IMPROVEMENT, estates. This term is of doubtful meaning It would seem
to apply principally to buildings, though generally it extends to amelioration
of every description of property, whether real or personal; it is generally
explained by other words.
2. Where, by the terms of a lease, the covenant was to 1eave at the end of
the term a water-mill with all the fixtures, fastenings, and improvements,
during the demise fixed, fastened, or set up on or upon the premises, in good
plight and condition, it was held to include a pair of new millstones set up by
the lessee during the term, although the custom of the country in general
authorized the tenant to remove them. 9 Bing. 24; 3 Sim. 450; 2 Ves. & Bea.
349. Vide 3 Yeates, 71; Addis. R. 335; 4 Binn. R. 418; 5 Binn. R. 77; 5 S. &
R. 266; 1 Binn. R. 495; 1 John. Ch. R. 450; 15 Pick. R. 471. Vide Profits. 2
Man. & Gra. 729, 757; S. C. 40 Eng. C. L. R. 598, 612.
3. Tenants in common are not bound to pay for permanent improvements, made on
the common property, by one of the tenants in common without their consent. 2
Bouv. Inst. n. 1881.
IMPROVEMENT, rights. An addition of some useful thing to a machine,
manufacture or composition of matter.
2. The patent law of July 4, 1836, authorizes the granting of a patent for
any new and useful improvement on any art, machine manufacture or composition of
matter. Sect. 6. It is often very difficult to say what is a new and useful
improvement, the cases often approach very near to each other. In the present
improved state of machinery, it is almost impracticable not to employ the same
elements of motion, and in some particulars, the same manner of operation, to
produce any new effect. 1 Gallis. 478; 2 Gallis. 51. See 4 B. & Ald. 540; 2
Kent, Com. 370.
IMPUBER, civil law. One who is more than seven years old, or out of
infancy, and who has not attained the age of an adult, (q. v.) and who is not
yet in his puberty that is, if a boy, till he has attained his full age of
fourteen years, and, if a girl, her full age of twelve years. Domat, Liv. Prel.
t. 2, s. 2, n. 8.
IMPUNITY. Not being punished for a crime or misdemeanor committed. The
impunity of crimes is one of the most prolific sources whence they arise.
lmpunitas continuum affectum tribuit delinquenti. 4 Co. 45, a; 5 Co. 109, a.
IMPUTATION. The judgment by which we declare that an agent is the
cause of his free action, or of the result of it, whether good or ill. Wolff,
IMPUTATION OF PAYMENT. This term is used in Louisiana to signify the
appropriation which is made of a payment, when the debtor owes two debts to the
creditor. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 2159 to 2262. See 3 N. S. 483; 6 N. S. 28; Id.
113: Poth. Ob. n. 539, 565, 570; Durant. Des Contr. Liv. 3, t. 3, 3, n. 191; 10
L. R. 232, 352; 7 Toull. n. 173, p. 246.
IN ALIO LOCO. In another place. Vide Cepit in alio loco.
IN ARTICULO MORTIS. In the article of death; at the point of death. As
to the effect of this condition on wills, see Nuncupative; as to the testimony
of such person, see Dying declarations.
IN AUTRE DROIT. In another's right. An executor, administrator or
trustee, is said to have the property confided to him in such character, in
IN BLANK. This is generally applied to indorsements, as, indorsements
in blank, which is one not restricted, made by the indorser simply writing his
name. See Indorsement.
IN CHIEF. Evidence is said to be in chief when it is given in support
of the case opened by the leading counsel. Vide To Open - Opening. The term is
used to distinguish evidence of this nature from evidence obtained on a
cross-examination. (q. v.) 3 Chit. 890. By evidence in chief is sometimes meant
that evidence, which is given in contradistinction to evidence which is obtained
on the witness voir dire.
2. Evidence in chief should be confined to such matters as the pleadings and
the opening warrant, and a departure from this rule, will be sometimes highly
inconvenient, if not fatal. Suppose, for example, that two assaults have been
committed, one in January and the other. in February, and the plaintiff prove
his cause of action to have been the assault in January, he cannot abandon that,
and afterwards prove another committed in February unless the pleadings and
openings extend to both. 1 Campb R. 473. See also, 6 Carr. & P. 73; S. C. 25
E. C. L. R. 288; 1 Mood. & R. 282.
IN COMMENDAM. The state or condition of a church living, which is void
or vacant, and it is commended to the care of some one. In, Louisiana, there is
a species of partnership called a partnership in commendam. Vide Commendam.
IN CUSTODIA LEGIS. In the custody of the law. In general, when things
are in custodia legis, they cannot be distrained, nor otherwise interfered with
by a private person.
IN ESSE. In being. A thing in existence. It is used in opposition to
enposse. A child in ventre sa mere is a thing in posse; after he is born, he is
in esse. Vide 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 466; 2 Suppl. to Ves. jr. 155, 191. Vide
IN EXTREMIS. This phrase is used to denote the end of life; as, a
marriage in extremis, is one made at the end of life. Vide Extremis.
IN FACIENDO. In doing, or in feasance. 2 Story, Eq. Jurisp. 1308.
IN FAVOREM LIBERTATIS. In favor of liberty.
IN FAVOREM VITAE. In favor of life.
IN FIERI. In the course of execution; a thing commenced but not
completed. A record is said to be in fieri during the term of the court, and,
during that time, it may be amended or altered at the sound discretion of the
court. See 2 B. & Adol. 971.
IN FORMA PAUPERIS. In the character or form of a pauper. In England,
in some cases, when a poor person cannot afford to pay the costs of a suit as it
proceeds, he is exempted from such payment, having obtained leave to sue in
IN FORO CONSCIENTIAE. Before the tribunal of conscience;
conscientiously. This term is applied in opposition, to the obligations which
the law enforces.
2. In the sale of property, for example, the concealment of facts by the
vendee which may enhance the price, is wrong in foro conscientiae, but there is
no legal obligation on the part of the vendee to disclose them, and the contract
will be good if not vitiated by fraud. Poth. Vent. part 2, c. 2, n. 233; 2
Wheat. 185, note c. 20
IN FRAUDEM LEGIS. In fraud of the law. Every thing done in fraudem
legis is void in law. 2 Ves. sen. 155, 156 Bouv. Inst. n. 585, 3834.
IN GREMIO LEGIS. In the bosom of the law. This is a figurative
expression, by which is meant, that the subject is under the protection of the
law; as, where land is in abeyance.
IN GROSS. At large; not appurtenant or appendant, but annexed to a
man's per son: e. g. Common granted to a man and his heirs by deed, is common in
gross; or common in gross may be claimed by prescriptive right. 2 Bl. Com.
IN INVITUM. Against an unwilling party; against one who has not given
his consent. See Invito domino.
IN JUDICIO. In the course of trial; a course of legal proceedings.
IN JURE. In law; according to law, rightfully. Bract. fol. 169, b.
IN LIMINE. In or at the beginning. This phrase is frequently used; as,
the courts are anxious to check crimes in limine.
IN LITEM, ad litem. For a suit; to the suit. Greenl. Ev. 348.
IN LOCO PARENTIS. In the place of a parent; as, the master stands
towards his apprentice in loco parentis.
IN MITIORI SENSU, construction. Formerly in actions of slander it was
a rule to take the expression used in mitiori sensu, in the mildest acceptation;
and ingenuity was, upon these occasions, continually exercised to devise or
discover a meaning which by some remote possibility the speaker might have
intended; and some ludicrous examples of this ingenuity may be found. To say of
a man who was making his livelihood by buying and selling merchandise, he is a
base, broken rascal, he has broken twice, and I'll make him break a third time,
was gravely asserted not to be actionable - "ne poet dar porter action, car poet
estre intend de burstness de belly," Latch, 114. And to call a man a thief was
declared to be no slander for this reason, "perhaps the speaker might mean he
had stolen a lady's heart."
2. The rule now is to construe words agreeably to the meaning usually
attached to them. 1 Nott & McCord, 217; 2 Nott & McCord, 511; 8 Mass. R.
248; 1 Wash. R. 152; Kirby, R. 12; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 451; 2 Binn. 34; 3 Binn.
IN MORA. In default. Vide mora, in.
IN NUBIBUS. In the clouds. This is a figurative expression to signify
a state of suspension or abeyance. 1 Co. 137.
IN NULLO EST ERRATUM, pleading. A plea to errors assigned on
proceedings in error, by which the defendant in error affirms there is no error
in the record. As to the effect of, such plea, see 1 Vent. 252; 1 Str. 684; 9
Mass. R. 532; 1 Burr. 410; T. Ray. 231. It is a general rule that the plea in
nullo est erratum confesses the fact assigned for error; Yelv. 57; Dane's Ab.
Index, h. t.; but not a matter assigned contrary to the record. 7 Wend. 55; Bac.
Ab. Error; G.
IN ODIUM SPOLIATORIS. In hatred of a despoiler. All things are
presumed against a despoiler or wrong doer in odium spoliatoris omnia
IN PARI CAUSA. In an equal cause. It is a rule that when two persons
have equal rights in relation to a particular thing, the party in possession is
considered as having the better right: in pari causa possessor potior est. Dig.
50; 17, 128; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 952.
IN PARI DELICTO. In equal fault; equal in guilt. Neither courts of law
nor equity will interpose to grant relief to the parties, when an illegal
agreement has been made, and both parties stand in pari delicto. The law leaves
them where it finds them, according to the maxim, in pari delicto potior est
conditio defendentis et possidendis. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 769.
IN PARI MATERIA. Upon the same matter or subject. Statutes in pari
materia are to be construed together.
IN PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM. For the perpetual memory or remembrance of
a thing. Gilb. For. Rom. 118.
IN PERSONAM, remedies. A remedy in personam, is one where the
proceedings are against the person, in contradistinction to those which are
against specific things, or in rem. (q. v.) 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2646.
IN POSSE. In possibility; not in actual existence; used in
contradistinction to in esse.
IN PRAESENTI. At the present time; used in opposition to in futuro. A
marriage contracted in words de praesenti is good; as, I take Paul to be my
hushand, is a good marriage, but words de futuro would not be sufficient, unless
the ceremony was followed by consummation. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 258.
IN PRINCIPIO. At the beginning this is frequently used in citations;
as Bac. Ab. Legacies, in pr.
IN PROPRIA PERSONA. In his own person; himself; as the defendant
appeared in propria persona; the plaintiff argued the cause in propria
IN RE. In the matter; as in re A B, in the matter of A B.
IN REBUS. In things, cases or matters.
IN REM, remedies. This technical term is used to designate proceedings
or actions instituted against the thing, in contradistinction to personal
actions which are said to be in personam. Proceedings in rem include not only
judgments of property as forfeited, or as prize in the admiralty, or the English
exchequer, but also the decisions of other courts upon the personal status, or
relations of the party, such as marriage, divorce, bastardy, settlement, or the
like. 1 Greenl. Ev. 525, 541.
2. Courts of admiralty enforce the performance of a contract by seizing into
their custody the very subject of hypothecation; for in these case's the parties
are not personally bound, and the proceedings are confined to the thing in
specie. Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 98; and see 2 Gall. R. 200; 3 T. R. 269,
3. There are cases, however, where the remedy is either in personam or in
rem. Seamen, for example, may proceed against the ship or cargo for their wages,
and this is the most expeditious mode; or they may proceed against the master or
owners. 4 Burr. 1944; 2 Bro. C. & A. Law, 396. Vide, generally, 1 Phil. Ev.
254; 1 Stark. Ev. 228; Dane's Ab. h. t.; Serg. Const. Law, 202, 203, 212.
IN RERUM NATURA. In the nature of things; in existence.
IN SOLIDO. A term used in the civil law, to signify that a contract is
2. Obligations are in solido, first, between several creditors; secondly,
between several debters. 1. When a person contracts the obligation of one and
the same thing, in favor of several others, each of these is only creditor for
his own share, but he may contract with each of them for the whole when such is
the intention of the parties, so that each of the persons in whose favor the
obligation is contracted, is creditor for the whole, but that a payment made to
any one liberates the debtor against them all. This is called solidity of
obligation. Poth. Obl. pt. 2, c. 3, art. 7. The common law is exactly the
reverse of this, for a general obligation in favor of several persons, is a
joint obligation to them all, unless the nature of the subject, or the
particularity of the expression lead to a different conclusion. Evans' Poth.
vol. 2, p. 56. See tit. Joint and Several; Parties to action.
3. - 2. An obligation is contracted in solido on the part of the debtors,
when each of them is obliged for the whole, but so that a payment made by one
liberates them all. Poth. Obli. pt. 2, c. 3, art. 7, s 1. See 9 M. R. 322; 5 L.
R. 287; 2 N. S. 140; 3 L. R. 352; 4 N. S. 317; 5 L. R. 122; 12 M. R. 216; Burge
on Sur. 398-420.
IN STATU QUO. In the same situation; in the same place; as, between
the time of the submission and the time when the award was rendered, things
remained in statu quo.
IN TERROREM. By way of threat, terror, or warning. For example, when a
legacy is given to a person upo condition not to dispute the validity or the
dispositions in wills and testaments, the conditions are not in general
obligatory, but only in terrorem; if, therefore, there exist probabilis causa
litigandi, the non-observance of the conditions will not be a forfeiture. 2
Vern. 90; 1 Hill. Ab. 253; 3 P. Wms. 344; 1 Atk. 404. But when the acquiescence
of the legatee appears to be a material ingredient in the gift, the bequest is
only quousque the legatee shall refrain from disturbing the will. 2 P. Wms. 52;
2 Ventr. 352. For cases of legacies given to a wife while she shall continue
unmarried, see 1 Madd. R. 590; 1 Rop. Leg. 558.
IN TERROREM POPULI. To the terror of the people. An indictment for a
riot is bad, unless it conclude in terrorem populi. 4 Carr. & Payne,
IN TOTIDEM VERhis. In just so many words; as, the legislature has
declared this to be a crime in totidem verhis.
IN TOTO. In the whole; wholly; completely; as, the award is void in
toto. In the whole the part is contained: in toto et pars continetur. Dig. 50,
IN TRANSITU. During the transit, or removal from one place to
2. The transit continues until the goods have arrived at their place of
destination, and nothing remains to be done to complete the delivery; or until
the goods have been delivered, before reaching their place of destination, and
the person entitled takes an actual or symbolical possession. Vide Stoppage in
IN VADIO. In pledge; in gage.
IN VENTRE SA MERE. In his mother's womb.
2. - 1. In law a child is for all beneficial purposes considered as born
while in ventre sa mere. 5 T. R. 49; Co. Litt. 36; 1 P. Wms. 329; Civ. Code of
Lo. art. 948. But a stranger can acquire no title by descent through a child in
ventre sa mere, who is not subsequently born alive. See Birth; Dead Born.
3. - 2. Such a child is enabled to have an estate limited to his use. 1. Bl.
4. - 3. May have a distributive share of intestate property. 1 Ves. 81.
5. - 4. Is capable of taking a devise of lands. 2 Atk. 117; 1 Freem. 224,
6. - 5. Takes under a marriage settlement a provision made for children
living at the death of the father. 1 Ves. 85.
7. - 6. Is capable of taking a legacy, and is entitled to a share in a fund
bequeathed to children under a general description, of "children," or of
"children living at the testator's death." 2 H. Bl. 399; 2 Bro. C. C. 320; S. C.
2 Ves. jr. 673; 1 Sim. & Stu. 181; 1 B. & P. 243; 5 T. R. 49. See, also,
1 Ves. sr. 85; Id. 111; 1 P. Wms. 244, 341; 2 Bro. C. C. 63; Amb. 708, 711; 1
Salk. 229; 2 P. Wms. 446; 2 Atk. 114; Pre. Ch. 50; 2 Vern. 710; 3 Ves. 486; 7 T.
R. 100; 4 Ves. 322; Bac. Ab. Legacies, &c., A; 1 Rop. Leg. 52, 3; 5 Serg.
& Rawle, 40.
8. - 7. May be appointed executor. Bac. Ab. Infancy, B.
9. - 8. A bill may be brought in its behalf, and the court will grant an
injunction to stay waste. 2 Vern. 710 Pr. Ch. 50.
10. - 9. The mother, of a child in ventre sa mere may detain writings on its
behalf. 2 Vern. 710.
11. - 10. May have a guardian assigned to it. 1 Bl. Com. 130.
12. - 11. The destruction of such a child is a high misdemeanor. 1 Bl. Com.
13. - 12. And the birth of a posthumous child amounts, in Pennsylvania, to
the revocation of a will previously executed, so far as regards such child. 3
Binn. 498. See Coop. Just. 496. See, as to the law of Virginia on this subject,
3 Munf. 20. Vide Foetus.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF. These words, which, when conveyancing was in the
Latin language, were in cujus rei testimonium, are the initial words of the
concluding clause in deeds. " In witness whereof the said parties have hereunto
set their hands," &c.
INADEQUATE PRICE. This term is applied to indicate the want of a
sufficient consideration for a thing sold,or such a price as, under ordinary
circumstances, would be considered insufficient.
2. Inadequacy of price is frequently connected with fraud, gross
misrepresentations, or an intentional concealment of the defects in the thing
sold. In these cases it is clear the. vendor cannot compel the buyer to fulfil
the contract. 1 Lev. 111; 1 Bro. P. C. 187; 6 John. R. 110; 3 Cranch, 270; 4
Dall. R. 250; 3 Atk. 283; 1 Bro. C. C. 440.
3. In general, however, inadequacy of price is not sufficient ground to avoid
a contract, particularly' when the property has been sold by auction. 7 Ves. jr.
30; 3 Bro. C. C. 228; 7 Ves. jr. 35, note. But if an uncertain consideration, as
a life annuity, be given for an estate, and the contract be executory, equity,
it seems, will enter into the adequacy of the consideration. 7 Bro. P. C. 184; 1
Bro. C. C. 156. Vide. 1 Yeates, R. 312; Sugd. Vend. 189 to 199; 1 B. & B.
165; 1 M'Cord's Ch. R. 383, 389, 390; 4 Desaus. R. 651. Vide Price.
INADMIISSIBLE. What cannot be received. Parol evidence, for example,
is inadmissible to contradict a written agreement.
INALIENABLE. This word is applied to those things, the property of
which cannot be lawfully transferred from one person to another. Public highways
and rivers are of this kind; there are also many rights which are inalienable,
as the rights of liberty, or of speech.
INAUGURATION. This word was applied by the Romans to the ceremony of
dedicating some temple, or raising some man to the priesthood, after the augurs
had been consulted. It was afterwards applied to the installation (q. v.) of the
emperors, kings, and prelates, in imitation of the ceremonies of the Romans when
they entered into the temple of the augurs. It is applied in the United States
to the installation of the chief magistrate of the republic, and of the
governors of the several states.
INCAPACITY. The want of a quality legally to do, give, transmit, or
2. It arises from nature, from the law, or from both. From nature, when the
party has not his senses, as, in the case of an idiot; from the law, as, in the
case of a bastard who cannot inherit from nature and the law; as, in the case of
a married woman, who cannot make contracts or a will.
3. In general, the incapacity ceases with the cause which produces it. If the
idiot should obtain his senses, or the married woman's hushand die, their
incapacity would be at an end.
4. When a cause of action arises during the incapacity of a person having the
right to sue, the act of limitation does not, in general, commence to run till
the incapacity has been removed. But two incapacities cannot be joined in order
to come within the statute.
INCENDIARY, crim. law. One who maliciously and wilfully sets another
person's house on fire; one guilty of the crime of arson.
2. This offence is punished by the statute laws of the different states
according to their several provisions. The civil law punished it with death,
Dig. 47, 9, 12, 1, by the offender being cast into the fire. Id. 48, 19, 28, 12;
Code, 9, 1, 11. Vide Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.
INCEPTION. The commencement; the beginning. In making a will, for
example, the writing is its inception. 3 Co. 31 b; Plowd. 343. Vide
INCEST. The carnal copulation of a man and a woman related to each
other in any of the degrees within which marriage is prohibited by law. Vide
Marriage. It is punished by fine and imprisonment, under the laws of the
respective states., Vide 1 Smith's Laws of Pennsylv. 26; Dane's Ab. Index, h.
t.; Dig. 23, 2, 68; 6 Conn. R. 446; Penal Laws of China, B. 1, s. 2, 10; Sw.
part 2 17, p. 103.
INCH. From the Latin uncia. A measure of length, containing
one-twelfth part of a foot.
INCHOATE. That which is not yet completed or finished. Contracts are
considered inchoate until they are executed by all the parties who ought to have
executed them. For example, a covenant which purports to be tripartite, and is
executed by only two of the parties, is incomplete, and no one is bound by it. 2
Halst. 142. Vide Locus paenitentiae.
INCIDENT. A thing depending upon, appertaining to, or following
another, called the princinal.
2. The power of punishing for contempt is incident to a court of record; rent
is incident to a reversion; distress to rent; estovers of woods to a tenancy for
a life or years. 1 Inst. 151; Noy's Max. n. 13; Vin. Ab. h.. t.; Dane's Ab. h.
t.; Com. Dig. h. t., and the references there; Bro. Ab. h. t.; Roll's Ab.
INCIPITUR, practice. This word, which means "it is begun," signifies
the commencement of the entry on the roll. on signing judgment, &c.
INCLUSIVE. Comprehended in computation. In computing time, as ten days
from a particular time, one day is generally to be included and one excluded.
Vide article Exclusive, and the authorities there cited.
INCOME. The gain which proceeds from property, labor, or business; it
is applied particularly to individuals; the income of the government is usually
2. It has been holden that a devise of the income of land, is in effect the
same as a devise of the land itself. 9 Mass. 372; 1 Ashm. 136.
INCOMPATIBILITY. offices, rights. This term is used to show that two
or more things ought not to exist at the same time in the same person; for
example, a man cannot at the same time be landlord and tenant of the same land;
heir and devise of the same thing; trustee and cestui que trust of the same
2. There are offices which are incompatible with each other by constitutional
provision; the vice-president of tho United States cannot act as such when
filling the office of president; Const. art. 1, s. 3, n. 5; and by the same
instrument, art . 1, s. 6, n. 2, it is directed that "no senator or
representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to
any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been
created or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased, during such time;
and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of
either house, during his continuance in office."
3. Provisions rendering offices incompatible are to be found in most of the,
constitutions of the states, and in some of their laws. In Pennsylvania, the
acts of the 12th of February, 1802, 3 Smith's Laws of Pa. 485; and 6th of March,
1812, 5 Sm. L. Pa. 309, contain various provisions, making certain offices
incompatible, with each other. At common law, offices subordinate and
interfering with each other have been considered incompatible; for example, a
man cannot be at once a judge and prothonotary or clerk of the same court. 4
Inst. 100. Vide 4 S. & R. 277; 17 S. & R. 219; and the article
INCOMPETENCY, French law. The state of a judge who cannot take
cognizance of a dispute brought before him; it implies a want of
2. Incompetency is material, ratione materia, or personal, ratione personae.
The first takes place when a judge takes cognizance of a matter over which
another judge has the sole jurisdiction, and this cannot be cured by the
appearance or agreement of the parties.
3. The second is, when the matter in dispute is within the jurisdiction of
the judge, but the parties in the case are not; in which case they make the
judge competent, unless they make their objection before they. take defence. See
Peck, 374; 17 John. 13; 12 Conn. 88; 3 Cowen, Rep. 724; 1 Penn. 195; 4 Yeates,
446. When a party has a privilege which exempts him from the jurisdiction, he
may waive the privilege. 4 McCord, 79; Wright, 484; 4 Mass. 593; Pet. C. C. R.
489; 5 Cranch, 288; 1 Pet. R. 449; 4 W. C. C. R. 84; 8 Wheat. 699; Merl. R«p.
4. It is a maxim in the common law, aliquis non debet esse judex in propriŠ
causa. Co. Litt. 141, a; see 14 Vin. Abr. 573; 4 Com. Dig. 6. The greatest
delicacy, is constantly observed on the part of judges, so that they never act
when there could be the possibility of doubt whether they could be free from
bias, and even a distant degree of relationship has induced a judge to decline
interfering. 1 Knapp's Rep. 376. The slightest degree of pecuniary interest is
considered as an insuperable objection. But at common law, interest forms the
only ground for challenging a judge. It is not a ground of challenge that he has
given his opinion before. 4 Bin. 349; 2 Bin. 454. See 4 Mod. 226; Comb. 218;
Hard. 44; Hob. 87; 2 Binn. R. 454; 13 Mass. R. 340; 5 Mass. R. 92; 6 Pick. 109;
Peck, R. 374; Coxe, Rep. 190; 3 Ham. R. 289; 17 John. Rep. 133; 12 Conn. R. 88;
1 Penning R. 185; 4 Yeates, R. 466; 3 Cowen, R. 725; Salk. 396; Bac. Ab. Courts,
B; and the articles Competency; Credibility; Interest; Judge; Witness.
INCOMPETENCY, evidence. The want of legal fitness, or ability in a
witness to be heard as such on the trial of a cause.
2. The objections to the competency (q. v.) of a witness are four-fold. The
first ground is the want of understanding; a second is defect of religious
principles; a third arises from the conviction of certain crimes, or infamy of
character; the fourth is on account of interest. (q. v.) 1 Phil. Ev. 15.
INCONCLUSIVE. What does not put an end to a thing. Inconclusive
presumptions are those which may be overcome by opposing proof; for example, the
law presumes that he who possesses personal property is the owner of it, but
evidence is allowed to contradict this presumption, and show who is the true
owner. 3 Bouv. Inst. in. 3063.
INCONTINENCE Impudicity, the indulgence in unlawful carnal connexions.
Wolff, Dr. de la Nat. 862.