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RACK, punishments. An engine with which to torture a supposed criminal, in order to extort a confession of his supposed crime, and the names of his supposed accomplices. Unknown in the United States.

2. This instrument, known by the nickname of the Duke of Exeter's daughter, was in use in England. Barr. on the Stat. 866 12 S. & R. 227.

BACK RENT, Engl. law. The full extended value of land let by lease, payable by tenant for life or Years. Wood's Inst. 192.

RADOUB, French law. This word designates the repairs made to a ship, and a fresh supply of furniture and victuals, munitions and other provisions required for the voyage. Pard. n. 602.

RAILWAY. A road made with iron rails or other suitable materials.

2. Railways are to be constructed and used as directed by the legislative acts creating them.

3. In general, a railroad company may take lands for the purpose of making a road when authorized by the charter, by paying a just value for the same. 8 S. & M. 649.

4. For most purposes a railroad is a public highway, but it may be the subject of private property, and it has been held that it may be sold as such, unless the sale be forbidden by the legislature; not the franchise, but the land constituting the road. 5 Iredell, 297. In. general, however, the public can only have a right of way for it is not essential that the public should enjoy the land itself, namely, its treasures, minerals, and the like, as these would add nothing to the convenience of the public.

5. Rail-road companies, like all other principals, are liable for the acts of their agents, while in their employ, but they can not be made responsible for accidents which could not be avoided. 2 Iredell, 234; 2 McMullan, 403.

RAIN WATER. The water which naturally falls from the clouds.

2. No one has a right to build his house so as to cause the rain water to fall over his neighbor's land; 1 Rolle's Ab. 107; 2 Leo. 94; 1 Str. 643; Fortesc. 212; Bac. Ab. Action on. the case, F.; 5 Co. 101; 2 Rolle, Ab. 565, 1. 10; 1 Com. Dig. Action upon the case for a nuisance, A; unless he has acquired a right by a grant or prescription.

3. When the land remains in a state of nature, says a learned writer, and by the natural descent, the rain water would descend from the superior estate over the lower, the latter is necessarily subject to receive such water. 1 Lois des Batimens, 15, 16. Vide 2 Roll. 140; Dig. 39, 3; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1608.

RANGE. This word is used in the land laws of the United States to designate the order of the location of such lands, and in patents from the United States to individuals they are described as being within a certain range.

RANK. The order or place in which certain officers are placed in the army and navy, in relation to others, is called their rank.

2. It is a maxim, that officers of, an inferior rank are bound to obey all the lawful commands of their superiors, and are justified for such obedience.

RANKING. In Scotland this term is used to signify the order in which the debts of a bankrupt ought to be paid.

RANSOM, contracts, war. An agreement made between the commander of a capturing vessel with the commander of a vanquished vessel, at sea, by which the former permits the latter to depart with his vessel, and gives him a safe conduct, in consideration of a sum of money, which the commander of the vanquished vessel, in his own name, and in the name of the owners of his vessel and cargo, promises to pay at a future time named, to the other.

2. This contract is usually made in writing in duplicate, one of which is kept by the vanquished vessel which is its safe conduct; and the other by the conquering vessel, which is properly called ransom bill.

3. This contract, when made in good faith, and not locally prohibited, is valid, and may be enforeed. Such contracts have never been prohibited in this country. 1 Kent, Com. 105. In England they are generally forbidden. Chit. Law of Nat. 90 91; Poth. Tr. du Dr. de Propr. n. 127. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 260; Wesk. 435; 7 Com. Dig. 201; Marsh. Ins. 431; 2 Dall. 15; 15 John. 6; 3 Burr. 1734. The money paid for the redemption of such property is also called the ransom.

RAPE, crim. law. The carnal knowledge of a woman by a man forcibly and unlawfully against her will. In order to ascertain precisely the nature of this offence, this definition will be analysed.

2. Much difficulty has arisen in defining the meaning of carnal knowledge, and different opinions have been entertained some judges having supposed that penetration alone is sufficient, while other's deemed emission as an essential ingredient in the crime. Hawk. b. 1, c. 41, s. 3; 12 Co. 37; 1 Hale, P. C. 628; 2 Chit. Cr. L. 810. But in modern times the better opinion seems to be that both penetration and emission are necessary. 1 East, P. C. 439; 2 Leach, 854. It is, however, to be remarked, that very slight evidence may be sufficient to induce a jury to believe there was emission. Addis. R. 143; 2 So. Car. C. R. 351; 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 140. 4 Chit. Bl. Com. 213, note 8. In Scotland, emission is not requisite. Allis. Prin. 209, 210. See Emission; Penetration.

3. By the term man in this definition is meant a male of the human species, of the age of fourteen years and upwards; for an infant, under fourteen years, is supposed by law incapable of committing this offence. 1 Hale, P. C. 631; 8 C. & P. 738. But not only can an infant uncler fourteen years, if of sufficient mischievous discretion, but even a woman may be guilty as principals in the second degree. And the hushand of a woman may be a principal in the second degree of a rape committed upon his wife, as where he held her while his servant committed the rape. 1 Harg St. Tr. 388.

4. The knowledge of the woman's person must be forcibly and against her will; and if her consent has not been voluntarily and freely given, (when she has the power to consent,) the offence will be complete, nor will any subsequent acquiescence on her part do away the guilt of the ravisher. A consent obtained from a woman by actual violence, by duress or threats of murder, or by the administration of stupefying drugs, is not such a consent as will shield the offender, nor turn his crime into adultery or fornication.

5. The matrmonial consent of the wife cannot be retracted, and, therefore, her hushand cannot be guilty of a rape on her as his act is not unlawful. But, as already observed, he may be guilty as principal in the second degree.

6. As a child under ten years of age is incapable in law to give her consent, it follows, that the offence may be committed on such a child whether she consent or not. See Stat. 18 Eliz, c. 7, s. 4. See, as to the possibility of commi tting a rape, and as to the signs which indicate it, 1 Beck's Med. Jur. ch. 12; Merlin, Rep. mot Viol.; 1 Briand, Med. Leg. 1ere partic, c. 1, p. 66; Biessy, Manuel Medico-Legal, &c. p. 149; Parent Duchatellet, De la Prostitution dans la ville de Paris, c. 3, 5 Barr. on the Stat. 123; 9 Car. & P. 752 2 Pick. 380; 12 S. & R. 69; 7 Conn. 54 Const. R. 354; 2 Vir. Cas. 235.

RAPE, division of a country. In the English law, this is a district similar to that of a hundred; but oftentimes containing in it more hundreds than one.

RAPINE, crim. law. This is almost indistinguishable from robbery. (q. v.) It is the felonious taking of another man's personal property, openly and by violence, against his will. The civilians define rapine to be the taking with violence, the movable property of another, with the fraudulent intent to appropriate it to one's own USC. Lec. El. Dr. Rom. 1071.

RAPPORT A SUCCESSION. A French term used in Louisiana, which is somewhat similar in its meaning to our homely term hotch-pot. It is the reunion to the mass of the succession, of the things given by the deceased ancestor to his heir, in order that the whole may be divided among the do-heirs.

2. The obligation to make the rapport has a tripple foundation. 1. It is to be presumed that the deceased intended in making an advancement, to give only a portion of the inheritance. 2. It establishes the equality of adivision, at least, with regard to the children of the same parent, who all have an equal right to the succession. 3. It preserves in families that harmony, which is always disturbed by unjust favors to one who has only an equal right. Dall. Dict. h. t. See Advancement; Collation; Hotchpot.

RASCATL. An opprobrious term, applied to persons of bad character. The law does not presume that a damage has arisen because the defendant has been called a rascal, and therefore no general damages can be recovered for it; if the party has received special damages in consequence of being so called, be can recover a recompense to indennify him for his loss.

RASURE. The scratching or scraping a writing, so as to prevent some part of it from being read. The word writing here is intended to include printing. Vide Addition; Erasure and Interlineation. Also 8 Vin. Ab. 169; 13 Vin. Ab. 37; Bac. Ab. Evidence, F.; 4 Com. Dig. 294; 7 Id. 202.

RATE. A public valuation or assessment of every man's estate; or the ascertaining how much tax every one shall pay. Vide Pow. Mortg. Index, h. t.; Harr. Dig. h. t.; 1 Hopk. C. R. 87.

RATE OF EXCHANGE. Among merchants, by rate of exchange is understood the price at which a bill drawn in one country upon another, may be sold in the former.

RATIFICATION, contracts. An agreement to adopt an act performed by another for us.

2. Ratifications are either empress or implied. The former are made in express and direct terms of assent; the latter are such as the law presumes from the acts of the principal; as, if Peter buy goods for James, and the latter, knowing the fact, receive them and apply them to his own use. By ratifying a contract a man adopts the agency, altogether, as well what is detrimental as that which is for his benefit. 2 Str. R. 859; 1 Atk. 128; 4 T. R. 211; 7 East, R. 164; 16 M. R. 105; 1 Ves. 509 Smith on Mer. L. 60; Story, Ag. 250 9 B. & Cr. 59.

3. As a general rule, the principal has the right to elect whether he will adopt the unauthorized act or not. But having once ratified the act, upon a full knowledge of all the material circumstances, the ratification cannot be revoked or recalled, and the principal becomes bound as if he had originally authorized the act. Story, Ag. 250; Paley, Ag. by Lloyd, 171; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 197.

4. The ratification of a lawful contract has a retrospective effect, ana binds the principal from its date, and not only from the time of the ratification, for the ratification is equivalent to an original authority, according to the maxim, that omnis ratihabitio mandate aeguiparatur. Poth. Ob. n. 75; Ld. Raym. 930; Com. 450; 5 Burr. 2727; 2 H. Bl. 623; 1 B. & P. 316; 13 John.; R. 367; 2 John. Cas. 424; 2 Mass. R. 106.

5. Such ratification will, in general, relieve the agent from all responsibility on the contract, when be would otherwise have been liable. 2 Brod. & Bing. 452. See 16 Mass. R. 461; 8 Wend. R. 494; 10 Wend. R. 399; Story, Ag. 251. Vide Assent, and Ayl. Pand. *386; 18 Vin. Ab. 156; 1 Liv. on, Ag. c. 2, 4, p. 44, 47; Story on Ag. 239; 3 Chit. Com. L. 197; Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 324; Smith on Mer. L. 47, 60; 2 John. Cas. 424; 13 Mass. R. 178; Id. 391; Id. 379; 6 Pick. R. 198; 1 Bro. Ch. R. 101, note; S. C. Ambl. R. 770; 1 Pet. C. C. R. 72; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.

6. An infant is not liable on his contracts; but if, after coming of age, he ratify the contract by an actual or express declaration, he will be bound to perform it, as if it had been made after he attained full age. The ratification must be voluntary, deliberate, and intelligent, and the party must know that without it, he would not be bound. 11 S. & R. 305, 311; 3 Penn. St. R. 428. See 12 Conn. 551, 556; 10 Mass. 137,140; 14 Mass. 457; 4 Wend. 403, 405. But a confirmation or ratification of a contract, may be implied from acts of the infant after he becomes of age; as by enjoying or claiming a benefit under a contract be might have wholly rescinded; 1 Pick. 221, 22 3; and an infant partner will be liable for the contracts of the firm, or at least such as were known to him, if he, after becoming of age, confirm the contract of partnership by transacting business of the firm, receiving profits, and the like. 2 Hill. So. Car. Rep. 479; 1 B. Moore, 289.

RATIFICATION OF TREATIES. The constitution of the United States, art. 2, s. 2, declares that the president shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur. 2. So treaty is therefore of any validity to bind the nation unless it has been ratified by two-thirds of the members present in the senate at the time its expediency or propriety may have been discussed. Vide Treaty.

RATIHABITION, contracts. Confirmation; approbation of a contract; ratification. Vin. Ab. h. t.; Assent. (q. v.)

RATIONALIBUS DIVISIS, WRIT DE. The name of a writ which lies properly when two men have lands in several towns or hamlets, so that the one is seised of the land in one town or hamlet, and the other, of the other town or hamlet by himself; and they do not know the bounds of the town or hamlet, nor of their respective lands. This writ lies by one, against the other, and the object of it is to fix the boundaries. F . N. B. 300.

RAVISHED, pleadings. In indictments for rape, this technical word must be introduced, for no other word, nor any circumlocution, will answer the purpose. The defendant should be charged with having "feloniously ravished" the prosecutrix, or woman mentioned in the indictment. Bac. Ab. Indictment, G l; Com. Dig. Indictment, G 6; Hawk. B. 2, c. 25, s. 56; Cro. C. C. 37; 1 Hale, 628: 2 Hale, 184 Co. Litt. 184, n. p.; 2 Inst. 180; 1 East, P. C. 447. The words "feloniously did ravish and carnally know," imply that the act was done forcibly and against the will of the woman. 12 S. & R. 70. Vide 3 Chit. Cr. Law, 812.

RAVISHMENT, crim. law. This word has several meanings. 1. It is an unlawful taking of a woman, or an heir in ward. 2. It is sometimes used synonymously with rape.

RAVISHMENT OF WARD, Eng. law. The marriage of an infant ward, without the consent of the guardian, is called a ravishment of ward, and punishable by statute. Westminster 2, c. 35.

READING. The act of making known the contents of a writing or of a printed document.

2. In order to enable a party to a contract or a devisor to know what a paper contains it must be read, either by the party himself or by some other person to him. When a person signs or executes a paper, it will be presumed that it has been read to him, but this presumption may be rebutted.

3. In the case of a blind testator, if it can be proved that the will was not read to him, it cannot be sustained. 3 Wash. C C. R. 580. Vide 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2012.

 
 
 
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