1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abandonment

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For works with similar titles, see Abandonment.

ABANDONMENT (Fr. abandonnement, from abandonner, to abandon, relinquish; abandonner was originally equivalent to mettre à bandon, to leave to the jurisdiction, i.e. of another, bandon being from Low Latin bandum, bannum, order, decree, "ban"), in law, the relinquishment of an interest, claim, privilege or possession. Its signification varies according to the branch of the law in which it is employed, but the more important uses of the word are summarized below.

Abandonment of an action is the discontinuance of proceedings commenced in the High Court of Justice either because the plaintiff is convinced that he will not succeed in his action or for other reasons. Previous to the Judicature Act of 1875, considerable latitude was allowed as to the time when a suitor might abandon his action, and yet preserve his right to bring another action on the same suit (see Nonsuit); but since 1875 this right has been considerably curtailed, and a plaintiff who has delivered his reply (see Pleading), and afterwards wishes to abandon his action, can generally obtain leave so to do only on condition of bringing no further proceedings in the matter.

Abandonment in marine insurance is the surrender of the ship or goods insured to the insurers, in the case of a constructive total loss of the thing insured. For the requisites and effects of abandonment in this sense see Insurance, Marine.

Abandonment of wife and children is dealt with under Desertion, and the abandonment or exposure of a young child under the age of two, which is an indictable misdemeanour, is dealt with under Children, Cruelty to.

Abandonment of domicile is the ceasing to reside permanently in a former domicile coupled with the intention of choosing a new domicile. The presumptions which will guide the court in deciding whether a former domicile has been abandoned or not must be inferred from the facts of each individual case. See Domicile.

Abandonment of an easement is the relinquishment of some accommodation or right in another's land, such as right of way, free access of light and air, &c. See Easement.

Abandonment of railways has a legal signification in England recognized by statute, by authority of which the Board of Trade may, under certain circumstances, grant a warrant to a railway authorizing the abandonment of its line or part of it.