|1.||The act of judging; the operation of the mind, involving comparison and discrimination, by which a knowledge of the values and relations of things, whether of moral qualities, intellectual concepts, logical propositions, or material facts, is obtained; as, by careful judgment he avoided the peril; by a series of wrong judgments he forfeited confidence.|
|2.||The power or faculty of performing such operations (see 1); esp., when unqualified, the faculty of judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely; good sense; as, a man of judgment; a politician without judgment.|
|3.||The conclusion or result of judging; an opinion; a decision.|
She in my judgment
was as fair
|4.||The act of determining, as in courts of law, what is conformable to law and justice; also, the determination, decision, or sentence of a court, or of a judge; the mandate or sentence of God as the judge of all.|
|5.||(Philos.) That act of the mind by which two notions or ideas which are apprehended as distinct are compared for the purpose of ascertaining their agreement or disagreement. See 1. The comparison may be threefold: (1) Of individual objects forming a concept. (2) Of concepts giving what is technically called a judgment. (3) Of two judgments giving an inference. Judgments have been further classed as analytic, synthetic, and identical.|
|6.||A calamity regarded as sent by God, by way of recompense for wrong committed; a providential punishment.|
|7.||(Theol.) The final award; the last sentence.|
|Arrest of judgment|
| (Law) See under Arrest, n.|
|Noun||1.||judgment - an opinion formed by judging something; "he was reluctant to make his judgment known"; "she changed her mind"|
|2.||judgment - the act of judging or assessing a person or situation or event; "they criticized my judgment of the contestants"|
|3.||judgment - (law) the determination by a court of competent jurisdiction on matters submitted to it|
|4.||judgment - the cognitive process of reaching a decision or drawing conclusions|
|5.||judgment - the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision; "opinions are usually written by a single judge"|
|6.||judgment - the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions|
|7.||judgment - ability to make good judgments|
JUDGMENT, practice. The decision or sentence of the law, given by a court of
justice or other competent tribunal, as the result of proceedings instituted
therein, for the redress of an injury.
2. The language of judgments, therefore, is not that "it is decreed,"
or "resolved," by the court; but "it is considered," (consideratum est per
curiam) that the plaintiff recover his debt, damages, or possession, as the
case may require, or that the defendant do go without day. This implies that
the judgment is not so much the decision of the court, as the sentence of
the law pronounced and decreed by the court, after due deliberation and
3. To be valid, a judicial judgment must be given by a competent judge
or court, at a time and place appointed by law, and in the form it requires.
A judgment would be null, if the judge had not jurisdiction of the matter;
or, having such jurisdiction, he exercised it when there was no court held,
or but of his district; or if be rendered a judgment before the cause was
prepared for a hearing.
4. The judgment must confine itself to the question raised before the
court, and cannot extend beyond it. For example, where the plaintiff sued
for an injury committed on his lands by animals owned and kept carelessly by
defendant, the judgment may be for damages, but it cannot command the
defendant for the future to keep his cattle out of the plaintiff's land.
That would be to usurp the power of the legislature. A judgment declares the
rights which belong to the citizen, the law alone rules future actions. The
law commands all men, it is the same for all, because it is general;
judgments are particular decisions, which apply only to particular persons,
and bind no others; they vary like the circumstances on which they are
5. Litigious contests present to the courts facts to appreciate,
agreements to be construed, and points of law to be resolved. The judgment
is the result of the full examination of all these.
6. There are four kinds of judgments in civil cases, namely: 1. When
the facts are admitted by the parties, but the law is disputed; as in case
of judgment upon demurrer. 2. When the law is admitted, but the facts are
disputed; as in, case of judgment upon a verdict. 3. When both the law and
the facts are admitted by confession; as, in the case of cognovit actionem,
on the part of the defendant; or nolle prosequi, on the part of the
plaintiff. 4. By default of either party in the course of legal proceedings,
as in the case of judgment by nihil dicit, or non sum informatus, when the
defendant has omitted to plead or instruct his attorney to do so, after a
proper notice or in cases of judgment by non pros; or, as in case of
nonsuit, when the plaintiff omits to follow up his proceedings.
7. These four species of judgments, again, are either interlocutory or
final. Vide 3 Black. Com. 396; Bing. on Judg. 1. For the lien of judgment
in the several estates, vide Lien.
8. A list of the various judgments is here given.
9. Judgment in assumpsit is either in favor of the plaintiff or
defendant; when in favor of the plaintiff, it is that he recover a specified
sum, assessed by a jury, or on reference to the prothonotary, or other
proper officer, for the damages which he has sustained, by reason of the
defendant's non-performance of his promises and undertakings, and for full
costs of suit. 1 Chit. Pl. 100. When the judgment is for the defendant, it
is that he recover his costs.
10. Judgment in actions on the case for torts, when for the plaintiff,
is that he recover a sum of money ascertained by a jury for his damages
occasioned by the committing of the grievances complained of, and the costs
of suit. 1 Ch. Pl. 147. When for the defendant, it is for costs.
11. Judgment of cassetur breve, or billa, is in cases of pleas in
abatement where the plaintiff prays that his "writ" or "bill" "may be
quashed, that he may sue or exhibit a better one." Steph. Pl. 130, 131, 128
Lawes, Civ. PI.
12. Judgment by confession. When instead of entering a plea, the
defendant chooses to confess the action; or, after pleading; he does, at any
time before trial, both confess the action and withdraw his plea or other
allegations; the judgment against him, in these two cases, is called a
judgment by confession or by confession relicta verificatione. Steph. Pl.
13. Contradictory judgment. By this term is understood, in the state of
Louisiana, a judgment which has been given after the parties have been
heard, either in support of their claims, or in their defence. Code of
Pract. art. 535; 11 L. R. 366, 569. A judgment is called contradictory to
distinguish it from one which is rendered by default.
14. Judgment in covenant; when for the plaintiff, is that he recover an
ascertained sum for his damages, which he has sustained by reason of the
breach or breaches of the defendant's covenant, together with costs of suit.
1 Chitty's Plead. 116, 117. When for the defendant, the judgment, is for
15. Judgment in the action of debt; when for the plaintiff, is that he
recover his debt, and in general, nominal damages for the detention thereof;
and in cases under the 8 and 9 Wm. III. c. 11, it is also awarded, that the
plaintiff have execution for the damages sustained by the breach of a bond,
conditioned for the performance of covenants; and that plaintiff recover
full costs of suit. 1 Chitty's Pl. 108, 9.
16. In some penal and other particular actions the plaintiff does not,
however, always recover costs. Espinasse on Pen. Act. 154: Hull. on Costs,
200; Bull. N. P. 333; 5 Johns. R. 251.
17. When the judgment is for the defendant, it is generally for costs.
In some penal actions, however, neither party can recover costs, 5 Johns. R.
18. Judgment by default, is a judgment rendered in consequence of tho
non-appearance of the defendant, and is either by nil dicit; vide Judgment
by nil dicit, or by non sum informatus; vide Judgment by non sum informatus.
19. This judgment is interlocutory in assumpsit, covenant, trespass,
case, and replevin, where the sole object of the action is damages; but in
debt, damages not being the principal object of the action, the plaintiff
usually signs final judgment in the first instance. Vide Com. Dig. Pleader,
B 11 and 12, E 42; 7 Vin. Ab. 429; Doct. Pl. 208; Grah. Pr, 631 Dane's Ab.
Index, h.t.; 3 Chit. Pr. 671 to 680; Tidd's Pr. 563; 1 Lilly's Reg. 585;
and article Default.
20. Judgment in the action of detinue; when for the plaintiff, is in the
alternative, that he recover the goods, or the value thereof, if he cannot
have the goods themselves, and his damage for the detention and costs. 1 Ch.
Pl. l21, 2; 1 Dall. R. 458.
2l. Judgment in error, is a judgment rendered by a court of error, on a
record sent up, from an inferior court. These judgments are of two kinds, of
affirmance and reversal. When the judgment is for the defendant in error,
whether the errors assigned be in law or in fact, it is "that the former
judgment be affirmed, and stand in full force and effect, the said causes
and matters assigned for error notwithstanding, and that the defendant in
error recover $____ for his damages, charges and costs which he hath
sustained," &c. 2 Tidd's Pr. 1126; Arch. Forms, 221. When it is for the
plaintiff in error, the judgment is that it be reversed or recalled. It is
to be reversed for error in law, in this form, that it be reversed, annulled
and altogether holden for nought." Arch. Forms, 224. For error in fact the,
judgment is recalled, revocatur. 2 Tidd's Pr. 1126.
22. A final judgment is one which puts an end to the suit.
23. When the issue is one in fact, and is tried by a jury, the jury at
the time that they try the issue, assess the damages, and the judgment is
final in the first instance, and is that the plaintiff do recover the
24. When an interlocutory judgment has been rendered, and a writ of
inquiry has issued to ascertain the damages, on the return of the
inquisition the plaintiff is entitled to a final judgment, namely, that he
recover the amount of damages so assessed. Steph. Pl. 127, 128.
25. An interlocutory judgment, is one given in the course of a cause,
before final judgment. When the action sounds in damages, and the issue is
an issue in law, or when any issue in fact not tried by a jury is decided in
favor of the plaintiff, then the judgment is that the plaintiff ought to
recover his damages without specifying their amount; for, as there has been
no trial by jury in the case, the amount of damages is not yet ascertained.
The judgment is then said to be interlocutory.
26. To ascertain such damages it is the practice to issue a writ of
inquiry. Steph. Pl. 127. When the action is founded on a promissory note,
bond, or other writing, or any other contract by which the amount due may be
readily computed, the practice is, in some courts, to refer it to the
prothonotary or clerk to assess the damages.
27. There is one species of interlocutory judgment which establishes
nothing but the inadequacy of the defence set up this is the judgment for
the plaintiff on demurrer to a plea in abatement, by which it appears that
the defendant has mistaken the law on a point which does not affect the
merits of his case; and it being but reasonable that he should offer, if he
can, a further defence, that judgment is that he do answer over, in
technical language, judgment of respondeat ouster. (q.v.) Steph. Plead,
126; Bac. Ab. Pleas, N. 4; 2 Arch. Pr. 3.
28. Judgment of nil capiat per breve or per billam. When an issue arises
upon a declaration or peremptory plea, and it is decided in favor of the
defendant, the judgment is, in general, that, the plaintiff take nothing by
his writ, (or bill,) and that the defendant go thereof without day, &c. This
is called a judgment of nil capiat per breve, or per billam. Steph. Pl. 128.
29. Judgment by nil dicit, is one rendered against a defendant for want
of a plea. The plaintiff obtains a rule on the defendant to plead within a
time specified, of which he serves a notice on the defendant or his
attorney; if the defendant neglect to enter a plea within the time
specified, the plaintiff may sign judgment against him.
30. Judgment of nolle prosequi, is a judgment entered against the
plaintiff, where, after appearance and before judgment, he says, "he will
not further prosecute his suit." Steph. Pl. 130 Lawes Civ. Pl. 166.
31. Judgment of non obstante veredicto, is a judgment rendered in favor
of the plaintiff, without regard to the verdict obtained by the defendant.
32. The motion for such judgment is made where after a pleading by the
defendant in confession and avoidance, as, for example, a plea in bar, and
issue joined thereon, and verdict found for, the defendant, the plaintiff on
retrospective examination of the record, conceives that such plea was bad in
substance, and might have been made the subject of demurrer on that ground.
If the plea was itself substantially bad in law, of course the verdict,
which merely shows it to be true in point of fact, cannot avail to entitle
the defendant to judgment; while on the other hand the plea being in
confession and avoidance, involves a confession of the plaintiff's
declaration, and shows that he was entitled. to maintain his action. In such
case, therefore, this court will give judgment for the plaintiff, without
regard to the verdict; and this, for the reasons above explained, is called
a judgment upon confession. Sometimes it may be expedient for the plaintiff
to move for judgment non obstante, &c., even though the verdict be in his
own favor; for, if in such case as above described, he takes judgment as
upon the verdict, it seems that such judgment would be erroneous, and that
the only safe course is to take it as upon confession. 1 Wils. 63; Cro.
Eliz, 778 2 Roll. Ab. 99. See also, Cro. Eliz. 2 1 4 6 Mod. 1 0; Str. 394; 1
Ld. Raym. 641; 8 Taunt. 413; Rast. Ent. 622; 1 Wend. 307; 2 Wend. 624; 5
Wend. 513; 4 Wend. 468; 6 Cowen, R. 225. See this Dict. Repleader, for the
difference between a repleader and a judgment non obstante veredicto.
33. Judgment by non sum informatus, is one which is rendered, when
instead of entering a plea, the defendant's attorney says he is not informed
of any answer to be given to the action. Steph. Pl. 130.
34. Judgment of non pros. (from non prosequitur,) is one given against
the plaintiff, in any class of actions, for not declaring, or replying, or
surrejoining, &c., or for not entering the issue.
35. Judgment of nonsuit, Practice, is one against the plaintiff, which
happens when, on trial by jury, the plaintiff, on being called or demanded,
at the instance of the defendant, to be present while the jury give their
verdict, fails to make his appearance.
36. In this case, no verdict is given, but the judgment of nonsuit
passes against the plaintiff. So if, after issue be joined, the plaintiff
neglect to bring such issue on to be tried in due time, as limited by the
practice of the court, in the particular case, judgment will be also given
against him for this default; and it is called judgment as in case of
nonsuit. Steph. Pl. 131.
37. After suffering a nonsuit, the plaintiff may commence another action
for the same cause for which the first had been instituted.
38. In some cases, plaintiffs having obtained information in what manner
the jury had agreed upon their verdict before it was delivered in court,
have, when the jury were ready to give in such verdict against them,
suffered a nonsuit for the purpose of commencing another action and
obtaining another trial. To prevent this abuse, the legislature of
Pennsylvania have provided, by the Act of March 28, 1814, 6:Reed's L. 208,
that "whenever on the trial of any cause, the jury shall be ready to give in
their verdict, the plaintiff shall not be called, nor shall he then be
permitted to suffer a nonsuit."
39. Judgment quod computet. The name of an interlocutory judgment in an
action of account render that the defendant do account, quod computet. Vide
4 Wash. C. C. R. 84; 2 Watts, R. 95; 1 Penn. R. 138.
40. Judgment quod recuperet. When an issue in law, other than one
arising on a dilatory plea, or an issue in fact, is decided in favor of the
plaintiff, the judgment is, that the plaintiff do recover, which is called a
judgment quod recuperet. Steph. Pl. 126; Com. Dig. Abatement, I 14, I 15; 2
Arch. Pr. 3. This judgment is of two kinds, namely, interlocutory or final.
41. Judgment in replevin, is either for the plaintiff or defendant.
42.-1. For the plaintiff. 1. When the declaration is in the detinuit,
that is, where the plaintiff declares, that the chattels "were detained
until replevied by the sheriff," the judgment is that he recover the damages
assessed by the jury for the taking and unjust detention, or for the latter
only, where the former was justifiable, as also his costs. 5 Serg. & Rawle,
133 Ham. N. P. 488.
43.-2. If the replevin is in the detinet, that is, where the plaintiff
declares that the chattels taken are "yet detained," the jury must find,
'in addition to the above, the value of the chattels, (assuming that they
are still detained,) not in a gross sum, but each separate article; for tho
defendant, perhaps, will restore some, in which case the plaintiff is to
recover the value of the remainder. Ham. N. P. 489; Fitz. N. B. 159, b; 5
Serg. & Rawle, 130.
44.-2. For the defendant. 1. If the replevin be abated, the judgment
is, that the writ or plaint abate, and that the defendant (having avowed)
have a return of the chattels.
46.-2. When the plaintiff is nonsuited) the judgment for the
defendant, at common law, is, that the chattels be restored to him, and this
without his first assigning the purpose for which they were taken, because,
by abandoning his suit, the plaintiff admits that he had no right to
dispossess the defendant by prosecuting the replevin. The form of this
judgment. is simply "to have a return," without adding the words "to hold
irreplevisable." Ham. N. P. 490.
46. As to the form of judgments in cases of nonsuit, under the 21 Hen.
VIII. c. 19, and 17 Car. II. c. 7, see Ham. N. P. 490, 491; 2 Ch. Plead.
161; 8 Wentw. Pl. 116; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 132; 1 Saund. 195, n. 3; 2 Saund.
286, n. 5. It is still in the defendant's option in these cases, to take his
judgment pro retorno habendo at common law. 5 Serg. & Rawle, 132; 1 Lev.
265; 3 T. R. 349.
47.-3. When the avowant succeeds upon the merits of his case, the
common law judgment is, that he "have return irreplevisable," for it is
apparent that he is by law entitled to keep possession of the goods. 5 Serg.
& Rawle, 135; Ham. N. P. 493; 1 Chit. Pl. 162. For the form of judgments in
favor of the avowant, under the last mentioned statutes, gee Ham. N. P. 494-
48. Judgment of respondeat ouster. When there is an issue in law,
arising on a dilatory plea, and it is decided in favor of the plaintiff, the
judgment is only that the defendant answer over, which is called a judgment
of respondeat ouster. The pleading is accordingly resumed, and the action
proceeds. Steph. Pl. 126; see Bac. Abr. Pleas, N 4; 2 Arch. Pr. 3.
49. Judgment of retraxit, is one where, after appearance and before
judgment, the, plaintiff enters upon the record that he "withdraws his
suit;" in such case judgment is given against him. Steph. Pl. 130.
50. Judgment in an action on trespass, when for the plaintiff, is, that
he recover the damages assessed by the jury, and the costs. For the
defendant, that he recover the costs.
51. Judgment in action on the case for trover, when for the plaintiff,
is, that he recover damages and costs. 1 Ch. Pl. 157, For the defendant, the
judgment is, that he recover his costs.
52. Judgment of capiatur. At common law, on conviction, in a civil
action, of a forcible wrong, alleged to have been committed vi et armis,
&c., the defendant was obliged to pay a fine to the king, for the breach of
the peace implied in the act, and a judgment of capiatur pro fine was
rendered against him, under which he was liable to be arrested, and
imprisoned till the fine was paid. But by the 5 W. & M. c. 12, the judgment
of capiatur pro fine was abolished. Gould on Pl. Sec. 38, 82; Bac. Ab. Fines
and Amercements, C 1; 1 Ld. Raym. 273, 4; Style, 346. See Judgment of
misericordia, 53. Judgment of misericordia. At common law, the party to, a
suit who did not prevail was punished for his unjust vexation, and therefore
judgment was given against him, quod sit in misericordia pro falso clamore.
Hence, when the plaintiff sued out a writ, the sheriff was obliged to take
pledges of prosecution before he returned it, which when fines and
amercements were considerable, were real and responsible persons, and
answerable for those amercements; but now they are never levied, and the
pledges are merely formal, namely, John Doe and Richard Roe. Bac. Ab. Fines,
&c., C 1 1 Lord Ray. 273, 4.
54. In actions where the judgment was against the defendant, it was
entered at common law, with a misericordia or a capiatur. With a
misericordia in actions on contracts, with a capiatur in actions of
trespass, or other forcible wrong, alleged to have been committed vi et
armis. See Judgment of capiatur; Gould on Pl. c. 4, Sec. 38, 82, 83.
55. Judgment quod partitio fiat, is a judgment, in a writ of partition,
that partition be made; this is not a final judgment. The final judgment is,
quod partitio facta firma et stabilis in perpetuum teneatur. Co. Litt. 169;
2 Bl. Rep. 1159.
56. Judgment quod partes replacitent. The name of a judgment given when
the court award a repleader.
57. When issue is joined on an immaterial point, or a point on which the
court cannot give a judgment determining the right, they award a repleader
or judgment quod partes replacitent. See Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c., M; 3 Heyw.
159; Peck's R. 325. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
JUDGMENT, ARREST OF, practice. This takes place when the court withhold
judgment from the plaintiff on the ground that there is some error appearing
on the face of the record, which vitiates the proceedings. In consequence of
such error, on whatever part of the record it may arise, from the
commencement of the suit to the time when the motion in arrest of judgment
is made, the court are bound to arrest the judgment.
2. It is, however, only with respect to objections apparent on the
record, that such motions can be made. They cannot, in general, be made in
respect to formal objections. This was formerly otherwise, and judgments
were constantly arrested for matters of mere form; 3 Bl. Corn. 407; 2
Reeves, 448; but this abuse has been long remedied by certain statutes
passed at different periods, called the statutes of amendment and jeofails,
by the effect of which, judgments, cannot, in general, now be arrested for
any objection of form. Steph. Pl. 117; see 3 Bl. Com. 393; 21 Vin. Ab. 457;
1 Sell. Pr. 496.
, common belief
, community sentiment
, condign punishment
, consensus gentium
, cool judgment
, critical discernment
, death sentence
, death warrant
, disciplinary measures
, general belief
, good judgment
, good sense
, guilty verdict
, horse sense
, judicial process
, judicial punishment
, landmark decision
, new, notion
, penal retribution
, personal judgment
, popular belief
, prevailing belief
, public belief
, public opinion
, retributive justice
, sound judgment
, the courts
, way of thinking
, well-deserved punishment