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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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PERPETUAL CURACY

The office of a curate in a parish where there is no spiritual rector or vicar, but where a clerk (curate) is appointed to officiate there by the impropriator. 2 Burn. Ecc. Law, 55. The church or benefice tilled by a curate under these circumstances is also so called.

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PROXIMATE AND REMOTE DAMAGES

Proximate damages are the immediate and direct damages and natural results of the act complained of, and such as are usual and might have been expected. Remote damages are those attributable immediately to an intervening cause, though it forms a link in an unbroken chain of causation, so that the remote damage would not have occurred if its elements had not been set in motion by the original act or event. Henry v. Railroad Co., 50 Cal. 183; Kuhn v. Jewett, 32 N. J. Eq. 649; Pielke v. Railroad Co.. 5 Dak. 444, 41 N. W. 669. The terms “remote damages” and “consequential damages” are not synonymous nor to be used interchangeably; all remote damage is consequential, but it is by no means true that all consequential damage is remote. Eaton v. Railroad Co., 51 N. II. 511, 12 Am. Rep. 147.

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PECUNIARY DAMAGES

Such as can be estimated in and compensated by money; not merely the loss of money or salable property or rights, but all such loss, deprivation, or injury as can be made the subject of calculation and of recompense in money. Walker v. McNeill. 17 Wash. 582, 50 Pac. 518; Searle v. Railroad Co.. 32 W. Va. 370. 9 S. E. 248; Mclntyre v. Railroad Co., 37 N. Y. 205; Davidson Benedict Co. v. Severson. 100 Tenn.. 572, 72 S. W. 967

TLD Example: The pain and suffering experienced by the victim of an accident cannot be calculated and quantified as easily as medical expenses, lost wages and other pecuniary damages.

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PRESUMPTIVE DAMAGES

A term occasionally used as the equivalent of “exemplary” or “punitive” damages. Murphv v. Hobbs. 7 Colo. 541, 5 Pac. 119, 49 Am. Rep. 300

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PROSPECTIVE DAMAGES

Damages which are expected to follow from the act or state of facts made the basis of a plaintiff’s suit; damages which have not yet accrued, at the time of the trial, but which, in the nature of things, must necessarily, or most probably, result from the acts or facts complained of.

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PASSIVE DEBT

A debt upon which, by agreement between the debtor and creditor, no interest is payable, as
distinguished from active debt; i. c., a debt upon which interest is payable. In this
sense, the terms “active” and “passive” are applied to certain debts due from the
Spanish government to Great Britain. Wharton. In another sense of the words, a debt is
“active” or “passive” according as the person of the creditor or debtor is regarded ; a
passive debt being that which a man owes; an active debt that which is owing to him.
In this meaning every debt is both active and passive,

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PUBLIC DEBT

That which is due or owing by the government of a state or nation. The terms “public debt” and “public securities,” used
in legislation, are terms generally applied to national or state obligations and dues, and
would rarely, if ever, be construed to include town debts or obligations; nor would the
term “public revenue” ordinarily be applied to funds arising from town taxes. Morgan v.
Cree, 46 Vt. 773, 14 Am. Rep. 640.

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PURE DEBT

In Scotch law. A debt due now and unconditionally is so called. It is thus distinguished from a future debt,

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