BENEFICIUM - Black's Law Dictionary

What is BENEFICIUM? Definition of BENEFICIUM in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.

In Early Feudal Law

A benefice; a permanent stipendiary estate; the same with what was afterwards called a "fief," "feud," or "fee." 3 Steph.Comm. 77, note i; Spelman. It originally meant a "benefaction" from the king, usually to a noble.

In the Civil Law

A benefit or favor; any particular privilege. Dig. 1, 4, 3; Cod. 7, 71; Mackeld.Rom.Law, § 196.

A general term applied to ecclesiastical livings. 4 Bl.Comm. 107; Cowell.

In General

—Beneficium abstinendi. In Roman law. The power of an heir to abstain from accepting the inheritance. Sandars, Just.Inst. (5th Ed.) 214.

—Beneficium cedendarum actionum. In Roman law. The privilege by which a surety could, be- fore paying the creditor, compel him to make over to him the actions which belonged to the stipula- tor, so as to avail himself of them. Sandars, Just. Inst. (5th Ed.) 332, 351.

—Beneficium clericale. Benefit of clergy (q. v.).

—Beneficium competentiw. In Scotch law. The privilege of competency. A privilege which the grantor of a gratuitous obligation was entitled to, by which he might retain sufficient for his sub- sistence, if, before fulfilling the obligation, he was reduced to indigence. Bell. In the civil law. The right which an insolvent debtor had, among the Romans, on making cession of his property for the benefit of his creditors, to retain what was re- quired for him to live honestly according to his condition. 7 Toullier, n. 258.

A defendant's privilege of being condemned only in an amount which he could pay without being reduced to a state of destitution. Sand. Justinian iv. vi. 37.

—Beneficium divisionis. In civil and Scotch law. The privilege of one of several co-sureties (cau- tioners) to insist upon paying only his pro rata share of the debt. Bell; La.Civ.Code, arts. 3045- 3051.

—Beneficium inventarii. See Benefit of Inventory.

—Beneficium ordinis. In civil and Scotch law. The privilege of order. The privilege of a surety to require that the creditor should first proceed against the principal and exhaust his remedy against him, before resorting to the surety. Bell.

—Beneficium separationis. In the civil law. The right to have the goods of an heir separated from those of the testator in favor of creditors.

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