In maritime law. An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud. Marcardier v. Insurance Co., 8 Cranch, 49, 3 h Ed. 481; Atkinson v. Insurance Co., 05 N. Y. 53S; Atkinson v. Insurance Co., 4 Daly (N. Y.) 10; Patapsco Ins. Co. v. Coulter, 3 Pet. 231, 7 L. Ed. 659; Lawton v. Insurance Co., 2 Cush. (Mass.) 501; Earle v. Rowcroft, 8 East, 135. Barratry is some fraudulent act of the master or mariners, tending to their own benefit, to the prejudice of the owner of the vessel, without his privitv or consent. Kendrick v. Delafield, 2 Caines “(N. Y.) 67. Barratry is a generic term, which includes many acts of various kinds and degrees. It comprehends any unlawful, fraudulent, or dishonest act of the master or mariners, and every violation of duty by them arising from gross and culpable negligence contrary to their duty to the owner of the vessel, and which might work loss or injury to him in the course of the voyage insured. A mutiny of the crew, and forcible dispossession by them of the master and other officers from the ship, is a form of barratry. Greene v. Pacific Mut. Ins. Co., 9 Allen (Mass.) 217. In criminal law. Common barratry Is the pmctice of exciting groundless judicial proceedings. Pen. Code Cal.
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