CAUSE, civ. law. This word has two meanings. 1. It signifies
the delivery of the thing, or the accomplishment of the act which
is the object of a convention. Datio vel factum, quibus ab una parte
conventio, impleri caepta est. 6 Toull. n. 13, 166. 2. it is the
consideration or motive formakinga contract. An obligation without
a cause, or with a false or unlawful cause, has no effect; but an
engagement is not the less valid, though the cause be not expressed.
The cause is illicit, when it is forbidden by law, when it is contra
bones mores, or public order. Dig. 2, 14, 7, 4; Civ. Code of Lo.
a. 1887-1894 Code Civil, liv. 3, c. 2, s. 4, art. 1131-1133; Toull.
liv. 3, tit. 3, c. 2, s. 4.
CAUSE, contra torts, crim. That which produces an effect.
2. In considering a contract, an injury, or a crime, the law for many
purposes looks to the immediate, and not to any remote cause. Bac. Max. Reg. 1;
Bac. Ab. Damages, E; Sid. 433; 2 Taunt. 314. If the cause be lawful, the party
will be justified; if unlawful, he will be condemned. The following is an
example in criminal law of an immediate and remote cause. If Peter, of malice
prepense, should discharge a pistol at Paul, and miss him, and then cast away
the pistol and fly and, being pursued by Paul, he turn round, and kill him with
a dagger, the law considers the first as the impulsive cause, and Peter would be
guilty of murder. But if Peter, with his dagger drawn, had fallen down, and Paul
in his haste had fallen upon it and killed himself, the cause of Paul's death
would have been too remote to charge Peter as the murderer. Id.
3. In cases of insurance, the general rule is that the immediate and not the
remote cause of the loss is to be considered; causa proximo non remota s
pedatur. This rule may, in some cases, apply to carriers. Story, Bailm. 515.
4. For the reach of contracts, the contractor is liable for the immediate
effects of such breach, but not for any remote cause, as the failure of a party
who was to receive money, and did not receive it, in consequence of which he was
compelled to stop payment. 1 Brock. Cir. C. Rep. 103. See Remote; and also
Domat, liv. 3, t. 5, s. 2, n. 4; Toull. liv. 3, n. 286; 6 Bing. R. 716; 6 Ves.
496; Pal. Ag. by Lloyd, 10; Story, Ag. 200; 3 Sumn. R. 38.
CAUSE, pleading.The reason; the motive.
2. In a replication de injuria, for example, the plaintiff alleges that the
defendant of his own wrong, and without the cause by him in his plea alleged,
did, &c. The word cause here means without the matter of excuse alleged, and
though in the singular number, it puts in issue all the facts in the plea, which
constitute but one cause. 8 Co. 67; 11 East, 451; 1 Chit. Pl. 585.
CAUSE, practice. A Contested question before a court of justice; it is
a Suit or action. Causes are civil or criminal. Wood's Civ. Law, 302; Code, 2,
CAUSE OF ACTION. By this phrase is understood the right to bring an
action, which implies, that there is some person in existence who can assert,
and also a person who can lawfully be sued; for example, where the payee of a
bill was dead at the time when it fell due, it was held the cause of action did
not accrue, and consequently the statute of limitations did not begin to run
until letters of administration had been obtained by some one. 4 Bing. 686.
2. There is no cause of action till the claimant can legally sue, therefore
the statute of limitations does not run from the making of a promise, if it were
to perform something at a future time, but only from the expiration of that
time, though, when the obligor promises to pay on demand, or generally, without
specifying day, he may be sued immediately, and then the cause of action has
accrued. 5 Bar. & Cr. 860; 8 Dowl. & R. 346.When a wrong has been
committed, or a breach of duty has occurred, the cause of action has accrued,
though the claimant may be ignorant of it. 3 Barn. & Ald. 288, 626 5 B.
& C. 259; 4 C. & P. 127.
CAUTIO PRO EXPENSIS. Security for costs or expenses.
2. This term is used among the civilians, Nov. 112, c. 2, and generally on
the continent of Europe. In nearly all the countries of Europe, a foreign
plaintiff, whether resident there or not, is required to give caution pro
expenses; that is, security for costs. In some states this requisition is
modified, and, when such plaintiff has real estate, or a commercial or
manufacturing establishent within the state, he is not required to give such
caution. Faelix, Droit. Intern. Prive, n. 106.
CAUTION. A term of the Roman civil law, which is used in various
senses. It signifies, sometimes, security, or security promised. Generally every
writing is called cautio, a caution by which any object is provided for. Vicat,
ad verb. In the common law a distinction is made between a contract and the
security. The contract may be good and the security void. The contract may be
divisible, and the security entire and indivisible. 2 Burr, 1082. The securities
or cautions judicially required of the defendant, are, judicio sisti, to attend
and appear during the pendency of the suit; de rato, to confirm the acts of his
attorney or proctor; judicium solvi, to pay the sum adjudged against him. Coop.
Just. 647; Hall's Admiralty Practice, 12; 2 Brown, Civ. Law, 356.
CAUTION, TURATORY, Scotch law. Juratory caution is that which a
suspender swears is the best he can offer in order to obtain a suspension. Where
the suspender cannot, from his low or suspected circumstances, procure
unquestionable security, juratory caution is admitted. Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. 4, 3,
CAUTIONER, Scotch law, contracts. One who becomes bound as caution or
surety for another, for the performance of any obligation or contract contained
in a deed.
CAVEAT, practice. That hebeware. Caveat is the name of a notice given
by a party having an interest, to some officer, not to do an act, till the party
giving the notice shall have been heard; as, a caveat to the register of wills,
or judge of probate, not to permit a will to be proved, or not to grant letters
of administration, until the party shall have been heard. A caveat is also
frequently made to prevent a patent for inventions being issued. 1 Bouv. Inst.
71, 534; 1 Burn's Ecc. Law, 19, 263; Bac. Abr. Executors and Administrators, E
8; 3 Bl. Com. 246; Proctor's Pract. 68; 3 Bin. Rep. 314; 1 Siderf. 371 Poph.
133; Godolph. Orph. Leg. 258; 2 Brownl. 119; 2 Fonbl. Eq. book 4, pt. 2, c. 1,
3; Ayl. Parer. 145 Nelson's Ab. h. t.; Dane's Ab. c. 223, a. 15, 2, and a. 8,
22. See 2 Chit. Pr. 502, note b, for a form.
CAVEAT EMPTOR. Let the purchaser take heed; that is, let him see to
it, that the title he is buying is good. This is a rule of the common law,
applicable to the sale and purchase of lands and other real estate. If the
purchaser pay the consideration money, he cannot, as a general rule, recover it
back after the deed has been executed; except in cases of fraud, or by force of
some covenant in the deed which has been broken. The purchaser,if he fears a
defect of title, has it in his power to protect himself by proper covenants, and
if he fails to do so, the law provides for him no remedy. Cro. Jac. 197; 1 Salk.
211 Doug. 630, 654; 1 Serg. & R. 52, 53 , 445. This rule is discussed with
ability in Rawle on Covenants for Title, p. 458, et seq. c. 13, and the leading
authorities collected. See also 2 Kent, Com. Lect. 39, p. 478; 2 Bl. Com. 451; 1
Stor , Eq. 212 6 Ves. 678; 10 Ves. 505; 3 Cranch, 270; 2 Day, R. 128; Sugd.
Vend. 221 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 954-5.
2. This rule has been severely assailed, as being the instrument
of falsehood and fraud; but it is too well established to be disregarded.
Coop., Just. 611, n. See 8 Watts, 308, 309.
CAVIL. Sophism, subtlety. Cavilis a captious argument, by
which a conclusion evidently false, is drawn from a principle evidently
true: Ea est natura cavillationis ut ab evidenter veris, per brevissimas
mutationes disputatio, ad ea quce evidentur falsa sunt perducatur.
Dig. 60, 16, 177 et 233; Id. 17, 65; Id. 33, 2, 88 .
CAESARIAN OPERATION, med. juris. An incision made through
the parietes of the abdomen and uterus to extract the foetus. It
is said that Julius Caesar was born in this manner. When the child
is cut out after the death of the mother, his coming into being
in this way confers on other persons none of the rights to which
they would have been entitled if he had been born, in the usual
course of nature, during her life. For example, his father would
not be tenant by the curtesy; for to create that title, it ought
to begin by the birth of issue arive, and be consummated by the
death of the wife. 8 Co. Rep. 35; 2 Bl. Com. 128 Co. Litt. 29 b.;
1 Beck's Med. Jur. 264 Coop. Med. Jur. 7; 1 Fodere, Med. Leg. 334.
The rule of the civil law on this subject will be found in Dig.
lib. 50, t. 16, 1. 132 et 141; lib. 5, t. 2, 1. 6; lib. 28, t. 2,
CAETERORUM. The name of a kind of administration, which,
after an administration has been granted for a limited purpose,
is granted for the rest of the estate. 1 Will. on Ex. 357; 2 Hagg.
62; 4 Hagg. Eccl. R. 382, 386; 4 Mann. & Gr. 398. For example,
where a wife had a right to devise or bequeath certain stock, and
she made a will of the same, but there were accumulations that did
not pass, the husband might take out letters of administration caeterorum.
4 Mann. & Grang.398;1 Curteis, 286.
TO CEDE, civil law. To assign; to transfer; as, France ceded
Louisiana to the United States.
CEDENT, civil law, Scotch law. An assignor. The term is
usually applied to the assignor of a chose in action. Kames on Eq.
CELEBRATION, contracts. This word is usually applied, in
law, to the celebration of marriage, which is the solemn act by
which a man and woman take each other for husband and wife, conformably
to the rules prescribed by law. Diet. de Juris. h. t.
CELL. A small room in a prison. See Dungeon.
CENOTAPH. An empty tomb. Dig. 11, 7, 42.
CENSUS. An enumeration of the inhabitants of a country.
2. For the purpose of keeping the reeresentation of the several
states in congress equal, the constitution provides, that " representatives
and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states,
which may be included in this Union, according to their respective
numbers; which shall be determined by adding to the whole number
of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of
years, and excluding Idians not taxed, three-fifths of all other
persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years
after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and
within every subsequent term of ten years, in such a manner as they
shall by law direct." Art. 1, s. 2; vide 1 Story, L. U. S., 73,
722, 751; 2 Id. 1134, 1139, 1169, 1194; 3 Id. 1776; 4 Sharsw. continuation,
CENT, money. A copper coin of the United States of the value
of ten mills; ten of them are equal to a dime, and one hundred,
to one dollar. Each cent is required to contain one hundred and
sixty-eight grains. Act of January 18th, 1837, 4 Sharsw. cont. of
Story',s L. U. S. 2524.
CENTIME. The name of a French money; the one hundredth part
of a franc.
CENTRAL. Relating to the centre, or placed in the centre;
as, the central courts of the United States, are those located in
the city of Washington, whose jurisdiction extends over the whole
country. These are, first, the Senate of the United States, when
organized to try impeachments; secondly, the Supreme Court of the
2. The government of the United States is the central government.
CENTUMVIRI, civil law. the citizens of Rome were distributed
into thirty-five tribes, and three persons out of each tribe were
elected judges, who were called centumviri, although they were one
hundred and five in number. They were distributed into four different
tribunals, but in certain causes called centumvirales causas, the
judgments of the four tribunals were necessary. Vicat,.ad verb.;
3 Bl. Com. 315.
CENTURY, civil law. One hundred. The Roman people were dividedinto
centu ries. In England they were divided into hundreds. Vide Hundred.
Century also means one hundred years.
CEPI. A Latin word signifying I have taken. Cepicorpus,
I have taken the body; cepiand B. B., I have taken the body and
discharged him on bail bond; cepi corpus et est in custodia, I have
taken the body and it is in custody; cepi corpus, et est languidus,
I have taken the body of, &c. and he is sick. These are some
of the various returns made by the sheriff to a writ of capias.
CEPI CORPUS, practice. The return which the sheriff, or
otherproper officer, makes when he has arrested a defendant by virtue
of a capias. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2804. See Capias. F. N. B. 26.
CEPIT. Took. This is a technical word, which cannot be supplied
by any other in an indictment for larceny. The charge against the
defendant must be that he took the thing stolen with a felonious
design. Bac. Ab. Indictment, G 1.
CEPIT ET ABDUXIT. He took and led away. These words are
applied to cases of trespass or larceny, where the defendant took
a living chattel, and led it away. It is used in contradistinction
to took and carried away, cepit et asportavit. (q. v.)
CEPIT ET ASPORTAVIT. Took and carried away. (q. v.)
CEPIT IN ALIO LOCO, pleadings. He took in another place.
This is a plea in replevin, by which the defendant alleges, that
he took the thing replevied in another place than that mentioned
in the plaintiff's declaration. 1 Chit. Pl. 490, 4 Bouv. Inst. n.
3569 2 Chit. Pl. 558; Rast. 554, 555; Clift. 636 Willes, R. 475;
Tidd's App. 686.
CERTAINTY, UNCERTAINTY, contracts. In matters of obligation,
a thing is certain, when its essence, quality, and quantity, are
described, distinctly set forth, Dig. 12, 1, 6. It is uncertain,
when the description is not that of one individual object, but designates
only the kind. Louis. Code, art. 3522, No. 8 5 Co. 121. Certainty
is the mother of repose, and therefore the law aims at certainty.
1 Dick. 245. Act of the 27th of July, 1789, ii. 2, 1 Story's Laws,
6. His compensation for his servicer, shall not exceed two thousand
dollars per annum. Gordon's Dig. art. 211.
2. If a contract be so vague in its terms, that its meaning cannot
be certainly collected, and the statute of frauds preclude the admissibility
of parol evidence to clear up the difficulty; 5 Barn. & Cr.
588; S. C. 12 Eng. Com. L. R. 827; or parol evidence cannot supply
the defect, then neither at law, nor in equity, can effect be given
to it. 1 Russ. & M. 116; 1 Ch. Pr. 123.
3. It is a maxim of law, that, that is certain which may be made
certain; certum est quod certum reddi potest Co. Litt. 43; for example,
when a man sells the oil he has in his store at so much a gallon,
although there is uncertainty as to the quantity of oil, yet inasmuch
as it can be ascertained, the maxim applies, and the sale is good.
Vide generaly, Story, Eq. El. 240 to 256; Mitf. Pl. by Jeremy, 41;
Coop. Eq. Pl. 5; Wigr. on Disc. 77.
CERTAINTY, pleading. By certainty is understood a clear
and distinct statement of the facts which constitute the cause of
action, or ground of defence, so that they may be understood by
the party who is to answer them, by the jury who are to ascertain
the truth of the allegations, and by the court who are to give the
judgment. Cowp. 682; Co. Litt. 308; 2 Bos. & Pull. 267; 13 East,
R. 107; Com. Dig. Pleader, C 17; Hob. 295. Certainty has been stated
by Lord Coke, Co. Litt. 303, a, to be of three sorts namely, 1.
certainty to a common intent 2. to a certain intent in general;
and, 3. to a certain intent in every particular. In the case of
Dovaston.v. Paine Buller, J. said he remembered to have heard Mr.
Justice Ashton treat these distinctions as a jargon of words without
meaning; 2 H. Bl. 530. They have, however, long been made, and ought
not altogether to be departed from.
2. - 1. Certainty to a common intent is simply a rule of construction.
It occurs when words are used which will bear a natural sense, and
also an artificial one, or one to be made out by argument or inference.
Upon the ground of this rule the natural sense of words is adopted,
without addition. 2 H. Bl. 530.
3. - 2. Certainty to, a certain intent in general, is a greater
degree of certainty than the last, and means what upon a fair and
reasonable construction may be called certain, without recurring
to possible facts which do not appear; 9 Johns. R. 317; and is what
is required in declarations, replications, and indictments, in the
charge or accusation, and in returns to writs of mandamus. See 1
Saund. 49, n. 1; 1 Dougl. 159; 2 Johns. Cas. 339; Cowp. 682; 2 Mass.
R. 363 by some of which authorities, it would seem, certainty to
a common intent is sufficient in a declaration.
4. - 3. The third degree of certainty, is that which precludes
all argument, inference, or presumption against the party, pleading,
and is that technical accuracy which is not liable to the most subtle
and scrupulous objections, so that it is not merely a rule of construction,
but of addition; for where this certainty is necessary, the party
must not only state the facts of his case in the most precise way,
but add to them such as show that they are not to be controverted,
and, as it were, anticipate the case of his adversary. Lawes on
Pl. 54, 55. See 1 Chitty on Pl. 235 to 241.