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M

M. When persons were convicted of manslaughter in England, they were formerly marked with this letter on the brawn of the thumb.

2. This letter is sometimes put on the face of treasury notes of the United States, and signifies that the treasury note bears interest at the rate of one mill per centum, and not one per centum interest. 13 Peters, 176.

MACE-BEARER, Eng. law. An officer attending the court of session.

MACEDONIAN DECREE, civil law. A decree of the Roman senate, which derived its name from that of a certain usurer who was the cause of its being made, in consequence of his exactions. It was intended to protect sons who lived under the paternal jurisdiction, from the unconscionable contracts which they sometimes made on the expectations after their fathers' deaths; another, and perhaps, the principle object, was to cast odium on the rapacious creditors. It declared such contracts void. Dig. 14, 6, 1; Domat, Lois, Civ. liv. 1, tit. 6, 4; Fonbl. Eq . B. 1, c. 2, 12, note. Vide Catching bargain; Post obit.

MACHINATION. The act by which some plot or conspiracy is set on foot.

MACHINE. A contrivance which serves to apply or regulate moving power; or it is a tool more or less complicated, which is used to render useful natural instruments, Clef. des Lois Rom. h. t.

2. The act of congress gives to inventors the right to obtain a patent right for any new and useful improvement on any art, machine, manufacture, &c. Act of congress, July 4, 1836, s. 6. See Pet. C. C. 394; 3 Wash. C. C. 443; 1 Wash. C. C. 108; 1 Wash. C. C. 168; 1 Mason, 447; Paine, 300; 4 Wash. C. C. 538; 1 How. U. S., 202; S. C. 17 Pet. 228; 2 McLean, 176.

MADE KNOWN. These words are used as a return to a scire facias, when it has been served on the defendant.

MAGISTER. A master, a ruler, one whose learning and position makes him su- perior to others, thus: one who has attained to a high degree, or eminence, in science and literature, is called a master; as, master of arts.

MAGISTER AD FACULTATES, Eng. eccl. law. The title of an officer who grants dispensations; as, to marry, to eat flesh on days prohibited, and the like. Bac. Ab. Eccles. Courts, A 5.

MAGISTER NAVIS. The master of a ship; a sea captain. MAGISTER SOCIETATIS, Civil law. The principal manager of the business of a society or partnership.

MAGISTRACY, mun. law. In its most enlarged signification, this term includes all officers, legislative, executive, and judicial. For example, in most of the state constitutions will be found this provision; "the powers of the government are divided into three distinct departments, and each of these is confided to a separate magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judiciary, to another." In a more confined sense, it signifies the body of officers whose duty it is to put the laws in force; as, judges, justices of the peace, and the like. In a still narrower sense it is employed to designate the body of justices of peace. It is also used for the office of a magistrate.

MAGISTRATE, mun. law. A public civil officer, invested with some part of the legislative, executive, or judicial power given by the constitution. In a narrower sense this term includes only inferior judicial officers, as justices of the peace.

2. The president of the United States is the chief magistrate of this nation; the governors are the chief magistrates of their respective states.

3. It is the duty of all magistrates to exercise the power, vested in them for the good of the people, according to law, and with zeal and fidelity. A neglect on the part of a magistrate to exercise the functions of his office, when required by law, is a misdemeanor. Vide 15 Vin. Ab. 144; Ayl. Pand. tit. 22; Dig. 30, 16, 57; Merl. Rep. h. t.; 13 Pick. R. 523

MAGNA CHARTA. The great charter. The name of an instrument granted by King John, June 19, 1215, which secured to the English people many liberties which had before been invaded, and provided against many abuses which before rendered liberty a mere name.

2. It is divided into thirty-eight chapters,: 1. To the which relate as follows, namely: freedom of the church and ecclesiastical persons. 2. To the nobility, knights' service, &c. 3. Heirs and their being in ward. 4. Guardians for heirs within age, who are to commit no waste. 5. To the land and other property of heirs, and the delivery of them up when the heirs are of age. 6. The marriage of heirs. 7. Dower of women in the lands of their husbands. 8. Sheriffs and their bailiffs. 9. To the ancient liberties of London and other cities. 10. To distress for rent. 11. The court of common pleas, which is to be located. 12. The assise on disseisin of lands. 13. Assises of darein presentments, brought by ecclesiastics. 14. The amercement of a freeman for a fault. 15. The making of bridges by towns. 16. Provisions for repairing sea banks and sewers. 17. Forbids sheriffs and coroners to hold pleas of the crown. 18. Prefers the king's debt when the debtor dies insolvent. 19. To the purveyance of the king's house. 20. To the castleguard. 21. To the manner of taking property for public use. 22. To the lands of felons, which the king is to have for a year and a day, and afterwards the lord of the fee. 23. To weirs which are to be put down in rivers. 24. To the writ of praecipe in capite for lords against tenants offering wrong, &c. 25. To measures. 26. To inquisitions of life and member, which are to be granted freely. 27. To knights' service and other ancient tenures. 28. To accusations, which must be under oath. 29. To the freedom of the subject. No freeman shall be disseised of his freehold, imprisoned and condemned, but by judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. 30. To merchant strangers, who are to be civilly treated. 31. To escheats. 32. To the power of selling land by a freeman, which is limited. 33. To patrons of abbeys, &c. 34. To the right of a woman to appeal for the death of her husband. 35. To the time of holding courts. 36. To mortmain. 37. To escuage and subsidy. 88. Confirms every article of the charter. See a copy of Magna Charta in 1 Laws of South Carolina; edited by Judge Cooper, p. 78. In the Penny Magazine for the year 1833, page 229, there is a copy of the original seal of King John, affixed to this instrument, and a specimen of a facsimile of the writing of Magna Charta, beginning at the passage, Nullus liber homo capietur vel imprisonetur, &c. A copy of both may be found in the Magazin Pittoresque, for the year 1834, p. 52, 53. Vide 4 Bl. Com. 423.

MAIDEN. The name of an instrument formerly used in Scotland for beheading criminals.

MAIL. This word, derived from the French malle, a trunk, signifies the bag, valise, or other contrivance used in conveying through the post office, letters, packets, newspapers, pamphlets, and the like, from place to place, under the authority of the United States. The things thus carried are also called the mail.

2. The laws of the United States have provided for the punishment of robberies or wilful injuries to the mail; the act of March 3, 1825, 3 Story's Laws U. S. 1985, provides-

22. That if any person shall rob any carrier of the mail of the United States, or other person entrusted, therewith, of such mail, or of part thereof, such offender or offenders shall, on conviction, be imprisoned not less than five years, nor exceeding ten years; and, if convicted a second time of a like offence, he or they shall suffer death; or if, in effecting such robbery of the mail, the first time, the offender shall wound the person having the custody thereof, or put his life in jeopardy, by the use of dangerous weapons, such offender or offenders shall suffer death. And if any person shall at- tempt to rob the mail of the United States, by assaulting the person having custody thereof, shooting at him, or his horse or mule, or, threatening him with dangerous weapons, and the robbery is not effected, every such offender, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment, not less than two years, nor exceeding ten years. And, if any person shall steal the mail, or shall steal or take from, or out of, any mail, or from, or out of, any post office, any letter or packet; or, if any person shall take the mail, or any letter or packet therefrom, or from any post office, whether with or without the consent of the person having custody thereof, and shall open, embezzle, or destroy any such; mail, letter, or packet, the same containing any articles of value, or evidence of any debt, due, demand, right, or claim, or any release, receipt, acquittance, or discharge, or any other articles, paper, or thing, mentioned and described in the twenty-first section of this act; or, if any person shall, by fraud or deception, obtain from any person having custody thereof, any mail, letter, or packet, containing any article of value, or evidence thereof, or either of the writings referred to, or next above mentioned, such offender, or offenders, on conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned not less than two, nor exceeding ten years. And if any person shall take any letter, or packet, not containing any article of value, or. evidence thereof, out of a post office, or shall open any letter or packet, which shall have been in a post office, or in custody of a mail carrier, before it shall have been de-livered to the person to whom it is directed, with a design to obstruct the correspondence, to pry into another's business or secrets; or shall secrete, embezzle, or destroy, any such mall, letter, or packet, such offender, upon conviction, shall pay, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding twelve months.

3. - 23. That, if any person shall rip, cut, tear, burn, or otherwise injure, any valise, portmanteau, or other bag used, or designed to be used, by any person acting under the authority of the postmaster general, or any person in whom his powers are vested in a conveyance of any mail, letter packet, or newspaper, or pamphlet, or shall draw or break any staple, or loosen any part of any lock, chain, or strap, attached to, or belonging to any such valise, portmanteau, or bag, with an intent to rob, or steal any mail, letter, packet, newspaper, or pamphlet, or to render either of the same insecure, every such offender, upon conviction, shall, for every such offence, pay a sum, not less than one hundred dollars, nor exceeding five hundred-dollars, or be imprisoned not leas than one year, nor exceeding three years, at the discretion of the court before whom such conviction is had.

4. - 24. That every person who, from and after the passage of this act, shall procure, and advise, or assist, in the doing or perpetration of any of the acts or crimes by this act forbidden, shall be subject to the same pen-alties and punishments as the persons are subject to, who shall actually do or perpetrate any of the said acts or crimes, according, to the provision of this act.

5.- 25. That every person who shall be imprisoned by a judgment of court, under and by virtue of the twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, or, twenty-fourth sections of this act, shall be kept at hard labor during the period of such imprisonment.

MAILE, ancient English law. A small piece of money; it also signified a rent, because the rent was paid with maile.

MAIM, pleadings. This is a technical word necessary to be introduced into all indictments for mayhem; the words "feloniously did maim," must of necessity be inserted, because no other word, or any circumlocution, will answer the same purpose. 4 Inst. 118; Hawk. B. 2, c. 23, s. 17, 18, 77; Hawk. B. 2, c. 25, s, 55; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, *244.

TO MAIM, crim. law. To deprive a person of such part of his body as to ren- der him less able in fighting or defending himself than he would have otherwise been. Vide Mayhem.

MAINE. One of the new states of the United State's of America. This state was admitted into the Union by the Act of Congress of March 3, 1820, 3 Story's L. U . S. 1761, from and after the fifteenth day of March, 1820, and is thereby declared to be one of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states in all respects whatever.

2. The constitution of this state was adopted October 29th, 1819. The powers of the government are vested in three distinct departments, the legislative, executive and judicial.

3. - 1. The legislative power is vested in two distinct branches, a house of representatives and senate, each to have a negative on the other, and both to be styled The legislature of Maine. 1. The house of representatives is to consist of not less than one hundred, nor more than two hundred members; to be apportioned among the counties according to law; to be elected by the quali-fied electors for one year from the next day preceding the annual meeting of the legislature. 2. The senate consists of not less than twenty, nor more than thirty-one members, elected at the same time, and for the same term, as the representatives, by the qualified electors of the districts into which the state shall, from time to time, be divided. Art. 4, part 2, s. 1. The veto power is given to the governor, by art. 4, part 3, s. 2.

4. - 2. The supreme executive power of the state is vested in a governor, who is elected by the qualified electors, and holds his office one year from the first Wednesday of January in each year. On the first Wednesday of January annually, seven persons, citizens of the United States, and resident within the state, are to be elected by joint ballot of the senators and representatives in convention, who are called the council. This council is to advise the governor in the executive part of government, art. 5, part 2, s. 1 and 2.

5. - 3. The judicial power of the State is distributed by the 6th article of the constitution as follows:

6. - 1. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in a supreme judicial court, and such other courts as the legislature shall, from time to time, establish.

7. - 2. The justices of the supreme judicial court shall, at stated times, receive a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office, but they shall receive no other fee or reward.

8. - 3. They shall be obliged to give their opinion upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions, when required by the governor, council, senate, or house of representatives.

9. - 4. All judicial officers; except justices of the peace, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, but not beyond the age of seventy years.

10. - 5. Justices of the peace and notaries public shall hold their offices during seven years, if they so long behave themselves well, at the expiration of which term, they may be re-appointed, or others appointed, as the public interest may require.

11. - 6. The justices of the supreme judicial court shall bold no office under the United States, nor any state, nor any other office under this state, except that of justice of the peace. For a history of the province of Maine, see 1 Story on the Const. 82.

MAINOUR, crim. law. The thing stolen found in the hands of the thief who has stolen it; hence when a man is found with property which he has stolen, he is said to be taken with the mainour, that is, it is found in his hands.

2. Formerly there was a distinction made between a larceny, when the thing stolen was found in the hands of the criminal, and when the proof depended upon other circumstances not quite so irrefragable; the former properly was termed pris ove maynovere, or ove mainer, or mainour, as it is generally written. Barr. on the Stat. 315, 316, note:

MAINPERNABLE. Capable of being bailed; one for whom bail may be taken; bailable.

MAINPERNORS, English law. Those persons to whom a man, is delivered out of custody or prison, on their becoming bound for his appearance.

2. Mainpernors differ from bail: a man's bail may imprison or surrender him up before the stipulated day of appearance; mainpernors can do neither, but are merely sureties for his appearance at the day; bail are only sureties that the party be answerable for all the special matter for which they stipulate; mainpernors are bound to produce him to answer all charges whatsoever. 3. Bl. Com. 128; vide Dane's Index, h. t.

MAINPRISE, Engl. law. The taking a man into friendly custody, who might otherwise be committed to prison, upon security given for his appearance at a time and place assigned. Wood's Inst. B. 4, c. 4.

2. Mainprise differs from bail in this, that a man's mainpernors are barely his sureties, and cannot imprison him themselves to secure his appearance, as his bail may, who are looked upon as his gaolers, to whose custody he is committed.. 6 Mod. 231; 7 Mod. 77, 85, 98; Ld. Raym. 606; Bac. Ab. Bail in Civil Cases; 4 Inst. 180. Vide Mainpernors. Writ of Mainprise; and 15 Vin. Ab. 146; 3 Bl. Com. 128.

MAINTENANCE, crimes. A malicious, or at least, officious interference in a suit in which the offender has no interest, to assist one of the parties to it against the other, with money or advice to prosecute or defend the action, without any authority of law. 1 Russ. Cr. 176.

2. But there are many acts in the nature of maintenance, which become justifiable from the circumstances under which they are done. They may be justi-fied, 1. Because the party has an interest in the thing in variance; as when he has a bare contingency in the lands in question, which possibly may never come in esse. Bac. Ab. h. t. 2. Because the party is of kindred or affinity, as father, son, or heir apparent, or husband or wife. 3. Because the relation of landlord and tenant or master and servant subsists between the party to the suit and the person who assists him. 4. Because the money is given out of charity. 1 Bailey, S. C. Rep. 401. 5. Because the person assisting the party to the suit is an attorney or counsellor: the assistance to be rendered must, however, be strictly professional, for a lawyer is not more justified in giving his client money than another man. 1 Russ. Cr. 179. Bac. Ab Mainte-nance: Bro. Maintenance. This offence is punishable by fine and imprisonment. 4 Black Com. 124; 2 Swift's Dig. 328; Bac. Ab. h. t. Vide 3 Hawks, 86; 1 Greenl. 292; 11 Mass. 553 , 6 Mass. 421; 5 Pick. 359; 5 Monr. 413; 6 Cowen, 431; 4 Wend. 806; 14 John. R. 124; 3 Cowen, 647; 3 John. Ch. R. 508 7 D. & R. 846; 5 B. & C. 188.

MAINTENANCE, quasi contracts. The support which one person, who is bound by law to do so, gives to another for his living; for example, a father is bound to find maintenance for his children; and a child is required by law to main-tain his father or mother when they cannot support themselves, and he has ability to maintain them. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 284-6.

MAINTAINED, pleadings. This is a technical word, indispensable in an indict- ment for maintenance, which no other word or circumlocution will supply. 1 Wils. 325.

MAINTAINORS, criminal law. Those who maintain or support a cause depending between others, not being retained as counsel or attorney. For this they may be fined and imprisoned. 2 Swift's Dig. 328; 4 Bl. Com. 124; Bac. Ab. Barrator.

MAISON DE DIEU. House of God. In England the term, borrowed from the French, signified formerly a hospital, an almshouse, a monastery. 39 Eliz. c. 5.

MAJESTY. Properly speaking, this term can be applied only to God, for it signifies that which surpasses all things in grandeur and superiority. But it is used to kings and emperors, as a title of honor. It sometimes means power, as when we say, the majesty of the people. See, Wolff, 998.

MAJOR, persons. One who has attained his full age, and has acquired all his civil rights; one who is no longer a minor; an adult.

MAJOR. Military language. The lowest of the staff officers; a degree higher than captain.

MAJOR GENERAL. A military officer, commanding a division or number of regi- ments; the next in rank below a lieutenant general.

MAJORES. The male ascendant beyond the sixth degree were so called among the Romaus, and the term is still used in making genealogical tables.

MAJORITY, persons. The state or condition of a person who has arrived at full age. He is then said to be a major, in opposition to minor, which is his condition during infancy.

MAJORITY, government. The greater number of the voters; though in another sense, it means the greater number of votes given in which sense it is a mere plurality. (q. v.)

2. In every well regulated society, the majority has always claimed and exercised the right to govern the whole society, in the manner pointed out by the fundamental laws and the minority are bound, whether they have assented or not, for the obvious reason that opposite wills cannot prevail at the same time, in the same society, on the same subject. 1 Tuck. Bl. Com. App. 168, 172; 9 Dane's Ab. 37 to 43; 1 Story, Const. 330.

3. As to the rights of the majority of part owners of vessels, vide 3 Kent, Com. 114 et seq. As to the majority of a church, vide 16 Mass. 488.

4. In the absence of all stipulations, the general rule in partnerships is, that each partner has an equal voice, and a majority acting bonafide, have the right to manage the partnership concerns, and dispose of the partnership property, notwithstanding the dissent of the minority; but in every case when the minority have a right to give an opinion, they ought to be notified. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1954.

5. As to the majorities of companies or corporations, see Angel, Corp. 48, et seq.; 3 M. R. 495. Vide, generally, Rutherf. Inst. 249; 9 Serg. & Rawle, 99; Bro. Corporation, pl. 63; 15 Vin. Abr. 183, 184; and the article Authority; Plurality; Quorum.

TO MAKE. English law. To perform or execute; as to make his law, is to per- form that law which a man had bound himself to do; that is, to clear himself of an action commenced against him, by his oath, and the oaths of his neighbors. Old Nat. Br. 161. To make default, is to fail to appear in proper time. To make oath, is to swear according to the form prescribed by law.

MAKER. This term is applied to one who makes a promissory note and promises to pay it when due. He who makes a bill of exchange is called the drawer, and frequently in common parlance and in books of Reports we find the word drawer inaccurately applied to the maker of a promissory note. See Promissory note.

MAKING HIS LAW. A phrase used to denote the act of a person who wages his law. Bac. Ab. Wager of law, in pr.

MALA FIDES. Bad faith. It is opposed to bona fides, good faith.

MALA PRAXIS, crim. law. A Latin expression, to signify bad or unskilful practice in a physician or other professional person, as a midwife, whereby the health of the patient is injured.

2. This offence is a misdemeanor (whether it be occasioned by curiosity and experiment or neglect) because, it breaks the trust which the patient has put in the physician, and tends directly to his destruction. 1 Lord Raym. 213. See forms of indictment for mala praxis, 3 Chitty Crim. Law, 863; 4 Wentw. 360; Vet. Int. 231; Trem. P. C. 242. Vide also, 2 Russ. on Cr. 288; 1 Chit. Pr. 43; Com. Dig. Physician; Vin. Ab. Physician.

3. There are three kinds of mal practice. 1. Wilful mal practice, which takes place when the physician purposely administers medicines or performs an operation which he knows and expects will result in danger or death to the individual under his care; as, in the case of criminal abortion.

4. - 2. Negligent mal practice, which comprehends those cases where there is no criminal or dishonest object, but gross negligence of that attention which the situation of the patient requires: as if a physician should administer medicines while in a state of intoxication, from which injury would arise to his patient.

5. - 3. Ignorant mal practice, which is the administration of medicines, calculated to do injury, which do harm, and which a well educated and scientific medical man would know were not proper in the case. Besides the public remedy for mal practice, in many cases the party injured may bring a civil action. 5 Day's R. 260; 9 Conn. 209. See M. & Rob. 107; 1 Saund. 312, n. 2; l Ld. Raym. 213; 1 Briand, Med. Leg. 50; 8 Watts, 355; 9 Conn. 209.

MALA PROHIBITA. Those things which are prohibited by law, and therefore unlawful.

2. A distinction was formerly made in respect of contracts, between mala prohibita and mala in se; but that distinction has been exploded, and, it is now established that when the provisions of an act of the legislature have for their object the protection of the public, it makes no difference with respect to contracts, whether the thing be prohibited alsolutely or under a penalty. 5 B. & A 5, 340; 10 B. & C. 98; 3 Stark. 61; 13 Pick. 518; 2 Bing. N. C. 636, 646.

MALE. Of the masculine sex; of the sex that begets young; the sex opposed to the female. Vide Gender; Man; Sex; Worthiest of blood.

MALEDICTION, Eccles. law. A curse which was anciently annexed to donations of lands made to churches and religious houses, against those who should violate their rights.

MALEFACTOR. He who bas been guilty of some crime; in another sense, one who has been convicted of having committed a crime.

MALEFICIUM, civil law. Waste, damage, torts, injury. Dig. 5, 18, 1.

MALFEASANCE, contracts, torts. The unjust performance of some act which the party had no right, or which he had contracted not to do. It differs from mis- feasance, (q. v.) and nonfeasance. (q. v.) Vide 1 Chit. Pr. 9; 1 Chit. Pl. 134.

 
 
 
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