INTERIM. In the mean time; in the meanwhile. For example, one
appointed between the time that a person is made bankrupt, to act in the place
of the assignee until the assignee shall be appointed, is an assignee ad
interim. 2 Bell's Com. 355.
INTERLINEATION, contracts, evidence. Writing between two lines.
2. Interlineations are made either before or after the execution of an
instrument. Those made before should be noted previously to its execution; those
made after are made either by the party in whose favor they are, or by
3. When made by the party himself, whether the interlineation be material or
immaterial, they render the deed void; 1 Gall. Rep. 71; unless made with the
consent of the opposite party. Vide 11 Co. 27 a: 9 Mass. Rep. 307; 15 Johns. R.
293; 1 Dall. R. 57; 1 Halst. R. 215; but see 1 Pet. C. C. R. 364; 5 Har. &
John; 41; 2 L. R. 290; 2 Ch. R. 410; 4 Bing. R. 123; Fitzg. 207, 223; Cov. on
Conv. Ev. 22; 2 Barr. 191.
4. When the interlineation is made by a stranger, if it be immaterial, it
will not vitiate the instrument, but if it be material, it will in general avoid
it. Vide Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 26, s. 8; Com. Dig. Fait, F 1.
5. The ancient rule, which is still said to be in force, is, that an
alteration shall be presumed to have been made before the execution of the
instrument. Vin. Ab. Evidence, Q, a 2; Id. Faits, U; 1 Swift's Syst. 310; 6
Wheat. R. 481; 1 Halst. 215. But other cases hold the presumption to be that a
material interlineation was made after the execution of an instrument, unless
the contrary be proved. 1 Dall. 67. This doctrine corresponds nearly with the
rules of the canon law on this subject. The canonists have examined it with
care. Vide 18 Pick. R. 172; Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 3, c. 4, n. 115, and
INTERLOCUTORY. This word is applied to signify something which is done
between the commencement and the end of a suit or action which decides some
point or matter, which however is not a final decision of the matter in issue;
as, interlocutory judgments, or decrees or orders. Vide Judgment,
INTERLOPERS. Persons who interrupt the trade of a company of
merchants, by pursuing the same business with them in the same place, without
INTERNATIONAL. That which pertains to intercourse between nations.
International law is that which regulates the intercourse between, or the
relative rights of nations.
INTERNUNCIO. A minister of a second order, charged with the affairs of
the court of Rome, where that court has no nuncio under that title.
INTERRELATION, civil law. The act by which, in consequence of an
agreement, the party bound declares that he will not be bound beyond a certain
time. Wolff, Inst. Nat. 752.
2. In the case of a lease from year to year, or to continue as long as both
parties please, a notice given by one of them to the other of a determination to
put an end to the contract, would bear the name of interpelation.
INTERPLEADER, practice. Interpleaders may be had at law and in
2. An interpleader at law a proceeding in the action of detinue, by which the
defendant states the fact that the thing sued for is in his hands, and that it
is claimed by a third person, and that whether such person or the plaintiff is
entitled to it, is unknown to the defendant, and thereupon the defendant prays,
that a process of garnishment may be issued to compel such third person, so
claiming, to become defendant in his stead. 3 Reeves, Hist. of the Eng. Law, ch.
23; Mitford, Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 141; Story, Eq. Jur. 800, 801, 802. Interpleader
is allowed to avoid inconvenience; for two parties claiming adversely to each
other, cannot be entitled to the same thing. Bro. Abr. Interpleader, 4. Hence
the rule which requires the defendant to allege that different parties demand
the same thing. Id. pl. 22.
3. If two persons sue the same person in detinue for the thing, and both
action; are depending in the same court at the same time, the defendant may
plead that fact, produce the thing (e. g. a deed or charter in court, and aver
his readiness to deliver it to either as the court shall adjudge; and thereupon
pray that they may interplead. In such a case it has been settled that the
plaintiff whose writ bears the earliest teste has the right to begin the
interpleading, and the other will be compelled to answer. Bro. Abr. Interpl.
4. In equity, interpleaders are common. Vide Bill of Interpleader, and 8 Vin.
Ab. 419; Doct. Pl. 247; 3 Bl. Com. 448; Com. Dig. Chancery, 3 T; 2 Story, Eq.
INTERPRETATION. The explication of a law, agreement, will, or other
instrument, which appears obscure or ambiguous.
2. The object of interpretation is to find out or collect the intention of
the maker of the instrument, either from his own words, or from other
conjectures, or both. It may then be divided into three sorts, according to the
different means it makes use of for obtaining its end.
3. These three sorts of interpretations are either literal, rational, or
mixed. When we collect the intention of the writer from his words only, as they
lie before us, this is a literal interpretation. When his words do not express
his intention perfectly, but either exceed it, or fall short of it, so that we
are to collect it from probable or rational conjectures only, this is rational
interpretation and when his words, though they do express his intention, when
rightly understood, are in themselves. of doubtful meaning, and we are forced to
have recourse to like conjectures to find out in what sense he used them this
sort of interpretation is mixed; it is partly literal, and partly rational.
4. According to the civilians there are three sorts of interpretations, the
authentic, the usual, and the doctrinal.
5. - 1. The authentic interpretation is that which refers to the legislator
himself, in order to fix the sense of the law.
6. - 2. When the judge interprets the law so as to accord with prior
decisions, the interpretation is called usual.
7. - 3. It is doctrinal when it is made agreeably to rules of science. The
Commentaries of learned lawyers in this case furnish the greatest assistance.
This last kind of interpretation is itself divided into, three distinct classes.
Doctrinal interpretation is extensive, restrictive, or declaratory. 1st. It is
extensive whenever the reason of the law has a more enlarged sense than its
terms, and it is consequently applied to a case which had not been explained.
2d. On the contrary, it is restrictive when the expressions of the law have a
greater latitude than its reasons, so that by a restricted interpretation, an
exception is made in a case which the law does not seem to have embraced. 3d.
When the reason of the law and the terms in which it is conceived agree, and it
is only necessary to explain them to have the sense complete, the interpretation
is declaratory. 8. The term interpretation is used by foreign jurists in nearly
the same sense that we use the word construction. (q. v.)
9. Pothier, in his excellent treatise on Obligations, lays down the following
rules for the interpretation of contracts:
10. - 1. We ought to examine what was the common, intention of the
contracting parties rather than the grammatical sense of the terms.
11. - 2. When a clause is capable of two significations, it should be
understood in that which will have some operation rather than, that in which it
will have none.
12. - 3. Where the terms of a contract are capable of two significations, we
ought to understand them in the sense which is most agreeable to the nature of
13. - 4. Any thing, which may appear ambiguous in the terms of a contract,
may be explained by the common use of those terms in the country where it is
14. - 5. Usage is of so much authority in the interpretation of agreements,
that a contract is understood to contain the customary clauses although they are
not expressed; in contractibus tacite veniunt ea quae sunt moris et
15. - 6. We ought to interpret one clause by the others contained in the same
act, whether they precede or follow it.
16. - 7. In case of doubt, a clause ought to be interpreted against the
person who stipulates anything, and in discharge of the person who contracts the
17. - 8. However general the terms may be in which an agreement is conceived,
it only comprises those things respecting which it appears that the contracting
parties proposed to coutract, and not others which they never thought of.
18. - 9. When the object of the agreement is to include universally
everything of a given nature, (une universalite de choses) the general
description will comprise all particular articles, although they may not have
been in the knowledge, of the parties. We may state, as an example of this rule,
an engagement which I make with you to abandon my share in a succession for a
certain sum. This agreement includes everything which makes part of the
succession, whether known or not; our intention was to contract for the whole.
Therefore it is decided, that I cannot object to the agreement, under pretence
that considerable property has been found to belong to the succession of which
we had not any knowledge.
19. - 10. When a case is expressed in a contract on account of any doubt
which there may be whether the engagement resulting from the contract would.
extend to such case, the parties are not thereby understood to restrain the
extent which the engagement has of right, in respect to all cases not
20. - 11. In contracts as well as in testaments, a clause conceived in the
plural may be frequently distributed into several particular classes.
21. - 12. That which is at the end of a phrase commonly refers to the whole
phrase, and not only to that which immediately precedes it, provided it agrees
in gender and number with the whole phrase.
>22. For instance, if in the contract for sale of a farm, it is said to be
sold with all the corn, small grain, fruits and wine that have been got this
year, the terms, that have been got this year, refer to the whole phrase, and
not to the wine only, and consequently the old corn is not less excepted than
the old wine; it would be otherwise if it had been said, all the wine that has
been got this year, for the expression is in the singular, and only refers to
the wine and not to the rest of the phrase, with which it does not agree in
number. Vide 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 86, et seq.
INTERPRETER. One employed to make a translation. (q v.)
2. An interpreter should be sworn before he translates the testimony of a
witness. 4 Mass. 81; 5 Mass. 219; 2 Caines' Rep. 155.
3. A person employed between an attorney and client to act as interpreter, is
considered merely as the organ between them, and is not bound to testify as to
what be has acquired in those confidential communications. 1 Pet. C. C. R.. 356;
4 Munf. R. 273; 1 Wend. R. 337. Vide Confidential Communications.
INTERREGNUM, polit. law. In an established government, the period
which elapses between the death of a sovereign and the election of another is
called interregnum. It is also understood for the vacancy created in the
executive power, and for any vacancy which occurs when there is no
INTERROGATOIRE, French law. An act, or instrument, which contains the
interrogatories made by the judge to the person accused, on the facts which are
the object of the accasation, and the answers of the accused. Poth. Proc. Crim.
s. 4, art. 2, 1. Vide Information.
INTERROGATORIES. Material and pertinent questions, in writing, to
necessary points, not confessed, exhibited for the examination of witnesses or
persons who are to give testimony in the cause.
2. They are either original and direct on the part, of him who produces the
witnesses, or cross and counter, on behalf of the adverse party, to examine
witnesses produced on the other side. Either party, plaintiff or defendant, may
exhibit original or cross interrogatories.
3. The form which interrogatories assume, is as various as the minds of the
persons who propound them. They should be as distinct as possible, and capable
of a definite answer; and they should leave no loop-holes for evasion to an
unwilling witness. Care must be observed to put no leading questions in original
interrogatories, for these always lead to inconvenience; and for scandal or
impertinence, interrogatories will, under certain Circumstances, be suppressed.
Vide Will. on Interrogatories, passim; Gresl. Ea. Ev pt. 1, c. 3, s. 1; Vin. Ab.
h. t.; Hind's Pr. 317; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4419, et seq.
INTERRUPTION. The effect of some act or circumstance which stops the
course of a prescription or act of limitation's.
2. Interruption of the use of a thing is natural or civil. Natural
interruption is an interruption in fact, which takes place whenever by some act
we cease truly to possess what we formerly possessed. Vide 4 Mason's Rep. 404; 2
Y. & Jarv. 285. A right is not interrupted by: mere trespassers, if the
trespasser's were unknown; but if they were known, and the trespasses frequent,
and no legal proceeding instituted in consequence of them, they then become
legitimae interruptiones, of which Bracton speaks, and are converted into
adverse assertions of right, and if not promptly and effectually litigated, they
defeat the claim of rightful prescription; and mere threats of action for the
trespasses, without following them up, will have no effect to preserve the
right. Knapp, R. 70, 71; 3 Bar. & Ad. 863; 2 Saund. 175, n. e; 1 Camp. 260;
4 Camp. 16; 5 Taunt. 125 11 East, 376.
3. Civil interruption is that which takes place by some judicial act, as the
commencement of a suit to recover the thing in dispute, which gives notice to
the possessor that the thing which he possesses does not belong to him. When the
title has once been gained by prescription, it will not be lost by interruption
of it for ten or twenty years. 1 Inst. 113 b. A simple acknowledgment of a debt
by the debtor, is a sufficient interruption to prevent the statute from running.
Indeed, whenever an agreement, express or implied, takes place between the
creditor and the debtor, between the possessor and the owner, which admits the
indebtedness or the right to the thing in dispute, it is considered a civil
conventional interruption which prevents the statute or the right of
prescription from running. Vide 3 Burge on the Confl. of Lalys, 63.
INTERVAL. A space of time between two periods. When a person is unable
to perform an act at any two given periods, but in the interval he has performed
such act, as when a man is found to be insane in the months of January and
March, and he enters into a contract or makes a will in the interval, in
February, he will be presumed to have been insane at that time; and the onus
will lie to show his sanity, on the person who affirms such act. See Lucid
INTERVENTION, civil law. The act by which a third party becomes a
party in a suit pending between other persons.
2. The intervention is made either to be joined to the plaintiff, and to
claim the same thing he does, or some other thing connected with it or, to join
the defendant, and with him to oppose the claim of the plaintiff, which it-is
his interest to defeat. Poth. Proced. Civ. lere part. ch. 2, s. 6, 3. In the
English ecclesiastical courts, the same term is used in the same sense.
3. When a third person, not originally a party to the suit or proceeding, but
claiming an interest in the subject-matter in dispute, may, in order the better
to protect such interest, interpose his claim, which proceeding is termed
intervention. 2 Chit. Pr. 492; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 633; 2 Hagg. Cons. R. 137; 3
Phillim. R. 586; 1 Addams, R. 5; Ought. tit. 14; 4 Hagg. Eccl. R. 67 Dual. Ad.
Pr. 74. The intervener may come in at any stage of the cause, and even after
judgment, if an appeal can be allowed on such judgment. 2 Hagg. Cons. R. 137: 1
Eng. feel. R. 480; 2 E.g. Eccl. R. 13.
INTESTACY. The state or condition of dying without a will.
INTESTABLE. One who cannot law fully make a testament.
2. An infant, an insane person, or one civilly dead, cannot make a will, for
want of capacity or understanding; a married woman cannot make such a will
without some special authority, because she is under the power of her hushand.
They are all intestable.
INTESTATE. One who, having lawful power to make a will, has made none,
or one which is defective in form. In that case, he is said to die intestate,
and his estate descends to his heir at law. See Testate.
2. This term comes from the Latin intestatus. Formerly, it was used in France
indiscriminately with de-confess; that is, without confession. It was regarded
as a crime, on account of the omission of the deceased person to give something
to the church, and was punished by privation of burial in consecrated ground.
This omission, according to Fournel, Hist. des Avocats, vol. 1, p. 116, could be
repaired by making an ampliative testament in the name of the deceased. See
Vely, tom. 6, page 145; Henrion De Pansey, Authorite Judiciare, 129 and note.
Also, 3 Mod. Rep. 59, 60, for the Law of Intestacy in England.
INTIMATION, civil law. The name of any judicial act by which a notice
of a legal proceeding. is given to some one; but it is more usually understood
to mean the notice or summons which an appellant causes to be given to the
opposite party, that the sentence will be reviewed by the superior judge.
2. In the Scotch law, it is an instrument, of writing, made under the hand of
a notary, and notified to a party, to inform him of a right which a third person
had acquired; for example, when a creditor assigns a claim against his debtor,
the assignee or cedent must give an intimation of this to the debtor, who, till
then, is justified in making payment to the original creditor. Kames' Eq. B. 1,
p. 1, s. 1.
INTRODUCTION. That part of a writing in which are detailed those facts
which elucidate the subject. In chancery pleading, the introduction is that part
of a bill which contains the names and description of the persons exhibiting the
bill. In this part of the bill are also given the places of abode, title, or
office, or business, and the character in which they sue, if it is in autre
droit, and such other description as is required to show the jurisdiction of the
court. 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4156.
INTROMISSION Scotch law. The assuming possession of property belonging
to another, either on legal grounds, or without any authority; in the latter
case, it is called vicious intromission. Bell's S. L. Dict. h. t.
INTRONISATION, French eccl. law. The installation of a hishop in his
episcopal see. Clef des Lois Row. h. t. Andre.
INTRUDER. One who, on the death of the ancestor, enters on the land,
unlawfully, before the heir can enter.
INTRUSION, estates, torts. When an ancestor dies seised of an estate
of inheritance expectant upon an estate for life, and then the tenant dies, and
between his death and the entry of the heir, a stranger unlawfully enters upon
the estate, this is called an intrusion. It differs from an abatement, for the
latter is an entry into lands void by the death of a tenant in fee, and an
intrusion, as already stated, is an entry into land void by the death of a
tenant for years. F. N. B. 203 3 Bl. Com. 169 Archb. Civ. Pl. 12; Dane's Ab.
Index, h. t.
INTRUSION, remedies. The name of a writ, brought by the owner of a fee
simple, &c., against an intruder. New Nat. Br. 453.
INUNDATION. The overflow of waters by coming out of their bed.
2. Inundations may arise from three causes; from public necessity, as in
defence of a place it may be necessary to dam the current of a stream, which
will cause an inundation to the upper lands; they may be occasioned by an
invincible force, as by the accidental fall of a rock in the stream; or they may
result from the erections of works on the stream. In the first case, the injury
caused by the inundation is to be compensated as other injuries done in war; in
the second, as there was no fault of any one, the loss is to be borne by the
unfortunate owner of the estate; in the last, when the riparian. proprietor is
injured by such works as alter the level of the water where it enters or where
it leaves the property on which they are erected, the person injured may recover
damages for the injury thus caused to his property by the innundation. 9 Co. 59;
4 Day's R. 244; 17 Serg. & Rawle, 383; 3 Mason's R. 172; 7 Pick. R. 198; 7
Cowen, R. 266; 1 B. & Ald. 258; 1 Rawle's R. 218; 5 N. H. Rep. 232; 9 Mass.
R. 316; 4 Mason's R. 400; 1 Sim. & Stu. 203; 1 Come's R. 460. Vide Schult.
Aq. R. 122; Ang. W. C. 101; 5 Ohio, R. 322, 421; and art. Dam.
TO INURE. To take effect; as, the pardon inures.
INVALID. In a physical sense, it is that which is wanting force; in a
figurative sense, it signifies that which has no effect.
INVASION. The entry of a country by a public enemy, making war.
2. The Constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 8, gives power to
congress "to provide for calling the militia to execute the laws of the Union,
suppress insurrections, and repel invasions." Vide Insurrection.
INVENTION. A contrivance; a discovery. It is in this sense this word
is used in the patent laws of the United States. 17 Pet. 228; S. C. 1 How. U. S.
202. It signifies not something which has been found ready made, but something
which, in consequence of art or accident, has been formed; for the invention
must relate ot some new or useful art, machine, manufacture, or composition of
matter, not before known or used by others. Act of July 4, 1836, 4 Sharsw.
continuation of Story's L. U.S. 2506; 1 Mason, R. 302; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 9. Vide
Patent. By invention, the civilians understand the finding of some things which
had not been lost; they must either have abandoned, or they must have never
belonged to any one, as a pearl found on the sea shore. Lec. Elem 350.
INVENTIONES. This word is used in some ancient English charters to
INVENTOR. One who invents or finds out something.
2. The patent laws of the United States authorize a patent to be issued to
the original inventor; if the invention is suggested by another, he is not the
inventor within the meaning of those laws; but in that case the suggestion must
be of the specific process or machine; for a general theoretical suggestion, as
that steam might be applied to the navigation of the air or water, without
pointing out by what specific process or machine that could be accomplished,
would not be such a suggestion as to deprive the person to whom it had been made
from being considered as the inventor. Dav. Pat. Cas. 429; 1 C. & P. 558; 1
Russ. & M. 187; 4 Taunt. 770; B ut see 1 M. G. & S. 551; 3 Man. Gr.
& Sc. 97.
3. The applicant for a patent must be both the first and original inventor. 4
Law Report. 342.