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

    An act against good behavior and just delicacy. See 85 Fed. (U. S.) 204.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    An act against good behavior and a just delicacy. Timmons v. U. 5., 85 Fed. 205, 30 C. C. A. 74; McJunkins v. Sinte, 10 Ind. 144; Ardery v. State, 56 Ind. 328. This is scarcely a technical term of the law, and is not susceptible of exact definition or description in its juridical uses. The question whether or not a given act, publication, etc., is indecent is for the court and jury in the particular case.
    —Indecent exposure. Exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner in a public place. It is an indictable offense at common law, and by statute in many of the states. State v. Bauguess, lO6 Iowa, 107, 76 N. W. 508.
    —Indecent liberties. In the statutory offense of "taking indecent liberties with the person of a female child," this phrase means such liberties as the common sense of society would regard as indecent and improper. According to some authorities, it involves an assault or attempt at sexual intercourse, (State v. Kuuz, 90 Minn. 526, 97 N. W. 131,) bat according to others, it is not necessary that the liberties or familiarities should have related to the private parts of the child, (People v. Hicks, 98 Mich. 86, 56 N. W. 1102.)
    —Indecent publications. Such as are offensive to modesty and delicacy ; obscene; lewd ; tending to the corruption of morals. Dunlop v. U. 5., 1661 U. S. 486, 17 Sun. Ct. 375. 41 L. Ed. 799; U. S. v. Britton (Com. C.) 17 Fed. 733; People v. Muller, 96 N. Y. 408, 48 Am. Rep. 635. —Public indecency. This phrase has no fixed legal meaning, is vague and indefinite, and cannot, in itself, imply a definite offense. The courts, by a kind of judicial legislation, in England and the United States, have usually limited the operation of the term to public displays of the naked person, the publication, sale, or exhibition of obscene books and prints, or the exhibition of a monster,—acts which have a direct bearing, on public morals, and affect the body of society. The Indiana statute punishing public indecency, without defining it, can be construed only as that term is used at common law, where it is limited to indecencies in conduct, and does not extend to indecent words. McJunkins v. State, lO Ind. 140.