(redirected from amercements)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

AMERCEMENT, practice. A pecuniary penalty imposed upon a person who is in misericordia; as, for example, when the defendant se retaxit, or recessit in contemptum curioe. 8 Co. 58; Bar. Ab. Fines and Amercements. By the common law, none can be amerced in his absence, except for his default. Non licet aliquem in sua absentia amerciare nisi per ejus defaltas. Fleta, lib. 2, cap. 65, Sec. 15.
     2. Formerly, if the sheriff failed in obeying the writs, rules, or orders of the court, he might be amerced; that is, a penalty might be imposed upon him; but this practice has been superseded by attachment. In New Jersey and Ohio, the sheriff may, by statutory provision, be amerced for making a return contrary to the provision of the statute. Coxe, 136, 169; 6 Halst. 334; 3 Halst. 270, 271; 5 Halst. 319; 1 Green, 159, 341; 2 Green, 350; 2 South. 433; 1 Ham. 275; 2 Ham. 603; 6 Ham. 452; Wright, 720.

AMERCIAMENT, AMERCEMENT, English law. A pecuniary punishment arbitrarily imposed by some lord or count, in distinction from a fine which is expressed according to the statute. Kitch. 78. Amerciament royal, when the amerciament is made by the sheriff, or any other officer of the king. 4 Bl. Com. 372.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the same court he was amerced for causing damage estimated at three sheaves of beans in the lord's crop, but his amercement was waived because he was, according to the roll, poor.(58) A year previously, a jury had presented that he had secretly leased an acre to Robert, which may also have been a gage for a loan.(59) By the late 1290s, Nicholas seems once again to have been in a spiral of debt, possibly the ever-tightening coils of the same spiral.
on their behalf, presumably the cost of their amercement in the church court.
(Cambridge, 1968), ii, 519: `A litigant who hoped to get to the end of his suit without an amercement must have been a sanguine man; for he was playing a game of forfeits'.
The amercement of 4 [pounds sterling] was levied in the court held on 28 November 1301, the attempted distraint or enforcement occurring in the previous August.
There are several references in Magna Carta to amercements and determinations of their proper imposition on various types of individuals and appropriate rates (clauses 20, 21, and 22).
In this sense, a fine is not a financial punishment for a violation of law or privilege (usually referred to as an amercement), but derives from the Latin word finis, which means at root "end." Fines were used in settling an issue or bringing it to an end, most frequently in the sense of coming to a financial agreement over a particular matter.
Usually the amount of his amercement would be assessed by his peers in the king's court, but John would prefer to have the tenant buy his goodwill at exorbitant rates.
In addition, the amercement of John Caunceller shows that those who had exposed commodities for sale in the market were not allowed to withdraw them speculatively in the hope or expectation of higher prices later in the day.
Before Moisa, no one has ever suggested that amercements of commercial brewers were directly related to ale prices, and for good reason.
Moisa says that 'it is simply not true' that most hosts of help-ales paid amercements of one shilling, and she claims that my statement 'is a generalization on the basis of one tourn in one place' (her emphasis).(12) Yet as my text clearly indicates, I was discussing all the information found in the Wakefield rolls for 1412-13, and as the accompanying footnote explains, I also sampled later rolls throughout the century.(13) The 1412-13 rolls on which I drew for exemplary purposes include eight tourns -- two each for Wakefield, Brighouse, Kirkburton and Sowerbyshire -- and the figures given on page 28 of my article draw on information from all those tourns.
Post, 'Manorial Amercements and Peasant Poverty', Econ.