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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 implied.

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 ministerial.

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 officers.

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 and obeyed.

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 official.

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 law.

OFFICIO, EX. By virtue of one's office. Vide Ex officio; 3 Bl. Com. 447.

 
 
 
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