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ledgment, or which may be so made, executed and acknowledged as aforesaid, before the first day of January next, shall be deemed, held or adjudged, invalid or defective, or insufficient in law, or avoided or prejudiced, by reason of any informality or omission in setting forth the particulars of the acknowledgment made before such officer, as aforesaid, in the certificate thereof, but all and every such grant, bargain and sale, feoffment, deed of conveyance, lease, release, assignment or other assurance so made, executed and acknowledged as aforesaid, shall be as good, valid and effectual in law for transferring, passing and conveying the estate, right, title and interest of such husband and wife of, in, and to the lands, tenements and hereditaments mentioned in the same, as if all the requisites and particulars of such acknowledgment mentioned in the act, entitled an act for the better confirmation of the estates of persons holding or claiming under feme coverts, and for establishing a mode by which husband and wife may hereafter convey their estates, passed the twenty-fourth day of February, one thousand seven hundred and seventy, were particularly set forth in the certificate thereof, or appeared upon the face of the same."
By the act of the 3d day of April, 1840, Pamph. L. 233, it is enacted, "that where any deed, conveyance, or other instrument of writing has been or shall be made and executed, either within or out of this state, and the acknowledgment or proof thereof, duly certified, by any officer under seal, according to the existing laws of this commonwealth, for the purpose of being recorded therein, such certicate shall be deemed prima facie evidence of such execution and acknowledgment, or proof, without requiring proof of the said seal, as fully, to all intents and purposes, and with the
same effect only, as if the same had been so acknowledged or proved before any judge, justice of the peace, or alderman within this commonwealth."
The act relating to executions and for other purposes, passed 16th April, 1840, Pamph. L. 412, enacts, § 7, "that the recorders of deeds should have authority to take the acknowledgment and proof of the execution of any deed, mortgage, or other conveyance of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments lying or being in the county, for which they are respectively appointed as recorders of deeds, or within every city, district, or part thereof, or for any contract, letter of attorney, or any other writing, under seal, to be used or recorded within their respective counties; and such acknowledgment or proof, taken or made in the manner directed by the laws of this state, and certified by the said recorder, under his hand and seal of office; which certificate shall be endorsed or annexed to said deed or instrument aforesaid, shall have the same force and effect, and be as good and available in law, for all purposes, as if the same had been made or taken before any judge of the supreme court, or president or associate judge of any of the courts of common pleas within this commonwealth."
Rhode Island. Before any Senator, judge, justice of the peace, or town clerk. When the acknowledgment is made in another state or country, it must be before a judge, justice, mayor or notary public therein, and certified under his hand and seal. A wife releasing dower need not acknowledge the deed; but to a conveyance an acknowledgment and private examination are necessary. 2 Hill. Ab. c. M, s. 94.
South Carolina. Before a judge of the supreme court. A feme covert may release her dower or convey her own estate, by joining her husband in a deed, and being privately examined, in the latter case, seven days afterwards, before a judge of law or equity, or a justice of the quorum; she may also release dower by a separate deed. The certificate of the officer is under seal and signed by the woman. Deeds may be proved upon the oath of one witness before a magistrate, and this is said to be the general practice. When the deed is to be executed out of the state, the justices of the county where the land lies, or a judge of the court of common pleas, may by dedimus empower two or more justices of the county where the grantor resides to take his acknowledgment upon the oath of two witnesses to the execution. 2 Hill. Ab. 448, 9Griff. Reg. h. t.
Tennessee. A deed or power of attorney to convey land must be acknowledged or proved by two subscribing witnesses, in the court of the county, or the court of the district where the land lies. The certificate of acknowledgment must be endorsed upon the deed by the clerk of the court. The acknowledgment of a feme covert is made before a court of record in the state, or, if the parties live out of it, before a court of record in another state or territory; and if the wife is unable to attend court, the acknowledgment may be before commissioners empowered by the court of the county in which the husband acknowledges —the commission to be returned certified with the court seal, and recorded. In all these cases the certificate must state that the wife has been privately examined. The seal of the court is to be annexed when the deed is to be used out of the state, when made in it, and vice versa; in which case there is to be a seal, and a certificate of the presiding judge or justice to the official station of the clerk, and the due formality of the attestation.
By the statute of 1820, the acknowledgment in other states may be conformable to the laws of the state, in which the grantor resides. By the act of 1831, c. 90, s. 9, it is provided, that all deeds or conveyances for land made without the limits of this state, shall be proved as heretofore, or before a notary public under his seal of office. Caruthers & Nicholson's Compilation of the Stat. of Tenn. 593. The officer must certify that he is acquainted with the grantor, and that he is an inhabitant of the state. There must also be a certificate of the governor or secretary, under the great seal, or a judge of the superior court that the acknowledgment is in due form. Griff. Reg. h. t.; 2 Hill. Ab. 458. By an act passed during the session of 1839— 1840, chap. 26, it is enacted,—§ 1. "That deeds of every description may be proved by two subscribing witnesses, or acknowledged and recorded, and may then be read in evidence. 2. That deeds executed beyond the limits of the United States may be proved or acknowledged before a notary public, or before any consul, minister, or ambassador of the United States, or before a commissioner of the state.—3. That the governor may appoint commissioners in other states and in foreign countries for the proof, &c. of deeds.—4. Affidavits taken as above, as to pedigree or heirship, may be received as evidence, by executors or administrators, or in regard to the partition and distribution of property or estates." See 2 Yerg. 91, 108, 238, 400, 520; 3 Yerg. 81; Cooke, 431.
Vermont. 1. All deeds and other conveyances of lands, or any estate or interest therein, shall be signed and sealed by the party granting the same, and signed by two or more witnesses, and acknowledged by the grantor, before a justice of the peace. Rev. Stat tit. 14, c. 6, s. 4. Every
deed by the husband and wife shall contain an acknowledgment by the wife, made apart from her husband, before a judge of the supreme court, a judge of the county court, or some justice of the peace, that she executed such conveyance freely, and without any fear or compulsion of her husband; a certificate of which acknowledgment, so taken, shall be endorsed on the deed by the authority taking the same. Id. s. 7.—2. All deeds and other conveyances, and powers of attorney for the conveyance of lands, the acknowledgment or proof, of which shall have been, or hereafter shall be taken without this state, if certified agreeably to the laws of the state, province, or kingdom in which it was taken, shall be as valid as though the same were taken before some proper officer or court, within this state; and the proof of the same may be taken, and the same acknowledged with like effect, before any justice of the peace, magistrate, or notary public, within the United States, or in any foreign country, or before any commissioner appointed for that purpose by the governor of this state, or before any minister, charge des affaires, or consul of the United States in any foreign country ; and the acknowledgment of a deed by a feme covert, in the form required by this chapter, may be taken by either of the said persons. Id. 9.
Virginia. Before the general court, or the court of the district, county, city, or corporation where some part of the land lies; when the party lives out of the state or of the district or county where the land lies, the acknowledgment must be before any court of law, or the chief magistrate of any city, town, or corporation of the country where the party resides, and certified by him in the usual form. When a married woman executes the deed, she ap
pears in court and is examined privately by one of the judges, as to her freely signing the instrument, and continuing satisfied with it,—the deed being shown and explained to her. She acknowledges the deed before the court, or else before two justices of the county where she dwells, or the magistrate of a corporate town, if she lives within the United States, these officers being empowered by a commission from the clerk of the court where the deed is to be recorded, to examine her and to take her acknowledgment. If she is out of the United States, the commission authorises two judges or justices of any court of law, or the chief magistrate of any city, town, or corporation, in her county, and is executed as by two justices in the United States. The certificate is to be authenticated in the usual form. 2 Hill. Ab. 444, 5; Griff. Reg. h. t.; 2 Leigh's R. 186; 2 Call, R. 103; 1 Wash. R. 319.
ACQUETS, estates, in the civil law. Property which, has been acquired by purchase, gift, or otherwise than by succession. Merlin Rep. h. t., confines acquets to immoveable property. In Louisiana they embrace the profits of all the effects of which the husband has the administration and enjoyment, either of right or in fact, of the produce of the reciprocal industry and labour of both husband and wife, and of the estates which they may acquire during the marriage, either by donations, made jointly to them both, or by purchase, or in any other similar way, even although the purchase be only in the name of one of the two, and not of both, because in that case the period of time when the purchase is made is alone attended to, and not the person who made the purchase. Civ. Code, art. 2371. This applies to all marriages contracted in that state, or out of it, when the parties afterwards go there to live, as to acquets afterwards made there. Ib. art. 2370. The acquets are divided into two equal portions between the husband and wife, or between their heirs at the dissolution of the marriage. Ib. art. 2375. The parties may however lawfully stipulate there shall be no community of profits or gains. Ib. art. 2369. But the parties have no right to agree that they shall be governed by the laws of another country. 3 Martin's Rep. 581. Vide 17 Martin's Rep. 571; 2 Kent's Com. 153, note.
ACQUIESCENCE, contracts, is the consent which is impliedly given by one or'both parties, to a proposition, a clause, a condition, a judgment, or to any act whatever. When a party is bound to elect between a paramount right and a testamentary disposition, his acquiescence in a state of things which indicates an election, when he was aware of his rights, will be prima facie evidence of such election. Vide 2 Ves. Jr. 371; 12 Ves. 136; 1 Ves. Jr. 335; 3 P. Wms. 315; 2 Rop. Leg. 439. The acts of acquiescence which constitute an implied election, must be decided rather by the circumstances of each case than by any general principle. 1 Swanst. R. 382, note, and the numerous cases there cited. Acquiescence in the acts of an agent, or one who has assumed that character, will be equivalent to an express authority. 2 Kent, Com. 478. Story on Eq. '§ 255; 4 W. C. C. R. 559; 6 Mass. R. 193; 1 John. Cas. 110; 2 John. Cas. 424; Liv. on Ag. 45; Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 41; 3 Pet. R. 69, 81; 12 John. R. 300; 3 Cowen's R. 281; 3 Pick. R. 495, 505; 4 Mason's R. 296. Acquiescence differs from assent. (q. v.)
ACQUIETANDIS PLEGIIS, ofttolete. A writ of justicies, lying for the surety against a creditor, who
refuses to acquit him after the debt has been satisfied. Reg. of Writs, 158.
TO ACQUIRE, descents, contracts. To make property one's own. Title to property is acquired in two ways, by descent, (q. v.) and by purchase, (q. v.) Acquisition by purchase is either by, 1. Escheat. 2. Occupancy. 3. Prescription. 4. Forfeiture. 5. Alienation, which is either by deed or by matter of record. Things which cannot be sold, or which are in commerce, cannot be acquired.
ACQUISITION, property, contracts, descent. It is the act by which a person procures the property of a thing. The thing acquired, particularly when spoken of real estate, is also called an acquisition. An acquisition may be temporary or perpetual, and be procured either for a valuable consideration, for example, by buying the same; or without consideration, as by gift or descent. Acquisition may be divided into original and derivative. Original acquisition is procured by occupancy, 2 Kent, Com. 289; Menestr. Lec. du Dr. Civ. Rom. § 344; by accession, 2 Kent. Com. 293; by intellectual labour, namely, for inventions, which are secured by patent rights; and for the authorship of books, maps, and charts, which is protected by copyrights. Derivative acquisitions are those which are procured from others, either by act of law, or by act of the parties. Goods and chattels may change owners by act of law in the cases of forfeiture, succession, marriage, judgment, insolvency, and intestacy. And by act of the parties, by gift or sale. Property may be acquired by a man himself, or by those who are in his power, for him; as by his children while minors, 1 N. Hamps. R. 28; 1 United States Law Journ. 513; by his apprentices or his slaves. Vide Ruth. Inst. ch. 6 & 7; Dig. 41, 1, 53; Inst. 2, 9; lb. 2, 9, 3.
ACQUITTAL, contracts. A release, a discharge from an obligation or engagement. According to Lord Coke there are three kinds of acquittal, namely, 1, By deed, when the party releases the obligation; 2, By prescription; and, 3, By tenure. Co. Litt. 100, a.
ACQUITTAL, crim. law, practice, is the absolution of a party charged with a crime or misdemeanor. Acquittal is of two kinds, in fact and in law. The former takes place when the jury upon trial find a verdict of not guilty; the latter when a man is charged merely as an accessory, and the principal has been acquitted. 2 Inst. 384. An acquittal is a bar to any future prosecution for the same offence as that contained in the first indictment.
ACQUITTANCE, contracts, is an agreement in writing to discharge a party from an engagement to pay a sum of money; it is evidence of payment. It differs from a release in this, that the latter must be under seal, while an acquittance is not under seal. Poth. Oblig. n. 781. In Pennsylvania, a receipt (q. v.) though not under seal, has nearly the same effect as a release. 1 Rawle R. 391. Vide 3 Salk. 298, pl. 2; Off. of Ex. 217. Co. Litt. 212 a, 273 a.
ACRE, measure*, is a quantity of land containing in length forty perches, and four in breadth, or one hundred and sixty square perches, of whatever shape may be the land. Serg. Land Laws of Penn. 185. See Cro. Eliz. 476, 665; 6 Co. 67; Poph. 55; Co. Litt. 5, b, and note 22.
ACREDULITARE, obsolete. To purge one's self of an offence by oath. It frequently happens that when a person has been arrested for a contempt, he comes into court and purges
himself, on oath, of having intended any contempt.
ACT, contracts, in the civil law. Any writing which proves something, and which establishes the principal foundation of a cause. Acts are either public or private. Public acts usually denominated authentic, are those which have a public authority, and which have been made before public officers, are authorised by a public seal, have been made public by the authority of a magistrate, or which have been extracted and been properly authenticated from public records. Acts under private signature are those which have been made by private individuals, under their hands. An act of this kind does not acquire the force of an authentic act, by being registered in the office of a notary. 5 N. S. 693; 8 N. S. 568; 3 L. R. 419; 3 N. S. 396; 11 M. R. 243, unless it has been properly acknowledged before the officer by the parties to it. 5 N. S. 196. Private acts are those made by private persons, as registers in relation to their receipts and expenditures, schc. dules, acquittances, and the like. Nov. 73, c. 2; Code, lib. 7, tit. 32, 1. 6; lib. 4, t. 21; Dig. lib. 22, tit. 4; Civ. Code of Louis. art. 2231 to2254; Toull. Dr. Civ. Francais, tom. 8, p. 94.
ACT, evidence. The performance of something, as the acts of one conspirator, committed in pursuance of their design, are evidence against them all; proof of an overt act of treason by two witnesses is required. See Overt. The term, acts, includes written correspondence, and other papers relative to the design of the parties, but whether it includes unpublished writings upon abstract questions, though of a kindred nature, has been doubted. Foster's Rep. 198; 2 Stark. R. 116, 141. In cases of partnership it is a rule that the act or declaration of each partner in furtherance