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SOCIETY. A society is a number of persons united together by mutual consent, in order to deliberate, determine, and act jointly for some common purpose.

2. Societies are either incorporated and known to the law, or unincorporated, of which the law does not generally take notice.

3. By civil society is usually understood a state, (q. v.) a nation, (q. v.) or a body politic. (q. v.) Rutherf. Inst. c. 1 and 2.

4. In the civil law, by society is meant a partnership. Inst. 3, 26; Dig. 17, 2 Code, 4, 37.

SODOMITE. One who his been guilty of sodomy. Formerly such offender was punished with great severity, and was deprived of the power of making a will.

SODOMY, crim. law. The crime against nature, committed either with man or beast.

2. It is a crime not it to be named; peccatum illud horrible, inter christianos non nominandum. 4 Bl. Com. 215; 1 East, P. C. 480, 487; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Hawk. b. 1, c. 4; 1 Hale, 669; Com. Dig. Justices, S 4; Russ. & Ry. 331.

3. This crime was punished with great severity by the civil law. Nov. 141; Nov. 77; Inst. 4, 18, 4. See 1 Russ. on Cr. 568; R. & R. C. C. 331, 412; 1 East, P. C. 437.

SOIL. The superficies of the earth on which buildings are erected, or may be


2. The soil is the principal, and the building, when erected, is the accessory. Vide Dig. 6, 1, 49.

SOIT DROIT FAIT AL PARTIE, Eng. law. Let right be done to the party. This phrase is written on a petition of right, and subscribed by the king. See Petition of right.

SOKEMANS, Eng. law. Those who hold their land in socage. 2 Bl. Com. 100.

SOLARES, Spanish law. Lots of ground. This term is frequently found in grants from the Spanish government of lands in America. 2 White's Coll. 474.

SOLD NOTE, contracts. The name of an instrument in writing, given by a broker to a buyer of merchandise, in which it is stated that the goods therein mentioned have been sold to him. 1 Bell's Com. 5th ed. 435 Story on Ag. 28. Some confusion may be found in the books as to the name of these notes; they are sometimes called bought notes. (q. v.)

SOLDIER. A military man; a private in the army.

2. The constitution of the United States, amendm. art. 3, directs that no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the 'consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

SOLE. Alone, single; used in contradistinction to joint or married. A sole tenant, therefore, is one who holds lands in his own right, without being joined with any other. A feme sole is a single woman; a sole corporation is one composed of only one natural person.

SOLEMNITY. The formality established by law to render a contract, agreement, or other act valid.

2. A marriage, for example, would not be valid if made in jest, and without solemnity. Vide Marriage, and Dig. 4, 1, 7; Id. 45, 1, 30.

SOLICITATION OF CHASTITY. The asking a person to commit adultery or fornication.

2. This of itself, is not an indictable offence. Salk. 382; 2 Chit. Pr. 478. The contrary doctrine, bowever, has been held in Connecticut. 7 Conn. Rep. 267.

3. In England, the bare solicitation of chastity is punished in the ecclesiastical courts. 2 Chit. Pr. 478. Vide Str. 1100; 10 Mod. 384; Sayer, 33; 1 Hawk. ch. 74; 2 Ld. Raym. 809.

4. The civil law punished arbitrarily the person who solicited the chastity of another. Dig. 47, 11, 1. Vide To persuade; 3 Phill. R. 508.

SOLICITOR. A person whose business is to be employed in the care and management of suits depending in courts of chancery.

2. A solicitor, like an attorney, (q. v.) will be required to act with perfect good faith towards his clients. He must conform to the authority given him. It is said that to institute a suit he must have a special authority, although a general authority will be sufficient to defend one. The want of a written authority, may subject him to the expenses incurred in a suit. 3 Mer. R. 12; Hov, Fr. ch. 2, p. 28 to 61. Vide 1 Phil. Ev. 102; 19 Vin. Ab. 482; 7 Com. ]big. 357; 8 Com. Dig. 985; 2 Chit. Pr. 2. See Attorney at law; Counsellor at law; Proctor.

SOLICITOR OP THE TREASURY. The title of one of the officers of the United States, created by the act of May 29, 1830, 4 Sharsw. cont. of Story, L. U. S. 2206, which prescribes his duties aud his rights.

2. - 1. His powers and duties are, 1. Those which were by law vested and required from the agent of the treasury of the United States. 2. Those which theretofore belonged to the commissioner, or acting commissioner of the revenue, as relate to the superintendence of the collection of outstanding direct and internal duties. 3. To take charge of all lands which shall be conveyed to the United States, or set off to them in payment of debts, or which are vested in them by mortgage or other security; and to release such lands which had, at the passage of the act, become vested in the United States, on payment of the debt for which they were received. 4. Generally to superintend the collection of debts due to the United States, and receive statements from different officers in relation to suits or actions commenced for the recovery of the same. 5. To instruct the district attorneys, marshals, and clerks of the circuit and district courts of the United States, in all matters and proceedings appertaining to suits in which the United States are a party or interested, and to cause them to report to him any information he may require in relation to the same. 6. To report to the proper officer from whom the evidence of debt was received, the fact of its having been paid to him, and also all credits which have by due course of law been allowed on the same. 7. To make rules for the government of collectors, district attorneys and marshals, as may be requisite. 8. To obtain from the district attorneys full accounts of all suits in their hands, and submit abstracts of the same to congress.

3. - 2. His rights are, 1. To call upon the attorney-general of the United States for advice and direction as to the manner of conducting the suits, proceedings and prosecutions aforesaid. 2. To receive a salary of three thousand five hundred dollars per annum. 3. To employ, with the approbation of the secretary of the treasury, a clerk, with a salary of one thousand five hundred dollars; and a messenger, with a salary of five hundred dollars. To receive and send all letters, relating to the business of his office, free of postage.

SOLIDO, IN, civil law. In solido, is a term used to designate those contracts in which the obligors are bound, jointly and severally, or in which several obligees are each entitled to demand the whole of what is due.

2. - 1. There is an obligation in solido on the part of debtors, when they are all obliged to the same thing, so that each may be compelled to pay the whole, and when the payment which is made by one of them, exonerates the others towards the creditor.

3. - 2. The obligation is in solido, or joint and several between several creditors, when the title expressly gives to each of them the right of demanding payment of the total of what is due, and when the payment to any one of them discharges the debtor. Civ. Code of La. 2083,2086; Merl. Repert. h. t.; Domat, Index, h. t. See In solido.

SOLITARY IMPRISONMENT. The punishment of separate confinement. This has been adopted in Pennsylvania, with complete success. Vide Penitentiary.

SOLUTION, civil law. Payment.

2. By this term, is understood, every species of discharge or liberation, which is called satisfaction, and with which the creditor is satisfied. Dig. 46, 3, 54; Code 8, 43, 17; Inst. 3, 30. This term has rather a reference to the substance of the obligation, than to the numeration or counting of the money. Dig. 50, 16, 176. Vide Discharge of a contract.

SOLVENCY. The state of a person who is able to pay all his debts; the opposite of insolvency. (q. v.)

SOLVENT. One who has sufficient to pay his debts, and all obligations. Dig. 50, 16, 114.

SOLVERE. To unbind; to untie; to release; to pay; solvere dicimus eum qui fecit quod facere promisit. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 807.

SOLVIT AD DIEM, pleading. The name of a plea to an action on a bond, or other obligation to pay money, by which the defendant pleads that he paid the money on the day it was due. Vide 1 Stra. 652; Rep. Temp. Hardw. 133; Com. Dig. Pleader, 2 W 29.

2. This plea ought to conclude with an averment, and not to the country. 1 Sid. 215; 12 John. R. 253; vide 2 Phil. Ev. 92; Coxe, R. 467.

SOLVITPOSTDIEM, pleading. The name of a special plea in bar to an action of debt on a bond, by which the defendant asserts that he paid the money after the day it became due. 1 Chit. Pl. 480, 555; 2 Phil. Ev. 93.

SOMNAMBULISM, med. juris. Sleep walking.

2. This is sometimes an inferior species of insanity, the patient being unconscious of what he is doing. A case is mentioned of a monk who was remarkable for simplicity, candor and probity, while awake, but who during his sleep in the night, would steal, rob, and even plunder the dead. Another case is related of a pious clergyman, who during his sleep, would plunder even his own church. And a case occurred in Maine, where the somnambulist attempted to hang himself, but fortunately tied the rope to his feet, instead of his neck. Ray. Med. Jur. 294.

3. It is evident, that if an act should be done by a sleep walker, while totally unconscious of his act, he would not be liable to punishment, because the intention (q. v.) and will (q. v.) would be wanting. Take, for example, the following singular case: A monk late one evening, in the presence of the prior of the convent, while in a state of somnambulism, entered the room of the prior, his eyes open but fixed, his features contracted into a frown, and with a knife in his hand. He walked straight up to the bed, as if to ascertain if the prior were there, and then gave three stabs, which penetrated the bed clothes, and a mat which served for the purpose of a mattress; he returned. with an air of satisfaction, and his features relaxed. On being questioned the next day by the prior as to what he had dreamed the preceding night, the monk confessed he had dreamed that his mother had been murdered by the prior, and that her spirit had appeared to him and cried for vengeance, that he was transported with fury at the sight, and ran directly to stab the assassin; that shortly after be awoke covered with perspiration, and rejoiced to find it was only a dream. Georget, Des Maladies Mentales, 127.

4. A similar case occurred in England, in the last century. Two persons, who had been hunting in the day, slept together at night; one of them was renewing the chase in his dream, and, imagining himself present at the death of the stag, cried out aloud, "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" The other, awakened by the noise, got out of bed, and, by the light of the moon, saw the sleeper give several deadly stabs, with a knife, on the part of the bed his companion had just quitted. Harvey's Meditations on the Night, note 35; Guy, Med. Jur. 265.

SON, kindred. An immediate male descendant. In its technical meaning in devises, this is a word of purchase, but the testator may make it a word of descent. Sometimes it is extended to more remote descendants.

SON ASSAULT DEMESNE, pleading. His own first assault. A form of a plea to justify an assault and battery, by whicb the defendant asserts that the plaintiff committed an assault upon him, and the defendant merely defended himself.

2. When the plea is supported by evidence, it is a sufficient justification, unless the retaliation by the defendant were excessive, and bore no proportion to the necessity, or to the provocation received. 1 East, P. C. 406; 1 Chit. Pr. 595.

SON-IN-LAW, in Latin called gener. The hushand of one's daughter.

SOUND MIND. That state of a man's mind which is adequate to reason and comes to a judgment upon ordinary subjects, like other rational men.

2. The law presumes that every person who has acquired his full age is of sound mind, and consequently competent to make contracts and perform all his civil duties; and he who asserts to the contrary must prove the affirmation of his position by explicit evidence, and not by conjectural proof. 2 Hagg Eccl. R. 434; 3 Addams' R. 86; 8 Watts, R. 66; Ray, Med. Jur. 92; 3 Curt. Eccl. R. 671. Vide Unsound mind.

SOUNDING IN DAMAGES. When an action is brought, not for the recovery of lands, goods, or sums of money, (as is the case in real or mixed actions, or the personal action of debt or detinue,) but for damages only, as in covenant, trespass, &c., the action is said to be sounding in damages. Steph. Pl. 126, 127.

SOUNDNESS. In usual health; without any permanent disease. 1 Carr. & Marsh. 291. To create unsoundness, it is requisite that the animal should not be useful for the purpose for which he is bought, and that inability to be so useful should arise from disease or accident. 2 M. & Rob. 137; 9 M. & W. 670. 2 M. & Rob. 113.

2. In the sale of slaves and animals they are sometimes warranted by the seller to be sound, and it becomes important to ascertain what is soundness. Roaring; (q. v.) a temporary lameness, which renders a horse less fit for service; 4 Campb. 271; sed vide 2 Esp. Cas. 573; a cough, unless proved to be of a temporary nature; 2 Chit. R. 245, 416; and a nerved horse, have been held to be unsound. But crib-biting is not a breach of a general warranty of soundness. Holt, Cas. 630.

3. An action on the case is the proper remedy for a verbal warrant of soundness. 1 H. Bl. R. 17; 3 Esp. 82; 9 B. & Cr. 259; 2 Dow. & Ry. 10; 1 Bing. 344; 5 Dow. & R. 164; 1 Taunt. 566; 7 East, 274; Bac. Ab. Action on the Case, E.

SOURCES OF THE LAW. By this expression is understood the authority from which the laws derive their force.

2. The power of making all laws is in the people or - their representatives, and none can have any force whatever, which is derived from any other source. But it is not required that the legislator shall expressly pass upon all laws, and give the sanction of his seal, before they can have life or existence. The laws are therefore such as have received ala express sanction, and such as de-rive their force and effect from implication. The first, or express, are the constitution of the United States, and the treaties and acts of the legislature which have been made by virtue of the authority vested by the constitution. To these must be added the constitution of the state and the laws made by the state legislature, or by other subordinate legislative bodies, by virtue of the authority conveyed by such constitution. The latter, or tacit, received their effect by the general use of them by the people, when they assume the name of customs by the adoption of rules by the courts from systems of foreign laws.

3. The express laws, are first, the constitution of the United States; secondly, the treaties made with foreign powers; thirdly, the acts of congress; fourthly, the constitutions of the respective states; fifthly, the laws made by the several state legislatures; sixthly, laws made by inferior legislative bodies, such as the councils of municipal corporations, and general rules made by the courts.

4. - 1. The constitution is an act of the people themselves, made by their representatives elected for that purpose. It is the supreme law of the land, and is binding on all future legislative bodies, until it shall be altered by tho authority of the people, in the manner, provided for in the instrument itself, and if an act be passed contrary to the provisions of the constitution, it is, ipso facto, void. 2 Pet. 522; 12 Wheat. 270; 2 Dall. 309; 3 Dall. 386; 4 Dall. 18; 6 Cranch, 128.

5. - 2. Treaties made under the authority of the constitution are declared to be the supreme law of the land, and therefore obligatory on courts. 1 Cranch, 103. See Treaty.

6. - 3. The acts and resolutions of congress enacted constitutionally, are of course binding as laws and require no other explanation.

7. - 4. The constitutions of the respective states, if not opposed to the provisions of the constitution of the United States, are of binding force in the states respectively, and no act of the state legislature has any force which is made in contravention of the state constitution.

8. - 5. The laws of the several states, constitutionally made by the state legislatures, have full and complete authority in the respective states.

9. - 6. Laws are frequently made by inferior legislative bodies which are authorized by the legislature; such are the municipal councils of cities or boroughs. Their laws are generally known by the name of ordinances, and, when lawfully ordained, they are binding on the people. The courts, perhaps by a necessary usurpation, have been in the practice of making general rules and orders, which sometime affect suitors and parties as much as the most regular laws enacted by congress. These apply to all future cases. There are also rules made in particular cases as they arise, but these are rather decrees or judgments than laws.

10. The tacit laws, which derive their authority from the consent of the people, without any legislative enactment, may be subdivided into 1st. The common law, which is derived from two sources, the common law of England, and the practice and decisions of our own courts. It is very difficult, in many cases, to ascertain what is this common law, and it is always embarrassing to the courts. Kirl. Rep. Pref. In some states, it has been enacted that the common law of England shall be the law, except where the same is inconsistent with our constitutions and laws. See Law.

2d. Customs which have been generally adopted by the people, have the force of law.

3d. The principles of the Roman law, being generally founded in superior wisdom, have insinuated themselves into every part of the law. Many of the refined rules which now adorn the common law appear there without any acknowledgment of their paternity, and it is at this source that some judges dipt to get the wisdom which adorns their judgments. The proceedings of the courts of equity and many of the admirable distinctions which manifest their wisdom are derived from this source. To this fountain of wisdom the courts of admiralty owe most of the law which governs in admiralty cases.

4th. The canon law, which was adopted by the ecclesiastical courts, figures in our laws respecting marriage, divorces, wills and testaments, executors and administrators and many other subjects.

5th. The jurisprudence, or decisions of the various courts, have contributed their full share of what makes the law. These decisions are made by following precedents, by borrowing from the sources already mentioned, and, sometimes by the less excusable disposition of the judges to legislate on the bench.

11. The monuments where the common law is to be found, are the records, reports of cases adjudicated by the courts, and the treatises of learned men. The books of reports are the best proof of what is the common law, but owing to the difficulty of finding out any systematic arrangement, recourse is had to treatises upon the various branches of the law. The records, owing to their being kept in one particular place, and therefore not generally accessible, are seldom used.

SOUS SEING PRIVE. An act sous seingprive, in Louisiana and by the French law, is an act or contract evidenced by writing under the private signature of the parties to it. The term is used in opposition to the authentic act, which is an agreement entered into in the presence of a notary or other public officer.

2. The form of the instrument does not give it its character so much as the fact that it appears or does not appear to have been executed before the officer. 7 N. S. 548 5 N. S. 196.

3. The effect of a sous seing prive is not the same as that of the authentic act. The former cannot be given in evidence until proved, and, unless accompanied by possession, it does not, in general, affect third persons; 6 N. S. 429, 432; the latter, or authentic acts, are full evidence against the parties and those who claim under them. 8 N. S. 132. See Act; Authentic act.

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