1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sequestration

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[ 659 ] SEQUESTRATION, the act of removing, separating or seizing anything from the possession of its owner, particularly in law, of the taking possession of property under process of law for the benefit of creditors or the state. The Latin sequestrare, to set aside or surrender, a late use, is derived from sequester, a depositary or trustee, one in whose hands a thing in dispute was placed till the dispute was settled; this was a term of Roman jurisprudence (cf. Digest L. 16,115). By derivation it must be connected with sequi, to follow; possibly the development in meaning may be follower, attendant, intermediary, hence trustee. In English “sequestered” means merely secluded, withdrawn. In law, the term “sequestration” has many applications; thus it is applied to the act of a belligerent power which seizes the debts due from its own subject to the enemy power; to a writ directed to persons, “sequestrators,” to enter on the property of the defendant and seize the goods (see Execution); to the action of taking profits of a benefice to satisfy the creditors of the incumbent. As the goods of the Church cannot be touched by a lay hand, the writ is issued to the bishop, and he issues the sequestration order to the churchwardens who collect the profits and satisfy the demand. Similarly when a benefice is vacant the churchwardens take out sequestration under the seal of the Ordinary and manage the profits for the next incumbent. In the Scots law of bankruptcy the term “sequestration” is used of the taking of the bankrupt's estate by order of the court for the benefit of the creditors (see Bankruptcy, § Scottish Bankruptcy Legislation).