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IMPROVEMENT, estates. This term is of doubtful meaning It would seem to apply principally to buildings, though generally it extends to amelioration of every description of property, whether real or personal; it is generally explained by other words.

2. Where, by the terms of a lease, the covenant was to 1eave at the end of the term a water-mill with all the fixtures, fastenings, and improvements, during the demise fixed, fastened, or set up on or upon the premises, in good plight and condition, it was held to include a pair of new millstones set up by the lessee during the term, although the custom of the country in general authorized the tenant to remove them. 9 Bing. 24; 3 Sim. 450; 2 Ves. & Bea. 349. Vide 3 Yeates, 71; Addis. R. 335; 4 Binn. R. 418; 5 Binn. R. 77; 5 S. & R. 266; 1 Binn. R. 495; 1 John. Ch. R. 450; 15 Pick. R. 471. Vide Profits. 2 Man. & Gra. 729, 757; S. C. 40 Eng. C. L. R. 598, 612.

3. Tenants in common are not bound to pay for permanent improvements, made on the common property, by one of the tenants in common without their consent. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1881.

IMPROVEMENT, rights. An addition of some useful thing to a machine, manufacture or composition of matter.

2. The patent law of July 4, 1836, authorizes the granting of a patent for any new and useful improvement on any art, machine manufacture or composition of matter. Sect. 6. It is often very difficult to say what is a new and useful improvement, the cases often approach very near to each other. In the present improved state of machinery, it is almost impracticable not to employ the same elements of motion, and in some particulars, the same manner of operation, to produce any new effect. 1 Gallis. 478; 2 Gallis. 51. See 4 B. & Ald. 540; 2 Kent, Com. 370.

IMPUBER, civil law. One who is more than seven years old, or out of infancy, and who has not attained the age of an adult, (q. v.) and who is not yet in his puberty that is, if a boy, till he has attained his full age of fourteen years, and, if a girl, her full age of twelve years. Domat, Liv. Prel. t. 2, s. 2, n. 8.

IMPUNITY. Not being punished for a crime or misdemeanor committed. The impunity of crimes is one of the most prolific sources whence they arise. lmpunitas continuum affectum tribuit delinquenti. 4 Co. 45, a; 5 Co. 109, a.

IMPUTATION. The judgment by which we declare that an agent is the cause of his free action, or of the result of it, whether good or ill. Wolff, 3.

IMPUTATION OF PAYMENT. This term is used in Louisiana to signify the appropriation which is made of a payment, when the debtor owes two debts to the creditor. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 2159 to 2262. See 3 N. S. 483; 6 N. S. 28; Id. 113: Poth. Ob. n. 539, 565, 570; Durant. Des Contr. Liv. 3, t. 3, 3, n. 191; 10 L. R. 232, 352; 7 Toull. n. 173, p. 246.

IN ALIO LOCO. In another place. Vide Cepit in alio loco.

IN ARTICULO MORTIS. In the article of death; at the point of death. As to the effect of this condition on wills, see Nuncupative; as to the testimony of such person, see Dying declarations.

IN AUTRE DROIT. In another's right. An executor, administrator or trustee, is said to have the property confided to him in such character, in autre droit.

IN BLANK. This is generally applied to indorsements, as, indorsements in blank, which is one not restricted, made by the indorser simply writing his name. See Indorsement.

IN CHIEF. Evidence is said to be in chief when it is given in support of the case opened by the leading counsel. Vide To Open - Opening. The term is used to distinguish evidence of this nature from evidence obtained on a cross-examination. (q. v.) 3 Chit. 890. By evidence in chief is sometimes meant that evidence, which is given in contradistinction to evidence which is obtained on the witness voir dire.

2. Evidence in chief should be confined to such matters as the pleadings and the opening warrant, and a departure from this rule, will be sometimes highly inconvenient, if not fatal. Suppose, for example, that two assaults have been committed, one in January and the other. in February, and the plaintiff prove his cause of action to have been the assault in January, he cannot abandon that, and afterwards prove another committed in February unless the pleadings and openings extend to both. 1 Campb R. 473. See also, 6 Carr. & P. 73; S. C. 25 E. C. L. R. 288; 1 Mood. & R. 282.

IN COMMENDAM. The state or condition of a church living, which is void or vacant, and it is commended to the care of some one. In, Louisiana, there is a species of partnership called a partnership in commendam. Vide Commendam.

IN CUSTODIA LEGIS. In the custody of the law. In general, when things are in custodia legis, they cannot be distrained, nor otherwise interfered with by a private person.

IN ESSE. In being. A thing in existence. It is used in opposition to enposse. A child in ventre sa mere is a thing in posse; after he is born, he is in esse. Vide 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 466; 2 Suppl. to Ves. jr. 155, 191. Vide Posse.

IN EXTREMIS. This phrase is used to denote the end of life; as, a marriage in extremis, is one made at the end of life. Vide Extremis.

IN FACIENDO. In doing, or in feasance. 2 Story, Eq. Jurisp. 1308.

IN FAVOREM LIBERTATIS. In favor of liberty.

IN FAVOREM VITAE. In favor of life.

IN FIERI. In the course of execution; a thing commenced but not completed. A record is said to be in fieri during the term of the court, and, during that time, it may be amended or altered at the sound discretion of the court. See 2 B. & Adol. 971.

IN FORMA PAUPERIS. In the character or form of a pauper. In England, in some cases, when a poor person cannot afford to pay the costs of a suit as it proceeds, he is exempted from such payment, having obtained leave to sue in forma pauperis.

IN FORO CONSCIENTIAE. Before the tribunal of conscience; conscientiously. This term is applied in opposition, to the obligations which the law enforces.

2. In the sale of property, for example, the concealment of facts by the vendee which may enhance the price, is wrong in foro conscientiae, but there is no legal obligation on the part of the vendee to disclose them, and the contract will be good if not vitiated by fraud. Poth. Vent. part 2, c. 2, n. 233; 2 Wheat. 185, note c. 20

IN FRAUDEM LEGIS. In fraud of the law. Every thing done in fraudem legis is void in law. 2 Ves. sen. 155, 156 Bouv. Inst. n. 585, 3834.

IN GREMIO LEGIS. In the bosom of the law. This is a figurative expression, by which is meant, that the subject is under the protection of the law; as, where land is in abeyance.

IN GROSS. At large; not appurtenant or appendant, but annexed to a man's per son: e. g. Common granted to a man and his heirs by deed, is common in gross; or common in gross may be claimed by prescriptive right. 2 Bl. Com. 34.

IN INVITUM. Against an unwilling party; against one who has not given his consent. See Invito domino.

IN JUDICIO. In the course of trial; a course of legal proceedings.

IN JURE. In law; according to law, rightfully. Bract. fol. 169, b.

IN LIMINE. In or at the beginning. This phrase is frequently used; as, the courts are anxious to check crimes in limine.

IN LITEM, ad litem. For a suit; to the suit. Greenl. Ev. 348.

IN LOCO PARENTIS. In the place of a parent; as, the master stands towards his apprentice in loco parentis.

IN MITIORI SENSU, construction. Formerly in actions of slander it was a rule to take the expression used in mitiori sensu, in the mildest acceptation; and ingenuity was, upon these occasions, continually exercised to devise or discover a meaning which by some remote possibility the speaker might have intended; and some ludicrous examples of this ingenuity may be found. To say of a man who was making his livelihood by buying and selling merchandise, he is a base, broken rascal, he has broken twice, and I'll make him break a third time, was gravely asserted not to be actionable - "ne poet dar porter action, car poet estre intend de burstness de belly," Latch, 114. And to call a man a thief was declared to be no slander for this reason, "perhaps the speaker might mean he had stolen a lady's heart."

2. The rule now is to construe words agreeably to the meaning usually attached to them. 1 Nott & McCord, 217; 2 Nott & McCord, 511; 8 Mass. R. 248; 1 Wash. R. 152; Kirby, R. 12; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 451; 2 Binn. 34; 3 Binn. 515.

IN MORA. In default. Vide mora, in.

IN NUBIBUS. In the clouds. This is a figurative expression to signify a state of suspension or abeyance. 1 Co. 137.

IN NULLO EST ERRATUM, pleading. A plea to errors assigned on proceedings in error, by which the defendant in error affirms there is no error in the record. As to the effect of, such plea, see 1 Vent. 252; 1 Str. 684; 9 Mass. R. 532; 1 Burr. 410; T. Ray. 231. It is a general rule that the plea in nullo est erratum confesses the fact assigned for error; Yelv. 57; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; but not a matter assigned contrary to the record. 7 Wend. 55; Bac. Ab. Error; G.

IN ODIUM SPOLIATORIS. In hatred of a despoiler. All things are presumed against a despoiler or wrong doer in odium spoliatoris omnia praesumuntur.

IN PARI CAUSA. In an equal cause. It is a rule that when two persons have equal rights in relation to a particular thing, the party in possession is considered as having the better right: in pari causa possessor potior est. Dig. 50; 17, 128; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 952.

IN PARI DELICTO. In equal fault; equal in guilt. Neither courts of law nor equity will interpose to grant relief to the parties, when an illegal agreement has been made, and both parties stand in pari delicto. The law leaves them where it finds them, according to the maxim, in pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis et possidendis. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 769.

IN PARI MATERIA. Upon the same matter or subject. Statutes in pari materia are to be construed together.

IN PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM. For the perpetual memory or remembrance of a thing. Gilb. For. Rom. 118.

IN PERSONAM, remedies. A remedy in personam, is one where the proceedings are against the person, in contradistinction to those which are against specific things, or in rem. (q. v.) 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2646.

IN POSSE. In possibility; not in actual existence; used in contradistinction to in esse.

IN PRAESENTI. At the present time; used in opposition to in futuro. A marriage contracted in words de praesenti is good; as, I take Paul to be my hushand, is a good marriage, but words de futuro would not be sufficient, unless the ceremony was followed by consummation. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 258.

IN PRINCIPIO. At the beginning this is frequently used in citations; as Bac. Ab. Legacies, in pr.

IN PROPRIA PERSONA. In his own person; himself; as the defendant appeared in propria persona; the plaintiff argued the cause in propria persona.

IN RE. In the matter; as in re A B, in the matter of A B.

IN REBUS. In things, cases or matters.

IN REM, remedies. This technical term is used to designate proceedings or actions instituted against the thing, in contradistinction to personal actions which are said to be in personam. Proceedings in rem include not only judgments of property as forfeited, or as prize in the admiralty, or the English exchequer, but also the decisions of other courts upon the personal status, or relations of the party, such as marriage, divorce, bastardy, settlement, or the like. 1 Greenl. Ev. 525, 541.

2. Courts of admiralty enforce the performance of a contract by seizing into their custody the very subject of hypothecation; for in these case's the parties are not personally bound, and the proceedings are confined to the thing in specie. Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 98; and see 2 Gall. R. 200; 3 T. R. 269, 270.

3. There are cases, however, where the remedy is either in personam or in rem. Seamen, for example, may proceed against the ship or cargo for their wages, and this is the most expeditious mode; or they may proceed against the master or owners. 4 Burr. 1944; 2 Bro. C. & A. Law, 396. Vide, generally, 1 Phil. Ev. 254; 1 Stark. Ev. 228; Dane's Ab. h. t.; Serg. Const. Law, 202, 203, 212.

IN RERUM NATURA. In the nature of things; in existence.

IN SOLIDO. A term used in the civil law, to signify that a contract is joint.

2. Obligations are in solido, first, between several creditors; secondly, between several debters. 1. When a person contracts the obligation of one and the same thing, in favor of several others, each of these is only creditor for his own share, but he may contract with each of them for the whole when such is the intention of the parties, so that each of the persons in whose favor the obligation is contracted, is creditor for the whole, but that a payment made to any one liberates the debtor against them all. This is called solidity of obligation. Poth. Obl. pt. 2, c. 3, art. 7. The common law is exactly the reverse of this, for a general obligation in favor of several persons, is a joint obligation to them all, unless the nature of the subject, or the particularity of the expression lead to a different conclusion. Evans' Poth. vol. 2, p. 56. See tit. Joint and Several; Parties to action.

3. - 2. An obligation is contracted in solido on the part of the debtors, when each of them is obliged for the whole, but so that a payment made by one liberates them all. Poth. Obli. pt. 2, c. 3, art. 7, s 1. See 9 M. R. 322; 5 L. R. 287; 2 N. S. 140; 3 L. R. 352; 4 N. S. 317; 5 L. R. 122; 12 M. R. 216; Burge on Sur. 398-420.

IN STATU QUO. In the same situation; in the same place; as, between the time of the submission and the time when the award was rendered, things remained in statu quo.

IN TERROREM. By way of threat, terror, or warning. For example, when a legacy is given to a person upo condition not to dispute the validity or the dispositions in wills and testaments, the conditions are not in general obligatory, but only in terrorem; if, therefore, there exist probabilis causa litigandi, the non-observance of the conditions will not be a forfeiture. 2 Vern. 90; 1 Hill. Ab. 253; 3 P. Wms. 344; 1 Atk. 404. But when the acquiescence of the legatee appears to be a material ingredient in the gift, the bequest is only quousque the legatee shall refrain from disturbing the will. 2 P. Wms. 52; 2 Ventr. 352. For cases of legacies given to a wife while she shall continue unmarried, see 1 Madd. R. 590; 1 Rop. Leg. 558.

IN TERROREM POPULI. To the terror of the people. An indictment for a riot is bad, unless it conclude in terrorem populi. 4 Carr. & Payne, 373.

IN TOTIDEM VERhis. In just so many words; as, the legislature has declared this to be a crime in totidem verhis.

IN TOTO. In the whole; wholly; completely; as, the award is void in toto. In the whole the part is contained: in toto et pars continetur. Dig. 50, 17, 123.

IN TRANSITU. During the transit, or removal from one place to another.

2. The transit continues until the goods have arrived at their place of destination, and nothing remains to be done to complete the delivery; or until the goods have been delivered, before reaching their place of destination, and the person entitled takes an actual or symbolical possession. Vide Stoppage in transitu; Transitus.

IN VADIO. In pledge; in gage.

IN VENTRE SA MERE. In his mother's womb.

2. - 1. In law a child is for all beneficial purposes considered as born while in ventre sa mere. 5 T. R. 49; Co. Litt. 36; 1 P. Wms. 329; Civ. Code of Lo. art. 948. But a stranger can acquire no title by descent through a child in ventre sa mere, who is not subsequently born alive. See Birth; Dead Born.

3. - 2. Such a child is enabled to have an estate limited to his use. 1. Bl. Com. 130.

4. - 3. May have a distributive share of intestate property. 1 Ves. 81.

5. - 4. Is capable of taking a devise of lands. 2 Atk. 117; 1 Freem. 224, 298.

6. - 5. Takes under a marriage settlement a provision made for children living at the death of the father. 1 Ves. 85.

7. - 6. Is capable of taking a legacy, and is entitled to a share in a fund bequeathed to children under a general description, of "children," or of "children living at the testator's death." 2 H. Bl. 399; 2 Bro. C. C. 320; S. C. 2 Ves. jr. 673; 1 Sim. & Stu. 181; 1 B. & P. 243; 5 T. R. 49. See, also, 1 Ves. sr. 85; Id. 111; 1 P. Wms. 244, 341; 2 Bro. C. C. 63; Amb. 708, 711; 1 Salk. 229; 2 P. Wms. 446; 2 Atk. 114; Pre. Ch. 50; 2 Vern. 710; 3 Ves. 486; 7 T. R. 100; 4 Ves. 322; Bac. Ab. Legacies, &c., A; 1 Rop. Leg. 52, 3; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 40.

8. - 7. May be appointed executor. Bac. Ab. Infancy, B.

9. - 8. A bill may be brought in its behalf, and the court will grant an injunction to stay waste. 2 Vern. 710 Pr. Ch. 50.

10. - 9. The mother, of a child in ventre sa mere may detain writings on its behalf. 2 Vern. 710.

11. - 10. May have a guardian assigned to it. 1 Bl. Com. 130.

12. - 11. The destruction of such a child is a high misdemeanor. 1 Bl. Com. 129, 130.

13. - 12. And the birth of a posthumous child amounts, in Pennsylvania, to the revocation of a will previously executed, so far as regards such child. 3 Binn. 498. See Coop. Just. 496. See, as to the law of Virginia on this subject, 3 Munf. 20. Vide Foetus.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF. These words, which, when conveyancing was in the Latin language, were in cujus rei testimonium, are the initial words of the concluding clause in deeds. " In witness whereof the said parties have hereunto set their hands," &c.

INADEQUATE PRICE. This term is applied to indicate the want of a sufficient consideration for a thing sold,or such a price as, under ordinary circumstances, would be considered insufficient.

2. Inadequacy of price is frequently connected with fraud, gross misrepresentations, or an intentional concealment of the defects in the thing sold. In these cases it is clear the. vendor cannot compel the buyer to fulfil the contract. 1 Lev. 111; 1 Bro. P. C. 187; 6 John. R. 110; 3 Cranch, 270; 4 Dall. R. 250; 3 Atk. 283; 1 Bro. C. C. 440.

3. In general, however, inadequacy of price is not sufficient ground to avoid a contract, particularly' when the property has been sold by auction. 7 Ves. jr. 30; 3 Bro. C. C. 228; 7 Ves. jr. 35, note. But if an uncertain consideration, as a life annuity, be given for an estate, and the contract be executory, equity, it seems, will enter into the adequacy of the consideration. 7 Bro. P. C. 184; 1 Bro. C. C. 156. Vide. 1 Yeates, R. 312; Sugd. Vend. 189 to 199; 1 B. & B. 165; 1 M'Cord's Ch. R. 383, 389, 390; 4 Desaus. R. 651. Vide Price.

INADMIISSIBLE. What cannot be received. Parol evidence, for example, is inadmissible to contradict a written agreement.

INALIENABLE. This word is applied to those things, the property of which cannot be lawfully transferred from one person to another. Public highways and rivers are of this kind; there are also many rights which are inalienable, as the rights of liberty, or of speech.

INAUGURATION. This word was applied by the Romans to the ceremony of dedicating some temple, or raising some man to the priesthood, after the augurs had been consulted. It was afterwards applied to the installation (q. v.) of the emperors, kings, and prelates, in imitation of the ceremonies of the Romans when they entered into the temple of the augurs. It is applied in the United States to the installation of the chief magistrate of the republic, and of the governors of the several states.

INCAPACITY. The want of a quality legally to do, give, transmit, or receive something.

2. It arises from nature, from the law, or from both. From nature, when the party has not his senses, as, in the case of an idiot; from the law, as, in the case of a bastard who cannot inherit from nature and the law; as, in the case of a married woman, who cannot make contracts or a will.

3. In general, the incapacity ceases with the cause which produces it. If the idiot should obtain his senses, or the married woman's hushand die, their incapacity would be at an end.

4. When a cause of action arises during the incapacity of a person having the right to sue, the act of limitation does not, in general, commence to run till the incapacity has been removed. But two incapacities cannot be joined in order to come within the statute.

INCENDIARY, crim. law. One who maliciously and wilfully sets another person's house on fire; one guilty of the crime of arson.

2. This offence is punished by the statute laws of the different states according to their several provisions. The civil law punished it with death, Dig. 47, 9, 12, 1, by the offender being cast into the fire. Id. 48, 19, 28, 12; Code, 9, 1, 11. Vide Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.

INCEPTION. The commencement; the beginning. In making a will, for example, the writing is its inception. 3 Co. 31 b; Plowd. 343. Vide Consummation; Progression.

INCEST. The carnal copulation of a man and a woman related to each other in any of the degrees within which marriage is prohibited by law. Vide Marriage. It is punished by fine and imprisonment, under the laws of the respective states., Vide 1 Smith's Laws of Pennsylv. 26; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Dig. 23, 2, 68; 6 Conn. R. 446; Penal Laws of China, B. 1, s. 2, 10; Sw. part 2 17, p. 103.

INCH. From the Latin uncia. A measure of length, containing one-twelfth part of a foot.

INCHOATE. That which is not yet completed or finished. Contracts are considered inchoate until they are executed by all the parties who ought to have executed them. For example, a covenant which purports to be tripartite, and is executed by only two of the parties, is incomplete, and no one is bound by it. 2 Halst. 142. Vide Locus paenitentiae.

INCIDENT. A thing depending upon, appertaining to, or following another, called the princinal.

2. The power of punishing for contempt is incident to a court of record; rent is incident to a reversion; distress to rent; estovers of woods to a tenancy for a life or years. 1 Inst. 151; Noy's Max. n. 13; Vin. Ab. h.. t.; Dane's Ab. h. t.; Com. Dig. h. t., and the references there; Bro. Ab. h. t.; Roll's Ab. 75.

INCIPITUR, practice. This word, which means "it is begun," signifies the commencement of the entry on the roll. on signing judgment, &c.

INCLUSIVE. Comprehended in computation. In computing time, as ten days from a particular time, one day is generally to be included and one excluded. Vide article Exclusive, and the authorities there cited.

INCOME. The gain which proceeds from property, labor, or business; it is applied particularly to individuals; the income of the government is usually called revenue.

2. It has been holden that a devise of the income of land, is in effect the same as a devise of the land itself. 9 Mass. 372; 1 Ashm. 136.

INCOMPATIBILITY. offices, rights. This term is used to show that two or more things ought not to exist at the same time in the same person; for example, a man cannot at the same time be landlord and tenant of the same land; heir and devise of the same thing; trustee and cestui que trust of the same property.

2. There are offices which are incompatible with each other by constitutional provision; the vice-president of tho United States cannot act as such when filling the office of president; Const. art. 1, s. 3, n. 5; and by the same instrument, art . 1, s. 6, n. 2, it is directed that "no senator or representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased, during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either house, during his continuance in office."

3. Provisions rendering offices incompatible are to be found in most of the, constitutions of the states, and in some of their laws. In Pennsylvania, the acts of the 12th of February, 1802, 3 Smith's Laws of Pa. 485; and 6th of March, 1812, 5 Sm. L. Pa. 309, contain various provisions, making certain offices incompatible, with each other. At common law, offices subordinate and interfering with each other have been considered incompatible; for example, a man cannot be at once a judge and prothonotary or clerk of the same court. 4 Inst. 100. Vide 4 S. & R. 277; 17 S. & R. 219; and the article Office.

INCOMPETENCY, French law. The state of a judge who cannot take cognizance of a dispute brought before him; it implies a want of jurisdiction.

2. Incompetency is material, ratione materia, or personal, ratione personae. The first takes place when a judge takes cognizance of a matter over which another judge has the sole jurisdiction, and this cannot be cured by the appearance or agreement of the parties.

3. The second is, when the matter in dispute is within the jurisdiction of the judge, but the parties in the case are not; in which case they make the judge competent, unless they make their objection before they. take defence. See Peck, 374; 17 John. 13; 12 Conn. 88; 3 Cowen, Rep. 724; 1 Penn. 195; 4 Yeates, 446. When a party has a privilege which exempts him from the jurisdiction, he may waive the privilege. 4 McCord, 79; Wright, 484; 4 Mass. 593; Pet. C. C. R. 489; 5 Cranch, 288; 1 Pet. R. 449; 4 W. C. C. R. 84; 8 Wheat. 699; Merl. R«p. mot Incompet«nce.

4. It is a maxim in the common law, aliquis non debet esse judex in propriŠ causa. Co. Litt. 141, a; see 14 Vin. Abr. 573; 4 Com. Dig. 6. The greatest delicacy, is constantly observed on the part of judges, so that they never act when there could be the possibility of doubt whether they could be free from bias, and even a distant degree of relationship has induced a judge to decline interfering. 1 Knapp's Rep. 376. The slightest degree of pecuniary interest is considered as an insuperable objection. But at common law, interest forms the only ground for challenging a judge. It is not a ground of challenge that he has given his opinion before. 4 Bin. 349; 2 Bin. 454. See 4 Mod. 226; Comb. 218; Hard. 44; Hob. 87; 2 Binn. R. 454; 13 Mass. R. 340; 5 Mass. R. 92; 6 Pick. 109; Peck, R. 374; Coxe, Rep. 190; 3 Ham. R. 289; 17 John. Rep. 133; 12 Conn. R. 88; 1 Penning R. 185; 4 Yeates, R. 466; 3 Cowen, R. 725; Salk. 396; Bac. Ab. Courts, B; and the articles Competency; Credibility; Interest; Judge; Witness.

INCOMPETENCY, evidence. The want of legal fitness, or ability in a witness to be heard as such on the trial of a cause.

2. The objections to the competency (q. v.) of a witness are four-fold. The first ground is the want of understanding; a second is defect of religious principles; a third arises from the conviction of certain crimes, or infamy of character; the fourth is on account of interest. (q. v.) 1 Phil. Ev. 15.

INCONCLUSIVE. What does not put an end to a thing. Inconclusive presumptions are those which may be overcome by opposing proof; for example, the law presumes that he who possesses personal property is the owner of it, but evidence is allowed to contradict this presumption, and show who is the true owner. 3 Bouv. Inst. in. 3063.

INCONTINENCE Impudicity, the indulgence in unlawful carnal connexions. Wolff, Dr. de la Nat. 862.

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