MINT. The place designated by law, where money is coined by authority
of the government of the United States.
2. The mint was established by the Act of April 2, 1792, 1 Story's L. U. S.
227, and located at Philadelphia, where, by virtue of sundry acts of congress,
it still remains. Act of April 24, 1800, 1 Story, 770; Act of March 3, 1801, 1
Story, 816; Act of May 19, 1828, 4 Sharsw. cont. of Story's L. U. S. 2120.
3. Below will be found a reference to the acts of congress now in force in
relation to the mint. Act of January 18, 1837, 4 Sharsw. cont. of Story, L. U.
S. 2120; Act of May 19, 1828, 4 Id. 2120; Act of May 3, 1835; Act of February
13, 1837; Act of March 3, 1849; Act of March 3, 1851, s. 11. Vide Coin; Foreign
MINUTE, measures. In divisions of the circle or angular measures, a
minute is equal to sixty seconds, or one sixtieth part of a degree.
2. In the computation of time, a minute is equal to sixty seconds, or the
sixtieth part of an hour. Vide Measure.
MINUTE, practice. A memorandum of what takes place in court; made by
authority of the court. From these minutes the record is afterwards made up. 2.
Toullier says, they are so called because the writing in which they were
originally, was small, that the word is derived, from the Latin minuta,
(scriptura) in opposition to copies which were delivered to the parties, and
which were always written in a larger hand. 8 Toull. n. 413.
3. Minutes are not considered as any part of the record. 1 Ohio R. 268. See
23 Pick. R. 184.
MINUTE BOOK. A book kept by the clerk or prothonotary of a court, in
which minutes of its proceedings are entered. It has been decided that minutes
are no part of the record. 1 Ohio R. 268.
MIRROR DES JUSTICES. The Mirror of Justices, a treatise written during
the reign of Edward II. Andrew Horne is its reputed author. It was first
published in 1642, and in 1768 it was translated into English by William Hughes.
Some diversity of opinion seems to exist as to its merits. Pref. to 9 & 10
Co. Rep. As to the history of this celebrated book see St. Armand's Hist. Essays
on the Legislative power of England, 68, 59.
MIS. A syllable which prefixed to some word signifies some fault or
defect; as, misadventure, misprision, mistrial, and the like.
MISADVENTURE, crim. law, torts. An accident by which an injury occurs
2. When applied to homicide, misadventure is the act of a man who, in the
performance of a lawful act, without any intention to do harm, and after using
proper precaution to prevent danger, unfortunately kills another person. The act
upon which the death ensues, must be neither malum in se, nor malum prohibitum.
The usual examples uuder this head are, 1. When the death ensues from innocent
recreations. 2. From moderate and lawful correction (q. v.) in foro domestico.
3. From acts lawful and indifferent in themselves, done with proper and ordinary
caution. 4 Bl. Com. 182; 1 East, P C. 221.
MISBEHAVIOUR. Improper or unlawful conduct. See 2 Mart. N. S. 683.
2. A party guilty of misbehaviour; as, for example, to threaten to do injury
to another, may be bound to his good behaviour and thus restrained. See Good
3. Verdicts are not unfrequently set aside on the ground of misbehaviour of
jurors; as, when the jury take out with them papers which were not given in
evidence, to the prejudice of one of the parties. Ld. Raym. 148. When they
separate before they have agreed upon their verdict. 3 Day, 237, 310., When they
cast lots for a verdict; 2 Lev. 205; or, give their verdict because they have
agreed to give it for the amount ascertained by each juror putting down a sum,
adding the whole together, and then dividing by twelve the number of jurors, and
giving their verdict for the quotient. 15 John. 87. See Bac. Ab. Verdict, H.
4. A verdict will be set aside if the successful party has been guilty of any
misbehaviour towards the jury; as, if he say to a juror, "I hope you will find a
verdict for me;" or " the matter is clearly of my side." 1 Vent. 125; 2 Roll.
Ab. 716, pl. 17. See Code, 166, 401; Bac. Ab. Verdict, I.
MISCARRIAGE, med. jurisp. By this word is technically understood the
expul- sion of the ovum or embryo from the uterus within the first six weeks
after conception; between that time and before the expiration of the sixth
month, when the child may possibly live, it is termed abortion. When the
delivery takes place soon after the sixth month, it is denominated premature
labor. But the criminal act of destroying the foetus at any time before birth,
is termed in law, procuring miscarriage. Chit. Med. Jur. 410; 2 Dunglison's
Human Physiology, 364. Vide Abortion; Foetus.
MISCARRTAGE, contracts, torts. By the English statute of frauds, 29,
C. II., c. 3, s. 4, it is enacted that "no action shall be brought to charge the
defendant upon any special promise to answer for the debt, default, or
miscarriage of another person, unless the agreement," &c. "shall be in
writing," &c. The word miscarriage, in this statute comprehends that species
of wrongful act, for the consequences of which the law would make the party
civilly responsible. The wrongful riding the horse of another, without his leave
or license, and thereby causing his death, is clearly an act for which the party
is reasonsible in damages, and therefore, falls within the meaning of the word
miscarriage. 2 Barn. & Ald. 516; Burge on Sur. 21.
MISCASTING. By this term is not understood any pretended miscasting or
mis- valuing, but simply an error in auditing and numbering. 4 Bouv. Inst. n.
MISCOGNlSANT. This word, which is but little used, signifies ignorant
or not knowing. Stat. 32 H. VIII. c. 9.
MISCONDUCT. Unlawful behaviour by a person entrusted in any degree:
with the administration of justice, by which the rights of the parties and the
justice of the, case may have been affected.
2. A verdict will be set aside when any of the jury have been guilty of such
misconduct, and a court will set aside an award, if it has been obtained by the
misconduct of an arbitrator. 2 Atk. 501, 504; 2 Chit. R. 44; 1 Salk. 71; 3 P.
Wms. 362; 1 Dick. 66.
MISCONTINUANCE, practice. By this term is understood a continuance of
a suit by undue process. Its effect is the same as a discontinuance. (q. v.) 2
Hawk. 299; Kitch. 231; Jenk. Cent. 57.
MISDEMEANOR, crim. law. This term is used to express every offence
infe- rior to felony, punishable by indictment, or by particular prescribed
proceedings; in its usual acceptation, it is applied to all those crimes and
offences for which the law has not provided a particular name; this word is
generally used in contradistinction to felony; misdemeanors comprehending all
indictable offences, which do not amount to felony, as perjury, battery, libels,
conspiracies and public nuisances.
2. Misdemeanors have sometimes been called misprisions. (q. v.) Burn's Just.
tit. Misdemeanor; 4 Bl. Com. 5, n. 2; 2 Bar. & Adolph. 75: 1 Russell, 43; 1
Chitty, Pr. 14; 3 Verm. 347; 2 Hill, S. C. 674; Addis. 21; 3 Pick. 26; 1 Greenl.
226; 2 P. A. Browne, 249; 9 Pick. 1; 1 S. & R. 342; 6 Call. 245; 4 Wend.
229; 2 Stew. & Port. 379. And see 4 Wend. 229, 265; 12 Pick. 496; 3 Mass.
254; 5 Mass. 106. See Offence.
MISDIRECTION, practice. An error made by a judge in charging the jury
in a special case.
2. Such misdirection is either in relation to matters of law or matters of
3. - 1. When the judge at the trial misdirects the jury, on matters of law,
material to the issue, whatever may be the nature of the case, the verdict will
be set aside, and a new trial granted; 6 Mod. 242; 2 Salk. 649; 2 Wils. 269; or
if such misdirection appear in the bill of exceptions or otherwise upon the
record, a judgment founded on a verdict thus obtained, will be reversed. When
the issue consists of a mixed question of law and fact and there is a conceded
state of facts, the rest is a question for the court; 2 Wend. R. 596; and a
misdirection in this respect will avoid the verdict.
4. - 2. Misdirection as to matters of fact will in some cases be sufficient
to vitiate the proceedings. If, for example, the judge should undertake to
dictate to the jury. When the, judge delivers, his opinion to the jury on a
matter of fact, it should be delivered as mere opinion, and not as direc- tion.
12 John. R. 513. But the judge is in general allowed to very liberal discretion
in charging a jury on matters of fact. 1 McCl. & Y. 286.
5. As to its effects, misdirection must be calculated to do injustice; for if
justice has been done, and a new trial would produce the same result, a new
trial will not be granted on that account, 2 Salk. 644, 646; 2 T. R. 4; 1 B.
& P. 338; 5 Mass. R. 1; 7 Greenl. R. 442; 2 Pick. R. 310; 4 Day's R. 42; 5
Day's R. 329; 3 John. R. 528; 2 Penna. R. 325.
MISE, English law. In a writ of right which is intended to be tried by
the grand assize, the general issue is called the mise. Lawes, Civ. Pl. 111; 7
Cowen, 51. This word also signifies expenses, and it is so commonly used in the
entries of judgments in personal actions; as when the plaintiff recovers, the
judgment is quod recuperet damna sua for such value, and pro mises et custagiis
for costs and charges for so much, &c.
MISERABILE DEPOSITUM, civ. law. The name of an involuntary deposit,
made under pressing necessity; as, for instance, shipwreck, fire, or other
inevitable calamity. Poth. Proced. Civ. 5eme part., ch. 1, 1 Louis. Code,
MISERICORDIA, mercy. An arbitrary or discretionary amercement.
2. To be in mercy, is to be liable to such punishment as the judge may in his
discretion inflict. According to Spelman, misericordia is so called, because the
party is in mercy, and to distinguish this fine from redemptions, or heavy
fines. Spelm. GI. ad voc.; see Co. Litt. 126 b, and Madox's Excheq. c. 14. See
Judgment of Misericordia.
MISFEASANCE, torts, contracts. The performance of an act which might
lawfully be done, in an improper manner, by which another person receives an
injury. It differs from malfeasance, (q. v.) or, nonfeasance (q. v.) Vide,
generally, 2 Vin. Ab. 35; 2 Kent, Com. 443; Doct. Pl. 62; Story, Bail. 9.
2. It seems to be settled that there is a distinction between misfeasance and
nonfeasance in the case of mandates. In cases of nonfeasance, the mandatary is
not generally liable, because his undertaking being gratuitous, there is no
consideration to support it; but in cases of misfeasance, the common law gives a
remedy for the injury done, and to the extent of that injury. 5 T. R. 143; 4
John. Rep. 84; Story, Bailment, 165; 2 Ld. Raym. 909, 919, 920; 2 Johns. Cas.
92; Doct. & Stu. 210; 1 Esp. R. 74; 1 Russ. Cr. 140; Bouv. Inst. Index h.
MISJOINDER, pleading. Misjoinder of causes of action, or counts,
consists in joining, in different counts in one declaration, several demands,
which the law does not permit to be joined, to enforce several distinct,
substantive rights of recovery; as, where a declaration joins a count in
trespass with another in case, for distinct wrongs or a count in tort, with
another in contract. Gould. 6n PI. c. 4, 98; Archb. Civ. PI. 61, 78 176; Serg.
and Rawle, 358; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.
2. Misjoinder of parties, consists in joining as plaintiffs or defendants,
persons, who have not a joint interest. When the misjoinder relates to the
plaintiffs, the defendants may, at common law, plead the matter in abatement,
whether the action be real; 12 H. IV., 15; personal; Johns. Ch. R. 350, 438; 12
John. R. 1; 2 Mass. R. 293; or mixed; or it will be good cause of nonsuit at the
trial. 3 Bos. & Pull. 235. Where the objection appears upon the face of the
declaration, the defendant may demur generally; 2 Saund. 145; or move in arrest
of judgment; or bring a writ of error.
3. When in actions ex contractu against several, there is a misjoinder of the
defendants, as if there be too many persons made defendants, and the objection
appears on the pleadings, either of the defendants may demur, move in arrest of
judgment, or support a writ of error; and, if the objection do not appear on the
pleadings, the plaintiff may be nonsuited upon the trial, if he fail in proving
a joint contract. 5 Johns. R. 280; 2 Johns. R. 213; 11 Johns. R. 101; 5 Mass. R.
4. In actions ex delicto, the misjoinder cannot in general be objected to,
because in actions for torts, one defendant may be found guilty and the others
acquitted. Archb. Civ. Pl. 79. As to the cases in which a misjoinder may be
aided by a nolle prosequi, see 2 Archb. Pr. 218-220.
MISNOMER. The act of using a wrong name.
2. Misnomers, may be considered with regard to contracts, to devises and
bequests, and to suits or actions.
3. - 1. In general, when the party can be ascertained, a mistake in the name
will not avoid the contract. 11 Co. 20, 21; Lord Raym. 304; Hob. 125. Nihil
facit error nominis, cum de corpori constat, is the rule of the civil law.
4. - 2. Misnomers of legatees will not in general avoid the legacy, when tho
person intended can be ascertained from the context. Example: Thomas Stockdale
bequeathed "to his nephew Thomas Stockdale, second son of his brother John
Stockdale," 1000ú, John had no son named Thomas, his second son was named
William, and he claimed the legacy. It was determined, in his favor, because the
mistake of the name was obviated by the correct description given of the person,
namely, the second son of John Stockdale. 19 Ves. 381; S. C. Coop. 229; and see
Ambl. 175; 3 Leon. 18; Co; Litt. 3 a; Finch's R. 403; Domat l. 4, t. 2, s. 1, n.
22; 1 Rop. Leg. 131.
5. - 3. Misnomers in suits or actions, when the mistake is in the name of one
of the parties, must be pleaded in abatement; 1 Chit. Pl. 440; 1 Mass. 76; 5
Mass. 97; 15 Mass. 469; 16 Mass: 146; 10 S. & R. 257; 4 Cowen, R. 148; Coxe,
138; 6 Munf. 219; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 200; 2 Penna. R. 984; 5 Halst. R. 295; 1 Pen.
R. 75, 137; 6 Munf. 580; 3 Caines, 170; 1 Tayl. R. 148; 8 Yerg. 101; Harp. R.
49; for the misnomer of one of the parties sued is not material on the general
issue, when the identity is proved. 16 East, R. 110.
6. The names of third persons must, be correctly laid, for the error will not
be helped by pleading the general issue; but, if a sufficient description be
given, it has been held, in a civil case, that the misnomer was immaterial.
Example: in an action for medicines alleged to have been furnished to
defendant's wife, Mary, and his wife was named Elizabeth, the misnomer was held
to be immaterial, the word wife being the material word. 2 Marsh. R. 159. In
indictments, the names of third persons must be correctly given. Rose. Cr. Ev.
R. 78. Vide, generally, 18 E. C. L. R. 149; 10 East, R. 83, n; Bac. Ab. h. t.;
Dane's Ab. h. t.; 1 Vin. Ab. 7; 15 Vin. Ab. 466; 2 Phil, Ev. 2, note b; Bac. Ab.
Abatement, D; Archb. Civ. Pl. 305; 1 Metc. & Perk. Dig. Abatement, V; and
this Dictionary, Abatement; Contracts; Parties to Contracts; Parties to
MISPLEADING. Pleading incorrectly, or omitting anything in pleading
which is essential to the support or defence of an action, is so called.
2. Pleading not guilty to an action of debt, is an example of the first; and
when the plaintiff sets out a title not simply in a defective manner, but sets
out a defective title, is an example of the second. See 3 Salk. 365.
MISPRISION, crim. law. 1. In its larger sense, this word is used to
signify every considerable misdemeanor, which has not a certain name given to it
in the law; and it is said that a misprision is contained in every treason or
felony whatever. 2. In its narrower sense it is the concealment of a crime.
2. Misprision of treason, is the concealment of treason, by being merely
passive; Act of Congress of April 30, 1790, 1 Story's L. U. S. 83; 1 East, P. C.
139; for if any assistance be given, to the traitor, it makes the party a
principal, as there is no accessories in treason.
3. Misprison of felony, is the like concealment of felony, without giving any
degree of maintenance to the felon; Act of Congress of April 30, 1790, s. 6, 1
Story's L. U. S. 84; for if any aid be given him, the party becomes an accessory
after the fact.
4. It is the duty of every good citizen, knowing of a treason or felony
having been committed; to inform a magistrate. Silently to observe the
commission of a felony, without using any endeavors to apprehend the offender,
is a misprision. 1 Russ. on Cr. 43; Hawk. P. C. c. 59, s. 6; Id. Book 1, c. s.
1; 4 Bl. Com. 119.
5. Misprisions which are merely positive, are denominated contempts or high
misdemeanors; as, for example, dissuading a witness from giving evidence. 4 Bl.
MISREADING, contracts. When a deed is read falsely to an illiterate or
blind man, who is a party to it, such false reading amounts to a fraud, because
the contract never had the assent of both parties. 5 Co. 19; 6 East, R. 309;
Dane's Ab. c. 86, a, 3, 7; 2 John. R. 404; 12 John. R. 469; 3 Cowen, R. 537.
MISRECITAL, contracts, pleading. The incorrect recital of a matter of
fact, either in an agreement or a plea; under the latter term is here understood
the declaration and all the subsequent pleadings. Vide Recital, and the cases
there cited; and Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c. B. 5, n. 3.
MISREPRESENTATION, contracts. The statement made by a party to a
contract, that a thing relating to it is in fact in a particular way, when he
knows it is not so.
2. The misrepresentation must be both false and fraudulent, in order to make
the party making it, responsible to the other for damages. 3 Com. R. 413; 10
Mass. R. 197; 1 Rep. Const. Court, 328, 475, Yelv. 21 a, note l; Peake's Cas.
115; 3 Campb. 154; Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 10, s. 1. And see Representation. It is
not every misrepresentation which will make a party liable; when a mere
misstatement of a fact has been erroneously made, without fraud, in a casual,
improvident communication, respecting a matter which the person to whom the
communication was made, and who had an interest in it, should not have taken
upon trust, but is bound to inquire himself, and had the means of ascertaining
the truth, there would be no responsibility; 5 Maule & Selw. 380; 1 Chit.
Pr. 836; 1 Sim. R. 13, 63; and when the informant was under no legal pledge or
obligation as to the precise accuracy and correctness of his statement, the
other party can maintain no action for the consequences of that statement, upon
which it was his indiscretion to place reliance. 12 East, 638; see also, 2 Cox,
R. 134; 13 Ves. 133; 3 Bos. & Pull. 370; 2 East, 103; 3 T. R, 56, 61; 3
Bulstr. 93; 6 Ves. 183; 3 Ves. & Bea. 110; 4 Dall. R. 250. Vide Concealment;
Representation; Suggestio falsi; Suppressio veri.
MISSING SHIP, mar. law. When a ship or other vessel has been at sea
for a much longer time than she ought to have been, she is presumed to have
perished there with all on board, and such a vessel is called a missing
2. There is no precise time fixed as to when the presumption is to arise, and
this must depend upon the circumstances of each case. 2 Str. R. 1199; Park. Ins.
63; Marsh. Ins. 488; 2 Johns. R. 150; 1 Caines' R. 525; Holt's N. P. Rep.