DEAD BODY, crim. law. A corpse.
2. To take up a dead body without lawful authority, even for the purposes of
dissection, is a misdemeanor, for which the offender may be indicted at common
law. 1 Russ. on Cr. 414; 1 Dowl. & R. 13; Russ. & Ry. 366, ii. b; 2
Chit. Cr. Law, 35. This offence is punished by statute in New Hampshire, Laws of
N. H. 339, 340 in Vermont, Laws of Vermont, 368 .c. 361; in Massachusetts, stat.
1830, c. 51; 8 Pick. 370; 11 Pick. 350; in New York, 2 Rev. Stat. 688. Vide 1
Russ. 414, n. A.
3. The preventing a dead body from being buried, is also an indictable
offence. 2 T. R. 734; 4 East, 460; 1 Russ. on Cr. 415 and 416, note A.
4. To inter a dead body found in a river, it seems, would render the offender
liable to an indictment for a misdemeanor, unless he first sent for the coroner.
1 Kenyon's R. 250.
DEAD-BORN, descent, persons. Children dead-born are considered, in
law, as if they had never been conceived, so that no one can claim a title, by
descent, through such dead-born child. This is the doctrine of the civil law.
Dig. 50, 16, 129. Non nasci, et natum mori, pare, sunt. Mortuus exitus, non est
exitus. Civil Code of Louis. art. 28. A child in ventre sa mere is considered in
being, only when it is for its advantage, and not for the benefit of a third
person. The rule in the common law is, probably, the same, that a dead-born
child is to be considered as if he had never been conceived or born in other
words, it is presumed he never had life. it being a maxim of the common law,
that mortuus exitus non est exitus. Co. Litt. 29 b. See 2 Paige, R. 35; Domat,
liv. prel. t. 2, s. 1, n. 4, 6; 4 Ves. 334.
DEAD FREIGHT, contracts. When the charterer of a vessel has shipped
part of the goods on board, and is not ready to ship the remainder, the master,
unless restrained by his special contract, may take other goods on board, and
the amount which is not supplied, required to complete the cargo, is called dead
2. The dead freight is to be calculated according to the actual capacity of
the vessel. 3 Chit. Com. Law; 399 Stark. 450.
DEAD MAN'S PART, English law. By the custom of London, when a deceased
freeman of the city left a widow and children, after deducting what was
calledthe widow's chamber, (q.v.) his personal property was divided into three
parts; one of which belonged to the widow, another tot he children, and the
third to the administrator. When there was only a widow, or only children, in
either case they respectively took one moiety, and the administrator the other;
when there was neither widow nor child, the administrator took the whole for his
own use and this portion was called the "dead man's part." By statute of 1 Jac.
2, c. 17, this was changed, and the dead man's part is declared to be subject to
the statute of distribution. 2 Bl. Com. 518. See Bac. Ab. Customs of London, D
DEAD LETTERS. Those which remain in the post-office, uncalled for. By
the Act of March 8, 1825, 3 Story. L. U. S. 1993, it is enacted, by §26, "That
the postmasters shall, respectively, publish, at the expiration of every three
months, or oftener, when the postmaster general shall so direct, in one of the
newspapers published at, or nearest, the place of his residence, for three
successive weeks, a list of all the letters remaining in their respective
offices; or instead thereof, shall make out a number of such lists, and cause
them to be posted at such public places, in their vicinity, as shall appear to
them best adapted for the information of the parties concerned; and, at the
expiration of the next three months, shall send such of the said letters as then
remain on hand, as dead letters, to the general post office where the same shall
be opened and inspected; and if any valuable papers, or matters of consequence,
shall be found therein, it shall be the duty of the postmaster general to return
such letter to the writer thereof, or cause a descriptive list thereof to be
inserted in one of the newspapers published at the place most convenient to the
supposed residence of the owner, if within the United States; and such letter,
and the contents, shall be preserved, to be delivered to the person to whom the
same shall be addressed, upon payment of the postage, and the expense of
publication. And if such letter contain money, the postmaster general may
appropriate it to the use of the department, keeping an account thereof, and the
amount shall be paid by the department to the claimant as soon as he shall be
3. And by the Act of July 2, 1836, 4 Sharsaw. Cont. of Story, L. U. S. 2474,
it is enacted by §35 that advertisements of letters remaining in the
post-offices, may, under the direction of the postmaster general, be made in
more than one newspaper: provided, that the whole cost of advertising shall not
exceed four cents for each letter.
DEAD-PLEDGE. A mortgage of lands or goods - mortuum vadium.
DEAF AND DUMB. No definition is requisite, as the words are
sufficiently known. A person deaf and dumb is doli capax but with such persons
who have not been educated, and who cannot communicate, their ideas in writing,
a difficulty sometimes arises on the trial. 2. A case occurred of a woman, deaf
and dumb, who was charged with a crime. She was brought to the bar, and the
indictment was then read to her, and the question, in the usual form, was put,
guilty or not guilty ? The counsel for the prisoner then rose, and stated that
he could not allow his client to plead to the indictment, until it was explained
to her that she was at liberty to plead guilty or not guilty. This attempted to
be done, but was found impossible, and she was discharged from the bar
3. A person, deaf and dumb, may be examined as a witness, provided he can be
sworn, that is, if he is capable of understanding the terms of the oath, and
assents to it and if, after he is sworn, he can convey his ideas, with or
without an interpreter, to the court and jury. Phil., Ev. 14.
DEAF, DUMB, AND BLIND. A man born deaf, dumb, and blind, is considered
an idiot. (q. v.) 1 Bl. Com. 304; F. N. B. 233; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2111.
DEALINGS. Traffic, trade; the transaction of business between two or
2. The English statute 6 Geo. IV. c. 16, s. 81, declares all dealings with a
bankrupt, within a certain time immediately before his bankruptcy, to be void.
It has been held, under this statute, that payments were included under the term
"dealings." M. & M. 137; 3 Car. & P. 85; S. C. 14 Eng. C. L. R. 219.
DEAN, eccl. law. An ecelesiastictl officer, who derives his name from
the fact that he presides over ten canons, or, prebondaries, at least. There are
several kinds of deans, namely: 1. Deans of chapters. 2. Deans of peculiars. 3.
Rural deans. 4. Deans in the colleges. 5. Honorary deans. 6. Deans of
DEATH, med. jur., crim. law, evidence. The cessation of life.
2. It is either natural, as when it happens in the usual course, without any
violence; or violent, when it is caused either by the acts of the deceased, or
those of others. Natural death will not be here considered further than may be
requisite to illustrate the manner in which violent death occurs. A violent
death is either accidental or criminal; and the criminal act was committed by
the deceased, or by another.
3. The subject will be considered, 1. As it relates to medical jurisprudence;
and, 2. With regard to its effects upon the rights of persons.
4. - §1. It is the office of medical jurisprudence, by the light and
information which it can bestow, to aid in the detection of crimes against the
persons of others, in order to subject them to the punishment which is awarded
by the criminal law. Medical men are very frequently called upon to make
examinations of the bodies of persons. who have been found dead, for the purpose
of ascertaining the causes of their death. When it is recollected that the
honor, the fortune, and even the life of the citizen, as well as the
distribution of impartial justice, frequently depend on these examinations, one
cannot but be struck at the responsibility which rests upon such medical men,
particularly when the numerous qualities which are indispensably requisite to
form a correct judgment, are considered. In order to form a - correct opinion,
the physician must be not only skilled in his art, but he must have made such
examinations his special study. A man may be an enlightened physician, and yet
he may find it exceedingly difficult to resolve, properly, the grave and almost
always complicated questions which arise in cases of this kind. Judiciary
annals, unfortunately, afford but too many examples of the fatal mistakes made
by physicians, and others, when considering cases of violent deaths.
5. In the examination of bodies of persons who have come to a violent death,
every precaution should be taken to ascertain the situation of the place where
the body was found; as to whether the ground appears to have been disturbed from
its natural condition; whether there are any marks of footsteps, their size,
their number, the direction to which they lead, and whence they came -whether
any traces of blood or hair can be found - and whether any, and what weapons or
instruments, which could have caused death, are found in the vicinity; and these
instruments should be carefully preserved so that they may be identified. A case
or two may here be mentioned, to show the importance of examining the ground in
order to ascertain the facts. Mr. Jeffries was murdered at Walthamstow, in
England, in 1751, by his niece and servant. The perpetrators were suspected from
the single circumstance that the dew on the ground surrounding the house had not
been disturbed on the morning of the murder. Mr. Taylor, of Hornsey, was
murdered in December, 1818, and his body thrown into the river. It was evident
he, had not gone into the river willingly, as the hands were found clenched and
contained grass, which, in the struggle, he had torn from the bank. The marks of
footsteps, particularly in the snow, bave been found, not unfrequently, to
correspond with the shoes or feet of suspected persons, and led to their
detection. Paris, Med. Jur. vol. iii. p. 38, 41.
6. In the survey of the body the following rules should be observed: 1. It
should be as thoroughly examined as possible without changing its position or
that of any of the limbs; this is particularly desirable when, from appearances,
the death has been caused by a wound, because by moving it, the altitude of the
extremities may be altered, or the state of a fracture or luxation changed; for
the internal parts vary in their position with one another, according to the
general position of the body. When it is requisite to remove it, it should be
done with great caution. 2. The clothes should be removed, as far as necessary,
and it should be noted what compresses or bandages (if any) are applied to
particular parts, and to what extent. 3. The color of the skin, the temperature
of the body, the rigidity or flexibility of the extremities, the state of the
eyes, and of the sphincter muscles, noting at the same time whatever swellings,
ecchymosis, or livid, black, or yellow spots, wounds, ulcer, contusion,
fracture, or luxation may be present. The fluids from the nose, mouth, ears,
sexual organs, &c., should be examined; and, when the deceased is a female,
it may be proper to examine the sexual organs with care, in order to ascertain
whether before death she was ravished or not. 1 Briand, Med. Leg. 2eme partio,
ch. 1, art. 3, n. 5, p. 318. 4. The clothes of the deceased should be carefully
examined, and if parts are torn or defaced, this fact should be noted. A list
should also be made of the articles found on the body, and of their state or
condition, as whether the purse of the deceased had been opened; whether he had
any money, &c. 5. The state of the body as to decomposition should be,
particularly stated, as by this it may sometimes be ascertalued when the death
took place; experience proves that in general after the expiration of fourteen
days After death, decomposition has so far advanced, that identity cannot be
ascertained, excepting in some strongly developed peculiarity; but in a drowned
body, adipocire is not produced until five or six weeks after death but this
depends upon circumstance's, and varies according to climate, seasun, &c. It
is exceedingly important, however to keep this fact in view in some judicial
inquiries relative to the time of death. 1 Chit. Med. Jur. 443. A memorandom
should be made of all the facts as they are ascertained when possible, it should
be made on the ground, but when this cannot be done, as when chemical
experiments are to be made, or the body is to be dissected, they should be made
in the place where these operations are performed. 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 5; Dr.
Gordon Smith, 505; Ryan's Med. Jur. 145; Dr. Male's Elem. of Judicial and For.
Med. 101; 3 Paris & Fonbl. Med. Jur. 23 to 25; Vilanova Y Manes, Materia
Criminal Forense, Obs. 11, cap. 7, n. 7; Trebuchet, Medecine Legale, 12, et seq;
1 Briand, Med. Leg. 2eme partie, ch. 1, art. 5. Vide article Circumstances.
7. - §2. In examining the law as to the effect which death has upon the
rights of others, it will be proper to consider, 1. What is the presumption of
life or death. 2. The effects of a man's death.
8. - 1. It is a general rule, that persons who are proved to have been
living, will be presumed to be alive till the contrary is proved and when the
issue is upon the death of a person, the proof of the fact lies upon the party
who asserts the death. 2 East, 312; 2 Rolle's R. 461. But when a person has been
absent for a long time, unheard from, the law will presume him to be dead. It
has been adjudged, that after twenty-seven years 3 Bro. C. C. 510; twenty years
in another case; sixteen years; 5 Ves. 458; fourteen years; 3 Serg. & Rawle,
390 twelve years; 18 John. R. 141; seven years; 6 East, 80, 85; and even five
years Finchs R. 419; the presumption of death arises. It seems that even seven
years has been agreed as the time when death may in general be presumed. 1 Phil.
Ev. 159. See 24 Wend. R. 221; 4 Whart. R. 173. By the civil law, if any woman
marry again without certain intelligence of the death of her hushand, how
longsoever otherwise her hushand be absent from her, both she and he who married
her shall be punished as adulterers. Authentics, 8th Coll.; Ridley's View of the
Civ. and Ecc. Law, 82.
9. The survivorship of two or more is to be proved by facts, and not by any
settled Iegal rule, or prescribed presumption. 5 B. Adolp. 91; 27 E. C. L. R.
45; Cro. Eliz. 503 Bac. Ab. Execution D; 2 Phillim. 261; 1 Mer. R. 308; 3 Hagg.
Eccl. R. 748; But see 1 Yo. & Coll. C. N. 121; 1 Curt. R. 405, 406, 429. In
the following cases, no presumption of survivor-ship was held to arise; where
two men, the father and son, were hanged about the same time, and one was seen
to struggle a little longer than the other; Cor. Eliz. 503; in the case of
General Stanwix, who perished at sea in the same vessel with his daughter; 1 Bl.
R. 610; and in the case of Taylor and his wife, who also perished by being
wrecked at sea with her, to whom he had bequeathed the principal part of his
fortune. 2 Phillim. R. 261; S. C. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 250. Vide Fearne on Rem. iv.;
Poth. Obl. by Evans, vol. ii., p. 345; 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 487 to 502. The Code
Civil of Fance has provided for most, perhaps all possible cases, art. 720, 721
and 722. The provisions have been transcribed in the Civil Code of Louisiana, in
10. Art. 930. If several persons respectively entitled to inherit from one
another, happen to perish in the same event, such as a wreck, a battle, or a
conflagration, without any possibility of ascertaining who died first, the
presumption of survivorship is determined by the circumstances of the fact.
11. Art. 931. lu defect of the circumstances of the fact, the determination
must be guided by the probabilities resulting from the strength, ages,
and-difference of sex, according to the following rules.
12. Art. 932. If those who have perished together were under the age of
fifteen years, the eldest shall be presumed to have survived. If both were of
the age of sixty-years, the youngest shall be presumed to have survived. If some
were under fifteen years, and some above sixty, the first shall be presumed to
13. Art. 933. If those who perished together, were above the age of fifteen
years, and under sixty, the male must be presumed to have survived, where there
was an equality of age, or a difference of less than one year. If they were of
the same sex, the presumption of survivorship, by which the succession becomes
open in the order of nature, must be admitted; thus the younger must be presumed
to have survived the elder.
14. - 2. The death of a man, as to its effects on others, may be considered
with regard, 1. To his contracts. 2. Torts committed by or against him. 3. The
disposition of his estate; and, 4. To the liability or discharge of his
15. - 1st. The contracts of a deceased person are in general not affected by
his death, and his executors or administrators are required to fulfil his
engagements, and may enforce those in his favor. But to this general rule there
are some exceptions; some contracts are either by the terms employed in making
them, or by implication of law, to continue only during the life of the
contracting party. Among these may be mentioned the following cases: 1. The
contract of marriage.- 2. The partnership of individuals. The contract of
partnership is dissolved by death, unless otherwise provided for. Indeed the
partnership will be dissolved by the death of one or more of the partners, and
its effects upon the other partners or third persons will be the same, whether
they have notice of the death or otherwise. 3 Mer. R. 593; Story, Partn. §319,
336, 343; Colly. Partn. 71; 2 Bell's Com. 639, 5th ed.; 3 Kent, Com. 56, 4th
ed.; Gow, Partn. 351; 1 Molloy, R. 465; 15 Ves. 218; S. C. 2 Russ. R. 325.; 3.
Contracts which are altogether personal; as, for example, where the deceased had
agreed to accompany the other party to the contract, on a journey, or to serve
another; Poth. Ob. P. 3, c. 7, a. 3, §2 and 3; or to instruct an apprentice.
Bac. Ab. Executor, P; 1 Burn's Just. 82, 3; Hamm. on Part. 157; 1 Rawle's R.
16. The death of either a constituent or of an attorney puts an end to the
power of attorney. To recall such power two things are necessary; 1st. The will
or intention to recall; and, 2d. Special notice or general authority. Death is a
sufficient recall of such power, answering both requisites. Either it is,
according to one hypothesis, the intended termination of the authority or,
according to the other, the cessation of that will, the existence of which is
requisite to the existence of the attorney's power; while on either supposition,
the event is, or is supposed to be, notorious. But exceptions are admitted where
the death is unknown, and the authority, in the meanwhile, is in action, and
relied on. 3 T. R. 215; Poth; Ob. n. 448.
17. - 2d. In general, when the tort feasor or the party who has received the
injury dies, the action for the recovery of the damages dies with him; but when
the deceased might have waived the tort, and maintained assumpsit arainst the
defendant, his personal representative may do the same thing. See the article
Actio Personalis moriturcum persona, where this subject is more fully examined.
When a person accused and guilty of crime dies before trial, no proceedings can
be had against his representatives or his estate.
18. - 3d. By the death of a person seised of real estate, or possessed of
personal property at the time of his death; his property vests when he has made
his will, as he has directed by that instrument; but when he dies intestate, his
real estate vests in his heirs at law by descent, and his personal property,
whether in possession or in action, belongs to his executors or
19. - 4th. The death of a defendant discharges the special bail. Tidd, Pr.
243; but when he dies after the return of the ca. sa., and before it is filed,
the bail are fixed. 6 T. R. 284; 5 Binn. R. 332, 338; 2 Mass. R. 485; 1 N. H.
Rep. 172; 12 Wheat. 604; 4 John. R. 407; 3 McCord, R. 49; 4 Pick. R. 120; 4 N.
H. Rep. 29.
20. Death is also divided into natural and civil.
21. Natural death is the cessation of life.
22. Civil death is the state of a person who, though possessing natural life,
has lost all his civil rights, and, as to them, is considered as dead. A person
convicted and attainted of felony, and sentenced to the state prison for life,
is, in the state of New York, in consequence of the act of 29th of March, 1799,
and by virtue of the conviction and sentence of imprisonment for life, to be
considered as civilly dead. 6 Johns. C R. 118; 4 Johns. C. R. 228, 260; Laws of
N. Y. Sess. 24, ch. 49, s. 29, 30, 31; 1 N. R. L. 157, 164; Co. Litt. 130, a; 3
Inst. 215; 1 Bl. Com. 132, 133; 4 Bl. Com. 332; 4 Vin. Ab. 152. See. Code Civ.
art. 22 a 25; 1 Toull. n. 280 and p. 254, 5, note; also, pp. 243-5, n. 272; 1
Malleville's Discussion of the Code Civil, 45, 49, 51, 57. Biret, Vocab. au mot
23. Death of a partner. The following effects follow the death of a partner,
namely: 1. The partnership is dissolved, unless otherwise provided for by the
articles of partnership. Gow's Partn. 429. 2. The representatives of the
deceased partner become tenants in common with the survivor in all partnership
effects in possession. 3. Choses in action so far survive that the right to
reduce them into possession vests exclusively in the survivor. 4. When
recovered, the representatives of the deceased partner have, in, equity, the
same right of sharing and participating in them that their testator or intestate
would have had had he been living. 5. It is the duty and the right of the
surviving partner to settle the affairs of the firm, for which he is not allowed
any compensation. 6. The surviving partner is alone to be sued at law for debts
of the firm, yet recourse can be had in equity against the assets of the
deceased debtor. Gow's Partn. 460. Vide Capital Crime; Dissolution; Firm;
Partners; Partnership; Punishment. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
DEATH BED, Scotch law. The incapacity to exercise the power of
disposing of one's property after being attacked with a mortal disease.
2. It commences with the beginning of such disease.
3. There are two exceptions to this general rule, namely: 1. If he survive
for sixty days after the act or, 2. If he go to kirk or market unattended. He is
then said to be in legitima potestate, or in liege poustie. 1 Bell's Com. 84,
DEATH BED OR DYING DECLARATIONS. In cases of homicide, those which are
made in extremis, when the person making them is conscious of his danger and has
given up all hopes of recovery, charging some other person or persons with the
murder. See 1 Phil. Ev. 200; Stark. Ev. part 4, p 458; 15 Johns. R. 288; 1
Hawk's R. 442; 2 Hawk's R. 31; McNally's Ev. 174; Swift's Ev. 124.
2. These declarations, contrary to the general rule that, hearsay is not
evidence, are constantly received. The principle of this exception is founded
partly on the situation of the dying person, which is considered to be as
powerful over his conscienceas the obligation of an oath, and partly on the
supposed absence of interest on the verge of the next world, which dispenses
with a necessity of a cross-examination. But before such declarations can be
ad-mitted in evidence against a prisoner, it must be satisfactorily proved, that
the deceased at the time of making them was conscious of his danger and had
given up all hopes of recovery. 1 Phil. Ev. 215, 216; Stark. Ev. part 4, p.
3. They are admissible, as such, only in cases of homicide, where the death
of the deceased is the subject of the charge, and the circumstances of the death
are the subject of the dying declarations. 2 B. & C. 605; 15 John. 286: 4 C.
& P. 233.Vide. 2 M. & Rob. 53.
4. The declarant must not have been incapable of a religious sense of
accountability to his Maker; for, if it appears that such religious sense was
wanting, whether it arose from infidelity, imbecility or tender age, the
declarations are alike inadmissible. 1 Greenl. Ev. §157; 1 Phil. Ev. 289; Phil.
& Ani. Ev. 296; 2 Russ. on Cr. 688. See, in general, Bac. Abr. Evidence, K;
Addis. R. 832 East's P. C. 354, 356; 1 Stark. C. 522 2 Hayw. R. 31; 1 Hawk's R.
442; Swift's Ev. 124; Pothier, by Evans, vol. 2, p. 293; Anth. N. P. 176, and
note a; Str. 500.
DEATH'S PART, English law. That portion of the personal estate of a
deceased man which remained after his wife and children had received their
reasonable parts from his estate; which was, if he had both a wife and child or
children, one-third part; if a wife and no child, or a child or children and no
wife, one-half; if neither wife nor child, he had the whole to dispose of by his
last will and testament; and if he made no will, the same was to go to his
administrator. And within the city of London, and throughout the province of
York, in case of intestacy, the wife and children were till lately entitled to
their reasonable parts, and the residue only was distributable by, the statute
of distribution; but by the 11 G. I. c. 18, s. 17, 18, the power of devising was
thrown generally open. Burn's L. Dict., See this dict. tit. Legitime, and Lex
DEBATE, legislation, practice. A contestation between two or more
persons, in which they take different sides of a question, and maintain them,
respectively, by facts and arguments; or it is a discussion, in writing, of some
2. The debate should be conducted with fairness, candor and decorum, and
supported by facts and arguments founded in reason; when, in addition, it is
ornamented by learning, and decorated by the powers of rhetoric, it becomes
eloquent and persuasive. It is essential that the power of debate should be
free, in order to an energetic discharge of his duty by the debator.
3. The Constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 6, provides, that for
any speech or debate, in either bouse, the senators and representatives shall
not be questioned in any other place.
4. It is a rule of the common law, that counsel may, in, the discharge of
professional duty, use strong epithets, however derogatory to the character of
the opponent, or his attorney, or other agent or witness, in commenting on the
facts of the case, if pertinent to the cause, and stated in his instructions,
without any liability to any action for the supposed slander, whether the thing
stated were true or false. 1 B. & Ald. 232; 3 Dow's R. 273, 277, 279; 7
Bing. R. 459; S. C. 20 E. C. L. R. 198. Respectable and sensible counsel,
however, will always refrain from the indulgence of any unjust severity, both on
their own personal account, and because browheating a witness, or other person,
will injuriously affect their case in the eyes of a respectable court and jury.
3 Chit. Pr. 887, 8.
DEBENTURE. A certificate given, in pursuance of law, by the
collector of a port of entry, for a certain sum, due by the United
States, payable at a time therein mentioned, to an importer for
drawhack of duties on merchandise imported and exported by him,
provided the duties arising on the importation of the said merchandise
shall have been discharged prior to the time aforesaid. Vide Act
of Congress of March 2, 1799, s. 80; Encyclop6die, h. t.; Dane's
Ab. Index, h. t.
DEBET ET DETINET, pleading. He owes and detains. In an action
of.debt, the form of the writ is either in the debet and detinet,
that is, it states that the defendant owes and unjustly detains
the debt or thing in question, it is so brought between the original
contracting parties; or, it is in the detinet only; that is, that
the defendant unjustly detains from the plaintiff the debt or thing
for which the action is brought; this is the form in in action by
an executor, because the debt or duty is not due to him, but it
is unjustly detained from him. 1 Saund. 1.
2. There is one case in which the writ must be in the detinet between
the contracting parties. This is when the action is instituted for
the recovery of goods, as a horse, a ship, and the like, the writ
must bein the detinet, for it cannot be said a man owes another
a horse, or a ship, but only that he detains them from him. 3 Bl.
Com. 153, 4; 11 Vin. Ab. 32 1; Bac. Ab. Debt, F; 1 Lilly's Reg.
543; Dane's Ab. h. t.
DEBIT, accounts, commerce. A term used in book-keeping,
to express the left-hand page of the ledger, to which are carried
all the articles supplied or paid on the subject of an account,
or that are charged to that account. It also signifies the balance
of an account.
DEBITUM IN PRAESENTI, SOLVENDUM IN FUTURO. A debt due at
present, to be paid in future. There is a difference between debt
payable now and one payable at a future time. On the former an action
may be brought, on the latter no action lies until it becomes due.
See Due; Owing; and 13 Pet. 494; 11 Mass. 493.