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Access

Freedom of approach or communication; or the means, power, or opportunity of approaching, communicating, or passing to and from. Sometimes importing the occurrence of sexual intercourse; otherwise as importing opportunity of communication for that purpose as between Husband and Wife.

In real property law, the term access denotes the right vested in the owner of the land that adjoins a road or other highway to go and return from his own land to the highway without obstruction. Access to property does not necessarily carry with it possession.

For purposes of establishing element of access by defendant in Copyright infringement action, access is ordinarily defined as opportunity to copy.

Prisoners are entitled to have access to court. Prison officials cannot prevent prisoners from filing papers or appearing in court even if they honestly think that such prevention would help them maintain discipline and good order.

Owners of real property are entitled to some means of access to their property from a road or highway. They do not necessarily need to own a corridor of land from their property to the nearest road, but they may claim an Easement of access.In a paternity suit, access means the opportunity to have had sexual relations. When there is a question about who is the father of a certain child, it is appropriate for a court to determine which man had access to the mother around the estimated time of conception. A man charged with being the father of an illegitimate child may plead the defense of multiple access—that the mother had several lovers at the time of conception.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

access

n. 1) in real estate the right and ability to get to the property. 2) when a husband has the opportunity to make love to his wife, it is said he has access. This rather vulgar use of "access" has been important because if a husband "had access" to his wife during the time when she became pregnant, it is presumed he is the father. Modern use of blood tests and DNA studies may show the father to be someone other than the husband whether the husband "had access" or not. (See: egress, paternity suit, DNA)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

access

1 the opportunity to see and visit a child in cases where spouses have separated or divorced and care and custody of a child have been awarded to one spouse. The granting of access and the terms on which it is granted are within the discretion of the court. In both England and Scotland the appropriate order would be a contact order. See SECTION 8 ORDER.
2 this term when used in deeds signifies the right to go into a property and, often combined with egress, the right to go out of it.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ACCESS, persons. Approach, or the means or power of approaching. Sometimes by access is understood sexual intercourse; at other times the opportunity of communicating together so that sexual intercourse may have taken place, is also called access. 1 Turn. & R. 141.
     2. In this sense a man who can readily be in company with his wife, is said to have access to her; and in that case, her issue are presumed to be his issue. But this presumption may be rebutted by positive evidence that no sexual intercourse took place. lb.
     3. Parents are not allowed to prove non-access, for the purpose of bastardizing the issue of the wife; nor will their declarations be received after their deaths, to prove the want of access, with a like intent. 1 P. A. Bro. R. App. xlviii.; Rep. tem. Hard. 79; Bull. N. P. 113; Cowp. R. 592; 8 East, R. 203; 11 East, R. 133. 2 Munf. R. 242; 3 Munf. R. 599; 7 N. S. 553; 4 Hayw R. 221, 3 Hawks, R 623 1 Ashm. R. 269; 6 Binn. R. 283; 3 Paige's R. 129; 7 N. S. 548. See Shelf. on Mar. & Div. 711; and Paternity.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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