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POLICE. That species of superintendence by magistrates which has principally for its object the maintenance of public tranquillity among the citizens. The officers who are appointed for this purpose are also called the police.

2. The word police has three significations, namely; 1. The first relates to the measures which are adopted to keep order, the, laws and ordinances on cleanliness, health, the markets, &c. 2. The second has for its object to procure to the authorities the means of detecting even the smallest attempts to commit crime, in order that the guilty may be arrested before their plans are carried into execution, and delivered over to the justice of the country. 3. The third comprehends the laws, ordinances and other measures which require the citizens to exercise their rights in a particular form.

3. Police has also been divided into administrative police, which has for its object to maintain constantly public order in every part of the general administration; and into judiciary police, which is intended principally to prevent crimes by punishing the criminals. Its object is to punish crimes which the administrative police has not been able to prevent.

POLICE JURY. In Louisiana this name is given. to certain officers who collectively exercise jurisdiction in certain cases of police as levying taxes, regulating roads,

POLICY OF INSURANCE, contracts. An instrument in writing by which the contract of insurance is effected and reduced into form.

2. The term policy of insurance, or as surance, as it is sometimes called, is derived from the Italian di olizza di assecurazione, or di securanza, or securta; and in that language signifies a tote or bill of security or indemnity.

3. The policy is always considered as being made upon an executed consideration, namely, the payment or security for the payment of the premium, and contains only the promise of the underwriters, without anything in nature of a counter promise on the part of the insured. The policy may be effected by the owner of the property insured, his broker or agent.

4. As to its form, the policy has been considered in courts of law as an absurd and incoherent instrument; 4 T. R. 210; but courts of justice have always construed it according to the intention of the parties, and so that the indemnity of the insured, dud the advancement of trade, which are ,the great objects of insurance, may be attained. It should contain, 1. The names of the parties. 2. The name of the vessel insured, in order to identify it; but to prevent the ill consequence that might result from a mistake in the name of the vessel or master, there are usually inserted in policies these words, " or by whatsoever name or names the same ship or the master thereof is, or shall be, named or called." 3. A Specification of the subject-matter, of the insurance, whether it be goods, ship, freight, respondentia or bottomry securities, or other things. Marsh. Ins. 315; 3 Mass. Rep. 476. 4. A description of the voyage, with the commencement and end of the risk. 5. A statement of the perils insured against. 6. A power in the insured tosave goods in case of misfortune, without violating the policy. 7. The promise of the insurers, and an acknowledgment of their receipt of the premium. 8. The common memorandum. 9. The date and subscription.

5. Policies, with reference to the reality of the interest insured, are distinguished into interest and wager policies; with reference to the amount of interest, into open and valued.

6. An interest policy, is where the insured has a real, substantial, assignable interest in the thing insured; in which case only it is a contract of indemnity.

7. A wager policy, is a pretended insurance, founded on an ideal risk, where the insured has no interest in the thing insured, and can therefore sustain no loss, by the happening of any of the misfortunes insured against. These policies are strongly reprobated. 3 Kent, Com. 225.

8. An open policy, is where the amount of the interest of the insured is not fixed by the policy; but is left to be ascertained by the insured in case a loss shall happen.

9. A valued policy, is where a value has been set on the ship. or goods insured, and this value inserted in the policy in the nature of liquidated damages, to save the necessity of proving it in case of loss. Marsh. Ins. 287; and see Kent, Com. Lecture 48; Marsh. Ins. ch. 8; 16 Vin. Ab. 402; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 305; Park. Ins. 1, 14; Westcott, Ins. 400; Pardes. h. t.; Poth. h. t.; Boulay Paty, h. t.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.

POLICY, PUBLIC. By public policy is meant that which the law encourages for the promotion of the public good.

2. That which is against public policy is generally unlawful. For example, to restrain an individual from marrying, or from engaging in business, when the restraint is general, in the first case, to all persons, and, in the second, to all trades, business, or occupations. But if the restraint be only partial, as that Titius shall not marry Moevia, or that Caius shall not engage in a particular trade in a particular town or, place, the restraint is not against public policy,, and therefore valid. 1 Story, Eq. Jur. 274. See Newl. Contr. 472.

POLITICAL. Pertaining to policy, or the administration of the government. Political rights are those which may be exercised in the formation or administration of the government they are distinguished from civil, rights, which are the rights which a man enjoys, as regards other individuals, and not in relation to the government. A political corporation is one which has principally for its object the administration of the government, or to which the powers of government, or a part of such powers, have been delegated. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 182, 197, 198.

POLL. A head. Hence poll tax is the name of a tax imposed upon the people at so much a head. 2. To poll a jury is to require that each juror shall himself declare what is his verdict. This may be done at the instance of either party, at any time before the verdict is recorded. 3 Cowen, R. 23. See 18 John. R. 188. See Deed Poll.

POLLICITATION, civil law. A pollicitation is a promise not yet accepted by the person to whom it is made; it differs from a contract inasmuch as the latter includes a concurrence of intention in two parties, one of whom promises something to the other, who accepts on his part of such promise. L. 3, ff. Pollicit.; Grotius, lib. 2, c. 2; Poth. on Oblig. P. 1, c. 1, s. 1, art. 1,2.

2. An offer to guaranty, but not accepted, is not a contract on which an action will lie. 1 Stark. C. 10; 1 M. & S. 557; 3 B. & C. 668, 690; 5 D. & R. 512, 586; 7 Cranch, 69; 17 John. R. 134; 1 Mason's R. 323, 371; 16 John. R. 67; 3 Conn. R. 438; 1 Pick. R. 282, 3; 1 B. & A. 681.

POLLS. The place where electors cast in their votes.

POLYANDRY. The state of a woman who has several hushands.

2. Polyandry is legalized only in Tibet. This is inconsistent with the law of nature. Vide Law of Nature.

POLYGARCHY. A term used to express a government which is shared by several persons; as, when two brothers succeed to the throne, and reign jointly.

POLYGAMY, crim. law. The act of a person who, knowing he has two or more wives, or she has two or more hushands living, marries another. It differs from bigamy. (q. v.) Com. Dig. Justices, S 5, Dict. de Jur. h. t.

POND. A body of stagnant water; a pool.

2. Any one has a right to erect a fish pond; the fish in ii are considered as real estate, and pass to the heir and not to the executor. Ow. 20. See Pool; River; Water.

PONE, English practice. An original writ issuing out of chancery, for the purpose of removing a plaint from an inferior court into the superior courts at Westminster. The word signifies "put;" put by gages, &c. The writ is called from the words it contained when in Latin, "Pone per vadium et salvos plegios," &c. Put by gage and safe pledges, &c. See F. N. B. 69, 70 a; Wilkinson on Replevin, Index.

PONTAGE. A contribution towards the maintenance, rebuilding or repairs of a bridge. The toll taken for this purpose also bears this name. Obsolete.

POOL. A small lake of standing water.

2. By the grant of a pool, it is said, both the land and water will pass. Co. Litt. 5. Vide Stagnum; Water. Undoubtedly the right to fish, and probably the right to use hydraulic works, will be acquired by such grant. 2 N. Hamps. Rep. 259; An on Wat. Courses, 47; Plowd. 161; Vaugh. 103; Bac. Ab. Grants, H 3; Com. Dig. Grant, E 5; 5 Cowen, 216; Cro. Jac. 150; 1 Lev. 44; Co. Litt. 5.

POPE. The chief of the catholic religion is so called. He is a temporal prince. He is elected by certain officers called cardinals, and remains in power during life. In the 9th Collation of the Authentics it is declared the bishop of Rome hath the first place of sitting in all assemblies, and the bishop of Constantinople the second. Ridley's View, part 1, chap. 3, sect. 10.

2. The pope has no political authority in the United States.

POPE'S FOLLY. The name of a small island, situated in the bay of Passama quoddy, which, it has been decided, is within the jurisdiction of the United States. 1 Ware's R. 26.

POPULAR ACTION, punishment. An action given by statute to any one who will sue for the penalty. A qui tam action. Dig. 47, 23, 1.

PORT. A place to which the officers of the customs are appropriated, and which include the privileges and guidance of all members and creeks which are allotted to them. 1 Chit. Com. Law, 726; Postlewaith's Com. Dict. h. t.; 1 Chit. Com. L. Index, h. t. According to Dalloz, a port is a place within land, protected against the waves and winds, and affording to vessels a place of safety. Diet. Supp. h. t. By the Roman law a port is defined to be locus, conclusus, quo importantur merces, et unde exportantur. Dig. 50,16, 59. See 7 N. S. 81. 2. A port differs from a haven, (q. v.) and includes something more. 1st. It is a place at which vessels may arrive and discharge, or take in their cargoes. 2. It comprehends a vale, city or borough, called in Latin caput corpus, for the reception of mariners and merchants, for securing the goods, and bringing them to market, and for victualling the ships. 3. It is impressed with its legal character by the civil authority. Hale de Portibus Mar. c. 2; 1 Harg. 46, 73; Bac. Ab. Prerogative, D 5; Com. Dig. Navigation, E; 4 Inst. 148; Callis on Sewers, 56; 2 Chit. Com. Law, 2; Dig. 60, 16, 59; Id. 43, 12, 1, 13; Id. 47, 10, 15, 7; Id. 39, 4, 15.

PORT-REEVE, Eng. law. In some places in England an officer bearing this name is the chief magistrate of a port-town. Jacob's Dict. h. t.

PORT TOLL, Mer. law., By this phrase is understood the money paid for the privilege of bringing goods into a port.

PORTATICA, Engl. law. The generic name for port duties charged to ships. Harg. L. Tr. 74.

PORTER. The name of an ancient English officer who bore or carried a rod before the justices. The door-keeper of the English parliament also bears this name.

2. One who is employed as a common carrier to carry goods from one place to another in the same town, is also called a porter. Such person is in general answerable as a common carrier. Story, Bailm. 496.

PORTION. That part of a parent's estate, or the estate of one standing in loco parentis, which is given to a child. 1 Vern. 204. Vide 8 Com. Dig. 539; 16 Vin. Ab. 4321; 1 Supp. to Ves. Jr. 34, 58, 303, 308; 2 Id. 46, 370, 404.

PORTORIA, civil law. Duties paid in ports on merchandise. Code, 4, 61, 3.

PORTSALES. Auctions were anciently so called, because they took place in ports.

POSITIVE. Express; absolute; not doubtful. This word is frequently used in composition.

2. A positive condition is where the thing which is the subject of it must happen; as, if I marry. It is opposed to a negative condition, which is where the thing which is the subject of it must not happen; as, if I do not marry.

3. A positive fraud is the intentional and successful employment of any cunning, deception or artifice, to circumvent, cheat, or deceive another. 1 Story, Eq. 186; Dig. 4, 3, 1, 2; Dig. 2, 14, 7, 9. It is cited in opposition to constructive fraud. (q. v.)

4. Positive evidence is that which, if believed, establishes the truth or falsehood of a fact in issue, and does not arise from any presumption. It is distinguished from circumstantial evidence. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3057.

POSSE. This word is used substantively to signify a possibility. For example, such a thing is in posse, that is, such a thing may possibly be; when the thing is in being, the phrase to express it is, in esse. (q. v.)

POSSE COMITATUS. These Latin words signify the power of the county.

2. The sheriff has authority by the common law, while acting under the authority of the writ of the United States, commonwealth or people, as the case may be, and for the purpose of preserving the public peace, to call to his aid the posse comitatus.

3. But with respect to writs which issue, in the first instance, to arrest in civil suits, the sheriff is not bound to take the posse comitatus to assist him in the execution of them: though he may, if he pleases, on forcible resistance to the execution of the process. 2 Inst. 193; 3 Inst. 161.

4. Having the authority to call in the assistance of all, it seems to follow, that he may equally require that of any individual; but to this general rule there are some exceptions; persons of infirm health, or who want understanding, minors under the age of fifteen years, women, and perhaps some others, it seems, cannot be required to assist the sheriff, and are therefore not considered as a part of the power of the county. Vin. Ab. Sheriff, B.

5. A refusal on the part of an individual lawfully called upon to assist the officer in putting down a riot is indictable. 1 Carr. & Marsh. 314. In this case will be found the form of an indictment for this offence.

6. Although the sheriff is acting without authority, yet it would seem that any person who obeys his command, unless aware of that fact, will be protected.

7. Whether an individual not enjoined by the sheriff to lend his aid, would be protected in his interference, seems questionable. In a case where the defendant assisted sheriff's officers in executing a writ of replevin without their solicitation, the court held him justified in so doing. 2 Mod. 244. Vide Bac. Ab. Sheriff, N; Hamm. N. P. 63; 5 Whart. R. 437, 440.

POSSESSED. This word is applied to the right and enjoyment of a termor or a person having a term, who is said to be possessed, and not seized. Bac. Tr. 335; Poph. 76; Dy. 369.

POSSESSIO FRATRIS. The brother's possession. This is a technical phrase which is applied in the English law relating to descents. By the common law, the ancestor from whom the inheritance was taken by descent, must have had actual seisin of the lands, either by his own entry, or by the possession of his own, or his ancestor's lessee for years, or by being in the receipt of rent from the lessee of the freehold. But there are qualifications as to this rule, one of which arises from the doctrine of possesio fratris. The possession of a tenant for years, guardian or brother, is equivalent to that of the party himself, and is termed in law possessio fratris. Litt. sect. 8 Co. Litt. 15 a; 3 Wils. 516 7 T. R. 386 2 Hill Ab. 206.

2. In Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and probably in other states, the real and personal estates of intestates are distributed among the heirs, without any reference or regard to the actual seisin of the ancestor. Reeve on Des. 377 to 379; 4 Mason's R. 467; 3 Day's R. 166; 2 Pet. R. 59. In Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Vermont, the doctrine of possessio fratris, it seems, still exists. 2 Peters' Rep. 625; Reeve on Desc. 377; 4 Kent, Com. 384, 5.

POSSESSION, intern. law. By possession is meant a country which is held by no other title than mere conquest.

2. In this sense Possession differs from a dependency, which belongs rightfully to the country which has dominion over it; and from colony, which is a country settled by citizens or subjects of the mother country. 3 Wash. C. C. R. 286.

POSSESSION, property. The detention or enjoyment of a thing which a man holds or exercises by himself or by another who keeps or exercises it in his name. By the possession of a thing, we always conceive the condition, in which not only one's own dealing with the thing is physically possible, but every other person's dealing with it is capable of being excluded. Thus, the seaman possesses his ship, but not the water in which it moves, although he makes each subserve his purpose.

2. In order to complete a possession two things are required. 1st. That there be an occupancy, apprehension, (q. v.) or taking. 2dly. That the taking be with an intent to possess (animus possidendi), hence persons who have no legal wills, as children and idiots, cannot possess or acquire possession. Poth. h. It.; Etienne, h. t. See Mer. R. 358; Abbott on Shipp. 9, et seq. But an infant of sufficient understanding may lawfully acquire the possession of a thing.

3. Possession is natural or civil; natural, when a man detains a thing corporeal, as by occupying a house, cultivating grounds or retaining a movable in his custody; possession is civil, when a person ceases to reside in the house, or on the land which he occupied, or to detain the movable he possessed, but without intending to abandon the possession. See, as to possession of lands, 2 Bl. Com. 116; Hamm. Parties, 178; 1 McLean's R. 214, 265.

4. Possession is also actual or constructive; actual, when the thing is in the immediate occupancy of the party. 3 Dey. R. 34. Constructive, when a man claims to hold by virtue of some title, without having the actual Occupancy; as, when the owner of a lot of land, regularly laid out, is in possession of any part, he is considered constructively in possession of the whole. 11 Vern. R. 129. What removal of property or loss of possession will be sufficient to constitute larceny, vide 2 Chit. Cr. Law, 919; 19 Jurist, 14; Etienne, h. t. Civ. Code of Louis. 3391, et seq.

5. Possession, in the civil law, is divided into natural and civil. The same division is adopted by the Civil Code of Louisiana.

6. Natural possession is that by which a man detains a thing corporeal, as by occupying a house, cultivating ground, or retaining a movable in his possession. Natural possession is also defined to be the corporeal detention of a thing, which we possess as belonging to us, without any title to that possession, or with a title which is void. Civ. Code of Lo. art. 3391, 3393.

7. Possession is civil, when a person ceases to reside in a house or on the land which he occupied, or to detain the movable which he possessed, but without intending to abandon the possession. It is the detention of a thing, by virtue of a just title, and under the conviction of possessing as owner. Id. art. 3392, 3394.

8. Possession applies properly only to corporeal things, movables and immovables. The possession of incorporeal rights, such as servitudes and other rights of that nature, is only a quasi. possession, and is exercised by a species of possession of which these rights are susceptible. Id. art. 3395.

9. Possession may be enjoyed by the proprietor of the, thing, or by another for him; thus the proprietor of ahouse possesses it by his tenant or farmer.

10. To acquire possession of a property, two things are requisite. 1. The intention of possessing as owner. 2. The corporeal possession of the thing. Id. art. 3399.

11. Possession is lost with or without the consent of the possessor. It is lost with his consent, 1. When he transfers this possession to another with the intention to divest himself of it. 2. When he does some act, which manifests his intention of abandoning possession, as when a man throws into the street furniture or clothes, of which he no longer chooses to make use. Id. art. 3411. A possessor of an estate loses the possession against his consent. 1. When another expels him from it, whether by force in driving him away, or by usurping possession during his absence, aud preventing him from reentering. 2. When the possessor of an estate allows it to be usurped, and held for a year, without, during that time, having done any act of possession, or interfered with the usurper's possession. Id. art. 3412.

12. As to the effects of the purchaser's taking possession, see Sugd. Vend. 8, 9; 3 P. Wms. 193; 1 Ves. Jr. 226; 12 Ves. Jr. 27; 11 Ves. Jr. 464. Vide, generally, 5 Harr. & John. 230, 263; 6 Har. & John. 336; 1 Har. & John. 18; 1 Greenl. R. 109; 2 Har. & McH. 60, 254, 260; 3 Bibb, R. 209 1 Har. & McH., 210; 4 Bibb, R. 412, 6 Cowen, R. 632; 9 Cowen, R. 241; 5 Wheat. R. 116, 124; Cowp. 217; Code Nap. art. 2228; Code of the Two Sicilies, art. 2134; Bavarian Code, B. 2, c. 4, n. 5; Prus. Code, art. 579; Domat, Lois Civ. liv. 3, t, 7, s. 1; Vin. Ab. h. t.; Wolff, Inst. 200, and the note in the French translation; 2 Greenl. Ev. 614, 615; Co. Litt. 57 a; Cro. El. 777; 5 Co. 13; 7 John. 1.

POSSESSOR. He who holds, detains or enjoys a thing, either by himself or his agent, which he claims as his own.

2. In general the possessor of personal chattels is presumed to be the owner; and in case of real estate he has a right to receive the profits, until a title adverse to his possession has been established, leaving him subject to an action for the mesne profits. (q. v.)

POSSESSORY ACTION, old Eng. law. A reall action in which the plaintiff called the demandant, sought to recover the possession of lands, tenements, and hereditaments. On account of the great nicety required in its management, and the introduction of more expeditious methods of trying titles by other actions, it has been laid aside. Finch's Laws, 257; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2640.

2. In Louisiana, by this term is understood an action by which one claims to be maintained in the possession of an immovable property, or of a right upon or growing out of it, when he has been disturbed: or to be reinstated to that possession, when he has been divested or evicted. Code of Practice, art. 6; 2 L. R. 227, 454.

POSSIBILITY. An uncertain thing which may happen; Lilly's Reg. h. t.; or it is a contingent interest in real or personal estate. 1 Mad. Ch. 549.

2. Possibilities are near as when an estate is limited to one after the death of another; or remote, as that one man shall be married to a woman, and then that she shall die, and he be married to another. 1 Fonb. Eq. 212, n. e; l6 Vin. Ab. h. t., p. 460; 2 Co. 51 a.

3. Possibilities are also divided into, 1. A possibility coupled with an interest. This may, of course, be sold, assigned, transmitted or devised; such a possibility occurs in executory devises, and in contingent, springing or executory uses.

4. - 2. A bare possibility, or hope of succession; this is the case of an heir apparent, during the life of his ancestor. It is evident that he has no right which he can assign, devise, or even, release.

5. - 3. A possibility' or mere contingent interest, as a devise to Paul if he survive Peter. Dane's Ab. c. 1, a 5, 2, and the cases there cited.

 
 
 
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