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BOUNTY Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

A gratuity, or an unusual or additional benefit conferred upon, or compensation paid to, a class of persons. Iowa v. McFarland, 110 U. S. 471, 4 Sup. Ct. 210, 28 L. Ed. 108. A premium given or offered to induce men to enlist into the public service. The term is applicable only to the payment made to the enlisted man, as the inducement for his service, and not to a premium paid to the man through whose intervention, and by whose procurement, the recruit is obtained and mustered. Abbe v. Allen, 39 IIow. Prac. (N. Y.) 4S8. It is not easy to discriminate between bounty, reward, and bonus. The former is the appropriate term, however, where the services or action of many persons are desired, and each who acts upon the offer may entitle himself to the promised gratuity, without prejudice from or to the claims of others: while reward is more proper in the case of a single service, which can be only once performed, and therefore will be earned only by the person or co-operative persons who succeed while others fail. Thus, bounties are offered to all who will enlist in the army or navy: to all who will engage in certain fisheries which government desire to encourage; to all who kill dangerous beasts or noxious creatures. A reward is offered for rescuing a person from a wreck or fire: for detecting and arresting an offender; for finding a lost chattel. Kirclier v. Murray, (C. C.) 54 Fed. 624; Ingram v. Colgan, 100 Cal. 113, .SS Pac. 315, 28 L R. A. 187, 46 Am. St. Rep. 221. Bonus, as compared with bounty, suggests the idea of a gratuity to induce a money transaction between individuals; a percentage or gift, upon a loan or transfer of property, or a surrender of a right. Abbott.


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