REFERENCE, contracts. An agreement to submit to certain arbitrators,
matters in dispute between two or more parties, for their decision, and
judgment. The persons to whom such matters are referred are sometimes called
REFERENCE, mercantile law. A direction or request by a party who asks
a credit to the person from whom he expects it, to call on some other person
named in order to ascertain the character or mercantile standing of the
REFERENCE, practice. The act of sending any matter by a court of
chancery or one exercising equitable powers, to a master or other officer, in
order that he may ascertain facts and report to the court. By reference is also
understood that part of an instrument of writing where it points to another for
the matters therein contained. For the effect of such reference, see 1 Pick. R.
27; 17 Mass. R. 443; 15 Pick. R. 66; 7 Halst. R. 25; 14 Wend. R. 619; 10 Conn.
R. 422; 4 Greenl. R. 14, 471; 3 Greenl. R. 393; 6 Pick. R. 460; the thing
referred to is also called a reference.
REFERENDUM, international law. When an amhassador receives
propositions touching an object over which he has no sufficient power and he is
without instruction, he accepts it ad referendum, that is, under the condition
that it shall be acted upon by his government, to which it is referred. The note
addressed in that case to his government to submit the question to its
consideration is called a referendum.
REFORM. To reorganize; to rearrange as, the jury "shall be reformed by
putting to and taking out of the persons so impanneled." Stat. 3 H. VIII. c. 12;
Bac. Ab. Juries, A.
2. To reform an instrument in equity, is to make a decree that a deed or
other agreement shall be made or construed as it was originally intended by the
parties, when an error or mistake as to a fact has been committed. A contract
has been reformed, although the party applying to the court was in the legal
profession, and he himself drew the contract, it appearing clear that it was
framed so as to admit of a construction inconsistent with the true agreement of
the parties. 1 Sim. & Stu. 210; 3 Russ. R. 424. But a contract will not be
reformed in consequence of an error of law. 1 Russ. & M. 418; 1 Chit. Pr.
REFORMATION, criminal law. The act of bringing back a criminal to such
a sense of justice, so that he may live in society without any detriment to
2. The object of the criminal law ought to be to reform the criminal, while
it protects society by his punishment. One of the best attempts at reformation
is the plan of solitary confinement in a penitentiary. While the convict has
time to reflect he cannot be injured by evil example or corrupt
TO REFRESH. To reexamine a subject by having a reference to something
connected with it.
2. A witness has a right to examine a memorandum or paper which he made in
relation to certain facts, when the same occurred, in order to refresh his
memory, but the paper or memorandum itself is not evidence. 5 Wend. 301; 12 S.
& R. 328; 6 Pick. 222; 1 A. K. Marsh. 188; 2 Conn. 213. See 1 Rep. Const.
Ct. 336, 373, 423.
TO REFUND. To pay back by the party who has received it, to the party
who has paid it, money which ought not to have been paid.
2. On a deficiency of assets, executors and administrators cum testamento
annexo, are entitled to have refunded to them legacies which they may have paid,
or so much as may be necessary. to pay the debts of the testator; and in order
to insure this, they are generally authorized to require a refunding bond. Vide
8 Vin. Ab. 418; 18 In Vin. Ab. 273; Bac. Ab. Legacies, H.
REFUSAL. The act of declining to receive or to do something.
2. A grantee may refuse a title, vide Assent; one appointed executor may
refuse to act as such. la some cases, a neglect to perform a duty which the
party is required by law or his agreement to do, will amount to a refusal.
REGENCY. The authority of the person in monarchical countries invested
with the right of governing the state in the name of the monarch, during his
minority, absence, sickness or other inability.
REGENT. 1. A ruler, a governor. The term is usually applied to one who
governs a regency, or rules in the place of another.
2. In the canon law, it signifies a master or professor of a college. Dict.
du Dr. Call. h. t. 3. It sometimes means simply a ruler, director, or
superintendent; as, in New York, where the board who have the superintendence of
all the colleges, academies and schools, are called the regents of the
University of the state of New York.
REGIAM MAJESTATEM. The name of an ancient law book ascribed to David I
of Scotland. It is, according to Dr. Robertson, a servile copy of Glanville. Ro-
bertson's Hist. of Charles V., vol. 1, note 25, p. 262; Ersk. Prin. B. 1, t. 1,
REGICIDE. The killing of a king, aud, by extension, of a queen.
Theorie des Lois Criminelles, vol. 1, p. 300. REGIDOR. Laws of the Spanish
empire of the Indies. One of a body, never exceeding twelve, who formed a part
of the ayuntamiento or municipal council in every capital of a jurisdiction. The
office of regidor was held for life, that is to say, during the pleasure of the
supreme authority. In most places the office was purchased; in some cities,
however, they were elected by persons of the district, called capitulares. 12
Pet. R. 442, note.
REGIMIENTO. Laws of the Spanish empire of the Indies. The body of
regi- dores who never exceeded twelve, forming a part of the municipal council
or ayuntamiento, in every capital of a jurisdiction. 12 Pet. Rep. 442, note.
REGISTER, evidence. A book containing a record of facts as they occur,
kept by public authority; a register of births, marriages and burials.
2. Although not originally intended for the purposes of evidence, public
registers are in general admissible to prove the facts to which they relate.
3. In Pennsylvania, the registry of births, &c. made by any religious
society in the state, is evidence by act of assembly, but it must be proved as
at common law. 6 Binn. R. 416. A copy of the register of births and deaths of
the Society of Friends in England, proved before the lord mayor of London by an
ex parte affidavit, was allowed to be given in evidence to prove the death of a
person; 1 Dall. 2; and a copy of a parish register in Barbadoes, certi-fied to
be a true copy by the rector, proved by the oath of a witness, taken before the
deputy secretary of the island and notary public, under his hand and seal was
held admissible to prove pedigree; the handwriting and office of the secretary
being proved. 10 Serg. & Rawle, 383.
4. In North Carolina, a parish register of births, marriages and deaths, kept
pursuant to the statute of that state, is evidence of pedigree. 2 Murphey's R.
5. In Connecticut, a parish register has been received in evidence. 2 Root,
R. 99. See 15 John. R. 226. Vide 1 Phil. Ev. 305; 1 Curt. R. 755; 6 Eng. Eccl.
R. 452; Cov. on Conv. Ev. 304.
REGISTER, common law. The certificate of registry granted to the
person or persons entitled thereto, by the collector of the district,
comprehending the port to which any ship or vessel shall belong; more properly,
the registry itself. For the form, requisites, &c. of certificate of
registry, see Act of Con. Dec. 31, 1792; Story's Laws U. S. 269 3 Kent, Com. 4th
REGISTER or REGISTRAR. An officer authorized by law to keep a record
called a register or registry; as the register for the probate of wills.
REGISTER FOR THE PROBATE OF WILLS. An officer in Pennsylvania, who has
gene- rally the same powers that judges of probates and surrogates have in other
states, and the ordinary has in England, in admitting the wills of deceased
persons to probate.
REGISTER OF WRITS. This is a book preserved in the English court of
chancery, in which were entered, from time to time, all forms of writs once
2. It was first printed and published in the reign of Henry VIII. This book
is still in authority, as containing, in general, an accurate transcript of the
forms of all writs as then framed, and as they ought still to be framed in
3. It seems, however, that a variation from the register is not conclusive
against the propriety of a form, if other sufficient authority can be adduced to
prove its correctness. Steph. Pl. 7, 8.
REGISTRARIUS. An ancient name given to a notary. In England this name
is confined to designate the officer of some court, the records or archives of
which are in his custody.
REGISTRUM BREVIUM. The name of an ancient book which was a collection
of writs. See Register of Writs
REGISTRY. A book authorized by law, in which writings are registered
or recorded. Vide To Record; Register.
REGNANT. One having authority as a king; one in the exercise of royal
REGRATING, crim. law. Every practice or device, by act, conspiracy,
words, or news, to enhance the price of victuals or other merchandise, is so
denomin-ated. 3 Inst. 196; 1 Russ. on Cr. 169.
2. In the Roman law, persons who monopolized grain, and other produce of the
earth, were called dardanarii, and were variously punished. Dig. 47, 11, 6.
REGRESS. Returning; going back opposed to ingress. (q. v.)
REGULAR DEPOSIT. One where the thing deposited must be returned. It is
distinguished from an irregular deposit.
REGULAR AND IRREGULAR PROCESS. Regular process is that which has been
lawfully issued by a court or magistrate, having competent jurisdiction.
Irregular process is that which has been illegally issued.
2. When the process is regular, and the defendant has been damnified, as in
the case of a malicious arrest, his remedy is by an action on the case, and not
trespass: when it is irregular, the remedy is by action of trespass.
3. If the process be wholly illegal or misapplied as to the person intended
to be arrested, without regard to any question of fact, or whether innocent or
guilty, or the existence of any debt, then the party imprisoned may legally
resist the arrest and imprisonment, and may escape, be rescued, or even break
prison; but if the process and imprisonment were in form legal, each of these
acts would be punishable, however innocent the defendant might be, for he ought
to submit to legal process, and obtain his release by due course of law. 1 Chit.
Pr. 637; 5 East, R. 304, 308; S. C. 1 Smitt's Rep. 555; 6 T. R. 234; Foster, C.
L. 312; 2 Wils. 47; 1 East, P. C. 310 Hawk. B. 2, c. 19, s. 1, 2.
4. When a party has been arrested on process which has afterwards been set
aside for irregularity, he may bring an action of trespass and recover damages
as well against the attorney who issued it, as the party, though such process
will justify the officer who executed it. 8 Adolph. & Ell. 449; S. C. 35 E.
C. L. R. 433; 15 East, R. 615, note c; 1 Stra. 509; 2 W. Bl. Rep., 845; 2 Conn.
R. 700; 9 Conn. 141; 11 Mass. 500; 6 Greenl. 421; 3 Gill & John. 377; 1
Bailey, R. 441; 2 Litt. 234; 3 S. & R. 139 12 John. 257 3 Wils. 376; and
vide Malicious Prosecution.
REHABILlTATION. The act by which a man is restored to his former
ability, of which he had been deprived by a conviction, sentence or judgment of
a competent tribunal.
REHEARING. A second consideration which the court gives to a cause, on
a second argument.
2. A rehearing takes place principally when the court has doubts on the
subject to be decided; but it cannot be granted by the supreme court after the
cause has been remitted to the court below to carry into effect the decree of
the supreme court. 7 Wheat. 58.
REI INTERVENTUS. When a party is imperfectly bound in an obligation,
he may in general, annul such imperfect obligation; but when he has permitted
the opposite party to act as if his obligation or agreement were complete, such
things have intervened as to deprive him of the right to rescind such
obligation; these circumstances are the rei interventus. Bell's Com. 328, 329,
5th ed.; Burt. Man. P. R. 128.
RE-INSURANCE, mar. contr. An insurance made by a former insurer, his
executors, administrators, or assigns, to protect himself and his estate from a
risk to which they were liable by the first insurance.
2. It differs from a double insurance (q. v.) in this, that in the latter
cases, the insured makes two insurances on the same risk and the same
3. The insurer on a re-insurance is answerable only to the party whom he has
insured, and not to the original insured, who can have no remedy against him in
case of loss, even though the original insurer become insolvent, because there
is no privity of contract between them and the original insured. 3 Kent, Com.
227; Park. on Ins. c. 15, p. 276; Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 4, s. 4
REISSUABLE NOTES. Bank notes, which after having been once paid, may
again be put into circulation, are so called.
2. They cannot properly be called valuable securities, while in the hands of
the maker; but in an indictment, may properly be called goods and chattels. Ry.
& Mood. C. C. 218; vide 5 Mason's R. 537; 2 Russ. on Cr. 147. And such notes
would fall within the description of promissory notes. 2 Leach, 1090, 1093;
Russ. & Ry. 232. Vide Bank note; Note; Promissory note.
REJOINDER, pleadings. The name of the defendant's answer to the
2. The general requisites of a rejoinder are, 1. It must be triable. 2. It
must not be double, nor will several rejoinders be allowed to the same
declaration. 3. It must be certain. 4. It must be direct and positive, and not
merely by way of recital or argumentative. 5. it must not be repugnant or
insensible. 6. It must be conformable to, and not depart from the plea. Co.
Litt. 304; 6 Com. Dig. 185 Archb. Civ. Pl. 278; U. S. Dig, Pleading, XIII.
RELAPSE. The condition of one who, after having abandoned a course of
vice, returns to it again. Vide Recidive.
RELATION, civil law. The report which the judges made of the
proceedings in certain suits to the prince were so called.
2. These relations took place when the judge had no law to direct him, or
when the laws were susceptible of difficulties; it was then referred to the
prince, who was the author of the law, to give the interpretation. Those reports
were made in writing and contained the pleadings of the parties, and all the
proceedings, together with the judge's opinion, and prayed the emperor to order
what should be done. The ordinance of the prince thus required was called a
rescript. (q. v.) the use of these relations was abolished by Justinian, Nov.
RELATION, contracts, construction. When an act is done at one time,
and it operates upon the thing as if done at another time, it is said to do so
by relation; as, if a man deliver a deed as an escrow, to be delivered by the
party holding it, to the grantor, on the performance of some act, the delivery
to the latter will have relation back to the first delivery. Termes de la Ley.
Again, if a partner be adjudged a bankrupt, the partnership is dissolved, and
such dissolution relates back to the time when the commission issued. 3 Kent,
Com. 33. Vide 18 Vin. Ab. 285; 4 Com. Dig. 245; 5 Id. 339; Litt. S. C. 462-466;
2 John. 510; 4 John. 230; 15 John. 809; 2 Har. & John. 151, and the article
RELATIONS, kindred. In its most extensive signification, this term
includes all the kindred of the person spoken of. In a more limited sense, it
signifies those persons who are entitled as next of kin under the statute of
2. A legacy to "relations" generally, or to "relations by blood or marriage,"
without enumerating any of them, will, therefore, entitle to a share, such of
the testator's relatives as would be entitled under the statute of
distribution's in the event of intestacy. 1 Madd. Ch. R. 45; 1 Bro. C. C. 33.
See the cases referred to under the word Relations, article Construction.
3. Relations to either of the parties, even beyond the ninth degree, have
been holden incapable to serve on juries. 3 Chit. Pr. 795, note c. 4.
Relationship or affinity is no objection to a witness, unless in the case of
hushand and wife. See Witness.
RELATOR. A rehearser or teller; one who, by leave of court, brings an
information in the nature of a quo warranto.
2. At common law, strictly speaking, no such person as a relator to an
information is known; he being a creature of the statute 9 Anne, c. 20.
3. In this country, even where no statute similar to that of Anne prevails,
informations are allowed to be filed by private persons desirous to try their
rights, in the name of the attorney general, and these are commonly called
relators; though no judgment for costs can be rendered for or against them. 2
Dall. 112; 5 Mass. 231; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 127; 3 Serg. & Rawle, 52; Ang.
on Corp. 470. In chancery the relator is responsible for costs. 4 Bouv. Inst. n.
RELATIVE. One connected with another by blood or affinity; a relation,
a kinsman or kinswoman. In an adjective sense, having relation or connexion with
some other person or thing; as relative rights, relative powers.
RELATIVE POWERS. Those which relate to land, so called to distinguish
them from those which are collateral to it.
2. These powers are appendant, as where a tenant for life has a power of
making leases in possession. They are in gross when a person has an estate in
the land, with a power of appointment, the execution of which falls out of the
compass of his estate, but, notwithstanding, is annexed in privity to it, and
takes effect in the appointee out of an interest appointed in the appointer. 2
Bouv. Inst. n. 1930.
RELATIVE RIGHTS. Those to which a person is entitled in consequence of
his relation with others such as the rights of a hushand in relation to his
wife; of a father, as to his children; of a master, as to his servant; of a
guardian, as to his ward. 2. In general, the superior may maintain an action for
an injury committed against his relative rights. See 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2277 to
2296; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3491; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3615 to 3618.
RELEASE. Releases are of two kinds. 1. Such as give up, discharge, or
abandon a right of action. 2. Such as convey a man's interest or right to
another, who has possession of it, or some estate in the same. Touch. 320; Litt.
sec. 444; Nels. Ab. h. t.; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Vin. Ab. h. t.; Rolle's Ab. h. t.;
Com. Dig. h. t.