JUDGMENT, practice. The decision or sentence of the law, given by a
court of justice or other competent tribunal, as the result of proceedings
instituted therein, for the redress of an injury.
2. The language of judgments, therefore, is not that "it is decreed," or "
resolved," by the court; but " it is considered," (consideratum est per curiam)
that the plaintiff recover his debt, damages, or possession, as the case may
require, or that the defendant do go without day. This implies that the judgment
is not so much the decision of the court, as the sentence of the law pronounced
and decreed by the court, after due deliberation and inquiry.
3. To be valid, a judicial judgment must be given by a competent judge or
court, at a time and place appointed by law, and in the form it requires. A
judgment would be null, if the judge had not jurisdiction of the matter; or,
having such jurisdiction, he exercised it when there was no court held, or but
of his district; or if be rendered a judgment before the cause was prepared for
4. The judgment must confine itself to the question raised before the court,
and cannot extend beyond it. For example, where the plaintiff sued for an injury
committed on his lands by animals owned and kept carelessly by defendant, the
judgment may be for damages, but it cannot command the defendant for the future
to keep his cattle out of the plaintiff's land. That would be to usurp the power
of the legislature. A judgment declares the rights which belong to the citizen,
the law alone rules future actions. The law commands all men, it is the same for
all, because it is general; judgments are particular decisions, which apply only
to particular persons, and bind no others; they vary like the circumstances on
which they are founded.
5. Litigious contests present to the courts facts to appreciate, agreements
to be construed, and points of law to be resolved. The judgment is the result of
the full examination of all these.
6. There are four kinds of judgments in civil cases, namely: 1. When the
facts are admitted by the parties, but the law is disputed; as in case of
judgment upon demurrer. 2. When the law is admitted, but the facts are disputed;
as in, case of judgment upon a verdict. 3. When both the law and the facts are
admitted by confession; as, in the case of cognovit actionem, on the part of the
defendant; or nolle prosequi, on the part of the plaintiff. 4. By default of
either party in the course of legal proceedings, as in the case of judgment by
nihil disit, or non sum informatus, when the defendant has omitted to plead or
instruct his attorney to do so, after a proper notice or in cases of judgment by
non pros; or, as in case of nonsuit, when the plaintiff omits to follow up his
7. These four species of judgments, again, are either interlocutory or final.
Vide 3 Black. Com. 396; Bingh. on Judgm. 1. For the lien of judgment in the
several estates, vide Lien.
8. A list of the various judgments is here given.
9. Judgment in assumpsit is either in favor of the plaintiff or defendant;
when in favor of the plaintiff, it is that he recover a specified sum, assessed
by a jury, or on reference to the prothonotary, or other proper officer, for the
damages which he has sustained, by reason of the defendant's non-performance of
his promises and undertakings, and for full costs of suit. 1 Chit. Pl. 100. When
the judgment is for the defendant, it is that he recover his costs.
10. Judgment in actions on the case for torts, when for the plaintiff, is
that he recover a sum of money ascertained by a jury for his damages occasioned
by the committing of the grievances complained of, and the costs of suit. 1 Ch.
Pl. 147. When for the defendant, it is for costs.
11. Judgment of cassetur breve, or billa, is in cases of pleas in abatement
where the plaintiff prays that his "writ" or " bill" "may be quashed, that he
may sue or exhibit a better one." Steph. Pl. 130, 131, 128 Lawes, Civ. PI.
12. Judgment by confession. When instead of entering a plea, the defendant
chooses to confess the action; or, after pleading; he does, at any time before
trial, both confess the action and withdraw his plea or other allegations; the
judgment against him, in these two cases, is called a judgment by confession or
by confession relicta verificatione. Steph. Pl. 130.
13. Contradictory judgment. By this term is understood, in the state of
Louisiana, a judgment which has been given after the parties have been heard,
either in support of their claims, or in their defence. Code of Pract. art. 535;
11 L. R. 366, 569. A judgment is called contradictory to distinguish it from one
which is rendered by default.
14. Judgment in covenant; when for the plaintiff, is that he recover an
ascertained sum for his damages, which he has sustained by reason of the breach
or breaches of the defendant's covenant, together with costs of suit. 1 Chitty's
Plead. 116, 117. When for the defendant, the judgment, is for costs.
15. Judgment in the action of debt; when for the plaintiff, is that he
recover his debt, and in general, nominal damages for the detention thereof; and
in cases under the 8 and 9 Wm. III. c. 11, it is also awarded, that the
plaintiff have execution for the damages sustained by the breach of a bond,
conditioned for the performance of covenants; and that plaintiff recover full
costs of suit. 1 Chitty's Pl. 108, 9.
16. In some penal and other particular actions the plaintiff does not,
however, always recover costs. Espinasse on Pen. Act. 154: Hull. on Costs, 200;
Bull. N. P. 333; 5 Johns. R. 251.
17. When the judgment is for the defendant, it is generally for costs. In
some penal actions, however, neither party can recover costs, 5 Johns. R.
18. Judgment by default, is a judgment rendered in consequence of tho
non-appearance of the defendant, and is either by nil dicit; vide Judgment by
nil dicit, or by non sum informatus; vide Judgment by non sum informatus.
19. This judgment is interlocutory in assumpsit, covenant, trespass, case,
and replevin, where the sole object of the action is damages; but in debt,
damages not being the principal object of the action, the plaintiff usually
signs final judgment in the first instance. Vide Com. Dig. Pleader, B 11 and 12,
E 42; 7 Vin. Ab. 429; Doct. Pl. 208; Grah. Pr, 631 Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 3
Chit. Pr. 671 to 680; Tidd's Pr. 563; 1 Lillv's Reg. 585; and article
20. Judgment in the action of detinue; when for the plaintiff, is in the
alternative, that he recover the goods, or the value thereof, if he cannot have
the goods themselves, and his damage for the detention and costs. 1 Ch. Pl. l21,
2; 1 Dall. R. 458.
2l. Judgment in error, is a judgment rendered by a court ot error, on a
record sent up, from an inferior court. These judgments are of two kinds, of
affirmance and reversal. When the judgment is for the defendant in error,
whether the errors assigned be in law or in fact, it is "that the former
judgment be affirmed, and stand in full force and effect, the said causes and
matters assigned for error notwithstanding, and that the defendant in error
recover $____ for his damages, charges and costs which he hath sustained,"
&c. 2 Tidd's Pr. 1126; Arch. Forms, 221. When it is for the plaintiff in
error, the judgment is that it be reversed or recalled. It is to be reversed for
error in law, in this form, that it be reversed, annulled and altogether holden
for nought." Arch. Forms, 224. For error in fact the, judgment is recalled,
revocatur. 2 Tidd, Pr. 1126.
22. A final judgment is one which puts an end to the suit.
23. When the issue is one in fact, and is tried by a jury, the jury at the
time that they try the issue, assess the damages, and the judgment is final in
the first instance, and is that the plaintiff do recover the damages
24. When an interlocutory judgment has been rendered, and a writ of inquiry
has issued to ascertain the damages, on the return of the inquisition the
plaintiff is entitled to a final judgment, namely, that he recover the amount of
damages so assessed. Steph. Pl. 127, 128.
25. An interlocutory judgment, is one given in the course of a cause, before
final judgment. When the action sounds in damages, and the issue is an issue in
law, or when any issue in fact not tried by a jury is decided in favor of the
plaintiff, then the judgment is that the plaintiff ought to recover his damages
without specifying their amount; for, as there has been no trial by jury in the
case, the amount of damages is not yet ascertained. The judgment is then said to
26. To ascertain such damages it is the practice to issue a writ of inquiry.
Steph. Pl. 127. When the action is founded on a promissory note, bond, or other
writing, or any other contract by which the amount due may be readily computed,
the practice is, in some courts, to refer it to the prothonotary or clerk to
assess the damages.
27. There is one species of interlocutory judgment which establishes nothing
but the inadequacy of the defence set up this is the judgment for the plaintiff
on demurrer to a plea in abatement, by which it appears that the defendant has
mistaken the law on a point which does not affect the merits of his case; and it
being but reasonable that he should offer, if he can, a further defence, that
judgment is that he do answer over, in technical language, judgment of
respondeat ouster. (q. v.) Steph. Plead, 126; Bac. Ab. Pleas, N. 4; 2 Arch. Pr.
28. Judgment of nil capiat per breve or per billam. When an issue arises upon
a declaration or peremptory plea, and it is decided in favor of the defendant,
the judgment is, in general, that, the plaintiff take nothing by his writ, (or
bill,) and that the defendant go thereof without day, &c. This is called a
judgment of nil capiat per breve, or per billam. Steph. Pl. 128.
29. Judgment by nil dicit, is one rendered against a defendant for want of a
plea. The plaintiff obtains a rule on the defendant to plead within a time
specified, of which he serves a notice on the defendant or his attorney; if the
defendant neglect to enter a plea within the time specified, the plaintiff may
sign judgment against him.
30. Judgment of nolle prosequi, is a judgment entered against the plaintiff,
where, after appearance and before judgment, he says, "he will not further
prosecute his suit." Steph. Pl. 130 Lawes Civ. Pl. 166.
31. Judgment of non obstante veredicto, is a judgment rendered in favor of
the plaintiff, without regard to the verdict obtained by the defendant.
32. The motion for such judgment is made where after a pleading by the
defendant in confession and avoidance, as, for example, a plea in bar, and issue
joined thereon, and verdict found for, the defendant, the plaintiff on
retrospective examination of the record, conceives that such plea was bad in
substance, and might have been made the subject of demurrer on that ground. If
the plea was itself substantially bad in law, of course the verdict, which
merely shows it to be true in point of fact, cannot avail to entitle the
defendant to judgment; while on the other hand the plea being in confession and
avoidance, involves a confession of the plaintiff's declaration, and shows that
he was entitled. to maintain his action. In such case, therefore, this court
will give judgment for the plaintiff, without regard to the verdict; and this,
for the reasons above explained, is called a judgment upon confession. Sometimes
it may be expedient for the plaintiff to move for judgment non obstante,
&c., even though the verdict be in his own favor; for, if in such case as
above described, he takes judgment as upon the verdict, it seems that such
judgment would be erroneous, and that the only safe course is to take it as upon
confession. 1 Wils. 63; Cro. Eliz, 778 2 Roll. Ab. 99. See also, Cro. Eliz. 2 1
4 6 Mod. 1 0; Str. 394; 1 Ld. Raym. 641; 8 Taunt. 413; Rast. Ent. 622; 1 Wend.
307; 2 Wend. 624; 5 Wend. 513; 4 Wend. 468; 6 Cowen, R. 225. See this Dict.
Repleader, for the difference between a repleader and a judgment non obstante
33. Judgment by non sum informatus, is one which is rendered, when instead of
entering a plea, the defendant's attorney says he is not informed of any answer
to be given to the action. Steph. Pl. 130.
34. Judgment of non pros. (from non prosequitur,) is one given against the
plaintiff, in any class of actions, for not declaring, or replying, or
surrejoining, &c., or for not entering the issue.
35. Judgment of nonsuit, Practice, is one against the plaintiff, which
happens when, on trial by jury, the plaintiff, on being called or demanded, at
the instance of the defendant, to be present while the jury give their verdict,
fails to make his appearance.
36. In this case, no verdict is given, but the judgment of nonsuit passes
against the plaintiff. So if, after issue be joined, the plaintiff neglect to
bring such issue on to be tried in due time, as limited by the practice of the
court, in the particular case, judgment will be also given against him for this
default; and it is called judgment as in case of nonsuit. Stepb. Pl. 131.
37. After suffering a nonsuit, the plaintiff may commence another action for
the same cause for which the first had been instituted.
38. In some cases, plaintiffs having obtained information in what manner the
jury had agreed upon their verdict before it was delivered in court, have, when
the jury were ready to give in such verdict against them, suffered a nonsuit for
the purpose of commencing another action and obtaining another trial. To prevent
this abuse, the legislature of Pennsylvania have provided, by the Act of March
28, 1814, 6:Reed's L. 208, that "whenever on the trial of any cause, the jury
shall be ready to give in their verdict, the plaintiff shall not be called, nor
shall he then be permitted to suffer a nonsuit."
39. Judgment quod computet. The name of an interlocutory judgment in an
action of account render that the defendant do account, quod computet. Vide 4
Wash. C. C. R. 84; 2 Watts, R. 95; 1 Penn. R. 138.
40. Judgment quod recuperet. When an issue in law, other than one arising on
a dilatory plea, or an issue in fact, is decided in favor of the plaintiff, the
judgment is, that the plaintiff do recover, which is called a judgment guod
recuperet. Steph. Pl. 126; Com. Dig. Abatement, I 14, I 15; 2 Arch. Pr. 3. This
judgment is of two kinds, namely, interlocutory or final.
41. Judgment in replevin, is either for the plaintiff or defendant.
42. - §1. For the plaintiff. 1. When the declaration is in the detinuit, that
is, where the plaintiff declares, that the chattels "were detained until
replevied by the sheriff," the judgment is that he recover the damages assessed
by the jury for the taking and unjust detention, or for the latter only, where
the former was justifiable, as also his costs. 5 Serg. & Rawle, 133 Ham. N.
43. - 2. If the replevin is in the detinet, that is, where the plaintiff
declares that the chattels taken are " yet detained," the jury must find, 'in
addition to the above, the value of the chattels, (assuming that they are still
detained,) not in a gross sum, but each separate article; for tho defendant,
perhaps, will restore some, in which case the plaintiff is to recover the value
of the remainder. Ham. N. P. 489; Fitz. N. B. 159, b; 5 Serg. & Rawle,
44. - §2. For the defendant. 1. If the replevin be abated, the judgment is,
that the writ or plaint abate, and that the defendant (having avowed) have a
return of the chattels.
46. - 2. When the plaintiff is nonsuited) the judgment for the defendant, at
common law, is, that the chattels be restored to him, and this without his first
assigning the purpose for which they were taken, because, by abandoning his
suit, the plaintiff admits that he had no right to dispossess the defendant by
prosecuting the replevin. The form of this judgment. is simply " to have a
return, " without adding the words " to hold irreplevisable." Ham. N. P.
46. As to the form of judgments in cases of nonsuit, under the 21 Hen. VIII.
c. 19, and 17 Car. II. c. 7, see Ham. N. P. 490, 491; 2 Ch. Pleacd. 161; 8
Wentw. Pl. 116; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 132; 1 Saund. 195, n. 3; 2 Saund. 286, n.
5. It is still in the defendant's option in these cases, to take his judgment
pro retorno habendo at common law. 5 Serg. & Rawle, 132; 1 Lev. 265; 3 T. R.
47. - 3. When tho avowant succeeds upon the merits of his case, the common
law judgment is, that he "have return irreplevisable," for it is apparent that
he is by law entitled to keep possession of the goods. 5 Serg. & Rawle, 135;
Ham. N. P. 493; 1 Chit. Pl. 162. For the form of judgments in favor of the
avowant, under the last mentioned statutes, gee Ham. N. P. 494-5.
48. Judgment of respondeat ouster. When there is an issue in law, arising on
a dilatory plea, and it is decided in favor of the plaintiff, the judgment is
only that the defendant answer over, which is called a judgment of respondeat
ouster. The pleading is accordingly resumed, and the action proceeds. Steph. Pl.
126; see Bac. Abr. Pleas, N 4; 2 Arch. Pr. 3.
49. Judgment of retraxit, is one where, after appearance and before judgment,
the, plaintiff enters upon the record that he "withdraws his suit;" in such case
judgment is given against him. Stepb. Pl. 130.
50. Judgment in an action on trespass, when for the plaintiff, is, that he
recover the damages assessed by the jury, and the costs. For the defendant, that
he recover the costs.
51. Judgment in action on the case for trover, when for the plaintiff, is,
that he recover damages and costs. 1 Ch. Pl. 157, For the defendant, the
judgment is, that he recover his costs.
52. Judgment of capiatur. At common law, on conviction, in a civil action, of
a forcible wrong, alleged to have been committed vi et armis, &c., the
defendant was obliged to pay a fine to the king, for the breach of the peace
implied in the act, and a judgment of capiatur pro fine was rendered against
him, under which he was liable to be arrested, and imprisoned till the fine was
paid. But by the 5 W. & M. c. 12, the judgment of capiatur pro fine was
abolished. Gould on Pl. §38, 82; Bac. Ab. Fines and Amercements, C 1; 1 Ld.
Raym. 273, 4; Style, 346. See Judgment of misericordia,
53. Judgment of misericordia. At common law, the party to, a suit who did not
prevail was punished for his unjust vexation, and therefore judgment was given
against him, quod sit in misericordia pro falso clamore. Hence, when the
plaintiff sued out a writ, the sheriff was obliged to take pledges of
prosecution before he returned it, which when fines and amercements were
considerable, were real and responsible persons, and answerable for those
amercements; but now they are never levied, and the pledges are merely formal,
namely, John Doe and Richard Roe. Bac. Ab. Fines, &c., C 1 1 Lord Ray. 273,
54. In actions where the judgment was against the defendant, it was entered
at common law, with a misericordia or a capiatur. With a misericordia in actions
on contracts, with a capiatur in actions of trespass, or other forcible wrong,
alleged to have been committed vi et armis. See Judgment of capiatur; Gould on
Pl. c. 4, §§38, 82, 83.
55. Judgment quod partitio fiat, is a judgment, in a writ of partition, that
partition be made; this is not a final judgment. The final judgment is, quod
partitio facta firma et stabilis in perpetuum teneatur. Co. Litt. 169; 2 Bl.
56. Judgment quod partes replacitent. The name of a judgment given when the
court award a repleader.
57. When issue is joined on an immaterial point, or a point on which the
court cannot give a judgment determining the right, they award a repleader or
judgment quod partes replacitent. See Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c., M; 3 Hayw. 159;
Peck's R. 325. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
JUDGMENT, ARREST OF, practice. This takes place when the court
withhold judgment from the plaintiff on the ground that there is some error
appearing on the face of the record, which vitiates the proceedings. In
consequence of such error, on whatever part of the record it may arise, from the
commencement of the suit to the time when the motion in arrest of judgment is
made, the court are bound to arrest the judgment.
2. It is, however, only with respect to objections apparent on the record,
that such motions can be made. They cannot, in general, be made in respect to
formal objections. This was formerly otherwise, and judgments were constantly
arrested for matters of mere form; 3 Bl. Corn. 407; 2 Reeves, 448; but this
abuse has been long remedied by certain statutes passed at different periods,
called the statutes of amendment and jeofails, by the effect of which,
judgments, cannot, in general, now be arrested for any objection of form. Steph.
Pl. 117; see 3 Bl. Com. 393; 21 Vin. Ab. 457; 1 Sell. Pr. 496.
JUDGMENT POLL, Eng. law. A record made of the issue roll, (q. v.)
which, after final judgment has been given in the cause, assumes this name.
Steph. Pl. 133. Vide Issue Roll.
JUDICATURE. The state of those employed in the administration of
justice, and in this sense it is nearly synonymous with judiciary. This term is
also used to signify a tribunal; and sometimes it is employed to show the extent
of jurisdiction, as, the judicature is upon writs of error, &c. Com. Dig.
Parliament, L 1; and see Com. Dig. Courts, A.
JUDICES PEDANEOS. Among the Romans, the praetors, and other great
magistrates, did not themselves decide the actions which arose between private
individuals these were submitted to judges chosen by the parties, and these
judges were called judices pedaneos. In choosing them, the plaintiff had the
right to nominate, and the defendant to accept or reject those nominated.
Heinnee. Antiq. lib. 4, tit. b, n. 40 7 Toull. n. 353.