LIBERTY. Freedom from restraint. The power of acting as one thinks
fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.
2. Liberty is divided into civil, natural, personal, and political.
3. Civil liberty is the power to do whatever is permitted by the constitution
of the state and the laws of the land. It is no other than natural lib-erty, so
far restrained by human laws, and no further, operating equally upon all the
citizens, as is necessary and expedient for the general advantage of the public.
1 Black. Com. 125; Paley's Mor. Phil. B. 6, c.5; Swifts Syst. 12
4. That system of laws is alone calculated to maintain civil liberty, which
leaves the citizen entirely master of his own conduct, except in those points in
which the public good requires some direction and restrant. When a man is
restrained in his natural liberty by no municipal laws but those which are
requisite to prevent his violating the natural law, and to promote the greatest
moral and physical welfare of the community, he is legally possessed of the
fullest enjoyment of his civil rights of individual liberty. But it must not be
inferred that individuals are to judge for themselves how far the law may
justifiably restrict their individual liberty; for it is necessary to-the
welfare of the commonwealth, that the law should be obeyed; and thence is
derived the legal maxim, that no man may be wiser than the law.
5. Natural liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind, of
diposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most
consonant to their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of
the law of nature, and that they do not in any way abuse it to the prejudice of
other men. Burlamaqui, c. 3, s. 15; 1 Bl. Com. 125.
6. Personal liberty is the independence of our actions of all other will than
our own. Wolff, Ins. Nat. §77. It consists in the power of locomotion, of
changing situation, or removing one's person to whatever place one's inclination
may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law. 1
Bl. Com. 134.
7. Political liberty may be defined to be, the security by which, from the
constitution, form and nature of the established government, the citizens enjoy
civil liberty. No ideas or definitions are more distinguishable than those of
civil aud political liberty, yet they are generally confounded. 1 Bl. Com. 6,
125. The political liberty of a state is based upon those fundamental laws which
establish the distribution of legislative and executive powers. The political
liberty of a citizen is that tranquillity of mind, which is the effect of an
opinion that he is in perfect security; and to insure this security, the
government must be such that one citizen shall not fear another.
8. In the English law, by liberty is meant a privilege held by grant or
prescription, by which some men enjoy greater benefits than ordiuary subjects. A
liberty is also a territory, with some extraordinary privilege.
9. By liberty or liberties, is understood a part of a town or city, as the
Northern Liberties of the city of Philadelphia. The same as Faubourg. (q.
LIBERTY OF THE PRESS. The right to print and publish the truth, from
good motives, and for justifiable ends. 3 Johns. Cas. 394.
2. This right is secured by the constitution of the United States.
Amendments, art. 1. The abuse of the right is punished criminally, by
indictment; civilly, by action. Vide Judge Cooper's Treatise on the Law of
Libel, aud the Liberty of the Press, passim; and article Libel.
LIBERTY OF SPEECH. The right given by the constitution and the laws to
public support in speaking facts or opinions.
2. In a republican government like ours, liberty of speech cannot be extended
too far, when its object is the public good. It is, therefore, wisely provided
by the constitution of the United States, that members of congress shall not be
called to account for anything said in debate; and similar provisions are
contained in the constitutions of the several states in relation to the members
of their respective legislatures. This right, however, does not extend beyond
the mere speaking; for if a member of congress were to reduce his speech to
writing and cause it to be printed, it would no longer bear a privileged
character and he might be held responsible for a libel, as any other individual.
Bac. Ab. Libel, B.* See Debate.
3. The greatest latitude is allowed by the common law to counsel; in the
discharge of his professional duty he may use strong epithets, however
derogatory to other persons they may be, if pertinent to the cause, and stated
in his instructions, whether the thing were true or false. But if he were
maliciously to travel out of his case for the purpose of slandering another, he
would be liable to an action, and amenable to a just and often more efficacious
punishment inflicted by public opinion. 3 Chit. Pr. 887. No respectable counsel
will indulge himself with unjust severity; and it is doubtless the duty of the
court to prevent any such abuse.
LIBERUM TENEMENTUM, pleading. The name of a plea in an action of
trespass, by which the defendant claims the locus in quo to be his soil and
freehold, or the soil and freehold of a third person, by whose command he
entered. 2 Salk. 453; 7 T. R. 355; 1 Saund. 299, b, note.
LIBERUM TENEMENTUM, estate. The same as, freehold, (q. v.) or frank
tenement. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1690.
LICENSE, contracts. A right given by some competent authority to do an
act, which without such authority would be illegal. The instrument or writing
which secures this right, is also called a license. Vide Ayl. Parerg, 353; 15
Vin. Ab. 92; Ang. Wat. Co. 61, 85.
2. A license is express or implied. An express license is one which in direct
terms authorizes the performance of a certain act; as a license to keep a tavern
given by public authority.
3. An implied license is one which though not expressly given, may be
presumed from the acts of the party having a right to give it. The following are
examples of such licenses: 1. When a man knocks at another's door, and it is
opened, the act of opening the door licenses the former to enter the house for
any lawful purpose. See Hob. 62. A servant is, in consequence of his employment,
licensed to admit to the house, those who come on his master's business, but
only such persons. Selw. N. P. 999; Cro. Eliz. 246. It may, however, be inferred
from circumstances that the servant has authority to invite whom he pleases to
the house, for lawful purposes. See 2 Greenl. Ev. §427; Entry.
4. A Iicense is either a bare authority, without interest, or it is coupled
with an interest. 1. A bare license must be executed by the party to whom it is
given in person, and cannot be made over or assigned by him to another; and,
being without consideration, may be revoked at pleasure, as long as it remains
executory; 39 Hen. VI. M. 12, page 7; but when carried into effect, either
partially or altogether, it can only be rescinded, if in its nature it will
admit of revocation, by placing the other side in the same situation in which he
stood before he entered on its execution. 8 East, R. 308; Palm. 71; S. C. Poph.
151; S. C. 2 Roll. Rep. 143, 152.
5. - 2. When the license is coupled with an interest the authority conferred
is not properly a mere permission, but amounts to a grant, which cannot be
revoked, and it may then be assigned to a third person. 5 Hen. V., M. 1, page 1;
2 Mod. 317; 7 Bing. 693; 8 East, 309; 5 B. & C. 221; 7 D. & R. 783;
Crabb on R. P. §521 to 525; 14 S. & R 267; 4 S. & R. 241; 2 Eq. Cas. Ab.
522. When the license is coupled with an interest, the formalities essential to
confer such interest should be observed. Say. R. 3; 6 East, R. 602; 8 East, R.
310, note. See 14 S. & R. 267; 4 S. & R. 241; 2 Eq. Cas. Ab. 522; 11 Ad.
& El. 34, 39; S. C. 39 Eng, C. L. R. 19.
LICENSE, International law. An authority given by one of two
belligerent parties, to the citizens or subjects of the other, to carry on a
2. The effects of the license are to suspend or relax the rules of war to the
extent of the authority given. It is the assumption of a state of peace to the
extent of the license. In the country which grants them, licenses to carry on a
pacific commerce are stricti juris, as being exceptions to the general rule;
though they are not to be construed with pedantic accuracy, nor will every small
deviation be held to vitiate the fair effect of them. 4 Rob. Rep. 8; Chitty, Law
of Nat. 1 to 5, and 260; 1 Kent, Com. 164, 85.
LlCENSE, pleading. The name of a plea of justification to an action of
trespass. A license must be specially pleaded, and cannot, like liberum
tenementum, be given in evidence under the general issue. 2. T. R. 166, 108
LICENSEE. One to whom a license has been given. 1 M. Q. & S. 699
LICENTIA CONCORDANDI, estates, conveyancing, practice. When an action
is brought for the purpose of levying a fine, the defendant, knowing himself to
be in the wrong, is supposed to make overtures of accommodation to the
plaintiff, who accepts them; but having given pledges to prosecute his suit,
applies to the court, upon the return of the writ of covenant, for leave to make
the matter up; this, which is readily granted, is called the, licentia
concordandi. 5 Rep. 39; Cruise, Dig. tit. 35, c. 2, 22.
LICENTIA LOQUENDI. Imparlance. (q. v.)
LICENTIOUSNESS. The doing what one pleases without regard to the
rights of others; it differs from liberty in this, that the latter is restrained
by natural or positive law, and consists in doing whatever we please, not
inconsistent, with the rights of others, whereas the former does not respect
those rights. Wolff, Inst. §84.
LICET SAEPIUS REQUISITUS, pleading. practice. Although often
requested. It is usually alleged in the declaration that the defendant, licet
saepius requisitus, &c., he did not perform the contract, the violatioin of
which is the foundation of the action. The allegation is generally sufficient
when a request is not parcel of the contract. Indeed, in such cases it is
unneccssary even to lay a general request, for the bringing of the suit is
itself a sufficient request. 1 Saund. 33, n. 2; 2 Saund, 118 note 3; Plowd. 128;
1 Wils. 33; 2 H. BI. 131; 1 John. Cas. 99, 319; 7 John. R. 462; 18 John. R. 485;
3 M. & S. 150. Vide Demand.
LICET. It is lawful; not forbidden by law. Id omne licitum est, quod non est
legibus prohibitum; quamobrem, quod, lege permittente, fit, poenam non
LICITATION. A sale at auction; a sale to the highest bidder.
LIDFORD LAW. Vide Lynch Law.
TO LIE. That which is proper, is fit; as, an action on the case lies
for an injury committed without force; corporeal hereditaments lie in livery,
that is, they pass by livery; incorporeal hereditaments lie in grant, that is,
pass by the force of the grant, and without any livery. Vide Lying in grant.
LIEGE, from the Latin, ligare, to bind. The bond subsisting between
the subject and chief, or lord and vassal, binding the one to protection and
just government, the other to tribute and due subjection. The prince or chief is
called liege lord; the subjects liege men. The word is now applied as if the
liegance or bond were only to attach the people to the prince. Stat. 8 Hen. VI.
c. 10; 14 Hen. VIII. c. 2; 1 Bl. Com. 367.
LIEGE POUSTIE, Scotch law. The condition or state of a person who is
in his ordinary health and capacity, and not a minor, nor cognosced as an idiot
or madman, nor under interdiction. He is then said to be in Iiege poustie, or in
legitima potestati, and he has full power of disposal of his property. 1 Bell's
Com. 85, 5th ed.; 6 Clark & Fin. 540. Vide Sui juris.
LIEN, contracts. In its most extensive signification, this term
includes every case in which real or personal property is charged with the
payment of any debt or duty; every such charge being denominated a lien on the
property. In a more limited sense it is defined to be a right of detaining the
property of another until some claim be satisfied. 2 East 235; 6 East 25; 2
Campb. 579; 2 Meriv. 494; 2 Rose, 357; 1 Dall. R. 345.
2. The right of lien generally arises by operation of law, but in some cases
it is created by express contract.
3. There are two kinds of lien; namely, particular and general. When a person
claims a right to retain property, in respect of money or labor expended on such
particular property, this is a particular lien. Liens may arise in three ways:
1st. By express contract. 2d. From implied contract, as from general or
particular usage of trade. 3d. By legal relation between the parties, which may
be created in three ways; When the law casts an obligation on a party to do a
particular act, and in return for which, to secure him payment, it gives him
such lien; 1 Esp. R. 109; 6 East, 519; 2 Ld. Raym. 866; common carriers and inn
keepers are among this number. 2. When goods are delivered to a tradesman or any
other, to expend his labor upon, he is entitled to detain those goods until he
is remunerated for the labor which he so expends. 2 Roll. Ab. 92; 3 M. & S.
167; 14 Pick. 332; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2514. 3. When goods have been saved from the
perils of the sea, the salvor may detain them until his claim for salvage is
satisfied; but in no other case has the finder of goods, a lien. 2 Salk. 654; 5
Burr. 2732; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2518. General liens arise in three ways; 1. By the
agreement of the parties. 6 T. R.14; 3 Bos. & Pull. 42. 2. By the general
usage of trade. 3. By particular usage of trade. Whitaker on Liens 35; Prec. Ch.
580; 1 Atk. 235; 6 T. R. 19.
4. It may be proper to consider a few, general principles: 1. As to the
manner in which a lien may be acquired. 2. To what claims liens properly attach.
3. How they may be lost. 4. Their effect.
5. - 1. How liens may be acquired. To create a valid lien, it is essential,
1st. That the party to whom or by whom it is acquired should have the absolute
property or ownership of the thing, or, at least, a right to vest it. 2d. That
the party claiminig the lien should have an actual or constructive, possession,
with the assent of the party against whom the claim is made. 3 Chit. Com. Law,
547; Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 137; 17 Mass. R. 197; 4 Campb. R. 291; 3 T. R. 119
and 783; 1 East, R. 4; 7 East, R. 5; 1 Stark. R. 123; 3 Rose, R. 955; 3 Price,
R. 547; 5 Binn. R. 392. 3d. That the lien should arise upon an agreement,
express or implied, and not be for a limited or specific purpose inconsistent
with the express terms, or the clear, intent of the contract; 2 Stark. R. 272; 6
T. R. 258; 7 Taunt. 278;. 5 M. & S. 180; 15 Mass. 389, 397; as, for example,
when goods are deposited to be delivered to a third person, or to be transported
to another place. Pal. on Ag. by Lloyd, 140.
6. - 2. The debts or claims to which liens properly attach. 1st. In general,
liens properly attach on liquidated demands, and not on those which sound only
in damages; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 548; though by an express contract they may attach
even in such a case as, where the goods are to be held as an indemnity against a
future contingent claim or damages. Ibid. 2d. The claim for which the lien is
asserted, must he due to the party claiming it in his own right, and not merely
as agent of a third person. It must be a debt or demand due from the very person
for whose benefit the party is acting, and not from a third person, although the
goods may be claimed through him. Pal. Ag. by Lloyd, 132.
7. - 3. How a lien may be lost. 1st. It may be waived or lost by any act or
agreement between the parties, by which it is surrendered, or becomes
inaplicable. 2d. It may also be lost by voluntarily parting with the possession
of the goods. But to this rule there are some exceptions; for example, when a
factor by lawful authority sells the goods of his principal, and parts with the
possession under the sale he is not, by this act, deemed to lose his lien, but
it attaches to the proceeds of the sale in the hands of hte vendee.
8. - 4. The effect of liens. In general, the right of the holder of the lien
is confined to the mere right of retainer. But when the creditor has made
advances on the goods of a factor, he is generally invested with the right to
sell. Holt's N P. Rep. 383; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 551; 2 Liverm. Ag. 103; 2 Kent's
Com. 642, 3d ed. In some cases where the lien would not confer power to sell, a
court of equity would decree it. 1 Story Eq. Jur. §566; 2 Story, Eq. Jur. §1216;
Story Ag. §371. And courts of admiralty will deeree a sale to satisfy maritime
liens. Abb. Ship. pt. 3, c10. §2; Story, Ag. §371.
9. Judgments rendered in courts of record are generally liens on the real
estate of the defendants or parties against whom such judgments are given. In
Alabama, Georgia and Indiana, judgment is a lien; in the last mentioned state,
it continues for ten years from January 1, 1826, if it was rendered from that
time; if, after ten years from the rendition of the judgment, and when the
proceedings are stayed by order of the court, or by an agreement recorded, the
time of its suspension is not reckoned in the ten years. A judgment does not
bind lands in Kentucky, the lien commences by the delivery of execution to the
sheriff, or officer. 4 Pet. R. 366; 1 Dane's R. 360. The law seems to be the
same in Mississippi. 2 Hill. Ab. c. 46, s. 6., In New Jersey, the judgments take
priority among themselves in the order the executions on them have been issued.
The lien of a judgment and the decree of a court of chancery continue a lien in
New York for ten years, and bind after acquired lands. N. Y. Stat. part 3, t. 4,
s. 3. It seems that a judgment is a lien in North Carolina, if an elegit has
been sued out, but this is perhaps not settled. 2 Murph. R. 43. The lien of a
judgment in Ohio is confined to the county, and continues only for one year,
unless revived. It does not, per se, bind after acquired lands. In Pennsylvania,
it commences with the rendering of judgment, and continues five years from the
return day of that term. It does not, per se, bind after acquired lands. It may
be revived by scire facias, or an agreement of the parties, and terre tenants,
written and filed. In South CaroIina and Tennessee a judgment is also a lien. In
the New England states, lands are attached by mesne process or on the writ, and
a lien is thereby created. See 2 Hill. Ab. c. 46.
10. Liens are also divided into legal and equitable. The former are those
which may be enforeed iu a court of law; the latter are valid only in a court of
equity. The lien which the vendor of real estate has on the estate sold, for the
purchase money remaining unpaid, is a familiar example of an equitable lien.
Math. on Pres. 392. Vide Purchase money. Vide, generally, Yelv. 67, a; 2 Kent,
Com. 495; Pal Ag. 107; Whit. on Liens; Story on Ag. ch. 14, §351, et seq: Hov.
11. Lien of mechanics and material men. By virtue of express statutes in
several of the states, mechanics and material men, or persons who furnish
materials for the erection of houses or other buildings, are entitled to a lien
or preference in the payment of debts out of the houses and buildings so
erected, and to the land, to a greater or lessor extent, on which they are
erected. A considerable similarity exists in the laws of the different states
which have legislated on this subject.
12. The lien generally attaches from the commencement of the work or the
furnishing of materials, and continues for a limited period of time. In some
states, a claim must be filed in the office of the clerk or prothonotary of the
court, or a suit brought within a limited time. On the sale of the building
these liens are to be paid pro rata. In some states no lien is created unless
the work done or the goods furnished amount to a certain specified sum, while in
others there is no limit to the amount. In general, none but the original
contractors can claim under the law; sometimes, however, sub-coutractors have
the same right.
13. The remedy is various; in some states, it is by scire facias on the lien,
in others, it is by petition to the court for an order of sale: in some, the
property is subject to foreclosure, as on a mortgage; in others, by a common
action. See 1 Hill. Ab. ch. 40, p. 354, where will be found an abstract of the
laws of the several states, except the state of Louisiana; for the laws of that
state, see Civ. Code of Louis. art. 2727 to 2748. See generally, 5 Binn. 585; 2
Browne, R. 229, n. 275; 2 Rawle R. 316; Id. 343; 3 Rawle, R. 492; 5 Rawle R.
291; 2 Whart. R. 223; 2 S. & R. 138; 14 S. & R. 32; 12 S. & R. 301;
3 Watts, R. 140, 141; Id. 301; 5 Watts, R. 487; 14 Pick. P,. 49; Serg. on Mech.
LIEU, place. Iu lieu of, instead, in the place of.
LIEUTENANT. This word has now a narrower meaning than it formerly had;
its true meaning is a deputy, a substitute, from the French lieu, (place or
post) and tenant (holder). Among civil officers we have lieutenant governors,
who in certain cases perform the duties of governors; (vide, the names of the
several states,) lieutenants of police, &c. Among military men, lieutenant
general was formerly the title of a commanding general, but now it signifies the
degree above major general. Lieutenant colonel, is the officer between the
colonel and the major. Lieutenant simply signifies the officer next below a
captain. In the navy, a lieutenant is the second officer next in command to the
captain of a ship.