Lunacy, at the common law, was a term used to describe the state of one who, by sickness, grief, or other accident, has wholly lost his memory and understanding. Co. Litt 2406, 247a; Com. v. Haskell, 2 Brewst (Pa.) 490. It is distinguished from idiocy, an idiot being one who from his birth has had no memory or understanding, while lunacy implies the possession and subsequent loss of mental powers. Bicknell v. Spear, 38 Misc. Rep. 3S9, 77 N. T. Supp. 920. On the other hand, luuacy is a total deprivation or suspension of the or- dinary powers of the mind, and Is to be distinguished from imbecility, where there is a more or less advanced decay and feebleness of the intellectual faculties. Iu re Vanaukeu, 10 N. J. Eq. 180, 195; Odell v. Buck, 21 Wend. (N. Y.) 142. As to all other forms of insanity, lunacy was originally distinguished by the occurrence of lucid intervals, and hence might be described as a periodical or recurrent insanity. In re Anderson, 132 N. C. 243, 43 S. E. 049; Hiett v. Shull, 3(5 W. Va. 503, 15 S. E. 140. But while these distinctions are still observed in some jurisdictions, they are more generally disregarded; so that, at present, in inquisitions of lunacy and other such proceedings, the term “lunacy” has almost everywhere come to be synonymous with “insanity,” and is used as a general description of all forms of derangement or mental unsouuduess, this rule being established by statute in many states and by judicial decisions in others. In re Clark, 175 N. Y. 139, 07 N. I’i 212; Smith v. Hickenbot- tom, 57 Iowa, 733, 11 N. W. 004; Casou v. Owens, 100 Ga. 142, 28 S. E. 75; In re Ilill, 31 N. J. Eq. 203. Cases of arrested mental development would come within the definition of lunacy, that is, where the patient was born with a normal brain,,but the cessation of mental growth occurred in infancy or so near it that he never acquired auy greater intelligence or discretion than belongs to a normally healthy child. Such a subject might be scientifically denominated an “idiot,” but not legally, for in law the latter term is applicable only to congenital amentia. The term “lucid interval” means not an apparent tranquility or seeming repose, or cessation of the violent symptoms of the disorder, or a simple diminution or remission of the disease, but a temporary cure
What is Synonyms?
Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary
Nothing implied or stated on this page should be construed to be legal, tax, or professional advice. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm and this page should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. For questions regarding your specific situation, please consult a qualified attorney.
- What is Racketeering?
- How To Get an EIN Number
- What is a Credit Freeze?
- The 14th Amendment Explained
- What is the Security Exchange Commission?
- Restitution Law – What it is, How to Avoid it, and Tips on Asking for It
- Should I Freeze My Credit?
- Living Will – The Pros & Cons You Need to Know
- What does it mean to be acquitted?
- Forming an LLC in Missouri
- What Is A Police Welfare Check?
- Best Way to Find Someone in Jail for Free
- How to Transfer a Car Title When The Owner Is Deceased
- How To Find A Name & Address Using A License Plate Number
- Best Way to Write a Professional Letter to a Judge
- What Can You Do At 18 Legally?
- How To Find An Inmate’s Release Date
- Signing a Letter on Someone Else’s Behalf
- Why Do Policemen Touch Your Tail Light When They Pull You Over?
- How Do You Look up License Plate Numbers?