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Acquiescence

person, acquittal, act, court and discharge

ACQUIESCENCE is a form of estoppel. The term must have attached to it a very different signification, according to whether the acquiescence alleged occurs while the act acquiesced in is in progress, or only after it has been completed. A person, having a right, and seeing another person about to commit, or committing an act infringing upon that right, and standing. by so as really to induce the other person, who might otherwise have abstained from the act, to believe that he assents to it being committed, cannot afterwards be heard to complain of the act. The terms " laches," "standing by," and "delay," mean much the same thing. But there can be no acquiescence without full knowledge both of the right infringed and of the acts which constitute the infringement. Constructive notice, not amounting to actual knowledge, is not sufficient. The reason of the rule is that justice will not allow a man knowingly, though but passively, to encourage another to lay out money under an erroneous opinion of title. The party who would benefit by the acquiescence, must have made in his wrongful act, a bond fide mistake as to his legal rights ; and must have acted solely in that bond fide state of mind. Then again, the party acquiescing must have known at the time, in his " full knowledge" as above, of the other party's mistaken belief. Settlements long acquiesced in will not be disturbed unless there is a right, as under a statute. See ESTOPPEL.

ACQUITTAL—In the case of a verdict of not guilty ; or of a successful plea of pardon ; or of a successful plea of autrffois convict or acquit ; the person charged is entitled to his discharge. Such discharge is an acquittal,

and if the charge is one of felony, frees him for ever from the same accusation. It is applied also, but not so correctly, to cases of discharge upon failure of prosecution on questions of law. On acquittal, the amused seems to be entitled to a copy of the indictment. If he is acquitted merely upon some formal defect in the proceedings, so that the acquittal could not be pleaded in bar of another indictment for the same offence, he may be detained in custody and put on his trial again. Acquittal on the ground of insanity at the time of the commission of the offence entails being kept in custody until the king's pleasure is known ; and the king may order con finement duriing his pleasure. Before a court of summary jurisdiction, as in a police court, acquittal is by means of an order for the accused's discharge. Where the charge is one of common assault instituted by or on behalf of the person assaulted, the person charged, on a dismissal of the charge on its merits, is entitled to a certificate thereof. This certificate, when put in evidence, would be a complete defence to any proceedings against him in a civil court for damages for the assault ; the person assaulted having had the right to elect whether he would proceed in a police court for the accused's punishment, or proceed against him civilly for damages. It is also a bar to further criminal proceedings. The plea of previous acquittal is technically known as autrefois acquit.