ARTICLES (Lat. articulus, a joint). Di visions of a written or printed document or agreement.
A specification of distinct matters agreed upon or established by authority or requir ing judicial action.
The fundamental idea of an article is that of an object comprising some integral part of a complex whole. See Worcester, Diet. The term may be ap plied, for example, to a single complete question in a series of interrogatories ; the statement of the undertakings and liabilities of the various parties to an agreement in any given event, where several contingencies are provided for in the same agree ment; a statement of a variety of powers secured to a branch of government by a constitution ; a statement of particular regulations in reference to one general subject of legislation in a system of laws; and in many other instances resembling these in principle. It is also used in the plural of subject made up of these separate and related ar ticles as articles of agreement, articles of war, the different divisions generally having, however, some relation to each other, though not necessarily a de pendence upon each other.
In Chancery Practice. A formal written statement of objections to the credibility of witnesses in a cause in chancery, filed by a party to the proceedings after the deposi tions have been taken and published.
The object of articles is to enable the party filing them to introduce evidence to discredit the witnesses to whom the objec tions apply, where it is too late to do so in any other manner ; 1 Dan. Ch. Pr. (6th Am. ed.) *957; and to apprize the party whose witnesses are objected to of the nature of the objections, that he may be prepared to meet them ; 1 Dan. Ch. Pr. (6th Am. ed.) *958.
Upon filing the articles, a special order is obtained to take evidence; 2 Dick. Ch. 532; which is sparingly granted; 1 Beam. Ord. 187.
The interrogatories must be so shaped as not to call for evidence which applies direct ly to facts in issue ; Wood v. Mann, 2 Sumn. 316, Fed. Cas. No. 17,953; Gass v. Stinson, 2 Sumn. 605, Fed. Cas. No. 5,261; Troup v. Sherwood, 3 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 558; 10 Ves. Ch. 49. The objections can be taken only to the credit and not to the competency of the witnesses ; 3 Atk. 643; Troup v. Sherwood, 3 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 558; and the court are to hear all the evidence read and judge of its value ; 2 Ves. Ch. 219. See, generally, 10 Ves. Ch. 49 ; 2 Yes. & B. 267; 1 Sim. & S. 467.
In Ecclesiastical Law. A complaint in the form of a libel exhibited to an ecclesiastical court.