INCORPORATION. This term is frequently confounded, particularly in the
old books, with corporation. The distinction between them is this, that by
incorporation is understood the act by which a corporation is created; by
corporation is meant the body thus created. Vide Corporation.
INCORPORATION, civil law. The union of one domain to another.
INCORPOREAL. Not consisting of matter.
2. Things incorporeal. are those which are not the object of sense, which
cannot be seen or felt, but which we can easily, conceive in the understanding,
as rights, actions, successions, easements, and the like. Dig. lib. 6, t. 1; Id.
lib. 41, t. 1, l. 43, 1; Poth. Traite des Choses, 2.
INCORPOREAL HEREDITAMENT, title, estates. A right issuing out of, or
annexed unto a thing corporeal.
2. Their existence is merely in idea and abstracted contemplation, though
their effects and profits may be frequently the objects of our bodily senses. Co
Litt. 9 a; Poth. Traite des Choses, 2. According to Sir William Blackstone,
there are ten kinds of incorporeal hereditamenta; namely, 1. Advowsons. 2.
Tithes. 3. Commons. 4. Ways. 5. Offices. 6. Dignities. 7. Franchises. 8.
Corodies. 9. Annuities. 10. Rents. 2 Bl. Com. 20.
3. But, in the United States, there, are no advowsons, tithes, dignities, nor
corodies. The other's have no necessary connexion with real estate, and are not
hereditary, and, with the exception of annuities, in some cases, cannot be
transferred, and do not descend.
INCORPOREAL PROPERTY, civil law. That which consists in legal right
merely; or, as the term is, in the common law, of choses in actions. Vide
TO INCULPATE. To accuse one of a crime or misdemeanor.
INCUMBENT, eccles. law. A clerk resident on his benefice with cure; he
is so called because he does, or ought to, bend the whole of his studies to his
duties. In common parlance, it signifies one who is in the possession of an
office, as, the present incumbent.
INCUMBRANCE. Whatever is a lien upon an estate.
2. The right of a third person in the land in question to the diminution of
the value of the land, though consistent with the passing of the fee by the deed
of conveyance, is an incumbrance; as, a public highway over the land. 1 Appl. R.
313; 2 Mass. 97; 10 Conn. 431. A private right of way. 15 Pick. 68; 5 Conn. 497.
A claim of dower. 22 Pick. 477; 2 Greenl. 22. Alien by judgment or mortgage. 5
Greenl. 94; 15 Verm. 683. Or any outstanding, elder, and better title, will be
considered as incumbrances, although in strictness some of them are rather
estates than incumbrances. 4 Mass. 630; 2 Greenl. 22; 22 Pick. 447; 5 Conn. 497;
8 Pick. 346; 15 Pick. 68; 13 John. 105; 5 Greenl. 94; 2 N. H. Rep. 458; 11 S.
& R. 109; 4 Halst. 139; 7 Halst. 261; Verm. 676; 2 Greenl. Ev. 242.
3. In cases of sales of real estate, the vendor is required to disclose the
incumbrances, and to deliver to the purchaser the instruments by which they were
created, or on which the defects arise; and the neglect of this will be
considered as a fraud. Sugd. Vend, 6; 1 Ves. 96; and see 6 Ves. jr. 193; 10 Ves.
jr. 470; 1 Sch. & Lef. 227; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 73.
4. Whether the tenant for life, or the remainder-man, is to keep. down the
interest on incumbrances, see Turn. R. 174; 3 Mer. R. 566; 6 Ves. 99; 4 Ves. 24.
See, generally, 14 Vin. Ab. 352; Com. Dig. Chancery, 4 A 10, 4 I. 3; 9 Watts, R.
INDEBITATUS ASSUMPSIT, remedies, pleadings. That species of action of
assumpsit, in which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration, first a debt, and
then a promise in consideration of the debt, that the defendant, being indebted,
he promised the plaintiff to pay him. The promise so laid is, generally, an
implied one only. Vide 1 Chit. Pl. 334; Steph. Pl. 318; Yelv. 21; 4 Co. 92 b.
For the history of this form of action, see 3 Reeves' Hist. Com. Law; 2 Comyn on
Contr. 549 to 556; 1 H. Bl. 550, 551; 3 Black Com. 154; Yelv. 70. Vide Pactum
INDEBITI SOLUTIO, civil law. The payment to one of what is not due to
him. If the payment was made by mistake, the civilians recovered it back by an
action called condictio indebiti; with us, such money may be recovered by an
action of assumpsit.
INDEBTEDNESS. The state, of being in debt, without regard to the
ability or inability of the party to pay the same. See 1 Story, Eq. 343; 2 Hill.
2. But in order to create an indebtedness, there must be an actual liability
at the time, either to pay then or at a future time. If, for example, a person
were to enter and become surety for another, who enters into a rule of
reference, he does not thereby become a debtor to the opposite party until the
rendition of the judgment on the award. 1 Mass. 134. See Creditor; Debt;
INDECENCY. An act against good behaviour and a just delicacy. 2 Serg.
& R. 91.
2. The law, in general, will repress indecency as being contrary to good
morals, but, when the public good requires it, the mere indecency of disclosures
does not suffice to exclude them from being given in evidence. 3 Bouv. Inst. n.
3. The following are examples of indecency: the exposure by a man of his
naked person on a balcony, to public view, or bathing in public; 2 Campb. 89; or
the exhibition of bawdy pictures. 2 Chit. Cr. Law, 42; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 91.
This indecency is punishable by indictment. Vide 1 Sid. 168; S. C. 1 Keb. 620; 2
Yerg. R. 482, 589; 1 Mass. Rep. 8; 2 Chan. Cas. 110; 1 Russ. Cr. 302; 1 Hawk. P.
C. c. 5, s. 4; 4 Bl. Com. 65, n.; 1 East, P. C. c. 1, s. 1; Burn's Just.
INDEFEASIBLE. That which cannot be defeated or undone. This epithet is
usually applied to an estate or right which cannot be defeated.
INDEFENSUS. One sued or impleaded, who refuses or has nothing to
INDEFINITE. That which is undefined; uncertain.
INDEFINITE FAILURE OF ISSUE, executory devise. A general failure of
issue, whenever it may happen, without fixing a time, or certain or definite
period, within which it must take place. The issue of the first taker must be
extinct, and the issue of the issue ad infinitum, without regard to the time or
any particular event. 2. Bouv. Inst. n. 1849.
INDEFINITE, NUMBER. A number which may be increased or diminished at
2. When a corporation is composed of an indefinite number of persons, any
number of them consisting of a majority of those present may do any act unless
it be otherwise regulated by the charter or by-laws. See Definite number.
INDEFINITE PAYMENT, contracts. That which a debtor who owes several
debts to a creditor, makes without making an appropriation; (q. v.) in that case
the creditor has a right to make such appropriation.
INDEMNITY. That which is given to a person to prevent his suffering
damage. 2 McCord, 279. Sometimes it signifies diminution; a tenant who has been
interrupted in the enjoyment of his lease may require an indemnity from the
lessor, that is, a reduction of his rent.
2. It is a rule established in all just governments that, when private
property is required for public, use, indemnity shall be given by the public to
the owner. This is the case in the United States. See Code Civil, art. 545. See
3. Contracts made for the purpose of indemnifying a person for doing an act
for which he could be indicted, or an agreement to, compensate a public officer
for doing an act which is forbidden by law, or omitting to do one which the law
commands, are absolutely void. But when the agreement with an officer was not to
induce him to neglect his duty, but to test a legal right, as to indemnify him
for not executing an execution, it was held to be good. 1 Bouv. Inst. n.
INDENTURE, conveyancing. An instrument of writing containing a
conveyance or contract between two or more persons, usually indented or cut
unevenly, or in and out, on the top or, side.
2. Formerly it was common to make two instruments exactly alike, and it was
then usual to write both on the same parchment, with some words or letters
written between them, through which the parchment was cut, either in a straight
or indented line, in such a manner as to leave one-half of the word on one part,
and half on the other. The instrument usually commences with these words, "This
indenture," which were not formerly sufficient, unless the parchment or paper
was actually indented to make an indenture 5 Co. 20; but now, if the form of
indenting the parchment be wanting, it may be supplied by being done in court,
this being mere form. Besides, it would be exceedingly difficult with even the
most perfect instruments, to out parchment or paper without indenting it. Vide
Bac. Ab. Leases, &c. E 2; Com. Dig. Fait, C, and note d; Litt. sec. 370; Co.
Litt. 143 b, 229 a; Cruise, Dig t. 32, c. 1, s. 24; 2 Bl. Com. 294; 1 Sess. Cas.
INDEPENDENCE. A state of perfect irresponsibility to any superior; the
United States are free and independent of all earthly power.
2. Independence may be divided into political and natural independence. By
the former is to be understood that we have contracted no tie except those which
flow from the three great natural rights of safety, liberty and property. The
latter consists in the power of being able to enjoy a permanent well-being,
whatever may be the disposition of those from whom we call ourselves
independent. In that sense a nation may be independent with regard to most
people, but not independent of the whole world. Vide on of Independence.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACT. One in which the mutual acts or promises have no
relation to each other, either as equivalents or considerations. Civil Code of
Lo. art. 1762; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 699.
INDETERMINATE. That which is uncertain or not particularly designated;
as, if I sell you one hundred bushels of wheat, without stating what wheat. 1
Bouv. Inst. n. 950.
INDIAN TRIBE. A separate and distinct community or body of the
aboriginal Indian race of men found in the United States.
2. Such a tribe, situated within the boundaries of a state, and exercising
the powers of government and, sovereignty, under the national government, is
deemed politically a state; that is, a distinct political society, capable of
self-government; but it is not deemed a foreign state, in the sense of the
constitution. It is rather a domestic dependent nation. Such a tribe may
properly be deemed in a state of pupilage and its relation to the United States
resembles that of a ward to a guardian. 5 Pet. R. 1, 16, 17; 20 John. R. 193; 3
Kent, Com. 308 to 318; Story on Const. 1096; 4 How. U. S. 567; 1 McLean, 254; 6
Hill, 546; 8 Ala. R. 48.
INDIANS. The aborigines of this country are so called.
2. In general, Indians have no political rights in the United States; they
cannot vote at the general elections for officers, nor hold office. In New York
they are considered as citizens and not as aliens, owing allegiance to the
government and entitled to its protection. 20 John. 188, 633. But it was ruled
that the Cherokee nation in Georgia was a distinct community. 6 Pet. 515. See 8
Cowen, 189; 9 Wheat. 673; 14 John. 181, 332 18 John. 506.