LETTER - Steven J. Coker
Subject: LETTER
From: Steven J. Coker
Date: September 27, 1998

Extracted From:
  by John Bouvier

LETTER, com. law, Crim. law. An epistle; a despatch; a written message, usually
on paper, which is folded up and sealed, sent by one person to another....

LETTER, contracts. In the civil law, locator, and in the French law, locateur,
loueur, or bailleur, is he who, being the owner of a thing, lets it out to
another for hire or compensation....

LETTER, civil law. The answer which the prince gave to questions of law which
had been submitted to him by magistrates, was called letters or epistles. See

LETTER OF ADVICE. comm. law. A letter containing information of any
circumstances unknown to the person to whom it is written; generally informing
him of some act done by the writer of the letter. 
   It is usual and perfectly proper for the drawer of a bill of exchange to
write a letter of advice to the drawee, as well to prevent fraud or alteration
of the bill, as to let the drawee know what provision has been made for the
payment of the bill....

LETTER OF ATTORNEY, practice. A written instrument under seal, by which one or
more persons, called the constituents, authorize one or more other persons
called the attorneys, to do some lawful act by the latter, for or instead, and
in the place of the former....

LETTER BOOK, commerce. A book containing the copies of letters written by a
merchant or trader to his correspondents....

LETTER CARRIER. A person employed to carry letters from the post office to the
persons to whom they are addressed....

LETTER OF CREDENCE, international law. A written instrument addressed by the
sovereign or chief magistrate of a state, to the sovereign or state to whom a
public minister is sent, certifying his appointment as such, and the general
objects of his mission, and requesting that full faith and credit may be given
to what he shall do and say on the part of his court....

LETTER OF LICENSE, contracts. An instrument or writing made by creditors to
their insolvent debtor, by which they bind themselves to allow him a longer time
than he had a right to, for the payment of his debts and that they will not
arrest or molest him in his person or property till after the expiration of such
additional time. 

LETTER OF MARQUE AND REPRISAL, War. A commission granted by the government to a
private individual, to take the property of a foreign state, or of the citizens
or subjects of such state, as a reparation for an injury committed by such
state, its citizens or subjects. A vessel loaded with merchandise, on a voyage
to a friendly port, but armed for its own defence in case of attack by an enemy,
is also called a letter of marque....
   By the constitution... congress has power to grant letters of marque and

LETTER missive, Engl. law. After a bill has been filed against a peer or
peeress, or lord of parliament, a petition is presented to the lord chancellor
for his letter, called a letter missive, which requests the defendant to appear
and answer to the bill. A neglect to attend to this, places the defendant, in
relation to such suit, on the same ground as other defendants, who are not
peers, and a subpoena may then issue....

LETTER of RECALL. A written document addressed by the executive of one
government to the executive of another, informing the latter that a minister
sent by the former to him, has been recalled. 

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION, com. law. An instrument given by one person to
another, addressed to a third, in which the bearer is represented as worthy of

LETTER OF RECREDENTIALS. A document delivered to a minister, by the secretary of
state of the government to which he was accredited. It is addressed to the
executive of the minister's country. This is in reply to the letter of recall. 

LETTERS OF REQUEST, Eng. eccl. law, An instrument by which a judge of an
inferior court waives or remits his own jurisdiction in favor of a court of
appeal immediately superior to it. 

LETTERS ROGATORY. A letter rogatory is an instrument sent in the name and by the
authority of a judge or court to another, requesting the latter to cause to be
examined, upon interrogatories filed in a cause depending before the former, a
witness who is within the jurisdiction of the judge or court to whom such
letters are addressed. In letters rogatory there is always an offer on the part
of the court whence they issued, to render a similar service to the court to
which they may be directed whenever required.... 
   Though formerly used in England in the courts of common law ... they have
been superseded by commissions of Dedimus potestatem, which are considered to be
but a feeble substitute.... The courts of admiralty use these letters, which are
derived from the civil law, and are recognized by the law of nations....

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