NOVA CUSTOMA. The name of an imposition or duty in England. Vide An-
NOVA STATUTA. New statutes. The name given to the statutes commencing
with the reign of Edward III. Vide Vetera Statuta.
NOVAE NARRATIONES. The title of an ancient English book, written
during the reign of Edward III. It consists of declarations and some other
NOVATION, civil law. 1. Novation is a substitution of a new for an old
debt. The old debt is extinguished by the new one con- tracted in its stead; a
novation may be made in three different ways, which form three distinct kinds of
2. , The first takes place, without the in- tervention of any new person,
where a debtor contracts a new engagement with his credi- tor, in consideration
of being liberated from the former. This kind has no appropriate name, and is
called a novation generally.
3. The second is that which takes place by the intervention of a new debtor,
where another person becomes a debtor instead of a former debtor, and is
accepted by the creditor, who thereupon discharges the first debtor. The person
thus rendering himself debtor for another, who is in consequence discharged, is
called expromissor; and this kind of novation is caned expromissio.
4. The third kind of novation takes place by the intervention of a new
creditor where a debtor, for the purpose of being discharged from his original
creditor, by order of that creditor, contracts some obligation in favor of a new
creditor. There is also a particu- lar kind of novation called a delegation.
Poth. Obl. pt. 3, c. 2, art. 1. See Delega- tion.
5.-2. It is a settled principle of the common law, that a mere agreement to
sub- stitute any other thing in lieu of the original obligation is void, unless
actually carried into execution and accepted as satisfaction. No action can be
maintained upon the new agreement, nor can the agreement be pleaded as a bar to
the original demand. See Ac- cord. But where an agreement is entered into by
deed, that deed gives, in itself, a substantive cause of action, and the giving
such deed may be sufficient accord and satis- faction for a simple contract
debt. 1 Burr. 9; Co. Litt. 212, b.
6. The general rule seems to be that if one indebted to another by simple
contract, give his creditor a promissory note, drawn by himself, for the same
sum, without any new consideration, the new note shall not be deemed a
satisfaction of the original debt, unless so intended and accepted by the
creditor. 15 Serg. & Rawle, 162; 1 Hill's N. Y. R. 516; 2 Wash. C. C. Rep.
191; 1 Wash. C. C. R. 156, 321; 2 John. Cas. 438; Pet. C. C. Rep. 266; 2 Wash.
C. C. R. 24, 512; 3 Wash. C. C. R. 396: Addis. 39; 5 Day, 511; 15 John. 224; 1
Cowen, 711; see 8 Greenl. 298; 2 Greenl. 121; 4 Mason, 343; 9 Watts, 273; 10
Pet. 532; 6 Watts & Serg. 165, 168. But if he transfer the note he cannot
sue on the original contract as long as the note is out of his possession. 1
Peters' R. 267. See generally Discharge; 4 Mass.. Rep. 93; 6 Mass. R. 371; 1
Pick. R. 415; 5 Mass. R. 11; 13 Mass. R. 148; 2 N. H. Rep. 525; 9 Mass. 247; 8
Pick. 522; 8 Cowen, 390; Coop. Just. 582; Gow. on Partn. 185; 7 Vin. Abr. 367;
Louis. Code, art. 2181 to 2194; Watts & S. 276; 9 Watts, 280; 10 S. R. 807;
4 Watts, 378; 1 Watts & Serg. 94; Toull. h. t.; Domat, h. t.; Dalloz. Dict.
h. t.; Merl. Rep. h. t.; Clef des Lois Romaines, h. t.; Azo & Man. Inst. t.
11, c. 2, SS 4; Burge on Sur. B. 2, c. 5, p. 166.
NOVEL ASSIGNMENT. Vide New Assignment.
NOVEL DISSEISIN. The name of an old remedy which was given for a new
or recent disseisin.
2. When tenant in fee simple, fee tail, or for term of life, was put out, and
digseised of his lands or tenements, rents, find the like; he might sue out a
writ of assise or novel disseisin; and if, upon trial, he could prove his title,
and his actual seisin, and the disseisin by the present tenant, be was entitled
to have judgment to recover his seisin and damages for the injury sustained. 3
Bl. Com. 187. This remedy is obsolete.
NOVELLAE LEONIS. The ordinances of the emperor Leo, which were made
from the year 887 till the year 893, are so called. These novels changed many
rules of the Justinian law. This collection contains one hundred and thirteen
novels, written origi- nally in Greek, and afterwards, in 1560, translated into
Latin, by Agilaeus. - .
NOVELS, civil law. The name given to some constitutions or laws of
some of the Roman emperors; this name was so given because they were new or
posterior to the laws which they had before published. The novels were made to
supply what bad not been foreseen in the preceding laws, or to amend or alter
the laws in force.
2. Although the novels of Justinian are the best known, and when the word
novels only is mentioned, those of Justinian are always intended, he was not the
first who gave the name of novels to his constitution and laws. Some of the acts
of Theodosius, Valentinien, Leo, Severus, Anthemius, and others, were, also
called novels. But the novels of the emperors who preceded Justinian bad not the
force of law, after the enactment of the law by order of that emperor. Those
novels are not, however, entirely useless, because the code of Justinian having
been composed mainly from the Theodosian code and the novels, the latter
frequently remove doubts which arise on the construction of the code. The novels
of, Justinian form the fourth part of the Corpus Juris Civilis. They are
directed either to some, officer, or an archbisbop or bishop, or to some private
individual of Constantinople but they all had the force and authority of law.
The number of the novels is uncertain. The 118th novel is the foundation and
groundwork of the English statute of distribution of intestate's effects, which
has been copied into many states of the Union. Vide 1 P. Wms. 27; Pr. in Chan.
NOVUS HOMO. A new man; -this term, is applied to a man who has been
pardoned of a crime, by which he is restored to society, and is
NOXAL ACTTON, civil law. A personal, arbitrary, and indirect action in
favor of one who has been injured by the slave of another, by which the owner or
master of the slave was compelled either to pay the damages or abandon the
slave. Vide Abandonment for torts, and Inst. 4, 8; Dig. 9, 4; Code, 3, 41.
NUBILIS, civil law. One who is of a proper age to be married. Dig.
NUDE. Naked. Figuratively, this word is applied to various subjects.
2. A nude contract, nudum pactum, q. v.) is one without a consideration; nu de
matter, is a bare allegation of a thing done, without any evidence of it.
NUDE MATTER. A bare allegation unsupported by evidence.
NUDUM PACTUM, contracts. A contract made without a consideration,; it
is called a nude or naked contract, because it is not clothed with the
consideration required by law, in order to give an action. 3 McLean, 330; 2
Denio, 403; 6 Iredell, 480; 1 Strobh. 329; 1 Kelly, 294; 1 Dougl. Mich. R.
2. There are some contracts which, in consequence of their forms, import a
consideration, as sealed instruments, and bills of exchange, and promissory
notes, which are generally good although no consideration appears.
3. A nudum pactum may be avoided, and is not binding.
4. Whether the agreement be verbal or in writing, it is still a nude pact.
This has been decided in England, 7 T. R. 350, note; 7 Bro. P. C. 550; and in
this country; 4 John. R. 235; 5 Mass. R. 301, 392; 2 Day's R. 22. But if the
contract be under seal, it is valid. 2 B. & A. 551. It is a rule that no
action can be maintained on a naked contract; ex nudopacto non oritur actio: 2
Bl. Com. 445; 16 Vin. Ab. 16.
5. This term is borrowed from the civil law, and the rule which decides upon
the nullity of its effects, yet the common law has not; in any degree been
influenced by the notions of the civil law, in defining what constitutes a nudum
pactum. Dig. 19, 5, 5. See on this subject a learned note in Fonbl. Eq. 335, and
2 Kent, Com. 364. Toullier defines nudum pactum to be an agreement not executed
by one of the parties, tom. 6, n. 13, page 10. Vide 16 Vin. Ab. 16; 1 Supp. to
Ves. jr. 514; 3 Kent, Com. 364; 1 it. Pr. 113; 8 Ala. 131; and art.
NUISANCE, crim. law, torts. This word means literally annoyance; in
law, it signifies, according to Blackstone, " anything that worketh hurt,
inconvenience, or damage." 3 Comm. 216.
2. Nuisances are either public or com- mon, or private nuisances.
3.-1. A public or common nuisance is such an inconvenience or troublesome
offence, as annoys the whole community in general, and not merely some
particular person. 1 Hawk. P. C. 197; 4 Bl. Com. 166-7. To constitute a Public
nuisance, there must be such 'a number of persons annoyed, that the offence can
no longer be considered a private nuisance: this is a fact, generally, to be
judged of by the jury. 1 .Burr. 337; 4 Esp. C. 200; 1 Str. 686, 704; 2 Chit. Cr.
Law, 607, n. It is diffi- cult to define what degree of annoyance is necessary
to constitute a nuisance. In rela- tion to offensive trades, it seems that when
such a trade renders the enjoyment of life and property uncomfortable, it is a
nuisance; 1 Burr. 333; 4 Rog. Rec. 87; 5 Esp. C. 217; for the neighborhood have
a right to pure and fresh air. 2 Car. & P. 485; S. C. 12 E. C. L. R. 226; 6
Rogers' Rec. 61.
4. A thing may be a nuisance in one place, which-is not so in another;
therefore the situation or locality of the nuisance must be considered. A tallow
chandler seeing up his baseness among other tallow chandlers, and increasing the
noxious smells of the neighborhood, is not guilty of setting up a nuisance,
unless the annoyance is much increased by the new manufactory. Peake's Cas. 91.
Such an establishment might be a nuisance-in a thickly populated town of
merchants and mechanics, where Do such business was carried on.
5. Public nuisances arise in consequence of following particular trades, by
which the air-is rendered offensive and noxious. Cro. Car. 510; Hawk. B. 1, c.
755 s. 10; 2 Ld. Raym. 1163; 1 Burr. 333; 1 Str. 686. From-acts of public
indecency; as bathing in a public river, in sight of the neighbor- ing houses; 1
Russ. Cr. 302; 2 Campb. R. 89; Sid. 168; or for acts tending to a breach of the
public peace, as for drawing a number of persons into a field for the pur- pose
of pigeon-shooting, to the disturbance of the neighborhood; 3 B. & A. 184;
S. C. 23 Eng. C. L. R. 52; or keeping a dis- orderly house; 1 Russ. Cr. 298; or
a gaming house; 1 Russ. Cr. 299; Hawk . b. 1, c. 7 5, s. 6; or a bawdy house;
Hawk. b. 1, c. 74, s. 1; Bac. Ab. Nuisance, A; 9 Conn. R. 350; or a dangerous
animal, known to be such, and suffering him to go at large, as a large bull-dog
accustomed to bite people; 4 Burn's, Just. 678; or exposing a person having a
contagious disease, as the small- pox, in public; 4 M. & S. 73, 272; and the
6.-2. A private nuisance is anything done to the hurt or annoyance of the
lands, tenements, or hereditaments of another. 3 Bl. Com. 1215; Finch, L.
7. These are such as are injurious to corporeal inheritance's; as, for
example, if a man should build his house so as to throw the rain water which
fell on it, on my land; F. N. B. 184; or erect his. building, with- out right,
so as to obstruct my ancient lights; 9 Co. 58; keep hogs or other ani- mals so
as to incommode his neighor and render the air unwholesome. 9 Co. 58.
8. Private nuisances may also be in- jurious to incorporeal hereditaments.
If, for example, I have a way annexed to my estate, across another man's land,
and he obstruct me in the use of it, by plowing it up, or laying logs across it,
and the like. F. N. B. 183; 2 Roll. Ab. 140.
9. The remedies for a public nuisance are by indicting the party. Vide,
generally, Com. Dig. Action on the case for a nuisance; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Vin. Ab.
h. t.; Nels. Ab. h. t.; Selw. N. P. h. t.; 3 Bl. Com. c. 13 Russ. Cr. b. 2, c.
30; 1 0 Mass. R. 72 7 Pick. R. 76; 1 Root's Rep. 129; 1 John. R. 78; 1 S. &
R. 219; 3 Yeates' R. 447; 3 Amer. Jurist, 85; 3 Harr. & McH. 441; Rose. Cr.
Ev. h. t.; Chit. Cr. L. Index, b. t.; Chit. Pr. Index, b. t., and vol. 1, p.
383; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
NUL, law French. A barbarous word which means to convey a negative;
as, Nul tiel record, Nul tiel award.
NUL AGARD. No award. A plea to an action on an arbitration bond, when
the defendant avers that there was no legal award made. 3 Burr. 1730; 2 Stra.
NUL DISSEISIN, pleading. No disseisin. A plea in a real action, by
which the de- fendant denies that there was any disseisin it is a species of the
NUL TIEL RECORD, pleading. No such record
2. When a party claims to recover on the evidence of a record, as in an
action on scire facias, or when he sets up his defence on matter of record, as a
former acquittal or former recovery, the opposite party may plead or, reply nul
tiel record, there is no such record; in which case the issue thus raised is
called an issue of nul tiel record, and it is tried by the court by the inspec-
tion, of the record. Vide 1 Saund. 92, n. 3 12Vin. Ab.188; 1 Phil. Ev. 307,8;
Com. Dig. Bail, R. 8 - Certiorari, A l Pleader, 2 W 13, 38 - Record, C; 2
McLean, 511; 7 Port. 110; 1 Spencer, 114.
NUL TORT, pleading No wrong.
2. This is a plea to a real action, by which the defendant denies that he
com- mitted any wrong. It is a species of gene- ral issue.
NUL WASTE, pleading. This is the gene- ral issue in an action of
waste. Co. Entr. 700 a, 708 a. The plea of, nul waste ad- mits nothing, but puts
the whole declaration in issue; and in support of this plea the defendant may
give in evidence anything which proves that the act charged is no waste, as that
it happened by tempest, light- ning, and the like. Co. Litt. 283 a; 3 Saund.
238, n. 5.
NULL. Properly, that which does not .exist; that which is not in the
nature of things. In a figurative sense it signifies that which has no more
effect than if it did not exist. 8 Toull. n. 320.
NULIA BONA. The retum made to a writ of fieri facias, by the sheriff,
when he has not found any goods of the defendant on which he could levy. 3 Bouv.
Inst. n. 3393.
NULLITY. Properly, that which does not exist; that which is not
properly in the nature of things. In a figurative sense, and in law, it means
that which has no more effect than if it did not exist, and also the defect
which prevents it from having such effect. That which is absolutely void.
2. It is a yule of law that what is abso- lutely null produces no effects
whatever; as, if a man bad a wife in full life, and both aware of the fact, he
married another wo- man, such second marriage would be nun and without any legal
effect. Vide Chit, Contr. 228; 3 Chit. Pr. 522; 2 Archb. Pr. K. B. 4th edit.
888; Bayl. Ch. Pr. 97.
3. Nullities have been divided into ab- solute and relative. Absolute
nullities are those which may be insisted upon by any one having an interest in
rendering the act, deed or writing null, even by the public authorities, as a
second marriage while the former was in full force. Everything fraudu- lent is
null and void. Relative nullities can be invoked only by those in whose favor
the law has been established, land, in fact, such power is less a nullity of the
act than a faculty which one or more persons have to oppose the validity of the
4. The principal causes of nullities are, 1. Defect of form; as, for example,
when the law requires that a will of land shall be attested by three witnesses,
and it is on] attested by two. Vide Will.
5.-2. Want of will; as, if a man be compelled to execute a bond by duress, it
is null and void. Vide Duress.
6. - 3. The incapacities of the parties; as in the cases of persons non
compos mentis, of married women's contracts, and the like.
7.-4. The want of consideration in simple contracts; as a verbal promise
with- out consideration.
8.-5. The want of recording, when the law requires that the matter should be
re- corded; as, in the case of judgments.
9.-6. Defect of power in the party who entered into a contract in behalf of
another; as, when an attorney for a special purpose makes an agreement for his
principal in re- lation to another thing. Vide Attorney; Authority.
10. - 7. The loss of a thing which is the subject of a contract; as, when A
sells B horse, both supposing him to be alive, when in fact he was dead. Vide
Contract; Sale. Vide Perrin, Traite des Nullites; Hen- rion, Pouvoir Municipal,
liv. 2, c. 18; Merl. Rep. h. t.; Dall. Diet. h. t. See art. Void.
NULIUS FILIUS. The son of no one; a bastard.
2. A bastard is considered nullius filius as far as regards his right
inherit. But the rule of nullius filius does not apply in other respects.
3. The mother of a bastard, during its age of nurture, is entitled to the
custody of her child, and is bound to maintain it. 6 S. & R. 255; 2 John. R.
375; 15 John. R. 208; 2 Mass. R. 109; 12 Mass. R. 387, 433; 1 New Rep. 148; sed
vide 5 East, 224 n.
4. The putative father, too, is entitled to the custody of the child as
against all but the mother. 1, Ashm. 55. And, it seems, that the putative father
may main- tain an action, as if his child were legiti- mate, for marrying him
without his consent, contrary. to law. Addis. 212. See Bas- tard; Child; Father;
Mother;, Putative Father.
NULLUM ARBITRIUM, pleading. The name of a plea to an action on an
arbitra- tion bond for not fulfilling the award, by which the defendant asserts
that there is no award.
NULLUM FECERUNT ARBITRIUM. The name of a plea to an action of debt
upon an obligation for the performance of an award, by which the defendant
denies that he submitted to arbitration, &c. Bac. Ab. Arbitr. &c. G.
NUMBER. A collection of units.
2. In pleading, numbers must be stated truly, when alleged in the recital of
a record, written instrument, or express contract. Lawes' PI. 48; 4 T. R. 314;
Cro. Car. 262; Dougl. 669; 2 Bl. Rep. 1104. But in other cases, it is not in
general requisite that they should be truly stated, because they are not
required to be strictly proved. If, for example, in an action of trespass the
plaintiff proves the wrongful taking away of any part of the goods duly
described in his declaration, he is entitled to recover pro tanto. Bac. Ab.
Trespass, I 2 Lawes' PI. 48.
3. And sometimes, when the subject to be described is supposed to comprehend
a multiplicity of particulars, a general de- scription is sufficient. A
declaration in trover alleging the conversion of " a library of books"' without
stating their number, titles, or quality, was held 'to be sufficiently certain;
3 Bulst. 31; Carth. 110; Bac. Ab. Trover, F 1; and in an action for the loss of
goods, by burning the plaintiff's bouse, the articles may be described by the
simple denomination of " goods" or " divers goods." 1 Keb. 825; Plowd. 85, 118,
123; Cro. Eliz. 837; 1 H. Bl. 284.
NUNC PRO TUNC, practice. This phrase, which signifies now for then, is
used to express that a thing is done at one time which ought to have been
performed at an- other. Leave of court must be obtained to do things nunc pro
tunc, and this is granted to answer the purposes of justice, but never to do
injustice A judgment nunc pro tunc can be entered only when the delay has arisen
from the act of the court. 3 Man. Gr. & Sc. 970. Vide 1 V.. & B. 312; 1
Moll. R. 462; 13 Price, R. 604; 1 Hogan, R. 110.
NUNCIO. The name given to the Pope's ambassador. Nuncios are ordinary
or ex- traordinary; the former are sent upon usual missionas, the latter upon
NUNCIUS, international law, A messenger, a minister; the pope's
legate, commonly called a nuncio. It is used to express that a will or
testament. has been made verbally, and not in writing, Vide Testament
nuncupative; Will, nuncupative; 1 Williams on Exec. 59; Swinb. Index, h. t.;
Ayl. Pand. 359; 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 288; Roberts on Wills, h. t.; 4 Kent, Com. 504;
2 Bouv. Inst. n. 436.
NUNQUAM INDEBITATUS, pleading. A plea to an action of indebitatus
assump- sit, by which the defendant asserts that he is not indebted to the
plaintiff. 6 Carr. & P. 545 S. C. 25 English Com. Law Rep. 535; 1 Mees.
& Wels. 542, 1 Q. B. 77.
NUPER OBIIT, practice. He or she lately died. The name of a writ,
which in the English law, lies for a sister co-heiress, dispossessed by her
coparcener of lands and tenements, whereof their father, brother, or any common
ancestor died seised of an estate in fee simple. Termes de la Ley, h. t.; F. N .
NURTURE. The act of taking care of children and educating them: the
right to the nurture of children generally belongs to the father till the child
shall arrive at the age of fourteen years, and not longer. Till then, he is
guardian by nurture. Co. Litt. 38 b. But in special cases the mother will be
preferred to the father; 5 Binn. R. 520; 2 S. & R. 174; and after the death
of the father, the mother is guardian by nurture. Fl. 1. 1, c. 6; Com. Dig.
NURUS. A daughter-in-law. Dig. 50, 16, 50.