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Sheriffs apo

POCKET SHERIFFS.

POLICE-continued. pointed by the sole authority of the Crown v. Ward, 3 H. & N. 417). A warrant for without the interposition of the judges. the apprehension is a protection to the POLICE. Regarding the police of the

constable in all cases, unless where it shews metropolis (see title METROPOLITAN Po- upon the face of it a total want of jurisLICE). With reference to police generally,

diction. The Marshalsea Case, 10 Rep. these are of various degrees. (1.) The

68. high constable of a county, appointed by

POLICY OF ASSURANCE, or INSURthe justices of the county at quarter ses- ANCE: See title INSURANCE. sions, and not at petty sessions (Reg. v. Wilkinson, 10 A. & E. 288); (2.) Special POLL. Deeds are sometimes called constables who are appointed for cases deeds-poll, in contradistinction to deeds of sudden public tumult, or other like indented or indentures; deeds-poll being emergency, under the stats. 1 & 2 Will. 4, shaved or polled quite even. c. 41, und 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 43; (3.) County See title DEED-POLL. and district constables, being the regular officers of police for counties and districts,

POLLS, CHALLENGE TO: See title appointed under the stats. 2 & 3 Vict. c.

CHALLENGE. 93, 3 & 4 Vict. c. 88, and 19 & 20 Vict.

PONE. An original writ, formerly used c. 69 ; and (4.) Parish constables, being

for the purpose of removing suits from the principally the officers of police in towns,

Court Baron, or County Court, into the appointed under the stat. 5 & 6 Vict. c 109,

superior Courts of Common Law. It was and some Amendment Acts, and whose du

also the proper writ to remove all suits ties are regulated by the Town Police

which were before the sheriff by writ of Clauses Act, 10 & 11 Vict. c. 89.

justicies (Les Termes de la Ley). But By the constitution of England, every this writ is now in disuse, the writ of cerman is responsible for the preservation of

tiorari being the ordinary process by which the public peace (see title FRANKPLEDGE);

at the present day a cause is removed and if any one upon being duly called

from a County Court into any superior upon by the magistrates to serve as a

Court. special constable refuses to do so, the magistrates may and ought to cause him to be POOR. Upon the dissolution of the indicted (Reg. v. Vincent, 9 C. & P. 91). monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII., it A special constable, when duly appointed, became necessary to make some provision is appointed for an indefinite time, and for the poor, as well those who were prountil, in fact, his services are either deter- perly called indigent, i.e., unable, even mined or suspended ; and during the term with labour, to earn their own livelihood, of his office he has all the authority of an

as also those who were properly called poor, ordinary constable. The office, it appears, i.e., unable to live without labour. The may be served by deputy (Rex v. Clarke, oldest Poor Law Act (43 Eliz, c. 2) pre1 T. R. 679); but a naturalised foreigner serves this distinction ; but abuses arising may not serve either as deputy or as prin

out of it, of which the principal one, percipal. Rex v. Ferdinand de Mierre, 5 Burr. haps, was the extension of out-door relief 2787.

to able-bodied paupers, the whole system In the case of a breach of the peace ac

of Poor Law adininistration was re-modelled tually continuing, or reasonably likely to by the stat. 4 & 5 Will. 4, c. 76, and has be renewed, any private person may arrest since been still further improved. Under the offenders, or any of them; but when the stat. 4 & 5 Will. 4, c. 76, which conthe affray is over he may not do so, nor tinued in force until 31st of July, 1847, the even require a policeman, who has not seen administration of relief to the poor throughthe affray, to do so (Baynes v. Brewster, out England and Wales, was placed under 2 Q. B. 375). In the case of a felony being the control of three commissioners, styled, actually committed, he may arrest the “ The Poor Law Commissioners for England felon ; and in case the felony is com- and Wales;" but under the stat. 10 & 11 pleted, he may give the felon in charge Vict. c. 109, a new board of commissioners, to a policeman (Atkinson v. Warne, 1 Cr. styled, “ Commissioners for Administering M. & R. 827). All these things he may the Laws for the Relief of the Poor in do without warrant, and, à fortiori, a England," was appointed in their place, regular policeman may and ought to do and was invested with all the powers and the like. But further, in the case of a duties of the former commissioners; the felony actually committed, a policeman i style has been since altered by the stat. may, upon probable suspicion merely, 12 & 13 Vict. c. 103, to that of the “ Poor arrest the felon without a warrant, and may Law Board," and the Board under that even break open doors, and, if necessary name has been perpetuated by the stat. for his apprehension, kill the felon (Hogg 30 & 31 Vict. c. 106.

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POOR-continued.

If an order of the Poor Law Board is questioned, its legality is to be determined on removal by certiorari ; and in default of such removal, a mandamus will go to enforce it. Reg. v. Oldham Union (Overseers), 10 Q. B. 700.

Under the stats. 4 & 5 Will. 4, c. 76, and 7 & 8 Vict. c. 101, the Poor Law Board may form unions, and may either separate parishes from, or add parishes to, existing unions, without the consent of the guardians of the union ; and the Board may also direct that there shall be a specified number of guardians of each union; but at the same time justicus residing in extraparochial places within unions are ex officio guardians of unions. Generally, the guardians act in all matters of importance under the sanction only of the Poor Law Board. The guardians of each union constitute a corporation, and have power to contract, without affixing their seal, in all matters necessarily or properly incident to their office (Pain v. Strand Union (Guardians), 8 Q. B. 326. (See also title CORPORATIONS.) The clerks of the boards of guardians may, although not certificated attorneys, conduct proceedings before justices at petty sessions, and out of sessions, on behalf of the boards.

Under the stat. 43 Eliz. c. 2, the churchwardens of every parish, and four, three, or two, substantial householders, then to be nominated by the magistrates, were to be overseers of the poor; but under 13 & 14 Car. 2, c. 12, in large parishes there are to be two or more overseers for every township or village; and by stat. 51 Geo. 3, c. 91, the appointment is to be annual.

POPULAR ACTIONS. Such actions as are maintainable by any of Her Majesty's subjects for recovery of the penalty incurred by transgressing some penal statute. It is called a popular action because it is a proceeding which may be taken not by any one person in particular, but by any of the people who think proper to prosecute it (Cowel, title “ Action, Popular”). These are the Publica (i.e., Populica) Judicia of Roman Law.

PORT portus maris). A port is a haven, and somewhat more. 1st. It is a place for arriving and unlading of ships or vessels. 2nd. It bath a superinduction of a civil signature upon it, somewhat of franchise and privilege. 3rd. It hath a ville, or city, or borouglı, that is, the caput portus, for the receipt of mariners and merchants, and the securing and vending of their goods, and victualling their ships. So that a port is quid aggregatum, consisting of somewhat that is natural, viz., an

PORT-continued. access of the sea, whereby ships may conveniently come ; safe situation against winds, where they may safely lie, and a good shore where they may well unlade ; something that is artificial, as quays, and wharves, and cranes, and warehouses, and houses of common receipt; and something that is civil, viz., privileges and franchises, viz., jus applicandi, jus mercati, and divers other additaments given to it by civil authority. A port of the sea includes more than the bare place where the ships unlade, and sometimes extends many miles; as the port of London, in the time of King Edward I., extended to Greenwich ; and Gravesend is also a member of the port of London; so the port of Newcastle takes in all the river from Sparhawk to the sea. Hale, de Portibus Maris, paro., sec. c. 2.

PORTION DISPONIBLE. In French Law, a parent leaving one legitimate child may dispose of one-half only of his property ; leaving two, one-third only; and leaving three or more, one-fourth only; and it matters not whether the disposition is inter vivos, or by will.

PORTIONER. When a parsonage is served by two, or sometimes three, ministers, alternately, the ministers are termed portioners, because they receive but a portion or proportion of the tithes or profits of the living. Cowel.

PORTMOTE, or PORTMOOT (from portus, a port, and gemote, an assembly). A Court kept in haven towns or ports. Les Termes de la Ley.

PORT-REVE (from port, an haven or harbour, and rere, an officer, minister, or bailiff, who does business for another man). The port-reve was the king's bailiff, who looked after the customs and tolls in the port of London, before they were let to feefarm. (Brady on Bor., 16, fol. ed.) This office, it is believed, is not peculiar to the port of London.

POSSE COMITATUS. The posse comi. tatus, or power of the county, was the power given to the sheriff and other of the king's officers by Act of Parliament, namely, the Statute of Winchester, or Winton, to compel the attendance of the inhabitants of the county (with some exceptions), to assist him in preserving the peace, in pursuing and arresting offenders, and in such like acts where assistance was requisite. The posse comitatus being thus in a manner organized, was capable of serving as a militia for the defence of the county against the Scots and other foreign invaders.

See title ARMY.

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POSSESSIO FRATRIS. Possession or seisin of the brother. It used to be a maxim, that possessio fratris facit sororem esse hærellem, that is, that the possession or seisin of a brother would make his sister of the whole blood his heir in preference to a brother of the half blood. The ques. tion of the possession or seisin of the ancestor is not, since the Descent Act (3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 106), of any importance in ascertaining who is heir, inasmuch as the descent is now traced from the last person entitled who did not inherit and not from the last person seised. There was

no possessio fratris of a dignity, so that a half brother always succeeded in preference to a whole sister.

POSSESSION : See title Seisin.

POSSESSION MONEY. The man whom the sheriff' puts in possession of goods taken under a writ of fieri facias is entitled whilst he continues so in possession to a certain sum of money per diem, which is thence termed possession money.

The amount is 3s. 6d. per day if he is boarded, or 58. per day, if he is not boarded.

POSSESSORY ACTION. An action which has for its object the regaining possession of the freehold, of which the demandant, or his ancestors, has been unjustly deprived by the present tenant or possessor thereof.

POSSIBILITY. An uncertain thing, which may or may not happen; such, for instance, as the chance of an heir apparent succeeding to an estate, or of a relation obtaining a legacy on the death of a kins

A possibility is said to be either near or remote; as for instance, when an estate is limited to one after the death of another, this is a near possibility; but that a man shall be married to a woman and then that she shall die, and he be married to another, this is a remote possibility. The rule against Perpetuities (see that title), and the rule against Remoteness (see that title), are commonly ascribed to the circumstance that the law (like any other practical person), refuses to act or decide, i.e., determine, upon a double contingency, and waits until the same becomes a simple contingency by the happening of the one event.

POSTEA, Is a formal statement indorsed on the nisi prius record (see that title) of the proceedings at the trial. It takes up the story where the nisi prius record terminates. It is so called because it commences with the word afterwards (postea); and it proceeds to state the appearance of the parties, and of the judge and jury at the place of trial, and the ver

POSTEA-continued. dict of the jury on the issues joined. Sm. Action at Law, 159.

POSTERIORITY. This is a word of comparison and relation in tenure, the correlative of which is the word “ priority." Thus, a man who held lands or tenements of two lords was said to hold of his more ancient lord by priority, and of his less ancient lord by posteriority. Old Nat. Brev. 94.

But the word has also a general application in law consistent with its etymological meaning, and as so used it is likewise opposed to priority.

POST-NUPTIAL (after marriage). Thus an agreement entered into by a father after the marriage of his daughter, by which he engages to make a provision for her, would be termed a post-nuptial agreement.

See further title MARRIAGE SETTLE

MENTS. POST-OBIT BOND. A post-obit bond is an agreement on the receipt of money by ti:e obligor to pay a larger sum exceeding the legal rate of interest upon the death of the person from whom he, the obligor, has some expectations if he survive him. Chesterfield v. Jameson, 2 Ves. 157.

POST OFFICE. This is the office for the conveyance or transmission of letters through the kingdom from place to place within it, and also from foreign parts. It was first attempted to be established by the Long Parliament, in 1613, and was afterwards established by Cromwell, in 1057, and confirmed by the Act 12 Car. 2, c. 35. One of the reasons inducing the government of the day to establish one General Post Office, was the facility which it afforded by opening letters of discovering secret conspiracies against the government (9 Anne, c. 10); and this right of the government is reserved in all the subsequent statutes, and is exercised upon a warrant from one of the principal Secretaries of State. The principal statutes at present in force regarding the Post Office, are, — (1.) 7 Will. 4 & 1 Vict. c. 33, for the

management of the Post Office and the protection of its exclusive

privileges; (2.) 3 & 4 Vict. c. 96, and 10 & 11 Vict.

c. 85, for the establishment of a

penny postage; (3.) 18 & 19 Vict. c. 27, for the trans

mission of newspapers ; (4.) 23 & 24 Vict. c. 111, for the sale of

postige stamps ; and (5.) 33 & 34 Vict. c. 79, for halfpenny

post-cards.

man.

POSTULATION (postulatio). A peti- POWER-continued. tion. Formerly, on the occasion of a rizing him to act for him, and in his bishop being translated from one bishopric stead. Powers by the Cominon Law were to another, he was not elected to the new divided into two sorts, naked powers or see, for the rule of the Canon Law is electus

bare authorities, and powers coupled with non potest elegi ; and the pretence was, that

an interest. Thus, when a man devises he was married to the first church, which that his executors shall sell his land, this marriage could not be dissolved but by the

power is a naked one, that is, the power pope : and thereupon he (sc. the pope)

which the testator so gives to his exccutors was petitioned, and consenting to the to sell his land is simply a power, and petition, the bishop was translated, and does not vest any interest in the land in this was said to be by postulation; but the executors; whereas, if a man devises this was restrained by 16 Ric. 2, c. 5. lands to his executors to be sold, this is a Cowel; Tomlins.

power coupled with an interest. The word POUNDAGE, SHERIFF'S. Is an allow

power" retains the same meaning when ance to the sheriff of so much in the pound

coupled with other words; thus, a power upon the amount levied under an execu- of attorney, or letter of attorney, signifies tion. The object of this allowance is to

an authority which one man gives to an

other to act for him; and these powers are remunerate the sheriff for the risk and trouble which are incident to the perform- perhaps of the most frequent occurrence, ance of this branch of his duties. Origi

being resorted to whenever circumstances nally, or at Common Law, the sheriff was

are likely to occur to prevent a party doing entitled to no allowance for executing

the act desired to be done himself; as, for writs, his office being regarded solely as an

instance, if it were necessary that a person honorary one, and hence it was that men of

should sign a deed next week, but which wealth and substance were usually elected

he could not do, being obliged to set out to fill this post. In the progress of society,

upon a voyage to a foreign country before however, and on the growth of commerce,

that time, in this case he might authorize the duties of a sheriff being attended with

some other person to do it for him, and considerable expense, and the office thereby

the instrument by which he would confer becoming extremely onerous, the Legisla

that authority would be a power of atture bas, by different Acts of Parliament,

torney. (See that title.) 4 Cruise, 145. entitled them to certain fees and dues,

Powers are otherwise arranged in the amongst which the above is included.

following threefold division, namely :Dalton's Office of Sheriff.

I. Powers simply collateral.

II. Powers not simply collateral, but POUND BREACH. Is the act of break

being either ing into a pound or inclosure in which (1.) Appendant or annexed to an things distrained are placed under the pro

estate, or tection of law; and it is ffence in the (2.) In gross, not being incident to eye of the law even where the distress

any estato. has been taken without just cause; for A power simply collateral is one which when once impounded, the goods imme- is not, and has never been, annexed to an diately are in legal custody. The punish- estate; all other powers are either so anment for such offence varies according to nexed, or having once been so have becomo the nature of the thing distrained ; but in disannexed, in which latter case they are case of distress damage feasant, it is, by said to be powers in gross. Where the 6 & 7 Vict. c. 30, fixed at a penalty not donee of a power to appoint lands is also exceeding £5, and the payment of all the fee simple owner of the lands, he may expenses. Co. Litt. 47.

convey the lands for any estate, either in POURPRESTURE (from the Fr. pourpris,

exercise of his power, or in virtue of his

estate; but having done so in either of an inclosure). The wrongful inclosing

these two ways, he cannot afterwards make another man's property, or the encroach

any conveyance in the other way, which ing or taking to one's self that which ought to be in common. It is perhaps

would be in derogation of his first con

veyance, which for that reason is said to more commonly applied to an encroach

have either suspended or extinguished his ment upon the property of the Crown,

power, according to the quantity of the either upon its demesne lands, or in the

estate which he has already created. highways, rivers, barbours, or streets.

See also title APPOINTMENT. 2 Co. Inst. 38, 271. POURVEYANCE: See title PRE-EMP

POWER OF APPOINTMENT: See title

CONVEYANCES. TION.

POWER. A power is an authority POWER OF ATTORNEY : See title ATwhich one person gives to another, autho- TORNLY, POWER OF.

PRÆCIPE IN CAPITE. When one of the king's immediate tenants in capite was deforced, his writ of right was called a writ of præcipe in capite.

PRÆCIPE QUOD REDDAT. A writ of great diversity, extending as well to writs of right as to writs of entry. It was sometimes called a writ of right close, when issuing out of Chancery close ; sometimes a writ of right patent, when issuing out of Chancery patent, or open.

(Fitz. Nat. Brev. c. I.

PRÆCIPE, TENANT TO THE : Sce title TENANT TO THE PRÆCIPE, and also title FINE.

PRÆCIPUT CONVENTIONNEL. LA French Law, under the régime en communauté (see that title), when that is of the conventional kind, if the survivor of husband and wife is entitled to take aliy portion of the common property by a paramount title and before partition thereof, this right is called by the somewhat barbarous title of the conventional pracipet, from præ, before, and capere, to take.

POWER OF THE COUNTY: See title PossE COMITATUS.

POYNINGS' LAW. An Act of Parliament made in Ireland in the reign of Henry VII., by which it was enacted that all statutes made in England before that time should be in force in Ireland. It was so called because Sir Edward Poynings was lord-lieutenant there at the time it was made. 12 Rep. 190.

PRACTICE COURT, QUEEN'S BENCH. Is a Court attached to the Court of Queen's Bench, and presided over by one of the judges of that Court, in which points of practice and pleading are discussed and decided. After the appointment of an additional judge to the Court of King's Bench, under the authority of 11 Geo. 4 & 1 Will. 4, c. 70, s. 11, which took place in Michaelmas Term, 1830, Lord Tenterden, then being the Lord Chief Justice, informed the Bar that in addition to the powers already exercised by one judge sitting apart from the others in the Bail Court (or Court in which the sufficiency of parties as bail, and other minor matters, are ascertained), all matters of practice would for the future be determined there. Since then it has become usual to move in this Court, in certain cases, for new trials; and in ordinary cases for writs of mandamus and of prohibition, in addition to mere points of practice. If any doubt arises in the mind of the presiding judge as to any question brought before him, he refers the party to the full Court, before which indeed cause, on rules nisi, is generally shewn ; but the decision of the single judge is of itself conclusive. The four puisne judges by tums preside for the space of a term. This Court, though frequently and properly termed the “ Practice Court of the Queen's Bench," is now generally called, from its origin, the Bail Court.

See title Bail COURT, PRÆCIPE. An original writ in the alternative, comma

manding the defendant to do the thing required, or to shew his reason for not doing it. This writ was used when something certain was demanded by the plaintiff

, which it was incumbent on the defendant himself to perform; as to restore the possession of land, to pay a certain liquidated debt, to perform a specific covenant, and the like. The word præcipe is now commonly used for a sort of abstract of a writ of summons, or capias, which is made out on a slip of paper and delivered to the signer of the writs at the time of issuing them; and from which abstract or memorandum that officer makes his entry in the book kept for that purpose.

See also following titles.

PRÆMUNIRE (from præmoneo, to forewarn, &c.) A species of offence affecting the king and his government, though not subject to capital punishment. When any one is said to incur a præmunire, it sig. nifies that he incurs the penalty of being out of the king's protection, and of having his property forfeited to the king. It is su called from the words of the writ preparatory to the prosecution thereof, viz., præmunire facias," i.e., cause A. B. to be forewarned that he appear, &c. This writ is itself frequently called a pramunire. 3 Inst. 110.

There was also a celebrated Statute of Præmunire (15 Ric. 2, c. 5), which was enacted to check the exorbitant power claimed and exercised by the Pope in England; whence the offence of præmunire was the particular name of the offence of maintaining the papal power iv England as an imperium in imperio. The statute enacts, that whoever procures at Rome or elsewhere any translations, processes, 6-8communications, bulls, instruments, or other things which touch the king, against him, his crown and realm, and all persons aiding and assisting therein, shall be put out of the king's protection, their lands and goods forfeited to the king's use, and they shall be attached by their bodies to answer to the king and his council, or process of præmunire facias shall be made out against him, as in any other case of Provisors.

See also titlo PROVISORS,

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