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DE FACTO

In fact, in deed, actually. This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs which exists actually and must be accepted for all practical purposes, but which is illegal or illegitimate. In this sense it is the contrary of de jure, which means rightful. legitimate, just, or constitutional. Thus, an officer, king, or government de facto is one who is in actual possession of the office or supreme power, but by usurpation, or v.-ifiirespect to lawful title; while an officer, king, or governor de jure is one who has just claim and rightful title to the office or power, but who has never had plenary possession of the same, or is not now in actual possession. 4 Bl. Comm. 77, 78. So a wife de facto is one whose marriage is voidable by decree, as distinguished from a wife de jure, or lawful wife. 4 Kent, Comm. 30. But the term is also frequently used independently of any distinction from de jure; thus a blockade de facto is a blockade which is actually maintained, as distinguished from a mere paper blockade. As to de facto “Corporation,” “Court,” “Domicile,” “Government,” and “Officer,” see those titles. In old English law. De facto means respecting or concerning the principal act of a murder, which was technically denominated factum. See Fleta, lib. 1, c. 27,

 TLD Example: His popularity and the work he did on behalf of the community caused people to refer to him as the town’s de facto mayor much to the chagrin of the duly elected officials.

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DE HSRETICO COMBURENDO

(Lat. For burning a heretic.) A writ which lay where a heretic had been convicted of heresy, had abjured, and had relapsed into heresy. It is said to be very ancient. Fitzh. Nat Brev. 209; 4 Bl. Comm. 40.

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DE JUDICIO SISTI

For appearing in court. A term applied in the Scotch and
admiralty law, to bail for a defendant’s appearance.

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DE MEDIO

A writ in the nature of a writ of right, which lay where upon a subinfeudation
the mesne (or middle) lord suffered his under-tenant or tenant paravail to be
distrained upon by the lord paramount for the rent due him from the mesne lord.
Booth, Real Act. 136.

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DE ODIO ET ATIA

A writ directed to the sheriff, commanding him to inquire
whether a prisoner charged with murder was committed upon just cause of suspicion,
or merely propter odium et atiam, (.through hatred and ill will;) and if, upon the inquisition,
due cause of suspicion did not appear, then there issued another writ for the sheriff
to admit him to bail. 3 Bl. Comm. 128.

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DE PONENDO SIGILEUM AD EX- CEPTIONEM

Writ for putting a seal to an exception. A writ by which justices were formerly commanded to put their seals to
exceptions taken by a party in a suit. Reg. Orig. 182.

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DE RECTO PATENS

Writ of right patent. Reg. Orig. 1.

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DE STATUTO STAPUL-ffi

The writ of statute staple. Reg. Orig. 151.

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DE VICINETO

From the neighborhood, or vicinage. 3 Bl. Comm. 300. A term applied to a jury.

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DEAFFOREST

In old English law. To discharge from being forest. To free from forest laws.

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DEBENTURE

A certificate given by the collector of a port, under the United States
customs laws, to the effect that an importer of merchandise therein named is entitled to
a drawback, < March 2. 1799,

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DEBITUM

Something due, or owing; a debt.

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DECANUS

In ecclesiastical and old European law. An officer having supervision over
ten; a dean. A term applied not only to ecclesiastical, but to civil and military, officers.
Decanus monasticus; a monastic dean, or dean of a monastery; an officer over ten
monks. Dccanus in majori ecclcsiw; dean of a cathedral church, presiding over ten
prebendaries. Dccanus cpis- enpi; a bishop’s or rural dean, presiding over ten clerks or
parishes. Dccanus fribori/i; dean of a friborg. An officer among the Saxons who
presided over a friborg, tithing, decennary, or association of ten inhabitants; otherwise
called a “tithing man,” or “bors- hohlcr.” Dccanus militaris; a military officer. having
command of ten soldiers. Spelman.
In Roman law. An officer having the command of a company or “mess” of ten
soldiers. Also an officer at Constantinople having charge of the burial of the dead.

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DECIMiE

In ecclesiastical law. Tenths, or tithes. The tenth part of the annual prof-
It of each living, payable formerly to the pope. There were several valuations made of
these livings at different times. The de- cim and a new valuation established, by 26 Hen. VIII., c. 3. 1 Bl. Comm. 284. See TITIIES.

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DECLARATION OF TRUST

The act by which the person who holds the legal title to property or an estate acknowledges and declares that he holds the same in trust to the use of another person or for certain specified purposes. The name is also used to
designate the deed or other writing embodying such a declaration. Griffith v. Max- field,
00 Ark. 513. 51 S. W. S32

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DECOCTOR

In the Roman law. A bankrupt; a spendthrift; a squanderer of public funds. Calvin.

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DECREET OF VALUATION OF TEINDS

A sentence of the court of sessions, (who are now iu the place of the
commissioners for the valuation of teinds,) determining the extent and value of teinds. Bell.

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DEDI ET CONCESSI

I have given and granted. The operative words of conveyance
in ancient charters of feoffment, and deeds of gift and grant; the English “given and
granted” being still the most proper, though not the essential, words by which such
conveyances are made. 2 Bl. Comm. 53, 310, 317; 1 Steph. Comm. 104, 177, 473, 474.

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