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Persona conjuncta aequiparatur interesse proprio

A personal connection equals, in law, a man's own proper interest.

This rule of personal connection or nearness of blood, applies in the following and similar cases :

  • where the rights and liabilities of man and woman are changed by marriage ;
  • where a parent is permitted to defend his child against injury ;
  • where the parent, though an infant, is liable upon his contract for the nursing of his child ;
  • where an infant widow is liable upon her contract for the funeral expenses of her deceased husband ;
  • where relationship is a good consideration in a deed ;
  • where a wife cannot be compelled to give evidence for or against her husband, and vice versa, in criminal cases and in questions of adultery, or, to disclose communications made to each other during marriage.

The following may serve for examples of the application of the rule in practice : A husband is entitled to his wife's personal estate and chattels real, absolutely ; and to her choses in action, conditionally upon his reducing them into possession during the coverture ; and the rents and profits of her real estate during his life. He has the right of administration of the estate of a testator in case his wife is made executrix, as well as of the estate of an intestate where she is entitled as administratrix. The wife is unable to sue upon her choses of action without joining her husband. By the marriage, the husband and wife are one in law ; and the wife cannot bind herself, or her husband, by deed, or by simple contract, except as the agent of the husband. On a corresponding principle of accretion, the husband takes upon himself the burden of his wife's debts and other liabilities at the time of marriage ; the wife has the general management of her husband's domestic affairs, and is presumed to be his general agent in such matters, and to be clothed with sufficient authority to bind the husband in contracts for all things necessary for the maintenance of herself and family, according to the husband's apparent position in society.

An infant widow has been held bound by her contract for the furnishing the funeral of her deceased husband, who had left no property ; and this on the ground that the goods furnished were necessaries, that is, that the funeral was necessary, and for her benefit. And it was in that case stated, that the law permits an infant to make a valid contract of marriage, and that all neces￾saries furnished to those with whom he becomes one person by or through the contract of marriage are, in point of law, necessaries to the infant himself. Lord Bacon's illustration of this maxim was there applied : that if a man under age contract for nursing his lawful child, the contract is good, and shall not be avoided by infancy any more than if he had contracted for his own necessaries. Also, that decent burial is reasonably necessary for a man, and his property, if any, is reasonably liable to be appro￾priated to that purpose : that being so, the decent burial of his wife and children, who'were personce conjuncta with him, was a personal advantage and necessary, and he might make a binding contract ; and so in like manner might the wife for the burial of the husband ; and this upon the rights and liabilities arising out of the infant's previous contract of marriage.

The moral obligation, however, under which a father is to provide for his child imposes on him no legal liability to pay the debts incurred by the child ; and he is not so liable, unless he has given the child authority to incur them, or has agreed to pay them, any more than a brother, uncle, or stranger.

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