Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    The common fence including the dwelling-house and its offices. See 2 Am. St. Rep. 388, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The Inclosed space of ground and buildings immediately surrounding a dwelling-house. In its most comprehensive and proper legal signification, it includes all that space of ground and buildings thereon which is usually inclosed within the general fenee immediately surrounding a principal messuage and outbuildings, and yard closely adjoining to a dwelling-house, but it may be large enough for cattle to be levant and couchant therein. 1 Chit Gen. Pr. 175. The curtilage of a dwelling-house is a space, necessary and convenient and habitually used for the family purposes, and the carrying on of domestic employments. It includes the garden, if there be one, and it need not be separated from other lands by fence. State v. Shaw, 31 Me. 623; Com. v. Barney, 10 Cush. (Mass.) 480; Derrickson v. Edwards, 29 N. J. Law, 474, 80 Am. Dec. 220. The cartilage is the court-yard in the front or rear of a house, or at its side, or any piece of ground lying near, inclosed and used with, the house, and necessary for the convenient occupation of the house. People v. Gedney, 10 Hun (N. Y.) 154. In Michigan the meaning of curtilage has been extended to include more than an inclosure near the house. People v. Taylor, 2 Mich. 250.