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EXPLANATION

OF

TECHNICAL TERMS AND PHRASES

USED IN LAW.

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Abatement. The defeat or overthrow of a writ. Also an entry · upon lands after the death of the person last seized, and before

the heir. Abet. To support another by encouragement or help. Abey ance. Intendment or consideration of law. Accedas ad curiam. A writ to remove a cause from a court ba

ron, to a superior court. Accessary. One who is not the chief agent in a crime, but con

tributes to it. Ac etiam. And also. Ina writ, on a complaint of trespass, this

clause is inserted; and also to a bill of debt. Administrator de bonis non. Administrator of the goods not ad

ministered, by a deceased executor or administrator. Ad quod damnum. To what damage. A writ to have dama

ges assessed in certain cases. Advowson. A right to present to a benefice. Affidavit. A voluntary oath. Aid. Assistance. Tenant for life, in a real action, may pray

aid of the person under whom he holds, as being better ac

quainted with the title, and more able to defend it. Alias. A second writ, when the first is not served. Alibi. Elsewhere. At another place. The absence of a per

son from the place where he is alleged to have committed an

offence. Alimony. The portion of the husband's' estate, allowed to the

wife on decreeing a divorce. Allodial. Independent. Allodium Lauds held independent of any lord. . Assault. An attempt to commit violence on the person of another. Assumpsit. A voluntary promise to pay or do some thing for

another person Auter foits acquit. 'Acquitted on a former trial... Auter foits convict. A former conviction for the same offence. Avowry. The justification of one who has taken a distress, shew·ing for what cause he took it.

Ayle or besayle. Grandfather, or great grandfather. A writ

where the demandant alleges an abatement in the time of his

grandfather or great grandfather. Baron and Feme. Husband and wife. Billa vera. A true bill. · Bona fide. In good faith. Bote. Necessary supplies of certain articles. Capias ad respondendum. A writ commanding the officer to

iake the body of the defendant, to answer to the action. Capias ad satisfaciendum. A writ commanding the officer to

take the body of the defendant in execution. Cepi corpus. I have taken the body. An officer's return; * Certiorari. A writ to an inferior court, commanding that the

proceedings in a cause be certified to a superior court. Cestui que trust. The person for whose benefit a trustee holds

an estate. Cestui que use. The person for whose use an estate is held. Chose in action. A thing claimed but not yet possessed, as mo

ney due, on note or bond. De bene esse. Conditionally. Dedimus potestatem. A writ authorizing some person to take

depositions. . De medietate lingua. A jury of whom one half are foreigners. Demurrer. An issue in law. Denovo. Anew. A venire de novo is awarded, on giving new

trial after verdict. Devise. A bequest, or gift by will.. Distress. The act of making a legal seizure. The thing seized. Durante absentia. During absence. Durante minore altate. During minority. Emblements. The profits of sown lands. Estate per auter vie. An estate for the life of another. Estovers. Necessaries. Ex contractu. Out of or upon a contract. Ex delicto. Out of or on a wrong. Ex officio. By virtue of office. " Exoneretur. A discharge from responsibility. Ex parte. On the part of one only. Ex post facto. After the act. Feme covert. "A married woman. Feme sole. A single woman. Fieri facias. A writ of execution commanding the officer to levy · and make the money of defendant's estate , Forma Pauperis. As a pauper. Garnishee. The person in whose hands another's money is áts

tached,

Guardian ad litem. A guardian appointed for the purpose of

conducting a suit. Habeas corpus. A writ commanding a person who has the cus

tody of a prisoner, to bring him before the court or judge. Habere facias possessionem. A writ commanding the sheriff

to give possession of lands to him who has recovered in ejectment. Heir loom. An article of furniture which descends with the in

heritance.
Heriot. A fine paid to the lord on the death of a land-holder.
Homicide. The killing of any human being.
Homine replegiendo. A writ to deliver a prisoner from illegal

confinement.
Injuria sua propria. Of his own wrong.
Inuendo. Meaning.
Insimul computasset. They accounted together.
Instanter. Immediately.
Levari facias. A writ of execution, commanding the sheriff to

levy the amount of defendant's real estate.
Livery of Seizin. Delivery of corporal possession. ...
Mal feasance. A corrupt execution of official duty.
Malum in se. Wrong in itself.
Malam prohibitum. Wrong by statutary prohibition.
Maradamus. A writ from a superior court, commanding an in-.

ferior court or officer, to perform an official duty.
Mesne process. Intermediate process, subsequent to the original

writ, and prior to the judgment.
Minimum price. The smallest or lowest price.
Misfeasance. An improper performance of official duty.
Moiety. One half.
Molliter Manus imposuit. He gently laid hands upon him.
Ne exeat. A writ to restrain an individual from leaving the state.

Ne unque executor. He never was executor.
-- Nient culpabilis. Not guilty.
Nihil. An officer's return, when there is nothing upon which

the writ can be executed.
Nihil dicit.) No defence is made by defendant.
Nil dicit.
Nihil debet. He owes nothing. The general issue, in debt on
Nil debet. I simple contract.
Nolle prosequi. A declaration by the state's counsel that he

will prosecute the indictment no farther.
Non assumpsit. He did not assume. The general issue in the

action of assumpsit. Non compos mentis. Of an unsound mind. Non est factum. It is not his deed. The general issue, in debt · or specialty

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Non est inventus. He is not found.
Non feasance. Non-performance of official duty,
Non sum informatus. The answer, by counsel, when he has no
· further matter to plead.

Nuncupative will. A will pronounced, but not written.
· Ore tenus. By word of mouth.
Oyer. Hearing. To cause oyer is to demand a reading of the

bond or other instrument.
Pais. The country. .. .
Parol evidence. Evidence spoken, not written.
Parricide. The murder of a father.
Plene administravit. He has fully administered.
Pluries. Often. A writ issued after the first and second have

been returned, not executed.
Posse comitatus. The power of thc county.
Prima facie. On the first appearance.
Privilegium clericale. The benefit of clergy.
Pro confesso. For confessed.
Profert. Production of a writing in court.
Quantum meruit. As much as he deserves.
Quantum valebat. As much as it was worth...
Quare clausum fregit. Wherefore he broke into his enclosure.

A writ in trespass.
Quare impedit. · Wherefore does he hinder. A writ where a

person is kept out of his office or business. Quietus. A discharge from responsibility. Qui tam. An action where one sues as well on behalf of the

state as for himself. Quo warranto. A writ requiring the defendant to shew by what

authority he supports his claim.. Respondeat ouster. That he answer over. Retorno habendo. A writ in favour of the defendant in replevin..

That he have return of the goods..
Sane. Sound, healthy.
Scire facias. A writ commanding the officer to give notice to a

party to appear in court on certain occasions.
Scire feci. I have made known. The return of an officer to a

scire facias.
Se defendendo. In his own defence.
Seizin. Corporal possession.
Son assault. His own assault.
Subpoena. A writ to summon persons, generally witnesses to

appear in court. Suicide. Self-murder. Supersedeas. A writ to stay proceedings in an inferior court,

until an appellate court shall affirm or reverse the judgmente.

Talesmen. Jurors taken from the by-standers; to supply a defi

ciency in the regular panel. Tenant at will. One who holds at the will of the land lord. Tenant by courtesy. One who holds a life estate in the lands of

a deceased wife. Tenant by sufferance. One whose term has expired, and who

still holds possession by the indulgence of the lord Tenant for life. One who holds an estate during his own life,

or the life of another person. Tenant for years. One who holds an estate in lands for a term

of years. Tenant in dower. One who holds a widow's right during her

life, in the lands of which her husband died seized. Terre tenant. Tenant of the lands by any claim. Testatum, fi. fa. or Ca. sa. A writ issued to another county, in

which writ it is suggested, that the defendant is not found, or

has no property in the county whence the writ issues. Tort. Wrong. , Vadium mortuum. A dead pledge; a mortgage. Vadium Vivum. A living pledge. Venditioni exponas. A writ commanding the officer to expose

to sale, property levied on by virtue of a former writ. Venire facias. A writ commanding the officer to summon a jury. Venire. Vicinage; neighborhood; the county or place where an

action is laid. Vi et armis. With force and arms. Viva voce. With the living voice: spoken, not written. Voir dire. To speak truth. An oath administered to a witness,

relative to his interest in the cause.

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