CHARGE, practice. The opinion expressed by the court to
the jury, on the law arising out of a case before them.
2. It should contain a clear and explicit exposition of the law, when the
points of the law in dispute arise out of the facts proved on the trial of the
cause; 10 Pet. 657; but the court ought at no time to undertake to decide the
facts, for these are to be decided by the jury. 4 Rawle's R. 195; 2 Penna. R.
27; 4 Rawle's R. 356 Id. 100; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 464; 1 Serg. & Rawle,
515; 8 Serg. & Rawle, 150. See 3 Cranch, 298; 6 Pet. 622 1 Gall. R. 53; 5
Cranch, 187; 2 Pet. 625; 9 Pet. 541.
CHARGE, contracts. An obligation entered into by the owner of an
estate which makes the estate responsible for its performance. Vide 2 Ball &
Beatty, 223; 8 Com. Dig. 306, Appendix, h. t. Any obligation binding upon him
who enters into it, which may be removed or taken away by a discharge. T. de la
Ley, h. t.
2. That particular kind of commission which one undertakes to perform for
another, in keeping the custody of his goods, is called a charge.
CHARGE. wills, devises. An obligation which a testator imposes on his
devisee; as, if the testator give Peter, Blackacre, and direct that he shall pay
to John during his life an annuity of one hundred dollars, which shall be a
charge" on said land; or if a legacy be and directed to be paid out of the real
property. 1 Rop. Leg. 446. Vide 4 Vin. Ab. 449; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 309; 2 Id.
31; 1 Vern. 45, 411; 1 Swanst. 28; 4 East, R. 501; 4 Ves. jr. 815; Domat, Loix
Civ. liv. 3, t. 1, s. 8, n.
CHARGE' DES AFFAIRES or CHARGE' D'AFFAIRES, internationat law. These
phrases, the first of which is used in the acts of congress, are synonymous.
2. The officer who bear; this title is a diplomatic representative or
minister of an inferior grade, to whose care are confided the affairs of his
nation. He has not the title of minister, and is generally introduced and
admitted through a verbal presentation of the minister, at his departure, or
through letters of credence addressed to the minister of state of the court to
which they are sent. He has the essential rights of a minister. Mart. Law of
Nat. 206; 1 Kent, Com. 39, n.; 4 Dall. 321.
3. The president is authorized to allow to any, charge des affaires a sum not
greater than at the rate of four thousand five hundred dollars per annum, as a
compensation for his personal services and expenses. Act of May 1, 1810, 2
Story's Laws U. S. 1171.
CHARGER, Scotch law. He in whose favor a decree suspended is
pronounced; vet a decree may be suspended before a charge is given on it. Ersk.
Pr. L. Scot. 4, 3, 7.
CHARGES. The term charges signifies the expenses which have been
incurred in relation either to a transaction or to a suit; as the charges
incurred for his benefit must be paid by a hirer; the defendant must pay the
charges of a suit. The term charges, in relation to actions, includes something
more than the costs, technically called.
CHARITY. In its widest sense it denotes all the good affections which
men ought to bear towards each other; 1 Epistle to Cor. c. xiii.; in its most
restricted and usual sense, it signifies relief to the poor. This species of
charity is a mere moral duty, which cannot be enforced by the law. Kames on Eq.
17. But it is not employed in either of these senses in law; its signification
is derived chiefly from the statute of 43 Eliz. c. 4. Those purposes are
considered charitable which are enumerated in that act, or which by analogy are
deemed within its spirit and intendment. 9 Ves. 405; 10 Ves, 541; 2 Vern. 387;
Shelf. Mortm. 59. Lord Chancellor Camden describes a charity to be a gift to a
general public use, which extends to the rich as well as to the poor. Ambl. 651;
Boyle on Charities, 51; 2 Ves. sen. 52; Ambl. 713; 2 Ves. jr. 272; 6 Ves. 404; 3
Rawle, 170; 1 Penna. R. 49 2 Dana, 170; 2 Pet. 584; 3 Pet. 99, 498 9 Cow. 481; 1
Hawks, 96; 12 Mass. 537; 17 S. & R. 88; 7 Verm. 241; 5 Harr. & John.
392; 6 Harr. & John. 1; 9 Pet. 566; 6 Pet. 435; 9 C-ranch, 331; 4 Wheat. 1;
9 Wend. 394; 2 N. H. Rep. 21, 510; 9 Cow. 437; 7 John. Cb. R. 292; 3 Leigh. 450;
1 Dev. Eq. Rep. 276; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3976, et seq.
CHARRE OF LEAD, Eng. law, commerce. A quantity of lead consisting of
thirty pigs, each pig containing six stones wanting two pounds, and every stone
being twelve pounds. Jacob.
CHARTA. An ancient word which signified not only a charter or deed in
writing, but any signal or token by which an estate was held.
CHARTA CHYROGRAPIHATA VEL COMMUNIS. Signifies an indenture. Shep.
Touch. 50; Beames, Glanv. 197-8; Fleta, lib. 3, c. 14, 3. It was so called,
because each party had a part.
CHARTA DE UNA PARTE. A deed of one part; a deed poll.
2. Formerly, this phrase was used to distinguish, a deed poll, which is an
agreement made by one party only, that is, only one of the parties does any act
which is binding upon him, from a deed inter partes. Co. Litt. 229. Vide Deed
poll; Indenture; Inter partes.
CHARTER. A grant made by the sovereign either to the whole people or
to a portion of them, securing to them the enjoyment of certain rights. Of the
former kind is the late charter of France, which extended to the whole country;
the charters which were granted to the different American colonies by the
British government were charters of the latter species. 1 Story, Const. L. 161;
1 Bl. Com. 108 Encycl. Amer. Charte Constitutionelle.
2. A charter differs from a CONSTITUTION in this, that the former is granted
by the sovereign, while the latter is established by the people themselves: both
are the fundamental law of the land.
3. This term is susceptible of another signification. During the middle ages
almost every document was called carta, charta, or chartula. In this sense the
term is nearly synonymous with deed. Co. Litt. 6; 1 Co. 1; Moor. Cas. 687.
4. The act of the legislature creating a corporation, is called its charter.
Vide 3 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 188; Dane's Ab. h. t.
CHARTER, mar. contr. An agreement by which a vessel is hired by the
owner to another; as A B chartered the ship Benjamin Franklin to C D.
CHARTER-LAND, Eng. law. Land formerly held by deed under certain rents
and free services, and it differed in nothing from free socage land. It was also
called bookland. 2 Bl. Com. 90.
CHARTER-PARTY, contracts. A contract of affreightment in writing, by
which the owner of a ship or other vessel lets the whole, or a part of her, to a
merchant or other person for the conveyance of goods, on a particular voyage, in
consideration of the payment of freight. This term is derived from the fact,
that the contract which bears this name, was formerly written on a card, and
afterwards the card was cut into two parts from top to bottom, and one part was
delivered to each of the parties, which was produced when required, and by this
means counterfeits were prevented.
2. This instrument ought to contain, 1. the name and tonnage of the vessel;
2. the name of the captain; 3. the names of the letter to freight and the
freighter; 4. the place and time agreed upon for the loading and discharge; 5.
the price of the freight; 6. the demurrage or indemnity in case of delay; 7.
such other conditions as the parties may agree upon. Abbott on Ship. pt. 3, c.
1, s. 1 to 6; Poth. h. t. n. 4; Pardessus, Dr. Coin. pt. 4, t. 4, c. 1, n.
3. When a ship is chartered, this instrument serves to authenticate many of
the facts on which the proof of her neutrality must rest, and should therefore
be always found on board chartered ships. 1 Marsh. Ins. 407 . When the goods of
several merchants unconnected with each other, are laden on board without may
particular contract of affreightment with any individual for the entire ship;
the vessel is called a general ship, (q. v.) because open to all merchauts. but
where one Or more merchants contract for the ship exclusively, it is said to be
a chartered ship. 3 Kent, Com. 158. Abbott, Ship. pt. 2, c. 2, S. 1 Harr. Dig.
Ship and Shipping, iv.
CHARTERED SHIP. When a ship is hired or freighted by one or more
merchants for a particular voyage or on time, it is called a chartered ship. It
is freighted by a special contract of affreightment, executed between the
owners, ship's husband, or master on the one hand, and the merchants on the
other. It differs, from a general ship. (q. v.)
CHARTIS REDDENDIS, Eng. law. An ancient writ, now obsolete, which lays
against one who had charters of feoffment entrusted to his keeping, and who
refused to deliver them. Reg. Orig. 159. CHASE, Eng. law. The liberty of keeping
beasts of chase, or royal gaine, on another man's ground as well as on one's own
ground, protected even from the owner of the land, with a power of hunting them
thereon. It differs from a park, because it may be on another's ground, and
because it is not enclosed. 2 Bl. Com. 38.
CHASE, property. The act of acquiring possession of animals ferae
naturae by force, cunning or address. The hunter acquires a right to such
animals by occupancy, and they become his property. 4 Toull. n. 7. No man has a
right to enter on the lands of another for the purpose of hunting, without his
consent. Vide 14 East, R. 249 Poth. Tr. du Dr. de Propriete, part 1, c. 2, art.
CHASTITY. That virtue which prevents the unlawful commerce of the
2. A woman may defend her chastity by killing her assailant. See
Self-defence. And even the solicitation of her chastity is indictable in some of
the states; 7 Conn. 267; though in England, and perhaps elsewhere, such act is
not indictable. 2 Chit. Pr. 478. Words charging a woman with a violation of
chastity are actionable in themselves. 2 Conn. 707.
CHATTELS, property. A term which includes all hinds of property,
except the freehold or things which are parcel of it. It is a more extensive
term than goods or effects. Debtors taken in execution, captives, apprentices,
are accounted chattels. Godol. Orph. Leg. part 3, chap. 6, 1.
2. Chattels are personal or real. Personal, are such as belong immediately to
the person of a man; chattels real, are such as either appertain not immediately
to the person, but to something by way of dependency, as a box with the title
deeds of lands; or such as are issuing out of some real estate, as a lease of
lands, or term of years, which pass like personally to the executor of the
owner. Co. Litt. 118; 1 Chit. Pr. 90; 8 Vin. Ab. 296; 11 Vin. Ab. 166; 14 Vin.
Ab. 109; Bac. Ab. Baron, &c. C 2; 2 Kent, Com. 278; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.;
Com. Dig. Biens, A; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
CHEAT, criminal law, torts. A cheat is a deceitful practice, of a
public nature, in defrauding another of a known right, by some artful device,
contrary to the plain rules of common honesty. 1 Hawk. 343.
2. To constitute a cheat, the offence must be, lst. of a public nature for
every species of fraud and dishonesty in transactions between individuals is not
the subject-matter of a criminal charge at common law; it must be such as is
calculated to defraud numbers, and to deceive the people in general. 2 East, P.
C. 816; 7 John. R. 201; 14 John. R. 371; 1 Greenl. R. 387; 6 .Mass. R. 72; 9
Cowen, R. 588; 9 Wend. R. 187; 1 Yerg. R. 76; 1 Mass. 137. 2. The cheating must
be done by false weights, false measures, false tokens, or the like, calculated
to deceive numbers. 2 Burr, 1125; 1 W. Bl. R. 273; Holt, R. 354.
3. That the object of the defendant in defrauding the prosecutor was
successful. If unsuccessful, it is a mere attempt. (q. v.) 2 Mass. 139. When two
or more enter into an agreement to cheat, the offence is a conspiracy. (q. v.)
To call a man a cheat is slanderous. Hetl. 167; 1 Roll's Ab. 53; 2 Lev. 62. Vide
CHECK, contracts. A written order or request, addressed to a bank or
persons carrying on the banking business, and drawn upon them by a party having
money in their hands, requesting them to pay on presentment to a person therein
named or to bearer, a named sum of money.
2. It is said that checks are uniformly payable to bearer Chit. on Bills,
411; but that is not so in practice in the United States. they are generally
payable to bearer, but sometimes they are payable to order.
3. Cheeks are negotiable instruments, as bills of exchange; though, strictly
speaking, they are due before payment has been demanded, i$n which respect they
differ from promissory notes and bills of exchange payable on a particular day.
7 T. R. 430.
4. The differences between a common check and a bill of exchange, are, First,
that a check may be taken after it is overdue, and still the holder is not
subject to the equities wbich may exist between the drawer and the party 'from
whom he receives it; in the case of bills of exchange, the holder is subject to
such equity. 3 John. Cas. 5, 9; 9 B. & Cr. 388. Secondly, the drawer of a
bill of exchange is liable only on the condition that it be presented in due
time, and, if it be dishonored, that he has had notice; but such is not the case
with a check, no delay will excuse the drawer of it, unless he has suffered some
loss or injury on that account, and then only pro tanto. 3 Kent, Com. 104 n. 5th
ed.; 8 John. Cas. 2; Story, Prom. Notes, 492.
5. There is a kind of check known by the name of memorandum cheeks; these are
given in general with an understanding that they are not to be presented at the
bank on which they are drawn for payment; and, as between the parties, they have
no other effect than an IOU, or common due bill; but third persons who become
the holders of them, for a valuable consideration, without notice, have all the
rights which the holders of ordinary cheeks can lawfully claim. Story, Prom.
6. Giving a creditor a cheek on a bank does not constitute payment of a debt.
1 Hall, 56, 78; 7 S. & R. 116; 2 Pick. 204; 4 John. 296. See 3 Rand. 481.
But a tender was held good when made by a check contained in a letter,
requesting a receipt in return, which the plaintiff sent back, demanding a
larger sum, without objecting to the nature of the tender. 3 Bouv. Inst. n.
7. A cheek delivered by a testator in his lifetime to a person as a gift, and
not presented till after his death, was considered as a part of his will, and
allowed to be proved as such. 3 Curt. Ecc. R. 650. Vide, generally,4 John. R.
304; 7 John. R. 26; 2 Ves. jr. 111; Yelv. 4, b, note; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 116;
3 John. Cas. 5, 259; 6 Wend. R. 445; 2 N. & M. 251; 1 Blackf. R. 104; 1
Litt. R. 194; 2 Litt. R. 299; 6 Cowen, R. 484; 4 Har. & J. 276; 13 Wend. R.
133; 10 Wend. R. 304; 7 Har. & J. 381; 1 Hall, R. 78; 15 Mass. R. 74; 4
Yerg. R. 210; 9 S. & R. 125; 2 Story, R. 502; 4 Whart. R. 252.
CHECK BOOK, commerce. One kept by persons who have accounts in bank,
in which are printed blank forms of cheeks, or orders upon the bank to pay