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defect of intensity, or the reflective power. The latter is occasioned by a want of extensity, or the perceptive power. There are various degrees of this disease. It has been attempted to classify the degrees of imbecility, but the careful observer of nature will perhaps be soon satisfied that the shades of difference between one species and another, are almost imperceptible. Ray, Med. Jur. ch. 3; 2 Beck, Med. Jur. 550, 642; 1 Hagg. Ecc. R. 384; 2 Phillim. R. 449; 1 Litt. R. 252; 5 John. Ch. R. 161; 1 Litt. R. 101; Des Maladies mentales, considerees dans leurs rapports avec la legislation civille et criminelle, 8; Georget, Discussion medico-legale sur la folie, 140.
IMMEDIATE. That which is produced directly by the act to which it is ascribed, without the intervention or agency of any distinct intermediate cause. For immediate injuries the remedy is trespass, for those which are consequential, an action on the case. 11 Mass. R. 59, 137, 525; 1 & 2 Ohio R. 342; 6 S. & R. 348; 18 John. 257; 19 John. 381; 2 H. & M. 423; 1 Yeates, R. 586; 12 S. & R. 210; Coxe, R. 339; Harper's R. 113; 6 Call's R. 44; 1 Marsh. R. 194. When an immediate injury is caused by negligence, the injured party may elect to regard the negligence as the • immediate cause of action, and declare in case; or to consider the act itself as the immediate injury, and sue in trespass. 14 John. 432; 6 Cowen, 342; 3 N. H. Rep. 465; sed vide 3 Conn. 64. See Cause.
IMMEMORIAL. That which commences beyond the time of memory. Vide Memory, time of.
IMMEMORIAL POSSESSION. In Louisiana, by this term is understood that of which no man living has seen the beginning, and the existence of which he has learned from his
elders. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 762; 2 M. R. 214; 7 L. R. 46; 3 Toull. p. 410; Poth. Contr. de Societe, n. 244.
IMMORALITY. That which is contra bonos mores. Immoral contracts are generally void; an agreement in consideration of future illicit cohabitation between the parties, 3 Burr. 1568; S. C. 1 Bl. Rep. 517; 1 Esp. R. 13; 1 B. & P. 340, 341; an agreement for the value of libellous and immoral pictures, 4 Esp. R. 97; or for printing a libel, 2 Stark. R. 107; or for an immoral wager, Chit. Contr. 156, cannot, therefore, be enforced. It is a general rule, that whenever an agreement appears to be illegal, immoral, or against public policy, « court of justice leaves the parties where it finds them; when the agreement has been executed, the court will not rescind it; when executory, the court will not help the execution. 4 Ohio R. 419; 4 John. R. 419; 11 John. R. 388; 12 John. R. 306; 19 John. R. 341 ; 3 Cow. en's R. 213; 2 Wils. R. 341.
IMMOVABLES, civil law— Things are movable or immovable. Immovables, res immobiles, are things in general, such as cannot move themselves or be removed from one place to another. But this defmition, strictly speaking, is applicable only to such things as are immovable by their own nature, and not to such as are so only by the destination of the law. There are things immovable by their nature, others by their destination, and others by the objects to which they are applied. 1. Lands and buildings or other constructions, whether they have their foundations in the soil .or not, are immovable by their nature. By the common law, buildings erected on the land are pot considered real estate unless they have been let into, or united to the land or to substances previously connected therewith. Ferard on Fixt. 2.—2. Things which the owner of the land has placed upon it for its service and improvement, are immovables by destination, as seeds, plants, fodder, manure, pigeons in a pigeon-house, bee-hives, and the like. By the common law, erections with or without a foundation, when made for the purpose of trade, are considered personal estate. 2 Pet. S. C. Rep. 137; 3 Atk. 13. Ambl. 113.—3. A servitude established on real estate, is an instance of an immovable which is so considered in consequence of the object to which it is applied. Vide Civil Code of Louis. B. 2, t. 1, c. 2, art. 453-463; Poth. Des Choses, § 1; Poth. De la Communaute, n. 25 et seq.; Clef des Lois Romaines, mot Immeubles.
IMMUNITY is an exemption to serve in an office, or to perform duties which the law generally requires other citizens to perform. Vide Dig. lib. 50, t. 6; 1 Chit. Cr. L. 821; 4 Har. & M'Hen. MI.
IMPAIRING THE OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS. The constitution of the United States, art. l,s. 9, cl. 1, declares that no state shall '.' pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts." Contracts when considered in relation to their effects areexecuted, that is, transfer for the possession of the thing contracted for, or they are executory, which gives only a right of action for the subject of the contract. Contracts are also express or implied. The constitution makes no distinction between one class of contracts and the other. 6 Cranch, 135 ; 7 Cranch, 164. The obligation of a contract here spoken of is a legal not a mere moral obligation; it is the law which binds the party to perform his undertaking. The obligation does not inhere or subsist in the contract itself, proprio vigore, but in the law applicable to the contract. 4 Wheat. R.
197; 12 Wheat. R. 318; and this law is not the universal law of nations, but it is the law of the state where the contract is made. 12 Wheat. R. 213. Any law which enlarges, abridges, or in any manner changes the intention of the parties, resulting from'the stipulations in the contract, necessarily impairs it. 12 Wheat. 256; Id. 327; 3 Wash. C. C. Rep. 319; 8 Wheat. 84; 4 Wheat. 197. The constitution forbids the states to pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts, but there is nothing in that instrument which prohibits congress from passing such a law. Pet. C. C. R. 322. Vide, generally, Story on the Const. § 1368 to 1391; Serg. Const. Law, 356; Rawle on the Const. h. t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.
TO IMPANEL, practice, is to write the names of a jury on a schedule, by the sheriff or other officer lawfully authorised.
IMPARLANCE, pleading and practice. Imparlance from the French, parler, to speak, or licentia loquandi, in its most general signification, means time given by the court to either party to answer the pleading of his opponent, as either to plead, reply, rejoin, &c, and is said to be nothing else but the continuance of the cause till a further day. Bac. Abr. Pleas, G. But the more common signification of the term is time to plead. 2 Saund. 1, n. 2; 2 Show. 310; Barnes, 346; Lawes, Civ. PI. 93, 94. Imparlances are of three descriptions; first, a common or general imparlance; secondly, a special imparlance; and, thirdly, a general special imparlance. 1. A general imparlance is the entry of a general prayer and allowance of time to plead till the next term, without reserving to the defendant the benefit of any exception; so that after such an imparlance the defendant cannot object to the jurisdiction I
of the court, or plead any matter in abatement. This kind of imbalance is always from one term to another. 2. A special imparlance reserves to the defendant all exception to the writ, bill, or count; and therefore after it the defendant may plead in abatement, though not to the jurisdiction of the court. 3. A general special imparlance contains a saving of all exceptions whatsoever, so that the defendant after this may plead, not only in abatement, but he may also plead a plea which affects the jurisdiction of the court, as privilege. He cannot, however, plead a tender and that he was always ready to pay, because by craving time he admits he is not ready, and so falsifies his plea. Tidd's Pr. 418, 419. The last two kinds of imparlances, are, it seems, sometimes from one day to another in the same term. See, in general, Com. Dig. Abatement, I 19, 20, 21; 1 Chitt. PI. 420; Bac. Abr. Pleas, G; 14 Vin. Abr. 335; Com. Dig. Pleader, D; 1 Sell. Pr. 265; Doct. PI. 291; Encycl. de M. D'Alembert, art. Delai (Jurisp.)
IMPEACHMENT, const. law, punishments. Under the constitution and laws of the United States, an impeachment may be described to be a written accusation by the house of representatives of the United States, to the senate of the United States, against an officer. The presentment or written accusation is called articles of impeachment. The constitution declares that the house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, art. 1, s. 2, cl. 5; and that the senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments, art. 1, s. 3, cl. 6. The persons liable to impeachment are > the president, vice-president, and all civil officers of the United States, art. 2, s. 4. A question arose upon an impeachment before the senate in 1799, whether a senator was a civil
officer of the United States within the purview of this section of the constitution, and it was decided by the senate, by a vote of fourteen against eleven, that he was not: Senate Journ. 10th January, 1799; Story on Const. § 791; Rawle on Const. 213, 214; Serg. Const. Law, 376. The offences for which a guilty officer may be impeached are treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, art. 2. s. 4. The constitution defines the crime of treason, art. 3, s. 3. Recourse must be had to the common law for a definition of bribery. Not having particularly mentioned what is to be understood by " other high crimes and misdemeanors," resort, it is presumed, must be had to parliamentary practice and the common law in order to ascertain what they are. Story, § 795. The mode of proceeding in the institution and trial of impeachments is as follows: When a person who may be legally impeached has been guilty, or is supposed to have been guilty, of some malversation in office, a resolution is generally brought forward by a member of the house of representatives, either to accuse the party, or for a committee of inquiry. If the committee report adversely to the party accused, they give a statement of the charges, and recommend that he be impeached; when the resolution is adopted by the house, a committee is appointed to impeach the party at the bar of the senate, and to state that the articles of impeachment against him will be exhibited in due time, and made good before the senate, and to demand that the senate take order for the appearance of the party to answer to the impeachment. The house then agree upon the articles of impeachment, and they are presented to the senate, by a committee appointed by the house to prosecute the impeachment; the senate then issues process summoning the party to appear at a given day before them, to answer to the articles. The process is served by the sergeant-at-arms of the senate, and a return is made of it to the senate under oath. On the return day of the process the senate resolve themselves into a court of impeachment, and the senators are sworn to do justice according to the constitution and laws. The person impeached is called to answer, and either appears or does not appear. If he does not appear, his default is recorded and the senate may proceed ex parte. If he does appear, either by himself or attorney, the parties are required to form an issue, and a time is then assigned for the trial. The proceedings on the trial are conducted substantially as they are upon common judicial trials. If any debates arise among the senators they are conducted in secret and the final decision is given by yeas and nays ; but no person can be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Const. art. 1, s. 2, cl. 6. When the president is tried, the chief justice shall preside. The judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit under the United States. Proceedings on impeachments under the state constitutions are somewhat similar. Vide Courts of the United States.
IMPEACHMENT, evidence, is an allegation, supported by proof, that a witness who has been examined, is unworthy of credit. Every witness is liable to be impeached as to his character for truth; and, if his general character is good, he is presumed at all times to be ready to support it.
IMPEACHMENT OF WASTE, signifies a restraint from committing waste upon lands or tenements; or
a demand of compensation for waste done by a tenant who has but particular estate in the land granted, and therefore no right to commit waste. All tenants for life or any less estate, are liable to be impeached fi»r waste, unless they hold without impeachment of waste; in the latter case they may commit waste, without being questioned, or any demand for compensation for the waste done. 11 Co. 82.
IMPEDIMENTS, contracts, legal objections to the making of a contract: impediments which relate to the person are those of minority, want of reason, coverture and the like: they are sometimes called disabilities. Vide Incapacity.
IMPERFECT. That which is' incomplete. This term is applied to rights and obligations. A man has a right to be relieved by his fellowcreatums when in distress ; but this right he cannot enforce by law; hence it is called an imperfect right. On the other hand, we are bound to be grateful for favours received, but we cannot be compelled to perform such imperfect obligations. Vide Poth. Ob. art. Preliminaire; Vattel, Dr. des Gens, Prel. notes, § 17; and Obligations
IMPERTINENT, in practice, pleading. What does not appertain or belong, id est, qui ad rem non pertinet. Evidence of facts which do not belong to the matter in question, is impertinent and inadmissible. Impertinent matter in a declaration or other pleading, is that which does not belong to the subject; in such case it is considered as mere surplusage, (q. v.) and is rejected. Ham. N. P. 25; vide 2 Ves. 24; 5 Madd. R. 450; Newl. Pr. 38; 2 Ves. 631; 5 Ves. 656; 18 Eng. Com. Law. R. 201; Eden on Inj. 71. There is a difference between matter merely impertinent and that which is scandalous; matter may be impertinent without being scandalous; but if it is scandalous, it must be impertinent. In equity a bill cannot, according to the general practice, be referred for impertinence after the defendant has answered or submitted to answer, but it may be referred for scandal at any time, and even upon the application of a stranger to the suit. Coop. Eq. PI. 19; 2 Ves. 631; 6 Ves. 514; Story, Eq. PI. § 270. Vide Gresl. Eq. Ev. p. 2, c. 3, s. 1; 1 John. Ch. R. 103; 1 Paige's R. 555; 1 Edw. R. 350; 11 Price, R. Ill; 5 Paige's R. 522; 1 Russ. & My. 28; Scandal.
IMPETRATION. The obtaining any thing by prayer or petition. - In the ancient English statutes, it signifies a pre-obtaining of church benefices in England from the church of Rome, which belonged to the gift of the king, or other lay patrons.
TO IMPLEAD, practice, to sue or prosecute by due course of law.
IMPLEMENTS, are such things as are used or employed for a trade, or furniture of a house.
IMPLICATA, mar. law. In order to avoid the risk of making fruitless voyages, merchants have been in the habit of receiving small adventures on freight at so much per cent., to which they are entitled at all events, even if the adventure be lost. This is what the Italians call implicata. Targa, chap. 34; Emer. Mar. Loans. s. 5.
IMPLICATION, is an inference of something not directly declared, but arising from what is admitted or expressed. It is a rule that when the law gives any thing to a man, it gives him by implication all that is necessary for its enjoyment. It is also a rule that when a man accepts an office, he undertakes by implication to use it according to law, and by non user he may forfeit it. 2 Bl. Com. 152. An estate in fee simple will pass by implication, 6 John. R. 185; 18 John. R. 31; 2 Binn. R.
464, 532: such implication must not only be a possible or probable one, but it must be plain and necessary; that is, so strong a probability of intention, that an intention contrary to that imputed to the testator cannot be supposed. 1 Ves. & B. 466; Willes, 141; 1 Ves. jr. 564; 14 John. R. 198. Vide, generally, Com. Dig. Estates by Devise, N 12, 13; 2 Rop. Leg. 342; 14 Vin. Ab. 341; 5 Ves. 805 ; 5 Ves. 582; 3 Ves. 676.
IMPORTATION, comm. law, is the act of bringing goods and merchandize into the United States from a foreign country. To prevent the mischievous interference of the several states with the national commerce, the constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 10, provides as follows: "no state shall without the consent of the congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the congress." This apparently plain provision has received a judicial construction. In the year 1821, the legislature of Maryland passed an act requiring that all importers of foreign articles, commodities, &c. by the bale or package, of wine, rum, &c, and other persons selling the same by wholesale, bale or package, hogshead, barrel or tierce, should before they were authorised to sell, take out a license for which they were to pay fifty dollars, under certain penalties. A question arose whether this act was or was not a violation of the constitution of the United States and particularly of the above clause, and the supreme court decided against the constitutionality of the law. 12 Wheat. 419.