REAL. A term which is applied to land in its most enlarged
signification. Real security, therefore, means the security of mortgages or
other incumbrances affecting lands. 2 Atk. 806; S. C. 2 Ves. sen. 547.
2. In the civil law, real has not the same meaning as it has in the common
law. There it signifies what relates to a thing, whether it be movable or
immovable, lands or goods; thus, a real injury is one which is done to a thing,
as a trespass to property, whether it be real or personal in the common law
sense. A real statute is one which relates to a thing, in contradistinction to
such as relate to a person,
REAL ACTIONS. Those which concern the realty only, being such by which
the demandant claims title to have any lands or tenements, rents, or other
hereditaments, in fee simple, fee tail, or for term of life. 3 Bl. Com. 117.
2. In the civil law, by real actions are meant those which arise from a right
in a thing, whether it be movable or immovable.
REAL CONTRACT, com. law. By this term are understood contracts in
respect to real property. 3 Rawle, 225.
2. In the civil law real contracts are those which require the interposition
of thing (rei,) as the subject of them; for instance, the loan for goods to be
3. By that law, contracts are divided into those which are formed by the mere
consent of the parties, and therefore are called consensual; such as sale,
hiring and mandate, and those in which it is necessary that there should be
something more than mere consent, such as the loan of money, deposit or pledge,
which, from their nature, require the delivery of the thing; whence they are
called real. Poth. Obl. p. 1, c. 1, s. 1, art. 2.
REAL PROPERTY, That which consists of land, and of all rights and
profits arising from and annexed to land, of a permanent, immovable nature. In
order to make one's interest in land, real estate, it must be an interest not
less than for the party's life, because a term of years, even for a thousand
years, perpetually renewable, is a mere personal estate. 3 Russ. R. 376. It is
usually comprised under the words lands, tenements, and hereditaments. Real
property is corporeal, or incorporeal.
2. Corporeal consists wholly of substantial, permanent objects, which may all
be comprehended under the general denomination of land. There are some chattels
which are so annexed to the inheritance, that they are deemed a part of it, and
are called heir looms. (q. v.) Money agreed or directed to be laid out in land
is considered as real estate. Newl. on Contr. chap. 3; Fonb. Eq. B. 1, c. 6, §9;
3 Wheat. Rep. 577.
3. Incorporeal property, consists of certain inheritable rights, which are
not, strictly speaking, of a corporeal nature, or land, although they are by
their own nature or by use, annexed to corporeal inheritances, and are rights
issuing out of them, or which concern them. These distinctions agree with the
civil law. Just. Inst. 2, 2; Poth. Traite de la Communaute, part 1, c. 2, art.
1. The incorporeal hereditaments which subsist by the laws of the several states
are fewer than those recognized by the English law. In the United States, there
are fortunately no advowsons, tithes, nor dignities, as inheritances.
4. The most common incorporeal hereditaments, are, 1. Commons. 2. Ways. 3.
Offices. 4. Franchises. 5. Rents. For authorities of what is real or personal
property, see 8 Com. Dig. 564; 1 Vern. Rep. by Raithby, 4, n.; 2 Kent, Com. 277;
3 Id. 331; 4 Watts' R. 341; Bac. Ab. Executors, H 3; 1 Mass. Dig. 394; 5 Mass.
R. 419, and the references under the article Personal property, (q. v.) and
Property. (q. v.)
5. The principal distinctions between real and personal property, are the
following: 1. Real property is of a permanent and immovable nature, and the
owner has an estate therein at least for life. 2. It descends from the ancestor
to the heir instead of becoming the property of an executor or admin-istrator on
the death of the owner, as in case of personalty. 3. In case of alienation, it
must in general be made by deed, 5 B. & C. 221, and in presenti by the
common law; whereas leases for years may commence in futuro, and personal
chattels may be transferred by parol or delivery. 4. Real estate when devised,
is subject to the widow's dower personal estate can be given away by will
discharged of any claim of the widow.
6. These are some interests arising out of, or connected with real property,
which in some respects partake of the qualities of personally; as, for example,
heir looms, title deeds, which, though in themselves movable, yet relating to
land descend from ancestor to heir, or from a vendor to a purchaser. 4 Bin .
7. It is a maxim in equity, that things to be done will be considered as
done, and vice versa. According to this doctrine money or goods will be
considered as real property, and land will be treated as personal property.
Money directed by a will to be laid out in land is, in equity, considered as
land, and will pass by the words "lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever
and wheresoever." 3 Bro. C. C. 99; 1 Tho. Co. Litt. 219, n. T.
REALITY OF LAWS. Those laws which govern property, whether real or
personal, or things; the term is used in persona opposition to personality of
laws. (q. v.) Story, Confl. of L. 23.
REALM. A kingdom; a country. 1 Taunt. 270; 4 Campb. 289; Rose, R.
REALTY. An abstract of real, as distinguished from personalty. Realty
relates to lands and tenements, rents or other hereditaments. Vide Real
REASON. By reason is usually understood that power by which we
distinguish truth from falsehood, and right from wrong; and by which we are
enabled to combine means for the attainment of particular ends. Encyclopedie, h.
t.; Shef. on Lun. Introd. xxvi. Ratio in jure aequitas integra.
2. A man deprived of reason is not criminally responsible for his acts, nor
can he enter into any contract.
3. Reason is called the soul of the law; for when the reason ceases, the law
itself ceases. Co. Litt. 97, 183; 1 Bl. Com. 70; 7 Toull. n. 566.
4. In Pennsylvania, the judges are required in giving their opinions, to give
the reasons upon which they are founded. A similar law exists in France, which
Toullier says is one of profound wisdom, because, he says, les arrets ne sont
plus comme autre fois des oracles muets qui commandent une obeissance passive;
leur autorite irrefragable pour ou contre ceux qui les ont obtenus, devient
soumise a la censure de la raison, quand on pretend les eriger en re-gles a
suivre en d'autres cas semblables, vol. 6, n. 301; judgments are not as formerly
silent oracles which require a passive obedience; their irrefragable authority,
for or against those who have obtained them, is submitted to the censure of
reason, when it is pretended to set them up as rules to be observed in other
similar cases. But see what Duncan J. says in 14 S. & R. 240.
REASONABLE. Conformable or agreeable to reason; just; rational.
2. An award must be reasonable, for if it be of things nugatory in
themselves, and offering no advantage to either of the parties, it cannot be
enforeed. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2096. Vide Award.
REASONABLE ACT. This term signifies such an act as the law requires.
When an act is unnecessary, a party will not be required to perform it as a
reasonable act. 9 Price's Rep. 43; Yelv. 44; Platt. on Cov. 342, 157.
REASONABLE TIME. The English law, which in this respect, has been
adopted by us, frequently requires things to be done within a reasonable time;
but what a reasonable time is it does not define: quam long-um debet esse
rationabile tempus, non definitur in lege, sed pendet ex discretione
justiciariorum. Co. Litt, 50. This indefinite requisition is the source of much
litigation. A bill of exchange, for example, must be presented within a
reasonable time Chitty, Bills, 197-202. An abandonment must be made within a
reasonable time after advice received of the loss. Marsh. Insurance, 589.
2. The commercial code of France fixes a time in both these cases, which
varies in proportion to the distance. See Code de Com. L. 1, t. 8, s. 1, §10,
art. 160; Id. L. 5, t. 10, s. 3, art. 373. Vide, generally, 6 East, 3; 7 East,
385; 3 B. & P. 599; Bayley on Bills, 239; 7 Taunt. 159, 397; 15 Pick. R.
92,; 3 Watts. R. 339; 10 Wend. R. 304; 13 Wend. R. 549; 1 Hall's R. 56 6 Wend.
R. 369; Id. 443; 1 Leigh's N. P. 435; Co. Litt. 56 b.
REASSURANCE. When an insurer is desirous of lessening his liability,
he may procure some other insurer to insure him from loss, for the insurance he
has made this is called reassurance.
REBATE, mer. law. Discount; the abatement of inferest in consequence
of prompt payment. Merch. Dict. h. t.
REBEL. A citizen or subject who unjustly and unlawfully takes up arms
against the constituted authorities of the nation, to deprive them of the
supreme power, either by resisting their lawful and constitutional orders, in
some particular matter, or to impose on them conditions. Vattel, Droit des Gens,
liv. 3, §328. In another sense it signifies a refusal to obey a superior, or the
commands of a court. Vide Commission of Rebellion.
REBELLION, crim. law. The taking up arms traitorously against the
government and in another, and perhaps a more correct sense, rebellion signifies
the forcible opposition and resistance to the laws and process lawfully
2. If the rebellion amount to treason, it is punished by the laws of the
United States with death. If it be a mere resistance of process, it is generally
punished by fine and imprisonment. See Dalloz, Dict. h. t.; Code Penal, 209.
REBELLION, COMMISSION OF. A commission of rebellion is the name of a
writ issuing out of chancery to compel the defendant to appear. Vide Commission
REBOUTER. To repel or bar. The action of the heir by the warranty of
his ancestor, is called to rebut or repel. 2 Tho. Co. Litt. 247, 303.
TO REBUT. To contradict; to do away as, every homicide is presumed to
be murder, unless the contrary appears from evidence which proves the death; and
this presumption it lies on the defendant to rebut by showing that it was
justifiable or excusable. Allis. Prin. 48.
REBUTTER, pleadings. The name of the defendant's answer to the
plaintiff's surrejoinder. It is governed by the same rules as the rejoinder. (q.
v.) 6 Com. Dig. 185.
REBUTTING EVIDENCE. That which is given by a party in the cause to
explain, repel, counteract or disprove facts given in evidence on the other
side. The term rebutting evidence is more particularly applied to that evidence
given by the plaintiff, to explain or repel the evidence given by the
2. It is a general rule that anything may be given as rebutting evidence
which is a direct reply ta that produced on the other side; 2 M'Cord, 161; and
the proof of circumstances may be offered to rebut the most positive testi-mony.
Pet. C. C. 235. See Circumstances.
3. But there are several rules which exclude all rebutting evidence. A party
cannot impeach the validity of a promissory note which he has made or en-dorsed;
3 John. Cas. 185; nor impeach his own witness, though he may disprove, by other
witnesses, matters to which he has testified; 3 Litt. 465, nor can be rebut or
contradict what a witness has sworn to, which is immaterial to the issue. 16
Pick. 153; 2 Bailey, 118.
4. Parties and privies are estopped from contradicting a written instrument
by parol proof, but this rule does not apply to strangers. 10 John. 229. But the
parties may prove that before breach the agreement was abandoned, or annulled by
a subsequent agreement not in writing. 4 N. Hamp. Rep. 196. And when the writing
was made by another, as, where the log-book stated a desertion, the party
affected by it may prove that the entry was false or made by mistake. 4 Mason,
TO RECALL, international law. To deprive a minister of his functions;
to supersede him.
TO RECALL A JUDGMENT. To reverse a judgment on a matter, of fact; the
judgment is then said to be recalled or revoked, and when it is reversed for an
error of law, it is said simply to be reversed, quod judicium reversetur.
RECAPTURE, war. By this term is understood the recovery from the
enemy, by a friendly force, of a prize by him captured. It differs from rescue.
2. It seems incumbent on follow citizens, and it is of course equally the
duty of allies, to rescue each other from the enemy when there is a reasonable
prospect of success. 3 Rob. Rep. 224.
3. The recaptors are not entitled to the property captured, as if it were a
new prize; the owner is entitled to it by the right of postliminium. (q. v.)
Dall. Dict. mots Prises maritmies, art. 2, §4.
RECAPTION, remedies. The act of a person who has been deprived of the
cus-tody of another to which he is legally entitled, by which he regains the
peaceable custody of such person; or of the owner of personal or real property
who has been deprived of his possession, by which he retakes possession,
peaceably. In each of these cases the law allows the recaption of the person or
of the property, provided he can do so without occasioning a breach of the
peace, or an injury to a third person who has not been a party to the wrong. 3
Inst. 134; 2 Rolle, Rep. 55, 6; Id. 208; 2 Rolle, Abr. 565; 3 Bl. Comm. 5; 3
Bouv. Inst. n. 2440, et seq.
2. Recaption may be made of a person, of personal property, of real property;
each of these will be separately examined.
3. - 1. The right of recaption of a person is confined to a hushand in
re-taking his wife; a parent, his child, of whom he has the custody; a master,
his apprentice and, according to Blackstone, a master, his servant; but this
must be limited to a servant who assents to the recaption; in these cases, the
party injured may peaceably enter the house of the wrongdoer, without a demand
being first made, the outer door being open, and take and carry away the person
wrongfully detained. He may also enter peaceably into the house of a person
harboring, who was not concerned in the original abduction. 8 Bing. R. 186; S.
C. 21 Engl. C. L. Rep. 265.
4. - 2. The same principles extend to the right of recaption of personal
property. In this sort of recaption, too much care cannot be observed to avoid
any personal injury or breach of the peace.
5. - 3. In the recaption of real estate the owner may, in the absence of the
occupier, break open the outer door of a house and take possession; but if, in
regaining his possession, the party be guilty of a forcible entry and breach of
the peace, he may be indicted; but the wrongdoer or person who had no right to
the possession, cannot sustain any action for such forcible regaining possession
merely. 1 Chit. Pr. 646.