FAMILY, domestic relations. In a limited sense it signifies the
father, mother, and children. In a more extensive sense it comprehends all the
individuals who live under the authority of another, and includes the servants
of the family. It is also employed to signify all the relations who descend from
a common ancestor, or who spring from a common root. Louis. Code, art. 3522, No.
16; 9 Ves. 323.
2. In the construction of wills, the word family, when applied to personal
property is synonymous with kindred, or relations. It may, nevertheless, be
confined to particular relations by the context of the will, or may be enlarged
by it, so that the expression may in some cases mean children, or next of kin,
and in others, may even include relations by marriage. 1 Rop. on Leg. 115 1 Hov.
Supp. 365, notes, 6 and 7; Brown v. Higgs; 4 Ves. 708; 2 Ves. jr. 110; 3 East,
Rep. 172 5 Ves. 156 1,7 Ves. 255 S. 126. Vide article Legatee. See Dig. lib. 50,
t. 16, 1. 195, s. 2.
FAMILY ARRANGEMENTS. This term has been used to signify an agreement
made between a father and his son, or children; or between brothers, to dispose
of property in a different manner to that, which would otherwise take place.
2. In these cases frequently the mere relation, of the parties will give
effect to bargains otherwise without adequate consideration. 1 Chit. Pr. 67 1
Turn. & Russ. 13.
FAMILY BIBLE. A Bible containing an account of the births, marriages,
and deaths of the members of a family.
2 An entry, by the father, made in a Bible, stating that Peter, his eldest
son, was born in. lawful wedlock of Maria, his wife, at a time specified, is
evidence to prove the legitimacy of Peter. 4 Campb. 401. But the entry, in order
to be evidence, must be an original entry, and, when it is not so, the loss of
the original must be proved before the copy can be received. 6 Serg. Rawle, 135.
See 10 Watts, R. 82.
FAMILY EXPENSES. The sum which it costs a man to maintain a
2. Merchants and traders who desire to exhibit the true state of their
affairs in their books, keep an exact account of family expenses, which, in case
of failure, is very important, and at all times proper.
FAMILY MEETINGS. Family councils, or family meetings in Louisiana, are
meetings of at least five relations, or in default of relations of minors or
other persons on whose interest they are called upon to deliberate, then of the
friends of such minors or other persons.
2. The appointment of the members of the family meeting is made by, the
judge. The relations or friends must be selected from among those domiciliated
in the parish in which the meeting is held; the relations are selected according
to their proximity, beginning with the nearest. The relation is preferred to the
connexion in the same degree, and among relations of the same degree, the eldest
is preferred. The under tutor must also be present. 6 N. S. 455.
3. The family meeting is held before a justice of the peace, or notary
public, appointed by the judge for the purpose. It is called for a fixed day and
hour, by citations delivered at least three days before the day appointed for
4. The members of the family meeting, before commencing their deliberations,
take an oath before the officer before whom the meeting is held,, to give their
advice according to the best of their knowledge, touching the interests of the
person on whom they are called upon to deliberate. The officer before whom the
family meeting is held, must make a particular process-verbal of the
deliberations, cause the members of the family meeting to sign it, if they know
how to sign, he must sign it himself, and deliver a copy to the parties that
they may have it homologated. Civil Code of Louis. B. 1, tit. 8, c. 1, s. 6,
art. 305 to 311; Code Civ. B. 1, tit. 10, c. 2, A. 4.
FAMOSUS LIBELLUS. Among the civilians these words signified that
species of injuria which corresponds nearly to libel or slander.
FANEGA, Spanish law. A measure of land, which is not the same in every
province. Diccionario de la Acad.; 2 White's Coll. 49. In Spanish America, the
fanega consisted of six thousand and four hundred square varas or yards. 2
White's Coll. 138.
FARE. It signifies a voyage or passage; in its modern application, it
is the money paid for a passage. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1036.
FARM, estates. A portion or tract of land, some of which is
cultivated. 2 Binn. 238. In parlance, and for the purpose of description in a
deed, a farm means: a messuage with out-buildings, gardens, orchard, yard, and
land usually occupied with the same for agricultural purposes; Plowd. 195 Touch.
93; 1 Tho. Co. Litt. 208, 209, n. N; but in the English law, and particularly in
a description in a declaration in ejectment, it denotes a leasehold interest for
years in any real property, and means anything which is held by a person who
stands in the relation of tenant to a landlord. 6 T. R. 532; 2 Chit. Pl. 879, n.
2. By the conveyance of a farm, will pass a messuage, arable land, meadow,
pasture, wood, &c., belonging to or used with it. 1 Inst. 5, a; Touch. 93; 4
Cruise, 321; Bro. Grants, 155; Plowd. 167.
3. In a will, the word farm may pass a freehold, if it appear that such was
the intention of the testator. 6 T. R. 345; 9 East, 448. See 6 East, 604, n; 8
To FARM LET. These words in a lease have the effect of creating a
lease for years. Co. Litt. 45 b; 2 Mod. 250.
FARMER. One who is lessee of a farm. it is said that every lessee for
life or years, although it be but of a small house and land, is called farmer.
This word implies no mystery except it be that of hushandman. Cunn. Dict. h. t.
In common parlance, a farmer is one who cultivates a farm, whether he be the
owner of it or not.
FARO, crim. law. There is a species of game called faro-table, or
faro-bank, which is forbidden by law in many states; and the persons who keep it
for the purpose of playing for money or other valuable thing, may generally be
indicted at common law for a nuisance. 1 Roger's Rec. 66. It is played with
cards in this manner: a pack of cards is displayed on the table so that the face
of each card may be seen by the spectators. The man who keeps the bank, as it is
termed, and who is called the banker, sits by the table with another pack of
cards, and a bag containing money, some of which is displayed, or sometimes
instead of money, chips, or small pieces of ivory or other substance are used.
The parties who play with the banker, are called punters or pointeurs. Suppose
the banker and A, a punter, wish to play for five dollars, the banker shuffles
the pack which he holds in his hand, while A lays his money intended to be bet,
say five dollars, on any card he may choose as aforesaid. The banker then runs
the cards alternately into two piles, one on the right the other on the left,
until he reaches, in the pack, the card corresponding to that on which A has
laid his money. If, in this alternative, the card chosen comes on the right
hand, the banker takes up the money. If on the other, A is entitled to five
dollars from the banker. Several persons are usually engaged at the same table
with the banker. 1 Rog. Rec. 66, note; Encycl. Amer. h. t.
FARRIER. One who takes upon himself the public employment of shoeing
2. Like an innkeeper, a common carrier, and other persons who assume a public
employment, a farrier is bound to serve the public as far as his employment
goes, and an action lies against him for refusing, when a horse is brought to
him at a reasonable time for such purpose, if he refuse; Oliph . on Horses, 131
and he is liable for the unskilfulness of himself or servant in performing such
work 1 Bl. Com. 431; but not for the malicious act of the servant in purposely
driving a nail into the foot of the horse, with the intention of laming him. 2
FATHER, domestic relations. He by whom a child is begotten.
2. A father is the natural guardian of his children, and his duty by the
natural law consists in maintaining them and educating them during their
infancy, and making a necessary provision for their happiness in life. This
latter, however, is a duty which the law does not enforce.
3. By law, the father is bound to support his children, if of sufficient
ability, even though they have property of their own. 1 Bro. C. C. 387; 4 Mass.
R. 97; 2 Mass. R. 415 5 Rawle, 323. But he is not bound, without some agreement,
to pay another for maintaining them; 9 C. & P. 497; nor is he bound to pay
their debts, unless he has authorized them to be contracted. 38 E. C. L. R. 195,
n. See 8 Watts, R. 366 1 Craig. & Phil. 317; Bind; Nother; Parent. This
obligation ceases as soon as the child becomes of age, unless he becomes
chargeable to the public. 1 Ld. Ray. 699.
4. The rights of the father are authority over his children, to enforce all
his lawful commands, and to correct with moderation his children for
disobedience. A father may delegate his power over the person of his child to a
tutor or instructor, the better to accomplish the purposes of his education.
This power ceases on the arrival of the child at the age of twenty-one years.
Generally, the father is entitled to the services of his children during their
minority. 4 S. & R. 207; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
FATHER-IN-LAW. In latin, socer, is the father of one's wife, or of
FATHER. PUTATIVE. A reputed father. Vide Putative father.
FATHOM. A measure of length, equal to six feet. The word is probably
derived from the Teutonic word fad, which signifies the thread or yarn drawn out
in spinning to the length of the arm, before it is run upon the spindle.
Webster; Minsheu. See Ell. Vide Measure.
FATUOUS PERSON. One entirely destitute of reason; is qui omnino
desipit. Ersk. Inst. B. 1, tit. 7, s. 48.
FAUBOURG. A district or part of a town adjoinng the principal city;
as, a faubourg of New Orleans. 18 Lo. R. 286.
FAULT, contracts, civil law. An improper act or omission, which arises
from ignorance, carelessness, or negligence. The act or omission must not have
been meditated, and must have caused some injury to another. Lec. Elcm. §783.
See Dolus, Negligence. 1 Miles' Rep. 40.
2. - 1. Faults or negligence are usually divided into, gross, ordinary, and
slight: 1. Gross fault or neglect, consists in not observing that care towards
others, which a man the least attentive, usually takes of his own affairs. Such
fault may, in some cases, afford a presumption of fraud, and in very gross cases
it approaches so near, as to be almost undistinguishable from it, especially
when the facts seem hardly consistent with an honest intention. But there may be
a gross fault without fraud. 2 Str. 1099; Story, Bailm. §18-22; Toullier, 1. 3,
t. 3, §231. 2. Ordinary faults consist in the omission of that care which
mankind generally pay to their own concerns; that is, the want of ordinary
diligence. 3. A slight fault consists in the want of that care which very
attentive persons take of their own affairs. This fault assimilates itself, and,
in some cases, is scarcely distinguishable, from mere accident, or want of
foresight. This division has been adopted by common lawyers from the civil law.
Although the civilians generally agree in this division, yet they are not
without a difference of opinion. See Pothier, Observation generale, sur le
precedent Traite, et sur les suivants; printed at the end of his Traite des
Obligations, where he cites Accurse, Alciat, Cujas, Duaren, D'Avezan, Vinnius,
and Heineccius, in support of this division. On the other side the reader is
referred to Thomasius, tom. 2, Dissertationem, pago 1006; Le Brun, cited by
Jones, Bailm. 27; and Toullier, Droit Civil Francais, liv. 3, tit. 3, §231.
3. - 2. These principles established, different rules have been made as to
the responsibilities of parties for their faults in relation to their contracts.
They are reduced by Pothier to three.
4.- I. In those contracts where the party derives no benefit from his
undertaking, he is answerable only for his gross faults.
5.-2. In those contracts where the parties have a reciprocal interest, as in
the contract of sale, they are responsible for ordinary neglect.
6. - 3. In those contracts where the party receives the only advantage, as in
the case of loan for use, he is answerable for his slight fault. Poth. Observ.
Generale; Traite des Oblig. §142; Jones, Bailm. 119 Story, Bailm. 12. See also
Ayliffe, Pand. 108. Civ. C. Lou. 3522; 1 Com. Dig. 41 3; 5 Id. 184; Wesk. on
FAUX, French law. A falsification or fraudulent alteration or
suppression of a thing by words, by writings, or by acts without either. Biret,
Vocabulaire des Six Codes.
2. The crimen falsi of the civil law. Toullier says, "Le faux s'entend de
trois manieres: dans le sons le plus etendre, c'est l'alteration de la verite,
avec ou sans mauvaises intentions; il est a peu pres synonyme de mensonge; dans
un sens moins etendu, c'est l'alteration de la verite, accompagnee de dol,
mutatio veritatis cum dolo facta; enfin, dans le sens etroit, ou plutot legal du
mot, quand il s'agit de savoir si le faux est un crime, le faux est I'alteration
frauduleuse de la verite, dans les determines et punis par la loi." Tom. 9, n.
188. "Faux may be understood in three ways: in its most extended sense, it is
the alteration of truth, with or without intention; it is nearly synonymous with
lying; in a less extended sense, it is the alteration of truth, accompanied with
fraud, mutatio veritatis cum dolo facta; and lastly, in a narrow, or rather the
legal sense of the word, when it is a question to know if the faux be a crime,
it is the fraudulent alteration of the truth, in those cases ascertained and
punished by the law." See Crimen Falsi.
FAVOR. Bias partiality; lenity; prejudice.
2. The grand jury are sworn to inquire into all offences which have been
committed, and of all violations of law, without fear, favor, or affection. Vide
Grand Jury. When a juror is influenced by bias or prejudice, so that there is
not sufficient ground for a principal challenge, he may nevertheless be
challenged for favor. Vide Challenge, and Bac. Ab. Juries, E; Dig. 50, 17, 156,
4; 7 Pet. R. 160.
FEAL. Faithful. This word is not used.
FEALTY. Fidelity, allegiance.
2. Under the feudal system, every owner of lands held them of some superior
lord, from whom or from whose ancestors, the tenant had received them. By this
connexion the lord became bound to protect the tenant in the enjoyment of the
land granted to him; and, on the other hand, the tenant was bound to be faithful
to his lord,, and defend him against all his enemies. This obligation was called
fidelitas, or fealty. 1 Bl. Com. 366; 2 Bl. Com. 86; Co. Litt. 67, b; 2 Bouv.
Inst. n. 1566.
FEAR, crim. law. Dread, consciousness of approaching danger.
2. Fear in the person robbed is one of the ingredients required. to
constitute a robbery from the person, and without this the felonious taking of
the property is a larceny. It is not necessary that the owner of the property
should be in fear of his own person, but fear of violence to the person of his
child; 2 East, P. C. 718; or of his property; Id. 731 2 Russ. 72; is sufficient.
2 Russ. 71 to 90. Vide Putting in fear, and Ayl. Pand. tit. 12, p. 106.; Dig. 4,
2, 3 an d 6.
FEASTS. Certain established periods in the Christian church. Formerly,
the days of the feasts of saints were used to indicate the dates of instruments,
and memorable events. 18 Toull. n. 81. These are yet used in England; there they
have Easter term, Hilary term, &c.
FEDERAL, government. This term is commonly used to express a league or
compact between two or more states.
2. In the United States the central government of the Union is federal. The
constitution was adopted "to form a more perfect union" among the states, for
the purpose of self-protection and for the promotion of their mutual
FEE, FEODUM or FEUDUM, estates. From the French, fief. A fee is an
estate which may continue forever. The word fee is explained to signify that the
land, or other subject of property, belongs to its owner, and is transmissible,
in the case of an individual, to those whom the law appoints to succeed him,
under the appellation of heirs; and in the case of corporate bodies, to those
who are to take on themselves the corporate function; and from the manner in
which the body is to be continued, are denominated successors. 1 Co. Litt. 1,
271, b; Wright's Ten. 147, 150; 2 Bl. Com. 104. 106; Bouv. Inst. Index h. t.
2. Estates in fee are of several sorts, and have different denominations,
according to their several natures and respective qualities. They 'may with
propriety be divided into, 1. Fees simple. 2 . Fees determinable. 3. Fees
qualified. 4. Fees conditional and 5. Fees tail.
3. - 1. A fee simple is an estate inlands or tenements which, in reference to
the ownership of individuals, is not restrained to any heirs in particular, nor
subject to any condition or collateral determination except the laws of escheat
and the canons of descent, by which it may, be qualified, abridged or defeated.
In other words, an estate in fee simple absolute, is an estate limited to a
person and his heirs general or indefinite. Watk. Prin. Con. 76. And the
omission of the word `his' will not vitiate the estate, nor are the words "and
assigns forever" necessary to create it, although usually added. Co. Litt. 7, b
9, b; 237, b Plowd. 28, b; 29, a; Bro. Abr. Estates, 4. 1 Co. Litt. 1, b; Plowd.
557 2 Bl. Com. 104, 106 Hale's Analysis, 74. The word fee simple is sometimes
used by the best writers on the law as contrasted with estates tail. 1 Co. Litt.
19. In this sense, the term comprehends all other fees as well as the estate,
properly, and in strict propriety of technical language, peculiarly'
distinguished by this appellation.
4. - 2. A determinable fee is an estate which may continue forever. Plowd.
557; Shep. Touch. 97. It is a quality of this estate while it falls under this
denomination, that it is liable to be determined by some act or event, expressed
on its limitation, to circumscribe its continuance, or inferred by the law as
bounding its extent. 2 Bl. Com. 109. Limitations to a man. and his heirs, till
the marriage of such. a person shall take place; Cro. Jac. 593; 10 Vin. Abr.
133; till debts shall be paid; Fearne, 187 until a minor shall attain the age of
twenty-one years 3 Atk. 74 Ambler, 204; 9 Mod. 28 10 Vin. Abr. 203. Feariae,
342; are instances of such a determinable fee.
5. - 3. Qualified fee, is an interest given on its, first limitation, to a
man and to certain of his heirs, and not to extend to all of them generally, nor
confined to the issue of his body. A limitation to a man and his heirs on the
part of his father, affords an example of this species of estate. Litt. 254 1
Inst. 27, a 220; 1 Prest. on Estates, 449.
6. - . A conditional fee, in the more general acceptation of the term, is
when, to the limitation of an estate a condition is annexed, which renders the
estate liable to be defeated. 10 Rep. 95, b. In this application of the term,
either a determinable or a qualified fee may at the same time be a conditional
fee. An estate limited to a man and his heirs, to commence on the performance of
a condition, is also frequently described by this appellation. Prest. on East.
476; Fearne, 9. 7. - 5. As to fee-tail, see Tail.
FEE FARM, Eng. law. A perpetual farm or rent. 1 Tho. Co. Litt. 446, n.
FEE FARM RENT, contracts, Eng. law. When the lord, upon the creation
of a tenancy, reserves to himself and his heirs, either the rent for which it
was before let to farm, or at least one-fourth part of that farm rent, it is
called a fee farm rent, because a farm rent is reserved upon a grant in fee. 2
FEES, compensation. Certain perquisites allowed by law to officers
concerned in the administration of justice, or in the performance of duties
required by law, as a recompense for their labor and trouble. Bac. Ab. h. t.;
2. The term fees differs from costs in this, that the former are, as above
mentioned, a recompense to the officer for his services, and the latter, an
indemnification to the, party for money laid out and expended in his suit. 11 S.
& R. 248; 9 Wheat. 262; See 4 Binn. 267. Vide Costs; Color of office;
FEIGNED ACTION, practice. An action brought on a pretended right, when
the plaintiff has no true cause of action, for some illegal purpose. In a
feigned action the words of the writ are true; it differs from false action, in
which case the words of the writ are false. Co. Litt. 361, sect. 689. Vide
FEIGNED issue, pract. An issue brought by consent of the parties, or
the direction of a court of equity, or such courts as possess equitable powers,
to determine before a jury some disputed matter of fact, which the court has not
the power or is unwilling to decide. 3 Bl. Com. 452; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t
FELO DE SE, criminal law. A felon of himself; a self-murderer.
2. To be guilty of this offence, the deceased must have had the will and
intention of committing it, or else be committed no crime. As he is beyond the
reach of human laws, he cannot be punished; the English law, indeed, attempts to
inflict a punishment by a barbarous burial of his body, and by forfeiting to the
king the property which he owned, and which would belong to his relations. Hawk.
P. C. c. 9; 4 Bl. Com. 189. The charter of privileges granted by William Penn to
the inhabitants of Pennsylvania, contains the following clause: "If any person,
through temptation or melancholy, shall destroy himself, his estate, real and
personal, shall, notwithstanding, (descend to his wife and children, or
relations, as if he had died a natural death."
FELON, crimes. One convicted and sentenced for a felony.
2. A felon is infamous, and cannot fill any office, or become a witness in
any case, unless pardoned, except in cases of absolute necessity, for his own
preservation, and defence; as, for example, an affidavit in relation to the
irregularity of a judgment in a cause in which he is a party. 2 Salk. R. 461; 2
Str. 1148;. Martin's R. 25; Stark. Ev. part 2, tit. Infamy. As to the effect of
a conviction in one state, where the witness is offered in another, see 17 Mass.
R. 515 2 Harr. & McHen. R. 120, 378; 1 Harr. & Johns. R. 572. As to the
effect upon a copartnership by one of the partners becoming a felon, see 2 Bouv.
Inst. n. 1493.
FELONIOUSLY, pleadings. This is a technical word which must be
introduced into every indictment for a felony, charging the offence to have been
committed feloniously; no other word, nor any circumlocution, will supply its
place. Com. Dig. Indictment, G 6; Bac. Ab. Indictment, G 1; 2 Hale, 172, 184;
Hawk. B. 2. c. 25, s. 55 Cro. C. C. 37; Burn's Just. Indict. ix.; Williams'
Just. Indict. iv.-, Cro. Eliz. 193; 5 Co. 121; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 242.
FELONY, crimes. An offence which occasions a total forfeiture of.
either lands or goods, or both, at common law, to which capital or other
punishment may be super-added, according to the degree of guilt. 4 Bl. Com, 94,
5; 1 Russ. Cr. *42; 1 Chit. Pract. 14; Co. Litt . 391; 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 37; 5
Wheat. R. 153, 159.