inst. 75; 18 Engl. Com. Law Rep. 177; 2 Phil. Ev. 213; Chit. Pr. Index,
h. t.; Chit. Pr. Law, Index, h. t.
SHERIFFALTY. The office of sheriff, the time during which a
sheriff is to remain in office.
SHIFTING USE, estates. One which takes effect in derogation of
some other estate, and is either limited by the deed creating it, or authorized
to be created by some person named in it. This is sometimes called a secondary
2. The following is an example: If an estate be limited to A and his
heirs, with a proviso that if B pay to A one hundred dollars by a time named,
the use to A shall ease, and the estate go to B in fee; the estate is vested in
A subject to the shifting or secondary use in fee in B. Again, if the proviso
be that C may revoke the use to A, and limit it to B, then A is seised in fee,
with a power in C of revocation and limitation of a new use. These shifting
uses must be confined within proper limits, so as not to create a perpetuity. 4
Kent, Com. 291; Cornish on Uses, 91; Bac. Ab. Uses and Trusts, K; Co. Litt.
327, a, note Worth on Wills, 419; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1890. Vide Use.
SHILLING, Eng. law. The name of an English coin, of the value of
one twen-tieth part of a pound. In the United States, while they were colonies,
there were coins of this denomination, but they greatly varied in their value.
SHIP. This word, in its most enlarged sense, signifies a vessel
employed in navigation; for example, the terms the ship's papers, the ship's
hushand, shipwreck, and the like, are employed whether the vessel referred to
be a brig, a sloop, or a three-masted vessel.
2. In a more confined sense, it means such a vessel with three masts 4
Wash. C. C. Rep. 530; Wesk. Inst. h. t. p. 514 the boats and rigging; 2 Marsh.
Ins. 727 together with the anchors, masts, cables, pullies, and such like
objects, are considered as part of the ship. Pard. n. 599; Dig. 22, 2, 44.
3. The capacity of a ship is ascertained by its tonnage, or the space
which may be occupied by its cargo. Vide Story's Laws U. S. Index, h. t.;
Gordon's Dig. h. t.; Abbott on Ship. Index, h. t.; Park. Ins. Index, h. t.;
Phil. Ev. Index, h. t. Bac. Ab. Merchant, N; 3 Kent, Com. 93 Molloy, Jure Mar.
Index, h. t.; l Chit. Pr. 91; Whart. Dig. h. t.; 1 Bell's Com. 496, 624; and
see General Ships; Names of Ships.
SHIP BROKER. One who transacts business between the owners of
vessels and merchants who send cargoes.
SHIP DAMAGES. In the charter parties with the English East India
Company, these words occur; their meaning is damage from negligence,
insufficiency or bad stowage in the ship. Dougl. 272; Abbott, on Ship. 204.
SHIP'S HUSBAND, mar. law. An agent appointed by the owner of a
ship, and invested with authority to make the requisite repairs, and attend to
the management, equipment, and other concerns of the ship he is usually
authorized to act as the general agent of the owners, in relation to the ship
in her home port.
2. By virtue of his agency, he is authorized to direct all proper
repairs, equipments and outfits of the ship; to hire the officers and crew; to
enter into contraets for the freight or charter of the ship, if that is her
usual employment; and to do all other acts necessary and proper to prepare and
despatch her for and on ber intended voyage. 1 Liverm. on Ag. 72, 73; Story on
3. By some authors, it is said the ship's hushand must be a part owner.
Hall on Mar. Loans, 142, n.; Abbott on Ship. part 1, c. 3, s. 2. 4. Mr. Bell,
Comm. 410, §428, 5t ed. p. 503, points out the duties of the ship's
hushand, as follows, namely: 1. To see to the proper outfit of the vessel, in
the repairs adequate to the voyage, and in the tackle and furniture necessary
for a sea-worthy ship.
5. - 2. To have a proper master, mate, and crew, for the ship, so that,
in this respect, it shall be sea-worthy.
6. - 3. To see the due furnishing of provisions and stores, according
to the necessities of the voyage.
7. - 4. To see to the regularity of the clearance's from the
custom-house, and the regularity of the registry.
8. - 5. To settle the contracts, and provide for the payment of the
furnishings which are requisite to the performance of those duties.
9. - 6. To enter into proper charter parties, or engage the vessel for
general freight, under the usual conditions; and to settle for freight, and
adjust averages with the merchant; and,
10. - 7. To preserve the proper certificates, surveys and documents, in
case of future disputes with insurers and freighters and to keep regular books
of the ship.
11. These are his general powers, but of course, they may be limited or
enlarged by the owners; and it may be observed, that without special authority,
he cannot, in general, exercise the following enumerated acts:
1. He cannot borrow money generally for the use of the ship; though, as
above observed, he may settle the accounts for furnishings, or grant bills for
them, which form debts against the concern, whether or not he has funds in his
hands with which he might have paid them. 1 Bell, Com. 411, 499.
12. - 2. Although he may in general, levy the freight which is, by the
bill of lading, payable on the delivery of the goods, it would seem that he
would not have power to take bills for the freight, and give up the possession
of the lien over the cargo, unless it has been so settled by the charter party.
13. - 3. He cannot insure, or bind the owners for premiums. Id.; 5
Burr. 2627; Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 23, note 8; Abb. on Ship. part 1, c. 3, s.
2; Marsh. Ins. b. 1, c. 8, s. 2; Liv. on Ag. 72, 73.
14. As the power of the master to enter into contracts of
affreightments, is superseded in the port of the owners, so it is by the
presence of the ship's hushand, or the knowledge of the contracting parties
that a ship's hushand has been appointed. Bell's Com. ut supra.
SHIP'S PAPERS. Those documents which are required on board of
neutral ships, as evidence of their neutrality, These are the passports,
sea-letter, muster-roll, charter party, bill of lading, invoices, log book,
bill of health, register, and papers containing proofs of property. 1 Chit.
Com. Law 487.
2. The want of these papers, or either of them, renders the character
of a vessel suspicious. Vide Clearance, and 2 Boulay Paty, Dr. Com. 14.
SHIPPER. One who ships or puts goods on board of a vessel, to be
carried to another place during her voyage. In general, the shipper is bound to
pay for the hire of the vessel, or the freight of the goods. 1 Bouv. Inst. n.
SHIPPING ARTICLES, contr. mar. law. The act of congress of July
20, 1790, s. 1, directs that a master of any vessel bound from a port in the
United States to any foreign port, or of any vessel of fifty tons or upwards,
bound from a port in one state to a port in any other than at adjoining state,
shall, before he proceed on such voyage, make an agreement in writing or in
print, with every seaman or mariner on board such vessel, (except such as shall
be apprenticed or servant to himself or owners) declaring the voyage or
voyages, term or terms of time, for which such seaman or mariner shall be
2. And by sect. 2, it is required that at the foot of every such
coutract, there shall be a memorandum in writing, of the day and the hour on
which such seaman or mariner who shall so ship and subscribe, shall render
himself on board to begin the voyage agreed upon.
3. This instrument is called the shipping articles. For want of which,
the seaman is entitled to the highest wages which have been given at the port
or place where such seaman or mariner shall have been shipped for a similar
voyage within three months next before the time of such shipping, on his
performing the service, or during the time he shall continue to do duty on
board such vessel, without being bound by the regulations, nor subject to the
penalties and forfeitures contained in the said act of congress; and the master
is further liable to a penalty of twenty dollars.
4. The shipping articles ought not to contain any clause which
derogates from the general rights and privileges of seamen, and if they do,
such clause will be declared void. 2 Sumner, 443; 2 Mason, 541.
5. A seaman who signs shipping articles, is bound to perform the
voyage, and he has no right to elect to pay damages for non-performance of the
contract. 2 Virg. Cas. 276.
Vide, generally, Gilp. 147, 219, 452; 1 Pet. Ad. Dec. 212; Bee, 48; 1
Mason, 443; 5 Mason, 272; 14 John. 260.
SHIPWRECK. The loss of a vessel at sea, either. by being
swallowed up by the waves, by running against another vessel or thing at sea,
or on the coast. Vide Naufrage; Wreck.
SHIRE, Eng. law. A district or division of country. Co. Lit. 50
SHOP BOOK. This name is given to a book in which a merchant,
mechanic, or other person, makes original entries of goods sold or work done.
2. In general, such a book is prima facie evidence of the sale of the
goods and of the work done, but not of their value. Vide Original entry.
SHORE. Land on the side of the sea, a lake, or a river, is
called the shore. Strictly speaking, however, when the water does not ebb and
flow, in a river, there is no shore. See 4 Hill, N. Y. Rep. 375; 6 Cowen, 547;
SHORT ENTRY. A term used among bankers, which takes, place when
a note has been sent to a bank for collection, and an entry of it is made in
the cus-tomer's bank book, stating the amount in an inner column, and carrying
it out into the accounts between the parties when it has been paid.
2. A bill of this kind remains the property of the depositor. 1 Bell's
Com. 27l; 9 East, 12; 1 Rose, 153; 2 Rose, 163; 2 B. & Cr. 422; Pull. Mer.
SI FACERIT TE SECUREM. If he make you secure. These words occur
in the form of writs, which originally requited, or still require, that the
plaintiff should give security to the sheriff that he will prosecute his claim,
before the sheriff can be required to execute such writ.
SICKNESS. By sickness is understood any affection of the body
which deprives it temporarily of the power to fulfil iis usual functions.
2. Sickness is either such as affects the body generally, or only some
parts of it. Of the former class, a fever is an example; of the latter,
blindness. When a process has been issued against an individual for his arrest,
the she-riff or other officer is authorized, after he has arrested him, if he
be so dangerously sick, that to remove him would endanger his life or health,
to let him remain where he found him, and to return the facts at large, or
simply languidus. (q. v.)
SIDE BAR RULES, Eng practice. Rules which were formerly moved
for by attorneys on the side bar of the court; but now may be had of the clerk
of the rules, upon a praecipe. These rules are, that the sheriff return his
writ; that he bring in the body; for special imparlance; to be present at the
taxing of costs, and the like.
SIENS. An obsolete word, formerly used for scion, which
figuratively signified a person who descended from another. "The sien," says
Lord Coke, "takes all his nourishment from the stocke, and yet it produceth his
own fruit." Co. Lit. 123 a. Vide Branch.
SIGILLUM. A seal. (q. v.) Vide Scroll.
SIGHT, contracts. Bills of exchange are frequently made payable at
sight, that is, on presentment, which might be taken naturally to mean that the
bill should then be paid without further delay; but although the point be not
clearly settled, it seems the drawee is entitled to the days of grace. Beaw.
Lex Mer. pl. 256; Kyd on Bills, 10; Chit. on Bills, 343-4; Bayley on Bills, 42,
109, 110; Selw. N. P. 339.
2. - The holder of a bill payable at sight, is required to use due
diligence to put it into circulation, or have it presented for acceptance
within a reasonable time. 20 John. 146; 7 Cowen, 705; 12 Pick. 399 13 Mass.
137; 4 Mason, 336; 5 Mason's 118; 1 McCord, 322; 1 Hawks, 195.
3. When the bill is payable any number of days after sight, the time
begins to run from the period of presentment and acceptance, and not from the
time of mere presentment. 1 Mason, 176; 20 John. 176.
SIGN, contracts, evidence. A token of anything; a note or token
given without words.
2. Contracts are express or implied. The express are manifested viva
voce, or by writing; the implied are shown by silence, by acts, or by signs.
3. Among all nations find and at all times, certain signs have been
considered as proof of assent or dissent; for example, the nodding of the head,
and the shaking of hands; 2 Bl. Com. 448; 6 Toull. D. 33; Heinnec., Antiq. lib.
3, t. 23, n. 19; silence and inaction, facts and signs are sometimes very
strong evidence of cool reflection, when following a question. I ask you to
lend me one hundred dollars, without saying a word you put your hand in your
pocket, and deliver me the money. I go into a hotel and I ask the landlord if
he can accommodate me and take care of my trunk; without speaking he takes it
out of my hands and sends it into his chamber. By this act he doubtless becomes
responsible to me as a bailee. At the expiration of a lease, the tenant remains
in possession, without any objection from the landlord; this may be fairly
interpreted as a sign of a consent that the lease shall be renewed. 13 Serg.
& Rawle, 60.
4, The learned author of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in
his 44th chapter, remarks, "Among savage nations, the want of letters is
imperfectly supplied by the use of visible signs, which awaken attention, and
perpetuate the remembrance of any public or private transaction. The
jurisprudence of the first Romans exhibited the scenes of a pantomime; the
words were adapted to the gestures, and the slightest error or neglect in the
forms of proceeding was sufficient to annul the substance of the fairest claim.
The communion of the marriage-life was denoted by the necessary elements of
fire and water: and the divorced wife resigned, the bunch of keys, by the
delivery of which she had been invested with the government of the family. The
manumission of a son, or a slave, was performed by turning him round with a
gentle blow on the cheek: a work was prohibited by the casting of a stone;
prescription was interrupted by the breaking of a branch; the clenched fist was
the symbol of a pledge or deposits; the right hand was the gift of faith and
confidence. The indenture of covenants was a broken straw; weights and, scales
were introduced into every payment, and the heir who accepted a testament, was
sometimes obliged to snap his fingers, to cast away his garments, and to leap
and dance with real or affected transport. If a citizen pursued any stolen
goods into a neighbor's house, he concealed his nakedness with a linen towel,
and hid his. face with a mask or basin, lest he should encounter the eyes of a
virgin or a matron. In a civil action, the plaintiff touched the ear of his
witness seized his reluctant adversary by the neck and implored, in solemn
lamentation, the aid of his fellow-citizens. The two competitors grasped each
other's hand, as if they stood prepared for combat before the tribunal of the
praetor: he commanded them to produce the object of the dispute; they went,
they returned with measured steps, and a clod of earth was cast at his feet to
represent the field for which they contended. This occult science of the words
and actions of law, was the inheritance of the pontiffs and patricians. Like
the Chaldean astrologers, they announced to their clients the days of business
and repose; these important trifles wore interwoven with the religion of Numa;
and, after the publication of the Twelve Tables, the Roman people were still
enslaved by the ignorance of judicial proceedings. The treachery of some
plebeian officers at length revealed the profitable mystery: in a more
enlightened age, the legal actions were derided and observed; and the same
antiquity which sanctified the practice, obliterated the use and meaning, of
this primitive language."
SIGN, measures. In angular measures, a sign is equal to thirty
degrees. Vide Measure.
SIGN, mer. law. A board, tin or other substance, on which is
painted the name and business of a merchant or tradesman.
2. Every man has a right to adopt such a sign as he may please to
select, but he has no right to use another's name, without his consent. See
Dall. Dict. mot Propriete Industrielle, and the article Trade marks.
To SIGN. To write one's name to an instrument of writing in
order to give the effect intended; the name thus written is called a signature.
2. The signature is usually made at the bottom of the instrument but in
wills it has been held that when a testator commenced his will With these
words;, "I, A B, make this my will," it was a sufficient signing. 3 Lev. 1; and
vide Rob. on Wills, 122 1 Will. on Wills, 49, 50; Chit. Cont. 212 Newl. Contr.
173; Sugd. Vend. 71; 2 Stark. Ev. 605, 613; Rob. on Fr. 121; but this decision
is said to be absurd. 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 278, n. 16. Vide Merl. Repert. mot
Signature, for a history of the origin, of signatures; and also 4 Cruise, Dig.
h. t. 32, c. 2, s. 73, et seq.; see, generally, 8 Toull. n. 94-96; 1 Dall. 64;
5 Whart. R. 386; 2 B. & P 238; 2 M. & S. 286.
3. To sign a judgment, is to enter a judgment for want of something
which was required to be done; as, for example, in the English practice, if he
who is bound to give oyer does not give it within the time required, in such
cases, the adverse party may sign judgment against him. 2 T. R. 40; Com. Dig.
Pleader, P 1; Barnes, 245.
SIGNA, civil law. Those species of indicia (q. v.) which come
more immediately under the cognizance of the senses, such as stains of blood on
the person of one accused of murder, indications of terror at being charged
with the offence, and the like.
2. Signa, although not to be rejected as instruments of evidence,
cannot always be relied upon as conclusive evidence, for they are frequently
explained away; in the instance mentioned the blood may have been that of a
beast, and expressions of terror have been frequently manifested by innocent
persons who did not possess much firmness. See Best on Pres. 13, n. f.;
Denisart, h. v.
SIGNATURE, eccl. law. The name of a sort of rescript, without
seal, containing the supplication, the signature of the pope or his delegate,
and the grant of a pardon Dict. Dr. Can. h. v.
SIGNATURE, pract. contr. By signature is understood the act of
putting down a man's name, at the end of an instrument, to attest its validity.
The name thus written is also called a signature.
2. It is not necessary that a party should write his name himself, to
constitute a signature; his mark is now beld sufficient though he was able to
write. 8 Ad. & El. 94; 3 N. & Per. 228; 3 Curt. 752; 5 John. 144, A
signature made by a party, another person guiding his band with his consent, is
sufficient. 4 Wash. C. C. 262, 269. Vide to Sign.
SIGNIFICATION, French law. The notice given of a decree,
sentence or other judicial act.
SIGNIFICAVIT, eccl. law. When this word is used alone, it means
the bishop's certificate to the court of chancery, in order to obtain the writ
of excommunication; but where the words writ of significavit are used, the
meaning is the same as writ de excommunicato capiendo. 2 Burn's Eccl. L. 248;
Shelf. on Mar. & Div. 502.
SILENCE. The state of a person who does not speak, or of one who
refrains from speaking.
2. Pure and simple silence cannot be considered as a consent to a
contract, except in cases when the silent person is bound in good faith to
explain himself, in which case, silence gives consent. 6 Toull. liv. 3, t. 3,
n. 32, note; 14 Serg. & Rawle, 393; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 442; 1 Dane's Ab.
c. 1, art. 4, §3; 8 T. R. 483; 6 Penn. St. R. 336; 1 Greenl. Ev. 201; 2
Bouv. Inst. n. 1313. But no assent will be inferred from a man's silence,
unless, 1st. He knows his rights and knows what he is doing and, 2d. His
silence is voluntary.
3. When any person is accused of a crime, or charged with any fact, and
he does not deny it, in general, the presumption is very strong that the charge
is correct. 7 C. & P. 832 5 C. & P. 332; Joy on Conf. s. 10, p. 77.
4. The rule does not extend to the silence of a prisoner, when on his
exanination before a magistrate he is charged by another prisoner with having
joined him in the commission of an offence: 3 Stark. C. 33.
5. When an oath is administered to a witness, instead of expressly
promising to keep it, he gives his assent by his silence, and kissing the book.
6. The person to be affected by the silence must be one not
disqualified to act as non compos, an infant, or the like, for even the express
promise of such a person would not bind him to the performance of any contract.
7. The rule of the civil law is that silence is not an acknowledgment
or denial in every case, qui tacet, non utique fatetur: sed tamen verum est,
eum non negaro. Dig. 50, 17, 142.
SILVA CAEDUA. By these words in England is understood every sort
of wood, except gross wood of the age of twenty years. Bac. Ab. Tythes, C.
SIMILITER, pleading. When the defendant's plea contains a direct
contradiction of the declaration, and concludes with referring the matter to be
tried by a jury of the country, the plaintiff must do so too; that is, he must
also submit the matter to be tried by a jury, without offering any new answer
to it, and must stand or fall by his declaration. Co. Litt. 126 a. In such
case, he merely replies that as the defendant has put himself upon the country,
that is, has submitted his cause to be tried by a jury of the country, he, the
plaintiff, does so likewise, or the like. Hence this sort of replication is
called a similiter, that having been the effective word when the proceedings
were in Latin. 1 Chit. Pl. 549; Arch. Civ. Pl. 250. See Steph. Pl. 255; 2
Saund. 319, b; Cowp. 407; 1 Str. Rep. 551; 11 S. & R. 32.
SIMONY, eccl. law. The selling and buying of holy orders, or an
ecclesiastical benefice. Bac. Ab. h. t.; 1 Harr. Dig. 556. By simony is also
understood an unlawful agreement to receive a temporal reward for something
holy or spiritual. Code, 1, 3, 31 Ayl. Parerg. 496.
SIMPLE. Not compounded, alone; as, simple interest, which is
interest on the principal sum lent only and not interest on the interest;
simple contract, &c.
SIMPLE CONTRACT. One, the evidence of which is merely oral, or
in writing, not under seal, nor of record. 1 Chit. Contr. 1 1 Chit. Pl. 88; and
vide 11 Mass. R. 30 ll East, R. 312; 4 Barn. & Ald. 588; Stark. Ev. 995; 2
Bl. Com. 472.
2. As contracts of this nature are frequently entered into without
thought or proper deliberation, the law requires that there be some good cause,
consideration or motive, before they can be enforced in the courts. The party
making the promise must have obtained some advantage, or the party to whom it
is made must have sustained some injury or inconvenience in consequence of such
promise; this rule has been established for the purpose of protecting weak and
thoughtless persons from the consequences of rash, improvident, and
inconsiderate engageinents. See Nudum pactum. But it must be recollected this
rule does not apply to promissory notes, bills of exchange or commercial
papers. 3 M. & S. 352.
SlMPLE LARCENY. The felonious taking and carrying away the
personal goods of another, unattended by acts of violence; it is distinguished
from compound larceny, which is the stealing from the person or with violence.
SIMPLE OBLIGATION. An unconditional obligation, one which is to
be performed without depending upon any event provided by the parties to it.
SIMPLE TRUST. A simple trust corresponds with the ancient use,
and is where property is simply vested in one person for the use of another,
and the nature of the trust, not being qualified by the settler, is left to the
construction of law. It differs from a special trust. (q. v.) 2 Bouv. Inst. n.
SIMPLEX. Simple or single; as, charta simplex, is a deed-poll,
of single deed. Jacob's L. Dict. h. t.
SIMPLICITER. Simply, without ceremony; in a summary manner.
SIMUL CUM, pleading. Together with. These words are used in
indictments and declarations of trespass against several persons, when some of
them are known and others are unknown.
2. In cases of riots it is usual to charge that A B, together with
others unknown, did the act complained of. 2 Chit. Cr. Law, 488; 2 Salk. R.
3. When a party sued with another pleads separately, the plea is
generally entitled in the name of the person pleading, adding "sued with___,"
naming the other party. When this occurred, it was, in the old phraseology,
called pleading with a simul cum.
SIMULATION, French law. This word is derived from the Latin
simul, together. It indicates, agreeably to its etymology, the concert or
agreement of two or more persons to give to one thing the appearance of
another, for the purpose of fraud. Merl. Repert. h. t.
2. With us such act might be punished by indictment for a conspiracy;
by avoiding the pretended contract; or by action to recover back the money or
property which may have been thus fraudulently obtained.
SINE DIE. Without day. A judgment for a defendant in many cases
is quod eat sine die, that he may go without day. While the cause is pending
and undeter-mined, it may be continued from term to term by dies datus. (q. v.)
See Huxley's Judgments & Rastal's Entries, passim; Co. Litt. 362b &
363a. When the court or other body rise at the end of a session or term they
adjourn sine die.
SINECURE. In the ecclesiastical law, this term is used to
signify that an ecclesiastical officer is without a charge or cure.
2. In common parlance it means the receipt of a salary for an office
when there are no duties to be performed.
SINGLE. By itself, unconnected.
2. A single bill is one without any condition, and does not depend upon
any future event to give it validity. Single is also applied to an unmarried
person; as, A B, single woman. Vide Simplex.
SINGLE ENTRY. A term used among merchants signifying that the
entry is made to charge or to credit an individual or thing, without, at the
same time, pre-senting any other part of the operation; it is used in
contradistinction to double entry. (q. v.) For example, a single entry is made,
A B debtor, or A B creditor, without designating what are the connexions
between the entry and the objects which composed the fortune of the merchant.
SINGULAR, construction. In grammar the singular is used to
express only one,
not plural. Johnson.
2. In law, the singular frequently includes the plural. A bequest to
"my nearest relation," for example, will be considered as a bequest to all the
relations in the same degree, who are nearest to the testator. 1 Ves. sen. 337;
1 Bro. C. C. 293. A bequest made to "my heir," by a person who had three heirs,
will be construed in the plural. 4 Russ. C. C. 384.
3. The same rule obtains in the civil law: In usu juris frequenter uti
nos singulari appellationie, am plura significari vellemus. Dig. 50, l6, 158.
SINKING FUND. A fund arising from particular taxes, imposts, or
duties, which is appropriated towards the payment of the interest due on a
public loan and for the gradual payment of the principal. See Funding System.
SIRE. A title of honor given to kings or emperors in speaking or
writing to them.
SISTER. A woman who has the same father and mother with another,
or has one of them only. In the first case she is called sister, simply; in the
second, half sister. Vide Brother; Children; Descent; Father; Mother.
SITUS. Situation;, location. 5 Pet. R. 524.
2. Real estate has always a fixed situs, while personal estate has no
such fixed situs; the law rei site regulates real but not the personal estate.
Story, Confl. of Laws, §379.
SKELETON BILL, com. law. A blank paper, properly stamped, in
those countries where stamps are required, with the name of a person signed at
2. In such case the person signing the paper will be held as the drawer
or acceptor, as it may be, of any bill which shall afterwards be written above
his name to the sum of which the stamp is applicable. 1 Bell's Com. 390, 5th
SKILL, contracts. The art of doing a thing as it ought to be
2. Every person who purports to have skill in la business, and
undertakes for hire to perform it, is bound to do it with ordinary skill, and
is res-ponsible civilly in damages for the want of it; 11 M. & W. 483; and
sometimes he is responsible criminally. Vide Mala Praxis; 2 Russ. on Cr. 288,
3. The degree of skill and diligence required, rises in proportion to
the value of the article, and the delicacy of the operation: more skill is
required, for example, to repair a very delicate mathematical instrument, than
upon a common instrument. Jones' Bailm. 91; 2 Kent, Com. 458, 463; 1 Bell's
Com. 459; 2 Ld. Raym. 909, 918; Domat, liv. 1, t. 4, §8, n. 1; Poth.
Louage, n. 425; Pardess. n. 528; Ayl. Pand. B. 4, t. 7, p. 466; Ersk. Inst. B.
3, t. 3, §16; 1 Rolle, Ab. 10; Story's Bailm. §431, et seq.; 2
Greenl. Ev. §144.
SLANDER, torts. The defaming a man in his reputation by speaking
or writing words which affect his life, office, or trade, or which tend to his
loss of preferment in marriage or service, or in his inheritance, or which
occasion any other particular damage. Law of Nisi Prius, 3. In England, if
slander be spoken of a peer, or other great man, it is called Scandalum
Magnatum. Falsity and malice are ingredients of slander. Bac. Abr. Slander.
Written or printed slanders are libels; see that word.
2. Here it is proposed to treat of verbal slander only, which may be
considered with reference to, 1st. The nature of the accusation. 2d. The
falsity of the charge. 3d. The mode of publication. 4th. The occasion; and 5th.
The malice or motive of the slander.
3. - §1. Actionable words are of two descriptions; first, those
actionable in themselves, without proof of special damages and, secondly, those
actionable only in respect of some actual consequential damages.
4. - 1. Words of the first description must impute: 1st. The guilt of
some offence for which the party, if guilty, might be indicted and punished by
the criminal courts; as to call a person a "traitor," "thief," "highwayman;" or
to say that he is guilty of "perjury," "forgery," "murder," and the like. And
although the imputation of guilt be general, without stating the particulars of
the pretended crime, it is actionable. Cro. Jac. 114, 142; 6 T. R. 674; 3 Wils.
186; 2 Vent. 266; 2 New Rep. 335. See 3 Serg. & Rawle, 255 7 Serg. &
Rawle, 451; 1 Binn. 452; 5 Binn. 218; 3 Serg. & Rawle, 261; 2 Binn. 34; 4
Yeates, 423; 10 Serg. & Rawle, 44; Stark. on Slander, 13 to 42; 8 Mass.
248; 13 Johns. 124; Id. 275.
5. - 2d. That the party has a disease or distemper which renders him
unfit for society. Bac. Abr. Slander, B 2. An action can therefore be sustained
for calling a man a leper. Cro. Jac. 144 Stark. on Slander, 97. But charging
another with having had a contagious disease is not actionable, as he will not,
on that account, be excluded from society. 2 T. R. 473, 4; 2 Str. 1189; Bac.
Abr. tit. Slander, B 2. A charge which renders a man ridiculous, and impairs
the enjoyment of general society, and injures those imperfect rights of
friendly intercourse and mutual benevolence which man has with respect to man,
is also actionable. Holt on Libels, 221.
6. - 3d. Unfitness in an officer, who holds an office to which profit
or emolument is attached, either in respect of morals or inability to discharge
the duties of the office in such a case an action lies. 1 Salk. 695, 698;
Rolle, Ab. 65; 2 Esp. R. 500; 5 Co. 125; 4 Co. 16 a; 1 Str. 617; 2 Ld. Raym.
1369; Bull. N. P. 4; Holt on Libels, 207; Stark. on Slander, 100.
7. - 4th. The want of integrity or capacity, whether mental or
pecuniary, in the conduct of a profession, trade or business, in which the
party is engaged, is actionable, 1 Mal. Entr. 244 as to accuse an attorney or
artist of inability, inattention, or want of integrity; 3 Wils. 187; 2 Bl. Rep.
750; or a clergyman of being a drunkard; 1 Binn. 178; is actionable. See Holt
on Libels, 210; Id. 217.
8. - 2. Of the second class are words which are actionable only in
respect of special damages sustained by the party slandered. Though the law
will not permit in these cases the inference of damage, yet when the damage has
actually been sustained, the party aggrieved may support an action for the
publication of an untruth; 1 Lev. 53; 1 Sid. 79, 80; 3 Wood. 210; 2 Leon. 111;
unless the assertion be made for the assertion of a supposed claim; Com. Dig.
tit. Action upon the case for Defamation, D 30; Bac. Ab. Slander, B; but it
lies if maliciously spoken. See 1 Rolle, Ab. 36 1 Saund. 243 Bac. Abr. Slander,
C; 8 T. R. 130 8 East, R. 1; Stark. on Slander, 157.
9. - §2. The charge must be false; 5 Co. 125, 6; Hob. 253; the
falsity of the accusation is to be implied till the contrary is shown. 2 East,
R. 436; 1 Saund. 242. The instance of a master making an unfavorable
representation of his servant, upon an application for his character, seems to
be an exception, in that case there being a presumption from the occasion of
the speaking, that the words were true. 1 T. R. 111; 3 B. & P. 587; Stark.
on Slander, 44, 175, 223.
10. - §3. The slander must, of course, be published, that is,
communicated to a third person; and if verbal, then in a language which he
understands, otherwise the plaintiff's reputation is not impaired. 1 Rolle, Ab.
74; Cro. Eliz. 857; 1 Saund. 2425 n. 3; Bac. Abr. Slander, D 3. A letter
addressed to the party, containing libelous matter, is not sufficient to
maintain a civil action, though it may subject the libeler to an indictment, as
tending to a breach of the peace; 2 Bl. R. 1038; 1 T. R. 110; 1 Saund. l32, n.
2; 4 Esp. N. P. R. 117; 2 Esp. N. P. R. 623; 2 East, R. 361; the slander must
be published respecting the plaintiff; a mother cannot maintain an action for
calling her daughter a bastard. 11 Serg. & Rawle, 343. As to the case of a
man who repeats the slander invented by another, see Stark. on Slander, 213; 2
P. A. Bro. R. 89; 3 Yeates, 508; 3 Binn. 546.
11. - §4. To render words actionable, they must be uttered without
legal occasion. On some occasions it is justifiable to utter slander of
another, in others it is excusable, provided it be uttered without express
malice. Bac. Ab. Slander, D 4; Rolle, Ab. 87; 1 Vin. Ab. 540. It is justifiable
for au attorney to use scandalizing expressions in support of his client's
cause and pertinent thereto. 1 M. & S. 280; 1 Holt's R. 531; 1 B. & A.
232; see 2 Serg. & Rawle, 469; 1 Binn. 178; 4 Yeates, 322; 1 P. A. Browne's
R. 40; 11 Verm. R. 536; Stark. on Slander, 182. Members of congress and other
legislative assemblies cannot be called to account for anything said in debate.
12. - §5. Malice is essential to the support of an action for
slanderous words. But malice is in general to be presumed until the contrary be
proved; 4 B. & C. 247; 1 Saund. 242, n. 2; 1 T. R. 1 11, 544; 1 East, R.
563; 2 East, R. 436; 2 New Rep. 335; Bull. N. P. 8; except in those cases where
the occasion prima facie excuses the publication. 4 B. & C. 247. See 14
Serg. & Rawle, 359; Stark. on Slander, 201. See, generally, Com. Dig. tit.
Action upon the case for Defamation; Bac. Abr. Slander; 1 Vin. Abr. 187; 1
Phill. Ev. ch. 8; Yelv. 28, n.; Doctr. Plac. 53 Holt's Law of Libels; Starkie
on Slander, Ham. N. P. ch. 2, s. 3.
SLANDERER. A calumniator, who maliciously and without reason
imputes a crime or fault to another, of which he is innocent.
2. For this offence, when the slander is merely verbal, the remedy is
an action on the case for damages; when it is reduced to writing or printing,
it is a libel. (q. v.)
SLAVE. A man who is by law deprived of his liberty for life, and
becomes the property of another.
2. A slave has no political rights, and generally has no civil rights.
He can enter into no contract unless specially authorized by law; what he
acquires generally, belongs to his master. The children of female slaves follow
the condition of their mothers, and are themselves slaves.
3. In Maryland, Missouri and Virginia slaves are declared by statute to
be personal estate, or treated as such. Anth. Shep. To. 428, 494; Misso. Laws,
558. In Kentucky, the rule is different, and they are considered real estate. 1
Kty. Rev. Laws, 566 1 Dana's R. 94.
4. In general a slave is considered a thing and not a person; but
sometimes he is considered as a person; as when he commits a crime; for
example, two white persons and a slave can commit a riot. 1 McCord, 534. See
5. A slave may acquire his freedom in various ways: 1. By manumission,
by deed or writing, which must be made according to the laws of the state where
the master then acts. 1 Penn. 10; 1 Rand. 15. The deed may be absolute which
gives immediate freedom to the slave, or conditional giving him immediate
freedom, and reserving a right of service for a time to come; 6 Rand. 652; or
giving him his freedom as soon as a certain condition shall have been
fulfilled. 2 Root, 364; Coxe, 4. 2. By manumission by will. When there is an
express emancipation by will, the slave will be free, and the testator's real
estate shall be charged with the payment of his debts, if there be not enough
personal property without the sale of the slaves. 9 Pet. 461. See Harper, R.
20. The manumission by will may be implied, as, where the master devises
property real or personal to his slave. 2 Pet; 670; 5 Har. & J. 190. 3. By
the removal of the slave with the consent of the master, animo morandi, into
one of the United States where slavery is forbidden by law; 2 Mart. Lo. Rep. N.
J. 401; or when he sojourns there longer than is allowed by the law of the
state. 7 S. & R. 378; 1 Wash. C. C. Rep. 499. Vide Stroud on Slavery; Bouv.
Inst. Index, h. t.; and as to the rights of one who, being free, is held as a
slave, 2 Gilman, 1; 3 Yeates, 240.
SLAVE TRADE, criminal law. The infamous traffic in human flesh,
which though not prohibited by the law of nations, is now forbidden by the laws
and treaties of most civilized states.
2. By the constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 9, it is
provided, that the "migration or importation of such persons as any of the
states now existing (in 1789,) shall think proper to admit, shall not be
probibited by the congress, prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and
eight." Previously to that date several laws were enacted, which it is not
within the plan of this work to cite at large or to analyze; they are here
referred to, namely; act of 1794, c. 11, 1 Story's laws U. S. 319; act of 1800,
c. 51, 1 Story's Laws U. S. 780 act of 1803, c. 63, 2 Story's Laws U. S 886;
act of 1807, c. 77, 2 Story's Laws U. S. 1050; these several acts forbid
citizens of the United States, under certain circumstances, to equip or build
vessels for the purpose of carrying on the slave trade, and the last mentioned
act makes it highly penal to import slaves into the United States after the
first day of January, 1808. The act of 1818, c. 86, 3 Story's Laws U. S. 1698
the act of 1819, c. 224, 3 Story's Laws U. S. 1752; and the act of 1820, c.
113, 3 Story's Laws U. S. 1798, contain further prohibition of the slave trade
, and punish tho violation of their several provisions with the highest
penalties of the law. Vide, generally, 10 Wheat. R. 66; 2 Mason, R. 409; 1
Acton, 240; 1 Dodson, 81, 91, 95; 2 Dodson, 238; 6 Mass. R. 358; 2 Cranch, 336;
3 Dall. R. 297; 1 Wash. C. C. Rep. 522; 4 Id. 91; 3 Mason, R. 175; 9 Wheat. R.
391; 6 Cranch, 330; 5 Wheat. R. 338; 8 Id. 380; 10 Id. 312; 1 Kent, Com. 191.
SLAVERY. The state or condition of a slave.
2. Slavery exists in most of the southern states. In Pennsylvania, by
the act of March, 1780, for the gradual abolition of slavery, it has been
almost entirely removed in Massachusetts it was held, soon after the
Revolution, that slavery had been abolished by their constitution; 4 Mass. 128;
in Connecticut, slavery has been totally extinguished by legislative
provisions; Reeve's Dom. Bel. 340; the states north of Delaware, Maryland and
the river Ohio, may be considered as free States, where slavery is not
tolerated. Vide Stroud on Slavery; 2 Kent, Com. 201; Rutherf. Inst. 238.
SMUGGLING. The fraudulent taking into a country, or out of it,
merchandise which is lawfully prohibited. Bac. Ab. h. t.
SO HELP YOU GOD. The formula at the end of a common oath, as
administered to a witness wlio testifies in chief.
SOCAGE, Eng. law. A tenure of lands by certain inferior services
in husbandry, and not knight's service, in lieu of all other services. Litt.
SOCER. The father of one's wife; a father-in-law.
SOCIDA, civ. law. This is the name of a contract by which one
man delivers to another, either for a small recompense, or for a part of the
profits, certain animals, on condition that if any of them perish they shall be
replaced by the bailer, or he shall pay their value.
2. This is a contract of hiring, with this condition, that the bailee
takes upon him the risk of the loss of the thing hired. Wolff, §638.
SOCIETAS LEONINA. Among the Roman lawyers this term signified
that kind of society or partnership by which the entire profits should belong
to some of the partners in exclusion of the rest.
2. It was so called in allusion to the fable of the lion and other
animals, who having entered into partnership for the purpose of hunting, the
lion appropriated all the prey to himself. Dig. 17, 2, 29, 2; Poth. Traite de
Societe, n. 12. See 2 McCord's R. 421; 6 Pick. 372.
SOCIETE EN COMMENDITE. This term is borrowed from the laws of
France, and is used in Louisiana; the societe en commendite, or partnership in
commendam, is formed by a contract, by which one person or partnership agrees
to furnish another person or partnership a certain amount, either in property
or money, to be employed by the person or partnership to whom it is furnished,
in his or their own name or firm, on condition of receiving a share in the
profits, in the proportion determined by the contract, and of being liable to
losses and expenses to the amount furnished and no more. Civ. Code of Lo. art.
2810; Code de Comm. 26, 33; 4 Pard. Dr. Com. n. 1027; Dall. Dict. mots Societe
Commerciale, n. 166. Vide Commendam; Partnership.
SOCIETY. A society is a number of persons united together by
mutual consent, in order to deliberate, determine, and act jointly for some
2. Societies are either incorporated and known to the law, or
unincorporated, of which the law does not generally take notice.
3. By civil society is usually understood a state, (q. v.) a nation,
(q. v.) or a body politic. (q. v.) Rutherf. Inst. c. 1 and 2.
4. In the civil law, by society is meant a partnership. Inst. 3, 26;
Dig. 17, 2 Code, 4, 37.
SODOMITE. One who his been guilty of sodomy. Formerly such
offender was punished with great severity, and was deprived of the power of
making a will.
SODOMY, crim. law. The crime against nature, committed either
with man or beast.
2. It is a crime not it to be named; peccatum illud horrible, inter
christianos non nominandum. 4 Bl. Com. 215; 1 East, P. C. 480, 487; Bac. Ab. h.
t.; Hawk. b. 1, c. 4; 1 Hale, 669; Com. Dig. Justices, S 4; Russ. & Ry.
3. This crime was punished with great severity by the civil law. Nov.
141; Nov. 77; Inst. 4, 18, 4. See 1 Russ. on Cr. 568; R. & R. C. C. 331,
412; 1 East, P. C. 437.
SOIL. The superficies of the earth on which buildings are
erected, or may be
2. The soil is the principal, and the building, when erected, is the
accessory. Vide Dig. 6, 1, 49.
SOIT DROIT FAIT AL PARTIE, Eng. law. Let right be done to the
party. This phrase is written on a petition of right, and subscribed by the
king. See Petition of right.
SOKEMANS, Eng. law. Those who hold their land in socage. 2 Bl.
SOLARES, Spanish law. Lots of ground. This term is frequently
found in grants from the Spanish government of lands in America. 2 White's
SOLD NOTE, contracts. The name of an instrument in writing,
given by a broker to a buyer of merchandise, in which it is stated that the
goods therein mentioned have been sold to him. 1 Bell's Com. 5th ed. 435 Story
on Ag. §28. Some confusion may be found in the books as to the name of
these notes; they are sometimes called bought notes. (q. v.)
SOLDIER. A military man; a private in the army.
2. The constitution of the United States, amendm. art. 3, directs that
no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the
'consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by
SOLE. Alone, single; used in contradistinction to joint or
married. A sole tenant, therefore, is one who holds lands in his own right,
without being joined with any other. A feme sole is a single woman; a sole
corporation is one composed of only one natural person.
SOLEMNITY. The formality established by law to render a
contract, agreement, or other act valid.
2. A marriage, for example, would not be valid if made in jest, and
without solemnity. Vide Marriage, and Dig. 4, 1, 7; Id. 45, 1, 30.
SOLICITATION OF CHASTITY. The asking a person to commit adultery
2. This of itself, is not an indictable offence. Salk. 382; 2 Chit. Pr.
478. The contrary doctrine, bowever, has been held in Connecticut. 7 Conn. Rep.
3. In England, the bare solicitation of chastity is punished in the
ecclesiastical courts. 2 Chit. Pr. 478. Vide Str. 1100; 10 Mod. 384; Sayer, 33;
1 Hawk. ch. 74; 2 Ld. Raym. 809.
4. The civil law punished arbitrarily the person who solicited the
chastity of another. Dig. 47, 11, 1. Vide To persuade; 3 Phill. R. 508.
SOLICITOR. A person whose business is to be employed in the care
and management of suits depending in courts of chancery.
2. A solicitor, like an attorney, (q. v.) will be required to act with
perfect good faith towards his clients. He must conform to the authority given
him. It is said that to institute a suit he must have a special authority,
although a general authority will be sufficient to defend one. The want of a
written authority, may subject him to the expenses incurred in a suit. 3 Mer.
R. 12; Hov, Fr. ch. 2, p. 28 to 61. Vide 1 Phil. Ev. 102; 19 Vin. Ab. 482; 7
Com. ]big. 357; 8 Com. Dig. 985; 2 Chit. Pr. 2. See Attorney at law; Counsellor
at law; Proctor.
SOLICITOR OP THE TREASURY. The title of one of the officers of
the United States, created by the act of May 29, 1830, 4 Sharsw. cont. of
Story, L. U. S. 2206, which prescribes his duties aud his rights.
2. - 1. His powers and duties are, 1. Those which were by law vested
and required from the agent of the treasury of the United States. 2. Those
which theretofore belonged to the commissioner, or acting commissioner of the
revenue, as relate to the superintendence of the collection of outstanding
direct and internal duties. 3. To take charge of all lands which shall be
conveyed to the United States, or set off to them in payment of debts, or which
are vested in them by mortgage or other security; and to release such lands
which had, at the passage of the act, become vested in the United States, on
payment of the debt for which they were received. 4. Generally to superintend
the collection of debts due to the United States, and receive statements from
different officers in relation to suits or actions commenced for the recovery
of the same. 5. To instruct the district attorneys, marshals, and clerks of the
circuit and district courts of the United States, in all matters and
proceedings appertaining to suits in which the United States are a party or
interested, and to cause them to report to him any information he may require
in relation to the same. 6. To report to the proper officer from whom the
evidence of debt was received, the fact of its having been paid to him, and
also all credits which have by due course of law been allowed on the same. 7.
To make rules for the government of collectors, district attorneys and
marshals, as may be requisite. 8. To obtain from the district attorneys full
accounts of all suits in their hands, and submit abstracts of the same to
3. - 2. His rights are, 1. To call upon the attorney-general of the
United States for advice and direction as to the manner of conducting the
suits, proceedings and prosecutions aforesaid. 2. To receive a salary of three
thousand five hundred dollars per annum. 3. To employ, with the approbation of
the secretary of the treasury, a clerk, with a salary of one thousand five
hundred dollars; and a messenger, with a salary of five hundred dollars. To
receive and send all letters, relating to the business of his office, free of
SOLIDO, IN, civil law. In solido, is a term used to designate
those contracts in which the obligors are bound, jointly and severally, or in
which several obligees are each entitled to demand the whole of what is due.
2. - 1. There is an obligation in solido on the part of debtors, when
they are all obliged to the same thing, so that each may be compelled to pay
the whole, and when the payment which is made by one of them, exonerates the
others towards the creditor.
3. - 2. The obligation is in solido, or joint and several between
several creditors, when the title expressly gives to each of them the right of
demanding payment of the total of what is due, and when the payment to any one
of them discharges the debtor. Civ. Code of La. 2083,2086; Merl. Repert. h. t.;
Domat, Index, h. t. See In solido.
SOLITARY IMPRISONMENT. The punishment of separate confinement.
This has been adopted in Pennsylvania, with complete success. Vide
SOLUTION, civil law. Payment.
2. By this term, is understood, every species of discharge or
liberation, which is called satisfaction, and with which the creditor is
satisfied. Dig. 46, 3, 54; Code 8, 43, 17; Inst. 3, 30. This term has rather a
reference to the substance of the obligation, than to the numeration or
counting of the money. Dig. 50, 16, 176. Vide Discharge of a contract.
SOLVENCY. The state of a person who is able to pay all his
debts; the opposite of insolvency. (q. v.)
SOLVENT. One who has sufficient to pay his debts, and all
obligations. Dig. 50, 16, 114.
SOLVERE. To unbind; to untie; to release; to pay; solvere
dicimus eum qui fecit quod facere promisit. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 807.
SOLVIT AD DIEM, pleading. The name of a plea to an action on a
bond, or other obligation to pay money, by which the defendant pleads that he
paid the money on the day it was due. Vide 1 Stra. 652; Rep. Temp. Hardw. 133;
Com. Dig. Pleader, 2 W 29.
2. This plea ought to conclude with an averment, and not to the
country. 1 Sid. 215; 12 John. R. 253; vide 2 Phil. Ev. 92; Coxe, R. 467.
SOLVITPOSTDIEM, pleading. The name of a special plea in bar to
an action of debt on a bond, by which the defendant asserts that he paid the
money after the day it became due. 1 Chit. Pl. 480, 555; 2 Phil. Ev. 93.
SOMNAMBULISM, med. juris. Sleep walking.
2. This is sometimes an inferior species of insanity, the patient being
unconscious of what he is doing. A case is mentioned of a monk who was
remarkable for simplicity, candor and probity, while awake, but who during his
sleep in the night, would steal, rob, and even plunder the dead. Another case
is related of a pious clergyman, who during his sleep, would plunder even his
own church. And a case occurred in Maine, where the somnambulist attempted to
hang himself, but fortunately tied the rope to his feet, instead of his neck.
Ray. Med. Jur. §294.
3. It is evident, that if an act should be done by a sleep walker,
while totally unconscious of his act, he would not be liable to punishment,
because the intention (q. v.) and will (q. v.) would be wanting. Take, for
example, the following singular case: A monk late one evening, in the presence
of the prior of the convent, while in a state of somnambulism, entered the room
of the prior, his eyes open but fixed, his features contracted into a frown,
and with a knife in his hand. He walked straight up to the bed, as if to
ascertain if the prior were there, and then gave three stabs, which penetrated
the bed clothes, and a mat which served for the purpose of a mattress; he
returned. with an air of satisfaction, and his features relaxed. On being
questioned the next day by the prior as to what he had dreamed the preceding
night, the monk confessed he had dreamed that his mother had been murdered by
the prior, and that her spirit had appeared to him and cried for vengeance,
that he was transported with fury at the sight, and ran directly to stab the
assassin; that shortly after be awoke covered with perspiration, and rejoiced
to find it was only a dream. Georget, Des Maladies Mentales, 127.
4. A similar case occurred in England, in the last century. Two
persons, who had been hunting in the day, slept together at night; one of them
was renewing the chase in his dream, and, imagining himself present at the
death of the stag, cried out aloud, "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" The other,
awakened by the noise, got out of bed, and, by the light of the moon, saw the
sleeper give several deadly stabs, with a knife, on the part of the bed his
companion had just quitted. Harvey's Meditations on the Night, note 35; Guy,
Med. Jur. 265.
SON, kindred. An immediate male descendant. In its technical meaning in
devises, this is a word of purchase, but the testator may make it a word of
descent. Sometimes it is extended to more remote descendants.
SON ASSAULT DEMESNE, pleading. His own first assault. A form of
a plea to justify an assault and battery, by whicb the defendant asserts that
the plaintiff committed an assault upon him, and the defendant merely defended
2. When the plea is supported by evidence, it is a sufficient
justification, unless the retaliation by the defendant were excessive, and bore
no proportion to the necessity, or to the provocation received. 1 East, P. C.
406; 1 Chit. Pr. 595.
SON-IN-LAW, in Latin called gener. The hushand of one's
SOUND MIND. That state of a man's mind which is adequate to
reason and comes to a judgment upon ordinary subjects, like other rational men.
2. The law presumes that every person who has acquired his full age is
of sound mind, and consequently competent to make contracts and perform all his
civil duties; and he who asserts to the contrary must prove the affirmation of
his position by explicit evidence, and not by conjectural proof. 2 Hagg Eccl.
R. 434; 3 Addams' R. 86; 8 Watts, R. 66; Ray, Med. Jur. §92; 3 Curt. Eccl.
R. 671. Vide Unsound mind.
SOUNDING IN DAMAGES. When an action is brought, not for the
recovery of lands, goods, or sums of money, (as is the case in real or mixed
actions, or the personal action of debt or detinue,) but for damages only, as
in covenant, trespass, &c., the action is said to be sounding in damages.
Steph. Pl. 126, 127.
SOUNDNESS. In usual health; without any permanent disease. 1
Carr. & Marsh. 291. To create unsoundness, it is requisite that the animal
should not be useful for the purpose for which he is bought, and that inability
to be so useful should arise from disease or accident. 2 M. & Rob. 137; 9
M. & W. 670. 2 M. & Rob. 113.
2. In the sale of slaves and animals they are sometimes warranted by
the seller to be sound, and it becomes important to ascertain what is
soundness. Roaring; (q. v.) a temporary lameness, which renders a horse less
fit for service; 4 Campb. 271; sed vide 2 Esp. Cas. 573; a cough, unless proved
to be of a temporary nature; 2 Chit. R. 245, 416; and a nerved horse, have been
held to be unsound. But crib-biting is not a breach of a general warranty of
soundness. Holt, Cas. 630.
3. An action on the case is the proper remedy for a verbal warrant of
soundness. 1 H. Bl. R. 17; 3 Esp. 82; 9 B. & Cr. 259; 2 Dow. & Ry. 10;
1 Bing. 344; 5 Dow. & R. 164; 1 Taunt. 566; 7 East, 274; Bac. Ab. Action on
the Case, E.
SOURCES OF THE LAW. By this expression is understood the
authority from which the laws derive their force.
2. The power of making all laws is in the people or - their
representatives, and none can have any force whatever, which is derived from
any other source. But it is not required that the legislator shall expressly
pass upon all laws, and give the sanction of his seal, before they can have
life or existence. The laws are therefore such as have received ala express
sanction, and such as de-rive their force and effect from implication. The
first, or express, are the constitution of the United States, and the treaties
and acts of the legislature which have been made by virtue of the authority
vested by the constitution. To these must be added the constitution of the
state and the laws made by the state legislature, or by other subordinate
legislative bodies, by virtue of the authority conveyed by such constitution.
The latter, or tacit, received their effect by the general use of them by the
people, when they assume the name of customs by the adoption of rules by the
courts from systems of foreign laws.
3. The express laws, are first, the constitution of the United States;
secondly, the treaties made with foreign powers; thirdly, the acts of congress;
fourthly, the constitutions of the respective states; fifthly, the laws made by
the several state legislatures; sixthly, laws made by inferior legislative
bodies, such as the councils of municipal corporations, and general rules made
by the courts.
4. - 1. The constitution is an act of the people themselves, made by
their representatives elected for that purpose. It is the supreme law of the
land, and is binding on all future legislative bodies, until it shall be
altered by tho authority of the people, in the manner, provided for in the
instrument itself, and if an act be passed contrary to the provisions of the
constitution, it is, ipso facto, void. 2 Pet. 522; 12 Wheat. 270; 2 Dall. 309;
3 Dall. 386; 4 Dall. 18; 6 Cranch, 128.
5. - 2. Treaties made under the authority of the constitution are
declared to be the supreme law of the land, and therefore obligatory on courts.
1 Cranch, 103. See Treaty.
6. - 3. The acts and resolutions of congress enacted constitutionally,
are of course binding as laws and require no other explanation.
7. - 4. The constitutions of the respective states, if not opposed to
the provisions of the constitution of the United States, are of binding force
in the states respectively, and no act of the state legislature has any force
which is made in contravention of the state constitution.
8. - 5. The laws of the several states, constitutionally made by the
state legislatures, have full and complete authority in the respective states.
9. - 6. Laws are frequently made by inferior legislative bodies which
are authorized by the legislature; such are the municipal councils of cities or
boroughs. Their laws are generally known by the name of ordinances, and, when
lawfully ordained, they are binding on the people. The courts, perhaps by a
necessary usurpation, have been in the practice of making general rules and
orders, which sometime affect suitors and parties as much as the most regular
laws enacted by congress. These apply to all future cases. There are also rules
made in particular cases as they arise, but these are rather decrees or
judgments than laws.
10. The tacit laws, which derive their authority from the consent of
the people, without any legislative enactment, may be subdivided into 1st. The
common law, which is derived from two sources, the common law of England, and
the practice and decisions of our own courts. It is very difficult, in many
cases, to ascertain what is this common law, and it is always embarrassing to
the courts. Kirl. Rep. Pref. In some states, it has been enacted that the
common law of England shall be the law, except where the same is inconsistent
with our constitutions and laws. See Law.
2d. Customs which have been generally adopted by the people, have the
force of law.
3d. The principles of the Roman law, being generally founded in
superior wisdom, have insinuated themselves into every part of the law. Many of
the refined rules which now adorn the common law appear there without any
acknowledgment of their paternity, and it is at this source that some judges
dipt to get the wisdom which adorns their judgments. The proceedings of the
courts of equity and many of the admirable distinctions which manifest their
wisdom are derived from this source. To this fountain of wisdom the courts of
admiralty owe most of the law which governs in admiralty cases.
4th. The canon law, which was adopted by the ecclesiastical courts,
figures in our laws respecting marriage, divorces, wills and testaments,
executors and administrators and many other subjects.
5th. The jurisprudence, or decisions of the various courts, have
contributed their full share of what makes the law. These decisions are made by
following precedents, by borrowing from the sources already mentioned, and,
sometimes by the less excusable disposition of the judges to legislate on the
11. The monuments where the common law is to be found, are the records,
reports of cases adjudicated by the courts, and the treatises of learned men.
The books of reports are the best proof of what is the common law, but owing to
the difficulty of finding out any systematic arrangement, recourse is had to
treatises upon the various branches of the law. The records, owing to their
being kept in one particular place, and therefore not generally accessible, are
SOUS SEING PRIVE. An act sous seingprive, in Louisiana and by
the French law, is an act or contract evidenced by writing under the private
signature of the parties to it. The term is used in opposition to the authentic
act, which is an agreement entered into in the presence of a notary or other
2. The form of the instrument does not give it its character so much as
the fact that it appears or does not appear to have been executed before the
officer. 7 N. S. 548 5 N. S. 196.
3. The effect of a sous seing prive is not the same as that of the
authentic act. The former cannot be given in evidence until proved, and, unless
accompanied by possession, it does not, in general, affect third persons; 6 N.
S. 429, 432; the latter, or authentic acts, are full evidence against the
parties and those who claim under them. 8 N. S. 132. See Act; Authentic act.
SOUTH CAROLINA. The name of one of the original states of the
United States of America. For an account of its colonial history, see article
2. The constitution of this state was adopted the third day of June,
1790, to which two amendments have been made, one, ratified December 17, 1808,
and the other, December 19, 1816. The powers of the government are distributed
into three branches, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.
3. - 1st. The legislative authority is vested in a general assembly,
which consists of a senate and house of representatives.
4. - 1. The senate will be considered with reference to the
qualifications of the electors; the qualifications of the members; the number
of members; the duration of their office, and the time of their election. 1.
Every free white man, of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of this
state, and having resided therein two years previous to the day of election,
and who hath a freehold of fifty acres of land, or a town lot, of which he hath
been legally seised and possessed, at least six months before such election,
or, not having such freehold or town lot, hath been a resident in the election
district, in which he offers to give his vote, six mouths before the said
election, and hath paid a tax the preceeding year of three shillings sterling
towards the support of this government, shall have a right to vote for a member
or members, to serve in either branch of the legislature, for the election
district in which he holds such property, or is so resident. 2. No person shall
be eligible to a seat in the senate, unless he is a free white man, of the age
of thirty years and hath been a citizen and resident in this state five years
previous to his election. If a resident in the election district, he shall not
be eligible unless he be legally seised and possessed in his own right, of a
settled freehold estate of the value of three hundred pounds sterling, clear of
debt. If a non-resident in the election district, he shall not be eligible
unless he be legally seised and possessed in his own right, of a settled
freehold estate in the said district, of the value of one thousand pounds
sterling, clear of debt. 3. The senate is composed of one member from each
district as now established for the election of the house of representatives,
except the district formed by the districts of the parishes of St. Philip and
St. Michael, to which shall be allowed two senators as heretofore. Amend. of
Dec. 17, 1808. 4. They are elected for four years. Ibid. 5. The election takes
place on the second Monday in October. Art. 1, s. 10.
5. - 2. The house of representatives will be considered in the same
order which has been observed in considering the senate. 1. The qualification
of electors are the same as those of electors of senators. 2. No person shall
be eligible to a seat in the house of representatives, unless he is a free
white man, of the age of twenty-one years, and hath been a citizen and resident
in this state three years previous to his election. If a resident in the
election district, he shall not be eligible to a seat in the house of
representatives, unless he be legally seised and possessed in his own right, of
a settled free-hold estate of five hundred acres of land, and ten negroes; or
of a real es-tate, of the value of one hundred and fifty pounds sterling, clear
of debt. If a non-resident, he shall be legally seised and possessed of a
settled freehold estate therein, of the value of five hundred pounds sterling,
clear of debt. 3. The house consists of one hundred and twenty-four members.
Amend. of Dee. 17, 1808. 4. The members are elected for two years. Art. l, s. 2
. 5. The election is at the same time that the election of senators is held.
6. - 2. The executive authority is vested in a governor, and in certain
cases, a lieutenant-governor.
7. - 1. Of the governor. It will be proper to consider his
qualifications; by whom he is to be elected; when to be elected; duration of
office; and his powers and duties. 1. No person shall be eligible to the office
of governor, unless he bath attained the age of thirty years, and hath resided
within this state, and been a citizen thereof, ten years, and unless he be
seised and possessed of a settled estate within the same, in his own right, of
the value of fifteen hundred pounds sterling, clear of debt. Art. 2, s. 2. 2.
He is elected by the senate and house of representatives jointly, in the house
of representatives. Art. 2, sect. 1. 3. He is to be elected whenever a majority
of both houses shall be present. lb. 4. He is elected for two years, and until
a new election shall be made. Ibid. 5. The governor is commander-in-chief of
the army and navy of the state, and of the militia, except when they shall be
called into the actual Service of the United States. He may grant reprieves and
pardons, after conviction, except in cases of impeachment, and remit fines and
forfeitures, unless otherwise directed by law shall cause the laws to be
faithfully executed in mercy - may prohibit the exportation of provisions, for
any time not exceeding thirty days-may require information from the executive
departments - shall recommend such measures as he may deem necessary, and give
the assembly information as to the condition of the state-may on extraordinary
occasions convene the assembly, and in case of disagreement between the two
houses with respect to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he
shall think proper, not beyond the fourth Monday in the mouth of November then
8. - 2. A lieutenant-governor is to be chosen at the same time, in the
same manner, continue in office for the same period, and be possessed of the
same qualifications as the governor. Art. 2, sect. 3. In case of the
impeachment of the governor, or his removal from office, death, resignation, or
absence from the state, the lieutenant-governor shall succeed to his office.
And in case of the impeachment of the lieutenant-governor, or his removal from
office, death, resignation, or absence from the state, the president of the
senate shall succeed to his office, till a nomination to those offices
respectively shall be made by the senate and house of representatives, for the
remainder of the time for which the officer so impeached, removed from office,
dying, resigning, or being absent, was elected. Art. 2, s. 5.
9. - 3. The judicial power shall be vested in such superior and
inferior courts of law and equity, as the legislature shall, from time to time,
direct and establish. The judges of each shall hold their commissions during
good behaviour; and judges of the superior courts shall, at stated times,
receive a compensation for their services, which shall neither be increased nor
diminished during their continuance in office: but they shall receive no fees
or perquisites of office, nor, hold any other office of profit or trust, under
this state, the United States, or any other power. Art. 3, sect. 1. The judges
are required to meet at such times, and places, as shall be prescribed by the
act of the legislature, and sit for the purpose of hearing and determining all
motions which may be made for new trials, and in arrest of judgment, and such
points of law as may be submitted to them. Amend. of Dec. 19, 1816.
SOVEREIGN. A chief ruler with supreme power; one possessing
sovereignty. (q. v.) It is also applied to a king or other magistrate with
2. In the United States the sovereignty resides in the body of the
people. Vide Rutherf. Inst. 282.
SOVEREIGN, Eng. law. The name of a gold coin of Great Britain of
the value of one pound sterling.
SOVEREIGN STATE. One which governs itself independently of any
SOVEREIGNTY. The union and exercise of all human power possessed
in a state; it is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything
in a state without accountability; to make laws, to execute and to apply them:
to impose and collect taxes, and, levy, contributions; to make war or peace; to
form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like.
Story on the Const. §207.
2. Abstractedly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and
belongs to the people. But these powers are generally exercised by delegation.
3. When analysed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great
powers; namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary; the first is
the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is
the power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the
power to apply the laws to particular facts; to judge the disputes which arise
among the citizens, and to punish crimes.
4. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government, the
absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; (q. v.) and
the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public
functionaries, is in the people of the state. (q. v.) 2 Dall. 471; and vide,
generally, 2 Dall. 433, 455; 3 Dall. 93; 1 Story, Const. §208; 1 Toull. n.
20 Merl. Reper. h. t.
SPADONES, civil law. Those who, on account of their temperament,
or some accident they have suffered, are unable to procreate. Inst. 1, 11, 9;
Dig. 1, 7, 2, 1; and vide Impotence.
SPARSIM. This Latin adverb signifies scatteredly, here and
there, in a scattered manner, sparsedly, dispersedly. It is sometimes used in
law; for example, the plaintiff may recover the place wasted, not only where
the injury has been total, but where trees, growing sparsim in a close, are
cut. Bac. Ab. Waste, M; Brownl. 240; Co. Litt. 54, a; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3690.
TO SPEAK. This term is used in the English law, to signify the
permission given by a court to the prosecutor and defendant in some cases of
misdemeanor, to agree together, after which the prosecutor comes into court and
declares himself to be satisfied; when the court pass a nominal sentence. 1
Chit. Pr. 17.
SPEAKER. The presiding officer of the house of representatives
of the United States is so called. The presiding officer of either branch of
the state legislatures generally bears this name.
SPEAKING DEMURRER, equity pleading. One which contains an
argument in the body of it; as, for instance, when a demurrer says, "in or
about the year 1770," which is upwards of twenty years before the bill filed. 2
Ves. jr. 83; S. C. 4 Bro. C. C. 254.
SPECIAL. That which relates to a particular species or kind,
opposed to general; as special verdict and general verdict; special imparlance
and general imparlance; special jury, or one selected for a particular case,
and general jury; special issue and general issue, &c.
SPECIAL AGENT. A special agent is one whose authority is
confined to a particular, or an individual instance. It is a general rule, that
he who is invested with a special authority, must act within the bounds of his
authority, and he cannot bind his principal beyond what he is authorized to do.
2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1299; 2 John. 48; 1 Wash. C. C. lT4; 5 John. 48; 15 John. 44;
8 Wend. 494.
SPECIAL ASSUMPSIT, practice. Where an action of assumpsit (q.
v.) has been brought on a special contract, and the plaintiff declares upon it,
setting out its particular language, or its legal effect. It is distinguished
from a general assumpsit, where the plaintiff, instead of setting out the
particular language, or effect of the original contract, declares as for a
debt, arising out of the execution of the contract, where that constitutes the
debt. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3426.
SPECIAL BAIL. A person who becomes specially bound to answer for
the appearance of another; the recoguizance or act by which such person thus
becomes bound, is also called special bail. Vide Bail.
SPECIAL CONSTABLE. One who has been appointed a constable for a
particular occasion, as in the case of an actual tumult or a riot, or for the
purpose of serving a particular process.
SPECIAL DAMAGES. Such as actually have been suffered, and are
not implied by law. Vide Damages, Special; and 1 Chit. Pl. 385; Com. Dig.
Action on the case for Defamation, D 30, G 11.
SPECIAL DEMURRER, pleading. One which excepts to the sufficiency
of the pleadings on the opposite side, and shows specifically the nature of the
objection, and the particular ground of the exception. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3022.
SPECIAL DEPOSIT. A deposit made of a particular thing with the
depositary: it is distinguished from an irregular deposit.
2. When a thing has been specially deposited with a depositary, the
title to it remains with the depositor, and if it should be lost, the loss will
fall upon him. When, on the contrary, the deposit is irregular, as where money
is deposited in a bank, the title to which is transferred to the bank, if it
be, lost, the loss will be borne by the bank. This will result from the same
principle; the loss will fall, in both instances, on the owner of the thing,
according to the rule res perit domino. See 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1 054.
SPECIAL ERRORS. Special pleas in error are those which assign
for error matters in confession and avoidance, as a release of errors, the act
of limitations, and the like, to which the plaintiff in error may reply or
SPECIAL IMPARLANCE, pleading. One which contains the clause,
"saving to himself all advantages and exceptions, as well to the writ, as to
the declaration aforesaid." 2 Chit. Pl. 407, 8.
2. This imparlance admits the jurisdiction of the court, but the
defendant may plead in abatement or to the action; that is, to the writ or the
count. Gould. on Pl. c. 2, §18; Lawes on Pl. 84. See imparlance.
SPECIAL INJUNCTION. One obtained only on motion and petition,
with notice to the other party, and is applied for, sometimes on affidavit
before answer, but more frequently upon merits disclosed in the defendant's
answer. 4 Bouv. lust. n. 3756. See Injunction.
SPECIAL ISSUE, pleading. A plea to the action which denies some
particular material allegation, which is in effect a denial of the entire right
of action. It differs from the general issue whicli traverses or denies the
whole declaration or indictment. Gould. on Pl. c. 2, §38. See General
SPECIAL JURY. One selected in a particular way by the parties. A
pannel is made out, and each party is entitled to strike from it the names of a
certain number of jurors, as provided for by the local statutes, and from those
who remain, the jury in that case must be selected. This is also called a
SPECIAL NON EST FACTUM. The name of a plea by which the
defendant says that the deed which he has executed is not his own or binding
upon him, because of some circumstance which shows that it was not intended to
be his deed, or because it was not binding upon him for some lawful reason; as,
when the defendant delivered the deed to a third person as an escrow to be
delivered upon a condition, and it has been delivered without the performance
of the condition, he may plead non est factum, state the fact, of the
conditional delivery, the non-performance of the condition, and add, "and so it
is not his deed;" or if the defendant be a feme covert, she may plead non est
factum, that she was a feme covert at the time the deed was made, "and so it is
not her deed." Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c. H 3, 1 2; Gould. on Pl. c. 6, part 1,
§64. See Issint.
SPECIAL OCCUPANT, estates. When an estate is granted to a man
and his heirs during the life, of cestui que vie, and the grantee die without
alienation, and while the life for which he held continues, the heir will
succeed, and is called a special occupant. 2 Bl. Com. 259. In the United States
the statute provisions of the different states vary considerably upon this
subject. In New York and New Jersey, special occupancy is abolished. Virginia,
and probably Maryland, follow the English statutes; in Massachusetts and other
states, where the real and personal estates of intestates are distributed in
the same way and manner, the question does not seem to be material. 4 Kent,
SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP. Special or limited partnerships are of two
kinds; 1. Those at common law. 2. Limited partnerships, or those in commendam.
2. Special partnerships at common law, are those formed for a
particular or special branch of business, as contradistinguished from the
general business of the parties, or of one of them.
3. A limited or special partnership, under special acts of assembly,
may be found in several states. In such partnerships some of the partners are
liable as general partners, while others are responsible only to the extent of
the capital they have furnished. See 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1472, 1473, and In
SPECIAL PLEA IN BAR. One which advances new matter. It differs
from the general in this, that the latter denies some material allegation, but
never advances new matter. Gould on Pl. c. 2, §38.
SPECIAL PLEADER, Engl. practice. A special pleader is a lawyer
whose professional occupation is to give verbal or written opinions upon
statements submitted to him, either in writing or verbally, and to draw
pleadings, civil or criminal, and such practical proceedings as may be out of
the general course. 2 Chit. Pr. 42.
SPECIAL PLEADING. The allegartion of special or new matter, as
distinguished from a direct denial of matter previously alleged on the opposite
side. Gould on Pl. c. 1, s. 18; Co. Litt. 282; 3 Wheat. R. 246 Com. Dig.
Pleader, E 15.
SPECIAL PROPERTY. This term is used as synonymous with qualified
or limited property. It is that property which is not perfect in the hands of
the possessor, but his right is qualified or limited; as, where a person is
possessed of an animal ferae naturae, he has a property in such animal, but
this is not a general right, for if the animal should escape, and be taken by
another person, the latter only would have a special property in it.
2. Again, a person may have a special property in a chattel in
consequence of the peculiar circumstances of the owner; a bailee, for example,
has a special property in the thing bailed. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 475 to 477.
SPECIAL REQUEST. One actually made, at a particular time and
place; this term is used in contradistinction to a general request, which need
not state. the time when, nor place where made. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2843.
SPECIAL RULE. A rule or order of court made in a particular
case, for a particular purpose; it is distinguished from a general rule, which
applies to a class of cases. It differs also from a common rule, or rule of
SPECIAL TRAVERSE, pleading. A technical special traverse begins
in most cases, with the words absque hoc, (without this,) which words in
pleading form a technical form of negation. Lawes' Pl. 116 to 120.
2. A traverse commencing with these words is special, because, when it
thus commences, the inducement and the negation are regularly both special; the
former consisting of new matter, and the latter pursuing, in general, the words
of the allegation traversed, or at least those of them which are material. For
example, if the defendant pleads title to land in himself, by alleging that
Peter devised the land to him, and then died seised in fee; and the plaintiff
replies that Peter died seised in fee intestate, and alleges title in himself,
as heir of Peter without this, that Peter devised the land to the defendant;
the traverse is special. Here the allegation of Peter's intestacy, &c.,
forms the special inducement; and the absque hoc, with what follows it, is a
special denial of the alleged devise, i. e. a denial of it in the words of the
allegation. Lawes on Pl. 119, 120; Gould, Pl. ch. 7, §6, 7; Steph. Pl.
188. Vide Traverse; General Traverse.
SPECIAL TRUST. A special trust, is one where a trustee is
interposed for the execution of some purpose particularly pointed out, and is
not, as in the case of a simple trust, a mere passive depositary of the estate,
but is required to exert himself actively in the execution of the settler's
intention; as, where a conveyance is made to trustees upon trust to reconvey,
or to sell for the payment of debts. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1896. See Trust.
SPECIAL VERDICT, practice. A special verdict is one by which the
facts of the case are put on the record, and the law is submitted to the
judges. Vide Verdict; Bac. Ab. Verdict, D.
SPECIALTY, contracts. A writing sealed aud delivered, containing
some agreement. 2 Serg. & Rawle, 503; 1 Binn. Rep. 261; Willes, 189; 1 P.
Wms. 130. In a more confined meaning, it signifies a writing sealed and
delivered, which is given as a security for the payment of a debt, in which
such debt is particularly specified. Bac. Ab. Obligation, A.
2. Although in the body of the writing it is not said, that the parties
have set their hands and seals, yet if the instrument be really sealed it is a
specialty, and if it be not sealed, it is not a specialty, although the parties
in the body of the writing make mention of a seal. 2 Serg. & Rawle, 504; 2
Rep. 5 a; Perk. §129. Vide Bond; Debt; Obligation.
SPECIE. Metallic money issued by public authority.
2. This term is used in contradistinction to paper money, which in some
countries is emitted by the government, and is a mere engagement which
repre-sents specie. Bank paper in the United States is also called paper money.
Specie is the only constitutional money in this country. See 4 Monr. 483.
SPECIFIC LEGACY. A bequest of a particular thing.
2. It follows that a specific legacy may be of animals or inanimate
things, provided they are specified and separated from all other things; a
specific legacy may therefore be of money in a bag, or of money marked and so
described; as, I give two eagles to A B, on which are engraved the initials of
my name. A specific legacy may also be given out of a general fund. Touch. 433
Amb. 310; 4 Ves. 565; 3 Ves. & Bea. 5. If the specific article given be,
not found among the assets of the testator, the legatee loses his legacy; but
on the other hand, if there be a deficiency of assets, the specific legacy will
not be liable to abate with the general legacies. 1 Vern. 31; 1 P. Wms. 422; 3
P. Wms. 365; 3 Bro. C. C. 160; vide 1 Roper on Leg. 150; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr.
209 . Id. 231; 2 Id. 112; and articles Legacy; Legatee.
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE, remedies. The actual accomplishment of a
contract by the party bound to fulfil it.
2. Many contracts are entered into by parties to fulfil certain things,
and then the contracting parties neglect or refuse to fulfil their engagements.
In such cases the party grieved has generally a remedy at law, and he may
recover damages for the breach of the contract; but, in many cases, the
recovery of damages is an incompetent remedy, and the party seeks to recover a
specific performance of the agreement.
3. It is a general rule, that courts of equity will entertain
jurisdiction for a specific performance of agreements, whenever courts of law
can give but an inadequate remedy; and it is immaterial whether the subject
relate to real or personal estate. 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 295; 2 Story on Eq.
§717; 1 Sim, & Stu. 607; 1 P. Wms. 570; 1 Sch. & Lef. 553; 1 Vern.
4. But the rule is confined to cases where courts of law cannot give an
adequate remedy. 2 Story on Eq. §718; Eden on Inj. ch. 3, p. 27. Vide,
generally, 2 Story on Eq. ch. 18, §712 to 792; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 96,
148, 184, 211, 495; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 65, 164; Fonb. Eq. b. 1, c. 1, s. 5;
Sugd. Vend. 145.
SPECIFICATION, civil law. A term used in the civil law, by which
is meant a person's making a new species or subject from materials belonging to
another. Bouv. Inst. Theolo. ps. 1, c. 1, art. 1, §4, Is. 4, p. 74.
2. When the new species can be again reduced to the matter of which it
was made, the law considers the former mass as still existing, and, therefore,
the new species as an accessory to the former subject; but where the thing made
cannot be so reduced, as in the case of wine, which cannot be again turned into
grapes, there is no place for the fictio juris; and, there, the workmanship
draws after it the property of the material. Inst. 2, 1, 25 Dig. 41, 1, 7, 7.
See Accession; Confusion; Mixtion; and Aso & Man. Inst. B. 2, t. 2, c. 8.
SPECIFICATION, practice, contracts. A particular and detailed
account of a thing: example, in order to obtain a patent for an invention, it
is necessary to file a specification or an instrument of writing, which must
lay open and disclose to the public every part of the process by which the
invention can be made useful if the specification does not contain the whole
truth relative to the discovery, or contains more than is requisite to produce
the desired effect, and the concealment or addition was made for the purpose of
deception, the patent would be void; for if the specification were insufficient
on account of its want of clearness, exactitude or good faith, it would be a
fraud on society that the patentee should obtain a monopoly without giving up
his invention. 2 Kent, Com. 300; 1 Bell's Com. part 2, c. 3, s. 1, p. 112;
Perpigna on Pat. 67; Renouard, Des Brevets d'Inv. 252.
2. In charges against persons accused of military offences, they must
be particularly described and clearly expressed; this is called the
specification. Tytl. on Courts Mart. 109.
SPECIMEN. A sample; a part of something by which the other may
2. The act of congress of July 4, 1836, section 6, requires the
inventor or discoverer of an invention or discovery to accompany his petition
and specification for a patent with specimens of ingredients, an of the
composition of matter, sufficient in quantity for the purpose of experiment,
where the invention or discovery is of the composition of matter.
SPECULATION, contracts. The hope or desire of making a profit by
the purchase and resale of a thing. Pard. Dr. Com. n. 12. The profit so made;
as, be made a good speculation.
SPEECH. A formal discourse in public.
2. The liberty of speech is guarantied to members of the legislature,
to counsel in court in debate.
3. The reduction of a speech to writing and its publication is a libel,
if the matter contained in it is libelous; and the repetition of it upon
occasions not warranted by law, when the matter is slanderous, wili be slander
and. tho character of the speaker will be no protection to him from an action.
1 M. & S. 273; 1 Esp. C. 226 Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t. See Debate; Liberty
SPELLING, The art of putting the proper letters in words.
2. It is a rule that when it appears with certainty what is meant, bad
spelling will not avoid a contract; for example, where a man agreed to pay
thirty pounds, he was held bound to pay thirty pounds; and seutene was holden
to be seventeen. Cro. Jac. 607; 10 Coke, 133, a; 2 Roll. Ab. 147.
3. Even in an indictment undertood has been holden as understood. 1
Chit. Cr. Law.
4. A misspelling of a name in a declaration, will not be sufficient to
defeat the plaintiff, on the ground of variance between the writing produced,
and the declaration, if such name be idem sonans; as Kay for Key. 16 East, 110;
2 Stark. 29; Segrave for Seagrave. 2 Str. 889. See Idem Sonans.
SPENDTHRIFT. By the Rev. Stat. of Vermont, tit. 16, c. 65, s. 9,
spendthrift is defined to be a person who by excessive drinking) gaming,
idleness or debauchery of any kind, shall so spend, waste, or lessen his estate
as to expose himself or his family to want or suffering, or expose the town to
charge or expense, for support of himself or family.
SPERATE. That of which there is hope.
2. In the accounts of an executor and the inventory of the personal
assets, he should distinguish between those assets which are sperate, and those
which are desperate; he will be prima facie responsible for the former, and
discharged for the latter. 1 Chit. Pr. 520; 2 Williams Ex. 644; Toll. Ex. 248.
SPES RECUPERANDI. The hope of recovery. This term is applied to
cases of capture of an enemy's property as a booty or prize. As between the
belligerent parties, the title to the property taken as a prize passes the
moment there is no longer any hope of recovery. 2 Burr. Rep. 683. Vide Infra
praesidea; Jus Postliminy; Bopty; Piize.
SPINSTER. An addition given, in legal writings, to a woman who
never was married. Lovel. on Wills, 269.
SPLITTING A CAUSE OF ACTION. The bringing an action for only a
part of the cause of action. This is not permitted either at law nor in equity.
4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4167.
SPOLIATION, Eng. eccl. law. The name of a suit sued out in the
spiritual court to recover for the fruits of the church, or for the church
itself. F. N. B. 85.
2. It is also a waste of church property by an ecclesiastical person. 3
Bl. Com. 90.
SPOLIATION, torts. Destruction of a thing by the act of a
stranger; as, the erasure or alteration of a writing by the act of a stranger,
is called spoliation. This has not the effect to destroy its character or legal
effect. 1 Greenl. Ev. §566. 2. By spoliation is also understood the total
destruction of a thing; as, the spoliation of papers, by the captured party, is
generally regarded as proof of. guilt, but in America it is open to
explanation, except in certain cases where there is a vehement presumption of
bad faith. 2 Wheat. 227, 241; 1 Dods. Adm. 480, 486. See Alteration.
SPONSALIA, or STIPULATIO SPONSALITIA. A promise lawfully made
between persons capable of marrying each other, that at some future time they
will marry. See Espousals; Ersk. Inst. B. 1, t. 6, n. 3.
SPONSIONS, international law. Agreements or engagements made by
certain public officers, as generals or admirals, in time of war, either
without author-ity, or by exceeding the limits of authority under which they
purport to be made.
2. Before these conventions can have any binding authority on the
state, they must be confirmed by express or tacit ratification. The former is
given in positive terms and in the usual forms; the latter is justly implied
from the fact of acting under the agreement as if bound by it, and from any
other circumstance from which an assent may be fairly presumed. Wheat. Intern.
Law, pt. 3, c. 2, §3; Grotius, de Jur. Bel. ac Pac. 1. 2, c. 15, §16;
Id. 1. 3, c. 22, 1-3: Vattel, Law of Nat, B. 2, c. 14, 209 -212; Wolff, 1156.
SPONSOR, civil law. He who intervenes for another voluntarily
and without being requested. The engagement which he enters into is only
accessory to the principal. Vide Dig. 17, 1, 18; Nov. 4, ch. 1 Code de Com.
art. 158, 159; Code Nap. 1236 Wolff, Inst. §1556.
SPRING. A fountain.
2. The owner of the soil has the exclusive right to use a spring
arising on his grounds. When another has an easement, or right to draw water
from such a spring, acquired by grant or prescription, if the spring fails the
easement ceases, but if it returns, the right revives.
3. The waters which flow from the spring give rise to a variety of
diffi-culties, the principal of which are, 1st. The owner of the inheritance in
which the spring arises turns their course. The owner of the inferior estate,
whose, meadow they fertilized, and who is deprived of them, claiming the right
to them. 2d. The owner of the spring does not prevent the water from flowing on
the inferior estate, but gives them a new direction injurious to it. 3d. The
owner of the superior inheritance disposes of the water in such a way as to
deprive the owner of the estate below him. The rights of these different owners
will be separately considered.
4. - l. The owner of land on which there is a natural spring, has a
right to use it for domestic and culinary purposes and for watering his cattle,
and he may make an aqueduct to another part of his land, and use all the water
required to keep the aqueduct in order, or to keep the water pure. 15 Conn.
366. He may also use it for irrigation, provided the volume be not materially
decreased. Ang. W. C. 34. Vide Irrigation; and 1 Root, 535; 2 Watts. 327; 2
Hill, S. C. 634; Coxe, 460; 2 Dev. & Bat. 50; 9 Conn. 291; 3 Pick. 269; 13
Mass. 420; 8 Mass. 136; 8 Greenl. 253.
5. - 2. The owner of the spring cannot lawfully turn the current or
give it a new direction. He is bound to let it enter the inferior estate on the
same level it has been accustomed to, and at the same place; for every man is
entitled to a stream of water flowing through his land, without diminution or
alteration. 6 East, 206; 2 Conn. 584. Vide 3 Rawle, 84 12 Wend. 330; 10 Conn.
213; 14 Verm. 239.
6. - 3. The owner of the superior inheritance, or of the land on which
there is a spring, has no right to deprive the owner of the estate below him; 1
Yeates, 574; 5 Pick. 175; 3 Har. & John. 231; 12 Verm. 178; 13 Conn. 303; 3
Scam. 492; nor can be detain the water unreasonably. 17 John. 306; 2 B. C. 910.
Vide Ham. N. P. 199; 1 Dall. 211; 3 Rawle's R. 256; Jus Aquaeductus; Pool;
Stagnum; Back Water; lrrigation, Mill; Rain Water; Water Course.
SPRINGING USE, estates. One to arise on a future event, when no
preceding estate is limited, and does not take effect in derogation of any
preceding interest. Example: a grant is made to A in fee, to the use of B in
fee, after the fourth of July; no use arises till the limited period. The use
in the mean time results to the grantor, who has a determinable fee. A
springing use differs from a resulting use, (q. v.) or a shifting use. (q. v.)
4 Kent, Com. 292; Com. Dig. Uses, K 7 Wils. on Springing Uses; Corn. on Uses,
91; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1889.
SPY. One who goes into a place for the purpose of ascertaining
the best way of doing an injury there.
2. The term is mostly applied to an enemy who comes into the camp for
the purpose of ascertaining its situation in order to make an attack upon it.
The punishment for, this crime is death. See Articles of War, 1 Story's Laws U.
S. 992; Vattel, Droit des Gens. liv. 3, §179.
SQUATTER. One who settles on the lands of others without any
legal author-ity; this term is applied particularly to persons who settle on
the public land. 3 Mart. N. S. 293.
TO STAB. To make a wound with a pointed instrument; a stab
differs from a cut, (q. v.) or a wound. (q. v.) Russ. & Ry. 356; Russ. on
Cr. 597; Bac. Ab. Maihem, B.
STAGNUM, estates. A pool. It is said to consist of land and
water, and therefore by the name of stagnum, the water and the land may be
passed. Co. Litt. 5.
STAKEHOLDER, contracts. A third person, chosen by two or more
persons, to keep in deposit property, the right or possession of which is
contested between them and to be delivered to the one who shall establish his
right to it. Thus each of them is considered as depositing the whole thing.
This distin-guishes this contract from that which takes place when two or more
tenants in common deposit a thing with a bailee. Domat, Lois Civ. liv. 1, t. 7,
s. 4; 1 Vern. R. 44, n. 1.
2. A person having in his hands money or other property claimed by
several others, is considered in equity as a stakeholder. 1 Vern. R. 144.
3. The duties of a stakeholder are to deliver the thing holden by him
to the person entitled to it on demand. It is frequently questionable who is
entitled to it. In case of an unlawful wager, although be may be justified for
delivering the thing to the winner, by the express or implied consent of the
loser; 8, John. 147; yet if before the event has happened he has been required
by either party to give up the thing deposited with him by such party, he is
bound so to deliver it; 3 Taunt. 377; 4 Taunt. 492; or if, after the event has
happened, the losing party give notice to the stakeholder not to pay the
winner, a payment made to him afterwards will be made in his own wrong, and the
party who deposited the money or thing may recover it from the stakeholder. 16
S. & R. 147; 7 T. R. 536; 8 T. R. 575; 4 Taunt. 474; 2 Marsh. 542. See 3
Penns. R. 468; 4 John. 426; 5 Wend. 250; 2 P. A. Browne, 182; 1 Bailey, 486,
503. See Wagers.
STALE DEMAND. A stale demand is a claim which has been for a
long time undemanded; as, for example, where there his been a delay of twelve
years, unexplained. 3 Mason, 161.
STAMP, revenue. An impression made on paper, by order of the
government, which must be used in reducing certain contracts to writing, for
The purpose of raising a revenue. Vide Stark. Ev. h. t.; 1 Phil. Ev. 444.
2. Maryland is the only state in the United States that has enacted a
TO STAND. To abide by a thing; to submit to a decision; to
comply with an agreement; to have validity, as the judgment must stand.
STAND SEISED TO USES. This phrase is frequently used in relation
to conveyances under the statute of uses. A covenant to stand seised to uses is
a species of conveyance which derives its effect from the statute of uses, by
which a man, seised of lands, covenants, in consideration of blood or marriage,
that he will stand seised of the same, to the use of his child, wife, or
kinsman, for life, in tail or in fee. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2080.
STANDARD, in war. An ensign or flag used in war.
STANDARD, measure. A weight or measure of certain dimensions, to
which all other weights and measures must correspond; as, a standard bushel.
Also the quality of certain metals, to which all others of the same kind ought
to be made to conform; as, standard gold, standard silver. Vide Dollar; Eagle;
STAPLE, intern. law. The right of staple as exercised by a
people upon foreign merchants, is defined to be, that they may not allow them
to set their merchandises and wares to sale but in a certain place.
2. This practice is not in use in the United States. 1 Chit. Com. Law,
103; 4 Inst. 238; Malone, Lex Mere. 237; Bac. Ab. Execution, B 1. Vide Statute
STAR CHAMBER, Eng. law. A court which formerly had great
jurisdiction and power, but which was abolished by stat. 16, C. I., c. 10, on
account of its usurpations and great unpopularity. It consisted of several of
the lords spir-itual and temporal, being privy counsellors, together with two
judges of the courts of common law, without the intervention of a jury. Their
legal jurisdiction extended over riots, perjuries, mishehaviour of public
officers, and other great misdemeanors. The judges afterwards assumed powers,
and stretched those they possessed to the utmost bounds of legality. 4 Bl. Com.
STARE DECISIS. To abide or adhere to decided cases.
2. It is a general maxim that when a point has been settled by
decision, it forms a precedent which is not afterwards to be departed from. The
doctrine of stare decisis is not always to be relied upon, for the courts find
it necessary to overrule cases which have been hastily decided, or contrary to
principle. Many hundreds of such overruled cases may be found in the American
and English books of reports. Mr. Greenleaf has made a collection of such
cases, to which the reader is referred. Vide 1 Kent, Com. 477; Livingst. Syst.
of Pen. Law, 104, 5.
STARE IN JUDICIO. The act of appearing before a tribunal, either
as plain-tiff or defendant. Vide Ester en jugement.
STATE, government. This word is used in various senses. In its
most enlarged sense, it signifies a self-sufficient body of persons united
together in one community for the defence of their rights, and to do right and
justice to foreigners. In this sense, the state means the whole people united
into one body politic; (q. v.) and the state, and the people of the state, are
equivalent expressions. 1 Pet. Cond. Rep. 37 to 39; 3 Dall. 93; 2 Dall. 425; 2
Wilson's Lect. 120; Dane's Appx. §50, p. 63 1 Story, Const. §361. In
a more limited sense, the word `state' expresses merely the positive or actual
organization of the legislative, or judicial powers; thus the actual government
of the state is designated by the name of the state; hence the expression, the
state has passed such a law, or prohibited such an act. State also means the
section of territory occupied by a state, as the state of Pennsylvania.