OFFER, contracts. A proposition to do a thing.
2. An offer ought to contain a right, if accepted, of compelling the
fulfilment of the contract, and this right when not expressed, is always
3. By virtue of his natural liberty, a man may change his will at any time,
if it is not to the injury of another; he may, therefore, revoke or recall his
offers, at any time before they have been accepted; and, in order to deprive him
of this right, the offer must have been accepted on the terms in which it was
made. 10 Ves. 438; 2 C. & P. 553.
4. Any qualification of, or departure from those terms, invalidates the
offer, unless the same be agreed to by the party who made it. 4 Wheat. R. 225; 3
John. R. 534; 7 John. 470; 6 Wend. 103.
5. When the offer has been made, the party is presumed to be willing to enter
into the contract for the time limited, and, if the time be not fixed by the
offer, then until it be expressly revoked, or rendered nugatory by a contrary
presumption. 6 Wend. 103. See 8 S. & R. 243; 1 Pick. 278; 10 Pick. 326; 12
John. 190; 9 Porter, 605; 1 Bell's Com. 326, 5th ed.; Poth. Vente, n. 32; 1
Bouv. Inst. n. 577, et seq.; and see Acceptance of contracts; Assent; Bid.
OFFICE. An office is a right to exercise a public function or
employment, and to take the fees and emoluments belonging to it,. Shelf. on
Mortm. 797; Cruise, Dig. Index, h. t.; 3 Serg. & R. 149.
2. Offices may be classed into civil and military.
3. - 1. Civil offices may be classed into political, judicial, and
4. - 1. The political offices are such as are not connected immediately with
the administration of justice, or the execution of the mandates of a superior
officer; the office of the president of the United States, of the heads of
departments, of the members of the legislature, are of this number.
5. - 2. The judicial offices are those which relate to the administration of
justice, and which must be exercised by persons of sufficient skill and
experience in the duties which appertain to them.
6. - 3. Ministerial offices are those which give the officer no power to
judge of the matter to be done, and require him to obey the mandates of a
superior. 7 Mass. 280. See 5 Wend. 170; 10 Wend. 514; 8 Verm. 512; Breese, 280.
It is a general rule, that a judicial office cannot be exercised by deputy,
while a ministerial may.
7. In the United, States, the tenure of office never extends beyond good
behaviour. In England, offices are public or private. The former affect the
people generally, the latter are such as concern particular districts, belonging
to private individuals. In the United States, all offices, according to the
above definition, are public; but in another sense, employments of a private
nature are also called offices; for example, the office of president of a bank,
the office of director of a corporation. For the incompatibility of office, see
Incompatibility; 4 S. & R. 277; 4 Inst. 100; Com. Dig. h. t., B. 7; and
vide, generally, 3 Kent, Com. 362; Cruise, Dig. tit. 25; Ham. N. P. 283; 16 Vin.
Ab. 101; Ayliffe's Parerg. 395; Poth. Traite des Choses, §2; Amer. Dig. h. t.;
17 S. & R. 219.
8. - 2. Military offices consist of such as are granted to soldiers or naval
9. The room in which the business of an officer is transacted is also called
an office, as the land office. Vide Officer.
OFFICE BOOK, evidence. A book kept in a public office, not
appertaining to a court, authorized by the law of any state.
2. An exemplification, (q. v.) of any such office book, when authenticated
under the act of congress of 27th March, 1804, Ingers' Dig. 77, is to have such
faith and credit, given to it in every court and office within the United
States, as such exemplification has by law or usage in the courts or offices of
the state from whence the same has been taken.
OFFICE COPY. A transcript of a record or proceeding filed in an office
established by law, certified under the seal of the proper officer.
OFFICE FOUND, Eng. law. When an inquisition is made to the king's use
of anything, by virtue of office of him who inquires, and the inquisition is
found, it is said to be office found.
OFFICE, INQUEST OF. An examination into a matter by an officer in
virtue of his office. Vide Inquisition.
OFFICER. He who is lawfully invested with an office.
2. Officers may be classed into, 1. Executive; as the president of the United
States of America, the several governors of the different states. Their duties
are pointed out in the national constitution, and the constitutions of the
several states, but they are required mainly to cause the laws to be executed
3. - 2. The legislative; such as members of congress; and of the several
state legislatures. These officers are confined in their duties by the
constitution, generally to make laws, though sometimes in cases of impeachment,
one of the houses of the legislature exercises judicial functions, somewhat
similar to those of a grand jury by presenting to the other articles of
impeachment; and the other house acts as a court in trying such impeachments.
The legislatures have, besides the power to inquire into the conduct of their
members, judge of their elections, and the like.
4. - 3. Judicial officers; whose duties are to decide controversies between
individuals, and accusations made in the name of the public against persons
charged with a violation of the law.
5. - 4. Ministerial officers, or those whose duty it is to execute the
mandates, lawfully issued, of their superiors.
6. - 5. Military officers, who have commands in the army; and
7. - 6. Naval officers, who are in command in the navy.
8. Officers are required to exercise the functions which belong to their
respective offices. The neglect to do so, may, in some cases, subject the
offender to an indictment; 1 Yeates, R. 519; and in others, he will be liable to
the party injured. 1 Yeates, R. 506.
9. Officers are also divided into public officers and those who are not
public. Some officers may bear both characters; for example, a clergyman is a
public officer when he acts in the performance of such a public duty as the
marriage of two individuals; 4 Conn. 209; and he is merely a private person when
he acts in his more ordinary calling of teaching his congregation. See 4 Conn.
134; 1 Apple. 155.
OFFICIAL, civil and canon laws. In the ancient civil law, the person
who was the minister of, or attendant upon a magistrate, was called the
2. In the canon law, the person to whom the bishop generally commits the
charge of his spiritual jurisdiction, bears this name. Wood's Inst. 30, 505;
Merl. Repert. h. t.
OFFICINA JUSTITIAE, Eng. law. The chancery is so called, because all
writs issue from it, under the great seal returnable into the courts of common
OFFICIO, EX. By virtue of one's office. Vide Ex officio; 3 Bl. Com.