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MEAN. This word is sometimes used for mesne. (q. v.)

MEASON-DUE. A corruption of Maison de Dieu. (q. v.)

MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to Iiis agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power. In order to accomplish this it is frequently required to settle accounts, adjust disputed claims, resist those which are unjust, and answer and defend suits; these subordinate powers are sometimes called mediate powers. Story, Ag. 58. See Primary powers, and 1 Camp. R. 43, note 4 Camp. R. 163; 6 S. & R. 149.

MEDIATION. The act of some mutual friend of two contending parties, who brings them to agree, compromise or settle their disputes. Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. 2, eh. 18, 328.

MEDIATOR. One who interposes between two contending parties, with their consent, for the purpose of assisting them in settling their differences. Sometimes this term is applied to an officer who is appointed by a sovereign nation to promote the settlement of disputes between two other nations. Vide Minister; Mediator.

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE. That science which applies the principles and practice of the different branches of medicine to the elucidation of doubtful questions in courts of justice. By some authors, it is used in a more extensive sense and also comprehends Medical Police, or those medical precepts which may prove useful to the legislature or the magistracy. Some authors, instead of using the phrase medical jurisprudence, employ, to convey the same idea, those of legal medicine, forensic medicine, or, as the Germans have it, state medicine.

2. The best American writers on this subject are Doctors T. R. Beck and J. B. Beck, Elements of Medical Jurisprudence; Doctor Thomas Cooper; Doctor James S. Stringham, who was the first individual to deliver a course of lectures on medical jurisprudence, in this country; Doctor Charles Caldwell. Among the British writers may be enumerated Doctor John Gordon Smith; Doctor Male; Doctor Paris and Mr. Fonblanque, who published a joint work; Mr. Chitty, and Dr. Ryan. The French writers are numerous; Briand, Biessy, Esquirol, Georget, Falret, Trebuchet, Mare, and others, have written treatises or published papers on this subject; the learned Fodere published a work entitled "Les Lois eclairees par les sciences physiques ou Traite de Medecine Legale et d'hygiene publique;" the "Annale d'hygiene et de Medecine Legale," is one of the most valued works on this subject. Among the Germans may be found Rose's Manual on Medico Legal Dissection; Metzger's Principles of Legal Medicine, and others. The reader is referred for a list of authors and their works on Medical Jurisprudence, to Dupin, Profession d'Avocat, tom. ii., p. 343, art. 1617 to 1636, bis. For a history of the rise and progress of Medical Jurisprudence, see Traill, Med. Jur. 13.

MEDICINE CHEST. A box containing an assortment of medicines.

2. The act of congress for the government and regulation of seamen in the merchant service, sect. 8, 1 Story's L. U. S. 106, directs that every ship or vessel, belonging to a citizen or citizens of the United States, of the burthen of one hundred and fifty tons or upwards, navigated by ten or more persons in the whole, and bound on a voyage without the limits of the United States, shall be provided with a chest of medicines, put up by some apothecary of known reputation, and accompanied by directions for administering the same; and the said medicines shall be examined by the same or some other apothecary, once, at least, in every year, and supplied with fresh medicines in the place of such as shall have been used or spoiled; and in default of having such medicine chest so provided, and kept fit for use, the master or commander of such ship or vessel shall provide and pay for all such advice, medicine, or attendance of physicians, as any of the crew shall stand in need of in case of sickness, at every port or place where the ship or vessel may touch or trade at during the voyage, without any deduction from the wages of such sick seaman or mariner.

3. And by the act to amend the above mentioned act, approved March 2, 1805, 2 Story's Laws U. S. 971, it is provided that all the provisions, regulations, and penalties, which are contained in the eighth section of the act, entitled "An act for the, government and regulation of seamen in the merchants' service," so far as relates to a chest of medicines to be provided for vessels of one hundred and fifty tons burthen and upwards, shall be extended to all merchant vessels of the burthen of seventy-five tons or upwards, navigated with six persons, or more, in the whole, and bound from the United States to any port or ports in the West Indies.

MEDIETAS LINGUAE. Half tongue. This expression was used to signify that a jury for the trial of a foreigner or alien for a crime, was to be composed one half of natives and the other of foreigners. The jury de medietate linguae is used in but a few if any of the United States. Dane's Ab. vol. 6, c. 182, a, 4, n. 1. Vide 2 Johns. R. 381; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 525; Bac. Ab. Juries, E 8.

MELANCHOLIA, med. jur. A name given by the ancients to a species of par- tial intellectual mania, now more generally known by the name of monomania. (q. v.) It bore this name because it was supposed to be always attended by dejection of mind and gloomy ideas. Vide Mania.,

MELIORATIONS, Scotch law. Improvements of an estate, other than mere repairs; betterments. (q. v.) 1 Bell's Com. 73.

MELIUS INQUIRENDUM VEL INQUIRENDO. English practice. A writ which in certain cases issues after an imperfect inquisition returned on a capias utlugatum in outlawry. This melius inquirendum commands the sheriff to summon another inquest in order that the value, &c., of lands, &c., may be better or more cor- rectly ascertained. Its use is rare.

MEMBER. This word has various significations: 1. The limits of the body use- ful in self-defence. Membrum est pars corporis habens destinatum operationem in corpore. Co. Litt. 126 a. See Limbs.

2. - 2. An individual who belongs to a firm, partnership, company or corporation. Vide Corporation; Partnership.

3. - 3. One who belongs to a legislative body, or other branch of the government; as, a member of the house of representatives; a member of the court.

MEMBER OF CONGRESS. A member of the senate or house of representatives of the United States.

2. During the session of congress they are privileged from arrest, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace; they receive a compensation of eight dollars per day while in session, besides mileage. (q. v.)

3. They are authorized to frank letters and receive them free of postage for sixty days before, during, and for sixty days after the session.

4. They are prohibited from entering into any contracts with the United States, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part for themselves and others, under the penalty of three thousand dollars. Act of April 21, 1808, 2 Story's L. U. S. 1091. Vide Congress; Frank.

MEMBERS, English law. Places where a custom-house has been kept of old time, with officers or deputies in attendance; and they are lawful places of exportation or importation. 1 Chit. Com. L. 726.

MEMORANDUM. Literally, to be remembered. It is an informal instrument recording some fact or agreement, so called from its beginning, when it was made in Latin. It is sometimes commenced with this word, though written in English; as "Memorandum, that it is agreed," or it is headed with the words, "Be it remembered that," &c. The term memorandum is also applied to the clause of an instrument.

MEMORANDUM, insurance. A clause in a policy limiting the liability of the insurer. Its usual form is as follows, namely, "N. B. Corn, fish, salt, fruit, flour and seed, are warranted free from average, unless general, or the ship be stranded: sugar, tobacco, hemp, flax, hides and skins, are warranted free from average, under five percent; and all other goods, also the ship and freight, are warranted free from average, under three percent unless general, or the ship be stranded." Marsh. Ins.223; 5 N. S. 293; Id. 540; 4 N. S. 640; 2 L. R. 433; Id. 435.

MEMORANDUM OR NOTE. These words are use in the 4th section of the statute 29 Charles II., c. 3, commonly called the statute of frauds and perjuries, which enact, that "no action shall be brought whereby to charge any person upon any agreement made upon consideration of marriage, or upon any contract or sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or any interest in or concerning them, unless the agreement upon which such action shall he brought, or some memorandum or note thereof, Shall be in writing," &c.

2. Many cases have arisen out of the words of this part of the statute; the general rule seems to be that the contract must be stated with reasonable certainty in the memorandum or note so that it can be understood from the writing itself, without having recourse to parol proof. 3 John., R. 399; 2 Kent, Com. 402; Cruise, Dig. t. 32, c. 3, s. 18. See 1 N. R. 252; 3 Taunt. 169; 15 East, 103; 2 M. & R. 222; 8 M. & W. 834 6 M. & W. 109.

MEMORANDUM CHECK. It is not unusual among merchants, when one makes a tem- porary loan from another, to give the lender a check on a bank, with the express or implied agreement that it shall be redeemed by the maker himself, and that it shall not be presented at the bank for payment. If passed to a third person, it will be valid in his hands, like any other check. 11 Paige, R. 612.

MEMORIAL. A petition or representation made by one or more individuals to a legislative or other body. When such instrument is addressed to a court, it is called a petition.

MEMORY. Understanding; a capacity to make contracts, a will, or to commit a crime, so far as intention is necessary.

2. Memory is sometimes employed to express the capacity of the understanding, and sometimes its power; when we speak of a retentive memory, we use it in the former sense; when of a ready memory, in the latter. Shelf. on Lun. Intr. 29, 30.

3. Memory, in another sense, is the reputation, good or bad, which a man leaves at his death. This memory, when good, is highly prized by the relations of the deceased, and it is therefore libelous to throw a shade over the memory of the dead, when the writing has a tendency to create a breach of the peace, by inciting the friends and relations of the deceased to avenge the insult offered to the family. 4 T. R. 126; 5 Co. R. 125; Hawk. b. 1, c. 73, s. 1.

MEMORY, TIME OF. According to the English common law, which has been altered by 2 & 3 Wm. IV., c. 71, the time of memory commenced from the reign of Richard the First, A. D. 1189. 2 Bl. Com. 31.

2. But proof of a regular usage for twenty years, not explained or contradicted, is evidence upon which many public and private rights are held, and sufficient for a jury in finding the existence of an immemorial custom or prescription. 2 Saund. 175, a, d; Peake's Ev. 336; 2 Price's R. 450; 4 Price's R. 198.

MENACE. A threat; a declaration of an intention to cause evil to happen to another.

2. When menaces to do an injury to another have been made, the party making them may, in general, be held to bail to keep the peace; and, when followed by any inconvenience or loss, the injured party has a civil action against the wrong doer. Com. Dig. Battery, D; Vin. Ab. h. t.; Bac. Ab. Assault; Co. Litt. 161 a, 162 b, 253 b; 2 Lutw. 1428. Vide Threat.

MENIAL. This term is applied to servants who live under their master's roof Vide stat. 2 H. IV., c. 21.

MENSA. This comprehends all goods and necessaries for livelihood. Obsolete.

MENSA ET THORO. The phrase a mensa et thoro is applied to a divorce which separates the husband and wife but does not dissolve the marriage. Vide Divorce.

MERCHANDISE. By this term is understood all those things which merchants sell either wholesale or retail, as dry goods, hardware, groceries, drugs, &c. It is usually applied to personal chattels only, and to those which are not required for food or immediate support, but such as remain after having been used or which are used only by a slow consumption. Vide Pardess. n. 8; Dig. 13, 3, 1; Id. 19, 4, 1; Id. 50, 16, 66. 8 Pet. 277; 2 Story, R. 16, 53, 54; 6 Wend. 335.

MERCHANT. One whose business it is to buy and sell merchandise; this applies to all persons who habitually trade in merchandise. 1 Watts & S. 469; 2 Salk. 445.

2. In another sense, it signifies a person who owns ships, and trades, by means of them, with foreign nations, or with the different States of the United States; these are known by the name of shipping merchants. Com. Dig. Merchant, A; Dyer, R. 279 b; Bac. Ab. h. t.

3. According to an old authority, there are four species of merchants, namely, merchant adventurers, merchant dormant, merchant travellers, and merchant residents. 2 Brownl. 99. Vide, generally, 9 Salk. R. 445; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Com. Dig. h. t.; 1 Bl. Com. 75, 260; 1 Pard. Dr. Com. n. 78

MERCHANTMAN. A ship or vessel employed in a merchant's service. This term is used in opposition to a ship of war.

MERCHANTS' ACCOUNTS. In the statute of limitations, 21 Jac. 1. c. 16, there is an exception which has been copied in the acts of the legislatures of a number of the States, that its provisions shall not apply to such accounts as concern trade and merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors or servants.

2. This exception, it has been holden, applies to actions of assumpsit as well as to actions of account. 5 Cranch, 15. But to bring a case within the exception, there must be an account, and that account open and current, and it must concern trade. 12 Pet. 300. See 6 Pet. 151; 5 Mason, R. 505; Bac. Ab. Limitation of Actions, E 3; and article Limitation.

MERCY, Practice. To be in mercy, signifies to be liable to punishment at the discretion of the judge.

MERCY, crim. law. The total or partial remission of a punishment to which a convict is subject. When the whole punishment is remitted, it is called a pardon; (q. v.) when only a part of the punishment is remitted, it is frequently a conditional pardon; or before sentence, it is called clemency or mercy. Vide Rutherf. Inst. 224; 1 Kent, Com. 265; 3 Story, Const. 1488.

MERE. This is the French word for mother. It is frequently used as, in ventre sa mere, which signifies; a child unborn, or in the womb.

MERGER. Where a greater and lesser thing meet, and the latter loses its separate existence and sinks into the former. It is applied to estates, rights, crimes, and torts.

MERGER, estates. When a greater estate and less coincide and meet in one and the same person, without any intermediate estate, the less is immediately merged, that is, sunk or drowned in the latter; example, if there be a tenant for years, and the reversion in fee simple descends to, or is purchased by him, the term of years is merged in the inheritance, and no longer exists; but they must be to one and the same person, at one and the same time, in one and the same right. 2 BL Com. 177; 3 Mass. Rep. 172; Latch, 153; Poph. 166; 1 John. Ch. R. 417; 3 John. Ch. R. 53; 6 Madd. Ch. R. 119.

2. The estate in which the merger takes place, is not enlarged by the accession of the preceding estate; and the greater, or only subsisting estate, continues, after the merger, precisely of the same quantity and extent of ownership, as it was before the accession of the estate which is merged, and the lesser estate is extinguished. Prest. on Conv. 7. As a general rule, equal estates will not drown in each other.

3. The merger is produced, either from the meeting of an estate of higher degree, with an estate of inferior degree; or from the meeting of the particular estate and the immediate reversion, in the same person. 4 Kent, Com. 98. Vide 3 Prest. on Conv. which is devoted to this subject. Vide, generally, Bac. Ab. Leases, &c. R; 15 Vin. Ab. 361; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 10 Verm. R. 293;; 8 Watts, R. 146; Co. Litt. 338 b, note 4; Hill. Ab. Index, h. t.; Bouv. Inst; Index, h. t.; and Confusion; Consolidation; Unity of Possession.

MERGER, crim. law. When a man commits a great crime which includes a lesser, the latter is merged in the former.

2. Murder, when committed by blows, necessarily includes an assault and battery; a battery, an assault; a burglary, when accompanied with a felonious taking of personal property, a larceny in all these, and similar cases, the lesser crime is merged in the greater.

3. But when one offence is of the same character with the other, there is no merger; as in the case of a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, and the misdemeanor is afterwards committed in pursuance of the conspiracy. The two crimes being of equal degree, there can be no legal merger. 4 Wend. R. 265. Vide Civil Remedy.

MERGER, rights. Rights are said to be merged when the same person who is bound to pay is also entitled to receive. This is more properly called a confusion of rights, or extinguishment.

2. When there is a confusion of rights, and the debtor and creditor become the same person, there can be no right to put in execution; but there is an immediate merger. 2 Ves. jr. 264. Example: a man becomes indebted to a woman in a sum of money, and afterwards marries her, there is immediately a confusion of rights, and the debt is merged or extinguished.

MERGER, torts. Where a person in committing a felony also commits a tort against a private person; in this case, the wrong is sunk in the felony, at least, until after the felon's conviction.

2. The old maxim that a trespass is merged in a felony, has sometimes been supposed to mean that there is no redress by civil action for an injury which amounts to a felony. But it is now established that the defendant is liable to the party injured either after his conviction; Latch, 144; Noy, 82; W. Jones, 147; Sty. 346; 1 Mod. 282; 1 Hale, P. C. 546; or acquittal. 12 East, R. 409; 1 Tayl. R. 58; 2 Hayw. 108. If the civil action be commenced before, the plaintiff will be nonsuited. Yelv. 90, a, n. See Hamm. N. P. 63; Kely. 48; Cas. Tempt. Hardw. 350; Lofft. 88; 2 T.R. 750; 3 Greenl. R. 458. Butler, J., says, this doctrine is not extended beyond actions of trespass or tort. 4 T. R. 333. See also 1 H. Bl. 583, 588, 594; 15 Mass. R. 78; Id. 336. Vide Civil Remedy; Injury.

3. The Revised Statutes of New York, part 3, c. 4, t. 1, s. 2, direct that the right of action of any person injured by any felony, shall not, in any case, be merged in such felony, or be in any manner affected thereby. In Kentucky, Pr. Dec. 203, and New Hampshire, 6 N. H. Rep. 454, the owner of stolen goods, may immediately. pursue his civil remedy. See, generally, Minor, 8; 1 Stew. R. 70; 15 Mass. 336; Coxe, 115; 4 Ham. 376; 4 N. Hanp. Rep. 239; 1 Miles, R. 212; 6 Rand. 223; 1 Const. R. 231; 2 Root, 90.

MERITS. This word is used principally in matters of defence.

2. A defence upon the merits, is one that rests upon the justice of the cause, and not upon technical grounds only; there is, therefore, a difference between a good defence, which may be technical or not, and a defence on the merits. 5 B. & Ald. 703 1 Ashm. R. 4; 5 John. R. 536; Id. 360; 3 John. R. 245 Id. 449; 6 John. R. 131; 4 John. R. 486; 2 Cowen, R. 281; 7 Cowen, R. 514; 6 Wend. R. 511; 6 Cowen, R. 895.

MERTON, STATUTTE OF. A statute so called, because the parliament or rather council, which enacted it, sat at Merton, in Surrey. It was made the 20 Hen. III. A. D. 1236. See Barr. an the Stat. 41.

MESCROYANT. Used in our ancient books. An unbeliever. Vide Infidel.

MESE. An ancient word used to signify house, probably from the French maison; it is said that by this word the buildings, curtilage, orchards and gardens will pass. Co. Litt. 56.

MESNE. The middle between two extremes, that part between the commencement and the end, as it relates to time.

2. Hence the profits wbich a man receives between disseisin and recovery of lands are called mesne profits. (q. v.) Process which is issued in a suit between the original and final process, is called mesne process. (q . v.)

3. In England, the word mesne also applies to a dignity: those persons who hold lordships or manors of some superior wbo is called lord paramount, and grant the same to inferior persons, are called mesne lords.

MESNE PROCESS. Any process issued between original and final process; that is, between the original writ and the execution. See Process, mesne.

MESNE PROFITS, torts, remedies. The value of the premises, recovered in ejectment, during the time that the lessor of the plaintiff has been illegally kept out of the possession of his estate by the defendant; such are properly recovered by an action of trespass, quare clausum fregit, after a recovery in ejectment. 11 Serg. & Rawle, 55; Bac. Ab. Ejectment, H; 3 Bl. Com. 205.

2. As a general rule, the plaintiff is entitled to recover for such time as be can prove the defendant to have been in possession, provided he does not go back beyond six years, for in that case, the defendant may plead the statute of limitations. 3 Yeates' R, 13; B. N. P. 88.

3. The value of improvements made by the defendant, may be set off against a claim for mesne profits, but profits before the demise laid, should be first deducted from the value of the improvement's. 2 W. C. C. R. 165. Vide, generally, Bac. Ab. Ejectment, H; Woodf. L. & T. ch. 14, s. 3; 2 Sell. Pr. 140; Fonbl. Eq. Index, h. t.; Com. L & T. Index, h. t.; 2 Phil. Ev. 208; Adams on Ej. ch. 13; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Pow. Mortg. Index, h. t.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.

MESNE, WRIT of. The name of an ancient writ, which lies when: the lord para- mount distrains on the tenant paravail; the latter shall have a writ of mesne against the lord who is mesne. F. N. B. 316.

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