CREDIT, common law, contracts. The ability to borrow, on the opinion
conceived by the lender that he will be repaid. This definition includes the
effect and the immediate cause of credit. The debt due in consequence of such a
contract is also called a credit; as, administrator of an the goods, chattels,
effects and credits, &c.
2. The time extended for the payment of goods sold, is also called a credit;
as, the goods were sold at six months credit.
3. In commercial law, credit is understood as opposed to debit; credit is
what is due to a merchant, debit, what is due by him
4. According to M. Duvergier, credit also signifies that influence acquired
by intrigue connected with certain social positions. 20 Toull. n. 19. This last
species of credit is not, of such value as to be the object of commerce. Vide
generally, 5 Taunt. R. 338.
CREDITOR, persons, contracts. A creditor is he who has a right to
require the fulfilment of an obligation. or contract.
2. Creditors may; be divided into personal and real.
3. The former are so called, because their claims are mainly against the
person, who can reach the property of their debtors only by; virtue of the
general rule by which he who has become personally obligated, is bound to fulfil
his engagements, with all his property acquired and to be acquired, Which is a
common guaranty for all his creditors.
4. The latter are called real, because they have mortgages or other
securities binding on the real estates of their debtors.
5. It is proper to state that personal creditors may be divided into two
classes first, those who have a right on all the property of their debtors,
without considering the origin, or the nature of their claims; secondly, those
who, in consequence of some provision of law, are entitled to some special
prerogative, either in the manner of recovery, or in the rank they are to hold
among creditors; these are entitled to preference. As an example, may be
mentioned the case of the United State; when they are creditors, they have
always a preforenee in case of insolvent estates.
6. A creditor sometimes becomes so, unknown to his debtor, as is the case
when the former receives an assignment of commercial; paper, the title to
recover which may be conveyed either by endorsement, or, in some cases, by mere
delivery. But in general it is essential there should be a privity of contract
between the parties. Vide, generally, 7 Vin. Ab. 42; 3 Com. Dig. 343; 8 Com.
Dig. 388; 1 Supp. to Ves. Jr. 302 2 Sup. to Ves. Jr. 305 Code, 7, 72, 6; Id. 8,
18; Dig 42, 6, 17; Nov. 97 ch. t3 Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
CREEK, mar. law. Creeks are of two kinds, viz. creeks of the sea and
creeks of ports. The former sorts are such little inlets of the sea whether
within the precinct or extent of a, port or without, which are narrow rittl6
passages@ and-have shore on either side of them. The latter, Viz. breeks of
ports, are by a kind of civil denomination such. They are such, that though
possibly for their extent and. situation they might be ports, yet they are
either members of or dependent upon other ports. In England it began thus: the
king, could not conveniently have a customer and comptroller in every port or
haven. But these custom officers were fixed at some eminent port; and the
smaller adjacent ports became by that means creeks, or appendants. of that where
these custom officers were placed. 1 Chit. Com. Law, 726; Hale's Tract. de
Portibus Maris, part 2, c. 1, vol. 1, p. 46; Com. Dig. Navigation, C; Callis,
2. In a more popular sense, creek signifies a small stream, less than a
river. 12 Pick. R. 184,
CRETION, civil law.. The acceptance of a succession. Cretion was an
act made before a magistrate, by which an instituted heir, who was required to
accept of the succession within a certain time, declares within that time that
he accepted the suecession. Clef cles Lois Rom. h. t.
2. Cretion is also used to signify the term during which the heir is allowed
to make his election to take or not to take the inheritance. It is so called,
because the heir is allowed to see, cernere, examine, and decide. Gaii, lust.
lib. 2, 164.
CREW. Those persons who are employed in the navigation of a
2. A vessel to be seaworthy must have a sufficient crew. 1 Caines, R. 32; 1
John. R. 184.
3. In general, the master or captain (q.v.) has the selection of the crew.
Vide Muster roll; Seaman; Ship; Shipping articles.
CRIB-BITING. A defect in horses, which consists in biting the crib
while in the stable. This is not, considered as a breach of general warranty of
soundness. Holt's Cas. 630.
CRIER. An inferior officer of a court, whose duty it is to open and
adjourn the court, when ordered by the judges; to make proclamations and obey
the directions of the court in anything which concerns the administration of
CRIME. A crime is an offence against a public law. This word, in its
most general signification, comprehends all offences but, in its limited sense,
it is confined to felony. 1 Chitty, Gen. Pr. 14.
2. The term misdemeanor includes every offence inferior to felony, but
punishable by indictment or by-particular prescribed proceedings.
3. The term offence, also, may be considered as, having the same meaning, but
is usually, by itself, understood to be a crime not indictable but punishable,
summarily, or by the forfeiture of, a penalty. Burn's Just. Misdemeanor.
4. Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law. Most
common law offences are as well known, and as precisely ascertained, as those
which are defined by statutes; yet, from the difficulty of exactly defining and
describing every act which ought to be punished, the vital and preserving
principle has been adopted, that all immoral acts which tend to the prejudice of
the community are punishable by courts of justice. 2 Swift's Dig.
5. Crimes are mala in se, or bad in themselves; and these include. all
offences against the moral law; or they are mala prohibita, bad because
prohibited, as being against sound policy; which, unless prohibited, would be
innocent or indifferent. Crimes may be classed into such as affect:
6.- 1. Religion and public worship: viz. blasphemy, disturbing public
7. - 2. The sovereign power: treason, misprision of treason.
8. - 3. The current coin: as counterfeiting or impairing it.
9. - 4. Public justice: 1. Bribery of judges or jurors, or receiving the
bribe. 2. Perjury. 3. Prison breaking. 4. Rescue. 5. Barratry. 6. Maintenance.
7. Champerty. 8. Compounding felonies. 9. Misprision of felonies. 10.
6ppression. 11. Extortion. 12. Suppressing evidence. 13. Negligence or
misconduct in inferior officers. 14. Obstructing legal process. 15.
10. - 5. Public peace. 1. Challenges to fight a duel. 2. Riots, routs and
unlawful assemblies. 3. Affrays. 4. Libels. 11. - 6. Public trade. 1. Cheats. 2.
Forestalling. S. Regrating. 4. Engross- ing. 5. Monopolies.
12. - 7. Chastity. 1. Sodomy. 2. Adultery. 3. Incest. 4. Bigamy. 5.
13. - 8. Decency and morality. 1. Public indecency. 2. Drunkenness. 3.
Violatiug the grave.
14. - 9. Public police and economy. 1. Common nuisances. 2. Keeping
disorderly houses and bawdy houses. 3. Idleness, vagrancy, and beggary.
15. - 10. Public. policy. 1. Gambling. 2. Illegal lotteries.
16. - 11. Individuals. 1. Homicide, which is justifiable, excusable or
2. Mayhem. 3. Rape. 4. Poisoning, with intent to murder. 5. Administering
drugs to a woman quick with child to cause, miscarriage. 6. Concealing death of
7. Assault and battery, which is either simple or with intent to commit some
other crime. 8. kidnapping. 9. False imprisonment. 10. Abduction.
17. - 12. Private property. 1. Burglary. 2. Arson. 3. Robbery. 4., Forgery.
Counterfeiting. 6. Larceny. 7. Receiving stolen goods, knowing them to have been
stolen, or theft-bote. 8. Malicious mischief. 18. - 13. The public, individuals,
or their property, according to the intent of the criminal. 1. Conspiracy.
CRIME AGAINST NATURE. Sodomy. It is a crime not fit to be named;
peccatum horribile, inter christianos non nominandum. 4 Bl. Com. 214. See
CRIMEN FALSI, civil law, crime. It is a fraudulent alteration, or
forgery, to conceal or alter the truth, to the prejudice of another. This crime
may, be committed in three ways, namely: 1. By forgery. 2. By false declarations
or false oath, perjury. 3. By acts; as, by dealing with false weights and
measures, by altering the current coin, by making false keys, and the like. Vide
Dig. 48, 10, 22; Dig. 34, 8 2; Code, lib. 9, t. 22, 1. 2, 5, 9. 11, 16, 17, 23,
and 24; Merl. Rep. h. t.; 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 426; 1 Phil. Ev. 26; 2 Stark. Ev.
2. What is understood by this, term in the common law, is not very clearly
defined. Peake's Ev. 133; 1 Phil. Ev. 24; 2 Stark. Ev. 715. It extends to
forgery, perjury, subornation of perjury, suppression of testimony by bribery,
and conspiracy to convict of perjury. See 12 Mod. 209; 2 S. & R. 552; 1
Greenl. Ev. 373; and article Faux.
CRIMINAL. Relating to, or having the character of crime; as, criminal
law, criminal conversation, &c. It also signifies a person convicted of a
CRIMINAL CONVERSATION, crim. law. This phrase is usually employed to
denote the crime of adultery. It is abbreviated crim. con. Bac. Ab. Marriage, E
2; 4 Blackf. R. 157.
2. The remedy for criminal conversation is, by an action on the case for
damages. That the plaintiff connived, or assented to, his wife's infidelity, or
that he prostituted her for gain, is a complete answer to the action. See
Connivance. But the facts that the wife's character for chastity was bad before
the plaintiff married her; that he lived with her after he knew of the criminal
intimacy with the defendant; that he had connived at her intimacy with other
men;, or that the plaintiff had been false to his wife, only go in mitigation of
damages. 4 N. Hamp. R. 501.
3. The wife cannot maintain an action for criminal conversation with her
hushand; and for this, among other reasons, because her hushand, who is
particeps criminis, must be joined with her as plaintiff.
CRIMINAL LETTERS. An instrument in Scotland, which contains the
charges against a person accused of a crime. Criminal letters differ from an
indictment, in that the former are not, like an indictment, the mere statement
of the prosecutor, but sanctioned by a judge. Burt. Man. Pub. L. 301, 302.
CRIMINALITER. Criminally; opposed to civiliter, civilly.
2. When a person commits a wrong to the injury of another, he is answerable
for it civiliter, whatever may have been his intent; but, unless his intent has
been unlawful the is not answerable criminaliter. 1 East, 104.
TO CRIMINATE. To accuse of a crime; to admit having committed a crime
2. It is a rule, that a witness cannot be compelled to answer any question
which has a tendency to expose him to a penalty, or to any kind of punishment,
or to a criminal charge. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3209-12; 4 St. Tr. 6; 10 How. St. Tr.@
1096; 6 St. Tr. 649; 16 How. St. Tr. 1149; 2 DougI. R. 593; 2 Ld. Raym. 1088; 24
How. St. Tr. 720; 16 Ves. jr. 242; 2 Swanst. Ch. R. 216; 1 Cranch. R. 144; 2
Yerg. R. 110 5 Day, Rep. 260; I Carr., & Payne, 11 2 Nott & M'C. 13; 6
Cowen, Rep. 254; 2 Peak. N. P. C. 106; 1 John. R. 498; 12 S. & R. 284; 8
3. An accomplice, admitted to give evidence against his associates in guilt,
is bound to make a full and fair confession of the whole truth respecting the
subject-matter of the prosecution; but he is not bound to answer with respect to
his share in other offences, in which he was not concerned with the prisoner. 9
Cowen, R. 721, note (a); 2 Carr. & Payne, 411. Vide Disgrace,; Witness;
CRIMINATOIN. The act by which a party accused, is proved to be
2. It is a rule, founded in common sense, that no one is bound to criminate
himself. A witness may refuse to answer a question, when the answer would
criminate him, and subject him to punishment. And a party in equity is not bound
to answer a bill, when the answer would form a step in the prosecution. Coop.
Eq. Pl. 204; Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 194; Story, Eq,. Pl. 591; 14 Ves. 59.
CRITICISM. The art of judging skilfully of the merits or beauties,
defects or faults of a literary or scientific performance, or of a production of
art; when the criticism is reduced to writing, the writing itself is called a
2. Liberty of criticism must be allowed, or there would be neither purity of
taste nor of morals. Fair discussion, is essentially necessary to, the truth of
history and advancement of scienc. That publication therefore, is not a libel,
which has for its object, not to injure the reputation of an individual, but to
correct misrepresentations of facts, to refute sophistical reasoning, to expose
a vicious taste for literature, or to censure what is hostile to morality.
Campb. R. 351-2. As every man who publishes a book commits himself to the
judgment of the public, any one may comment on his performance. If the
commentator does not step aside from the work, or introduce fiction for the
purpose of condemnation, he exercises a fair and legitimate right. And the
critic does a good service to the public who writes down any vapid or useless
publication such as ought never to have appeared; and, although the author may
suffer a loss from it, the law does nto conisder such loss an injury; because it
is a loss which the party ought to sustain. It is the loss of fame and profit,
to which he was never entitled. 1 Campb. R. 358, n. See 1 Esp. N. P. Cas. 28; 2
Stark. Cas. 73; 4 Bing. N. S. 92; S. C. 3 Scott, 340;. 1 M. & M. 44; 1 M.
& M. 187; Cooke on Def. 52.
CROFT, obsolete. A little close adjioning to a dwelling-house, and
enclosed for pasture or arable, or any particular use. Jacob's Law Dict.
CROP. This word is nearly synonymous with emblements. (q. v.),
2. As between the landlord and tenant, the former has a lien; in some of -the
states, upon the crop for the rent, for a limited time, and, if sold on an
execution against the tenant, the purchaser succeds to the liability of the
tenant, for rent and good hushandry, and the crop is still liable to be
distrained. Tenn. St. 1825, c. 21; Misso. St. 377; Del. St. 1829, 366; 1 N. J.
R. C. 187; Atk. Dig. 357; 1 N. Y. R. S. 746; 1 Ky. R. L. 639; 5 Watts, R. 134;
41 Griff. Reg. 671, 404; 1 Hill. Ab. 148, 9; 5 Penn. St. R. 211.
3. A crop is not considered is a part of the real estate, so as to make a
sale of it void, when the contract has not been reduced to writing, within the
statute of frauds. 11 East, 362; 2 M. & S. 205; 5 B. & C. 829; 10 Ad.
& El. 753; 9 B. & C. 561; but see 9 M. & W. 501.
4. If a hushand sow land and die, and the land which was sown is assigned to
the wife for her dower, she shall have the corn, and not the executors of the
hushand. Inst. 81.
CROPPER, contracts. One who, having no interest in the land, works it
in consideration of receiving a portion of the crop for his labor. 2 Rawle, R.
CROSS. contracts. A mark made by persons who are unable to write,
instead of their names.
2. When properly attested, and proved to have been made by the party whose
name is written with the mark, it is generally admitted as evidence of the
CROSS ACTION. An action by a defendant in an action, against the
plaiutiff in the same action, upon the same contract, or for the same tort; as,
if Peter bring an action of trespass against Paul, and Paul bring another action
of trespass against Peter, the subject of the dispute being an assault and
battery, it is evident that Paul could not set off the assault committed upon
him by Peter, in the action which Peter, had brought against him; therefore the
cross action became necessary.
CROSS BILLS, practice. When an individual prosecutes a bill of
indictment against another, and hte defendant procures another bill to be found
against the first prosecutor, the bills so found by the grand jury are called
corss bills. The most usually occur in cases of assault and battery.
2. In chancery practice it is not unusual for parties to file cross bills.
Vide Bill, cross.
CROSS-EXAMINATION, practice. The examination of a witness, by the
party who did not call him, upon matters to which he has been examined in
2. Every party has a right to cross-examine a witness produced by his
antagonist, in order to test whether the witness has the knowledge of the things
he testifies and if, upon examination, it is found that the witness had the
means and ability to ascertain the facts about which he testifies, then his
memory, his motives, everything may be scrutinized by the cross-
3. In cross-examinations a great latitude is allowed in the mode of putting
questions, and the counsel may put leading questions. (q. v.) Vide further on
this subject, and for some rules which limit the abuse of this right, 1 Stark.
Ev,. 96; 1 Phil. Ev. 210; 6 Watts & Serg. 75.
4. The object of a cross-examination is to sift the evidence, and try the
credibility of a witness who has been called and given evidence in chief. It is
one of the principal tests which the law has devised for the ascertainment of
truth, and it is certainly one of the most efficacious. By this means the
situation of the witness, with respect to the parties and the subject of
litigation, his interest, his motives, his inclinations and his prejudices, his
means of obtaining a correct and certain knowledge of the facts to which he
testifies the manner in which he has used those means, his powers of discerning
the facts in the first instance, and of his capacity in retaining and describing
them, are fully investigated and ascertained. The witness, however artful he may
be, will seldom be able to elude the keen perception of an intelligent court or
jury, unless indeed his story be founded on truth. When false, he will be liable
to detection at every step. 1 Stark. Ev. 96; 1 Phil. Ev. 227; Fortese. Rep.
Pref. 2 to 4; Vaugh. R. 143.
5. In order to entitle a party to a cross-examination, the witness must have
been sworn and examined; for, even if the witness be asked a question in chief,
yet if he mahe no answer, the opponent has no right to cross-examine. 1 Cr. M.
& Ros. 95; 1 16 S. & R. 77; Rosc. Cr. Ev. 128; 3 Car. & P. 16; S. C.
14 E. C. L. Rep. 189; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3217. Formerly, however, the rule seems
to have been different. 1 Phil. Ev. 211.
6. A cross-examination of a witness is not always necessary or advisable. A
witness tells the truth wholly or partially, or he tells a falsebood. If he
tells the whole truth, a cross-examination may have the effect of rendering his
testimony more circumstantial, and impressing the jury with a stronger opinion
of its truth. If he tells only a part of the truth, and the part omitted is
favorable to the client of the counsel cross-exaimining, he should direct the
attention of the witness to the matters omitted. If the testimony of the witness
be false, the whole force of the cross-examination should be directed to his
credibility. This is done by questioning him as to his means of knowledge, his
disinterestedness, and other matters calculated to show a want of integrity or
veracity, if there is reason to believe the witness prejudiced, partial, or
wilfully dishonest. Arch. Crim. Pl. 111. See Credible Witness.
CROWN. A covering for the head, commonly used by kings; figuratively,
it signifies royal authority. By pleas of the crown, are understood criminal
CRUELTY. This word has different meanings, as it is applicd to
different things. Cruelty may be, 1. From hushand towards the wife, or vice
versa. 2. From superior towards inferior, 3. From master towards slave. 4. To
animals. These will be separately considered.
2. - 1. Between hushand and wife, those acts which affect the life, the
health, or even the comfort of the party aggrieved, and give a reasonable
apprehension of bodily hurt, are called cruelty. What merely wounds the feelings
is seldom admitted to be cruelty, unless the act be accompanied with bodily
injury, either actual or menaced. Mere austerity of temper, petulance of
manners, rudeness of language, a want of civil attention and accommodation, even
occasional sallies of passion, will not amount to legal cruelty; 17 Conn. 189; a
fortiori, the denial of little indulgences and particular accommodations, which
the delicacy of the world is apt to number among its necessaries, is not
cruelty. The negative descriptions of cruelty are perhaps the best, under the
infinite variety of cases that may occur, by showing what is not cruelty. 1
Hagg. R. 35; S. C. 4 Eccles. R. 311, 312; 2 Hagg. Suppl. 1; S. C. 4 Eccles. R.
238; 1 McCord's Ch. R. 205; 2 J. J. Marsh. R. 324; 2 Chit. Pr. 461, 489; Poynt.
on Mar. & Div. c. 15, p. 208; Shelf. on Mar. & Div. 425; 1 Hagg. Cons.
R. 37, 458; 2 Ragg. Cons. Rep. 154; 1 Phillim. 111, 132; 8 N H. Rep. 307; 3
Mass. 321; 4 Mass. 487. It is to be remarked that exhibitions of passion and
gusts of anger, which would be sufficient to create irreconcilable hatred
between persons educated and trained to respect each other's feelings, would,
with persons of coarse manners and habits, have but a momentary effect. An act
which towards the latter would cause but a momentary difference, would with the
former, be excessive cruelty. 1 Briand Med. Leg. 1 ere part. c. 2, art. 3.
3. - 2. Cruelty towards weak and helpless persons takes place where a party
bound to provide for and protect them, either abuses them by whipping them
unnecessarily, or by neglecting to provide for them those necessaries which
their helpless condition requires. To expose a person of tender years, under a
party's care, to the inclemency of the weather; 2 Campb. 650; or to keep such a
child, unable to provide for himself, without adequate food; 1 Leach, 137; Russ.
& Ry. 20 or an overseer neglecting to provide food and medical care to a
pauper having urgent and immediate occasion for them; Russ. & Ry. 46, 47,
48; are examples of this species of cruelty.
4. - 3. By the civil code of Louisiana, art. 192, it is enacted, that when
the master shall be convicted of cruel treatment of his slave, the judge may
pronounce, besides the penalty established for such cases, that the slave shall
be sold at public auction, in order to place him out of the reach of the power
which his master has abused.
5. - 4. Cruelty to animals is an indictable offence. A defendant was
convicted of a misdemeanor for tying the tongue of a calf so near the root as to
prevent its sucking, in order to sell the cow at a greater price, by giving to
her udder the appearance of being full of milk, while affording the calf all he
needed. 6 Rogers, City Hall Rec. 62. A man may be indicted for cruelly beating
his horse. 3 Rogers, City Rec. 191.
CRUISE, mar. law. A voyage or expedition in quest of vessels or fleets
of the enemy which may be expected to sail through any particular track of the
sea, at a certain season of the year the region in which these cruises are
performed is usually termed the rendezvous or cruising latitude.
2. When the ships employed for this purpose, which are accordingly called
cruisers, have arrived at the destined station, they traverse the sea, backwards
and forwards, under an easy sail, and within a limited space, conjectured to be
in the track of their expected adversaries. Wesk. Ins. h. t.; Lex Merc. Rediv.
271, 284; Dougl. 11. 509; Park. Ins. 58; Marsh. Ins. 196, 199, 520; 2 Gallis.
CRY DE PAYS, OR CRI DE PAIS. Literally, cry of the country. In
England, when a felony has been committed, hue and cry (q. v.) may be raised by
the country, in the absence of the constable. It is then cry de pays. 2 Hale, P.
CRYER, practice. An officer in a court whose duty it is to make
various proclamations ordered by the court.
CUEILLETTE. A term in French maritime law. Affreightment of a vessel a
cueillette, is a contract by which the captain obligates himself to receive a
partial cargo, only upon condition that he shall succeed in completing his cargo
by other partial lading; that is, by gathering it (en recueillant) wherever he
may be able to find it. If he fails to collect a cargo, such partial charterin
is void. Code de Com. par M. Fournel, art. 286, n.
CUI ANTE DIVORTIUM. The name of an ancient writ, which was issued in
favor of a woman divorced from her hushand, to recover the lands and tenements
which she had in fee simple, or in tail, or for life, from him to whom her
hushand alienated them during the marriage, when she could not gainsay it. F. N.
B. 240. Vide Sur cui ante divortium.
CUI IN VITA. The name of a writ of entry for a widow against a person
to whom the hushand had, in his lifetime, aliened the lands of the wife. F. N.
B. 193. This writ was founded sometimes on the stat. 13 Ed. 1. c. 3, and
sometimes on the common law. The object of this statute, was to enable the wife
to avoid a judgment to recover her land which had been rendered on the default
or confession of her hushand. It is now of no use in England, because the stat.
32 H. VIII. c. 28, 6, provides that no act of the hushand, whether fine,
feoffment, or other act of the hushand during coverture, shall prejudice the
wife. Both these statutes are reported as in force in Pennsylvania. 3 Bin. Appx.
See Booth on Real Actions, 186; 6 Rep. 8, 9, Forrers' Case. Still, that part of
the stat. 13 Ed. I. c. 8, which relates to the pleadings and evidence iu such
cases is important if it can be enforced in the modern action of ejectment, viz:
that which requires the tenant of the lands to show his right according to the
form of the writ he sued out against the hushand. See Report of the
Commissioners to revise the Civil Code of Pennsylvania, Jan. 16, 1835, pp. 90,
CUL DE SAC. This is a French phrase, which signifies, literally, the
bottom of a bag, and, figuratively, a street not open at both ends. It seems not
to be settled whether a cul de sac is to be considered a highway. See 1 Campb.
R. 260; 11 East, R. 376, note; 5 Taunt. R. 137; 5 B. & Ald. 456; Hawk. P. C.
b. 1, c. 76, s. 1 Dig. lib. 50, tit. 16, l. 43; Dig. lib. 43, t. 12, l. 13; Dig.
lib. 47, tit. 10, 1. 15, 7.
CULPA. A fault committed without fraud, and this distinguishes it from
dolus, which is a trick to deceive. See Dolus.
CULPRIT, crim. law. When a prisoner is arraigned, and he pleads not
guilty, in the English practice, the clerk, who arraigns him on behalf of the
crown, replies that the prisoner is guilty, and that he is ready to prove the
accusation; this is done by two monosyllables, cul. prit. Vide Abbreviations; 4
Bl. Com. 339; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 416.
CUM PERTINENTIS. With the appurtenances. See Appurtenances.
CUM ONERE. This term is usually employed to show that something is
taken, subject to a charge or burden.
CUM TESTAMENTO ANNEXO. With the testament or will annexed. It often
happens that the deceased, although he makes a will, appoints no executor, or
else the appointment fails; in either of which events he is said to die quasi
intestatus. 2 Inst. 397. The appointment of an executor fails, 1st. When the
person appointed refuses to act. 2d. When the person appointed dies before the
testator, or before he has proved the will, or when, from any other legal cause,
he is incapable of acting. 3d. When the executor dies intestate, (and in some
places, as in Pennsylvania, whether he die testate or intestate,) after having
proved the will, but before he has administered all the personal estate of the
deceased. In all these cases, as well as when no executor has been appointed,
administration, with the will annexed, must be granted by the proper officer. In
the case where the goods are, not all administered before the death of the
executor, the administration is also called an administration de bonis non.
2. The office of such an an administrator differs little from that of an
executor. Vide Com. Dig. Administration; Will. Ex. p. 1, b. 5, c. 3, s. 1; 2 Bl.
Com. 504-5; 11 Vin. Ab. 78; Toll. 92 Gord. Law of Deced. 98.
CUMULATIVE. Forming a heap; additional; as, cumulative evidence, or
that which goes to prove the same point which has been established by other
evidence. Cumulative legacy, or accumulative legacy, is a second bequest, given
by the same testator to the same legatee. 2 Rop. Log. 19,. See 1 Saund. 134, n.
CUMULATIVE LEGACY. Vide Legacy accumulative; and 8 Vin. Ab. 308 1
Supp. to Ves. jr. 133, 282, 332.
CURATE, eccl. Iaw. One who represents the incumbent of a church,
person, or20 vicar, and tades care of the church, and performs divine service in
CURATOR, persons, contracts. One who has been legally appointed to
take care of the interests of one who, on account of his youth, or defect of his
understanding, or for some other cause, is unable to attend to them himself.
2. There are curators ad bona, of property, who administer the estate of a
minor, take care of his person, and intervene in all his contracts; curators ad
litem, of suits, who assist the minor in courts of justice, and act as curator
ad bona in cases where the interests of the curator are opposed to the interests
of the minor. Civ. Code of Louis. art. 357 to 366. There are also curators of
insane persons Id. art. 31; and of vacant successions and absent heirs. Id. art.
1105 to 1125.
3. The term curator is usually employed in the civil law, for that of
CURATORSHIP, offices, contracts, in the civil law. The power given by
authority of law, to one or more persons, to administer the property of an
individual who is unable to take care of his owu estate and affairs, either on
account of his absence without an authorized agent, or in consequence of his
prodigality, or want of mind. Poth. Tr. des Personnes, t. 6, s. 5. As to the
laws of Louisiana, which authorize a curatorship, vide Civ. Code, art. 31, 50,
et seq. 357, et seq.; 382, 1105, et seq.
2. Curatorship differs from tutorship, (q. v.) in this, that the latter is
instituted for the protection of property in the first place, and, secondly, of
the person; while the former is intended to protect, first, the person, and,
secondly, the property. 1 Lecons Elem. du Droit Civ. Rom. 241.
CURATRIX. A woman who has been appointed to the office of curator.
CURE. A restoration to health.
2. A person who had quitted the habit of drunkenness for the space of nine
months, in consequece of medicines he had taken, and who had lost his appetite
for ardent spirits, was held to have been cured. 7 Yerg. R. 146.
3. In a figurative sense, to cure is to remedy any defect; as, an informal
statement of the plaintiff's cause of action in his declaration is cured by
verdict, provided it be substantially stated.
CURFEW. The name of a law, established during the reign of the English
king, William, the conquerer, by which the people were commanded to dispense
with fire and candle at eight o'clock at night. It was abolished in the reign of
Henry I., but afterwards it signified the time at which the curfew formerly took
place. The word curfew is derived, probably, from couvre few, or cover fire. 4
Bl. Com. 419, 420.
CURIA. A court of justice.
CURIA CLAUDENDA, WRIT DE, Eng. law. The name of a writ, used to compel
a party to enclose his land. F. N. B. 297.
CURIA ADVISARE VULT, practice. The court will consider the matter.
This entry is made on the record when the court wish to take time to consider of
a case before they give a final judgment, which is made by an abbreviation, cur.
ad vult, for the purpose of marking the continuance. In the technical sense, it
is a continuance of the cause to another term.
CURIA REGIS. An English court, which assumed this name, during the
reign of Henry II. It was Curia or Aula Regis, because it was held in the g reat
hall of the king's palace; and where the king, for some time, administered
justice in person. But afterwards, the judicial power was more properly
entrusted to the king's judges. The judges who sat in this court were
distinguished by the name of justices, or justiciaries. Besides these, the chief
justiciary, the stewart of all England, the chancellor, the chamberlain, and the
treasurer, also took part in the judicial proceedings of this court.
CURIALITY, Scotch law. The same as courtesy. (q. v.) 1 Bell's Com.
CURRENCY. The money which passes, at a fixed value, from hand to hand;
money which is authorized by law.
2. By art. 1, s. 8, the Constitution of the United States authorizes congress
"to coin money, and to regulate the value thereof." Changes in the currency
ought not to be made but for the most urgent reason, as they unsettle commerce,
both at home and abroad. Suppose Peter contracts to pay Paul one thousand
dollars in six months - the dollar of a certain fineness of silver, weighing one
hundred and twelve and a half grains - and afterwards, before the money becomes
due, the value of the dollar is changed, and it weighs now but fifty-six and a
quarter grains; will one thousand of the new dollars pay the old debt? Different
opinion may be entertained, but it seems that such payment would be complete;
because, 1. The creditor is bound to receive the public currency; and, 2. He is
bound to receive it at its legal value. 6 Duverg. n. 174.
CURRENT, merc. law. A term used to express present time; the current
month; i.e. the present month. Price current, is the ordinary price at the time
spoken of. A printed paper, containing such prices, is also called a price
2. Current, in another sense, signifies that which is readily received; as,
CURSITOR BARON, Eng. law. An officer of the court of the exchequer,
who is appointed by patent under the great seal, to be one of the barons of the
CURTESY, or COURTESY, Scotch law. A life-rent given by law to the
surviving hushand, of all his wife's heritage of which she died infeft, if there
was a child of the marriage born alive. The child born of the marriage must be
the mother's heir. If she had a child by a former marriage, who is to succeed to
her estate, the hushand has no right to the curtesy while such child is alive;
so that the curtesy is due to the hushand rather as father to the heir, than as
hushand to an heiress, conformable to the Roman law, which gives to the father
the usufruct of what the child succeeds to by the mother. Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. B.
2, t. 9, s. 30. Vide Estate by the curtesy.
CURTILAGE, estates. The open space situated within a common enclosure
belonging to a dwelling-house. Vide 2 Roll, Ab. 1, l. 30; Com. dig. Grant, E 7,
E 9; Russ. & Ry. 360; Id. 334, 357; Ry & Mood. 13; 2 Leach, 913; 2 Bos.
& Pull. 508; 2 East, P. C. 494; Russ. & Ry. 170, 289, 322; 22 Eng. Com.
Law R. 330; 1 Ch. Pr. 175; Shep. Touchs. 94.
CUSTODY. The detainer of a person by virtue of a lawful authority. To
be in custody, is to be lawfully detained under arrest. Vide 14 Vin. Ab. 359; 3
Chit. Pr. 355. In another sense, custody signifies having the care and
possession of a thing; as, the chancellor is entitled to the custody as the
keeper of the seal.
CUSTOM. A usage which had acquired the force of law. It is, in fact, a
lex loci, which regulates all local or real property within its limits. A
repugnancy which destroys it, must be such as to show it never did exist. 5 T.
R. 414. In Pennsylvania no customs have the force of law but those which prevail
throughout the state. 6 Binn. 419, 20.
2. A custom derives its force from the tacit consent of the legislature and
the people, and supposes an original, actual deed or agreement. 2 Bl. Com. 30,
31; 1 Chit. Pr. 283. Therefore, custom is the best interpreter of laws: optima
est legum interpres consuetudo. Dig. 1, 8, 37; 2 Inst. 18. It follows,
therefore, there; can be no custom in relation to a matter regulated by law. 8
M. R. 309. Law cannot be established or abrogated except by the sovereign will,
but this will may be express or implied and presumed and whether it manifests
itself by word or by a series of facts, is of little importance. When a custom
is public, peaceable, uniform, general, continued, reasonable and certain, and
has lasted "time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary," it
acquires the force of law. And when any doubts arise as to the meaning of a
statute, the custom which has prevailed on the subject ought to have weight in
its construction, for the manner in which a law has always been executed is one
of its modes of interpretation. 4 Penn. St. Rep. 13.
3. Customs are general or, particular customs. 1. By general customs is meant
the common law itself, by which proceedings and determinations in courts are
2. Particular customs, are those which affect the inhabitants of some
particular districts only. 1 Bl. Com. 68, 74. Vide 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 121 Bac. Ab.
h. t.; 1 Bl. Com. 76; 2 Bl. Com. 31; 1 Lill. Reg. 516; 7 Vin. Ab. 164; Com. Dig.
h. t.; Nelson's Ab. h. t. the various Amer. Digs. h. t. Ayl. Pand. 15, 16; Ayl.
Pareg. 194; Doct. Pl. 201; 3 W. C. C. R. 150; 1 Gilp. 486; Pet. C. C. R. 220; I
Edw. Ch. R. 146; 1 Gall. R. 443; 3 Watts, R. 178; 1 Rep. Const. Ct. 303, 308; 1
Caines, R. 45; 15 Mass. R. 433; 1 Hill, R. 270; Wright, R. 573; 1 N. & M.
176; 5 Binn. R. 287; 5 Ham. R. 436; 3 Conn. R. 9; 2 Pet. R. 148; 6 Pet. R. 715;
6 Porter R. 123; 2 N. H. Rep. 93; 1 Hall, R. 612; 1 Harr. & Gill, 239; 1 N.
S. 192; 4 L. R. 160; 7 L. R. 529; Id. 215.
CUSTOM OF MERCHANTS, lex mercatoria. A system of customs acknowledged
and taken notice of by all nations, and are, therefore, a part of the general
law of the land. See Law merchant, and 1 Chit. Bl. 76, note 9.
CUSTOM-HOUSE. A place appointed by law, in ports of entry, where
importers of goods, wares and merchandise are bound to enter the same, in order
to pay or secure the duties or customs due to the government.
CUSTOMARY RIGHTS. Rights which are acquired by custom. They differ
from prescriptive rights in this, that the former are local usages, belonging to
all the inhabitants of a particular place or district - the latter are rights of
individuals, independent of the place of their residence. Best on Pres. 79;
Cruise, Dig. t. 31, c. 1, 7; 2 Greenl. Evi 542.
CUSTOMS. This term is usually applied to those taxes which are payable
upon goods and merchandise imported or exported. Story, Const. 949; Bac. Ab.
Smuggling. CUSTOS ROTULORUM, Eng. law. The principal justice of the peace of a
county, who is the keeper of the records of the county. 1 Bl. Com. 349.
TO CUT, crim. law. To wound with an instrument having a sharp edge. 1
Russ. on Cr. 577. Vide To Stab; Wound.
CY PRES, construction. These are old French words, which signify "as
2. In cases where a perpetuity is attempted in a will, the courts do not, if
they can avoid it, construe the devise to be utterly void, but expound the will
in such a manner as to carry the testator's intentions into effect, as far as
the rules respecting perpetuities will allow; this is called construction cy
pres. When the perpetuity is attempted in a deed, all the Iimitations are
totally void. Cruise, Dig. t. 38, c. 9, s. 34; and vide 1 Vern. 250; 2 Ves. Jr.
380, 336, 357, 364; 3 Ves. Jr. 141, 220; 4 Ves. 13; Com. Dig. Condition, L. 1; 1
Rop. Leg. 514; Swinb. pt. 4, s. 7, a. 4; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Toull. Dr.
Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 3, n. 586, 595, 611; Domat, Loix Civ. liv. 6. t. 2, s. 1; 1
Supp. to Ves. Jr. 134, 259, 317; 2 Id. 316,473; Boyle on Charities, Index, h.
t.; Shelford on Mortmain, Index, h. t.; 3 Bro. C. C. 166; 2 Bro. C. C. 492; 4
Wheat. R. 1; S. C. 3 Peters, R. App. 481; 3 Peters, R. 99; 15 Ves., 232; 2 Sto.
Eq. Jur. 1169.
CZAR. A title of honor which is assumed by the emperor of all the
Russias. See Autocracy.
CZARINA. The title of the empress of Russia.
CZAROWITZ.. The title of the eldest son of the czar and czarina of