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ESCHEAT Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In feudal law. Escheat Is an obstruction of the course of descent, andconsequent determination of the tenure, by some unforeseen contingency, in whichcase the land naturally results back, by a kind of reversion, to the original grantor, orlord of the fee. 2 Bl. Comm. 15; Wallace v. Ilarrn- stad. 44 Pa. 501; Marshall v.Lovclass, 1 N. C. 445.It is the casual descent, in the nature of forfeiture, of lands and tenements withinhis manor, to a lord, either on failure of issue of the tenant dying seised or on accountof the felony of such tenant. Jacob.Also the land or fee itself, which thus fell back to the lord. Such lands were called”c.rcadcntiw,” or “terra; cjcadcntialcs.” Fleta, lib. G, c. 1; Co. Litt. 13a.In American law. Escheat signifies a reversion of property to the state in consequenceof a want of any Individual competent to inherit. The state is deemed to occupythe place and hold the rights of the feudal lord. See 4 Kent, Comm. 423, 424. Hughesv. State, 41 Tex. 17; Crane v. Reeder, 21 Mich. 70, 4 Am. Rep. 430; Civ. Code Ca.1895,


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