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Abandonment. The relinquishment or surrender of rights or property by one person to another.

By Husband or Wife.—The act of a husband or wife who leaves his or her consort willfully and with an intention of causing perpetual separation. Abandonment is a ground of divorce. See DIVORCE.

In Insurance. -See INSURANCE.

Abandonment of Rights.-The relinquishment of a right. It implies some act of relinquishment done by the owner without regard to any future possession by himself or by any other person, but with an intention to abandon. Nonuser of property does not necessarily or usually constitute an abandonment.

What may be Abandoned.—Real or personal property may be abandoned; and the question of abandonment is one of fact for the jury to determine; and the effect, when acted upon by another party, is to divest all the owner's rights in the thing abandoned.


Abatement of a Suit.-A suspension of all proceedings in a suit from the want of proper parties capable of proceeding therein.

In Contracts.-A reduction made by a creditor for the prompt payment of a debt due by the payer or debtor.

Of Legacies.—The reduction of a legacy on accouat of the insufficiency of the estate of the testator to pay his debts and legacies.

In Mercantile Law.-The deductions from, or the refunding of, duties, sometimes made at the custom house, on account of damages received by goods during inportation or while in store.

Of Nuisances.-The abatement or removal of a nuisance. See NUISANCE.


Abduction.-Forcibly taking away a man's wife, his child or his maid servant. The unlawful taking or detention of any female for purposes of marriage, concubinage or prostitution. Abduction is an offense at law. See CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.

A Man may recover Damages of the abductor for the unlawful abduction of his wife. The books are silent as to the remedy of the woman whose husband has been seduced away by another woman; but the law in this respect will doubtless be reformed when woman achieves her full “rights."



Abet, in Criminal Law.-To encourage or set another on to commit a crime. This word is always applied to aiding the commission of a crime. To abet another to commit a crime is to command, procure or counsel him, to commit it. See CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.

Abettor.-An instigator or setter on; one that promotes or procures the commission of a crime. The distinction between abettors and accessories, is the presence or absence at the commission of the crime. Presence and participation are necessary to constitute a person an abettor.

ABEYANCE. In Abeyance.—That is, in expectation, remembrance and contemplation of law; the condition of a freehold when there is no person in being in whom it is vested

ABJURATION. Abjuration.-A renunciation of allegiance upon oath. In the United States of America, every alien, upon application to become a citizen, must declare on oath or affirmation, before the Court where the application is made, that he doth absolutely and entirely abjure all allegiance and fidelity which he owes to any foreign prince, etc. See NATURALIZATION.


Abortion. The expulsion of the fetus at a period of uterogestation so early that it has not acquired the power of sustaining an independent life. See CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.

ABRIDGMENT. Abridgment.-An epitome or compendium of another and larger work wherein the principal ideas of the larger work are summarily contained. When fairly made, it may be justly deemed within the meaning of the law a new work, the publication of which will not infringe the copyright of the work abridged.

ABROGATION. Abrogation. The destruction of, or annulling, a former law by an act of the legislative power, or by usage.


Abscond.—To go in a clandestine manner out of the jurisdiction of the courts or to lie concealed, in order to avoid

their process.

Absconding Debtor.-One who absconds from his creditors.


Absence. The state of being away from one's domicile or usual place of residence. A presumption of death arises after the absence of a person for seven years without having been heard from.


Absentee.—A landlord who resides in a country other than that from which he draws his rents. The discussions on the subject have generally had reference to Ireland.


Abstract of a Title. A brief account of all the deeds upon which the title to an estate vests. A synopsis of the distinctive portions of the various instruments which constitute the muniments of title.


Abuse.—Every thing which is contrary to good order established by usage. Abuse of a thing, is the destruction or great injury of it. In one sense, a thing is said to be abused when it is destroyed in using it. For example : The borrower of wine or grain abuses the article lent by using it, because he cannot enjoy it without consuming it.


Abuttals.-The butting or boundaries of lands, showing to what other lands, highways or places they belong or are butting.


Acceptance.-The receipt of a thing offered by another with an intention to retain it, indicated by some act sufficient for the purpose.

Under the Statute of Frauds, delivery and acceptance ere necessary to complete an oral contract for the sale of goods. In such case, it is said the acceptance must be absolute and past recall, and communicated to the party making the offer.

Acceptance of Rent destroys the effect of a notice to quit for non-payment of such rent.

Acceptance of Bills of Exchange.-An engagement to pay the bill in money when due. The following are different kinds of acceptances :

Absolute—Which is a positive engagement to pay the bill according to its tenor.

Conditional—Which is an undertaking to pay the bill on a contingency.

Express—Which is an undertaking, in direct and express terms, to pay the bill.

Implied—Which is an undertaking to pay the bill, inferred from acts of a character fairly to warrant such an inference.

Partial—Which is one varying from the tenor of the bill — an acceptance to pay part of the amount for which the bill is drawn.

QualifiedWhich is either conditional or partial.

Supra-protestWhich is the acceptance of the bill after protest, for non-acceptance by the drawee, for the honor of the drawer or a particular indorser. See BILLS AND NOTES.

Acceptor.—The party who accepts a bill of exchangethe party who undertakes to pay a bill of exchange in the first instance.



Accessary.-He who is not the chief actor in the perpetration of the offense, nor present at its performance, but is some way concerned therein either before or after the offense was committed. See CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.

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