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noun damages, fine, forfeit, forfeiture, pecuniary penalty, penalty
See also: correction, cost, discipline, fine, forfeiture, penalty, punishment

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or orders of the court, he might be amerced; that is, a penalty might be imposed upon him; but this practice has been superseded by attachment.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.

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.
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.
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.
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).
Post, 'Manorial Amercements and Peasant Poverty', Econ.
14) In a few cases, amercements levied on commercial brewers are either not recorded or irretrievable.
probably no single "community" in the county will escape without amercement.