ASSESS'ORS (Lat. ossessor, one who sits beside, from ad, to -)- sederc, to sit). In Homan law, persons who were called in by those admin istering public justice to sit with them, and give legal advice and assistance. The practice has continued in those European countries in which the Civil Law system prevails, and these asses sors constitute a regular part of the judicial machinery. In Orcat Britain statutory provi sion is made for the employment of assessors in various courts. The House of Lords may call in the aid of one or more assessors in admiralty appeals; the Privy Council, in ecclesiastical eases; the Court of Appeal, in any cause or matter; and the county courts, on the applica tion of either party. The admiralty division may call in nautical assessors, and in ecclesias tical courts the bishop sits with assessors. It is the practice in some of the United States dis trict courts, sitting in admiralty, for the judge, even without statutory authority, to call in the assistance, in difficult negligenve cases, of two esperienced shipmasters, who sit with the judge during the argument, and give their advice upon questions of seamanship or the weight of testi mony. Except in admiralty causes, the employ
ment of assessors by courts does not obtain in this country. (Mr foreign consuls are authorized in various criminal eases to summon associates, who act in the capacity of assessors. (U. S. Bev. Stat., see. 4106.1 In this country, however, the tern, is applied generally to officers who assess or value property for In xat ion. Their functions are partly minis terial and partly quasi-judicial. Where acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, they are not liable to a civil action for errors of judgment; nor in some States, e.g. New York, for willful miscon duct. The only redress for the taxpayer harmed by such misconduct is by a proceeding to re view and correct the assessment, or by a criminal prosecution. Consult the works referred to under the titles CIVIL LAW; ADMIRALTY LAW: and TA.x.