New York Lawyer WS
New York Layer, law dictionary, legal dictionary, dictionary online, word search, lawyer search, law and order, attorney, law school    

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name of this country. The United States, now thirty-one in number, are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and California.

2. The territory of which these states are composed was at one time dependent generally on the crown of Great Britain, though governed by the local legislatures of the country. It is not within the plan of this work to give a history of the colonies; on this subject the reader is referred to Kent's Com. sect. 10; Story on the Constitution, Book 1; 8 Wheat. Rep. 543; Marshall, Hist. Colon.

3. The neglect of the British government to redress grievances which had been felt by the people, induced the colonies to form a closer connexion than their former isolated state, in the hopes that by a union they might procure what they had separately endeavored in vain, to obtain. In 1774, Massachusetts recommended that a congress of the colonies should be assembled to deliberate upon the state of public affairs; and on the fourth of September of the following year, the delegates to such a congress assembled in Philadelphia. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia, were represented by their delegates; Georgia alone was not represented. This congress, thus organized, exercised de facto and de jure, a sovereign authority, not as the delegated agents of the governments de facto of the colonies, but in virtue of the original powers derived from the people. This, which was called the revolutionary government, terminated only when superseded by the confederated government under the articles of confederation, ratified in 1781. Serg. on the Const. Intr. 7, 8.

4. The state of alarm and danger in which the colonies then stood induced the formation of a second congress. The delegates, representing all the states, met in May, 1775. This congress put the country in a state of defence, and made provisions for carrving on the war with the mother country; and for the internal regulations of which they were then in need; and on the fourth day of July, 1776, adopted and issued the Declaration of Independence. (q. v.) The articles of confederation, (q. v.) adopted on the first day of March, 1781, 1 Story on the Const. 225; 1 Kent's Comm. 211, continued in force until the first Wednesday in March, 1789, when the present constitution was adopted. 5 Wheat. 420.

5. The United States of America are a corporation endowed with the capacity to sue and be sued, to convey and receive property. 1 Marsh. Dec. 177, 181. But it is proper to observe that no suit can be brought against the United States without authority of law.

6. The states, individually, retain all the powers which they possessed at the formation of the constitution, and which have not been given to congress. (q. v.)

7. Besides the states which are above enumerated, there are various territories, (q. v.) which are a species of dependencies of the United States. New states may be admitted by congress into this union; but no new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state, nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as well as of congress. Const. art. 4, s. 3. And the United States shall guaranty to every state in this union, a republican form of government. Id. art. 4, s. 4. See the names of the several states; and Constitution of the United States.

UNITY, estates. An agreement or coincidence of certain qualities in the title of a joint estate or an estate in common.

2. In a joint estate there must exist four unities; that of interest, for a joint-tenant cannot be entitled to one period of duration or quantity of interest in lands, and the other to a different; one cannot be tenant for life, and the other for years: that of title, and therefore their estate must be created by one and, the same act; that of time, for their estates must be vested at one and the same period, as well as by one and the same title; and lastly, the unity of possession: hence joint-tenants are seised per my et per tout, or by the half or moiety and by all: that is, each of them has an entire possession, as well of every parcel as of the whole. 2 Bl. Com. 179-182; Co. Litt. 188.

3. Coparceners must have the unities of interest, title, and possession.

4. In tenancies in common, the unity of possession is alone required. 2 Bl. Com. 192; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1861-83. Vide Estate in Common; Estate in Joint-tenancy; Joint-tenants; Tenant in Common; Tenants, Joint.

UNITY OF POSSESSION. This term is used to designate the possession by one person of several estates or rights. For example, a right to an estate to which an easement is attached, or the dominant estate, and to an estate which an easement encumbers, or the servient estate, in such case the easement is extinguished. 3 Mason, Rep. 172; Poph. 166; Latch, 153; and vide Cro. Jac. 121. But a distinction has been made between a thing that has being by prescription, and one that has its being ex jure naturae; in the former case unity of possession will extinguish the easement; in the latter, for example, the case of a water course, the unity will not extinguish it. Poth. 166.

2. By the civil code of Louisiana, art. 801, every servitude is extin-guished, when the estate to which it is due, and the estate owing it, are united in the same hands. But it is necessary that the whole of the two estates should belong to the same proprietor; for if the owner of one estate only acquires the other in part or in common with another person, confusion does not take effect. Vide Merger.

UNIVERSAL LEGACY. A term used among civilians. An universal legacy is a testamentary disposition, by which the testator gives to one or several persons the whole of the property which he leaves at his decease. Civil Code of Lo. art. 1599; Code Civ. art. 1003; Poth. Donations testamentaires, c. 2, sect. 1, 2.

UNIVERSAL PARTNERSHIP. The name of a specie's of partnership by which all the partners agree to put in common all their property, universorum bonorum, not only what they then have, but also what they shall acquire. Poth. Du Contr. de Societe, n. 29.

2. In Louisiana, universal partnerships are allowed, but properly which may accrue to one of the parties, after entering into the partnership, by donation, succession, or legacy, does not become common stock, and any stipulation to that effect, previous to the obtaining the property aforesaid, is void. Civ. Code, art. 2800.

UNIVERSITY. The name given to certain societies or corporations which are seminaries of learning where youth are sent to finish their education. Among the civilians by this term is understood a corporation.

UNJUST. That which is done against the perfect rights of another; that which is against the established law; that which is opposed to a law which is the test of right and wrong. 1 Toull. tit. prel. n. 5; Aust. Jur. 276, n.; Hein. Lec. El. 1080.

UNKNOWN. When goods have been stolen from some person unknown, they may be so described in the indictment; but if the owner be really known, an indictment alleging the property to belong to some person unknown is improper. 2 East's P. C. 651 1 Hale, P. C. 512; Holt's N. P. C. 596 S. C. 3 Engl. Common Law Rep. 191; 8 C. & P. 773. Vide Indictment; Quidam.

UNLAWFUL. That which is contrary to law.

2. There are two kinds of contracts which are unlawful; those which are void, and those which are not. When the law expressly prohibits the transaction in respect of which the agreement is entered into and declares it to be void, it is absolutely so. 3 Binn. R. 533. But when it is merely prohibited, without being made void, although unlawful, it is not void. 12 Serg. & Rawle, 237; Chitty, Contr. 230; 23 Amer. Jur. 1 to 23; 1 Mod. 35; 8 East, R. 236, 237; 3 Taunt. R. 244; Hob. 14. Vide Condition; Void.

UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY, crim. law. A disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons who meet together with an intent mutually to assist each other in the execution of some unlawful enterprise of a private nature, with force and violence; if they move forward towards its execution, it is then a rout (q. v.) and if they actually execute their design, it amounts to a riot. (q. v.) 4 Bl. Com. 140; 1 Russ. on Cr. 254; Hawk. c. 65, s. 9; Com. Dig. Forcible Entry, D 10; Vin. Abr. Riots, &c., A.

UNLAWFULLY, pleadings. This word is frequently used in indictments in the description of the offence; it is necessary when the crime did not exist at common law, and when a statute, in describing an offence which it creates, uses the word, 1 Moody, Cr. Cas. 339; but it is unnecessary whenever the crime existed at common law, and is manifestly illegal. 1 Chitty, Crim. Law, *241; Hawk. B. 2, c. 95, s. 96; 2 Roll. Ab. 82; Bac. Abr. Indictment, G 1 Cro. C. C. 38, 43.

UNLIQUIDATED DAMAGES. Such damages, as are unascertained. In general such damages cannot be set-off. No interest will be allowed on unliquidated damages. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1108. See Liquidated, Liquidated Damages.

UNQUES, law French. Yet. This barbarous word is frequently used in pleas as, Ne unques executor, Ne unquas guardian, Ne unques accouple; and the like.

UNSOUND MIND; UNSOUND MEMORY. These words have been adopted in several statutes, and sometimes indiscriminately used to signify, not only lunacy, which is periodical madness, but also a permanent adventitious insanity as distinguished from idiocy. 1 Ridg. Parl. Cases, 518; 3 Atk. 171.

2. The term unsound mind seems to have been used in those statutes in the same sense as insane; but they have been said to import that the party was in some such state as was contradistinguished from idiocy and from lunacy, and yet such is made him a proper subject of a commission to inquire of idiocy and lunacy. Shelf. on Lun. 5; Ray, Med. Jur. Prel. 8; Hals. Med. Jur. 336; 8 Ves. 66; 19 Ves. 286; 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 573; Coop. Ch. Cas. 108; 12 Ves. 447; 2 Mad. Ch. Pr. 731, 732.

UNSOUNDNESS. Vide Crib-biting; Roaring; Soundness.

UNWHOLESOME FOOD. Food not fit to be eaten; food which, if eaten, would be injurious.

2. Although the law does not in general consider a sale to be a warranty or goodness of the quality of a personal chattel, yet it is otherwise with regard to food and liquor when sold for consumption. 1 Roll. Ab. 90, pl. 1 and 2.

UPLIFTED HAND. When a man accused of a crime is arraigned, he is required to raise his hand, probably in order to identify the person who pleads. Perhaps for the same reason when a witness adopts a particular mode of taking an oath, as when he does not swear upon the gospel, but upon Almighty God, he is requested to hold up his hand.

Copyright © 2004 New-York-Lawyer .WS