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POSTAGE STAMPS. The act of congress, approved March 3, 1847, section 11, and the act of congress of March 3, 1841, sections 3, 4, provide that, to facilitate the transportation of letters in the mail, the postmaster general be authorized to prepare postage, stamps, which, when attached to any letter or packet, shall be evidence of the payment of the postage, chargeable on such letter. The same sections declare that any person who shall falsely or fraudulently make, utter, or, forge any postage stamp, with the intent to defraud the post office department, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment. And if any person shall use or attempt to use, in pre-payment of postage, any postage stamp which shall have been used before for like purposes, such person shall be subject, to a penalty of fifty dollars for every such offence, to be recovered in the name of the United States in any court of competent jurisdiction.

POSTEA, practice. Afterwards. The endorsement on the nisi prius record purporting to be the return of the judge before whom a cause is tried, of, what has been done in respect of such record. It states the day of trial, before what judge, by name, the cause is tried, and also who is or was an associate of such judge; it also states the appearance of the parties by their respective attorneys, or their defaults; and the summoning and choice of the jury, whether those who were originally summoned, or those who were tales, or taken from the standers by; it then states the finding of the jury upon oath, and, according to the description of the action, and the assessment of the damages with the occasion thereof, together with the costs.

2. These are the usual matters of fact contained in the postea, but it varies with the description of the action. See Lee's Dict. Postea; 2 Lill. P. R. 337; 16 Vin. Abr. 465; Bac. Use of the Law, Tracts, 127, 5.

3. When the trial is decisive, and neither the law nor the facts can afterwards be controverted, the postea is delivered by the proper officer to the attorney of the successful party, to sign his judgment; but it not unfrequently happens that after a verdict has been given, there is just cause to question its validity, in such case the postea remains in the custody of the court. Eunom. Dial. 2, 33, p. 116.

POSTERIORES. This term was used by the Romans to denote the descendant in a direct line beyond the sixth degree. It is still used in making genealogical tables.

POSTERIORITY, rights. Being or, coming after. It is a word of comparison, the correlative of which is priority; as, when a man holds lands from two landlords, he holds from his ancient landlord by priority and from the other by posteriority. 2 Inst. 392.

2. These terms, priority and posteriority, are also used in cases of liens the first are prior liens, and are to be paid in the first place; the last are posterior liens, and are not entitled to payment until the former have been satisfied.

POSTERITY, descents. All the descendants of a person in a direct line.

POSTHUMOUS CHILD. after the death of its father; or, when the Caesarian operation is performed, after that of the mother.

2. Posthumous children are entitled to take by descent as if they had been born at the time of their deceased ancestor. When a father has made a will without providing for a posthumous child, such a will is in some states, as in Pennsylvania, revoked pro tanto by implication. 4 Kent, Com. 506; Dig. 28, 5, 92; Ferriere, Com. h. t.; Domat, Lois Civiles, part 2 ' liv. 2, t. 1, s. 1: Merl. Rep. h. t.; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2158.

POSTILS, postillae. Marginal notes made in a book or writing for reference to other parts of the same, or some other book or writing.

POSTLIMINIUM. That right in virtue of which persons and things taken by the enemy are restored to their former state, when coming again under the power of the nation to which they belong. Vat. Liv. 3, c. 14, s. 204; Chit. Law of Nat. 93 to, 104; Lee on Captures, ch. 5; Mart. Law of Nat. 305; 2 Wooddes. p. 441, s. 34; 1 Rob. Rep. 134; 3 Rob. Rep. 236; Id. 97 2 Burr. 683; 10 Mod. 79; 6 Rob. R. 45; 2 Rob. Rep. 77; 1 Rob. Rep. 49; 1 Kent, Com. 108.

2. The jus posiliminii was a fiction of the Roman law. Inst. 1, 12, 5.

3. It is a right recognized by the law of nations, and contributes essentially to mitigate the, calamities of war. When, therefore, property taken by the enemy is either recaptured or rescued from him, by the fellow subjects or allies of the original owner, it does not become the property of the recaptor or rescuer, as if it had been a new prize, but it is restored to the original owner by right of postliminy, upon certain terms.

POSTMAN, Eng. law. A barrister in the court of exchequer, who has precedence in: motions.

POSTMASTER, or DEPUTY POSTMASTER. An officer of the United States appointed by the postmaster general to hold his office. during the, plaasure of the former. Before entering on the duties of his office, he is required to give bond with surety to be approved by the postmaster general. Act of 3d March, 1825, s. 3. 12. Every postmaster is required to keep an office in the place for which he may be appointed; and it is his duty to receive and forward by mail, without delay, all letters, papers, and packets as directed; to receive the mails and deliver, at all reasonable hours, all letters, papers and packets to the persons entitled thereto.

3. In lieu of commissions allowed deputy postmasters by the 14th section of the act of 3d March, 1845,.the postmaster general is authorized by the act of March 1, 1847, s. 1, to allow, on the proceeds of their respective offices, a commission not exceeding the following rates on the amount received in any one year, or a due proportion thereof for less-than a year: On a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, forty per cent; on a sum over the first hundred and not exceeding four hundred dollars, thirty-three and one-third per cent; on a sum over and above the first four hundred dollars and not exceeding twenty-four hundred dollars, thirty per cent.; on a sum over twenty-four hundred dollars, twelve and one-half per cent.; on all sums arising from the postage on newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets, fifty per cent.; on the amount of postages on letters or packets received for distribution, seven per cent.: Provided, That all allowances, commissions, or other emoluments, shall be subject to the provisions of the forty-first section of the act which this is intended to amend; and that the annual compensation therein limited shall be computed for the fiscal year commencing on the first of July and ending the thirtieth of June each year, and that for any period less than a year the restrictions contained in said section shall be held to apply in a due proportion for such fractional period: And, provided further, That the compensation to any,, deputy postmaster under the foregoing provisions to be computed upon the receipt at his office of a larger sum shall in no case fall short of the amount to which he would be entitled under a smaller sum received at his office.

4. By act of congress approved March 3, 1851, 6, it is enacted, That to any postmaster whose commissions may be reduced below the amount allowed at his office for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and fifty-one, and whose labors may be increased, the postmaster general shall be authorized, in his discretion, to allow such additional commissions as be may deem just and proper Provided, That the whole amount of commissions allowed such postmaster during any fiscal year, shall not exceed by more than twenty per centum the amount of commissions at such office for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and fifty-one.

5. Although not subject to all the, responsibilities of a common carrier, yet a postmaster is liable for all losses and injuries occasioned by his own default in office. 3 Wils. Rep. 443; Cowp. 754; 5 Burr. 2709; 1 Bell's Com. 468; 2 Kent. Com. 474; Story on Bailm. 463.

6. Whether a postmaster is liable for the acts of his clerks or servants seems not to be settled. 1 Bell's Com. 468, 9. In Pennsylvania it has been decided that he is not responsible for their secret delinquencies, though perhaps he is answerable for want of attention to the official conduct of his subordinates. 8 Watts. R. 453. Vide Frank; Post Office.

POSTMASTER GENERAL. The chief officer of the post office department of the United States. Various duties are imposed upon this officer by the acts of congress of March 3, 1825, and July 2, 1836, which will be found under the articles Mail; Post Office and Postage.

2. The act of February 20, 1819, 3 Story's L. U. S. 1720, gives the postmaster general a salary of four thousand dollars per annum and that of March 2, 1827, 3 Story's L. U. S. 2076, declares there shall be paid, annually, to the postmaster general two thousand dollars, in addition to his present salary.

POST NATI. Born after. This term is applied to persons who came to reside in tho United States after the declaration of independence. They are generally considered aliens, unless they become naturalized, or are otherwise so declared, by law. In Massachusetts, by statutory provision, and in Connecticut, by decision, a person born abroad, if he went there to reside before the treaty of peace of the 3d of September, 1783, is considered a citizen. 2 Pick. R. 394 5 Day, R. 169; 2 Kent, Com. 51, 2.

POSTULATIO, Rom. civ. law. The name given to the first act in a criminal proceeding. A person who wished to accuse another of a crime, appeared before the praetor and asked his authority for that purpose, designating the person intended. This act was called postulatio. The postulant (calumniam jurabat) made oath that he was not influenced by a spirit of calumny, but acted in good faith, with a view to the public interest. The praetor received this declaration, at, first made verbally, but afterwards in writing, and called a libel. The postulatio was posted lip in the forum, to give public notice of the names of the accuser and the accused. A second accuser sometimes appeared and went through the same formalities.

2. Other persons were allowed to appear and join the postulant or principal accuser. These were said postulare subscriptionem and were denominated subscriptores. Cic. in Caecil Divin. 15. But commonly such persons acted concurrently with the postulant, and inscribed, their names at the time he first appeared. Only one accuser, however, was allowed to act, and if the first inscribed did not desist in favor of the second, the right was determined, after discussion, by judges appointed for the purpose. Cic. in Verr. I. 6. The preliminary proceeding was called divinatio, and is well explained, in the oration of Cicero, entitled Divinatio. Bee Aulus Gellius, Att. Noct. lib. II. cap. 4.

3. The accuser having been determined in this manner, he appeared, before the praetor, and formally charged the accused by name, specifying the crime. This was called nominis et criminis, delatio. The magistrate reduced it to writing, which was called inscriptio, and the accuser and his adjuncts, if any, signed it, subscribebant. This proceeding corresponds to the indictment of the common law.

4. If the accused appeared, the accuser formally charged him with the crime. If the accused confessed it, or stood mute, he was adjudged to pay the penalty. If he denied it, the inscriptio contained his answer, and he was then (in reatu) indicted, (as we should say) and was called reus, and a day was fixed, ordinarily after an interval of at least ten days, according to the nature of the case, for the appearance of the parties. In the case of Verres, Cicero obtained one hundred and ten days to prepare his proofs, although he accomplished it in fifty days, and renounced, as he might do, the advantage of the remainder of the time allowed him.

5. At the day appointed for the trial the accuser and his adjuncts or colleagues, the accused, and the judges, were summoned by the herald of the preator. If the accuser did not appear, the' case was erased from the roll. If the accused made default he was condemned. If both parties appeared, a jury was drawn by the praetor or judex questionis. The jury were called jurati homines, and the drawing of them sortitio, and they were taken from a general list made out for the year. Either party had a right to object to a certain extent to the persons drawn, and then there was a second drawing called subsortitio, to complete the number.

6. In some tribunals (quaestiones) the jury were (editi) produced in equal number by the accuser and the accused, and sometimes by the accuser alone, who were objected to or challenged in different ways, according to the nature of the case. The number of the jury also varied according to the. tribunal, (quaestio) they were sworn before the trial began. Hence they were called jurati.

7. The accusers ana often the subscriptores were heard, and afterwards the accused, either by himself or by his advocates, of whom he commonly had several. The witnesses, who swore by Jupiter, gave their testimony after the discussions or during the progress of the pleadings of the accuser. In some cases it was necessary to plead the cause on the third day following the first hearing, which was called comperendinatio.

8. After the pleadings were concluded the praetor or the judex quastionis distributed tablets to the jury, upon which each wrote secretly, either the letter A (absolvo) or the letter C, (condemno) or N. L. (non liquet.) These tablets were deposited in an urn. The president assorted and counted the tablets. If the majority were for acquitting the accused, the magistrate declared it by the words fecisse non videtur, and by the words fecisse videtur if the majority were for a conviction. If the tablets marked N. L. were so many as to prevent an absolute majority for a conviction or acquittal, the cause was put off for more ample information, ampliatio, which the preator declared by the word amplies. Such in brief was the course of proceedings before the quaestiones perpeduae.

9. The forms observed in the comitia centiniata and comitia tributa were nearly the same, except the composition of the tribunal, and the mode of declaring the vote.

10. It is easy to perceive in this account of a criminal action, the germ of the proceedings on an indictment at common law.

POT-DE-VIN, French law. A sum of money frequently paid, at the moment of entering into a contract, be=yond the price agreed upon.

2. It differs from arrha, (q. v.) in this, that it is no part of the price of the thing sold, and, that the person who has received it, cannot by returning double the amount, or the other party by losing what he has paid, rescind the contract. 18 Toull. n. 52.

POTENTATE. One who has a great power over, an extended country; a sovereign.

2. By the naturalization laws, an alien is required, before he can be naturalized, to renounce all allegiance aud fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereign whatever.

POTESTAS, civil law. A Latin word which signifies power; authority; domination; empire. It has several meaning. 1. It signifies imperium, or the jurisdiction of magistrates. 2. The power of the father over his children, patriapotestas. 3. The authority of masters over their slaves, which makes it nearly synonymous with dominium. See Inst. 1, 9, et 12; Dig. 2, 1, 13, 1; Id. 14, 1; Id. 14, 4, 1, 4.

POUND, weight. There are two kinds of weights, namely, the troy, and the avoirdupois. The pound avoirdupois is greater than the troy pound, in the proportion of seven thousand to five thousand seven hundred and sixty. The troy pound contains twelve ounces, that of avoirdupois sixteen ounces.

POUND, Eng. law. A place enclosed to keep strayed animals in. 5 Pick. 514; 4 Pick. 258; 9 Pick. 14.

POUND, money. The sum of twenty shillings. Previous to the establishment of the federal currency,, the different states made use of the pound in computing money; it was of different value in the several states.

2. Pound sterling, is a denomination of money of Great Britain. It is of the value of a sovereign. (q. v.) In calculating the rates of duties, the pound sterling shall be considered and taken as of the value of four dollars and eighty cents. Apt of March 3, 1833.

3. The pound sterling of Ireland is to be computed, in calculating said duties, at four dollars and ten cents. Id.

4. The pound of the British provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Canada, is to be so computed at four dollars. Act of May, 22, 1846.

POUNDAGE, practice. The amount allowed to the sheriff, or other officer, for commissions on, the money made by virtue of an execution. This allowance varies in different states, and to different officers.

POURPARLER, French law. The conversations and negotiations which have taken place between the parties in order to make an agreement. These form no part of the agreement. Pard. Dr. Com. 142.

2. The general rule in the common law is the same, parol proof cannot, therefore, be given to contradict, alter, add to, or diminish a written instrument, except in some particular cases. 1 Dall. 426; Dall. 340; 8 Serg. & Rawle, 609; 7 Serg. Rawle, 114.

POURSUIVANT. A follower, a pursuer. In the ancient English law, it signified an officer who attended upon the king in his wars, at the council table, exchequer, in his court, &e., to be sent as a messenger. A poursuivant was, therefore, a messenger of the king.

POWER. This is either inherent or derivative. The former is the right, ability, or faculty of doing something, without receiving that right, ability, or faculty from another. The people have the power to establish a form of govemment, or to change one already established. A father has the legal power to chastise his son; a master, his apprentice.

2. Derivative power, which is usually known, by the technical name of power, is an authority by which one person enables another to do an act for him. Powers of this kind were well known to the common law, and were divided into two sorts: naked powers or bare authorities, and powers coupled with an interest. There is a material difference between them. In the case of the former, if it be exceeded in the act done, it is entirely void; in the latter it is good for so much as is within the power, and void for the rest only.

3. Powers derived from, the doctrine of uses may be defined to be an authority, enabling a person, through the medium of the statute of uses, to dispose of an interest, vested either in himself or another person.

4. The New York Revised Statute's define a power to be an authority to do some act in relation to lands, or the creation of estates therein, or of charges thereon, which the owner granting or reserving such power might himself lawfully perform.

5. They are powers of revocation and appointment which are frequently inserted in conveyances which owe their effect to the statute of uses; when executed, the uses originally declared cease, and new uses immediately arise to the persons named in the appointment, to which uses the statute transfers the legal estate and possession.

6. Powers being found to be much more convenient than conditions, were generally introduced into family settlements. Although several of these powers are not usually called powers of revocation, such as powers of jointuring, leasing, and charging settled estates with the payment of money, yet all these are powers of revocation, for they operate as revocations, pro tanto, of the preceding estates. Powers of revocation and appointment may be reserved either to-the original owners of the land or to strangers: hence the general division of powers into those which relate to the land, and those which are collateral to it.

7. Powers relating to the land are those given to some person having an interest in the land over which they are to be exercised. These again are subdivided into powers appendant and in gross.

8. A power appendant is where a person has an estate in land, with a power of revocation and appointment, the execution of which falls within the compass of his estate; as, where a tenant for life has a power of making leases in possession.

9. A power in gross is where a person has an estate in the land, with a power of appointment, the execution of which falls outof the compass of his estate, but, notwithstanding, is annexed in privity to it, and takes effect in the appointee, out of an interest vested in the appointer; for instance, where a tenant for life has a power of creating an estate, to commence after the determination of his own, such as to settle a jointure on his wife, or to create a term of years to commence after his death, these are called powers in gross, because the estate of the person to whom they are given, will not be affected by the execution of them.

10. Powers collateral, are those which are given to mere strangers, who have no interest in the laud: powers of sale and exchange given to trustees in a marriage settlement are of this kind. Vide, generally, Powell on Powers, assim; Sugden on Powers, passim; Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, ch.

13; Vin. Ab. h. t.; C om. Dig. Poiar; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 40, 92, 201, 307; 2 Id. 166, 200; 1 Vern. by Raithby, 406; 3 Stark. Ev. 1199; 4 Kent, Com. 309; 2 Lilly's Ab. 339; Whart. Dig. h. t. See 1 Story, Eq. Jur. 169, as to the execution of a power, and when equity will supply the defect of execution.

11. This classification of powers is admitted to be important only with reference to the ability of the donee to suspend, extinguish or merge the power. The general rule is that a power shall not be exercised in derogation of a prior grant by the appointer. But this whole division of powers has been condemned' as too artificial and arbitrary.

12. Powell divides powers into general and particular. powers. General powers are those to be exercised in favor of any person whom the appointer chooses. Particular powers are those which are to be exercised in favor of specific objects. 4 Kent, Com. 311, Vide, Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.; Mediate powers; Primary powers.

POWER OF ATTORNEY. Vide Letter of attorney, and 1 Mood. Or. Cas. 57, 58.

POYNING'S LAW, Engl. law. The name usually given to an act which was passed by a parliament holden in Ireland in the tenth of Henry the Seventh; it enacts that all statutes made in the realm of England before that time should be in force and put in use in the realm of Ireland. Irish Stat. 10 H. VII. c. 22; Co. Litt. 141 b; Harg. n. 3.

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