Legal Articles

PEREMPT

In ecclesiastical procedure an appeal is said to be perempted when the appellant has by his own act waived or barred his right of appeal; as where he partially complies with or acquiesces in the sentence of the court Phillim. Ecc. Law, 1275.

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PERIPHRASIS

Circumlocution ; use of many words to express the sense of one.

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PERPETUITY

A future limitation, whether executory or by way of remainder, and of either real or personal property, which is not to vest until after the expiration of or will not necessarily vest within the period fixed and prescribed by law for the creation of future estates and interests, and which is not destructible by the persons for the time being entitled to the property subject to the future limitation, except with the concur- rence of the individual interested under that limitation. Lewis, Perp. 104; 52 Law Lib. 139. Any limitation tending to take the subject of it out of commerce for a longer period than a life or lives in being, and twenty-one years beyond, and, in case of a posthumous child, a few months more, allowing for the term of gestation. Rand. Perp. 48. Such a limitation of property as renders it unalienable beyond the period allowed by law. Gilb. Uses, (Sugd. Ed.) 200. And see Ouhl v. Washington Hospital, 95 U. S. 303, 24 L. Ed. 450; Duggan v. Slocum, 92 Fed. 800, 34 C. C. A. 676; Waldo v. Cummings, 45 111. 421; Franklin v. Armfield. 2 Sneed (Tenn.) 354; Stevens v. Annex Realty Co., 173 Mo. 511, 73 S. W. 505; Griffin v. Graham, 8 N. C. 130, 9 Am. Dec. 619; In re John’s Will, 30 Or. 404, 47 Pac. 341, 36 L. R. A. 242.

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PERSUADE, PERSUADING

To persuade is to induce to act. Persuading is inducing others to act. Crosby v. Hawthorn, 25 Ala. 221; Wilson v. State, 3S Ala. 411; Nash v. Douglass, 12 Abb. Prac. (N. S.) (N. Y.) 190.

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PETIT

Fr. Small; minor; inconsiderable. Used in several compounds, and sometimes written “petty.”

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PIA FRAUS

Lat. A pious fraud; a subterfuge or evasion considered morally justifiable on account of the ends sought to be promoted. Particularly applied to an evasion or disregard of the laws in the interests of religion or religious institutions, such as circumventing the statutes of mortmain.

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PILA

In old English law. That side of coined money which was called “pile,” be cause It was the side on which there was an impression of a church built on piles. Fleta. lib. 1, c. 39

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PIPE

A roll in the exchequer; otherwise called the “great roll.” A liquid measure containing two hogsheads.

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PLACITABILE

In old English law. Pleadable. Spelman.

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PLANT

The fixtures, tools, machinery, and apparatus which are necessary to carry on a trade or business. Wharton. Southern Bell Tel. Co. v. D’Alemberte, 39 Fla. 25, 21 South. 570; Sloss-Sheffield Steel Co. v. Mobley, 139 Ala. 425, 30 South. 181; Maxwell v. Wilmington Dental Mfg. Co. (C. C.) 77 Fed. 941.

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PLEBISCITE

In modern constitutional law. the name “plebiscite” has been given to a vote of the entire people, (that is, the aggregate of tho enfranchised individuals composing a state or nation.) expressing their choice for or against a proposed law or enactment. submitted to them, and which. If adopted, will work a radical change in the constitution, or which Is beyond the powers of the regular legislative body. The pro- ceeding is extraordinary, and is generally revolutionary In its character; an example of which may be seen in the plebiscites submitted to the French people by Louis Na- poleon, whereby the Second Empire was established. But the principle of the plebiscite has been incorporated in the modern Swiss constitution, (under the name of “ref- erendum”) by which a revision of the constitution must be undertaken when demanded by the vote of fifty thousand Swiss citizens. Maine, Popular Govt. 40, 90.

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PLENUM DOMINIUM

Lat In the civil law. Full ownership; the property in a thing united with the usufruct. Calvin

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PLURALITY

In the law of elections. The excess of the votes cast for one candidate over those cast for any other. Where there are only two candidates, he who receives the greater number of the votes cast is said to have a majority; when there are more than two competitors for the same office, the person who receives the greatest number of votes has a plurality, but he has not a majority unless he receives a greater number of votes than those cast for all his competitors combined. In ecclesiastical law, “plurality” means the holding two, three, or more benefices by the same incumbent; and he is called a “pluralist.” Pluralities are now abolished, except In certain cases. 2 Steph. Comm. 601, 692. Plures cohseredes sunt qnasi unum corpus propter unitatem juris quod ha- bent. Co. Litt. 163. Several co-heirs are, as it were, one body, by reason of the unity of right which they possess Plures participes sunt quasi unum corpus, in eo quod unum jus habent. Co. Litt 104. Several parceners are as one body, In that they have one right

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POLICY OF INSURANCE

A mercantile instrument in writing, by which one party, in consideration of a premium, engages to indemnify another against a contingent loss, by making him a payment in compensation, whenever the event shall happen by which the loss is to accrue. 2 Steph. Comm. 172. The written instrument in which a contract of insurance is set forth is called a “policy of insurance.” Civ. Code Cal.

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POND

A body of stagnant water without an outlet, larger than a puddle aud smaller than a lake; or a like body of water with a small outlet. Webster. And see Rockland Water Co. v. Camden & R. Water Co., 80 Me. 544, 15 Atl. 785, 1 L. R. A. 3SS; Concord Mfg. Co. v. Robertson, 66 N. H. 1, 25 Atl. 718, 18 L. It. A. 679. A standing ditch cast by labor of man’s hand, in his private grounds, for his private use, to serve his house and household with necessary waters; but a pool is a low plat of ground by nature, and Is not cast by man’s hand. Call. Sew. 103.

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POPULAR ACTION

An action for a statutory penalty or forfeiture, given to any such person or persons as will sue for it; an action given to the people in general. 3 Bl. Comm. 100.

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PORTMEN

The burgesses of Ipswich and of the Cinque Ports were so called.

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POSSESSORY ACTION

An action which has for its immediate object to obtain or recover the actual possession of the subject-matter ; as distinguished from an action which merely seeks to vindicate the plaintiff’s title, or which involves tlie bare right only; the latter being called a “petitory” action. An action founded on possession. Trespass for injuries to personal property is call ed a “possessory” action, because it lies only for a plaintiff who, at the moment of the injury complained of, was in actual or constructive, immediate, and exclusive posses- sion. 1 Chit. PI. 108, 109. In admiralty practice. A possessory suit is one which is brought to recover the possession of a vessel, had under a claim of title. The Tilton, 5 Mason, 465, Fed. Cas. No. 14.054; 1 Kent, Comm. 371. In old English law. A real action which had for its object the regaining possession of the freehold, of which the demandant or his ancestors had been unjustly deprived by the present tenant or possessor thereof. In Scotch law. An action for the vindication and recovery of the possession of her- itable or movable goods; e. g., tlie action of molestation. Paters. Comp. In Louisiana. An action by which one claims to be maintained in the possession of an immovable property, or of a right upon or growing out of it, when he has been dis- turbed, or to be reinstated to that possession, when he has bean divested or evicted. Code Proc. La.

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POST-MORTEM

After death. A term generally applied to an autopsy or examination of a dead body, to ascertain the cause of death, or to the inquisition for that purpose by the coroner. See Weble v. United States Mut. Acc. Ass’n, 11 Misc. Rep. 36, 31 N. Y. Supp. 865; Stephens v. People, 4 Parker Cr. R. (N. Y.) 475.

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POSTERIORITY

This is a word of comparison and relation in tenure, the correlative of which is the word “priority.” Thus, a man who held lands or tenements of two lords was said to hold of his more ancient lord by priority, and of his less ancient lord by posteriority. Old Nat. Brev. 04. It has also a general application in law consistent with its etymological meaning, and, as so used, it is likewise opposed to priority. Brown.

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