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injury. The Court may thereupon order the person complained of to find sureties for the peace, and, in default, may commit him to prison.' (See Breaches of the Peace; Justices of the Peace.) It seems that articles may be exhibited in the Queen's Bench or Chancery Divisions of the High Court, or to any justice of the peace2 (q. v.).

ARTICLES OF RELIGION, commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles, are those which were agreed upon by the archbishops, bishops, and the whole clergy in the Convocation of 1562. They must be subscribed by persons before being received into the ministry.3

ARTICLES OF WAR-ARTICLES OF THE NAVY-are regulations made by the crown for the preservation of discipline in the army and navy respectively. (See Court Martial.)

ASPORTATION-ASPORTAVIT. - Asportation is the act of carrying away goods, especially when the act is wrongful, in which case. it is either a civil injury (trespass de bonis asportatis; see Trespass, § 4), or a crime, namely, larceny (q. v.).

ASSART in the old forest laws was the offence of plucking up the thickets or coverts of a forest by the roots so as to make them arable land and prevent them from becoming forest again." The laws of the forest have long since fallen into disuse, and with them the punishment of assarting.


ETYMOLOGY.]-Norman-French, assartir; old French, essarter; to improve land by rooting up thickets. Low Latin, exartare, from ex and sarrire, to hoe or weed."

ASSAULT.-§ 1. Strictly speaking, an assault is an unsuccessful attempt to do harm to the person of another, as by menacing with a stick a person who is within reach of it, although no blow be struck. If a blow is struck, the act is a battery (q. v.); but in legal proceedings for an alleged battery, in order that if the plaintiff or prosecutor failed to prove the battery, he might still prove the assault, the act complained of would be described as an assault and battery, and hence in popular language the term assault has come to be treated as synonymous with battery.

§ 2. In private or civil law, an assault is a tort (q. v.), giving rise to a right of action for damages. (See Son Assault Demesne.)

§ 3. In criminal law an assault is―(1) an attempt unlawfully to apply any actual force, however small, to the person of another, directly or indirectly; (2) the act of using such a gesture towards another person as to give him reasonable grounds to believe that the person using the gesture meant to apply actual force to his person; (3) the act of depriving

1 Bl. Comm. iv. 255.

2 Stat. 21 Jac. 1, c. 8.

3 Phill. Eccl. Law, 125; stat. 13 Eliz.

C. 12.

Steph. Comm. ii. 589, 595.

5 Manwood's Forest, 48 a.

6 Steph. Comm. i. 668.

7 Britton, 184 b; Littré, Dict. s. v. Essarter.

8 Underhill on Torts, 118.

another of his liberty. The consent of the person assaulted does not make the assault lawful if obtained by fraud. An act which is reasonably necessary for the common intercourse of life is not an assault: as where persons in a crowd push against one another.

other assaults.

§4. A common assault is a misdemeanor punishable by one year's im- Common and prisonment with hard labour. Assaults with intent to commit felony, indecent assaults, and other varieties of assault, are liable to special punishments. Assaults on the Queen are high misdemeanors, punishable with penal servitude, or imprisonment with whipping. (See Battery.)

§ 5. With certain exceptions, assaults are also punishable on summary conviction before justices of the peace; aggravated assaults on women and Aggravated children being subject to special punishments.3 (See Separation Order; assaults. Battery.)

ASSEMBLY. See Unlawful Assembly.

ASSENT.-The title of a legatee is not complete until the executor has assented to the legacy, and hence executors may dispose even of property specifically bequeathed if they have not assented to the bequest. The assent may be express or implied; almost any language or conduct Express or acknowledging the right of the legatee, or from which it appears that implied. there is nothing to prevent the legatee from having his legacy, amounts to an assent. After the assent the legatee's title to the legacy is complete, and if the legacy is specific he may bring an action to recover the property bequeathed. In the case of pecuniary legacies his only remedy is an action for the administration of the testator's estate.1 (See Action, §9.)

ASSESS ASSESSMENT.-§ 1. To assess damages, or the value of Damages, property or some other unascertained sum, is to fix its amount. Thus, value, &c. where judgment by default is obtained in an action for detention of goods or pecuniary damages, the value of the goods or the amount of the damages must be ascertained before the judgment can be executed.

§ 2. Assessment is effected by a writ of inquiry (q.v.), or by any mode of trial by which a question arising in an action may be tried (e.g. by a jury, referee, &c.).

§ 3. Rates and taxes in respect of land and houses are calculated with For rates, &c. reference to the estimated value of the property, which is arrived at by a process called assessment. For the purpose of levying poor rates and other local taxes the guardians of every union or parish appoint from among themselves an assessment committee, who revise the valuation lists of the rateable hereditaments in each parish prepared by the over

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Of married woman.

Of partnership or company.

Of deceased person.



seers. In London the valuation so arrived at is also made use of for the purposes of the inhabited house duty and the property or income tax in respect of land,' &c. In other places the mode of assessment for these taxes depends on the acts relating to them. (See Income Tax; Inhabited House Duty.)


ASSESSOR is a person called in to assist a Court in trying a question requiring technical or scientific knowledge. It is the practice of the High Court and Court of Appeal in admiralty business (following the practice of the Court of Admiralty) to call in assessors in cases involving questions of navigation or seamanship: they are called "nautical assessors," and are always Brethren of the Trinity House. § 2. Under the Judicature Act, 1873, the High Court or Court of Appeal may call in the aid of one or more assessors in any action or matter;3 and by the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1876, provision is made for the appointment and attendance of the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England as assessors of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in ecclesiastical appeals.* § 3. Assessors are also employed in various inquiries of a judicial character, e.g. in Courts of Survey and investigations by Wreck Commissioners under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1876.5

§ 4. An assessor differs from a referee (q. v.) in having no voice or power in deciding questions, his duties being confined to assisting the deliberations of the Court.

ASSETS are property available for the payment of the debts of a person or corporation. The term is sometimes applied to the property of a living person, e.g. a bankrupt, or a married woman whose property has vested in her husband, and to the extent of which he is liable for her debts or liabilities contracted before marriage. It is, however, more often applied to the property of a deceased person, or of a partnership or company which has ceased to carry on business and is being wound up. (See Winding-up; Estate.)

§ 2. The assets of a deceased person are of various kinds, according as they consist of real or personal estate belonging absolutely to the deceased, or of property over which he had merely a power of appointment. Real assets are the lands or other real property of the deceased which are liable for payment of his debts, whether he has devised or charged them for that purpose or not. The distinction between the various classes of assets is of importance with reference to the order of their administration.

1 Stat. 25 & 26 Vict. c. 103; 27 & 28

Vict. c. 39, &c.

2 Stat. 32 & 33 Vict. c. 67.

3 Sect. 56; Rules of Court, xxxvi. 4Sect. 14; Reg. Gen., 15th Nov. 1876; 2 P. D. 384.

5 As to assessors in county court actions, see Pollock, C. C. Pr. 105.

6 Married Women's Prop. Act, 1874. 7 Williams' R. P. 82; Williams on Real Assets; stat. 3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 104; 32 & 33 Vict. c. 46.

where the residuary estate is insufficient for payment of all the debts. (See Administration, § 2.)

§ 3. Another division of assets is into legal and equitable. Legal assets Legal and comprise everything which an executor takes virtute officii, and with which equitable. he would have been charged in an action at law by a creditor, while equit able assets are such as could only be reached by the creditor in a Court of Equity. Thus, personal estate, including leaseholds, is legal assets, while land charged or devised by a testator for payment of debts, and equitable interests in or trusts of chattels, &c., are equitable assets. The distinction is of importance with reference to the estates of persons who died before the 1st January, 1870, because in the case of such a person leaving an insolvent estate his debts are payable out of the legal assets in a different order from equitable assets. (See for this order, Administration, § 3.) In the case of any person dying on or after the 1st January, 1870, his debts, whether by specialty or simple contract, are paid pari passu out of the assets without priority one over another, and there is therefore no distinction between legal and equitable assets in such cases.3


4. "Assets by descent" are lands which descend to an heir charged with the debts or Assets by obligations of his ancestor. The term was originally used in the law of warranty (q. v.) to descent. signify land which descended to an heir of equal value to land as to which his ancestor had entered into a warranty: thus, if A. was heir to his mother, subject to his father's estate by the curtesy, and the father aliened the land with warranty and died, this warranty did not bar A.'s title to the land without assets in fee simple, that is, unless land in fee simple of equal value descended to him from his father. The term "assets by descent" was afterwards applied where a man died leaving debts by specialty in which his heirs were bound, in which case his heir was liable to pay the debts, so far as he had assets by descent, that is, to the value of the land which descended to him. Now that all the land left by a deceased person is liable for his debts, the term "assets by descent" has been supplanted by "real assets."

ETYMOLOGY.]-Norman-French: asetz, asset, enough or satisfaction. Latin ad and satis. (See Marshalling.)

ASSIGN ASSIGNMENT.-I. § 1. "Assign," like "grant" (q. v.) is a general word signifying a transfer of property: thus we speak indifferently of granting or assigning a reversion in land. An assignment is the act of assigning or the instrument by which it is done.

§ 2. In a conveyance to "A., his heirs and assigns," or "A., his "Assigns.” executors, administrators, and assigns," &c., the word "assigns" is in reality mere surplusage, because the estate or interest passes without it (see Words of Limitation). In a covenant by "A., his heirs and assigns," the word "assigns" includes all those who take either immediately or remotely from or under A., whether by conveyance, devise, descent or other act of law, e. g. as assignee from A.'s heir, or as heir to A.'s

'White & Tudor's L. C. ii. 101.

2 Stat. 2 & 33 Vict. c. 46.

3 See Watson's Comp. Eq. 29.

* Stat. 6 Edw. 1; Litt. § 724; Co. Litt.

365 a, 374 b.

5 Williams' R. P. 80.

6 Britton, 192 b; Littré, Dict. s. v. Assez.
7 See Woodfall's L. & T. 220, 232.

Personal estate, &c.

Form of.

Choses in action.

Assignment of dower.

Of waste.


assignee, and so on1 (see Covenant); and whether they take the fee simple, or merely a limited interest, e. g. by lease."

§ 3. In its more special sense, to assign is to transfer personal estate, or chattels real, or certain rights in real or personal estate. The term is especially applied to leases, terms of years, estates for life in land or personal property, and to choses in action, and incorporeal chattels. The word "assign" is the proper technical operative word, but any expression showing an intention to make a complete transfer will constitute an assignment. An assignment by way of sale is an absolute assignment for money: an assignment by way of mortgage is one made as security for a debt or the like—e. g. a bill of sale (q. v.).

§ 4. Assignments of leases and terms of years must be by deed'; assignments of choses in action and incorporeal personal property do not as a rule require to be by deed. In the case of policies of life and marine assurance notice of the assignment must be given to the insurance company; in the case of patents the assignment must, and in the case of copyrights it may, be registered."

§ 5. Formerly choses in action were not assignable at law except in a few cases (e. g. bills of exchange), but choses in action arising from contract (such as debts) were assignable in equity. It was, however, necessary for the assignee to give notice of the assignment to the debtor, trustee or stakeholder, in order to prevent him from paying the money to the original creditor (the assignor) or some subsequent assignee. Thus if A. owed B. a debt and B. assigned it to C., the assignment was not complete as between C. and A. until notice of it had been given to A. And C. took the debt subject to any prior equities (e. g. an agreement between A. and B. by which the debt was affected). Such assignments of choses in action were called equitable assignments. Now, by the Judicature Act, 1873, an absolute assignment in writing of a legal chose in action is effectual at law as well as in equity, provided notice is given to the debtor, trustee, &c.

II. § 6. "Assign" is also sometimes used in its primary sense of marking out, allotting. Thus in ordinary cases before a widow can take possession of any of her husband's land as tenant in dower, her part must be assigned to her, either by agreement between her and the heir, or by the sheriff in execution of a judgment obtained by her. (See Metes and Bounds.)

§ 7. Common of estovers and turbary is sometimes limited to those parts of the waste which are assigned, that is, pointed out by the owner from time to time for the purpose."

Baily v. De Crespigny, L. R., 4 Q. B.
p. 186; Spencer's Case, 5 Co. 17 b.
2 Taite v. Gosling, 11 Ch. D. 273.

3 Davids. Conv. ii. 212; Shepp. Touch.

Statute of Frauds, s. 4; Woodfall, 221; stat. 8 & 9 Vict. c. 106, s. 3.

5 Williams' P. P. 276, 281; stat. 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45; 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83; 30 & 31

Vict. c. 144; 31 & 32 Vict. c. 86.

6 Jud. Act, 1873, s. 25. See White & Tudor's L. C. ii. 707; Fisher on Mortgage, 84; Brice v. Bannister, 3 Q. B. D. 569.

Co. Litt. 34 b. As to where assignment is not necessary, see Litt, § 43; Dower.

8 Heydon's Case, 13 Co. 68.

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