Definition of CAUSE


CAUSE

contra torts, crim. That which produces an effect.

2. In considering a contract, an injury, or a crime, the law for many purposes
looks to the immediate, and not to any remote cause. Bac. Max. Reg. 1; Bac.
Ab. Damages, E; Sid. 433; 2 Taunt. 314. If the cause be lawful, the party
will be justified; if unlawful, he will be condemned. The following is an
example in criminal law of an immediate and remote cause. If Peter, of malice
prepense, should discharge a pistol at Paul, and miss him, and then cast
away the pistol and fly and, being pursued by Paul, he turn round, and kill
him with a dagger, the law considers the first as the impulsive cause, and
Peter would be guilty of murder. But if Peter, with his dagger drawn, had
fallen down, and Paul in his haste had fallen upon it and killed himself,
the cause of Paul"s death would have been too remote to charge Peter as
the murderer. Id.

3. In cases of insurance, the general rule is that the immediate and not
the remote cause of the loss is to be considered; causa proximo non remota
s pedatur. This rule may, in some cases, apply to carriers. Story, Bailm.
515.

4. For the reach of contracts, the contractor is liable for the immediate
effects of such breach, but not for any remote cause, as the failure of
a party who was to receive money, and did not receive it, in consequence
of which he was compelled to stop payment. 1 Brock. Cir. C. Rep. 103. See
Remote; and also Domat, liv. 3, t. 5, s. 2, n. 4; Toull. liv. 3, n. 286;
6 Bing. R. 716; 6 Ves. 496; Pal. Ag. by Lloyd, 10; Story, Ag. 200; 3 Sumn.
R. 38.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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