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it is lawful for the grantor, or his heirs, to oust him, and grant it to another person for an office, either public or private, may be forfeited by mnif-user or non-ufer, both of which are breaches of this implied condition. 1. By milufer, or abuse; as if a judge takes a bribe, or a park-keeper kills deer without authority. 2. By non-ufr, or neglect; which in public offices, that concern the administration of justice, or the commonwealth, is of itself a direct and immediate cause of forfeiture: but non-user of a private office is no cause of forfeiture, unless fome special damage is proved to be occasioned thereby". For in the one case delay must necessarily be occasioned in the affairs of the public, which require a constant attention : but, private offices not require ing so regular and unremitted a service, the temporary neg. lect of them is not necessarily productive of mischief: upon which account some special loss must be proved, in order to vacate these. Franchises also, being regal privileges in the hands of a subject, are held to be granted on the same condition of making a proper use of them; and therefore they may be lost and forfeited, like oífices, either by abuse or by neglecte.
• Upon the same principle proceed all the forfeitures which are given by law of life estates and others ; for'any acts done by the tenant himself, that are incompatible with the esta e which he holds. As if tenants for life or years enfeoff a stranger in fee-simple: this is, by the common law, a forfeiture of their several estates; being a breach of the condition which the law annexes thereto, viz. that they shall not ata tempt to create a greater estate than they themfelves are entitled to f. So if any tenants for years, for life, or in fee, commit a felony; the king or other lord of the fee is entitled to have their tenements, because their estate is determined by the breach of the condition, “ that they shall not commit “ felony," which the law tacitly annexes to every feodal donation.
c Litt. § 379.
49 Rep. 50.
II. An estate on condition expressed in the grant itself, is wliere an estate is granted, either in fee-simple or otherwise, with an express qualification annexed, whereby the estate granted shall cither commence, be enlarged, or be defeated, upon performance or breach of such qualification or condition. These conditions are therefore either precedent, or subsequent. Precedent are such as must happen or be performed before the estate can vest or be enlarged: subsequent are such, by the failure or non-performance of which an estate already vested may be defeated. Thus, if an estate for life be limited to A upon his marriage with B, the marriage is a precedent condition, and till that happens no estate h is vested in A. Or, if a man grant to his lessee for years, that upon payment of a hundred marks within the term he shall have the fee, this also is a condition precedent, and the fee-fimple pafreth not till the hundred marks be paid i. But if a man grant an estate in fee-simple, reserving to himself and his heirs a certain rent; and that, if such rent be not paid at the times limited, it shall be lawful for him and his heirs to re-enter, and avoid the estate : in this case the grantee and his heirs have an estate upon condition subsequent, which is defeasible if the condition be not strictly performed k. To this class may also be referred all base fees, and fee-simples conditional at the common law'. Thus an estate to a man and his heirs, tenants of the manor of Dale, is an estate on condition that he and his heirs continue tenants of that manor. And so, if a personal annuity be granted at this day to a man and the heirs of his body; as this is no tenement within the statute of Westminster the second, it remains, as at common law; a fee-simple on condition that the grantee has heirs of his body. Upon the same principle depend all the determinable estates of freehold, which we mentioned in the eighth chapter : as durante viduitate, &C : these are estates upon condition that the grantees do not marry, and the like. And, on the breach of any of these & Co. Litt. 2016
* Litt. § 325. Slow. Parl: Cal. 8;, &c.
1 See pag, 109, 110, 111.
subsequent conditions, by the failure of these contingencies; by the grantee's not continuing tenant of the manor of Dale, by not having heirs of his body, or by not continuing sole ; the estates which were respectively vested in each grantee are wholly determined and void.
A DISTINCTION is however made between a condition in deed and a limitation, which Littleton“ denominates also a condition in law. For when an estate is so expressly confined and limited by the words of it's creation, that it cannot endure for any longer time than till the contingency happens upon which the estate is to fail, this is denominated a limita. tion : as when land is granted to a man, so long as he is parson of Dale, or while he continues unmarried, or until out of the rents and profits he shall have made 500 l. and the like ". In such case the estate determines as soon as the contingency happens, (when he ceases to be parson, marries a wife, or has received the 500 l.) and the next subsequent estate, which depends upon such determination, becomes immediately vested, without any act to be done by him who is next in expectancy. But when an estate is, strictly speaking, upon condition in deed (as if granted expressly upon condition to be void upon the payment of 40 1. by the grantor, or so that the grantee continues unmarried, or provided he goes to York, &C.) the law permits it to endure beyond the time when such contingency happens, unless the grantor or his heirs or assigns take advantage of the breach of the condition, and make either an entry or a claim in order to avoid the estate P. Yet, though strict words of condition be used in the creation of the estate, if on breach of the condition the estate be lia mited over to a third person, and does not immediately revert to the grantor or his representatives, (as if an estate be granted by A to B, on condition that within two years B intermarry with C, and on failure thereof then to D and his heirs) this the law construes to be a limitation and not a
m $380. i Inft. 234.
P Litt. $ 347. Stat. 32 Hen. VIII. Go 34.
condition 9: because, if it were a condition, then, upon the breach thereof, only A or his representatives could avoid the estate by entry, and fo D's remainder might be defeated by their neglecting to enter; but, when it is a limitation, the estate of B determines, and that of D commences, and he may enter on the lands, the instant that the failure happens. So also, if a man by his will devises land to his heir at law, on condition that he pays a sum of money, and for non-payment devises it over, this shall be considered as a limitation; otherwise no advantage could be taken of the non-payment, for none but the heir himself could have entered for a breach of condition'.
In all these instances, of limitations or conditions subsea quent, it is to be observed, that so long as the condition, either express or implied, either in deed or in law, remains unbroken, the grantee may have an estate of freehold, provided the estate upon which such condition is annexed be in itself of a freehold nature; as if the original grant express either an estate of inheritance, or for life, or no estate at all, which is constructively an estate for life. For the breach of these conditions being contingent and uncertain, this uncertainty preserves the freehold , because the estate is capable to laft for ever, or at least for the life of the tenant, supposing the condition to remain unbroken. But where the estate is at the utmost a chattel interest, which must determine at a time certain, and may determine sooner, (as a grant for ninety-nine years, provided A, B, and C, or the survivor of them, shall so long live) this still continues a mere chattel, and is not, by such it's uncertainty, ranked among estates of freehold.
These express conditions, if they be imposible at the time of their creation, or afterwards become impoflible by the act of God or the act of the feoffor himself, or if they be contrary to law, or repugnant to the nature of the estate, are void. In any of which cases, if they be conditions subsequent, that 9 1 Ventr. 202.
Co. Litt. 420
is, to be performed after the estate is vested, the estate shall become absolute in the tenant. As, if a feoffment be made to a man in fee-simple, on condition that unless he goes to Rome in twenty-four hours; or unless he marries with Jane S. by such a day; (within which time the woman dies, or the feoffor marries her himself) or unless he kills another; or in case he alienes in fee ; that then and in any of such cases the estate shall be vacated and determine : here the condition is void, and the estate made absolute in the feoffee. For he hath by the grant the estate vested in him, which shall not be defeated afterwards by a condition either impossible, illegal, or repugnant' But if the condition be precedent or to be performed before the estate vests, as a grant to a man that, if he kills another or goes to Rome in a day, he shall have an estate in fee; here, the void condition being precedent, the estate which depends thereon is also void, and the grantee shall take nothing by the grant: for he hath no eftate until the condition be performed“.
THER6 are some estates defeasible upon condition subsequent, that require a more peculiar notice. Such are
III. Estates held in vadio, in gage, or pledge : which are of two kinds, vivim vadium, or living pledge; and mortuum vadium, dead pledge, or mortgage.
Vivum vadium, or living pledge, is when a man borrows a sum (suppose 200 l.). of another; and grants him an estate, as, of 201. per annum, to hold till the rents and profits shall repay the sum so borrowed. This is an esate conditioned to be void, as soon as such sum is raised. And in this case the land or pledge is said to be living : it subfifts, and survives the debt; and, immediately on the discharge of that, results back to the borrower w. But mortuum vadium, a dead pledge, or mortgage, (which is much more common than the other) is where a man borrows of another a specific sum (e..g. 2001.)
i Co. Litt. 206. u 11.
w Ilid. 205.