Lat. The subject matter of a trust or will. In the civil
law, a thing; an object. As a term of the law, this word has a
very wide and extensive signification, including not only things which
are objects of property, but also such as are not capable of individual
ownership. And in old English law it is said to have a general
import, comprehending both corporeal and incorporeal things of whatever
kind, nature, or species. By "res," according to the modern
civilians, is meant everything that may form an object of rights,
in opposition to "persona," which is regarded as a subject
of rights. "Res," therefore, in its general meaning, comprises
actions of all kinds; while in its restricted sense it comprehends
every object of right, except actions. This has reference to the
fundamental division of the Institutes that all law relates either to
persons, to things, or to actions.
everything that may form an object of rights and includes an object,
subject-matter or status. In re Riggle's Will, 11 A.D.2d 51 205
N.Y.S.2d 19, 21, 22. The term is particularly applied to an object,
subject-matter, or status, considered as the defendant in an
action, or as an object against which, directly, proceedings are taken.
Thus, in a prize case, the captured vessel is "the res"; and
proceedings of this character are said to be in rem. (See
In personam; In Rem.) "Res" may also denote the action
or proceeding, as when a cause, which is not between adversary parties,
it entitled "In re ______".
(res) have been variously divided and classified in law, e.g.,
in the following ways: (1) Corporeal and incorporeal things; (2)
movables and immovables; (3) res mancipi and res nec mancipi;
(4) things real and things personal; (5) things in possession and choses
(i.e., things) in action; (6) fungible things and things not
fungible (fungibles vel non fungibiles); and (7) res singulę
(i.e., individual objects) and universitates rerum (i.e.,
aggregate things). Also persons are for some purposes and in certain
respects regarded as things.
accessoria. In the civil law, an accessory thing; that which
belongs to a principal thing, or is in connection with it.
adiratę. The gist of the old action for res adiratę was the
fact that the plaintiff had lost his goods, that they had come into
the hands of the defendant, and that the defendant, on request, refused
to give them up.
caduca. In civil law, a fallen or escheated thing; an escheat.
communes. In the civil law, things common to all; that is,
those things which are used and enjoyed by every one, evenin single
parts, but can never be exclusively acquired as a whole, e.g.,
light and air.
controversa. In the civil law, a matter controverted; a matter
in controversy; a point in question; a question for determination.
coronę. In old English law, things of the crown' such as ancient
manors, homages of the king, liberties, etc.
corporales. In the civil law, corporeal things; things which
can be touched, or are perceptible to the senses.
derelicta. Abandoned property; property thrown away or forsaken
by the owner, so as to become open to the acquisition of the first taker
fungibiles. In the civil law, fungible things, things of such
a nature that they can be replaced by equal quantities and qualities
when returning a loan or delivering goods purchased, for example, so
many bushels of wheat or so many dollars; but a particular horse or
a particular jewel would not be of this character.
gesę. Things done. McClory v. Schneider, Tex.Civ.App.,
51 S.W.2d 738, 741. The "res gesę" rule is that where a remark
is made spontaneously and concurrently with an affray, collision or
the like, it carries with it inherently a degree of credibility and
will be admissible because of its spontaneous nature. Carroll
v. Guffey, 20 Ill.App.2d 470, 156 N.E.2d 267, 270. "Res gestę"
means literally things or things happened and therefore, to be admissible
as exception to hearsay rule, words spoken, thoughts expressed, and
gest6ures made, must all be so closely connected to occurrence or event
in both time and substance as to be a part of the happening. McCandless
v. Inland Northwest Film Service, Inc., 64 Wash.2d 523, 392 P.2d 613,
618. Those circumstances which are the automatic and undesigned
incidents of a particular litigated act, which may be separated from
act by lapse of time more or less appreciable, and which are admissible
when illustrative of such act. The whole of the transaction under
investigation and every part of it. Res gestę is considered as
an exception to the hearsay rule. In its operation it renders
acts and declarations which constitute a part of the things done and
said admissible in evidence, even though they would otherwise come within
the rule excluding hearsay evidence or self-serving declarations.
The rule is extended to include, not only declarations by the parties
to the suit, but includes statements made by bystanders and strangers,
under certain circumstances. See Fed.Evid.Rule 803(3).
declaration made by a person immediately after an event and before the
mind has an opportunity to conjure a falsehood. It represents
an exception to the hearsay rule and should be referred to as a spontaneous
exclamation rather than res gestę. See also Excited utterance;
Verbal act doctrine.
gestę witness. An eyewitness to some event in the continuum
of the criminal transaction and one whose testimony will aid in developing
a full disclosure of the facts surrounding the alleged comission of
the charged offenses. People v. Baskin, 145 Mich.App. 526, 378
N.W.2d 535, 537.
habiles. In the civil law, things which are prescriptible;
things to which a lawful title may be acquired by ordinary prescription.
immobiles. In the civil law, immovable things; including land
and that which is connected therewith, either by nature or art, such
as trees and buildings.
incorporales. In the civil law, incorporeal things; things
which cannot be touched; such as those things which consist in right.
Such things as the mind alone can perceive.
integra. A whole things; a new or unopened thing. The
term is applied to those points of law which have not been decided,
which are untoubhed by dictum or decision.
inter alios acta. See Res inter alios acta.
ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Rebuttable presumption
or inference that defendant was negligent, which arises upon proof that
instrumentality causing injury was in defendant's exclusive control,
and that the accident was one which ordinarily does not happen in absence
of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is rule of evidence whereby negligence
of alleged wrongdoer may be inferred from mere fact that accident happened
provided character of accident and circumstances attending it lead reasonably
to belief that in absence of negligence it would not have occurred and
that thing which caused injury is shown to have been under management
and control of alleged wrongdoer. Hillen v. Hooker COnst. Co.,
Tex.Civ.App., 484 S.W.2d 113, 115. Under this doctrine, when a
thing which causes injury, without fault of injured person, is shown
to be under exclusive control of defendant, and injury is such as in
ordinary course of things does not occur if the one having such control
uses proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in absence of an explanation,
that injury arose from defendant's want of care. Lux Art Van Service,
Inc. v. Pollard, C.A.Ariz., 344 F.2d 883, 886. See also
judicata. A matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon
or decided; a thing or matter settled by judgment. Rule that a
final judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction on the
merits is conclusive as to the rights of the parties and their privies,
and, as to them, constitutes an absolute bar to a subsequent action
involving the same claim, demand or cause of action. Matchett
v. Rose, 36 Ill.App.3d 638, 344 N.E.2d 770, 779. And to be applicable,
requires identity in thing sued for as well as identity of cause of
action, of persons and parties of action, and of quality in persons
for or against whom claim is made. The sum and substance of the
whole rule is that a matter once judicially decided is finally decided.
Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 101 S.Ct. 411, 415, 66 L.ed.2d 308.
See also Collateral estoppel doctrine; Final decision rule; Issue
estoppel compared. "Res judicata" bars relitigation of the
same cause of action between the same parties where there is a prior
judgment, whereas "collateral estoppel" bars relitigation of a particular
issue or determinative fact. Roper v. Mabry, 15 Wash.App. 819,
551 P.2d 1381, 1384.
Estoppe and res judicata distinguished, see
litigiosę. In roman law, things which are in litigation; property
or rights which constitute the subject-matter of a pending action.
mancipi. See Mancipi res.
mobiles. In the civil law, movable things; things which may
be transported from one place to another, without injury to their substance
and form. Things corresponding with the chattels personal of the
nova. A new matter; a new case; a question not before
nullius. A property of nobody. A thing which has no
owner, either because a former owner has finally abandoned it, or because
it has never been appropriated by any person, or because (in the Roman
law) it is not susceptible of private ownership.
periit domino. A phrase used to express that, when a thing
is lost or destroyed, it is lost to the person who was the owner of
it at the time.
privatę. In civil law, things the property of one or more
publicę. Things belonging to the public; public property;
such as the sea, naviagable rivers, highways.
quotidianę. Every-day matters; familiar points or questions.
religiosę. Things pertaining to religion. In Roman law,
especially burial-places, which were regarded as sacred, and could not
be the subjects of commerce.
universitatis. In the civil law, things belonging to a community
(as, to a municipality), the use and enjoyment of which, according to
their proper purpose, is free to every member of the community, but
which cannot be appropriated to the exclusive use of any individual;
such as the public buildings, streets, etc.
Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, pp. 1304-1306]