|n.||1.||The quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite; inevitableness; indispensableness.|
|2.||The condition of being needy or necessitous; pressing need; indigence; want.|
|3.||That which is necessary; a necessary; a requisite; something indispensable; - often in the plural.|
|4.||That which makes an act or an event unavoidable; irresistible force; overruling power; compulsion, physical or moral; fate; fatality.|
|5.||(Metaph.) The negation of freedom in voluntary action; the subjection of all phenomena, whether material or spiritual, to inevitable causation; necessitarianism.|
NECESSITY. In general, whatever makes the contrary of a thing impossible,
whatever may be the cause of such impossibilities,
2. Whatever is done through necessity, is done without any intention,
and as the act is done without will, (q.v.) and is compulsory, the agent is
not legally responsible. Bac. Max. Reg. 5. Hence the maxim, necessity has no
law; indeed necessity is itself a law which cannot be avoided nor infringed.
Clef des Lois Rom. h.t.; Dig 10, 3, 10, 1; Com. Dig. Pleader, 3 M 20, 3 M
3. It follows, then, that the acts of a man in violation of law., or to
the injury of another, may be justified by necessity, because the actor has
no will to do or not to do the thing, he is a mere tool; but, it is
conceived, this necessity must be absolute and irresistible, in fact, or so
presumed in point of law.
4. The cases which are justified by necessity, may be classed as
I. For the preservation of life; as if two persons are on the same
plank, and one must perish, the survivor is justified in having thrown off
the other, who was thereby drowned. Bac. Max, Reg. 5.
5.-2. Obedience by a person subject to the power of another; for
example, if a wife should commit a larceny with her husband, in this case
the law presumes she acted by coercion of her husband, and, being compelled,
by necessity, she is justifiable. 1 Russ. Cr. 16, 20; Bac. Max. Reg. 5.
6.-3. Those cases which arise from the act of God, or inevitable
accident, or from the act of man, as public enemies. Vide Act of God;
Inevitable Accident and also 15 Vin. Ab. 534 Dane's Ab h.t.; 2 Stark. Ev.
713; Marsh. Ins. b. 1, c. 6, s. 3 Jacob's Intr. to. Com. Law. Reg. 74.
7.-4. There is another species of necessity. The actor in these cases
is not compelled to do the act whether he will or not, but he has no choice
left but to do the act which may be injurious to another, or to lose the
total use of his property. For example, when a man's lands are surrounded by
those of others, so that he cannot enjoy them without trespassing on his
neighbors. The way which is thus obtained, is called a way of necessity.
Gale and Whatley on Easements, 71; 11 Co. 52; Hob. 234; 1 Saund. 323, note.
See 3 Rawle, R. 495; 3 M'Cord, R. 131; Id. 170; 14 Mass. R. 56; 2 B. & C.
96; 2 Bing. R. 76; 8 T. R. 50; Cro. Jac. 170; 2 Roll. Ab. 60; 3 Kent, Com.
423; 3 Rawle's R. 492; 1 Taunt. R. 279; 8 Taunt. R. 24; ST. R. 50; Ham. N.
P. 198; Cro. Jac. 170; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1637; and Way.
, act of God
, bare cupboard
, bare necessities
, bare subsistence
, call for
, certain knowledge
, dead certainty
, demand for
, empty purse
, force majeure
, foregone conclusion
, grinding poverty
, hand-to-mouth existence
, inevitable accident
, must item
, need for
, proved fact
, sine qua non
, the necessary
, the needful
, unavoidable casualty
, vis major