SEARCH, crim. law. An examination of a man's house, premises or
person, for the purpose of discovering proof of his guilt in relation to some
crime or misdemeanor of which be is accused.
2. The constitution of the United. States, amendments, art. 4, protects the
people from unreasonable searches and seizures. 3 Story, Const. §1895; Rawle,
Const. ch. 10, p. 127; 10 John. R. 263; 11 John. R. 500; 3 Cranch, 447.
3. By the act of March 2, 1799, s. 68, 1 Story's L. U. S. 632, it is enacted,
that every collector, naval officer, and surveyor, or other person specially
appointed, by either of them, for that purpose, shall have fall power and
authority to enter any ship or vessel, in which they shall have reason to
suspect any goods, wares, or merchandise, subject to duty, are concealed, and
therein to search for, seize, and secure any such goods, wares, or merchandise;
and if they shall have cause to suspect a concealment thereof in any particular
dwelling house, store, building, or other place they or either of them shall;
upon proper application, on oath, to any justice of the peace, be entitled to a
warrant to enter such house, store, or other place, (in the day time only, and
there to search for such goods; and if any shall be found, to seize and secure
the same for trial; and all such goods, wares, and merchandise, on which the
duties shall not have been paid, or secured to be paid, shall be forfeited.
SEARCH, practice. An examination made in the proper lien office for
mortgages, liens, judgments, or other encumbrances, against real estate. The
certificate given by the officer as to the result of such examination is also
called a search.
2. Conveyancers and others who cause searches to be made ought to be very
careful that they should be correct, with regard, 1. To the time during which
the person against whom the search has been made owned the premises. 2. To the
property searched against, which ought to be properly described. 3. To the form
of the certificate of search.
SEARCH, RIGHT OF, mar. law. The right existing in a belligerent to
examine and inspect the papers of a neutral vessel at sea. On the continent of
Europe, this is called the right of visit. Dalloz, Dict. mots Prises Maritimes,
2. The right does not extend to examine the cargo; nor does it extend to a
ship of war, it being strictly confined to the searching of merchant vessels.
The exercise of the right is to prevent the commerce of contraband goods.
Although frequently resisted by powerful neutral nations, yet this right appears
now to be fixed beyond contravention. The penalty for violently resisting this
right is the confiscation of the property so withheld from visitation. Unless in
extreme cases of gross abuse of his right by a belligerent, the neutral has no
right to resist a search. 1 Kent, Com. 154; 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 319; Mann.
Comm. B. 3, c. 11.
SEARCH WARRANT, crim. law, practice. A warrant (q. v.) requiring the
officer to whom it is addressed, to search a house or other place therein
specified, for property therein alleged to have been stolen; and if the same
shall be found upon such search, to bring the goods so found, together with the
body of the person occupying the same, who is named, before the justice or other
officer granting the warrant, or some other justice of the peace, or other
lawfully authorized officer. It should be given under the hand and seal of the
justice, and dated.
2. The constitution of the United States, amendments, art. 4, declares that
"the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and
no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
person or things to be seized."
3. Lord Hale, 2 P. C. 149, 150, recommends great caution in granting such
warrants. 1. That they be, not granted without oath made before a justice of a
felony committed, and that the complainant has probable cause to suspect they
are in such a house or place, and his reasons for such suspicion. 2. That such
warrants express that the search shall be made in day time. 3. That they ought
to be directed to a constable or other proper officer, and not to a private
person. 4. A search warrant ought to command the officer to bring the stolen
goods and the person in whose custody they are, before some justice of the
peace. Vide 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 57, 64; 4 Inst. 176; Hawk. B. 2, c. 13, s. 17, n.
6; 11 St. Tr; 321; 2 Wils. 149, 291; Burn's Just. h. t.; Williams' Just. h. t.
SEARCHER, Eng. law. An officer of the customs, whose duty it is to
examine and search all ships outward bound, to ascertain whether they have any
prohibited or uncustomed goods on board.
SECK. This word has two significations. 1. It means a warrant of
remedy by distress. Litt. s. 218; and vide Rent. 2. It imports want of present
fruit or profit, as in the case of the reversion without rent or other service,
except fealty. Co. Litt. 151 b, note 5.
SECOND. A measure equal to one sixtieth part of a minute. Vide Measure.
SECOND DELIVERANCE, practice. The name of a writ given by statute of
Westminster the second, 13 Edw. 1. c. 2, founded on the record of a former
action of replevin. 2 Inst. 341. It commands the sheriff, if the plaintiff make
him secure of prosecuting his claim, and returning the chattels which were
adjudged to the defendant by reason of the plaintiff's default, to make
deliver-ance. On being nonsuited, the plaintiff in replevin might, at common
law, have brought another replevin, and so in infinitum, to the intolerable
vexation of the defendant. The statute of Westminster restrains the plaintiff
When nonsuited from so doing, but allows him this writ, issuing out of the
original record, in order to have the same distress delivered again to him, on
his giving the like security as before. 3 Bl. Com. 150,; Hamm. N. P. 495; F. N.
B. 68; 19 Vin. Ab. 1.
SECOND SURCHARGE, WRIT OF. The name of a writ issued in England
against a commoner who has a second time surcharged the common. 3 Bl. Com. 239.
SECONDARY, construction. That which comes after the first, which is
primary: as, the primary law of, nations the secondary law of nations.
SECONDARY, English law. An officer who is second or next to the chief
officer; as secondaries to the prothonotaries of the courts of king's bench, or
common pleas; secondary of the remembrancer in the exchequer, &c. Jacob, L.
D. h. t.
SECONDARY EVIDENCE. That species of proof which is admissible on the
loss of primary evidence, and which becomes, by that event, the best evidence. 3
Bouv. Inst. n. 3055.
SECONDS, crim. law. Those persons who assist, direct and support
others engaged in fighting a duel.
2. As they are often much to blame in inciting the duellists to their rash
act, and as they are always assisting in the commission of the crime, the laws
generally punish them with severity but, in consequence of the false ideas too
generally entertained on the subject of honor, the are too seldom enforced.
SECRET. That which is not to be revealed.
2. Attorneys and counsellors, who have been trusted professionally with the
secrets of their clients, are not allowed to reveal them in a court of justice.
The right of secrecy belongs to the client, and not to the attorney and
3. As to the matter communicated, it extends to all cases where the client
applies for professional advice or assistance; and it does not appear that the
protection is qualified by any reference to proceedings pending or in
contem-plation. Story, Eq. Pl. §600; 1 Milne & K. 104; 3 Sim. R. 467.
3. Documents confided professionally to the counsel cannot be demanded,
unless indeed the party would himself be bound to produce them. Hare on Discov.
171. Grand jurors are sworn the commonwealth's secrets, their fellows and their
own to keep. Vide Confidential comunications; Witness.
SECRET, rights. A knowledge of something which is unknown to orthers,
out of which a profit may be made; for example, an invention of a machine, or
the discovery of the effect of the combination of certain matters.
2. Instances have occurred of secrets of that kind being kept for many years,
but they are liable to constant detection. As such secrets are not pro-perty,
the possessors of them in general prefer making them public, and securing the
exclusive right for years, under the patent laws, to keeping them in an insecure
manner, without them. See Phil. on Pat. ch. 15; Gods. on Pat. 171; Dav. Pat.
Cas. 429; 8 Ves. 215; 2 Ves. & B. 218; 2 Mer. 446; 3 Mer. 157; 1 Jac. &
W. 394; 1 Pick. 443; 4 Mason, 15; 3 B. & P. 630.
SECRETARY. An officer who, by order of his superior, writes letters
and other instruments. He is so called because he is possessed of the secrets of
his employer. This term wag used in France in 1343, and in England the term
secretary was first applied to the clerks of the king, who being always near his
person were called clerks of the secret, and in the reign of Henry VIII. the
term secretary of state came into it.
SECRETARY OF EMBASSY or OF LEGATION. An officer appointed by the
sovereign power, to accompany a minister of first or secoud rank, and sometimes,
though not often, of an inferior rank. He is, in fact, a species of public
minister; for independently of his protection as attached to an ambassador's
suite, be enjoys, in his own rights, the same protection of the law of nations,
and the same immunities as an ambassador. But private secretaries of a minister
must Dot be confounded with secretaries of embassy or of legation. Such private
secretaries are entitled to protection only as belonging to the suite of the
2. The functions of a secretary of legation consist in his employment by his
minister for objects of ceremony; in making verbal reports to the secretary of
state, or other foreign ministers; in taking care of the archives of the
mission; in ciphering and deciphering despatches; in sometimes making rough
draughts of the notes or letters whicb the minister writes to his colleagues or
to the local authorities; in drawup proces verbaux; in presenting passports to
the minister for his signature, and delivering them to the persons for whom they
are intended; and, finally, in assisting the minister, under whom be is placed,
in everything concerning the affairs of the mission. In the absence of the
minister he is admitted to conferences and to present notes signed by the
minister. Vide Ambassador; Minister; Suite.
SECRETARY OF LEGATION. An officer employed to attend a foreign
mission, and to perform certain duties as clerk.
2. His salary is fixed by the act of congress of May 1, 1810, s. 1, at such a
sum as the president of the United States may allow, not exceeding two thousand
3. The salary of a secretary of embassy, or the secretary of a minister
plenipotentiary, is the same as that of a secretary of legation.
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, government. This officer is appointed by the
president. His duties are to execute all such orders as he shall receive from
the president, relative to the procurement of naval stores and materials, and
the construction, armament, equipment and employment of vessels of war; as well
as all other matters connected with the naval establishment of the United
States; act of 30th April, 1798, s. 1, 1 Story's Laws, 498; he appoints his own
clerks and subordinate officers. Various other duties are imposed upon him by
sundry acts of congress. Vide Gordon's Dig. art. 370 to 375.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars. Act of 20th Feb. 1819, 3 Story's Laws,
SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES, government. The principal
officer in the Department of State. (q. v.) He shall perform such duties as
shall be enjoined on or entrusted to him by the president, agreeably to the
constitution, refative to the correspondences, commissions or instructions to or
with public ministers or consuls from the United States, or to negotiations with
foreign states or princes, or to memorials or other applications from foreign
public ministers or foreigners, or to such other matters respecting foreign
affairs as the president of the United States shall assign to such department.
The secretary shall conduct the business of his department in such manner as the
president shall, from time to time, order or instruct. Act of 27th July, 1789
act of 15th Sept: 1789, s. 1. Besides these general laws, there are various,
others which impose upon him inferior and less important duties.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars per annum. Act of 20th Feb. 1819.
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITEE STATES, government. An officer
appointed by the president. His principal duties are, 1. To superintend the
collection of the revenue. 2. To digest, prepare, and lay before congress at the
commencement of every session, a report on the subject of finance. 3. To annex
to the annual estimates of the appropriations required for the public service, a
statement of the appropriations for the service of the year, which may have been
made by former acts. 4. To give information to either house of congress,
respecting all matters connected with his office. Besides these, there are other
minor duties imposed upon him by various acts of congress.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars. Gord. Dig. art. 249 to 262.
SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF WAR, government. This officer is
appointed by the president. He is required to perform and execute such duties as
shall, from time to time, be enjoined on or entrusted to him by the president,
agreeably to the constitution, relative to military commissions or to the land
forces, or warlike stores of the United States, or to such other matters
respecting military affairs as the president shall assign to the department of
war, (q. v.) or relative to granting of lands to persons entitled thereto for
military services rendered to the United States, or relative to Indian affairs.
Act of 27th Aug., 1789, 1 Story's Laws, 31.
2. His salary is six thousand dollars per annum. Act of 20th Feb. 1819, 3
Story's Laws, 1720.
3. Various other duties are imposed upon the secretary by sundry acts of
congress. Vide Laws, Index, Departments, &c.; Gordon's Dig. art. 368 to 382.
SECTA pleading. In ancient times the plaintiff was required to
establish the truth of his declaration in the first instance, and before it was
called in question, upon the pleading, by the simultaneous production of his
secta, that is, a number of persons prepared to confirm his allegations. Bract.
2. The practice of thus producing a secta, gave rise to the very. ancient
formula almost invariably used at the conclusion of a declaration, as entered on
the record, et inde producit sectam; and, though the actual production has, for
many centuries, fallen into disuse, the formula still remains. Accordingly,
except the count on a writ of right, and in dower, all declarations constantly
conclude thus, "And therefore he brings his suit, &c. The count on a writ of
right did not, in ancient times, conclude with the ordinary production of suit,
but with the following formula peculiar to itself, "Et quod tale sit jus suum
offert disrationare per corpus, talis liberi hominis, &c., and it concludes,
at the present day, with an abbreviated. translation of the same phrase: "And,
that such is his right, he offers," &c. The count in dower is an exception
to the rule in question, and concludes without any production of suit, a
peculiarity which appears always to have belonged to that action. Steph. Pl.
427, 8; 3 Bl. Com. 395; Gilb. C. P. 48; 1 Chit. Pl. 399.
SECTION OF LAND. The lands of the United States are surveyed into
parcels of six hundred and forty acres; each such parcel is called a section. 1
Story's L. U. S. 422.
2. These sections are divided into half sections, each of which contains
three hundred and twenty acres, and into quarter sections of one hundred and
sixty acres each.
SECTORES. Among the Romans the bidders at an auction were so called.
Bab. on Auct. 2.
TO SECURE. To protect, insure, or save a right.
2. The constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 8, gives power to
congress "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing,
for Iimited times, to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their
respective writings and discoveries." The inventor of a machine has the right to
it exclusively at common law, and the author a right to his manuscript. But they
may abandon the, right by publishing the book without having secured a
copy-right, (q. v.) or by using publicly the machine, and suffering others to
use it, without having obtained a patent. (q. v.) Vide Secret.
SECURITY. That which renders a matter sure; an instrument which
renders certain the performance of a contract. The term is also sometimes
applied to designate a person who becomes the surety for another, or who engages
himself for the performance of another's contract. See 3 Blackf. R. 431.
SECURITY FOR COSTS, practice. In some courts there is a rule that when
the plaintiff resides abroad he shall give security for costs, and until that
has been done, when demanded, he cannot proceed in his action.
2. This is a right which the defendant must claim in proper time, for if he
once waives it, he cannot afterwards claim it; the waiver is seldom, or perhaps
never expressly made, but is generally implied from the acts of the de-fendant.
When the defendant had undertaken to accept short notice of trial; 2 Hen. Bl.
573; 3 Taunt. 272 or after issue joined, and when he knew of plain-tiff's
residence abroad; or, with such knowledge, when the defendant takes any step in
the cause these several acts will amount to a waiver. 5 Bar & Ald. 702; S.
C. 1 Dow. & Ryl. 348; 1 M. & P. 30; S. C. 17 E. C. L. R. 164. Vide 3
John. Ch. R. 520; 1 John. Ch. Rep. 202; 1 Ves. jun. 396.
3. The fact that the defendant is out of the jurisdiction of the court, will
not, alone, authorize the requisition of security for costs; he must have his
domicil abroad. 1 Ves. jr. 396. When, the defendant resides abroad, he will be
required to give such security, although he is a foreign prince. 33 E. C. L.
Rep. 214. Vide 11 S. & Rawle, 121 1 Miles, R. 321; 2 Miles, 402.
SEDITION, crimes. The raising commotions or disturbances in the state;
it is a revolt against legitimate authority, Ersk. Princ. Laws, Scotl. b. 4, t.
4, s. 14; Dig. Lib. 49, t. 16, 1. 3, §19.
2. The distinction between sedition and treason consists in this, that though
its ultimate object is a violation of the public peace, or at least such a
course of measures as evidently engenders it, yet it does not aim at direct and
open violence against the laws, or the subversion of the constitution. Alis.
Crim. Law of Scotl. 580.
3. The. obnoxious and obsolete act of July 14, 1798, 1 Story's Laws U. S.
543, was called the sedition law, because its professed object was to prevent
4. In the Scotch law, sedition is either verbal or real. Verbal is inferred
from the uttering of words tending to create discord between the king and his
people; real sedition is generally committed by convocating together any
considerable number of people, without lawful authority, under the pretence of
redressing some public grievance, to the disturbing of the public peace. 1 Ersk.