New York Lawyer WS
New York Layer, law dictionary, legal dictionary, dictionary online, word search, lawyer search, law and order, attorney, law school    

MASSACHUSETTS. One of the original states of the United States of America. The colony or province of Massachusetts was included in a charter granted by James the First, by which its territories were extended in breadth from the 40th to the 48th degree of north latitude, and in length by all the breadth aforesaid throughout the mainland from sea to sea. This charter continued until 1684. Holmes' Annals, 412; 1 Story, Const. 71. In 1691 William and Mary granted a new charter to the colony, and henceforth it became known as a province, and continued to act under this charter till after the Revolution. 1 Story, Const. 71.

2. The constitution of Massachusetts was adopted by a convention begun and held at Cambridge, on the first of September, 1779, and continued, by adjournment, to the second of March, 1780.

3. The style and name of the state is The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The government is distributed into a legislative, executive and judicial power.

4. - 1st. The department of legislation is formed by two branches, a senate and house of representatives, each of which has a negative on the other, and both are styled The General Court of Massachusetts. Part 2, c. 1, s. 1.

5. - 1. The senate is elected by the qualified electors, and is composed of forty persons to be counsellors and senators for the year ensuing their election. Part 2, c. 1, s. 2, art. 1.

6. - 2. The House of representatives is composed of an indefinite number of persons elected by the towns in proportion to their population. Part 2, c. 1, s. 3, art. 2.

7. - 2d. The executive power is vested in a governor, lieutenant governor and council.

8. - 1. The supreme executive magistrate is styled The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is elected yearly by the qualified electors. Part 2, c. 2, s. 1. He is invested with the veto power. Part 2, c. 1, s. 1, art. 2.

9. - 2. The electors are required to elect annually a lieutenant governer. When the office of governor happens to be vacant he acts as governor, and at other times he is a member of the council. Part 2, c. 2, s. 2, art. 2 and 3.

10. - 3. The council consists of nine persons chosen annually by the general court; they mast be taken from those returned for counsellors and senators, unless they will not accept the said office, when they shall be chosen from the people at large. The council shall advise the governor in the executive part of the government. Part 2, c. 2, s. 3, art. 1 and 2.

11. - 3d. The judicial power. The third chapter of part second of the constitution makes the following provisions in relation to the judiciary:
Art. 1. The tenure that all commissioned officers shall, by law, have in their office, shall be expressed in their respective commissions; all judicial officers, duly appointed, commissioned, and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behaviour; excepting such concerning whom there is different provision made in this constitution; Provided, nevertheless, the governor, with consent of the council, may remove them upon the address of both houses of the legislature.

12. - 2. Each branch of the legislature, as well as the governor and council, shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme judicial court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.

13. - 3. In order that the people may not suffer from the long continuance in place of any justice of the peace, who shall fail of discharging the important duties of his office with ability or fidelity, all commissions of jus-tices of the peace shall expire and become void in the term of seven years from their respective dates; and upon the expiration of any commission, the same may, if necessary, be renewed, or another person appointed, as shall most conduce to the well-being of the commonwealth.

14. - 4. The judges of probates of wills, and for granting letters of administration, shall hold their courts at such place or places, on fixed days, as the convenience of the people may require; and the legislature shall, from time to time hereafter, appoint such times and places: until which appointments, the said courts shall be holden at the times and places which the respective judges shall direct.

15. - 5. All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the judges of probate, shall be heard and determined by the governor and council, until the legislature shall, by law, make other provision.

MASTER. This word has several meanings. 1. Master is one who has control over a servant or apprentice. A master stands in relation to his apprentices, in loco parentis, and is bound to fulfil that relation, which the law generally enforces. He is also entitled to be obeyed by his apprentices, as if they were his children. Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.

2. - 2. Master is one who is employed in teaching children, known generally as a schoolmaster; as to his powers, see Correction.

3. - 3. Master is the name of an officer: as, the ship Benjamin Franklin, whereof A B is master; the master of the rolls; master in chancery, &c.

4. - 4. By master is also understood a principal who employs another to perform some act or do something for him. The law having adopted the maxim of the civil law, qui facit per alium facit per se; the agent is but an instrument, and the master is civilly responsible for the act of his agent, as if it were his own, when he either commands him to do an act, or puts him in a condition, of which such act is a result, or by the absence of due care and control, either previously in the choice of his agent, or immediately in the act itself, negligently suffers him to do an injury. Story, Ag. 454, note; Noy's Max. c. 44; Salk. 282; 1 East. R. 106; 1 Bos. & Pul. 404; 2 H. Bl. 267; 5 Barn. & Cr. 547; 2 Taunt. R. 314; 4 Taunt. R. 649; Mass. 364, 385; 17 Mass. 479, 509; 1 Pick. 47 5; 4 Watts, 222; 2 Harr. & Gill, 316; 6 Cowen, 189; 8 Pick. 23; 5 Munf. 483. Vide Agent; Agency; Driver; Servant.

MASTER AT COMMON LAW, Engl. law. An officer of the superior courts of law, who has authority for taking affidavits sworn in court, and administering a variety of oaths; and also empowered to compute principal and interest on bills of exchange and other engagements, on which suit has been brought; he has also the power of an examiner of witnesses going abroad, and the like.

MASTER IN CHANCERY. An officer of the court of chancery.

2. The origin of these officers is thus accounted for. The chancellor from the first found it necessary to have a number of clerks, were it for no other purpose, than to perform the mechanical part of the business, the writing; these soon rose to the number of twelve. In process of time this number being found insufficient, these clerks contrived to have other clerks under them, and then, the original clerks became distinguished by the name of masters in chancery. He is an assistant to the chancellor, who refers to him interlocu-tory orders for stating accounts, computing damages, and the like. Masters in chancery are also invested with other powers, by local regulations. Vide Blake's Ch. Pr. 26; 1 Madd. Pr. 8 1 Smith's Ch. Pr. 9, 19.

3. In England there are two kinds of masters in chancery, the ordinary, and the extraordinary..

4. - 1. The masters in ordinary execute the orders of the court, upon ref-erences made to them, and certify in writing in what manner they have executed such orders. 1 Sm. Ch. Pr. 9.

5. - 2. The masters extraordinary perform the duty of taking affidavits touching any matter in or relating to the court of chancery, taking the acknowledgment of deeds to be enrolled in the said court, and taking such recognizances, as may by the tenor of the order for entering them, be taken before a master extraordinary. 1 Sm. Ch. Pr. 19. Vide, generally, 1 Harg. Law Tr. 203, a Treatise of the Maister of the Chauncerie.

MASTER OF THE ROLLS. Eng. law. An officer who bears this title, and who acts as an assistant to the lord chancellor, in the court of chancery.

2. This officer was formerly one of the clerks in chancery whose duty was principally confined to keeping the rolls; and when the clerks in chancery became masters, then this officer became distinguished as master of the rolls. Vide Master in Chancery.

MASTER OF A SHIP, mar. law. The commander or first officer of a ship; a captain. (q. v.)

2. His rights and duties have been considered under the article Captain. Vide also, 2 Bro. Civ. Adm. Law, 133; 3 Kent, Com. 121; Wesk. Ins. 360; Park. on Ins. Index, h. t.; Com. Dig. Navigation, I 4.

MATE. The second officer on board of a merchant ship or vessel.

2. He has the right to sue in the admiralty as a common mariner for wages. 1. Pet. Adm. Dee. 246.

3. When, on the death of the master, the mate assumes the command, he succeeds to the rights and duties of the principal officer. 1 Sumn. 157; 3 Mason, 161; 4 Mason, 196; See 7 Conn. 239; 4 Mason, 641 4 Wash. C. C. 838.

MATER FAMILIAS, civil law. The mother of a family, and, by extension, the mistress of a family.

MATERIAL MEN. This name is given to persons who furnish materials for the purpose of constructing or erecting ships, houses, and other buildings.

2. By the common law material men have a lien on a foreign ship for supplies of materials furnished for such ship, which may be recovered in the admiralty. 9 Wheat. 409. But they have no lien for furnishing materials for repairs of domestic ships. Wheat. 438.

3. In several of the states, laws have been enacted giving material men a lien on houses and other buildings when they have furnished materials for constructing the same.

MATERIALITY. That which is important; that which is not merely of form but of substance.

2. When a bill for discovery has been filed, for example, the defendant must answer every material fact which is charged in the bill, and the test in these cases seems to be that when, if the defendant should answer in the affirmative, his answer would be of use to the plaintiff, the answer would be mate-rial, and it must be made. 4 Price, R. 364; 13 Price, R. 291; 2 Y. & J. 385.

3. In order to convict a witness of a perjury, it is requisite to prove that the matter he swore to was material to the question then depending. Vide 3 Chit. Pr. 233; 3 Dowl. 104; 10 Bing. 340; Perjury.

MATERIALS. Everything of which anything is made.

2. When materials are furnished to a workman he is bound to use them according to his contract, as a tailor is bound to employ the cloth I furnish him with, to make me a coat that shall fit me, for if he so make it that I cannot wear it, it is not a proper employment of the materials. But if the undertaker use ordinary skill and care, he will not be responsible, although the mate-rials may be injured; as, if a gem be delivered to a jeweler, and it is broken without any unskilfulness, negligence or rashness of the artisan, he will not be liable. Poth. Louage, n. 428.

3. The workman is to use ordinary diligence in the care of the materials entrusted with him, or to exercise that caution which a prudent man takes of his own affairs, and he is also bound to preserve them from any unexpected danger to which they may be exposed. 1 Gow. R. 30; 1 Camp. 138.

4. When there is no special contract between the parties, and the materials perish while in the possession of the workman or undertaker, without his default, either by inevitable casualty, by internal defect, by superior force, by robbery or by any peril not guarded against by ordinary diligence, he is not responsible. This is the case only when the material belongs to the em-ployer and the workman only undertakes to put his work upon it. But a distinction must be observed in the case when the employer has engaged a workman to make him an article out of his own materials, for in that case the employer has no property in it, until the work be completed, and the article be deli-vered to him; if, in the mean time, the thing perishes, it is the loss of the workman, who is wholly its owner, according to the maxim res perit domino. In the former case the employer is the owner; in the latter the workman; in the first case it is a bailment, in the second a sale of the thing in futuro. Domat. B. 1, t. 4, 7, n. 3; Id. B. 1, t. 4, 8, n. 10.

5. Another distinction must be made in the case when the thing given by the employer was to become the property of the workman, and an article was to be made out of similar materials, and before its completion it perished. In this case the title to the thing having passed to the workman, the loss must be his. 1 Blackf. 353; 7 Cowen, 752, 756, note; 21 Wend. 85; 3 Mason, 478; Dig. 19, 2, 31; 1 Bouv. Inst. 1006-7.

6. In some of the states by their laws persons who furnish materials for the construction of a building, have a lien against such building for the payment of the value of such materials. See Lien of Mechanics.

MATERNA MATERNIS. This expression is used in the French law to signify that in a succession the property coming from the mother of a deceased person, descends to his maternal relations.

MATERNAL. That which belongs to, or comes from the mother: as, maternal authority, maternal relation, maternal estate, maternal line. Vide Line.

MATERNAL PROPERTY. That which comes from the mother of the party, and other ascendants of the maternal stock. Domat, Liv. Prel. tit. 3, s. 2, n. 12. MATERNITY. The state or condition of a mother.

2. It is either legitimate or natural. The former is the condition of the mother who has given birth to legitimate children, while the latter is the condition of her who has given birth to illegitimate children. Maternity is always certain, while the paternity (q. v.) is only presumed.

MATERTERA. Maternal aunt; the sister of one's mother. Inst. 3, 4, 3; Dig. 38, 10, 10, 14.

MATHEMATICAL EVIDENCE. That evidence which is established by a demonstration. It is used in contradistinction to moral evidence. (q. v.)

MATRICULA, civil law. A register in which are inscribed the names of persons who become members of an association or society. Dig. 50, 3, 1. In the ancient church there was matricula clericorum, which was a catalogue of the officiating clergy; and matricula pauperum, a list of the poor to be relieved; hence to be entered in the university is to be matriculated.

MATRIMONIAL CAUSES. In the English ecclesiastical courts there are five kinds of causes which are classed under this head. 1. Causes for a malicious jactitation. 2. Suits for nullity of marriage, on account of fraud, incest, or other bar to the marriage. 2 Hagg. Cons. Rep. 423. 3. Suits for restitution of conjugal rights. 4. Suits for divorces on account of cruelty or adultery, or causes which have arisen since the marriage. 5. Suits for alimony.

MATRIMONIUM. By this word is understood the inheritance descending to a man, ex parti matris. It is but little used.

2. Among the Romans this word was employed to signify marriage; and it was so called because this conjunction was made with the design that the wife should become a mother. Inst. 1, 9, 1.

MATRIMONY. See Marriage.

MATRINA. A godmother.

MATRON. A married woman, generally an elderly married woman.

2. By the laws of England, when a widow feigns herself with child, in order to exclude the next heir, and a supposititious birth is expected, then, upon the writ de ventre inspiciendo, a jury of women is to be, impanneled to try the question, whether with child or not. Cro, Eliz. 566. So when a woman was sentenced to death, and she declared herself to be quick with child, a jury of matrons is impanneled to try whether she be or be not with child. 4 Bl. Com. 395. See Pregnancy; Quick with child.

MATTER. Some substantial or essential thing, opposed to form; facts.

MATTER IN PAYS. Literally, matter in the country; matter of fact, as distinguished from matter of law, or matter of record. Steph. Pl. 197. Vide Country.

MATTER IN DEED. Matter in deed is such matter as may be proved or established by a deed or specialty. In another sense it signifies matter of fact, in contradistinction to matter of law. Co. Litt. 320; Steph. Pl. 197.

MATTER OF FACT, pleading. Matter which goes in denial of a declaration, and Dot in avoidance of it. Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c. G 3; Hob. 127.

MATTER OF LAW, pleading. That which goes in avoidance of a declaration or other pleading, on the ground that the law does not authorize them. It does not deny the matter or fact contained in such pleading, but admitting them avoids them. Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c. G 3. Matter of law, is that which is referred to the decision of the court; matter of fact that which is submitted to the jury.

MATTER OF RECORD. Those facts which may be proved by the production of a record. It differs from matter in deed, which consists of facts which may be proved by specialty. Vide Estoppel.

MATTER, IMPERTINENT, Equity pleading. That which is altogether irrelevant to the case, that does not appertain or belong to it; id est, qui ad rem non pertinet. 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4163 . See Impertinent.

MATTER, SCANDALOUS, equity pleading. A false and malicious statement of facts, not relevant to the cause. But nothing which is positively relevant, however harsh or gross the charge may be, can be considered scandalous. 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4163.

2. A bill cannot by the general practice, be referred for impertinence after the defendant has answered, or submitted to answer, but it may be referred for scandal at any time, and even upon the application of a stranger to the suit, for he has the right to prevent the records of the court from being made the vehicle of spreading slanders against himself. Id. n. 41f 64.

MATURITY. The time when a bill or note becomes due. In order to bind the endorsers such note or bill must be protested, when not paid, on the last day of grace. See Days of grace.

Copyright © 2004 New-York-Lawyer .WS