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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Escheat


ESCHE'AT, noun [Latin cado, cadere.]

1. Any land or tenements which casually fall or revert to the lord within his manor, through failure of heirs. It is the determination of the tenure or dissolution of the mutual bond between the lord and tenant, from the extinction of the blood of the tenant, by death or natural means, or by civil means, as forfeiture or corruption of blood.

2. In the U. States, the falling or passing of lands and tenements to the state, through failure of heirs or forfeiture, or in cases where no owner is found.

3. The place or circuit within which the king or lord is entitled to escheats.

4. A writ to recover escheats from the person in possession.

5. The lands which fall to the lord or state by escheat

6. In Scots law, the forfeiture incurred by a man's being denounced a rebel.

ESCHE'AT, verb intransitive In England, to revert, as land, to the lord of a manor, by means of the extinction of the blood of the tenant.

1. In America, to fall or come, as land, to the state, through failure of heirs or owners, or by forfeiture for treason. In the feudal sense, no escheat can exist in the United States; but the word is used in statutes confiscating the estates of those who abandoned their country, during the revolution, and in statutes giving to the state the lands for which no owner can be found.

ESCHE'AT, verb transitive To forfeit. [Not used.]