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Self-Defence Defence Justifiable

bail, justification, plea, indictment, charge and action

SELF-DEFENCE ; DEFENCE ; JUSTIFIABLE Rom ' rernE; or in preserving the public peace; see ARREST; TRESPASS; or under a license, ex press or implied; Case v. De Goes, 3 Cal. (N. Y.) 261; Robson v. Jones, 2 Bail. (S. C.) 4; U. S. v. Gear, 3 McLean 571, Fed. Cas. No. 15,195; including entry on land to demand a . debt, to remove chattels ; Chambers v. Bedell, 2 W. & S. (Pa.) 225, 37 Am. Dec. 508; Rich ardson v. Anthony, 12 Vt. 273; to ask lodg ings at an inn, the entry in such cases being peaceful; to exercise an incorporeal right; Hayward v. Pilgrim Society, 21 Pick. (Mass.) 272; or for public service in case of exigency, as pulling down houses to stop a fire ; Year B. 13 Hen. VIII. 16 b; destroying the suburbs of a city in time of war ; Year B. 8 Edw. IV. 35 b; entry on land to make fortifications or in preservation of the own er's rights of property; Sterling v. Peet, 14 Conn. 255; 4 D. & B. 110; Fiske v. Small, 25 Me. 453; King v. Kline, 6 Pa. 318; Almy v. Grinnell, 12 Metc. (Mass.) 53, 45 Am. Dec. 238.

Libel and slander may be justified in a civil action, in some cases, by proving the truth of the matter alleged, and generally by showing that the defendant had a right upon the particular occasion either to write and publish the writing or to utter the words: as, when slanderous words are found in a report of a committee of congress, or in an indictment, or words of a slanderous nature are uttered in the course of debate in the legislature by a member, or at the bar by counsel when properly instructed by his cli ent on the subject. Coinyns, Dig. Pleader. See SLANDER.

Matter in justification must be specially pleaded, and cannot be given in evidence under the general issue. See LICENSE. A plea of justification to an action for slander, oral or written, should state the charge with the same degree of certainty and precision as is required in an indictment. The object of the plea is to give the plaintiff, who is in truth an accused person, the means of know ing what are the matters alleged against him. It must be direct and explicit. It must in every respect correspond with, and be as extensive as the charge in, the declaration.

The justification, however, will be com plete if it covers the essence of the libel. But it must extend to every part which could by itself form a substantive ground of action. Where the slander consists in an imputation of crime, the plea of justi fication must contain the same degree of precision as is requisite in an indictment for the crime, and must be supported by the same proof that is required on the trial of such an indictment. It is a perfectly well-established rule that where the charge is general in its nature, yet the plea of justification must state specific instances of the misconduct imputed to the plaintiff. And, even for the purpose of avoiding pro lixity, a plea of justification cannot make a general charge of criminality or miscon duct, but must set out the specific facts in which the imputed offence consists, and with such certainty as to afford the plaintiff an opportunity of joining issue precisely upon their existence. Heard, Lib. & SI. § 240. See LIBEL.

When established by evidence, it furnishes a complete bar to the action.

In Practice. The proceeding by which bail establish their ability to perform the under taking of the bond or recognizance.

It must take place before an authorized magistrate ; Jones v. Badger, 5 Binn. (Pa.) 461; Fenn v. Smith, 6 Johns. (N. Y.) 124 ; 13 Johns. (N. Y.) 422; and notice must, in general, be given by the party proposing the bail, to the opposite party, of the names of the bail and the intention to justify; Jaques T. Hemphill, 3 Harr. (Del.) 503. See Cade v. Young, 8 N. J. L. 369.

It is a common provision that bail must justify in double the amount of the recog nizance if exceptions are taken ; Louis v. Mitchell, 2 Hill (N. Y.) 379 ; otherwise, a justification in the amount of the recog nizance is, in general, sufficient.

It must be made within a specified time, or the persons named cease to be bail ; Peo ple v. Judges, 1 Cow. (N. Y.) 54. See Stock ton v. Throgmorton, Baldw. 148, Fed. Cas. No. 13,463.