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The Courts of Law are the Court of Ex- PART IV.

TIT. II. chequer, the Court of Common Pleas, which CAP. I. is sometimes called the Court of Common Bench, the Court of Queen's Bench, the Courts of Assize and Nisi Prius, and the Court of Exchequer Chamber, which is a Court of Appeal.

The Court of Chancery has also a jurisdiction at law in some few matters. And the House of Lords is the Supreme Court of Appeal at Common Law.

Formerly the Court of Exchequer had general equitable jurisdiction; but now the only Courts of Equity of general jurisdiction are the Court of Chancery and the House of Lords, which is the Supreme Court of Appeal in Equity, as well as at Law.

2. The Courts of peculiar jurisdiction are the Court of Bankruptcy, the Court of Probate, the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, the Ecclesiastical Courts, and the Admiralty Court; and to this class may also be referred the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is chiefly an Appellate Court in colonial, ecclesiastical, and maritime causes. The Court Military or Court of Chivalry has fallen into disuse.

3. The Courts of local jurisdiction now

PART IV. practically subsisting are the County Courts,
Tit. II.
CAP. I. the Court of the Duchy Chamber of Lancaster,

the Courts of the Counties Palatine of Lan-
caster and Durham, the Court for the Stan-
naries of Cornwall and Devon for the admi-
nistration of justice among the miners; the
Borough Courts, that is, the various Courts
of limited jurisdiction held in London and
other cities and boroughs, and the University
Courts. (As to each of these several Courts,
see 3 Ste. Com. And see an elaborate Tabular
View of all the Courts in England and Wales,
for the recovery of debts, in Trower's Law
of Debtor and Creditor.)

In the following pages, we shall limit ourinterposition of which the selves to the subject of the interposition of

the Courts of Common Law of general jurisdiction, of the Court of Bankruptcy, and of the County Courts.

Courts to the

following. pages are confined.





Of what the practice of

With the exception of their criminal juris- Part IV.

Tit. II. diction, and their administration of the law CAP. II. of real property, and the jurisdiction of the Court of Exchequer in matters of revenue, the Common the whole business of our Common Law consists. Courts may be arranged under two heads contracts and torts. (Sm. Cont. 1.)

Law Courts



Of Actions. An action is the ordinary mode of enforcing An action a legal private right, or of redressing a legal private wrong, in a Court of Common Law,

Where any law requires the performance Where an of an act for the benefit of another, or forbids maintained. that which may prejudice another, though the law give no action expressly, yet the party injured by the violation of the law is nevertheless entitled to an action. But an

action may be

False representation.

Part IV. action will not lie for the infringement of a
CAP. II. right created by a statute which provides
Sec. I.

another remedy for such infringement.
(Broom Com. 650.)

If a representation is made by a person, knowing it to be false, or having no ground to believe it to be true, with an intention that another person should believe it and act upon it, and that person has acted upon it, and thereby suffered damage, it is a fraud, even though the party telling the falsehood had no interest in telling it; and he is responsible in damages in an action for deceit.

(Add. Torts, 632; Broom Com. 660.) Injury to a Whenever an act done would be evidence

against the existence of a right, that is an injury to the right; and an injury to a right imports a damage for which an action will

lie. (Add. Torts, 62, 72; Broom Com. 86.) Responsi- He who has done or been the immediate bility for

cause of an injury, though it happened accidentally or by misfortune, is answerable for it. (Add. Torts, 237.)

Where two or more persons are liable to be jointly sued for an injury resulting from their common act, each is responsible for the

entire injury. (Add. Torts, 430.) Negligence A person cannot sue for an injury of which

the negligence of himself or his servants has


accident or misfortune.

Joint tort. feasors.

of the plaintiff.


a public

been the proximate cause. But although PART IV. there may have been negligence on the part CAP. II. of the plaintiff, yet, unless he might by ordi- Sec. I. nary care have avoided the


of the defendant's negligence, he is entitled to recover. (Add. Torts, 95; Broom Com. 103, 667.)

The remedy for a public or common nui- Injury from sance is by indictment. And no one can nuisance have an action for an injury from a public nuisance, unless he has sustained some particular damage to himself, distinct in its nature from the general injury to the public. And the plaintiff in such a case sues for that damage, and not for the breach of duty. (Add. Torts, 103-4; Broom Com. 93-5, 638, 642, 694.)

Where a person is under an agreement to Action on an do an act at a future time, and in the mean- do an act at a time he does an inconsistent act which renders him incapable of performing his agreement, he is liable to an action as soon as he does such inconsistent act. (See Broom Com. 107.)

If Judges and judicial officers of Courts Liability of of superior jurisdiction exceed their autho- officers. rity, and thereby cause injury to another, they are amenable to an action for damages ; unless they have a primâ facie jurisdiction in

agreement to



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