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Belonging to or pertaining to the general public. Common lands, also known as public lands, are those that are set aside for use by the community at large, such as parks and public recreation areas. Common also means habitual or recurring, such as offenses that are committed frequently or repeatedly. A common thief is one who has been repeatedly convicted of Larceny. Something that is common is owned equally by two or more people, such as a piece of land. A Tenancy in Common is an interest in land wherein at least two people share ownership.
commonthe right to go on to someone else's property and remove natural products, as by pasturing cattle or fishing.
COMMON. or right of common, English law. An encorporeal hereditament, which
consists in a profit which a man has in the lands of another. 12 S. & R. 32;
10 Wend. R. 647; 11 John. R. 498; 2 Bouv. Inst. 1640, et seq.
2. Common is of four sorts; of pasture, piscary, turbary and estovers. Finch's Law, 157; Co. Litt. 122; 2 Inst. 86; 2 Bl. Com. 32.
3. - 1. Common of pasture is a right of feeding one's beasts on another's land, and is either appendant, appurtenant, or in gross.
4. Common appendant is of common right, and it may be claimed in pleading as appendant, without laying a prescription. Hargr. note to 2 Inst. 122, a note.
5. Rights of common appurtenant to the claimant's land are altogether independent of the tenure, and do not arise from any absolute necessity; but may be annexed to lands in other lordships, or extended to other beasts besides. such as are generally commonable.
6. Common in gross, or at large, is such as is neither appendant nor appurtenant to land, but is annexed to a man's person. All these species of pasturable common, may be and usually are limited to number and time; but there are also commons without stint, which last all the year. 2 Bl. Com. 34.
7. - 2. Common of piscary is the liberty of fishing in another man's water. lb. See Fishery.
8. - 3. Common of turbary is the liberty of digging turf in another man's ground. Ib.
9.-4. Common of estovers is the liberty of taking necessary wood-for the use or furniture of a house or farm from another man's estate. Ib.; 10 Wend. R. 639. See Estovers.
10. The right of common is little known in the United States, yet there are some regulations to be found in relation to this subject. The constitution of Illinois provides for the continuance of certain commons in that state. Const. art. 8, s. 8.
11. All unappropriated lands on the Chesapeake Bay, on the Shore of the sea, or of any river or creek, and the bed of any river or creek, in the eastern parts of the commonwealth, ungranted and used as common, it is declared by statute in Virginia, shall remain so, and not be subject to grant. 1 Virg. Rev. C. 142.
12. In most of the cities and towns in the United States, there are considerable tracts of land appropriated to public use. These commons were generally laid out with the cities or towns where they are found, either by the original proprietors or by the early inhabitants. Vide 2 Pick. Rep. 475; 12 S. & R. 32; 2 Dane's. Ab. 610; 14 Mass. R. 440; 6 Verm. 355. See, in general, Vin. Abr. Common; Bac. Abr. Common; Com. Dig. Common; Stark. Ev. part 4, p. 383; Cruise on Real Property, h.t.; Metc. & Perk. Dig. Common, and Common lands and General fields.
COMMON, TENANTS IN. Tenants in common are such as hold an estate, real or personal, by several distinct titles, but by a unity of possession. Vide Tenant in common; Estate in common.
LAW, COMMON. The common law is that which derives its force and authority
from the universal consent and immemorial practice of the people. It has
never received the sanction of the legislature, by an express act, which is
the criterion by which it is distinguished from the statute law. It has
never been reduced to writing; by this expression, however, it is not meant
that all those laws are at present merely oral, or communicated from former
ages to the present solely by word of mouth, but that the evidence of our
common law is contained in our books of Reports, and depends on the general
practice and judicial adjudications of our courts.
2. The common law is derived from two sources, the common law of England, and the practice and decision of our own courts. In some states the English common law has been adopted by statute. There is no general rule to ascertain what part of the English common law is valid and binding. To run the line of distinction, is a subject of embarrassment to courts, and the want of it a great perplexity to the student. Kirb. Rep. Pref. It may, however, be observed generally, that it is binding where it has not been superseded by the constitution of the United States, or of the several states, or by their legislative enactments, or varied by custom, and where it is founded in reason and consonant to the genius and manners of the people.
3. The phrase "common law" occurs in the seventh article of the amendments of the constitution of the United States. "In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall not exceed twenty dollar says that article, "the right of trial by jury shall be preserved. The "common law" here mentioned is the common law of England, and not of any particular state. 1 Gall. 20; 1 Bald. 558; 3 Wheat. 223; 3 Pet. R. 446; 1 Bald. R. 554. The term is used in contradistinction to equity, admiralty, and maritime law. 3 Pet. 446; 1 Bald. 554.
4. The common law of England is not in all respects to be taken as that of the United States, or of the several states; its general principles are adopted only so far as they are applicable to our situation. 2 Pet, 144; 8 Pet. 659; 9 Cranch, 333; 9 S. & R. 330; 1 Blackf 66, 82, 206; Kirby, 117; 5 Har. & John. 356; 2 Aik. 187; Charlt. 172; 1 Ham. 243. See 5 Cow. 628; 5 Pet. 241; 1 Dall. 67; 1 Mass. 61; 9 Pick. 532; 3 Greenl. 162; 6 Greenl. 55; 3 Gill & John. 62; Sampson's Discourse before the Historical Society of New York; 1 Gallis. R. 489; 3 Conn. R. 114; 2 Dall. 2, 297, 384; 7 Cranch, R. 32; 1 Wheat. R. 415; 3 Wheat. 223; 1 Blackf. R. 205; 8 Pet. R. 658; 5 Cowen, R. 628; 2 Stew. R. 362.