Page:Black's Law Dictionary (Second Edition).djvu/235

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COMMON LAW

law comprises the body of those principles and rules of action, relating to the government and security of persons and property, which derive their authority solely from usages and customs of immemorial antiquity. or from the judgments and decrees of the courts recognizing, aflirruing, and eniorcing such usages and customs; and, in this sense, uartlcuiarly the ancient unwritten law of England. Western Union Tcl. Co. v. Call Pub. Co. 181 U. S. 92. 21 Sup. Ct. 501, 45 L. Ed. 765; State v Buchanan, 5 Har. & J. lilo.) 365. 9 An). Dec. 534; Lux v. ilaggin. I.|l Cal. 235. 10 Pac G74; Bari-y v. Port Jer- vis, G4 App. Div. 208, 72 N. Y. Supp. IO4.

3. As dlsnnguished from equity ABW, it is a body or rules and principles, written or unwritten, which are of fixed aud imniutahle authority, and which must inc applled to controversles rigorously and in their entirety, and cannot be modified to suit the peculiarities of a sueci.fic case, or colored by any judicial I1is< retion, and which rests contessedly upon custom or statute, as distinguished [mm any dulm to ethical superiority. Kleser v. Seawall, 65 Fed. 395. 12 G. C. A. 661.

4. As distingulsbed from ecclesiastical law, it is the system of Jurisprudence adminis- Ieltli by the purely secular tribunals.

5. As concerns its force and authority in the United States, the phrase designates that portion of the common law of England (icnluding such acts of parliament as were uppllcahle) which had been adopted and was in force here at the time of the Revolution. 'l‘hls. so far as it has not since been expressly abrogated. ls recognized as an organic part of the jurisprudence of most of the United fines. Browning v. Browning. 3 N. M. 371, 9 Pac. 677; Guardians of Poor v. Greene, 5 Din. (Pa.) 557; U. S. v. New Bedtord Bridge, 27 Fed. Cars. 107.

6. In a wider sense than any of the fore- gulllg, the "common law" may designate ali that part of the positive law, jlll'lSh(.' theory, and ancient custom of any state or nation finch is of general and universal applica- ilon. thus marking oft special or local rules or customs.

.-is a compound adjective “common-law" is filerstuod as contrasted with or opposed to ’9ututory," and sometimes also to “equitahls" or to “cri.iniual." See examples helow. —Cnmmnn-law action. A civil suit, as dis-

Illu-sl-cd from a criminal prosecution or a mu: to enforce a penalty or a police regu-

mt l'lFtY'SSfl.l‘liy"flX] action which wouid

l

~)n-non l'uv. Ixirby v. Iluiirund Co. ((3.

(ll; i Eli. : : U. S. v. Block. 24 Fed. Gus. in-—comm.m..1aw assignments. Such A of assignments for the benefit of Cl‘ lilors Iirre knnun to the common law, as rl tind Exuu) such as are of modern imention

_ luhmm-(l by statute. Onmrin Bank v. ll] Fed. 231. -'13 f‘. C. A. I973.-—Cmnmnn-law chest. The obtaining of mnney or my means of a fals-~ 1uknn_ s_Vu|bui_ or

[us being the definition of a cheat

l)“:9nuin_z at common Ian State v. Wilson, I ' State v. Iteuick.

227

COMMON PLEAS

33 Or. 534. 56 Fat‘. 275. 44 L. R. A. '_’(i6. '1? Am. St. Rep. 758.—Conunun-law courts. In. Fmgland. those administering the common law. l"quilable L. Assur. Soc. v. Paterson, 41 Ga.

'(i1, 5 Am. Rep. 535.—Conu;nc-n-law crime.

One punishabie by the force of the common izuv, as distinguished from crimes created by statute. In re Greene (C-. C.) 52 Fcd. 104-

mmon-law jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of a court to try and decide such cases as were cognizable by the courts of law under the ling- iis common law; the jurisdiction of those courts which exercise their judicial powers sccordi to the course of the common law. Peu- pie v. icGowan, T7 Ili. 64-1. 20 Am. Run. 254; In re Conner, 39 (‘-a' '38. 2 Am. Rep. 4.llI U S. v. Power, 27 Fed. ('as. 607.—Cnmnmn-law lien. One known to or grantetl by the com- mon law, as distinguisllt-d from statutorv equitable, and maritime liens: also one aria rv hy implication of law, ns diSfiI1;,"lliSilPfi from one created by the ngreemcnt of the parties. The Mlcitominie (D. C.) 36 Fed. 197; Tnhar-co “are- housc ('11. v. Trustee. 117 Kv. 473 78 S. W 413. 64 L. R. A. ‘.2 .—Common-law marriage. One not solemuizrd in the ordinary uav, but created by an agreement to marry. followed by cobabitatinn; a CODSll.ID.l1"|lE(1 agreement to marry, b('HVE'E‘n a man and a woman, per vorba de pnrscntl. followed bi co- habilntion. Tavlor v. Taylor, 10 Coio. App. 303 Puc. I0-19; Cnnco v. De Cunm. % J‘:-x. ' App_ 436. 59 S. W. 234: Merrill v. Palm- nr. 08 \'t. 1. 33 Ali. 82‘). 33 L. R. A. 411.-— Cmumon-lav: mortgn-ve. One posse in: tbs rbarnrtermtics or fulfilling the requlr: i ucnls or a .ort,gnge at common iaw; not known in Louisiana, where the civil law Drevuils: but such a mortgage made in another state and at- fecting iunds in Louisiana. uiil be given em-ct there as a “conrentinnal" niortsnge. fliferling thirrl persona after due inscription. Cains v. Guither. -16 In. Ann. 296. 15 Soutb. 50.- Cnlnn1nI:l—lu.w procedure nets. Three arts of pnrlinmont. pilssvfl in the years 1352, 1834. Mud 1860. respcctivcly, for the nmcudmcnt of the procedure in the common-law courts. The common law procedure act of 1852 is St 1-‘- & I6 Vict. c. 76: that of IQFI4 St 17 & 19

\'ict. c. 125; and that of IVGO. St. 23 I‘: 24 Vict. c. 126. Mozlev & Wbltlev.—Conunon- low fe. A woman who was party to a

"common-iaw marriage as above dofinerl: or one who. having lived xv h a man in a relation of roncubinngc during: his life. nsserts 11 claim. after his (lcath. to have been his wife accorrliuz tn the rPnlliremt=nl's of the common law. In re Brusb. 25 Am). Div. 610. 49 N. Y. Supp SW1. —Cmumcm lawyer. A lawyer learnml the common law.

Common opinion In good authority in law. Co. Lltt. 1801:; Bani: of Utica r. ‘Jersereau, 3 Barb. Ch. (N. Y.) 528, 577, 49 .-‘Am. Dec. 139.

COMMON PLEAS. The name of a court of record liming lzcneral original jurisdiction in civil suits.

Conimon causes or suits. A term nnciently used to denote civil actions, or those depending between subject and subject, as diSt‘ll]- guished from plan: of the ¢'.roum. Dnllett v. Feltus. 7 Phila. (Pa.) 627.

COMMON PLEAS. THE COURT 0!‘. In English law. (So called ilecause its orig- inal jurisdiction was to determine controversies betweeu subject and subject.) One of the three superior courts of common law at Westminster, presided over by a lord chief

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