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

    A pleading of the plaintiff’s cause of action. See 105 U. S. 336, 27 L. Ed. 746, 2 Sup. Ct. Rep. 682. An admission or statement subsequently used as evidence in an action.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In pleading. The first of the pleadings on the part of the plaintiff in an action at law, being a formal and methodical specification of the facts and circumstances constituting his cause of action. It commonly comprises several sections or divisions, called "counts," and its formal parts follow each other in this order: Title, venue, commencement, cause of action, counts, conclusion. The declaration, at common law, answers to the "libel" in ecclesiastical and admiralty law, the "bill" in equity, the "petition" in civil law, the "complaint" in code plcading, and the "count" in real actions. U. S. v. Ambrose, 108 U. S. 336, 2 Sup. Ct. 682, 27 In Ed. 746; Buckingham v. Murray, 7 Houst. (Del.) 176, 30 Atl. 779; Smith v. Fowle, 12 Wend. (N. Y.) 10; Railway Co. v. Nugent, 86 Md. 349, 38 Atl. 779, 39 L. R. A. 161. In evidence. An unsworn statement or narration of facts made by a party to the transaction, or by one who has an interest in the existence of the facis recounted. Or a similar statement made by a person sinco deceased, which is admissible in evidence in some cases, contrary to the general rule, e. p„ a "dying declaration." In practice. The declaration or declaratory part of a judgment, decree, or order is that part which gives the decision or opinion of the court on the question of law in the case. Thus, in an action raising a question as to the construction of a will, the judgment or order declares that, according to the true construction of the will, the plaintiff has become entitled to the residue of the testator's estate, or the like. Sweet. In Scotch practice. The statement of a criminal or prisoner, taken before a magistrate. 2 Alia Crim. Pr. 555.
    —Declaration of Independence. A formal declaration or announcement, promulgated July 4, 1776, by the congress of the United States of America, m the name and bebalf of the people of the colonies, asserting and proclniming their independence of the British crown, vindicating their pretensions to political autonomy, and announcing themselves to the world as a free and independent nation.
    —Declaration of intention. A declaration made by an alien, as a preliminary to naturalization, before a court of record, to the effect that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whereof at the time he may be a citizen or subject. Rev. St. § 2165 (U. S. Comp. St. 1901, p. 1329).
    —Declaration of Paris. The name given to an agreement announcing four important rules of international law effected between the principal European powers at the Congress of Paris in 1856. These rules are:
    (1) Privateering is and remains abolished;
    (2) the neutral flag covers enemy's goods, except contraband of war;
    (3) neutral goods, except contraband of war, are not liable to confiscation under a hostile flag ;
    (4) blockades, to be binding, must be effective.
    —Declaration of right. See Bill of Rights.
    —Declaration of trust. The act by which the person who holds the legal title to property or -an estate acknowledges and declares that he holds the same in trust to the use of another person or for certain specified purposes. The name is also used to designate the deed or other writing embodying such a declaration. Griffith v. Max-field, 66 Ark. 513, 51 S. W. 832.
    —Declaration of war. A public and formal proclamation by a nation, through its executive or legislative department, that a state of war exists between itself and another nation, and forbidding ali persons to aid or assist the enemy.
    —Dying declarations. Statements made by a person who is lying at the point of death, and is conscious of his approaching dissolution, in reference to the manner in which he received the injuries of which he is dying, or other immediate cause of his death, and in reference to the person who inflicted such injuries or the connection with such injuries of a person who is charged or suspected of having committed them; which statements are admissible in evidence in a trial for homicide where the killing of the declarant is the crime charged to the defendant. Simons v. People, 150 III. 66, 36 N. E. 1019; State v. Trusty, 1 Pennewill (Del.) 319, 40 All. 766; State v. Jones, 47 Da. Ann. 1524, 18 South. 515; Bell v. State, 72 Miss. 507, 17 South. 232; People v. Fuhrig, 127 Cal. 412, 59 Pac. 693; State v. Parham, 48 La. Ann. 1309, 20 South. 727.