1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Case
CASE. (1) (From Lat. casus, that which falls or happens; cadere, to fall), a word used in various senses traceable to the derivation. In grammar, the “cases” are the various forms in the declension of a noun, adjective or pronoun, the Latin word being a translation of the Greek πτῶσις, falling, applied by Aristotle to the variations from the simple form of the word, whether noun, verb or adjective (of which the adverb would be a πτῶσις). Later grammarians confined the term to nouns, and included the nominative. In law, “case” is the common term for a cause or suit brought before a court of justice. Certain particular legal usages may also be noted. Action on the case means an action for the recovery of damages for an injury to the person or property, where the act done was not immediately injurious (see Contract; Tort). A case stated is a statement of facts drawn up by one court for the opinion of another on a point of law. A special case is a statement of facts agreed to on behalf of two or more litigant parties, and submitted for the opinion of a court of justice as to the law bearing upon the facts so stated. A leading case is a decision which settles some point of importance. In the legal systems of the United Kingdom and of the United States decided cases are considered authoritative for courts of at least equal jurisdiction with those in which the judgments were given, but on the continent of Europe the rule is, following that of the Roman law, that they are instructive but not authoritative.
(2) (O. Fr. casse, mod. châsse, Lat. capsa, from capere, to hold; cf. “cash”), a box, sheath or covering. The term is applied to the natural protective covering of seed-vessels, and of a pupa or chrysalis. It is also used of a box containing instruments, pistols, swords, &c., and sometimes of the contents. In building, a “case” is the facing where the backing may be of inferior material; the framework in which a window or door is hung; or the wall surrounding a stair, “staircase” properly signifying the whole structure of walls and stairs. In bookbinding, a “case” means the boards and back in which the books are bound; and in typography, the tray, divided into partitions, containing the type ready for the compositor’s use.