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not take a security which effectually protected him against any subsequent dealing to his prejudice, by the party who had the legal estate, a second encumbrancer, taking a security which in its nature afforded him that protection, had what might properly be called a better equity. 1 Ch. Pr. 470, note. Vide 4 Rawle, R. 242; 5 Rawle, R. 144.
BETTERMENTS. Improvements made to an estate. It signifies such improvements as have been made to the estate which render it better than mere repairs.
BEYOND SEA. This phrase is used in the acts of limitations of several of the states, in imitation of the phraseology of the English statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, the term has been construed to signify out of the United States, 9 S. & R. 288; 2 Dall. R. 217; 1 Yeates, R. 329. In Georgia, it is equivalent to without the limits of the state, 3 Wheat. R. 541 ; and the same construction prevails in Maryland, 1 Har. & John. 350; 1 Harr. & M'H. 89; in South Carolina, 2 McCord, Rep. 331 ; and in Massachusetts, 3 Mass. R. 271 ; 1 Pick. R. 26:1. Vide Kirby, R. 299; 3 Bibb, R. 510; 3 Litt. R. 48; 1 John. Cas. 76.
BIAS. A particular influential power which sways the judgment; the inclination of the mind towards a particular object. Justice requires that the judge should have no bias for or against any individual; and that his mind should be perfectly free to act as the law requires. There is, however, one kind of bias which the courts suffer to influence them in their judgments; it is a bias favourable to a class of cases, or persons, as distinquished from an individual case or person. A few examples will explain this. A bias is felt on account of convenience, 1 Ves. sen. 13, 14; 3 Atk. 524. It is also felt in favour of the heir at law, as when there is an
heir on one side and a mere volunteer on the other. Willes, R. 570; 1 W. Bl. 256; Amb. R. 645; 1 Ball & B. 309; 1 Wils. R. 310; 3 Atk. 747; lb. 222. On the other hand, the court leans against double portions for children, M'Clell. R. 356; 13 Price, R. 599; against double provisions, and double satisfactions. 3 Atk. R. 421; and against forfeitures. .3 T. R. 172. Vide, generally, 1 Burr. 419; 1 Bos. & Pull. 614; 3 Bos. & Pull. 456; 2 Ves. jr. 648; Jacob, Rep. 115; 1 Turn. & R. 350.
BID, contracts. A bid is an offer to pay a stipulated price for an article about to be sold at auction. The bidder has a right to withdraw his bid at any time before it is accepted, which acceptance is generally manifested bv knocking down the hammer. 3'T. R. 148; Hardin's Rep. 181; Sugd. Vend. 29; Babington on Auct. 30, 42. Et vide, Offer.
BIDDER, contracts. One who makes an offer to pay a certain price for an article which is for sale. The term is applied more particularly to a person who offers a price for goods or other property, while being sold at an auction. The bidder is required to act in good faith, and any combination between him and others, to prevent a fair competition, would avoid the sale made to himself. Till the bid is accepted, the bidder may retract his bid. Vide articles, Auction and Bid.
BIENS, a French word, which signifies property. In law, it means property of every description, except estates of freehold and inheritance. Dane's Ab. c. 133, a, 3; Com. Dig. h. t.; Co. Litt. 118,b; Sugd. Vend. 495. In the French law, this term includes all kinds of property, real and personal. Biens are divided into biens meubles, movable or personal property; and biens immeubles, immovable property or real estate. This distinction between movable and immovable property, is, however, recognized by them, and gives rise in the civil, as well as in the common law, to many important distinctions as to rights and remedies. Story, Confl. of Laws, § 13, note 1.
BIGAMUS. One guilty of bigamy. Obsolete.
BIGAMY, crim. law, domestic relation.i. The wilful contracting of a second marriage when the contracting party knows that the first is still subsisting; or it is the state of a man who has two wives, or of a woman who has two husbands living at the same time. When the man has more than two wives, or the woman more than two husbands living at the same time, then the party is said to have committed polygamy, but the name of bigamy is more frequently given to this offence in legal proceedings. 1 Russ. on Cr. 187. In England this crime is punishable by the stat. 1 Jac. 1, c. 1, which makes the offence felony, but it exempts from punishment the party whose husband or wife shall continue to remain absent for seven years before the second marriage, without being heard from, and persons who shall have been legally divorced. The statutory provisions in the U. S. against bigamy or polygamy, are generally similar to, and copied from the statute of 1 Jac. 1, c. 11, excepting as to the punishment. The several exceptions to this statute are also nearly the same in the American statutes, but the punishment of the offence is different in many of the states. 2 Kent, Com. 69; vide Bac. Ab. h. t.; Com. Dig. Justices, (S 5); Merlin Repert. mot Bigamie. Code lib. 9, tit. 9, 1. 18; and lib. 5, tit. 5, 1. 2. According to the canonists, bigamy consisted in marrying two virgins successively, one after the death of the other, or in once marrying a widow; persons who had so married were considered
incapable of orders. Bac. Ab. h. t.; 6 Decret. 1. 12.
BILATERAL CONTRACT, civ. law, is a contract in which both the contracting parties are bound to fulfil obligations respectively towards each other. Lec. Elem. § 781, as a contract of sale where one becomes bound to deliver the thing sold, and the other to pay the price of it. Vide Contract; Synallagmatic contract.
BILINGUIS. One who uses two tongues or languages. In the ancient law, this term signified a jury who were to give a verdict between an Englishman and a foreigner, part of whom were to be Englishmen and part foreigners. Vide Medietas Lingua.
BILL, legislation, is an instrument drawn or presented by a member or committee to a legislative body for its approbation, so that it may become a law, or its rejection. After it has gone through both houses and received the constitutional sanction of the chief magistrate, where such approbation is requisite, it becomes a law. See Meigs, R. 237.
BILL, chancery practice, is a complaint in writing addressed to the chancellor, containing the names of the parties to the suit, both complainant and defendant, a statement of the facts on which the complainant relies, and the allegations which he makes, with an averment that the acts complained of are contrary to equity, and a prayer for relief and • proper process. Its office in a chancery suit, is the same as a declaration is in action at law, a libel in a court of admiralty, or an allegation in the spiritual courts.
A bill usually consists of nine parts, 1st, The address, which must be to the chancellor. 2dly, The second part consists of the names of the plaintiffs and their descriptions; but tho description of the parties in this part of the bill does not, it seems, constitute a sufficient averment, so as to put that fact in issue; 2 Ves. & Bea. 327. 3dly, The third part is called the premises or stating part of the bill, and contains the plaintiff's case. 4thly, In the fourth place is a general charge of confederacy. 5thly, The fifth part consists of allegations of the defendant's pretences, and charges in evidence of them. 6thly, The sixth part contains the clause of jurisdiction, and an averment that the acts complained of are contrary to equity. Tthly, The seventh part consists of a prayer that the parties may answer the premises, which is usually termed the interrogatory part. 8thly, The prayer for relief sought forms the eighth part. And, 9thly, The ninth part is a prayer for process. 2 Madd. Ch. 166; Blake's Ch. Pr. 35; 1 Mitf. PI. 41. The facts contained in the bill must, as far as known to the complainant, be sworn to be true; and such as are not known to him, he must swear he believes to be true. And it must be signed by counsel. 2 Madd. Ch. Pr. 167; Story, Eq. PI. § 26 to 47.
Bills, with their several kinds and distinctions, may be divided into three clauses or heads; 1, Original bills; 2, Auxiliary bills; and, 3, Bills in the nature of original bills.
1. Original bills related to some matters not before litigated in the court by the same persons, standing under the same interests, under which the following may be ranged: bills praying the decree of the court, &c. —of interpleader—of certiorari—to perpetuate the testimony of witnesses —of discovery of facts—of quia timet —of peace—and of information. See these several titles below.
2. Auxiliary bills which are filed in aid of original bills; under this class may be placed bills of revivor— and of revivor and supplement.
3. Bills in the nature of original bills, being sometimes auxiliary, and
sometimes otherwise, and those which tend to oppose or seek the benefit of former bills, such as cross bills—bills of review^in the nature of bills of review—to impeach a decree on the ground of fraud—to carry a decree in a former suit into execution—in the nature of bills of revivor—in the nature of supplemental bills—to suspend the operation of decrees, and also bills filed by the direction of the court for the purpose of obtaining its decrees.
To the first class may be added, bills for dower or a partition—bills to marshal securities—bills to marshal assets—and bills of foreclosure.— Storv's Eq. PI. ch. 5.
BILL OF ADVENTURE, com. law, contracts. A writing signed by a merchant, to testify that the goods shipped on board a certain vessel belong to another person who is to take the hazard, the subscriber signing only to oblige himself to account to him for the produce.
BILL OF ATTAINDER, legislotion, punishment, is an act of the legislature by which one or more persons are declared to be attainted, and their property confiscated. The constitution of the United States declares that no state shall pass any bill of attainder. During the revolutionary war, bills of attainder, and ex post facto acts of confiscation, were passed to a wide extent. The evils resulting from them, in times of more cool reflection, were discovered to have far outweighed any imagined good. Story on Const. § 1367. Vide Attainder; Bill of pains and penalties.
BILL-BOOK, commerce, accounts, is one in which an account is kept of promissory notes, bills of exchange, and other bills payable or receivable, and ought to contain all that a man issues or receives. The book should show the date of the bill, the term it has to run before it becomes due, the names of all the parties to it, and the time of its bo1 coming due, together with the amount for which it was given.
BILL OF CERTIORARI, in chancery practice. A bill of certiorari is one praying the writ of certiorari to remove a cause from an inferior court of equity. Coop. Eq. PI. 44. The requisites of this bill are that it state, 1st, the proceedings in the inferior court; 2d, the incompetency of such court, by suggesting that the cause is out of its jurisdiction; or that the witnesses live out of its jurisdiction; or are not able, by age or infirmity, or the distance of the place, to follow the suit there; or that for some other cause, justice is not likely to be done; 3d, the bill must pray a writ of certiorari, to certify and remove the record and the cause to the superior court. Wyatt, Pr. Reg. b2; Harr. Ch. Pr. 49; Story, Eq. PI. § 298. This bill is but little used in the United States.
BILL OF COSTS, practice, a statement of the items which form the total amount of the costs of a suit or action. This is demandable as a matter of right before the payment of the costs
BILLS OF CREDIT. It is provided by the constitution of the United States, art. 1. s. 10, that no state shall " emit bills of credit, or make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." Such bills of credit are declared to mean promissory notes or bills issued exclusively on the credit of the state, and for the payment of which the faith of the state only is pledged. The prohibition, therefore does not apply to the notes of a state bank, drawn on the credit of a particular fund set apart for the purpose. 2 M'Cord's R. 12; 2 Pet. R. 318; 11 Pet. R. 257. Bills of credit may be defined to be paper issued and intended to circulate through the community for its ordinary purposes, as money
redeemable at a future day. 4 Pet. U. S. R. 410; 1 Kent Com. 407; 4 Dall. R. xxiii.; Story, Const. 1362 to 1364; 1 Scam. R. 87, 526. This phrase is used in another sense among merchants, it is a letter sent by an agent or other person to a merchant, desiring him to give credit to the bearer for goods or money. Com. Dig. Merchant, F 3.
BILL TO CARRY A DECREE INTO EXECUTION, in chancery practice. A bill to carry a decree into execution, is one which is filed when, from the neglect of parties, or some other cause, it may become impossible to carry a decree into execution without the further decree of the court. Hinde, 68; 1 Harr. Ch. 148.
BILL, CROSS, in chancery practice. A cross bill is one 'which is brought by a defendant in a suit against the plaintiff, respecting the matter in question in that bill. Coop. Eq. PI. 85; Mitf. PI. 75. A bill of this kind is usually brought to obtain, either a necessary discovery, or full relief to all the parties. It frequently happens, and particularly if any question arises between two defendants to a bill, that the court cannot make a complete decree without a cross bill or cross bills to bring every matter in dispute completely before the court, litigated by the proper parties, and upon proper proofs. In this case it becomes necessary for some one of the defendants to the original bill to file a bill against the plaintiff and other defendants in that bill, or some of them, and bring the litigated point properly before the court. A cross bill should state the original bill, and proceedings thereon, and the rights of the party exhibiting the bill which are necessary to be made the subject of a cross litigation, or the grounds on which he resists the claims of the plaintiff in the original bill, if that is the object of the new bill.
A cross bill may be filed to answer the purpose of a plea puis derrien continuance at the common law. For example, where pending a suit, and after replication and issue joined, the defendant having obtained a release and attempted to prove it viva voce at the hearing, it was determined that the release not being in issue in the cause, the court could not try the facts, or direct a trial at law for that purpose, and that a new bill must be filed to put the release in issue. Mitf. PI. 75, 76; Coop. Eq. PI. 85; 1 Harr. Ch. Pr. 135.
A cross bill must be brought before publication is passed on the first bill, 1 Johns. Ch. R. 62, and not after, except the plaintiff in the cross bill go to the hearing on the depositions already published; because of the danger of perjury and subornation, if the parties should, after publication of the former depositions, examine witnesses de novo, to the same matter before examined into. 7 Johns. Ch. Pr. 250; Nels. Ch. R. 103.
BILL OF DEBT, or BILL OBLIGATORY, in contracts, is when a merchant by his writing acknowledges himself in debt to another, in a certain sum to be paid on a certain day, and subscribes it at a day and place certain. It may be under seal or not. Com. Dig. Merchant, F 2.
BILL OF DISCOVERY, in chancery practice. A bill of discovery emphatically so called, is one which prays for the discovery of facts resting within the knowledge of the person against whom the bill is exhibited, or of deeds, writings or other things in his custody or power. Hinde, 20; Blake's Ch. Pr. 37. Every bill, except the bill of certiorari, may in truth be considered a bill of discovery, for every bill seeks a disclosure of circumstances relative to the plaintiff's case; but that usually and emphatically distinguished by this appellation is a bill for the discovery of
facts, resting in the knowledge of the defendant, or of deeds or writings or other things in his custody or power, and seeking no relief in consequence of the discovery. This bill is commonly used in aid of the jurisdiction of some other court; as to enable the plaintiff to prosecute or defend an action at law. Mitf. PI. 52. The plaintiff, in this species of bill, must be entitled to the discovery he seeks, and shall only have a discovery of what is necessary for his own title, as of deeds he claims under, and not to pry into that of the defendant. 2 Ves. 445. See Blake's Ch. Pr. 45; Mitf. PI. 52; Coop. Eq. PI. 56; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 196; Hare on Disc. passim; Wagr. on Disc, passim.
The action ad exhibendum, in the Roman law, was not unlike a bill of discovery. Its object was to force the party against whom it was instituted, to exhibit a thing or a title in his power. It was always preparatory to another, which was always a real action in the sense of the word in the Roman law. See Action ad exhibendum; Merlin, Questions de Droit, tome i. 84.
BILL OF EXCEPTION, practice, is the statement in writing, of the objection made by a party in a cause, to the decision of the court on a point of law, which, in confirmation of its accuracy, is signed and sealed by the judge or court who made the decision. The object of the bill of exceptions, is to put the question of law on record for the information of the court of error having cognizance of such cause. The bill of exception is authorized by the statute of Westminster 2, 13 Ed. l,c. 31, the principles of which have been adopted in all the states of the Union. It is thereby enacted "when one impleaded before any of the justices, alleges an exception praying they will allow it, and if they will not, if he that alleges the