CIVIL. This word has various significations. 1. It is used in
contradistinction to barbarous or savage, to indicate a state of society reduced
to order and regular government; thus we speak of civil life, civil society,
civil government, and civil liberty
2. It is sometimes used in contradistinction to criminal, to indicate the
private rights and remedies of men, as members of the community, in contrast to
those which are public and relate to the government; thus we speak of civil
process and criminal process, civil jurisdiction and criminal jurisdiction.
3. It is also used in contradistinction to military or ecclesiastical, to
natural or foreign; thus we speak of a civil station, as opposed to a military
or ecclesiastical stationa civil death as opposed to a natural death; a civil
warasopposed to a foreign war. Story on the Const. 789; 1 Bl. Coin. 6, 125, 251;
Montesq. Sp. of Laws, B 1, c. 3; Ruth. Inst. B. 2, c. 2; Id. ch. 3Id. ch. 8, p.
359; Hein. Elem. Jurisp. Nat. B. 2, ch. 6.
CIVIL ACTION. In New York, actions are divided only into two kinds,
namely, criminal and civil. A criminal action is prosecuted by the state, as a
party, against a person charged with a public offence, for the punishment
thereof. Every other action is a civil action. Code of Procedure, s. 4, 5, 6; 3
Bouv. Inst. n. 2638. In common parlance, however, writs of mandamus, certiorari,
habeas corpus, &c., are not comprised by the expression, civil actions. 6
Bin. Rep. 9.
CIVIL COMMOTION. Lord Mansfield defines a civil commotion to be "an
insurrection of the people for general purposes, though it may not amount to
rebellion where there is an usurped power." 2 Marsh. lnsur. 793. In the printed
proposals which are considered as making a part of the contract of insurance
against fire, it is declared that the insurance company will not make good any
loss happening by any civil commotion.
CIVIL DEATH, persons. The change of the state (q. v.) of a person who
is declared civilly dead by judgment of a competent tribunal. In such case, the
person against whom such sentence is pronounced is considered dead. 2 John. R.
218. See Gilb. Uses, 150; 2 Bulst. 188; Co. tit. 132; Jenk. Cent. 250; 1 Keble,
398; Prest. on Convey. 140. Vide Death, civil.
CIVIL LAW. The municipal code of the Romans is so called. It is a rule
of action, adopted by mankind in a state of society. It denotes also the
municipal law of the land. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 11. See Law, civil.
CIVIL LIST. The sum which is yearly paid by the state to its monarch,
and the domains of which he is suffered to have the enjoyment.
CIVIL OBLIGATION, Civil law. One which binds in law, vinculum juris,
and which may be enforeed in a court of justice. Poth. Obl. 173, and 191. See
CIVIL OFFICER. The constitution of the United States, art. 2, s. 4,
provides, that the president, vice-president, and civil officers of the United
States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of
treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. By this term
areincluded all officers of the United States who hold their appointments under
the national government, whether their duties are executive or judicial, in the
highest or the lowest departments; of the government, with the exception of
officers of the army and navy. Rawle on the Const. 213; 2 Story, Const. 790; a
senator of the United States, it was decided, was not a civil officer, within
the meaning of this clause in the constitution. Senate Journals, 10th January,
1799; 4 Tuck. Bl. Com. Appx. 57, 58; Rawle, Const. 213; Serg. on Const. Law,
376; Story, Const. 791.
CIVIL REMEDY, practice. This term is used in opposition to the remedy
given by indictment in a criminal case, and signifies the remedy which the law
gives to the party against the offender.
2. In cases of treason and felony, the law,, for wise purposes, suspends this
remedy in order to promote the public interest, until the wrongdoer shall have
been prosecuted for the public wrong. 1 Miles, Rep. 316-17; 12 East, 409; R. T.
H. 359; 1 Hale's P. C. 546; 2 T. R. 751, 756; 17 Ves. 329; 4 Bl. Com. 363; Bac.
Ab. Trepass, E 2; and Trover, D. This principle has been adopted in New
Hampshire N. H. R. 239; but changed in New York by statutory provision; 2 Rev.
Stat. 292, 2 and by decisions in Massachusetts, except perhaps in felonies
punishable with death; 15 Mass. R. 333; in Ohio; 4 Ohio R. 377; in North
Carolina; 1 Tayl. R. 58. By the common law, in cases of homicide, the civil
remedy is merged in the felony. 1 Chit. Pr. 10. Vide art. Injuries; Merger.
CIVIL STATE. The union of individual men in civil society under a
system of laws and a magistracy, or magistracies, charged with the
administration of the laws. It is a fundamental law of the civil state, that no
member of it shall undertake to redress or avenge any violation of his rights,
by another person, but appeal to the constituted authorities for that purpose,
in all cases in which is is possible for him to do so. Hence the citizens are
justly considered as being under the safeguard of the law. 1 Toull. n. 201. Vide
CIVILIAN. A doctor, professor, or student of the civil law.
CIVILITER. Civilly; opposed to criminaliter or criminally.
2. When a person does an unlawful act injurious to another, whether with or
without an intention to commit a tort, he is responsible civiliter. In order to
make him liable criminaliter, he must have intended to do the wrong; for it is a
maxim, actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea. 2 East, 104.
CIVILITER MORTUUS. Civilly dead; one who is considered as if he were
naturally dead, go far as his rights are concerned.
CLAIM. A claim is a challenge of the ownership of a thing which a man
has not in possession, and is wrongfully withheld by another. Plowd. 359; Wee i
Dall.444; 12 S. & R. 179.
2. In Pennsylvania, the entry on of the demand of a mechanic or materialman
for work done or material furnished in the erection of a building, in those
counties to which the lien laws extend, is called a claim.
3. A continual c1aim is a claim made in a particular way, to preserve the'
rights of a feoffee. See Continual claim.
4. Claim of conusance is defined to be an intervention by a third person,
demanding jurisdiction of a cause against a plaintiff, who has chosen to
commence his action out of the claimant's court. 2 Wils. 409; 1 Cit. Pb. 403;
Vin. Ab. Conusance; Com. Dig. Courts, P; Bac. Ab. Courts, D 3; 3 Bl. Com.
CLAIMANT. In the courts of admiralty, when the suit is in rem, the
cause is entitled in the Dame of the libellant against the thing libelled, as A
B v. Ten cases of calico and it preserves that title through the whole progress
of the suit.When a person is authorized and admitted to defend the libel, he is
called the claimant. The United States v. 1960 bags of coffee; 8 Cranch, R. 398;
United States v. The Mars; 8 Cranch, R. 417; 30 hhds. of sugar, (Brentzon,
claimant, v. Boyle. 9 Cranch, R. 191.
CLANDESTINE. That which is done in secret and contrary to law.
2.Generally a clandestine act in case of the limitation of actions will
prevent the act from running. A clandestine marriage is one which has been
contracted without the form which the law has prescribed for this important
contract. Alis. Princ. 543
CLARENDON. The constitutions of Clarendon were certain statutes made
in the reign of Henry H., of England, in a parliament holden at Clarendon, by
which the king cheeked the power of the pope and his clergy. 4 Bl. Com. 415.
CLASS. The order according to which are arranged or distributed, or
are supposed to be arranged or distributed, divers persons or things; thus we
say, a class of legatees.
2. When a legacy is given to a class of individuals, all who answer the
description at the time the will takes effect, are entitled; and though the
expression be in the plural, yet if there be but one, he shall take the whole. 3
M'Cord, Ch. R. 440.
3. When a bond is given to a class of persons, it is good, and all composing
that class are entitled to sue upon it; but if the obligor be a member of such
class, the bond is void, because a man cannot be obligor and obligee at the
same-time; as, if a bond be given to the justices of the county court, and at
the time the obligor is himself one of said justices. 3 Dev. 284, 287,289; 4
4. When a charge is made against a class of society, a profession, an order
or body of men, and cannot possibly import a personal application to private
injury, no action lies; but if any one of the class have sustained special
damages inconsequence of such charge, he may maintain an action. 17 Wend. 52,
23, 186. See 12 John. 475. When the charge is against one of a class, without
designating which, no action lies; as, where three persons had been examined as
witnesses, and the defendant said in addressing himself to them, " one of you
three is perjured." 1 Roll. Ab. 81; Cro. Jac. 107; 16 Pick. 132.
CLAUSE, contracts. A particular disposition which makes part of a
treaty; of an act of the legislature; of a deed, written agreement, or other
written contract or will. When a clause is obscurely written, it ought to be
construed in such a way as to agree with what precedes and what follows, if
possible. Vide Dig. 50, 17, 77; Construction; Interpretation.
CLAUSUM FREGIT, torts, remedies. He broke the close. These words are
used in a writ for an action of trespass to real estate, the defendant being
summonedto answer quare clausum fregit, that is, why he broke the close of the
plaintiff. 3 Bl. Com. 209.
2. Trespass quare clausum fregit lies for every unlawful intrusion into land,
whether enclosed or not, though only grass may be trodden. 1 Dev. & Bat.
371. And to maintain this action there must be a possession in the plaintiff,
and a right to that possession.9 Cowen 39; 4 Yeates, 418; 11 Conn. 60, 10 Conn.
225; 1 John. 511; 12 John. 1834 Watts, 377; 4 Bibb, 218; 15 Pick. 32; 6 Rand.
556; 2 Yeates, 210; 1 Har. & John. 295; 8 Mass. 411.
CLEARANCE, com. law. The name of a certificate given by the collector
of a port, in which is stated the master or commander (naming him) of a ship or
vessel named and described, bound for a port, named, and having on board goods
described, has entered and cleared his ship or vessel according to law.
2. The Act of Congress of 2d March, 1790, section 93, directs, that the
master of any vessel bound to a foreign place, shall deliver to the collector of
the dis ot from which such vessel shall be about to depart, a manifest of all
the cargo on board, and the value thereof, by him subscribed, and shall swear or
affirm to the truth thereof; whereupon the collector shall grant a clearance for
such vessel and her cargo; but without specifying the particulars thereof in
such clearance, unless required by the master so to do. And if any vessel bound
to any foreign place shall depart on her voyage to such foreign place, without
delivering such a manifest and obtaining a clearance, the master shall forfeit
and pay the sum of five hundred dollars for every such offence. Provided,
anything to the contrary notwithstanding, the collectors and other officers of
the customs shall pay due regard to the inspection laws of the states in which
they respectively act, in such manner, that no vessel having on board goods
liable to inspection, shall be cleared out, until the master or other person
shall have produced such certificate, that all such goods have been duly
inspected, as the laws of the respective states do or may require, to be
produced to the collector or other officer of the customs. And provided, that
receipts for the payment of all legal fees which shall have accrued on any
vessel, shall, before any clearance is granted, be produced to the collector or
other officer aforesaid .
3. According to Boulay-Paty, Dr. Com. tome 2, p. 19, the clearance is
imperiously demanded for the safety of the vessel; for if a vessel should be
found without it at sea, it may be legally taken and brought into some port for
adjudication, on a charge of priacy. Vide Ship's papers.
CLEARING HOUSE, com. law. Among the English bankers, the clearing
house is a place in Lombard street, in London, where the bankers of that city
daily settle with each other the balances which they owe, or to which they are
entitled. Desks are placed around the room, one of which is appropriated to each
bankiug house, and they are: occupied in alphabetical order. Each clerk has a
box or drawer along side of him, and the name of the house he represents is
inscribed over his head. A clerk of each house comes in about half-past three
o'clock in the afternoon, and brings the drafts or cheeks on the other bankers,
which have been paid by his house that day, and deposits thein in their proper
drawers. The clerk at the desk credits their accounts separately which they have
against him, as found in the drawer. Balances are thus struck from all the
accounts, and the claims transferred from one to another, until they are so
wound up and cancelled, that each clerk has only to settle with two or three
others, and the balances are immediately paid. When drafts are paid at so late
an hour that they cannot be cleared that day, they are sent to the houses on
which they are drawn, to be marked, that is, a memorandum is made on them, and
they are to be cleared the next day. See Gilbert's Practical Treatise on
Banking, pp. 16-20, Babbage on the Economy of Machines, n. 173, 174; Kelly's
Cambist; Byles, on Bills, 106, 110; Pulling's Laws and Customs of London,
CLEMENCY. The disposition to treat with leniency. See Mercy;
CLEMENTINES, eccl. law. The name usually given to the collection of
decretals or constitutious of Pope Clement V., which was made by order of John
XXII. his successor, who published it in 1317. The death of Clement V., which
happened in 1314, prevented him from publishing this collection, which is
properly a compilation, as well of the epistles and constitutions of this pope,
as of the decrees of the council of Vienna, over which he presided. The
Clementines are divided in five books, in which the matter is distributed nearly
upon the same plan as the Decretals of Gregory IX. VideLa Bibliotheque des
auteurs ecclesiastiques, par Dupin.
CLERGY. All who are attached to the ecclesiastical ministry are called
the clergy; a clergyman is therefore an ecclesiastical minister.
2. Clergymen were exempted by the emperor Constantine from all civil burdens.
Baronius ad ann. 319, 30. Lord Coke says, 2 Inst. 3, ecclesiastical persons have
more and greater liberties than other of the king's subjects, wherein to set
down all, would take up a whole volume of itself.
3. In the United States the clergy is not established by law, but each
congregation or church may choose its own clergyman.
CLERICAL ERROR. An error made by a clerk in transcribing or otherwise.
This is always readily corrected by the court. 2. An error, for example, in the
teste of a fi. fa.; 4 Yeates, 185, 205; or in the teste and return of a vend.
exp.; 1 Dall. 197 or in writing Dowell forMcDowell. 1 Serg. & R. 120; 8 Rep.
162 a; 9 Serg. & R. 284, 5. An error is amendable where there is something
to amend by, and this even in a criminal case. 2 Bin. 5-16; 5 Burr. 2667; 1 Bin.
367-9; Dougl. 377; Cowp. 408. For the party ought not to be harmed by the
omission of the clerk; 3 Bin. 102; even of his signature, if he affixes the
seal. 1 Serg. & R. 97.
CLERK, commerce, contract. A person in the employ of a merchant, who
attends only to a part of his business, while the merchant himself superintends
the whole. He differs from a factor in this, that the latter wholly supplies the
place of his principal in respect to the property consigned to him. Pard. Dr.
Com. n. 38, 1 Chit. Pract. 80; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1287.
CLERK, officer. A person employed in an office, public or private, for
keeping records or accounts. His business is to write or register, in proper
form, the transactions of the tribunal or body to which he belongs. Some clerks,
however, have little or no writing to do in their offices, as, the clerk of the
market, whose duties are confined chiefly to superintending the markets. In the
English law, clerk also signifies a clergyman.
CLERK, eccl. law. Every individual, who is attached to the
ecclesiastical state, and who has submitted to the ceremony of the tonsure, is a
CLIENT, practice. One who employs and retains an attorney or
counsellor to manage or defend a suit or action in which he is a party, or to
advise him about some legal matters.
2. The duties of the client towards his counsel are, 1st. to give him a
written authority, 1 Ch. Pr. l9; 2. to disclose his case with perfect candor3.
to offer spontaneously, advances of money to his attorney; 2 Ch. Pr. 27; 4. he
should, at the end of the suit, promptly pay his attorney his fees. Ib. His
rights are, 1. to be diligently served in the management of his business 2. to
be informed of its progress and, 3. that his counsel shall not disclose what has
been professionally confided to him. See Attorney at law; Confidential
CLOSE. Signifies the interest in the soil, and not merely a close or
enclosure in the common acceptation of the term. Doct. & Stud. 307 East, 207
2 Stra. 1004; 6 East, 1541 Burr. 133 1 Ch. R. 160.
2. In every case where one man has a right to exclude another from his land,
the law encircles it, if not already enclosed, with an imaginary fence; and
entitles him to a compensation in damages for the injury he sustains by the act
of another passing through his boundary, denominating the injurious act a breach
of the enclosure. Hamm. N. P. 151; Doct. & Stud. dial. 1, c. 8, p. 30; 2
3. An ejectment will not lie for a close. 11 Rep. 55; 1 Rolle's R. 55 Salk.
254 Cro. Eliz. 235; Adams on Eject. 24.
CLOSE ROLLS, or close writs, Eng. law. Writs containing, grants from
the crown, to particular persons, and for particular purposes, and, not being
intended for public inspection, are closed up and sealed on the outside, and for
that reason called close writs ,in contradistinction. to grants relating to the
public in general, which are left open and not sealed up, and are called letters
patent. (q. v.) 2 Bl. Com. 346.
CLOSED DOORS. Signifies that something is done privately. The senate
sits with closed doors on executive business.
2. In general the legislative business of the country is transacted openly.
And the constitution and laws require that courts of justice shall be open to
CLUB. An association of persons.It differs from a partnersbip in this,
that the members of a club have no authority to bind each other further than
they are authorized, either expressly or by implication, as each other's agents
in the particular transaction; whereas in trading associations, or common
partnerships, one partner may bind his co-partners, as each has a right of
property in the whole. 2 Mees. & Welsb. 172; Colly, Partn. 31; Story, Partn.
144; Wordsworth on Joint Stock Companies, 154, et seq.; 6 W. & S. 67; 3, W.
& S. 118.
CO. A prefix or particle in the nature of an inseparable proposition,
signifying with or in conjunction. Con and the Latin cum are equivalent, as,
co-executors, co-obligor. It is also used as an abbreviation for company as,
John Smith & Co.
COADJUTOR, eccl. law. A fellow helper or assistant; particularly
applied to the assistant of a bishop.
COAL NOTE, Eng. law. A species of promissory note authorized by the
st. 3 Geo. H., c. 26, SSSS 7 and 8, which, having these words expressed therein,
namely, " value received in coals," are to be protected and noted as inland
bills of exchange.
COALITION, French law. By this word is understood an unlawful
agreement among several persons, not to do a thing except on some conditions
2. The most usual coalitions are, 1st. those which take place among master
workmen, to reduce, diminish or fix at a low rate the wages of journeymen and
other workmen; 2d. those among workmen or journeymen, not to work except at a
certain price. These offences are punished by fine and imprisonment. Dict. de
Police, h. t. In our law this offence is known by the name of conspiracy. (q.
CO-ADMINISTRATOR. One of several administrators. In general, they
have, like executors, the power to act singly to the personal estate of the
intestate. Vide Administrator.
CO-ASSIGNEE. One who is assignee with another.
2. In general, the rights and duties of co-assignees are equal.
CO-EXECUTOR. One who is executor of a will in company with another. In
general each co-executor has the full power over the personal estate of the
testator, that all the executors have jointly. Vide Joint Executors. But one
cannot bring suit without joining with the others.
COAST. The margin of a country bounded by the sea. This term includes
the natural appendages of the territory which rise out of the water, although
they are not of sufficient firmness to be inhabited or fortified. Shoals
perpetually covered with water are not, however, comprehended under the name of
coast. The small islands, situate at the mouth of the Mississippi, composed of
earth and trees drifted down by the river, which are not of consistency enough
to support the purposes of life, and are uninhabited, though resorted to for
shooting birds, were held to form a part of the coast. 5 Rob. Adm. R. 385.
COCKET, commerce. In England the office at the custom house, where the
goods to be exported are entered, is so called, also the custom house seal, or
the parchment sealed and delivered by the officers of customs to merchants, as a
warrant that their goods are customed. Crabbe's Tech. Dict.
COCKETTUM, commerce. In the English law this word signifies, 1. the
custom- house seal; 2. the office at the custom where cockers are to be
procured. Crabbe's Tech. Dict.
CODE, legislation. Signifies in general a collection of laws. It is a
name given by way of eminence to a collection of such laws made by the
legislature. Among the most noted may be mentioned the following:
CODES, Les Cing Codes; French law. The five codes.
2. These codes are, 1st. Code Civil, which is divided into three books; book
1, treats of persons, and of the enjoyment and privation of civil rights; book
2, of property and its different modifications; book 3, of the different ways of
acquiring property. One of the most perspicuous and able, commentators on this
code is Toullier, frequently citedin this work.
3. - 2d. Code de procedure civille, which is divided into two parts. Part 1,
is divided into five books; 1. of justices of the. peace; 2. of inferior
tribunals; 3. of royal courts; 4. of extraordinary means of proceeding; 5. of
execution and judgment. Part 2, is divided into three books; 1. of tender and
consignation; 2. of process in relation to the opening of a succession; 3. of
4. - 3d. Code de Commerce, in four books; 1. of commerce in general; 2. of
maritime comraerce; 3. of failures and bankruptcy; 4. of commercial
jurisdiction. Pardessus is one of the ablest commentators on this code.
5. - 4th. Code d'Instructions Criminelle, in two books; 1. of judiciary
police, and its officers; 2. of the administration of justice.
6.-5th. Code Penal, in four books; 1. of punishment in criminal and
correctional cases, and their effects; 2. of the persons punishable, excusable
or responsible, for their crimes or misdemeanors; 3. of crimes, misdemeanors,
(delits,) and their punishment; 4. of contraventions of police, and their
punishment. For the history of these codes, vide Merl. Rep. h. t.; Motifs,
Rapports, Opinions et Discours sur les Codes; Encyclop. Amer. h. t.
7. Henrion de Pansey, late a president of the Court of Cassation, remarks in
reference to these codes: "In the midst of the innovations of these later times,
a system of uniformity has suddenly engrossed all minds, and we have had imposed
upon us the same weights, the same measures, the same laws, civil, criminal,
rural and commercial. These new codes, like everything which comes from the hand
of man, have imperfections and obscurities. The administration of them is
committed to nearly thirty sovereign courts and a multitude of petty tribunals,
composed of only three judges, and yet are invested with the right of
determining in the last resort, under many circumstances. Each tribunal, the
natural interpreter of these laws, applies them according to its own view, and
the new codes were scarcely in operation before this beautiful system of
uniformity became nothing more than a vain theory. Authorite Judiciaire, c. 31,
CODE HENRI. A digest of the laws of Hayti, enacted by Henri, king of
Hayti. It is based upon the Code Napoleon, but not servilely copied. It is said
to be judiciously adapted to the situation of Hayti. A collection of laws made
by order of Henry III of France, is also known by the name of Code Henri.
CODE, JUSTINIAN, civil law. A collection of the constitutions of the
emperors, from Adrian to Justinian; the greater part of those from Adrian to
Constantine are mere rescripts; those from Constantine to Justinian are edicts
or laws, properly speaking.
2. The code is divided into twelve books, which are subdivided into titles,
in which the constitutions are collected under proper heads. They are placed in
chronological order, but often disjointed. At the head of each constitution is
placed the name of the emperor who is the author, and that of the person to whom
it is addressed. The date is at the end. Several of these constitutions, which
were formerly in the code were lost, it is supposed by the neglect of "copyists.
Some of them have been restored by modern authors, among whom may be mentioned
Charondas, Cugas, and Contius, who translated them from Greek, versions.
CODE, OF LOUISIANA. In 1822, Peter Derbigny, Edward Livingston, and
Moreau Lislet, were selected by the legislature to revise and amend the civil
code, and to add to it sucb laws still in force as were not included therein.
They were authorized to add a system of commercial law, and a code of practice.
The code they prepared having been adopted, was promulgated in 1824, under the
title of the " Civil Code of the State of Louisiana."
2. The code is based on the Code Napoleon, with proper and judicious
modifications, suitable for the state of Louisiana. It is composed of three
books: 1. the first treats of persons; 2. the second of tbings, and of the
different modifications of property; 3. and the third of the different modes of
acquiring the property of tbings. It contains 3522 articles, numbered from the
beginning, for the convenience of reference.
3. This code, it is said, contains many inaccurate definitions. The
legislature modified and changed many of the provisions relating to the positive
legislation, but adopted the definitions and abstract doctrines of the code
without material alterations. From this circumstance, as well as from the
inherent difficulty of the subject, the positive provisions of the code are
often at variance with the theoretical part, which was intended to elucidate
them. 13 L. R. 237.
4. This code went into operation on the 20th day of May,. 1825. 11 L. R. 60.
It is in both the French and English languages; and in construing it, it is a
rule that when the expressions used in the French text of the code are more
comprehensive than those used in English, or vice versa, the more enlarged sense
will be taken, as thus full effect will be given to both clauses. 2 N. S.
CODE, NAPOLEON. The Code Civil of France, enacted into law during the
reign of Napoleon, bore his name until the restoration of the Bourbons when it
was deprived of that name, and it is now cited Code Civil.
CODE PAPIRIAN. The name of a collection of the Roman laws, promulgated
by Romulus, Numa, and other kings who governed. Rome till the time of Tarquin,
the Proud. It was so called in honor if Sextus Parrius, the compiler. Dig. 1, 2,
CODE PRUSSIAN. Allgemeines Landrecht. This code is also known by the
name of Codex Fredericianus, or Frederician code. It was compiled by order of
Frederic H., by the minister of justice, Samuel V. Cocceji, who completed, a
part of it before his death, in 1755. In 1780, the work was renewed under the
superintendence of the minister Von Carmer, and prosecuted with unceasing
activity and was published from 1784 to 1788, in six parts. The opinions of
those who understood the subject were requested, and prizes offered on the best
commentaries on it; and the whole was completed in June, 1791, under the title "
General Prussian Code."
CODE THEODOSIAN. This code, which originated in the eastern empire,
was adopted in the Western empire towards its decline. It is a collection of the
legislation of the Christian emperors, from and including Constantine to
Theodosius, the Younger; it is composed of sixteen books, the edicts, acts,
rescripts, and ordinances of the two empires, that of the east and that of the
CO-DEFENDANT. One who is made defendant in an action with another
CODEX. Literally, a volume or roll. It is particularly applied to the
volume of the civil law, collected by the emperor Justinian, from all pleas and
answers of the ancient lawyers, which were in loose scrolls or sheets of
parchment. These he compiled into a book which goes by the name of Codex.
CODICIL, devises. An addition or supplement to a will; it must be
executed with the same solemnities. A codicil is a part of the will, the two
instruments making but one will. 4 Bro. C. C. 55; 2 Ves. sen. 242 4 Ves. 610; 2
Ridgw. Irish P. C. 11, 43.
2. There may be several codicils to one will, and the whole will be taken as
one: the codicil does not, consequently, revoke the will further than it is in
opposition to some of its particular dispositions, unless there be express words
of revocation. 8 Cowen, Rep. 56.,
3. Formerly, the difference between a will and a codicil consisted in this,
that in the former an executor was named, while in the latter none was
appointed. Swinb. part 1, s. 5, pl. 2; Godolph. Leg. part 1, c. 6, s. 2. This is
the distinction of the civil law, and adopted by the canon law. Vide Williams on
Wills, ch. 2; Rob. on Wills, 154, n. 388, 476; Lovelass on Wills, 185, 289 4
Kent, Com. 516; 1 Ves. jr. 407, 497; 3 Ves. jr. 110; 4 Ves. jr. 610; 1 Supp. to
Ves. jr. 116, 140.
4. Codicils were chiefly intended to mitigate the strictness of the ancient
Roman law, which required that a will should be attested by seven Roman
citizens, omni exceptione majores. A legacy could be bequeathed, but the heir
could not be appointed by codicil, though he might be made heir indirectly by
way of fidei commissum.
5. Codicils owe their origin to the following circumstances. Lucius Lentulus,
dying in Africa, left. codicils, confirmed by anticipation in a will of former
date, and in those codicils requested the emperor Augustus, by way of fidei
commissum, or trust, to do something therein expressed. The emperor carried this
will into effect, and the daughter of Lentulus paid legacies which she would not
otherwise have been legally bound to pay. Other persons made similar
fidei-commissa, and then the emperor, by the advice of learned men whom he
consulted, sanctioned the making of codicils, and thus they became clothed with
legal authority. Just. 2, 25; Bowy. Com. 155, 156.
6. The form of devising by codicil is abolished in Louisiana; Code, 1563; and
whether the disposition of the property be made by testament, under this title,
or under that of institution of heir, of legacy, codicil, donation mortis causa,
or under any other name indicating the last will, provided it be clothed with
the forms required for the validity of a testament, it is, as far as form is
concerned, to be considered a testament. Ib. Vide 1 Brown's Civil Law, 292;
Domat, Lois Civ. liv. 4, t. 1, s. 1; Lecons Element, du Dr. Civ. Rom. tit.
COERCION, criminal law, contracts. Constraint; compulsion; force.
2. It is positive or presumed. 1. Positive or direct coercion takes place
when a man is by physical force compelled to do an act contrary to his will; for
example, when a man falls into the hands of the enemies of his country, and they
compel him, by a just fear of death, to fight against it.
3. - 2. It is presumed where a person is legally under subjection to another,
and is induced, in consequence of such subjection, to do an act contrary to his
win. A married woman, for example, is legally under the subjection of her
husband, and if in his company she commit a crime or offence, not malum in se,
(except the offence of keeping a bawdy-house, In which case she is considered by
the policy of the law as a principal, she is presumed to act under this
4. As will (q. v.) is necessary to the commission of a crime, or the making
of a contract, a person coerced into either, has no will on the, subject, and is
not responsible. Vide Roscoe's Cr. Ev. 7 85, and the cases there cited; 2 Stark.
Ev. 705, as to what will, amount to coercion in criminal cases.
CO-EXECUTOR. One who is executor with another.
2. In general, the rights and duties of co-executors are equal.
COGNATION, civil law. Signifies generally the kindred which exists
between two persons who are united by ties of blood or family, or both.
2. Cognation is of -three kinds: natural, civil, or mixed. Natural cognation
is that which is alone formed by ties of blood; such is the kindred of those who
owe their origin to an illicit connexion, either in relation to their ascendants
3. Civil cognation is that which proceeds alone from the ties of families as
the kindred between the adopted father and the adopted child.
4. Mixed cognation is that which unites at the same time the ties of blood
and family, as that which exists between brothers, the issue of the same lawful
marriage. 6; Dig. 38, 10.
COGNATI, cognates. This term occurs frequently in the Roman civil law,
and denotes collateral heirs through females. It is not used in the civil law as
it now prevails in France. In the common law it has no technical sense, but as a
word of discourse in English it signifies, generally, allied by blood, related
in origin, of the same family. See Vicat, ad verb.; also, Biret's
COGNISANCE, pleading. Where the defendant in an action of replevin
(not being entitled to the distress or goods which are the subject of the
replevin) acknowledges the taking of the distress, and insists that such taking
was legal, not because he himself had a right to distrain on his own account,
but because he made the distress by the command of another, who had a right to
distrain on the goods which are the subject of the suit. Lawes on Pl. 35, 36; 4
Bouv. Inst. n. 3571.
COGNISANCE, practice. Sometimes signifies jurisdiction and juudicial
power, an sometimes the hearing of a matter judicially. It is a term used in the
acknowledgment of a fine. See Vaughan's Rep. 207.
COGNISANCE OF PLEAS, Eng. law. A privilege granted by the king to a
city or town, to hold pleas within the same; and when any one is impleaded in
the courts at Westminster, the owner of the franchise may demand cognisance of
the plea. T. de la Ley.
COGNISEE. He to whom a fine of lands, &c. is acknowledged. See
COGNISOR, English law. One who passes or acknowledges,a fine of lands
or tenements to another, in distinction from the cogzisee, to whom the fine of
the lands, &c. is acknowledged.
COGNITIONIBUS ADMITTENDIS, English law, practice. A writ to a justice
,or other person, who has power to take a fine, and having taken the
acknowledgment of a fine, delays to certify it in the court of common pleas,
requiring him to do it. Crabbe's Tech. Dict.
COGNOMEN. A Latin word, which signifies a family name. The praenomen
among the Romans distinguished the person, the nomen, the gens, or all the
kindred descended from a remote common stock through males, while the cognomen
denoted the particular family. The agnomen was added on account of some
particular event, as a further distinction. Thus, in the designation Publius
Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Publius is the proenomen, Cornelius is the nomen,
Scipio the cognomen, and Africanus the agnomen. Vicat. These several terms occur
frequently in the Roman laws. See Cas. temp. Hardw. 286; 1 Tayl. 148. See Name;
COGNOVIT, contr. leading. A written confession of an action by a
defendant, subscribed but not sealed, and authorizing the plaintiff to sign
judgment and issue execution, usually for a sum named.
2. It is given after the action is brought to save expense.
3. It differs from a warrant of attorney, which is given before the
commencement of any action, and is under seal. A cognovit actionem is an
acknowledgment and confession of the plaintiff's cause of action against the
defendant to be just and true. Vide 3 Ch. Pr. 664; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 8299.