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 abandonment of a duty or obligation; voluntary separation or refusal to cohabit, without cause, of husband or wife. See Ann. Cas. (Md.) 1914B, 628; also 138 Am. St. Rep. 147, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The act by which a person abandons and forsakes, without justification or unauthorized, a station or condition of public or social life, renouncing its responsibilities and evading its duties. In matrimonial and divorce law. An actual abandonment or breaking off of matrimonial cohabitation, by either of the parties, and a renouncing or refusal of the duties and obligations of the relation, with an intent to abandon or forsake entirely and not to return to or resume marital relations, occurring without legal justification either in the consent or the wrongful conduct of the other party. State v. Baker, 112 La. 801, 36 South. 703; Bailey v, Bailey, 21 Grat. (Va.) 47; Ingersoll v. Ingersoll, 49 Pa. 250, 88 Am. Dec. 500; Droege v. Droege, 55 Mo. App. 482; Barnett v. Barnett, 27 Ind. App. 466, 61 N. E. 737; Williams v. Williams, 130 N. Y. 193, 29 N. E. 98, 14 L. R. A. 220, 27 Am. St Rep. 517; Magrath v. Magrath, 103 Mass. 579, 4 Am. Rep. 579; Cass v. Cass, 31 N. J. Eq. 626; Ogllvie v. Ogilvie, 37 Or. 171, 61 Pac. 627; Tirrell v. Tirrell, 72 Conn. 567, 45 Atl. 153, 47 I R. A. 750; State v. Weber, 48 Mo. App. 504. In military law. An offense which consists in the abandonment of his post and duties by a person commissioned or enlisted in the army or navy, without leave and with the intention not to return. Hollingsworth v. Shaw, 19 Ohio St. 432, 2 Ain. Rep. 411; In re Sutherland (D. C.) 53 Fed. 551. There is a difference between desertion and simple "absence without leave;" in order to constitute the former, there must be an intention not to return to the service. Hanson v. South Scituate, 115 Mass. 336. In maritime law. The act by which a seaman deserts and abandons a ship or vessel, in which he had engaged to perform a voyage, before the expiration of his time, and without leave. By desertion, in the maritime law, is meant, not a mere unauthorized absence from the ship without leave, but an unauthorized absence from the ship, with an intention not to return to her service, or, as it is often expressed, animo non revertendi; that is, with an intention to desert. Coffin v. Jenkins, 3 Story, 108, Fed. Cas. No. 2,948; The Union (In Ct) 20 Fed. 539; The Mary C. Conery (D. Ct) 9 Fed. 223; The George, 10 Fed. Cas. 204.