SENATE, government. The less numerous branch of the legislature.
2. The constitution of the United States, article 1, s. 3, cl. 1, directs
that "the senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from
each state, chosen by the legislature thereof for six years; and each senator
shall have one vote." The vice president of the United States," to use the
language of the constitution, art. 1, s. 3, cl. 4, "shall be president of the
senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided." In the senate
each state in its political capacity, is represented, upon a footing of perfect
equality, like a congress of sovereigns or ambassadors, or like an assembly of
peers. It is unlike the house of representatives. where the people are
represented. Story, Const. ch. 10.
3. The senate of the United States is invested with legislative, executive
and judicial powers.
4. - 1. It is a legislative body whose concurrence is requisite to the
passage of every law. It may originate any bill, except those for raising
rev-enue, which shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate
may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills. Const. art. 1, s. 7,
5. - 2. The senate is invested with executive authority in concluding
treaties and making appointments. Vide President of the United States of
6. - 3. It is invested with judicial power when it is formed into a court for
the trial of impeachments. See Courts of the United States.
7. In most of the states the less numerous branch of the legislature bears
the title of senate. In such a body the people are represented as well as in the
other house. Vide article Congress; and, for the senates of the several states,
the name of each state. See, also, articles Courts of the United States, I;
House of Representatives; Vice-President of the United States.
SENATOR, government. One who is a member of a senate.
2. No person shall be a senator [of the national senate] who shall not have
attained the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United
States and who shall not when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which
he shall be chosen. Const. U. S. art. 1, s. 3, cl. 5. Vide 1 Kent, Com. 224
Story on the Const. 726 to 730.
SENATUS CONSULTUM, civ. law. A decree or decision of the Roman senate,
which had the force of law.
2. When the Roman people had so increased that there was no place where they
could meet, it was found necessary to consult the senate instead of the people,
both on public affairs and those which related to individuals. The opinion which
was rendered on such an occasion was called senatus consultum. Inst. 1, 2, 5;
Clef des Lois Rom. h. t.; Merl. Repert. h. t. These decrees frequently derived
their titles from the names of the consuls or magistrates who proposed them; as,
senatus-consultum Claudianum, Libonianum, Velleianum, &c. from Claudius,
Libonius, Valleius. Ail. Pand. 30.
SENESCHALLUS. A steward. Co. Litt. 61 a.
SENILITY. The state of being old.
2. Sometimes in this state it is exceedingly difficult to know whether the
individual is or is not so deprived of the powers of his mind as to be unable to
manage his affairs. In general, senility of energy in some of the intellectual
operations, while the affections remain natural and unperverted; such a state
may, however, be followed by actual dementia or idiocy.
3. When on account of senility the party is unable to manage his affairs, a
committee will be appointed as in case of lunacy. 1 Coll. on Lunacy, 66; 2 John.
Ch. R. 232; 12 Ves. 446; 4 Call's R. 423; 5 John. Ch. R. 158; 8 Mass. 129; 2
Ves. sen. 407; 19 Ves. 285; 2 Cyclop. of Pract. Med. 872. See Aged Witness.
SENIOR. The elder. This addition is sometimes made to a man's name,
when two persons bear the same, in order to distinguish them. In practice when
nothing is mentioned, the senior is intended. 3 Miss. R. 59. See Junior.
SENTENCE. A judgment, or judicial declaration made by a judge in a
cause. The term judgment is more usually applied to civil, and sentence to
2. Sentences are final, when they put, an end to the case; or interlocutory,
when they settle only some incidental matter which has arisen in the course of
its progress. Vide Aso & Man. Inst. B. 3, t. 8, c. 1.
2. This word is sometimes used in indictments to show that the defendants are
charged separately with offences, which, without the addition of this word,
would seem, from the form of the indictment, to be charged jointly; as, for
example, when two persons are indicted together for perjury, and the indictment
states that A and B came before a commissioner, &c., this is alleging that
they were both guilty of the same crime, when by law their crimes are distinct,
and the indictment is vicious; but if the word separaliter is used, then the
affirmation is that each was guilty of a separate offence. 2 Hale, P. C. 174.
SEPARATE ESTATE. That which belongs to one only of several persons;
as, the separate estate of a partner, which does not belong to the partnership.
2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1519.
2. The separate estate of a married woman, is that which belongs to her, and
over which her hushand has no right in equity. It may consist of lands or
chattels. 4 Barb. S. C. Rep. 407; 1 Const. R. 452; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3996.
SEPARATE MAINTENANCE, contracts. An allowance made by a hushand to his
wife for her separate support and maintenance.
2. When this allowance is regularly paid, and notice of it has been given, no
person who has received such notice will be entitled to recover against the
hushand for necessaries furnished to the wife, because the liability of the
hushand, depends on a presumption of authority delegated by him to the wife,
which is negatived by the facts of the case. 2 Stark. Ev. 699.
SEPARATE TRIAL, practice. The trial of one person by himself, when he
is jointly indicted with others for an alleged offence.
2. On a joint indictment against two or more defendants for a crime of
misdemeanor, it is in the discretion of the court whether to allow a separate
trial for each prisoner, or to order the whole of them to be tried together. 1
Baldw. Rep. 81; 12 Wheat. 480; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 60; but see 1 Pet., C. C.
SEPARATION, contracts. When the hushand and wife agree to live apart
they are said to have made a separation.
2. Contracts of this kind are generally made by the hushand for himself and
by the wife with trustees. 4 Paige's R. 516; 3 Paige's R. 483; 5 Bligh, N. S.
339; 1 Dow & Clark, 519. This contract does not affect the marriage, and the
parties may, at any time agree to live together as hushand and wife. The hushand
who has agreed to a total separation cannot bring an action for criminal
conversation with the wife. Roper, Hush. and Wife, passim; 4 Vin. Ab. 173; 2
Stark. Ev. 698; Shelf. on Mar. & Div. ch. 6, p. 608.
3. Reconciliation after separation supersedes special articles of separation
in courts of law and equity. 1 Dowl. P. C. 245; 2 Cox, R. 105; 3 Bro. C. C. 619,
n.; 11 Ves. 532. Public policy forbids that parties should be permitted to make
agreements for themselves to hold good whenever they choose to live separate. 5
Bligh, N. S. 367, 375; and see 1 Carr. & P. 36. See 5 Bligh, N. S. 339; 2
Dowl. P. C. 332; 2 C. & M. 388; 3 John. Ch. R. 521; 2 Sim. & Stu. 372; 1
Edw. R. 380; Desaus. R. 45, 198; 1 Y. & C. 28; 11 Ves. 526; 2 East, R. 283;
8 N. H. Rep. 350; 1 Hoff. R. 1.
SEPULCHRE. The place where a corpse is buried. The violation of
sepulchres is a misdemeanor at common law. Vide Dead bodies.
TO SEQUESTER, civil and eccles. law. To renounce. Example, when a
widow comes into court and disclaims having anything to do, or to intermeddle
with her deceased hushand's estate, she is said to sequester. Jacob, L. D. h. t.
SEQUESTRATION, chancery practice. The process of sequestration is a
writ of commission, sometimes directed to the sheriff, but most usually, to four
or more commissioners of the complainant's own nomination, authorizing them to
enter upon the real or personal estate of the defendant, and to take the rents,
issues and profits into their own hands, and keep possession of, or pay the same
as the court shall order and direct, until the party who is in contempt shall do
that which he is enjoined to do, and which is specially mentioned in the writ. 1
Harr. Ch. 191; Newl. Ch. Pr. 18; Blake's Ch. Pr. 103.
2. Upon the return of non est inventus to a commission of rebellion, a
ser-geant-at-arms may be moved for; and if he certifies that the defendant
cannot be taken, a motion may be made upon his certificate, for an order for a
sequestration. 2 Madd. Chan. 203; Newl. Ch. Pr. 18; Blake's Ch. Pr. 103.
3. Under a sequestration upon mesne process, as in respect of a contempt for
want of appearance or answer, the sequestrators may take possession of the
party's personal property and keep him out of possession; but no sale can take
place, unless perhaps to pay expenses; for this process is only to form the
foundation of taking the bill pro confesso. After a decree it may be sold. See 3
Bro. C. C. 72; 2 Cox, 224; 1 Ves. jr. 86; 3 Bro. C. C. 372; 2 Madd. Ch. Pr. 206.
See, generally, as to this species of sequestration, 19 Vin. Abr. 325; Bac. Ab.
h. t.; Com.; Chancery, D 7, Y 4; 1 Hov. Supp. to Ves. jr. 25 to 29; 1 Vern. by
Raith. 58, note 1; Id. 421, note 1.
SEQUESTRATION, contracts. A species of deposit, which two or more
persons, engaged in litigation about anything, make of the thing in contest to
an indifferent person, who binds himself to restore it when the issue is
decided, to the party to whom it is adjudged to belong. Louis. Code, art. 2942;
Story on Bailm: §45. Vide 19 Vin. Ab. 325; 1 Supp. to Yes. jr. 29; 1 Vern. 58,
420; 2 Ves. jr. 23; Bac. Ab. h. t. 2. This is called a conventional
sequestration, to distinguish it from a judicial sequestration, which is
considered in the preceding article. Sec Dalloz, Dict. mot Sequestre.
SEQUESTRATION, Louisiana practice. The Code of Practice in civil cases
in Louisiana, defines and makes the following provisions on the subject of
sequestration. Art. 269. Sequestration is a mandate of the court, ordering the
sheriff, in certain cases, to take in his possession, and to keep a thing of
which another person has the possession, until after the decision of a suit, in
order that it be delivered to him who shall be adjudged entitled to have the
property or possession of that thing. This is what is properly called a judicial
sequestratian. Vide 1 Mart. R. 79; 1 L. R. 439; Civil Code of Lo. 2941; 2948.
2. - Art. 270. In this acceptation, the word sequestration does not mean a
judicial deposit, because sequestration may exist together with the right of
administration, while mere deposit does not admit it.
3. - Art. 271. All species of property, real or personal, as well as the
revenue proceeding from the same, may be sequestered.
4. - Art. 272. Obligations and titles may also be sequestered, when their
ownership is in dispute.
5. - Art. 273. Judicial sequestration is generally ordered only at the
request of one of the parties to a suit; there are cases, nevertheless, where it
is decreed by the court without such request, or is the consequence of the
execution of judgments.
6. - Art. 274. The court may order, ex officio, the sequestration of real
property in suits, where the ownership of such property is in dispute and when
one of the contending parties does not seem to have a more apparent right to the
possession than the other. In such cases, sequestration may be ordered to
continue, until the question of ownership shall have been decided.
7. - Art. 275. Sequestration may be ordered at the request of one of the
parties in a suit in the following cases: 1. When one who had possessed for more
than one year, has been evicted through violence, and sues to be restored to his
possession. 2. When one sues for the possession of movable property, or of a
slave, and fears that the party having possession, may ill treat the slave or
send either that slave, or the property in dispute, out of the jurisdiction of
the court, during the pendency of the suit. 3. When one claims the ownership, or
the possession of real property, and has good ground to appre-hend, that the
defendant may make use of his possession to dilapidate or to waste the fruits or
revenues produced by such property, or convert them to his own use. 4. When a
woman sues for a separation from bed and board, or only for a separation of
property from her hushand, and has reason to apprehend that he will ruin her
dotal property, or waste the fruits or revenues produced by the same during the
pendency of the action. 5. When one has petitioned for a stay of proceedings,
and a meeting of his creditors, and such creditors fear that he may avail
himself of such stay of proceedings, to place the whole, or a part of his
property, out of their reach. 6. A creditor by special mortgage shall have the
power of sequestering the mortgaged property, when he appre-hends that it will
be removed out of the state before he can have the benefit of his mortgage, and
will make oath of the facts which induced his apprehension.
8. - Art. 276. A plaintiff wishing to obtain an order of sequestration in any
one of the cases above provided, must annex to the petition in which he prays
for such an order, an affidavit, setting forth the cause for which he claims
such order, he must besides, execute his obligation in favor of the defendant,
for such sum as the court shall determine, with the surety of one good and
solvent person, residing within the jurisdiction of the court, to be responsible
for such damages as the defendant may sustain, in case such sequestration should
have been wrongfully obtained.
9. - Art. 277. When security is given in order to obtain the sequestration of
real property which brings a revenue, the judge must require that it be given
for an amount sufficient to compensate the defendant, not only for all damage
which he may sustain, but also for the privation of such revenue, during the
pendency of the action.
10. - Art. 278. The plaintiff when he prays for a sequestration of the
property of one who has failed, is not required to give such security, though
that property bring in a revenue.
11. - Art. 279. A defendant against whom a mandate of sequestration has been
obtained, except in cases of failure, may have the same set aside, by executing
his obligation in favor of the sheriff, with one good and solvent surety, for
whatever amount the judge may determine, as being equal to the value of the
property to be left in his possession.
12. - Art. 280. The security thus given by the defendant, when the property
sequestrated consists in movables or in slaves, shall be responsible that he
shall not send away the same out of the jurisdiction of the court; that he shall
not make an improper use of them; and that he will faithfully present them,
after definitive judgment, in case he should be decreed to restore the same to
13. - Art. 281. As regards landed property, this security is given to prevent
the defendant, while in possession, from wasting the property, and for the
faithful restitution of the fruits that he may have received since the demand,
or of their value in the event of his being cast in the suit.
14. - Art. 282. When the sheriff has sequestered property pursuant to an
order of the court, he shall, after serving the petition and the copy of the
order of sequestration on the defendant, send him return in writing to the clerk
of the court which gave the order, stating in the same in what manner the order
was executed, and annex to such return a true and minute inventory of the
property sequestered, drawn by him, in the presence of two witnesses.
15. - Art. 283. The sheriff, while he retains possession of sequestered
property, is bound to take proper care of the same and to administer the same,
if it be of such nature as to admit of it, as a prudent father of a family
administers his own affairs. He may confide them to the care of guardians or
overseers, for whose acts he remains responsible, and he will be entitled to
receive a just compensation for his administration, to be determined by the
court, to be paid to him out of the proceeds of the property sequestered, if
judgment be given in favor of the plaintiff.
SEQUESTRATOR. One to whom a sequestration is made.
2. A depositary of this kind cannot exonerate himself from the care of the
thing sequestered in his hands, unless for some cause rendering it
indispens-able that he should resign his trust. Louis. Code, art. 2947. See
Stakeholder. Sequestrators are also officers appointed by a court of chancery,
and named in a writ of sequestration. As to their powers and duties, see 2 Madd.
Ch. Pr. 205, 6; Blake's Ch. Pr. 103; Newl. Ch. Pr. 18, 19; 1 Harr. Ch. 191.
SERF. During the feudal times certain persons who were bound to
perform very onerous duties towards others, were so called. Poth. Des Personnes,
p. 1, t. 1, a. 6, s. 4. There is this essential difference between a serf and a
slave; the serf was bound simply to labor on the soil where he was born, without
any right to go elsewhere without the consent of his lord; but he was free to
act as he pleased in his daily action: the slave on the contrary is the property
of his master, who may require him to act as he pleases in every respect, and
who may sell him as a chattel. Lepage, Science du Droit, c. 3, art. 2, §2.
SERGEANT or SERJEANT, Engl. law. An officer in the courts of the
highest grade among the practitioners of the law.
SERGEANT or SERJEANT, in the army. An inferior officer of a company of
foot, or troop of dragoons appointed to see discipline observed, to teach the
soldiers the exercise of their arms, and to order, straighten and form ranks,
SERGEANT AT ARMS, An officer appointed by a legislative body, whose
duties are to enforce the orders given by such bodies, generally under the
warrant of its presiding officer.
SERIATIM. In a series, severally; as, the judges delivered their
SERJEANTY, Eng. law. A species of service which cannot be due or
performed from a tenant to any lord but the king; and is either grand or petit