Definition of DESERTION in Black's Law Dictionary 4th Edition – Legal dictionary – Glossary of legal terms.

Definition of DESERTION

The act by which a person abandons and forsakes, without justification, or unauthorized, a station or condition of public or social life, renouncing its responsibilities and evading its duties.

A willful abandonment of an employment or duty in violation of a legal or moral obligation. Stoneburner v. Theodoratos, Cal.App., 30 P.2d 1001, 1003.

Constructive Desertion

That arising where an existing cohabitation is put an end to by misconduct of one of the parties, provided such misconduct is itself a ground for divorce a vinculo or a mensa. Succhierelli v. Succhierelli, 101 N.J.Eq. 30, 137 A. 839. See, also, Hoffhines v. Hoffhines, 146 Md. 350, 126 A. 112, 113, 38 A.L.R. 332.

Obstinate Desertion

See that title.

In Maritime Law

The act by which a seaman deserts and abandons a ship or vessel, in which he had engaged to perform a voyage, before the expiration of his time, and without leave. By desertion, in the maritime law, is meant, not a mere unauthorized absence from the ship without leave, but an unauthorized absence from the ship, with an intention not to return to her service, or, as it is often expressed, animo non revertendi; that is, with an intention to desert. The Cripple Creek, D.C.Pa., 52 F.Supp. 710, 712; (strike) The Youngstown, C. C.A.La., 110 F.2d 968, 970.

In Matrimonial and Divorce Law

An actual abandonment or breaking off matrimonial cohabitation, by either of the parties, and a renouncing or refusal of the duties and obligations of the relation, with an intent to abandon or forsake entirely and not to return to or resume marital relations, occurring without legal justification either in the consent or the wrongful conduct of the other party. State v. Baker, 112 La. 801, 36 So, 703. Williams v. Williams, 29 N.E. 98, 130 N.Y. 193, 14 L.R.A. 220, 27 Am.St.Rep. 517.

The willful forsaking and desertion of duties of parenthood and leaving child in a dependent condition. Bowling v. State, 62 Ga. 540, 8 S.E.2d 697,

In Military Law

An offense which consists in the abandonment of his post and duties by a person commissioned or enlisted in the army or navy, without leave and with the intention not to return. Hollingsworth V. Shaw, 19 Ohio St. 432, 2 Am.Rep. 411; In re Sutherland, D.C., 53 F. 551. There is a difference between desertion and simple "absence without leave;" in order to constitute the former, there must be an intention not to return to the service. Hanson v. South Scituate, 115 Mass. 336. See Deserter.

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