New York Lawyer WS
New York Layer, law dictionary, legal dictionary, dictionary online, word search, lawyer search, law and order, attorney, law school    

OREGON. The name of a territory of the United States of America. This terri- tory was established by the act of congress of August 14, 1848; and this act is the fundamental law of the territory.

2. - Sect. 2. The executive power and authority in and over said territory of Oregon shall be vested in a governor who shall hold his office for four years, and until his successors shall be appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the president of the United States. The governor shall reside within said territory, shall be commander-in-chief of the militia thereof, shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs; he may grant pardons and respites for offences against the laws of said territory, and reprieves for offences against the laws of the United States until the decision of the president can be made thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of the said territory, where, by law, such commissions shall be required, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

3. - Sect. 3. There shall be a secretary of said territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for five years, unless sooner removed by the president of the United States; he shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the legislative assembly hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the governor in his executive department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws and journals of the legislative assembly within thirty days after the end of each session, and one copy of the executive proceedings and official correspondence, semi-annually, on the first days of January and July, in each year, to the president of the United States, and two copies of the laws to the president of the senate and to the speaker of the house of representatives for the use of congress. And in case of the death, removal, resignation, or absence of the governor from the territory, the secretary shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to execute and perform all the powers and duties of the governor during such vacancy or ab- sence, or until another governor shall be duly appointed and qualified to fill such vacancy.

4. - Sect. 4. The legislative power and authority of said territory shall be vested in a legislative assembly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a council and house of representatives. The council shall consist of nine members, having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescribed, whose term of service shall continue three years. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into, three classes. The seats. of the members of council of the first. class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class at the expiration of the third year, so that one-third may be chosen every year, and if vacancies happen by resignation or otherwise, the same shall be filled at the next ensuing election. The house of representatives shall, at its first session, consist of eighteen members, possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for memers of the council, and whose term of serice shall continue one year. The number of representatives may be increased by the legislative assembly from time to time, in proportion to the increase of qualified voters: Provided, That the whole number shall never exceed thirty. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as practicable, among the several counties or districts, for the election of the council andrepresentatives, giving to each section of the territory representation in the ratio of its qualified voters, as nearly as may be. And the members of the council and of the house of representatives shall reside in and be inhabitants of the district, or county or counties, for which they may be elected respectively. Previous to the first election, the governor shall cause a census or enumeration of the inhabitants and qualified voters of the several counties and districts of the territory to be taken by such persons, and in such mode as the governor shall designate and appoint; and the persons so appointed shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor; and the first election shall be held at such time and places, and be conducted in such manner, both as to the person who shall superintend such election, and the returns thereof, as the governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall, at the same time, declare the number of members of the council and house of representatives to which each of the counties or districts shall be entitled under this act; and the governor shall, by his proclamation, give at least sixty days previous notice of such apportionment, and of the time, places, and manner of holding such election. The persons having the highest number of legal votes in each of said council districts for members of the council shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected to the council; and the persons having the highest number of legal votes for the house of representatives shall be declared by the governor to be duly elected members of said house; Provided, That, in case two or more persons voted for shall have an equal number of votes and in case a vacancy shall otherwise occur, in either branch of the legislative assembly, the governor shall order a new election, and the persons thus elected to the legislative assembly shall meet at such place, and on such day, within ninety days after such elections, as the governor shall appoint; but, thereafter, the time, place, and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the representation in the several counties or districts to the council and house of representatives, according to the number of qualified voters, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the commencement of the regular sessions of the legislative assembly: Prodided, That no session in any one year shall exceed the term of sixty days, except the first session, which shall not be prolonged beyond one hundred days.

5. - Sect, 5. Every white male inhabitant, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a reident of said territory at the time of the passage of this act, and shall possess the qualifications hereinafter prescribed, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said territory; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office, at all subsequent elections, shall be such as shall be prescribed by the legislative assembly: Provided, That the right of suffrage and of holding office shall be exercised only by citizens United States above the age of twenty-one years, and those above that age who shall have declared, on oath, their intention to become such, and shall have taken an oath to support the constitution of the UnitedStates, and the provisions of this act: And, further, provided, That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine, or other person in the army or navy of the United States, or attached to troop's in the service of the United States, shall be allowed to vote in said territory, by reason of being on service therein, unless said territory is and has been for the period of six months, his permanent domicil: Provided, further, That no person belonging to the army or navy of the United States shall ever be elected to, or hold any civil office or appointment in, said territory.

6. - Sect. 6. The legislative power of the territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tar shall be imposed upon the property of the United States; nor shall the lands or other property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents. All the laws passed by the legislative assembly shall be submitted to the congress of the United States, and, if disapproved, shall be null and of no effect: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to give power to incorporate a bank, or any institution with banking powers, or to borrow money in the name of the territory, or to pledge the faith of the people of the same for any loan whatever, either directly or indirectly. No charter granting any privilege of making, issuing, or putting into circulation any notes or bills in the likeness of bank notes, or any bonds scrip, drafts, bills of exchange, or obligations, or granting anyother banking powers or privileges, shall be passed by the legislative assembly; nor shall the establishment of any branch or agency of any such corporation, derived from other authority, be allowed in said territory; nor shall said legislative assembly authorize the issue of any obligation, scrip, or evidence of debt by said territory, in any mode or manner whatever, except certificates for services to said territory; and all such laws, or any law or laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be utterly null and void; and all taxes shall be equal and uniform and no distinction shall be made in the assessments between different kinds of property, but the assessments shall be according to the value thereof. To avoid improper influences which may result from intermixing in one and the same act, such things as have no proper relation to each other, every law shall embrace but one object and that shall be expressed in the title.

7. - Sect. 7. All township, district, and county, officers, not herein otherwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected, in such manner as shall be provided by the legislative assembly of the territory of Oregon.

8. - Sect. 8. No member of the legislative assembly shall hold, or be appointed to, any office which shall have been created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased, while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected, and for one year after the expiration of such term; but this restriction shall not be applicable to members of the first legislative assembly; and no person holding a commission, or appointment under the United States shall be a member of the legislative assembly, or shall hold any office under the government of said territory.

9. The 16th section of the act authorizes the qualified voters to elect a delegate to the house of representatives of the United States, who shall have and exercise all the rights and privileges as have been heretofore exercised and enjoyed by the delegates from the other territories of the United States to the said house of representatives. Vide Courts of the United States.

ORIGINAL, contracts, practice, evidence. An authentic instrument of something, and which is to serve as a model or example to be copied or imitated. It also means first, or not deriving any authority from any other source as, original jurisdiction, original writ, original bill, and the like .

2. Originals are single or duplicate. Single, when there is but one; duplicate, when there are two. In the case of printed documents, all the impressions are originals, or in the nature of duplicate originals, and any copy will be primary evidence. Watson's Case, 2 Stark. R. 130; sed vide 14 Serg.& Rawle, 200; 2 Bouv. lnst. n. 2001.

3. When an original document is not evidence at common law, and a copy of such original is made evidence by an act of the legislature, the original is not, therefore, made admissible evidence by implication. 2 Camp. R. 121,

ORIGINAL ENTRY. The first entry made by a merchant, tradesman, or other person in his account books, charging another with merchandise, materials, work, or labor, or cash, on a contract made between them.

2. This subject will be divided into three sections. 1. The form of the original entry. 2. The proof of such entry. 3. The effect.

3. - 1. To make a valid original entry it must possess the following requisites, namely: 1. It must. be made in a proper book. 2. It must be made in proper time. 3. It must be intelligible and according to law. 4. It must be made by a person having authority to make it.

4. - 1. In general the books in which the first entries are made, belonging to a merchant, tradesman, or mechanic, in which are charged goods sold and delivered, or work and labor done, are received in evidence. There are many books which are not evidence, a few of which will he here enumerated. A book made up by transcribing entries made on a slate by a journeyman, the transcript being made on the same evening, or sometimes not until nearly two weeks after the work was done, was considered as not being a book of original entries. 1 Rawle, R. 435; 2 Watts, R. 451; 4 Watts, R. 258; 1 Browne's R. 147; 6 Whart. R. 189; 5 Watts, 432; 4 Rawle, 408; 2 Miles, 268. A book purporting to be a book of original entries, containing an entry of the sale of goods when they were ordered but before they were delivered, is not a book of ori-ginal entries. 4 Rawle, 404. And unconnected scraps of paper, containing, as alleged, original entries of sales by an agent, on account of his principal, and appearing on their face to be irregularly kept, are not to be considered as a book of original entries. 13 S. & R. 126. See 2 Whart. R. 33; 4 M'Cord, R. 76; 20 Wend. 72; 2 Miles, R. 268; 1 Yeates, R. 198; 4 Yeates, R. 341.

5. - 2. The entry must be made in the course of business, and with the intention of making a charge for goods sold or work done; they ought not to be made after the lapse of one day. 8 Watts, 545; 1 Nott, & M'Cord, 130; 4 Nott & M'Cord, 77; 4 S. & R. 5; 2 Dall. 217; 9 S. & R. 285. A book in which the charges are made when the goods are ordered is not admissible. 4 Rawle, 404; 3 Dev. 449.

6. - 3. The entry must be made in an intelligible manner, and not in figures or hieroglyphics which are understood by the seller only. 4 Rawle, 404. A charge made in the gross as "190 days work," 1 Nott & M'Cord, 130, or "for medicine and attendance," or "thirteen dollars for medicine and attendance on one of the general's daughters in curing the hooping cough," 2 Const. Rep. 476, were rejected. An entry of goods without carrying out any prices, proves, at most, only a sale, and the jury cannot, without other evidence, fix any price. 1 South. 370. The charges should be specific and denote the particular work or service charged, as it arises daily, and the quantity, number, weight, or other distinct designation of the materials, or articles sold or furnished, and attach the price and value to each item. 2 Const. Rep. 745; 2 Bail. R. 449; 1 Nott & M'Cord, 130.

7. - 4. The entry must of course have been made by a person having authority to make it, 4 Rawle, 404, and with a view to charge the party. 8 Watts, 545.

8. - 2. The proof of the entry must be made by the person who made it. If made by the seller, he is competent to prove it from the necessity of the case, although he has an interest in the matter in dispute. 5 Conn. 496; 12 John. R. 461; 1 Dall. 239. When made, by a clerk, it must be proved by him. But, in either case, when the person who made the entry is out of the reach of the process of the court, as in the case of death, or absence out of the state, the handwriting may be proved by a person acquainted with the handwriting of the person who made the entry. 2 Watts & Serg. 137. But the plaintiff is not competent to prove the handwriting of a deceased clerk who made the entries. 1 Browne's R. App. liii.

9.- 3. The books and original entries, when proved by the supplementary oath of the party, is prima facie evidence of the sale and delivery of goods, or of work and labor done. 1 Yeates, 347; Swift's Ev. 84; 3 Verm. 463; 1 M'Cord, 481; 1 Aik. 355; 2 Root, 59; Cooke's R. 38. But they are not evidence of money lent, or cash paid. Id.; 1 Day, 104; 1 Aik. 73, 74; Kirby, 289. Nor of the time a vessel laid at the plaintiff's wharf; 1 Browne's Rep. 257; nor of the delivery of goods to be sold on commission. 2 Wharton, 33.

ORIGINAL JURISDICTION, practice. That which is given to courts to take cognizance of cases which may be instituted in those courts in the first instance. The constitution of the United States gives the supreme court of the United State original jurisdiction in cases which affect ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and to those in which a state is a party. Art. 3, s. 2; 1 Kent, Com. 314.

ORIGINAL WRIT, practice, English law. A mandatory letter issued in the king's name, sealed with his great seal, and directed to the sheriff of the county wherein the injury was committed or supposed to have been done, requiring him to command the wrongdoer or party accused, either to do justice to the complainant, or else to appear in court and answer the accusation against him. This writ is deemed necessary to give the courts of law jurisdiction.

2. In modern practice, however, it is often dispensed with, by recourse, as usual, to fiction, and a proceeding by bill is substituted. In this country, our courts derive their jurisdiction from the constitution and require no original writ to confer it. Improperly speaking, the first writ which is issued in a case, is sometimes called an original writ, but it is not so in the English sense of the word. Vide 3 Bl. Com. 273 Walk. Intr. to Amer. Law, 514.

ORIGINALIA, Eng. law. The transcripts and other documents sent to the office of the treasurer-remembrancer in the exchequer, are called by this name to distinguish them from records, which contain the judgment's of the barons.

ORNAMENT. An embellisment. In questions arising as to which of two things is to be considered as principal or accessory, it is the rule, that an ornament shall be considered as an accessory. Vide Accessory; Principal.

ORPHAN. A minor or infant who has lost both of his or her parents. Sometimes the term is applied to such a person who has lost only one of his or her parents. 3 Mer. 48; 2 Sim. & Stu. 93; Lo & Man. Inst. B. 1, t. 2, c. 1. See Hazzard's Register of Pennsylvania, vol. 14, pages 188, 1 89, for a correspon-dence between the Hon. Joseph Hopkinson and ex-president J. Q. Adams as to the meaning of the word Orphan, and Rob. 247.

ORPHANAGE, Engl. law. By the custom of London, when a freeman of that city dies, his estate is divided into three parts, as follows: one third part to the widow; another, to the children advanced by him in his lifetime, which is called the orphanage; and the other third part may be by him disposed of by will. Now, however, a freeman may dispose of his estate as he pleases; but in cases of intestacy, the statute of distribution expressly excepts and reserves the custom of London. Lov. on Wills, 102, 104; Bac. Ab. Custom of London, C. Vide Legitime.

ORPHANS' COURT. The name of a court in some of the states, having jurisdic- tion of the estates and persons of orphans.

ORPHANOTROPHI, civil law. Persons who have the charge of administering the affairs of houses destined for the use of orphans. Clef des Lois Rom. mot Ad- ministrateurs.

OSTENSIBLE PARTNER. One whose name appears in a firm, as a partner, and who is really such.

OTHER WRONGS, pleading, evidence. In actions of trespass, the declaration concludes by charging generally, that the defendant did other wrongs to the plaintiff to his great damage. When the injury is a continuation or consequence of the trespass declared on, the plaintiff may give evidence of such injury under this averment of other wrongs, Rep., Temp. Holt 699; 2 Salk. 642; 6 Mod. 127; Bull. N. P. 89; 2 Stark. N. P. C. 818.

OUNCE. The name of a weight. An ounce avoirdupois weight is the sixteenth part of a pound; an ounce troy weight is the twelfth part of a pound. Vide Weights.

OUSTER, torts. An ouster is the actual turning out, or keeping excluded, the party entitlod to possession of any real property corporeal.

2. An ouster can properly be only from real property corporeal, and cannot be committed of anything movable; 1 Car. & P. 123; S. C. 11 Eng. Com. Law R. 339; 2 Bouv. 1 Inst. n. 2348; 1 Chit. Pr. 148, note r; nor is a mere temporary trespass considered as an Guster. Any continuing act of exclusion from the enjoyment, constitutes an ouster, even by one tenant in common of his co-tenant. Co. Litt. 199 b, 200 a. Vide 3 Bl; Com. 167; Arch. Civ. Pl. 6, 14; 1 Chit. Pr. 374, where the remedies for an ouster are pointed out. Vide Judgment of Respondent Ouster.

OUSTER LE MAIN. In law-French, this signifies, to take out of the hand. In the old English law it signified a livery of lands out of the hands of the lord, after the tenant came of age. If the lord refused to deliver such lands, the tenant was entitled to a writ to recover the same from the lord; this recovery out of the hands of the lord was called ouster le main.

OUTFIT. An allowance made by the government of the United States to a minis-ter plenipotentiary, or charge des affaires, on going from the United States to any foreign country.

2. The outfit can in no case exceedlone year's full salary of such minister or charge des affaires. No outfit is allowed to a consul. Act of Cong. May 1, 1810. s. 1. Vide Minister.

OUTHOUSES. Buildings adjoining to or belonging to dwelling-houses.

2. It is not easy to say what comes within and what is excluded from the meaning of out-house. It has been decided that a school-room, separated from the dwelling-house by a narrow passage about a yard wide, the roof of which was partly upheld by that of the dwelling-house, the two buildings, together with some other, and the court which enclosed them, being rented by the same person, was properly described as an out-house: Russ. & R. C. C. 295; see, for other cases, 3 Inst. 67; Burn's Just., Burning, II; 1 Leach, 49; 2 East's P. C. 1020, 1021. Vide House.

OUTRIDERS, Engl. law. Bailiffs errant, employed by the sheriffs and their deputies, to ride to the furthest places of their counties or hundreds to summon such as they thought good, to attend their county or hundred court.

OUTLAW, Engl. law. One who is put out of the protection or aid of the law. 22 Vin. Ab. 316; 1 Phil. Ev. Index, h. t.; Bac. Ab. Outlawry; 2 Sell. Pr. 277; Doct. Pl. 331; 3 Bl. Com. 283, 4.

OUTLAWRY, Engl. law. The act of being put out of the protection of the law by process regularly sued out against a person who is in contempt in refusing to become amenable to the court having jurisdiction. The proceedings themselves are also called the outlawry.

2. Outlawry may take place in criminal or in civil cases. 3 Bl. Com. 283; Co. Litt. 128; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4196.

3. In the United States, outlawry in civil cases is unknown, and if there are any cases of outlawry in criminal cases they are very rare. Dane's Ab. eh. 193, a, 34. Vide Bac. Ab. Abatement, B; Id. h. t.; Gilb. Hist. C. P. 196, 197; 2 Virg. Cas. 244; 2 Dal. 92.

OUTRAGE. A grave injury; a serious wrong. This is a generic word which is applied to everything, which is injurious, in great degree, to the honor or rights of another.

TO OVERDRAW. To draw bills or cheeks upon an individual, bank or other corporation, for a greater amount of funds than the party who draws is entitled to.

2. When a person has overdrawn his account without any intention to do so, and afterwards gives a check on a bank, the holder is required to present it, and on refusal of payment to give notice to the maker, in order to hold him bound for it; but when the maker had overdrawn the bank knowingly, and had no funds there between the time the check was given and its presentment, the notice is not requisite. 2 N. & McC. 433.

OVERDUE. A bill, note, bond or other contract, for the payment of money at a particular day, when not paid upon the day, is overdue.

2. The indorsement of a note or bill overdue, is equivalent to drawing a new bill payable at sight. 2 Conn. 419; 18 Pick. 260; 9 Alab. R. 153.

3. A note when passed or assigned when overdue, is subject to all the equities between the original contracting parties. 6 Conn. 5; 10 Conn. 30, 55; 3 Har. (N. J.) Rep. 222.

OVERPLUS. What is left beyond a certain amount; the residue, the remainder of a thing. The same as Surplus. (q. v.)

2. The overplus may be certain or uncertain. It is certain, for example, when an estate is worth three thousand dollars, and the owner asserts it to be so in his will, and devises of the proceeds one thousand dollars to A, one thousand dollars to B, and the overplus to C, and in consequence of the deterioration of the estate, or from some other cause, it sells for less than three thousand dollars, each of the legatees A, B and C shall take one third: the overplus is uncertain where, for example, a testator does not know the value of his estate, and gives various legacies and the overplus to another legatee; the latter will be entitled only to what may be left. 18 Ves. 466. See Residue; Surplus.

TO OVERRULE. To annul, to make void. This word is frequently used to signify that a case has been decided directly opposite to a former case; when this takes place, the first decided case is said to be overruled as a precedent, and cannot any longer be considered as of binding authority.

2. Mr. Greenleaf has made a very valuable collection of overruled cases, of great service to the practitioner.

3. The term overrule also signifies that a majority of the judges have decided against the opinion of the minority, in which case the latter are said to be overruled.

OVERSEERS OF THE POOR. Persons appointed or elected to take care of the poor with moneys furnished to them by the public authority.

2. The duties of these officers are regulated by local statutes. In general the overseers are bound to perform those duties, and the neglect of them will subject them to an indictment. Vide 1 Bl. Com. 360; 16 Vin. Ab. 150; 1 Mass. 459; 3 Mass. 436; 1 Penning. R. 6, 136; Com. Dig. Justices of the Peace, B. 63, 64, 65.

OVERSMAN, Scotch law. A person commonly named in a submission, to whom power is given to determine in case the arbiters cannot agree in the sentence; sometimes the nomination of the oversman is left to the arbiters. In either case the oversman has no power to decide, unless the arbiters differ in opinion. Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. 4, 3, 16. The office of an oversman very much resembles that of an umpire.

OVERT. Open. An overt act in treason is proof of the intention of the traitor, because it opens his designs; without an overt act treason cannot be committed. 2 Chit: Cr. Law, 40. An overt act then, is one which manifests the intention of the traitor, to commit treason. Archb. Cr. Pl. 379 4 Bl. Com. 79.

2. The mere contemplation or intention to commit a crime; although a sin in the sight of heaven, is not an act amenable to human laws. The were speculative wantonness of a licentious imagination, however dangerous, or even san-guinary in its object, can in no case amount to a crime. But the moment that any overt act is manifest, the offender becomes amenable to the laws. Vide Attempt; Conspiracy, and Cro. Car. 577.

OWELTY. The difference which is paid or secured by one coparcener to another, for the purpose of equalizing a partition. Hugh. Ab. Partition and Partner, 2, n. 8; Litt. s. 251; Co. Litt. 169 a; 1 Watts, R. 265; 1 Whart. 292; 3 Penna, 11 5; Cruise, Dig. tit. 19, 32; Co. Litt. 10 a; 1 Vern. 133; Plow. 134; 16 Vin. Ab. 223, pl. 3; Bro. Partition; 5. OWING. Something unpaid. A debt, for example, is owing while it is unpaid, and whether it be due or not.

2. In affidavits to hold to bail it is usual to state that the debt on which the action is founded is due, owing and unpaid. 1 Penn. Law Jo. 210.

OWLER, Eng. law. One guilty of the offence of owling.

OWLING, Eng. law. The offence of transporting wool or sheep out of the king-dom.

2. The name is said to owe its origin to the fact that this offence was carried on in the night, when the owl was abroad.

OWNER, property. The owner is he who has dominion of a thing real or person-al, corporeal or incorporeal, which he has a right to enjoy and to do with as he pleases, even to spoil or destroy it, as far as the law permits, unless he be prevented by some agreement or covenant which restrains his right.

2. The right of the owner is more extended than that of him who has only the use of the thing. The owner of an estate may, therefore change the face of it; he may cut the wood, demolish the buildings, build new ones, and dig wherever he may deem proper, for minerals, stone, plaster, and similar things. He may committ what would be considered waste if done by another.

3. The owner continues to have the same right although he perform no acts of ownership, or be disabled from performing them, and although another perform such acts, without the knowledge or against the will of the owner. But the owner may lose his right in a thing, if he permit it to remain in the possession of a third person, for sufficient time to enable the latter to acquire a title to it by prescription, or lapse of time. See Civil Code of Louis. B. 2, t. 2, c. 1; Encyclopedie de M. D'Alembert, Proprietaire.

4. When there are several joint owners of a thing, as for example, of a ship, the majority of them have the right to make contracts in respect of such thing, in the usual course of business or repair, and the like, and the minority will be bound by such contracts. Holt, 586; 1 Bell's Com. 519, 5th ed. See 5 Whart. R. 366.

OWNERSHIP, title to property. The right by which a thing belongs to some one in particular, to the exclusion of all other persons. Louis. Code, art. 480.

OXGANG OF LAND, old Eng. law. An uncertain quantity of land, but, according to some opinions, it contains fifteen acres. Co. Litt. 69 a.

OYER, pleading. Oyer is a French word signifying to hear; in pleading it is a prayer or petition to the court, that the party may hear read to him the deed, &c., stated in the pleadings of the opposite party, aud which deed is by intendment of law in court, when it is pleaded with a profert.

2. The origin of this form of pleading, we are told, is that the generality of defendants, in ancient times, were themselves incapable of reading. 3 Bl. Com. 299.

3. Oyer is, in some cases demandable of right, and in others it is not. It may be demanded of any speciality or other written instrument, as bonds of all sorts, deeds poll, indentures, letters testamentary, and of administration, and the like, of which a profert in curiam is necessarily made by the adverse party. But if the party be not bound to plead the specialty or instrument with a profert, and he pleads it with one, it is but surplusage, and the court will not compel him to give oyer of it. 1 Salk. 497. Oyer is not now demandable of the writ, and if it be demanded, the plaintiff may proceed as if no such demand were made. Dougl. 227; 3 B. & P. 398; 1 B.& P. 646, n. b. Nor is oyer demandable of a record, yet if a judgment or other record be pleaded in its own court, the party pleading it must give a notice in writing of the term and number roll whereon such judgment or matter of record is entered or filed in default of which the plea is not to be received. Tidd's Pr. 529.

4. To deny over when it ought to be granted is error; and in such case the party making the claim, should move. the court to have it entered on record, which is in the nature of a plea, and the plaintiff may counterplead the right of oyer, or strike out the rest of the pleading, following the oyer, and demur; 1 Saund. 9 b, n. 1; Bac. Abr. Pleas, 1; upon which the judgment of the court is either that the defendant have oyer, or that he answer without it. Id. ibid.; 2 Lev. 142; 6 Mod. 28. On the latter judgment, the defendant may bring a writ of error, for to deny oyer when it ought to be granted, is error, but not e converso. Id. ibid.; 1 Blackf. R. 126. See, in general, 1 Saund. 9, n. 1; 289, in. 2; 2. Saund. 9, n. 12, 13; 46, n. 7; 366, n. 1; 405, n. 1; 410, n. 2; Tidd's Pr. 8 ed. 635 to 638, and index, tit. Oyer; 1 Chit. Pl. 369 to 375; Lawes on Civ. Pl. 96 to 101; 16 Vin. Ab. 157; Bac. Abr. Pleas, &c., I 12, n. 2; Arch. Civ. Pl. 185; 1 Sell. Pr. 260; Doct. Pl, 344; Com. Dig. Pleader, P Abatement, I 22; 1 Blackf. R. 241, 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2890.

OYER AND TERMINER. The name of a court authorized to hear and determine all treasons, felonies and misdemeanors; and, generally, invested with other power in relation to the punishment of offenders.

OYEZ, practice. Hear; do you hear. In order to attract attention immediately before he makes proclamation, the cryer of the court cries Oyez, Oyez, which is generally corruptly pronounced O yes.

Copyright © 2004 New-York-Lawyer .WS