MESSENGER. A person appointed to perform certain duties, generally of
a ministerial character.
2. In England, a messenger appointed under the bankrupt laws, is an officer
who is authorized to execute the lawful commands of commissioners of
MESSUAGE, property. This word is synonymous with dwelling-house; and a
grant of a messuage with the appurtenances, will not only pass a house, but all
the buildings attached or belonging to it, as also its curtilage, garden and
orchard, together with the close on which the house is built. 1 Inst. 5, b.; 2
Saund. 400; Ham. N. P. 189; 4 Cruise, 321; 2 T. R. 502; 1 Tho. Co. Litt. 215,
note 35; 4 Blackf. 331. But see the cases cited in 9 B. & Cress. 681; S. C.
17 Engl. Com. L. R. 472. This term, it is said, includes a church. 11 Co. 26; 2
Esp. N. P. 528; 1 Salk. 256; 8 B. & Cress. 25; S. C. 15 Engl. Com. L. Rep.
151. Et vide 3 Wils. 141; 2 Bl. Rep. 726; 4 M. & W. 567; 2 Bing. N. C. 617;
1 Saund. 6. METHOD. The mode of operating or the means of attaining an object.
2. It has been questioned whether the method of making a thing can be patented.
But it has been considered that a method or mode may be the subject of a patent,
because, when the object of two patents or effects to be produced is essentially
the same, they may both be valid, if the modes of attaining the desired effect
are essentially different. Dav. Pat. Cas. 290; 2 B. & Ald. 350; 2 H. Bl.
492; 8 T. R. 106; 4 Burr. 2397; Gods. on Pat. 85; Perpigna, Manuel des
Inventeurs, &c., c. 1, sect. 5, 1, p. 22.
METRE or METER. This word is derived from the Greek, and signifies a
2. This is the standard of French measure.
3. The fundamental base of the metre is the quarter of the terrestrial
meridian, or the distance from the pole to equator, which has been divided into
ten millions of equal parts, one of which is of the length of the metre. The
metre is equal to 3.28 feet, or 39.371 inches. Vide Measure.
MEUBLES MEUBLANS. A French term used in Louisiana, which signifies
simply household furniture. 4 N. S. 664; 3 Harr. Cond. R. 431.
MICEL GEMOT, Eng. law. In Saxon times, the great council of the nation
bore this name, sometimes also called the witena gemot, or assembly of wise men;
in aftertimes, this assembly assumed the name of parliament. Vide 1 Bl. Comm.
MICHAELMAS TERM. Eng. law. One of the four terms of the courts; it
begins on the 2d day of November, and ends on the 25th of November. It was
formerly a movable term. St. 11 G. IV. and 1 W. IV. 70.
MICHIGAN. One of the new, states of the United States of America. This
state was admitted into the Union by the Act, of Congress of January 26th, 1837,
Sharsw. cont. of Story's L. U. S. 2531, which enacts "that the state of Michigan
shall be one and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of Amaerica,
and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, in all
2. The first constitution of this state was adopted by a convention of the
people, begun and held at the capital in the city of Detroit, on Monday, the
eleventh day of May, 1835. This was superseded by the present constitution,
which was adopted 1850. It provides, article 3, l; The powers of the government
shall be divided into three distinct departments; the legislative, the
executive, and the judicial; and one department shall never exercise the powers
of another, except in such cases as are expressly provided for in this
3. - 1. Art. 4, relates to the Legislative department, and provides that
1. The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and house of
4. - 6. No person holding any office under the United States [or this state]
or any county office, except notaries public, officers of the militia and
officers elected by townships, shall be eligible to, or have a seat in either
house of the legislature, and all votes given for any such person shall be
5. - 7. Senators and representatives shall, in all cases except treason,
felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, nor shall they be
subject to any civil process, during the session of the legislature, nor for
fifteen days next before the commencement and after the terraination of each
session. They shall not be questioned in any other place for any speech in
6. - 8. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business;
but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance
of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may
7. - 9. Each house shall choose its own officers, determine the rules of its
proceeding, and judge of the qualifications, elections, and return of its own
members and may, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected,
expel a member; no member shall be expelled a second time for the same cause,
nor for any cause known to his constituents antecedent to his election. The
reason for such expulsion shall be entered upon the journal, with the names of
the members voting on the question.
8. - 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the
same, except such parts as may require secrecy; the yeas and nays of the members
of either house, on any question, shall be entered on the journal at the request
of one-fifth of the members present. Any member of either house may dissent from
and protest against any act, proceeding or resolution which he may deem
injurious to any person or the public, and have the reason of his dissent
entered on the journal.
9. - 11. In all elections by either house, or in joint convention, the votes
shall be given viva voce. All votes on nominations to the senate shall be taken
by yeas and nays, and published with the journal of its proceedings.
10. - 12. The doors of each house shall be open, unless the public welfare
require secrecy; neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn
for more than three days, nor to any other place than where the legislature may
then be in session.
11. - 1st. In considering the house of representatives, it will be proper to
take a view of the qualifications of members; the qualification of the electors;
the number of members; the time for wbich they are elected.
12. - 1. The representatives must be citizens of the United States, and
qualified electors in the respective counties which they represent. Art. 4,
5. 2. In all elections, every white male citizen, every white male inhabitant
residing in the state on the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand eight
hundred and thirty-five; every white male inhabitant residing in the first day
of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, who has declared his in-
tention to become a citizen of the United States pursuant to the laws thereof
six months preceding an election, or who has resided in this state two years and
six months and declared his intention as aforesaid and every civilized male
inhabitant of Indian descent, a native of the United States, and not a member of
any tribe, shall be an elector and entitled to vote; but no citizen or
inhabitant shall be an elector or entitled to vote at any election, unless he
shall be above the age of twenty-one years, and has resided in this state three
months and in the township or ward in which he offers to vote ten days next
preceding such election. Art. 7, 1. 3. The house of representatives shall
consist of not less than sixty-five nor more than one hundred members. Art. 4,
s. 3. 4. The election of representatives, pursuant to the provisions of this
constitution, shall be held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of
November, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, and on the
Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November of every second year thereafter.
Art. 4, s. 34. Representatives shall be chosen for two years. Art. 4, s. 3.
13. - 2d. The senate will be considered in the same order. 1. Senators must
be citizens of the United States, and be qualified electors in the district
which they represent. Art. 4, s. 5. 2. They are elected by the electors of
representatives. Art. 7, s. 1. 3. The senate shall consist of thirty-two
members. Art. 4, s. 2. 4. The senators shall be elected for two years, at the
same time and in the same manner as the representatives are required to be
chosen. Art. 4, section 2, 34.
14. - 2. The executive department is regulated by the fifth article of the
constitution as follows, namely:
1. The executive power is vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for
two years; a lieutenant governor shall be chosen for the same term.
l5. - 2 No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant
governor, who has not been five years a citizen of the United States, and a
resident of this state two years next preceding the election; nor shall any
person be eligible to either office who has not attained the age of thirty
16. - 3. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected at the times
and places of choosing members of the legislature. The Person having the highest
number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected; in case
two or more persons have an equal and the highest number of votes for governor
or lieutenant governor, the legislature shall by joint vote choose one of such
17. - 4. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval
forces, and may call out such forces to execute the laws, to suppress
insurrections and to repel invasions.
18. - 5. He shall transact all necessary; business with the officers of
government; and may require information, in writing, from the officers of the
executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their
19. - 6. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
20. - 7. He may convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions.
21. - 8. He shall give to the legislature, and at the close of his official
term to the next legislature, information by message of the condition of the
state, and recommend such measures to them as he shall deem expedient.
22. - 9. He may convene the legislature at some other place, when the seat of
government becomes dangerous from disease or a common enemy.
23. - 0. He shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as occur in
the senate or house of representatives.
24. - 1. He may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after convictions,
for all offences except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions,
and with such restrictions and limitations, as he may think proper, subject to
regulations provided by law, relative to the manner of ap- plying for pardons.
Upon conviction for treason, he may suspend the execution of the sentence until
the case shall be reported to the legislature at its next session, when the
legislature shall either pardon, or commute the sentence, direct the execution
of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall communicate to the
legislature at each session information of each case of reprieve, commutation or
pardon granted, and the reasons therefor.
25. - 12. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from
office, death, inability, resignation, or absence from the state, the powers and
duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor for the residue
of the term, or until the disability ceases. When the governor shall be out of
the state in time of war, at the head of a military force thereof, he shall
continue commander-in-chief of all the military force of the state.
26. - 13. During a vacancy in the office of governor, if the lieutenant
governor die, resign, be impeached, displaced, be incapable of performing the
duties of his office, or absent from the state, the president pro tempore of the
senate shall act as governor until the vacancy be filled, or the disability
27. - 14. The lieutenant governor shall, by virtue of his office, be
president of the senate. In committee of the whole he may debate all questions;
and when there is an equal division, he shall give the casting vote.
28. - 15. No member of congress, nor any person holding office under the
United States, or this state, shall execute the office of governor.
29. - 16. No person elected governor or lieutenant governor shall be eligible
to any office or appointment from the legislature, or either house thereof,
during the time for which he was elected. All votes for either of them, for any
such office, shall be void.
30.- 17. The lieutenant governor and president of the senate pro tempore,
when performing the duties of governor, shall receive the same compensation as
31. - 18. All official acts of the governor, his approval of the laws
excepted, shall be authenticated by the great seal of the state, which shall be
kept by the secretary of state.
32. - 19. All commissions issued to persons holding office under the
provisions of this constitution, shall be in the name and by the authority of
the people of the state of Michigan, sealed with the great seal of the state,
signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.
32. - 3. The judicial department is regulated by the sixth article as
33. - 1. The judicial power is vested in one supreme court, in circuit
courts, in probate courts, and in justices of the peace. Municipal courts of
civil and criminal jurisdiction may be established by the legislature in cities.
34. - 2. For the term of six years, and thereafter, until the legislature
otherwise provide, the judges of the several circuit courts shall be judges of
the supreme court, four of whom shall constitute a quorum. A concurrence of
three shall be necessary to a final decision. After six years the legislature
may provide by law for the organization of a supreme court, with the
jurisdiction and powers prescribed in this constitution, to consist of one chief
justice and three associate justices, to be chosen by the electors of the state.
Such supreme court, when so organized, shall not be changed or discontinued by
the legislature for eight years thereafter. The judges thereof shall be so
classified that but one of them shall go out of office at the same time. Their
term of office, shall be eight years.
35. - 3. The supreme court shall have a general superintending control over
all inferior courts, and shall have power to issue writs of error, habeas
corpus, mandamus, quo warrants, procedendo, and other original and remedial
writs, and to hear and determine the same. In all other cases it shall have
appellate jurisdiction only.
36. - 4. Four terms of the supreme court shall be held annually, at such
times and places, as may be designated by law.
37. - 5. The supreme court shall, by general rules, establish, modify and
amend the practice in such court and in the circuit courts, and, simplify the
same. The legislature shall, as far as practicable, abolish distinctions between
law and equity proceedings. The office of master in chancery is prohibited.
38. - 6. The state shall be divided, into eight judicial circuits; in each of
which the electors thereof shall elect one circuit judge, who shall hold his
office for the term of six years, and until his successor is elected and
39. - 7. The legislature may alter the limits of circuits, or increase the
number of the same. No alteration or increase shall have the effect to remove a
judge from office. In every additional circuit established the judge shall be
elected by the electors of such circuit, and his term of office shall continue
as provided in this constitution for judges of the circuit court.
40. - 8. The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters
civil and criminal, not excepted in this constitution, and not probibited by
law; and, appellate jurisdiction from all inferior courts and tribunals, and a
supervisory control of the same. They shall also have power to issue writs of
habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and other writs
necessary to carry into effect their orders, judgments and decrees, and give
there a general control over inferior courts and tribunals within their
41. - 9. Each of the judges of the circuit courts shall receive a salary
payable quarterly. They shall be ineligible to any other than a judicial office
during the term for which they are elected, and for one year thereafter. All
votes for any person elected such judge for any office other than judicial,
given either by the legislature or the people, shall be void.42. - 10. The
supreme court may appoint a reporter of its decisions. The decisions of the
supreme court shall be in writing, and signed by the judges concurring therein.
Any judge dissenting there from, shall give the reasons of such dissent in
writing, under his signature. All such opinions shall be filed in the office of
the clerk of the supreme court. The judges of the circuit court, within their
respective jurisdictions, may fill vacancies in the office of county clerk and
of prosecuting, attorney; but no judge of the supreme court, or, circuit court,
shall exercise any other power of appointment to public office.
43. - 11. A circuit court shall be held at least twice in each year, in every
county organized for judicial purposes, and four times in each year in counties
containing ten thousand inhabitants. Judges of the circuit court may hold courts
for each other, and shall do so when required by law.
44. - 12. The clerk of each county organized for judicial purposes shall be
the clerk of the circuit court of such county, and of the supreme court when
held within the same.
45. - 13. In each of the counties organized for judicial purposes, there
shall be a court of probate. The judge of such court shall be elected by the
electors of the county in which he resides, and shall hold his office for four
years, and until his successor is elected and qualified. The jurisdiction,
powers, and duties of such court, shall be prescribed by law.
46. - 14. When a vacancy occurs in the office of judge of the supreme,
circuit or probate court, it shall be filled by appointment of the governor,
which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified. When elected,
such successor shall hold his office the residue of the unexpired term.
47. - 15. The supreme court, the circuit and probate court of each county,
shall be courts of record, and shall each have a common seal.
48. - 16. The legislature may provide by law for the election of one or more
persons in each organized county, who may be vested with judicial powers, not
exceeding those of a judge of the circuit court at chambers.
49. - 17. There shall be not exceeding four justices of the peace in each
organized township. They shall be elected by the electors of the townships, and
shall hold their offices for four years, and until their successors are elected
and qualified. At the first election in any township, they shall be classified
as shall be prescribed by law. A justice elected to fill a vacancy shall hold
his office for the residue of the unexpired term. The legislature may increase
the number of justices in cities.
50. - 18. In civil cases justices of the peace shall have exclusive
jurisdiction to the amount of one hundred dollars, and concurrent jurisdiction
to the amount of three hundred dollars, which may be increased to five hundred
dollars, with such exceptions and restrictions as may be provided by law. They
shall also have such criminal jurisdiction and perform such duties as shall be
prescribed by the legislature.
51. - 19. Judges of the supreme court, circuit judges, and justices of the
peace, shall be conservators of the peace within their respective
52. - 20. The first election of judges of the circuit courts shall be held on
the first Monday in April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, and every
sixth year thereafter. Whenever an additional circuit is created, provision.
shall be made to hold the subsequent election of such additional judges at the
regular elections herein provided.
53. - 1. The first election of judges of the probate courts shall be held on
the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November, one thousand eight hundred
and fifty-two, and every fourth year thereafter.
54. - 22. Whenever a judge shall remove beyond the limits of the jurisdiction
for which he was elected or a justice of the peace from the township in which he
was elected, or by a change in the boundaries of such township shall be placed
without the same, they shall be deemed to have vacated their respective
55. - 23. The legislature may establish courts of conciliation, with such
powers and duties as shall be prescribed by law.
56. - 24. Any suitor in any court of this state shall have the right to
prosecute or defend his suit, either in his own proper person, or by an attorney
or agent, of his choice.
57. - 5. In all prosecutions for libels, the truth may be given in evidence
to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as
libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends,
the party shall be acquitted. The jury shall have the right to determine the law
and the fact.
58. - 26. The person, houses, papers, and possessions of every person shall
be secure from unreasonable searches and seizure. No warrant to search any
place, or to seize any person or things shall issue without describing them, nor
without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
59. - 27. The right of trial by jury shall remain, but shall be deemed to be
waived in all civil cases unless demanded by one of the parties, in such manner
as shall be prescribed by law.
60. - 8. In every criminal prosecution, the accused shall have the right to a
speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, which may consist of less than
twelve, men in all courts not of record; to be informed of the nature of the
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory
process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and have the assistance of counsel
for his defence.
61. - 29. No person, after acquittal upon the merits, shall be tried for the
same offence; all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient
sureties, except for murder and treason, when the proof is evident or the
62. - 30. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war
against, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person
shall be convicted of treason unless upon the testimony of two witnesses to the
same overt act, or on confession in open court.
63. - 31. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be
imposed; cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, nor, shall
witnesses be unreasonably detained.
64. - 32. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness
against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law.
65. - 33. No person shall be imprisoned for debt arising out of, or founded
on a contract, express or implied, except in cases of fraud or breach of trust,
or of moneys collected by public officers, or in any professional employment. No
person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace.
66. - 34. No person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness, on account
of his opinions on matters of religious belief.67. - 35. The style of all
process shall be, "In the name of the people of the State of Michigan."