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2 Ball & Beatty, 223; 8 Com. Dig. *306, Appendix, h. t. Any obligation binding upon him who enters into it, which may be removed or taken away by a discharge. T. de la Ley, h. t.
CHARGE, wills, devises, is an obligation which a testator imposes on his devisee; as, if the testator give Peter, Blackacre, and directs that he shall pay to John during his life an annuity of one hundred dollars which is to be a charge on said land; or if a legacy be given and directed to be paid out of the real property. 1 Rop. Leg. 446. Vide 4 Vin. Ab. 449; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 309 ; 2 lb. 31; 1 Vem.45,411; 1 Swanst. 28; 4 East, R. 501; 4 Ves. jr. 815; Domat, Lois Civ. liv. 3,1.1, s. 8, n. 2.
CHARGE' DES AFFAIRES or CHARGE' D'AFFAIRES, international law. These phrases, the first of which is used in the acts of congress, are synonymous. The officer who bears this title is a diplomatic representative or minister of an inferior grade, to whose care are confided the affairs of his nation. He has not the title of minister, and is generally introduced and admitted through a verbal presentation of the minister, at his departure, or through letters of credence addressed to the minister of state of the court to which they are sent. He has the essential rights of a minister. Mart. Law of Nat. 206; 1 Kent, Com. 39, n.; 4 Dall. 321. The president is authorised to allow to any charge des affaires a sum not greater than at the rate of four thousand five hundred dollars per annum, as a compensation for his personal services and expenses. Act of May 1, 1810, 2 Story's Laws U. S. 1171.
CHARGER, Scotch law, is he in whose favour a decree suspended is pronounced; yet a decree may be suspended before a charge is given on it. Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. 4, 3, 7.
CHARITY, in its widest sense,
denotes all the good affections which men ought to bear towards each other,
1 Epistle to Cor. c. xiii.; in its most restricted and usual sense, it signifies relief of the poor. This species of charity is a mere moral duty, which cannot be enforced by the law. Kames on Eq. 17. But it is not employed in either of these senses in law; its signification is derived chiefly from the statute of 43 Eliz. c. 4. Those purposes are considered charitable which are enumerated in that act, or which by analogy are deemed within its spirit and intendment. 9 Ves. 405; 10 Ves. 541 ; 2 Vern. 387 ; Shelf. Mortm. 59. Lord Chancellor Camden describes a charity to be a gift to a general public use, which extends to the rich as well as to the poor, Ambl. 651 ; Boyle on Charities, 51;
2 Ves. sen. 52; Ambl. 713; 2 Ves. jr. 272; 6 Ves. 404; 3 Rawle, 170; 1 Penna. R. 49; 2 Dana, 170; 2 Pet. 534; 3 Pet. 99, 498; 9 Cow. 481; 1 Hawks, 96; 12 Mass. 537; 17 S. & R. 88; 7 Verm. 241 ; 5 Harr. & John. 392 ; 6 Harr. & John.
1 ; 9 Pet. 566; 6 Pet. 435; 9 Cranch, 331 ; 4 Wheat. 1 ; 9 Wend. 394;
2 N. H. Rep. 21, 510; 9 Cow. 437; 7 John. Ch. R. 292; 3 Leigh, 450; 1 Dev. Eq. Rep. 276.
CHARRE OF LEAD, Eng. law, in commerce, is a quantity of lead consisting of thirty pigs, each pig containing six stones wanting two pounds, and every stone being twelve pounds. Jacob.
CHARTA, an ancient word which signified not only a charter or deed in writing, but any signal or token by which an estate was held.
CHARTER, is a grant made by the sovereign either to the whole people or to a portion of them, securing to them the enjoyment of certain rights. Of the former kind is the present charter of France, which extends to the whole country ; the charters which were granted to the different American colonies by the British government were charters of the latter species. 1 Story, Const. L. § 161; 1 Bl. Com. 108; Encycl. Amer. Charte Constitutionelle. A charter differs from a constitution in this, that the former is granted by the sovereign while the latter is established by the people themselves: both are the fundamental law of the land. This term is susceptible of another signification. During the middle ages almost every document was called carta, charta or chartula. In this sense the term is nearly synonymous with deed. Co. Litt. 6; 1 Co. 1; Moor. Cas. 687. The act of the legislature creating a corporation, is called its charter. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 188; Dane's Ab. h. t.
CHARTER, mar. contr., is an agreement by which a vessel is hired by the owner to another; as, A B chartered the ship Benjamin Franklin to C D.
CHARTER-PARTY, contracts, is a contract of affreightment in writing, by which the owner of a ship or other vessel lets the whole, or a part of her, to a merchant or other person for the conveyance of goods, on a particular voyage, in consideration of the payment of freight. This instrument ought to contain, 1, the name and tonnage of the vessel; 2, the name of the captain; 3, the names of the letter to freight and the freighter; 4, the place and time agreed upon for the loading and discharge; 5, the price of the freight; 6, the demurrage or indemnity in case of delay; 7, such other conditions as the parties may agree upon. Abbott on Ship, pt. 3, c. 1, s. 1 to 6; Poth. h. t. n. 4; Pardcssus, Dr. Com. pt. 4, t. 4, c 1, n. 708. When a ship is chartered this instrument serves to authenticate many of the facts on which the proof of her neutrality must rest, and should therefore be always found on
board chartered ships. 1 Marsh. Ins. 407. When the goods of several merchants unconnected with each other, are laden on board without any particular contract of affreightment with any individual for the entire ship, the vessel is called a general ship, (q. v.) because open to all merchants; but where one or more merchants, contract for the ship exclusively, it is said to be a chartered ship. 3 Kent, Com. 158; Abbott, Ship. pt. 2, c. 2, s. 1; Harr. Dig. Ship and Shipping, IV.
CHARTERED SHIP. When a ship is hired or freighted by one or more merchants for a particular voyage or on time, it is called a chartered ship. It is freighted by a special contract of affreightment, executed between the owners, ship's husband, or master on the one hand, and the merchants on the other. It differs from a General ship, (q. v.)
CHARTIS REDDENDIS, Eng. law, an ancient writ, now obsolete, which lays against one who had charters of feoffment entrusted to his keeping, and who refused to deliver them. Reg. Orig. 159.
CHASE, Eng. law, is the liberty of keeping beasts of chase, or royal game, on another man's ground as well as on one's own ground, protected even from the owner of the land, with a power of hunting them thereon. It differs from a park, because it may be on another's ground, and because it is not enclosed. 2 Bl. Com. 38.
CHASE, property, is the act of acquiring possession of animals fercB natura by force, cunning or address. The hunter acquires a right to such animals by occupancy, and they become his property. 4 Toull. n. 7. No man has a right to enter on tho lands of another for the purpose of hunting without his consent. Vide 14 East, R. 249; Poth. Tr. du Dr. de Propriete, part. 1, c. 2, art. 2.
CHATTELS, property, is a term which includes all kinds of property except the freehold or things which are parcel of it. It is a more extensive term than goods or effects. Chattels are personal or real. Personal are such as belong immediately to the person of a man; chattels real are such as either appertain not immediately to the person, but to something by way of dependency, as a box with the title deeds of lands; or such as are issuing out of some real estate, as a lease of lands, or term of years, which pass like personalty to the executor of the owner. Co. Litt. 118; 1 Chit. Pr. 90; 8 Vin. Ab. 296; 11 Vin. Ab. 166; 14 Vin. Ab. 109; Bac. Ab. Baron, &c. (C2); 2 Kent, Com. 278; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Com. Dig, Biens, A.
CHEAT, criminal law, torts. A cheat is a deceitful practice, of a public nature, in defrauding another of a known right, by some artful device, contrary to the plain rules of common honesty. 1 Hawk. 343. To constitute a cheat, the offence must be, 1st, of a public nature; for every species of fraud and dishonesty in transactions between individuals is not the subject-matter of a criminal charge at common law, it must be such as is calculated to defraud numbers, and to deceive the people in general. 2 East, P. C. 816; 7 John. R. 201; 14 John R. 371; 1 Greenl. R. 387; 6 Mass. R. 72; 9 Cowen, R. 588; 9 Wend. R. 187; 1 Yerg. R. 76; 1 Mass. 137.—2. The cheating must be done by false weights, false measures, false tokens, or the like, calculated to deceive numbers, 2 Burr. 1125; 1 W. Bl. R. 273; Holt, R. 354.-3. That the object of the defendant in defrading the prosecutor was successful. If unsuccessful it is a mere attempt, (q. v.) 2 Mass. 139. When two or more enter into an agreement to cheat, the offence is a conspiracy, (q. v.) To call a man a cheat is slanderous.
Hetl. 167; 1 Roll's Ab. 53; 2 Lev. 62. Vide Illiterate; Token.
CHECK, contracts, is a written order or request, addressed to a bank, or persons carrying on the banking business, and drawn upon them by a party having money in their hands, requesting them to pay on presentment to a person therein named or to bearer, a named sum of money. It is said that checks are uniformly payable to bearer, Chit. on Bills, 411, but that is not so in practice in the United States: they are generally payable to bearer, but sometimes they are payable to order. Checks are negociable instruments as bills of exchange, though, strictly speaking, they are not due before payment has been demanded, in which respect they differ from promissory notes and bills of exchange payable on a particular day. 7 T. R. 430. Vide 4 John. R. 304; 7 John. R. 26; 2 Ves. jr. I11; Yelv. 4, b, note; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 116; 3 John. Cas. 5,259; 6 Wend. R. 445; 2 N. & M. 251; 1 Blackf. R. 104; 1 Litt. R. 194; 2 Litt. R. 299; 6 Cowen, R. 484; 4 Har. & J. 276; 13 Wend. R. 133; 10 Wend. R. 304; 7 Harr. & J. 381; 1 Hall, R. 73; 15 Mass. R. 74; 4 Yerg. R. 210; 9 S. & R. 125.
CHECK BOOK, commerce, is one kept by persons who have accounts in bank, in which are printed blank forms of checks, or orders upon the bank to pay money.
CHEMISTRY, med. jur„ is the science which teaches the nature and property of all bodies by their analysis and combination. In considering cases of poison the lawyer will find a knowledge of chemistry, even very limited in degree, to be greatly useful. 2 Chit. Pr. 42, n.
CHEVISANCE, contracts, torts; this is a French word which signifies in that language accord, agreement, compact. In the English statutes it its used to denote a bargain or contract in general. In a legal sense it is taken for an unlawful bargain or contract.
CHIEF CLERK IN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. This officer is appointed by the secretary of state; his duties are to attend to the business of the office under the superintendence of the secretary; and when the secretary shall be removed from office, by the president, or in any other case of vacancy, shall, during such vacancy, have the charge and custody of all records, books, and papers appertaining to such department. Act 27th July, 1789, s. 2, 1 Story's Laws, 6. His compensation for his services shall not exceed two thousand dollars per annum. Gordon's Dig. art. 211.
CHIEF JUSTICE, officer, is the president of a supreme court; as, the chief justice of the United States, the chief justice of Pennsylvania, and the like. Vide 15 Vin. Ab. 3. •
CHIEF JUSTICIARY. An officer among the English, established soon after the conquest. He had judicial power, and sat as a judge in the Curia Regis, (q. v.) In the absence of the king, ho governed the kingdom. In the course of time, the power and distinction of this officer gradually diminished, until the reign of Henry Ill., when the office was abolished.
CHILD, CHILDREN, domestic relations. A child is the son or daughter in relation to the father or mother. We will here consider the law, in general terms, as it relates to the condition, duties and rights of children; and, afterwards, the extent which has been given to the word child or children by dispositions in wills and testaments.
1. Children born in lawful wedlock, or within a competent time afterwards, are presumed to be the issue of the father, and follow his condition; those born out of lawful wed
lock, follow the condition of the mother. The father is bound to maintain his children and to educate them, and to protect them from injuries. Children are, on their part, bound to maintain their fathers and mothers, when in need, and they are of ability so to do. Poth. Du Mariage, n. 384, 389. The father in general is entitled to the custody of minor children, but, under certain circumstances, the mother will be entitled to them, when the father and mother have separated. 5 Binn. 520. Children are liable to the reasonable correction of their parents. Vide Correction.
2. The term children does not ordinarily and properly speaking comprehend grandchildren, or issuo generally; yet sometimes that meaning is affixed to it, in cases of necessity, 6 Co. 16; and it has been held to signify the same as issue, in cases where the testator by using the terms children and issue indiscriminately, showed his intention to use the former term in the sense of issue, so as to entitle grandchildren, &c. to take under it. 1 Ves. sen. 196; Ambl. 555; 3 Ves. 258; Ambl. 661; 3 Ves. & Bea. 69. When legally construed, the term children, is confined to legitimate children. 7 Ves. 458. The civil code of Louisiana, art. 2522, n. 14, enacts that "under the name of children are comprehended, not only children of the first degree, but the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and all other descendants in the direct line."
Children are divided into legitimate children, or those born in lawful wedlock; and natural or illegitimate children, who are born bastards, (q. v.) Vide Natural children. Illegitimate children are incestuous bastards, or those which are not incestuous.
Vide, generally, 8 Vin. Ab. 318; 8 Com. Dig. 470; 2 Kent, Com. 172; 4 Kent, Com. 408, 9; 1 Rop. on Leg. 45 to 76; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 44; 2 lb. 158. Natural children.
CHILDREN, POSTHUMOUS, are those who are born after the death of their fathers, Domat, Lois Civ. liv. prel. t. 2, s. 1, § 7; L. 3, § 1, if de inj. rupt. In Pennsylvania the will of their fathers in which no provision is made for them is revoked as far as regards them, by operation of law. 3 Binn. R. 498; see as to the law of Virginia on this subject, 3 Munf. 20; and article In Ventre sa mere.
CHIMIN, this is a corruption of the French word Chevdii,* highway. It is used by old writers. Com. Dig. Chimin.
CHIROGRAPH, conveyancing, signifies a deed or public instrument in writing; chirographs were anciently attested by the subscription and crosses of witnesses ; afterwards, to prevent frauds and concealments, deeds of mutual covenant were made in a script and rescrift, or in a part and counterpart; and in the middle, between the two copies, they drew the capital letters of the alphabet, and then tallied, or cut asunder in an indented manner, the sheet or skin of parchment, one of which parts being delivered to each of the parties, were proved authentic by matching with and answering to one another. Deeds thus made were denominated syngrapha, by the canonists, because that word, instead of the letters of the alphabet, or the word chirographum, was used. 2 Bl. Com. 296. This method of preventing conterfeiting, or of detecting counterfeits, is now used by having some ornament or some word engraved or printed at one end of certificates of stocks, checks, and a variety of other instruments, which are bound up in a book, and after they are executed, are cut asunder through such ornament or word.
Chirograph is also the last part of
a fine of land, commonly called the foot of the fine. It is an instrument of writing beginning with these words; "This is the final agreement," &c. It includes the whole matter, reciting the parties, day, year and place, and before whom the fine was acknowledged and levied. Cruise, Dig. tit. M, c. t, s. 52. Vide Chambers's Diet. h. t; Encyclopedia Americana, Charter; Encyclopedic de D'Alembert, h. t; Pothier, Pand. tom, xxii. p. 73.
CHIROGRAPHER, is a word derived from the Greek, which signifies, "a writing with a man's hand ;" a chirographer is an officer of the English court of C. P. who engrosses the fines, and delivers the indentures of them to the parties, &c.
CHIVALRY, ancient Eng. law. This word is derived from the French checelier, a horseman. It is the name of a tenure of land by knight's service. Chivalry was of two kinds; the first, which was regal, or held only of the king; or common, which was held of a common person. Co. Litt. h. t.
CHOICE. Preference either of a person or thing, to one or several other persons or things. Election, (q. V.)
CHOSE, property, this is a French word, signifying thing. In law, it is applied to personal property, as chosen in possession, are such personal things of which one has possession; choses in action, are such as the owner has not the possession, but merely a right of action for their possession. 2 Bl. Com. 389,397; 1 Chit. Pract. 99; 1 Supp. to Ves. Jr. 26, 59. Chitty defines choses in actions to be rights to receive or recover a debt, or money, or damages, for breach of contract, or for a tort connected with contract, but which can, not be enforced without action, and therefore termed choses, or things in action. Com. Dig. Biens; Harr. Dig.