Page:Black's Law Dictionary (Second Edition).djvu/783

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ple, where a muse of action accrues to a wo- niiin while sole, and is sued for, after her murriage, h her husband and herself jointly. she is mile the "meritorious cause of action.”- Meritorlous consideration. One founded upon some moral obligation: a valuable consiilcraiion in the second deg1'ee.—Meritorloua defense. See Darnnsn.

MERITS. In practice. Matter of sub- stance in law, as distinguished from matter of were form; a sulistantlal ground of defense in law. A defendant is said “to swear to meri'!.s" or “to make aflidavil of merits" when he makes afliilavit that he has a good and sutlicieut or- substantial defense to the action on the merits. 3 Chit. Gen. Pr. 543, 5-1-1. "Merits," in this application of it, has the technical sense of merits iii law, and is not confined to a strictly moral and conscientious defense. Id. 545' 1 Bur-rill, Pr. 214: Ilnhn v. Gnnriison, 12 Wis. 29: Bolton v. Don- uvau. 9 N. D. 575. 84 N. W. 3 ; Ordway V. Boston J: \i. R. Co.. 69 N. H. 429. 45 Ati. 243; Blakciy v. Frazier. 11 S. C. 134: 1i0‘='€l'3 V- Iiogeis, " W. Va. -.107, 16 S. E. (533; Oatman v. Bond. 15 Wis. 26.

.\s used in the New York Code of Procedure. § 3-117 it has been held to mean “the strict legal rights of the ‘parties, as contradistinguishecl from those more questions of praitice which eiery court regulates for itself, and from all matters which depend upon the discretion or /avor of the court." St. Johns v West. 4 Hon‘. I'r'ic. (N. Y.) 33 .

A "defense upon the merits" is one which depends upon the inherent justice of the defeiidnntfs contention, as shown by the sub- siintial zacts of the case, as distinguished from one which rests upon technical objections or some collateral matter‘. Thus there may be :1 good defense growing out of an error in the plaintiff‘: pleadings, but there is not a defense upon the merits unless the real nature of the tr.insaLilun in controversy shows the defendant to be in the right.


liiaaa Morroiv.

MERSCUM. A lake; also a marsh or fen-land.

WERTLAGE.}} A church calendar or ru- brlc. Cowell.

IVEERTON, STATUTE 01‘. An olil English statute, relating to dmrer, legitimacy, iv.-irdshlps, procedure, inclosure of common. and usury. It was passed in 1235, (20 Hen. III.) and was named from Merton, in Sur-

rey, where p-irii-iuient sat that year. See Barring. St. 41. 46. MERUM. in old English law. Mere;

naked or abstract. Memm j-us, mere right.

Br-act. fol. 31.

MERX. Lat Merchandise: movahlearticles that are bought and sold; articles of trade.



Marx est quicquid vendl potent. Me - chandlse is whatever can be sold. Corn. 355; 3 Wood. Lect. 263.

MESCREAIJNTES. L. Fr. Apostates. unbelievers. MESCROYANT. A term used in thn

ancient books to designate an infidel or un- believer.

MESE. A house and its appurtenance. Cowell.

MESNI-I. Intermediate: intervening; the middle between two extremes, especially of rank or time.

An intermediate lord; a lord who stood between a tenant and the chief lord; a lord who was also a tenant. “Lord, mesne, and

tenant; the tenant holdeth by four pence, and the mesne by twelve pence." Co. Litt. 23a.

—Mesne assignment. If A. grant a lease of land to IL, and B, assign his ‘atoms: to C., and C. in his turn assign bis interest therein to D., in this case the assignments so made by B, and 0, would be termed “mesae assignments ;" that is, they would be assignments intervening between A.'s original grant and the vesting of D.'s interest in the land under the last assignment. Brovin —Mesne ineumbx-mice. An lnterazerliate charge, burden, or liability: an incumhrance which has been C1'e'iled or has attnched to property between two given pcrinds. —-liilesne lord. In old English law. A middle or intermediate lord: in ion] who held of a superior lord. 2 Bl. Comm. . lore com- monly termed a “mesne." (q u.)--Nlesne, writ of. An ancient and abolished writ, which lay, when the lord parzirnoant distraincd on the tenant pariivnii. The latter bad a writ of mesne against the rnesne lo

As to niesne “Conve_vance." “Process," and “Profits," see those titles.

M]-ISNALTY, or MESNALITY. A man- or held under a superior lord. The estate of a mesne.

MESS BRIEF. In Danish sen law. One of a ship's papers: a certificate of ad.n1eas- urement. granteil at the home port of a va- sel by the government or by some other competent authorlty. Jac. Sea Laws. 51.

MESSAGE FROM THE CROWN. In English law. The method of communicating between the sovereign and the house of parliament. A written message under the royal sign-manual is brought by a member of the house, being a minister of the crown or one of the royal household. Verbal mes-

sages are also sometimes delivered. May. Purl. Pr. c. 17. MESSAGE, PR]-]Sl'DENT’S. An annual

communication from the president of the United States to congress. made at or near the beginning of each session, embodying

his views on the state and exigencies of national affairs, suggestions and recommenda-