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V

VISA, civ. law. The formula put upon an act; a register; a commercial book, in order to approve of it and authenticate it.

VISITATION. The act of examining into the affairs of a corporation.

2. The power of visitation is applicable only to ecclesiastical and eleemo-synary corporations. 1 Bl. Com. 480; 2 Kid on Corp. 174. The visitation of civil corporations is by the government itself, through the medium of the courts of justice Vide 2 Kent, Com. 240.

VISITER. An inspector of the government, of corporations or bodies politic. 1 Bl. Com. 482. Vide Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 7 Pick. 303; 12 Pick. 244.

VISNE. The neighborhood; a neighboring place; a place near at hand; the venue. (q. v.)

2. Formerly the visne was confined to the immediate neighborhood, where the cause of action arose, and many verdicts were disturbed because the visne was too large, which, becoming a great grievance several statutes were passed to remedy the evil. The 21 James I, c. 13, gives aid after verdict where the visne is partly wrong, that is, where it is warded out of too many or too few places in the county named. The 16 and 17 Charles II. c. 8, goes further, and cures defects of the visne wholly, so that the cause is tried by a jury of the proper county. Vide Venue.

VIVA VOCE. Living voice; verbally. It is said a witness delivers his evidence viva voce, when he does so in open court; the term is opposed to deposition. It is sometimes opposed to ballot; as, the people vote by ballot, but their representatives in the legislature, vote viva voce.

VIVARY. A place where living things are kept; as a park, on land; or in the water, as a pond.

VIVUM VADIUM, or living pledge, contracts. When a man borrows a sum of money (suppose two hundred dollars) of another, and grants him an estate, as of twenty dollars per annum, to hold till the rents and profits shall repay the sum so borrowed.

2. This is an estate conditioned to be void as soon as such sum is raised. And in this case the land or pledge is said to be living; it subsists, and survives the debt, and immediately on the discharge, of that, results back to the borrower. 2 Bl. Com. 157. See Antichresis; Mortgage.

VOCATIO IN JUS, Roman civ. law. According to the practice in the legis actiones of the Roman law, a person having a demand against another, verbally cited him to go with him to the praetor in jus eamus. In jus te voco. This was denominated vocatio in jus. If a person thus summoned refused to go, he could be compelled by force to do so unless he found a vindex, that is, a procurator or a person to undertake his cause. When the parties appeared before the praetor, they went through the particular formalities required by the action applicable to the cause. If the cause was not ended the same day, the parties promised to appear again at another day, which was called vadimonium. See Math. V. 25.

VOID, contracts, practice. That which has no force or effect.

2. Contracts, bequests or legal proceedings may be void; these will be severally considered.

3. - 1. The invalidity of a contract may arise from many causes. 1. When the parties have no capacity to contract; as in the case of idiots, lunatics, and in some states, under their local regulations, habitual drunkards. Vide Par-ties to contracts, 1; 1 Hen. & Munf 69; 1 South. R. 361; 2 Hayw. R. 394; Newl. on Contr. 19; 1 Fonbl. Eq. 46; 3 Camp. 128; Long on Sales, 14; Highm. on Lunacy, 111, 112 Chit. on Contr. 29, 257.

4. - 2. When the contract has for its object the performance of an act malum in se; as a covenant to rob or kill a man, or to commit a breach of the peace. Shep. To. 163; Co. Lit. 206, b 10 East, R. 534.

5. - 3. When the thing to be performed is impossible; as, if a man were to covenant to go from the United States to Europe in one day. Co. Lit. 206, b. But in these cases, the impossibility must exist at the time of making the contract; for although subsequent events may excuse the performance, the contract is not absolutely void; as, if John contract to marry Maria, and, before the time appointed, the covenantee marry her himself, the contract will not be enforced, but it was not void in its creation. It differs from a contract made by John, who, being a married man, and known to the coveiaantee, enters into a contract to marry Maria during the continuance of his existing marriage, for in that case the contract is void.

6. - 4. Contracts against public policy; as, an agreement not to marry any one, or not to follow any business; the one being considered in restraint of marriage, and the other in restraint of trade. 4 Burr. 2225; S. C. Wilm. 364; 2 Vern. 215; Al. 67: 8 Mass. R. 223; 9 Mass. R. 522; 1 Pick. R. 443; 3 Pick. R. 188.

7. - 5. When the contract is fraudulent, it is void, for fraud vitiates everything. 1 Fonbl. Equity, 66, note Newl. on Contr. 352; and article Fraud. As to cases when a condition consists of several parts, and some are lawful and others are not, see article Condition.

8. - 2. A devise or bequest is void:. 1. When made by a person not lawfully authorized to make a will; as, a lunatic or idiot, a married woman, and an infant before arriving at the age of fourteen, if a male, and twelve if a female. Harg. Co. Lit. 896, If; Rob. on Wills, 28; Godolph. Orph. Leg. 21. 2. When there is a defect in the form of the will, or when the devise is forbidden by law; as, when a perpetuity is given, or when the devise in unintellig-ible. 3. When it has been obtained by fraud. 4. When, the devisee is dead. 5. And when there has been an express or implied revocation of the will. Vide Legacy; Will.

9. - 3. A writ or process is void when there was not any authority for issuing it, as where the court had no jurisdiction, In such case, the officers acting under it become trespassers, for they are required, notwithstanding it may sometimes be a difficult question of law, to decide whether the court has or has not jurisdiction. 2 Brownl. 124; 10 Co. 69; March's R. 118; 8 T. R. 424; 3 Cranch, R. 330; 4 Mass. R. 234. Vide articles Irregularity; Regular and Irregular Process. Vide, generally, 8 Com. Dig. 644; Bac. Ab. Conditions, K; Bac. Ab. Infancy, &c. I; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 3 Chit. Pr. 75; Yelv. 42, a, note 1; 1 Rawle, R. 163; Bouv. Inst Index, h. t.

VOIDABLE. That which has some force or effect, but which, in consequence of some inherent quality, may be legally annulled or avoided.

2. As a familiar example, may be mentioned the case of a contract, made by an infant with an adult, which maybe avoided or confirmed by the former on his coining of age. Vide Parties, contracts.

3. Such contracts are generally of binding force until avoided by the party having a right to annul them. Bac. Ab. Infancy, 1 3; Com. Dig. Enfant; Fonbl. Eq. b. 1, c. 2, 4, note b; 3 Burr. 1794 Nels. Ch. R. 5 5; 1 Atk. 3 5 4; Stra. 9 3 7; Perk. 12. VOIR. An old French word, which signifies the same as the modern word vrai, true. Voir dire, to speak truly, to tell the truth.

2. When a witness is supposed to have an interest in the cause, the party against whom he is called has the choice to prove such interest by calling another witness to that fact, or be may require the witness produced to be sworn on his voir dire as to whether he has an interest in the cause, or not, but the party against whom he is called will not be allowed to have recourse to both methods to prove the witness interest. If the witness answers he has no interest, he is competent, his oath being conclusive; if he swears he has an interest, he will be rejected.

3. Though this is the rule established beyond the power of the courts to change, it seems not very satisfactory. The witness is sworn on his voir dire to ascertain whether he has an interest, which would disqualify him, because he would be tempted to perjure himself, if he testified when interested. But when he is asked whether he has such an interest, if he is dishonest and anxious to be sworn in the case, he will swear falsely he has none, and his answer being conclusive, he will be admitted as competent; if, on the contrary, he swears truly he has an interest, when he knows that will exclude him, he is told that for being thus honest, he must be rejected. See, generally, 12 Vin. Ab. 48; 22 Vin. Ab. 14; 1 Dall, 375; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; and Interest.

VOLUNTARY. Willingly; done with one's consent; negligently. Wolff, 5.

2. To render an act criminal or tortious it must be voluntary. If a man, therefore, kill another without a will on his part, while engaged in the performance of a lawful act, and having taken proper care to prevent it, he is not guilty of any crime. And if he commit an injury to the person or property of another, he is not liable for damages, unless the act has been voluntary or through negligence, as when a collision takes place between two ships without any fault in either. 2 Dobs. R. 83 3 Hagg. Adm. R. 320, 414.

3. When the crime or injury happens in the performance of an unlawful act, the party will be considered as having acted voluntarily.

4. A negligent escape permitted by an officer having the custody of a prisoner will be presumed as voluntary; under a declaration or count charging the escape to have been voluntary, the party will, therefore, be allowed to give a negligent escape in evidence. 1 Saund. 35, n. 1. So Will.

VOLUNTARY CONVEYANCE, contracts. The transfer of an estate made without any adequate consideration of value.

2. Whenever a voluntary conveyance is made, a presumption of fraud properly arises upon the statute of 27th Eliz. cap. 4, which presumption may be repelled by showing that the transaction on which the conveyance was founded, virtually contained some conventional stipulations, some compromise of interests or reciprocity of benefits, that point out an object and motive beyond the indulgence of affection or claims of kindred, and not reconcilable with the supposition of intent to deceive a purchaser. But unless so repelled, such a conveyance coupled with a subsequent negotiation for sale, is conclusive evidence of statutory fraud. 5 Day, 223, 341; 1 Johns. Cas. 161; 4 John. Ch. R. 450; 3 Conn. 450; 4 Conn. 1; 4 John. R. 536; 15 John. R. 14; 2 Munf. R. 363. A distinction has been made between previous and subsequent creditors; such a conveyance is void as to the former but not as to the latter. 8 Wheat. 229; 3 John. Ch. 481; and see 6 Alab. R. 506; 9 Alab. R. 937; 10 Conn. 69. And a conveyance by a father who, though in debt, is not in embarrassed circumstances, who makes a reasonable provision for a child, leaving property sufficient to pay his debts, is not per se, fraudulent. 4 Wheat. 27; 6 Watts & S. 97; 4 Verm. 889; 6 N. H. Rep. 67; 11 Leigh, 137; 5 Ohio, 121.

3. By the statute of 3 Henry VII. c. 4, all deeds of gifts of goods and chattels in trust for the donor were declared void; and by the statute of 13 Eliz. ch. 5, gifts of goods and chattels, as well as of lands, by writing or otherwise, made with intent to delay, hinder and defraud creditors, were rendered void as against the person to whom such frauds would be prejudicial.

4. The principles of these statutes, which indeed have been copied from the civil law, Dig. 42, 8 , 5, 11; 2 Bell's Com. 182, though they may not have been substantially reenacted, prevail throughout the United States. 8 Johns. Ch. R. 481; 1 Halst. R. 450; 5 Cowen, 87; 8 Wheat. R. 229; 11 Id. 199; 12 Serg. & Rawle, 448; 9 Mass. R. 390; 11 Id. 421; 4 Greenl. R. 52; 2 Pick. R. 411; 8 Com. Dig. App. h. t.; 22 Vin. Ab. 15; 1 Vern. 38, 101; Rob. on Fr. Conv. 65, 478 Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 14 Ves. 344; 4 McCord, 294; 1 Rawle. 231; 1 Rep, Const. Ct. 180; 1 N. & McCord, 334; Coxe, 56; Hare & Wall. Sel. Dee. 33-69. Vide Contracts; Indebtedness; Settlement.

5. As between the parties such conveyances are, in general, good. 2 Rand. 384; 1 John. Chan. R. 329, 336; 1 Wash. 274 And when it has once been executed and delivered, it cannot be recalled; even where an unmarried man executes a voluntary trust deed for the benefit of future children, nor can he relieve himself from a provision in the conveyance to the trustee, under which the income of the trust property is to be paid to him at. the discretion of a third person. 2 My. & Keen, 496. See 2 Moll. 257.

VOLUNTARY DEPOSIT, civil law. One which is made by the mere consent or agreement of the parties. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1054.

VOLUNTARY ESCAPE. The giving to a prisoner voluntarily, any liberty not authorized by law. 5 Mass. 310; 2 Chipm. 11; 3 Harr. & John. 559; 2 Harr. & Gill. 106; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2332.

VOLUNTARY JURISDICTION. In the ecclesiastical law, jurisdiction is either contentious jurisdiction, (q. v.) or voluntary jurisdiction. By the latter term is understood that kind of jurisdiction which requires no judicial proceedings, as, the granting letters of administration and receiving the probate of wills.

VOLUNTARY NONSUIT, practice. The abandonment of his cause by a plaintiff, and an agreement that a judgment for costs be entered against him. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3306.

VOLUNTARY SALE, contracts. One made freely, without constraint, by the owner of the thing &old. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 974.

VOLUNTARY WASTE. That which is either active or wilful, in contradistinction to that which arises from mere negligence, which is called permissive waste. 2 Bouv. Inst. 2394, et seq. Vide Waste.

VOLUNTEERS, contracts. Persons who receive a voluntary conveyance. (q. v.)

2. It is a general rule of the courts of equity that they will not assist a mere volunteer who has a defective conveyance. Fonbl. B. 1, c. 5, s. 2, and See the note there for some exceptions to this rule. Vide, generally, 1 Madd. Ch. 271,. 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 320; 2 Id. 321; Powell on Mortg. Index, h. t. 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3968-73.

VOLUNTEERS, army. Persons who in time of war offer their services to their country and march in its defence.

2. Their rights and duties are prescribed by the municipal laws of the different states. But when in actual service they are subject to the laws of the United States and the articles of war.

VOTE. Suffrage; the voice of an individual in making a choice by many. The total number of voices given at an election; as, the presidential vote.

2. Votes are either given, by ballot, v.) or viva voce; they may be deli-vered personally by the voter himself, or, in some cases, by proxy. (q. v.)

3. A majority (q. v.) of the votes given carries the question submitted, unless in particular cases when the constitution or laws require that there shall be a majority of all the voters, or when a greater number than a simple majority is expressly required; as, for example in the case of the senate in making treaties by the president and senate, two-thirds of the senators present must concur. Vide Angell on Corpor. Index, h. t.

4. When the votes are equal in number, the proposed measure is lost.

VOTER. One entitled to a vote; an elector.

VOUCHEE. In common recoveries, the person who is called to warrant or defend the title, is called the vouchee. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2093.

VOUCHER, accounts. An account book in which are entered the acquittances, or warrants for the accountant's discharge. It also signifies any acquittance or receipt, which is evidence of payment, or of the debtor's being discharged. See 3 Halst. 299.

VOUCHER, common recoveries. The voucher in common recoveries, is the person on whom the tenant to the praecipe calls to defend the title to the land, because he is supposed to have warranted the title to him at the time of the original purchase.

2. The person usually employed for this purpose is the cryer of the court, who is therefore called the common voucher. Vide Cruise, Dig. tit. 36, c. 3, s. 1; 22 Vin. Ab. 26; Dane, Index, h. t.; and see Recovery.

VOUCHER TO WARRANTY, common recoveries. The calling one who has warranted lands, by the party warranted, to come and defend the suit for him. Co. Litt. 101, b. Vide Warranty, voucher to.

VOYAGE, marine law. The passage of a ship upon the seas, from one port to another, or to several ports.

2. Every voyage must have a terminus a quo and a terminus ad quem. When the insurance is for a limited time, the two extremes of that time are the termini of the vovage insured. When a ship is insured both outward and homeward, for one entire premium, this with reference to the insurance, is considered but one voyage; and the terminus a quo is also the terminus ad quem. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 7, s. 1 to 5. As to the commencement and ending of the voyage, see Risk.

3. The voyage, with reference to the legality of it, is sometimes confounded with the traffic in which the ship is engaged, and is frequently said to be illegal, only because the trade is so. But a voyage may be lawful, and yet the transport of certain goods on board the ship may be prohibited or the voyage may be illegal, though the transport of the goods be lawful. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 6, s. 1. See Lex Merc. Amer. c. 10, s. 14; Park. Ins. ch. 12; Wesk. his. tit. Voyages; and Deviation,

4. In the French law the Voyage de conserve, is the name given to designate an agreement made between two or more sea captains that they will not separate in their voyage, will lend aid to each other, and will defend themselves against a common enemy, or the enemy of one of them, in case of attack. This agreement is said to be a partnership. 8 Pardes. Dr. Com. n. 656; 4 Pardes. Dr. Com. n. 984; 20 Toull. n. 17.

 
 
 
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