abeyance defined in 1939 yearabeyance - Abeyance (Fr. a and bayer, to gape at, hanker after);
abeyance - Legal term used when there is uncertainty as to whom rights and titles belong. Typical cases are claims to peerages, the ownership of manorial rights, and the right of presentation to livings. Rights of action are in abeyance until the action is begun or abandoned. In some cases there is a statutory limitation as to the period within which the action must be brought. Proceedings under Lord Campbell's Act (Fatal Accidents Act) must be brought within twelve months and actions for slander within six years. Actions against public authorities, such as county councils, in respect of negligence on the part of any of their servants, or for any official act, must be brought within twelve months.
The word is, however, most commonly used in connexion with peerages. Certain peerages, the old baronies by writ, for instance, pass to heirs general. This means that when there is no male heir they pass to a daughter, but if there is more than one daughter they go into abeyance, because the daughters are all equally coheirs. The abeyance may be terminated in two ways. Sometimes the co-heirs and their descendants die off until only one is left, who can then claim the peerage. The other way is for the crown to select one of the co-heirs and to call the peerage out of abeyance in favour of her or one of her descendants. Certain restrictions on the power of the crown to call peerages out of abeyance were recognized in 1927. Consult Report on Peerages in Abeyance, 1927. See Peerage.
near abeyance in Knolik
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