|ALTERATION. An act done upon an
instrument in writing by a party entitled under it, without the consent
of the other party, by which its meaning or language is changed; it
imports some fraud or design on the part of him who made it. This
differs from spoliation, which is the mutilation of the instrument
by the act of a stranger.
2. When an alteration has a tendency to mislead, by so changing the character
of the instrument, it renders it void; but if the change has not such tendency,
it will not be considered an alteration. 1 Greenl. Ev. 566.
3. A spoliation, on the contrary, will not affect the legal character of the
instrument, so long as the original writing remains legible; and, if it be a
deed, any trace of the seal remains. 1 Greenl. Ev. 566. See Spoliation.
ALTERNAT. The name of a usage among diplomatists by which the rank and
places of different powers, who have the same rights and pretensions to
precedence, are changed from time to time, either in a certain regular order, or
one determined by lot. In drawing up treaties and conventions, for example, it
is the usage of certain powers to alternate, both in the preamble and the
signatures, so that each power occupies, in the copy intended to be delivered to
it, the first place. Wheat. Intern. Law, pt. 2, c. 3, 4..
ALTERNATIVE. The one or the other of two things. In contracts a party
has frequently the choice to perform one of several things, as, if he is bound
to pay one hundred dollars, or to deliver a horse, he has the alternative. Vide
Election; Obligation; Alternative.
ALTIUS NON TOLLENDI, civil law. The name of a servitude due by the
owner of a house, by which he is restrained from building beyond a certain
height. Dig. 8, 2, 4, and 1, 12, 17, 25.
ALTIUS TOLLENDI, civil law. The name of a servitude which consists in
the right, to him who is entitled to it, to build his house as high as he may
think proper. In general, however, every one enjoys this privilege, unless he,
is restrained by home contrary title.
ALTO ET BASSO. High and low. This phrase is applied to an agreement
made between two contending parties to submit all matters in dispute, alto et
basso, to arbitration. Cowel.
ALTUM MARE. The high sea. (q. v.)
ALUMNUS, civil law. A child which one has nursed; a foster child. Dig.
40, 2, 14.
AMALPHITAN CODE. The name given to a collection of sea-laws, complied
about the end of the eleventh century, by the people of Amalphi. It consists of
the laws on maritime subjects which were, or had been, in force in counries
bordering on the Mediterranean; and, on account of its being collected into one
regular system, it was for a long time received as authority in those countries.
1 Azun. Mar. Law, 376.
AMANUENSIS. Oe who write another dictates. About the beginning of the
sixth century,, the tabellions (q.v.) were known by this name. 1 Sav. Dr. Rom.
Moy. Age, n. 16.
AMBASSADOR, interaational law. A public minister sent abroad by some
sovereign state or prince, with a legal commission and authority to transact
business on behalf of his country with the government to which he is sent. He is
a minister of the highest rank, and represents the person of his sovereign.
2. The United States have always been represented by ministers
plenipotentiary, never having sent a person of the rald of an, ambassador in the
diplomatic sense. 1 Kent's Com. 39, n.
3. Ambassadors, when acknowledged as such, are exempted, absolutely from all
allegiance, and from all responsibility to the laws. If, however, they should be
so regardless of their duty, and of the object of their privilege, as to insult
or openly to attack the laws of the government, their functions may be suspended
by a refusal to treat with them, or application can be made to their own
sovereign for their recall, or they may be dismissed, and required to depart
within a reasonable time. By fiction of law, an ambassador is considered as if
he were out of the territory of the foreign power; and it is an implied
agreement among nations, that the ambassador, while he resides in the foreign
state, shall be considered as a member of his own country, and the government he
represents has exclusive cognizance of his conduct, and control of his person.
The attendants of the ambassador are attached to his person, and the effects in
his use are under his protection and privilege, and, generally, equally exempt
from foreign jurisdiction.
4. Ambassadors are ordinary or extraordinary. The former designation is
exclusively applied to those sent on permanent missions; the latter, to those
employed on particular or extraordinary occasions, or residing at a foreign
court for an indeterminate period. Vattel, Droit des Gens, 1. 4, c. 6,
5. The act of dtigress of April 30th, 1790, s. 25, makes void any writ or
process sued forth or prosecuted against any ambassador authorized and received
by the president of the United States, or any domestic servant of such
ambassador; and the 25th section of the same act, punishes any person who shall
sue forth or proseeute such writ or process, and all attorneys – and soliciters
prosecuting or soliciting in such case, and all officers executing such writ or
process, with an imprisonment not exceeding three years, and a fine at the
discretion of the court. The act provides that citizens or inhabitants of the
United States who were indebted when they went into the service of an
ambassador, shall not be protected as to such debt; and it requires also that
the names of such servants shall be registered in the office of the secretary of
state. The 16th section imposes the like punishment on any person offering
violence to the person of an ambassador or other minister. P Vide 1 Kent, Com.
14, 38, 182; Rutherf. Inst. b. 2, c. 9; Vatt. b. 4, c. 8, s. 113; 2 Wash. C. C.
R. 435; Ayl. Pand. 245; 1 Bl. Com. 253; Bac. Ab. h. t.; 2 Vin. Ab. 286; Grot.
lib. 2, c. 8, 1, 3; 1 Whart. Dig. 382; 2 Id. 314; Dig. l. 50, t. 7; Code I. 10,
t. 63, l. 4; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
6. The British statute 7 Ann, cap. 12; is similar in its provisions; it
extends to the family and servants of an ambassador, as well when they are the
natives of the country in which the ambassador resides, as when they are
foreigners whom he brings with him. (3 Burr. 1776-7) To constitute a domestic
servant within the meaning of the statute, it is not necessary that the servant
should lodge, at night in the house of the ambassador, but it is necessary to
show the nature of the service he renders and the actual performance of it. 3
Burr. 1731; Cases Temp. Hardw. 5. He must, in fact, prove that he is bona fide
the ambassador's servant. A land waiter at the custom house is not such, nor
entitled to the privilege of the statute. 1 Burr. 401. A trader is not entitled
to the protection of the statute. 3 Burr. 1731; Cases Temp. Hardw. 5. A person
in debt cannot be taken into an ambassador's service in order to protect him. 3
AMBIDEXTER. It is intended by this Latin word, to designate one who
plays on both sides; in a legal sense it is taken for a juror or embraceor who
takes money from the parties for giving his verdict. This is seldom or never
done in the United States.
AMBIGUITY, contracts, construction. When au expression has been used
in an instrument of writing which may be understood in more than one sense, it
is said there is an ambiguity,
2. There are two sorts of amiguities of words, ambiguitas latens and
3. The first occurs when the deed or instrument is sufficiently certain and
free from ambiguity, but the ambiguity is produced by something extrinsic, or
some collateral matter out of the instrument; for example, if a man devise
property to his cousin A B, and he has two cousins of that name, in such case
parol evidence will be received to explain the ambiguity.
4. The second or patent ambiguity occurs when a clause in a deed, will, or
other instrument, is so defectively expressed, that a court of law, which has to
put a construction on the instrument, is unable to collect the intention of the
party. In such case, evidence of the declaration of the party cannot be
submitted to explain his intention, and the clause will be void for its
uncertainty. In Pennsylvania, this rule is somewhat qualified. 3 Binn. 587; 4
Binn. 482. Vide generally, Bac. Max. Reg. 23; 1 Phu. Ev. 410 to 420; 3 Stark.
Ev. 1021 ; I Com. Dig. 575; Sudg. Vend. 113. The civil law on this subject will
be found in Dig. lib. 50, t. 17, 1. 67; lib. 45, t. 1, 1. 8; and lib. 22, t. 1,
AMBULATORIA VOLUNTAS. A phrase used to designate that a man has the
power to alter his will or testament as long as he lives. This form of phrase
frequently occurs in writers on the civil law; as ambulatoria res, ambulatoria
actio, potestas, conditio, &c.;Calvini Lexic.
AMENABLE. Responsible; subject to answer in a court of justice liable
AMENDE HONORABLE, EngIish law. A penalty imposed upon a person by way
of disgrace or infamy, as a punishment for any offence, or for the purpose of
making reparation for any injury done to another, as the walking into church in
a white sheet, with a rope about hte neck, and a ortch in the hand, and begging
the pardon of God, or the king, or any private individual, for some
2. A punishment somewhat similar to this, and which bore the same name, was
common in France; it was abolished by the law of the 25th of September, 1791.
Merlin Rep. de Jur. h.'t.
3. For the form of a sentence of amende horrorable, see D'Agaesseau, Oeuvres,
43 Plaidoyer, tom. 4, p. 246.
AMENDMENT, legislation. An alteration or change of something proposed
in a bill.
2. Either house of the legislature has a rigt to make amendments; but, when
so made, they must be sanctioned by the other house before they can become a
law. The senate has no power to originate any money bills, (q. v,) but may
propose and make amendments to such as have passed the House of representatives.
Vide Congress; Senate.
3. The constitution of the United States, art. 5, and the constitutions of
some of the states, provide for their amendment. The provisions contained in tho
constitution of the United States, are as follows: "Congress, whenever
two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to
this constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of
the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in
either case, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of this
constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several
states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode
of ratification may be proposed by Congress: Provided, that no amendment which
may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, shall, in
any manner, affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the
first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its
equal suffrage in the Senate."
AMMENDMENT, practice. The correction, by allowance of the court, of an
error committed in the progress of a cause.
2. Amendments at common law, independently of any statutory provision on the
subject, are in all cases in the discretion of the court, for the furtherance of
justice they may be made while the proceedings are in paper, that is, until
judgment is signed, and during the term in which it is signed ; for until the
end of the term the proceedings are considered in fieri, and consequently
subject to the control of the court; 2 Burr. 756; 3 Bl. Com. 407; 1 Salk. 47; 2
Salk. 666 ; 8 Salk. 31; Co. Litt. 260; and even after judgment is signed, and up
to the latest period of the action, amendment is, in most cases, allowable at
the discretion of the court under certain statutes passed for allowing
amendments of the record; and in later times the judges have been much more
liberal than formerly, in the exercise of this discretion. 3 McLean, 379; 1
Branch, 437; 9 Ala. 647. They may, however, be made after the term, although
formerly the rule was otherwise; Co. Litt. 260, a; 3 Bl. Com. 407; and even
after error brought, where there has been a verdict in a civil or criminal case.
2 Serg. & R. 432, 3. A remittitur damna may be allowed after error; 2 Dall.
184; 1 Yeates, 186; Addis, 115, 116; and this, although error be brought on the
ground of the excess of damages remitted. 2 Serg. & R. 221. But the
application must be made for the remittitur in the court below, as the court of
error must take the record as they find it. 1 Serg. & R. 49. So, the death
of the defendant may be suggested after errer coram nobis. 1 Bin. 486; I Johns.
Cases, 29; Caines' Cases, 61. So by agreement of attormeys, the record may be
amended after error. 1 Bin. 75; 2 Binn. 169.
3. Amendments are, however, always Iimited by due consideration of the rights
of the opposite party; and, when by the amendment he would be prejudiced or
exposed to unreasonable delay, it is not allowed. Vide Bac. Ab Com. Dig. h. t.;
Viner's. Ab. h. t.; 2 Arch. Pr. 200; Grah. Pt. 524; Steph. Pl. 97; 2 Sell. Pr.
453; 3 Bl. Com. 406; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
AMENDS. A satisfaction, given by a wrong doer to the party injured for
a wrong committed. 1 Lilly's Reg. 81.
2. By statute 24 Geo. II. c. 44, in England, and by similar statutes in some
of the United States, justices of the peace, upon being notified of an intended
suit against them, may tender amends fore the wrong alleged or done by them in
their official character, and if found sufficient, the tender debars the action.
See Act of Penn. 21 March, 1772, 1 and.2; Willes' Rep. 671, 2; 6 Bin. 83; 5
Serg. & R. 517, 299; 3 Id. 295; 4 Bin. 20.
AMERCEMENT, practice. A pecuniary penalty imposed upon a person who is
in misericordia; as, for example, when the defendant se retaxit, or recessit in
contemptum curioe. 8 Co. 58; Bar. Ab. Fines and Amercements. By the common law,
none can be amerced in his absence, except for his default. Non licet aliquem in
sua absentia amerciare nisi per ejus defaltas. Fleta, lib. 2, cap. 65, 15.
2. Formerly, if the sheriff failed in obeying the writs, rules, or orders of
the court, he might be amerced; that is, a penalty might be imposed upon bim;
but this practice has been superseded by attachment. In New Jersey and Ohio, the
sheriff may, by statutory provision, be amerced for making a return contrary to
the provision of the statute. Coxe, 136, 169; 6 Halst. 334; 3 Halst. 270, 271; 5
Halst. 319; 1 Green, 159, 341; 2 Green, 350; 2 South. 433; 1 Ham. 275; 2 Ham.
603; 6 Ham. 452; Wright, 720.
AMERCIAMENT, AMERCEMENT, English law. A pecuniary punishment
arbitrarily imposed by some lord or count, in distinction from a fine which is
expressed according to the statute. Kitch. 78. Amerciament royal, when the
amerciament is made by the sheriff, or any other officer of the king. 4 Bl. Com.
AMI. A friend; or, as it is written in old works, amy. Vide Prochein
AMICABLE ACTION, Pennsylvania practice. An action entered by agreement
of parties on the dockets of the courts; when entered, such action is considered
as if it, had been adversely commenced, and the defendant had been regularly
summoned. An amicable action may be entered by attorney, independently of the
provisions of the act of 1866. 8 Er & R. 567.
AMICUS CURIAE, practice. A friend of the court. One, who as a stander
by, when a judge is doubtful or mistaken in a matter of law, may inform the
court. 2 Inst. 178; 2 Vin. Abr. 475; and any one, as amicus curia, may make an
application to the court in favor of an infant, though he be no relation. 1 Ves.
Sen. 313. AMITA. A paternal aunt; the sister of one's father. Inst. 3, 6, 3.
AMNESTY, government. An act of oblivion of past offences, granted by
the government to those who have been guilty of any neglect or crime, usually
upon condition that they return to their duty within a certain period.
2. An amnesty is either express or implied; it is express, when so declared
in direct terms; and it is implied, when a treaty of peace is made between
contending parties. Vide Vattel, liv. 4, c. 2, 20, 21, 22; Encycl. Amer.
3. Amnesty and pardon, are very different. The former is an act of the sove
reign power, the object of which is to efface and to cause to be forgotten, a
crime or misdemeanor; the latter, is an act of the same authority, which exempts
the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for
the crime he has committed. 7 Pet. 160. Amnesty is the abolition and
forgetfulness of the offence; pardon is forgiveness. A pardon is given to one
who is certainly guilty, or has been convicted; amnesty, to those who may have
4. Their effects are also different. That of pardon, is the remission of the
whole or a part of the punishment awarded by the law; the conviction remaining
unaffected when only a partial pardon is granted: an amnesty on the concrary,
has the effect of destroying the criminal act, so that it is as if it had not
been committed, as far as the public interests are concerned.
5. Their application also differs. Pardon is always given to individuals, and
properly only after judgment or conviction: amnesty may be granted either before
judgment or afterwards, and it is in general given to whole classes of criminals
or supposed criminals, for the purpose of restoring tranquillity in the state.
But sometimes amnesties are limited, and certain classes are excluded from their
AMORTIZATION, contracts, English law. An alienation of lands or
tenements in mortraain. 2 Stat. Ed. I.
2. The reduction of the property of lands or tenements to mortmain.
AMORTISE, contracts. To alien lands in mortmain. AMOTION. In
corporations and companies, is the act of removing an officer from his office;
it differs from disfranchisement, which is applicable to members, as such.
Wille. on Corp. n. 708. The power of amotion is incident to a corporation. 2
Str. 819; 1 Burr. 639.
2. In Rex v. Richardson, Lord Mansfield specified three sorts of offences for
which an officer might be discharged; first, such as have no immediate relation
to the office, but are in themselves of so infamous a nature, as to render the
offender unfit to execute any public franchise; secondly, such as are only
against his oath, and the duty of his office as a corporator, and amount to
breaches of the tacit condition annexed to his office; thirdly, the third
offence is of a mixed nature; as being an offence not only against the duty of
his officer but also a matter indictable at common law. 2 Binn. R. 448. And Lord
Mansfield considered the law as settled, that though a corporation has express
power of amotion, yet for the first sort of offences there must be a previous
indictment and conviction; and that there was no authority since Bagg's Case, 11
Rep. 99, which says; that the power of trial as well as of amotion, for the
second offense, is not incident to every corporation. He also observed: "We
think that from the reason of the thing, from the nature of the corporation, and
for the sake of order and good government, this power is incident as much as the
power of making by-laws." Doug. 149. See generally, Wilcock on Mun. Corp. 268; 6
Conn. Rep. 632; 6 Mass. R. 462; Ang. & Am. on Corpor. 236.
AMOTION, tort. An amotion of possession from an estate, is an ouster
which happens by a species of disseisin or turning out of the legal propritor
before his estate is determined. 3 Bl. Com. 198, 199. Amotion is also applied to
personal chattels when they are taken unlawfully out of the possession of the
owner, or of one who has a special property in them.
AMPLIATION, civil law. A deferring of judgment until the cause is
further examined. In this case, the judges pronounced the word amplius, or by
writing the letters N.L. for non liquet, signifying that the cause was not
clear. In practice, it is usual in the courts when time is taken to form a
judgment, to enter a curia advisare vult; cur. adv. vult. (q. v.)
AMPLIATION, French law. Signifies the giving a duplicate of an
acquittance or other instrument, in order that it may be produced in different
places. The copies which notaries make out of acts passed before them, and which
are delivered to the parties, are also called ampliations. Dict. de Jur. h.
AMY or ami, a French word, signifying, friend. Prochein amy, (q. v.)
the next friend. Alien amy, a foreigner, the citizen or subject of some friendly
power or prince.
AN, JOUR, ET WASTE. See Year, day, and waste.
ANALOGY, comtruction. The similitude of relations which exist between
2. To reason analogically, is to draw conclusions based on this similitude of
relations, on the resemblance, or the connexion which is perceived between the
objects compared. "It is this guide," says Toollier, which leads the law
lawgiver, like other men, without his observing it. It is analogy which induces
us, with reason, to suppose that, following the example of the Creator of the
universe, the lawgiver has established general and uniform laws, which it is
unnecessary to repeat in all analogous cases." Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 1, c. 1.
Vide Ang. on Adv. Enjoym. 30, 31; Hale's Com. Law, 141.
3. Analogy has been declared to be an argument or guide in forming legal
judgments, and is very commonly a ground of such judgments. 7 Barn. & Cres.
168; 3 Bing. R. 265; 8 Bing R. 557, 563; 3 Atk. 313; 1 Eden's R. 212; 1 W. Bl.
151; 6 Ves. jr. 675, 676; 3 Swanst. R. 561; 1 Turn. & R. 103, 338; 1 R.
& M. 352, 475, 477; 4 Burr. R. 1962; 2022, 2068; 4 T. R. 591; 4 Barn. &
Cr. 855; 7 Dowl. & Ry. 251; Cas. t. Talb. 140; 3 P. Wms. 391; 3 Bro. C. C.
ANARCHY. The absence of all political government; by extension, it
signifies confusion in government.
ANATHEMA, eccl. law. A punishment by which a person is separate from,
the body of the church, and forbidden all intercourse with the faithful: it
differs from excommunication, which simply forbids the person excommunicated,
from going into the church and communicating with the faithful. Gal. 1. 8,
ANATOCISM, civil law. Usury, which consists in taking interest on
interest, or receiving compound interest. This is forbidden. Code, lib. 4, t.
32, 1, 30; 1 Postlethwaite's Dict.
2. Courts of equity have considered contracts for compounding interest
illegal, and within the statute of usury. Cas. t. Talbot, 40; et vide Com. Rep.
349; Mass. 247; 1 Ch. Cas. 129; 2 Ch. Cas. 35. And contra, 1 Vern. 190. But when
the interest has once accrued, and a balance has been settled between the
parties, they may lawfully agree to turn such interest into principal, so as to
carry interest in futuro. Com. on Usury, ch. 2, s. 14, p. 146 et eq.
ANCESTOR, descents. One who has preceded another in a direct line of
descent; an ascendant. In the common law, the word is understood as well of the
immediate parents, as, of these that are higher; as may appear by the statute 25
Ed. III. De natis ultra mare, and so in the statute of 6 R. III. cap. 6, and by
many others. But the civilians relations in the ascending line, up to the great
grandfather's parents, and those above them, they term, majores, which common
lawyers aptly expound antecessors or ancestors, for in the descendants of like
degree they are called posteriores. Cary's Litt.45. The term ancestor is applied
to natural persons. The words predecessors and successors, are used in respect
to the persons composing a body corporate. See 2 Bl. Com. 209; Bac. Abr. h. t.;
Ayl. Pand. 58.
ANCESTRAL. What relates to or has, been done by one's ancestors; as
homage ancestral, and the like.
ANCHOR. A measure containing ten gallons. Lex, Mereatoria.
ANCHORAGE, merc. law. A toll paid for every anchor cast from a ship
into a river, and sometimes a toll bearing this name is paid, although there be
no anchor cast. This toll is said to be incident to almost every port. 1 Wm. Bl.
413; 2 Chit. Com. Law, 16.
ANCIENT. Something old, which by age alone has acquired some force; as
ancient lights, ancient writings.
ANCIENT DEMESNE, Eng. law. Those lands which either were reserved to
the crown at the original distribution of landed property, or such as came to it
afterwards, by forfeiture or other means. 1. Sal. 57; hob. 88; 4 Inst. 264; 1
Bl. Com. 286; Bac. Ab. h. t.; F. N. B. 14.
ANCIENT LIGHTS, estates. Windows which have been opened for twenty
years or more, and enjoyed without molestation by the owner of the house. 5 Har.
& John. 477; 12 Mass. R. 157,.220.
2. It is proposed to consider, 1. How the right of ancient light is gained.
2, What amounts to interruption of an ancient light. 3, The remedy for
obstructing an ancient light.
3. – 1. How the right of opening or keeping a window open is gained. 1. By
grant. 2. By lapse of time. Formerly it was holden that a party could not
maintain an action for a nuisance to an ancient light, unless he had gained a
right to the window by prescription. 1 Leon. 188; Cro. Eliz. 118. But the modern
doctrine is, that upon proof of an adverse enjoyment of light; for twenty yers
or upwards, unexplained, a jury may be directed to presume a right by grant, or
otherwise. 2 Saund. 176, a; 12 Mass. 159; 1 Esp. R. 148. See also 1 Bos. &
Pull. 400.; 3 East, 299; Phil. Ev. 126; 11 East, 372; Esp. Dig. 636. But if the
window was opened during the seisin of a mere tenant for life, or a tenaucy for
years, and the owner in fee did not acquiesce in, or know of, the use of the
light, he would not be bound. 11 East, 372; 3 Camp. 444; 4 Camp. 616. If the
owner of a close builds a house upon one half of it, with a window lighted from
the other half, he cannot obstruct lights on the premises granted by him; and in
such case no lapse of time necessary to confirm the grantee's right to enjoy
them. 1 Vent. 237, 289; 1 Lev. 122; 1 Keb. 553; Sid. 167, 227; L. Raym. 87; 6
Mod. 116; 1 Price, 27; 12 Mass. 159, Rep. 24; 2 Saund. 114, n. 4; Hamm. N. P.
202; Selw. N. P. 1090; Com. Dig. Action on the Case for a Nuisance, A. Where a
building has been used twenty years to one purpose, (as a malt house,) and it is
converted to another, (as a dwelling-house,) it is entitled in its new state
only to the same degree of light which was necessary in its former state. 1
Campb. 322; and see 3 Campb. 80. It has been justly remarked, that the English
doctrine as to ancient lights can hardly be regarded as applicable to narrow
lots in the new and growing cities of this country; for the effect of the rule
would be greatly to impair the value of vacant lots, or those having low
buildings upon them, in the neighborhood of other buildings more than twenty
years old. 3 Kent, Com. 446, n.
4. – 2. What amounts to an interruption of an ancient light. Where a window
has been completely blocked up for twenty years, it loses its privilege. 3 Camp.
514. An abandonment of the right by express agreement, or by acts from which an
abandonment may be inferred, will deprive the party having such ancient light of
his right to it. The building of a blank wall where the lights formerly existed,
would have that effect. 3 B. & Cr. 332. See Ad. & Ell. 325.
5. – 3. Of the remedy for interrupting an ancient light. 1. An action on the
case will lie against a person who obstructs an ancient light. 9 Co. 58; 2
Rolle's Abr. 140, 1. Nusans, G 10. And see Bac. Ab. Actions on the Case, D;
Carth. 454; Comb.481; 6 Mod. 116.
6. – Total deprivation of light is not necesary to sustain this action, and
if the party cannot enjoy the light in so free and ample a manner as he did
before, he may sustain the action; but there should be some sensible diminution
of the light and air. 4. Esp. R. 69. The building a wall which merely obstructs
the right, is not actionable. 9 Ca. 58, b; 1 Mod. 55.
7. – 3. Nor is the opening windows and destroying, the privacy of the
adjoining property; but such new window may be immediately obstructed to prevent
a right to it being acquired by twenty years use. 3 Campb. 82.
8. – 5. When the right is clearly established, courts of equity will grant an
injunction to restrain a party from building so near the plaintiff's house as to
darken his windows. 2 Vern. 646; 2 Bro. C. C. 65; 16 Ves. 338; Eden on Inj. 268,
9; 1 Story on Eq 926; 1 Smith's Chan. Pr. 593.; 4 Simm. 559; 2 Russ. R. 121. See
See generally on this subject, 1 Nels. Abr. 56, 7; 16 Vin. Abr. 26; 1 Leigh's
N. P. C. 6, s. 8, p. 558; 12 E. C. L. R. 218; 24 Id. 401; 21 Id. 373; 1 id. 161;
10 Id. 99; 28 Id. 143; 23 Am. Jur. 46 to 64; 3 Kent, Com. 446, 2d ed. 7 Wheat.
R. 106; 19 Wend. R. 309; Math on Pres. 318 to 323; 2 Watts, 331; 9 Bing. 305; 1
Chit. Pr. 206, 208; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1619-23.
ANCIENT WRITINGS, evidence. Deeds, wills, and other writings more than
thirty years old, are considered ancient writings. They may in general be read
in evidence, without any other proof of their execution than that they have been
in the possession of those claiming rights under them. Tr. per Pais, 370; 7
East, R. 279; 4 Esp. R. 1; 9 Ves. Jr. 5; 3 John. R. 292; 1 Esp. R. 275; 5 T. R.
259; 2 T. R. 466; 2 Day's R. 280. But in the case of deeds, possession must have
accompanied them. Plowd. 6, 7. See Blath. Pres. 271, n. (2.)
ANCIENTLY, English law. A term for eldership or seniority used in the
statute of Ireland, 14 Hen. Vni.
ANCIENTS, English law. A term for gentlemen in the Inns of Courts who
are of a certain standing. In the Middle Temple, all who have passed their
readings are termed ancients. In Gray's Inn, the ancients are the oldest
barristers; besides which the society consists of benchers, barristers and
students. In the Inas of Chancery, it conts of ancients, and students or