The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

PUBLIC Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Pertaining to a state, nation, or whole community; proceeding from, re- lating to, or affecting the whole body of people or an entire community. Open to all; notorious. Common to all or many; general ; open to common use. Morgan v. Cree, 46 Vt. 786, 14 Am. Rep. 640; Crane v. Waters (C. C.) 10 Fed. 621; Austin v. Soule, 36 Vt. 650; Appeal of Eliot, 74 Coun. 586, 51 Atl. 558; 0’IIara v. Miller, 1 Kulp (Pa.) 295. A distinction has been made between the terms “public” aud “general.” They are sometimes used as synonymous. The former term is applied strictly to that which concerns all the citizens aud every member of the state; while the latter includes a lesser, though still a large, portion of the community. 1 Greenl. Ev.


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