APPRO'PRIA'TION (Late Lat, appropria tio, a making one's own. from ad, to proprius, one's own). (1) The act of applying specific property to a particular use. (2) The act of reserving property for a designated use. In its first signification, the term is applied to unlawful acts. such as those of conversion (q.v.) or em bezzlement (q.v.) ; and to lawful acts, such as the adoption of a design or symbol as a trade mark, or the final setting aside of specific goods under an executory contract of sale (q.v.) for the purpose of transferring the title or owner ship to the buyer. In this signification, also, it is used in the phrase appropriation of payments.
\Vhen X owes 1 several debts, X has the right to appropriate a payment which he makes to any of the debts. if he pays, without exercising the right, 1 may appropriate the payment to any debt. In case a payment is made without ap propriation at the time, by either X or Y, and subsequently they disagree as to its appropria tion, the courts will apply it in accordance with their conception of the justice of the case. These conceptions, as announced in various reported decisions, are tending toward the establishment of fixed rules. Such rules are applied, however, only to voluntary payments, of which the debtor had the power of appropriation. If. for ex
ample, a payment is made under judicial process, as upon the sale of the debtor's property under the foreclosure of a mortgage, it will be ap propriated ratably toward the claims for which the mortgage was security.
In the second of the above significations. the term appropriation is found most frequently in constitutional and statutory provisions. By Article 1, Section 9. of the United States Con stitution, it is declared: "No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law." In England, "Not a penny of revenue can be legally expended, except under the authority of some act of Par liament." The most important statute of this sort is the annual Appropriation Act, by which definite sums are reserved for specified objects. See the works mentioned under the titles re ferred to in this article, and for appropriation by a debtor those referred to under the title: CONTRACT: for appropriation of funds by the government see Story. Commentaries on the Con stitution of the United States (fifth edition, Bos ton. 1891), and Von Hol-st. Constitutional Law of the United States of America (Chicago. 1887).