DROIT. A French word, which, in that language, signifies the whole collection of laws, written and unwritten, and is synonymous to our word law. It also signifies a right, il n'existe point de droits sans devoirs, et vice versa. 1 Toull. n. 96; Poth. h. t. With us it means right, jus. Co. Litt. 158. A person was said to have droit droit, plurimum juris, and plurimum possessionis, when he had the freehold, the fee, and the property in him. Id. 266; Crabb's H. Eng. L. 400.
DROIT D'ACCESSION, French civil law. Specificatio. That property which is acquired by making a new species out of the material of another. Modus acquirendi quo quis ex aliena materia suo nomine novam speciem faciens bona fide ejus speciei dominium consequitur. It is a rule of the civil law, that if the thing can be reduced to the former matter, it belongs to the owner of the matter, e. g. a statue made of gold, but if it cannot so be reduced, it belongs to the person who made it, e. g. a statue made of marble. This subject is treated of in the Code Civil de Napoleon, art. 565 to 577; Merlin Repertoire de Surisp. Accession; Malleville's Discussion, art. 565. The Code Napoleon follows. closely the Inst. of Just. lib . 2, tit. 1, §§25, 28.
2. Doddridge, in his English Lawyer, 125-6, states the common law thus: " If a man take, wrongfully, the material which was mine and is permanent, not adding anything thereunto than the form, only by alteration thereof, such thing, so newly formed by an exterior form, notwithstanding, still remaineth mine, and may be seized again by me, and I may take it out of his possession as mine own. But they say, if he add some other matter thereunto; as, of another man's leather doth make shoes or boots, or of my cloth, maketh garments, adding to the accomplishment thereof of his own, he hath thereby altered the property, so that the first owner cannot seize the thing so composed, but is driven to his action to recover his remedy: howheit, he adds, in a case of that nature depending, the court had determined that the first owner might seize the same, notwithstanding such addition. But if the thing be transitory in its nature by the change, as if one take ray corn or meal, and thereof make bread, I cannot, in that case, seize the bread, because, as the civil law speaketh, haec species facta ex materia aliens, in pristinam formam reduci non potest, ergo ei a quo est facta cedit. So some have said, if a man take my barley, and thereof make malt, because it is changed into another nature, it cannot be seized by me; but the rule is: That where the material wrongfully taken away, could not at first, before any alteration, be seized; for that it could not be distinguished. from other things of that kind, as corn, money, and such like; there those things cannot be seized because the property of those things cannot be: distinguished: for, if my money be wrongfully taken away, and he that taketh it do make plate; thereof, or do convert my plate into money, I cannot seize the same for that money is undistinguishable from other money of that coin. But, if a butcher take wrongfully my ox and doth kill it, and bring it into the market to be sold, I may not seize upon the flesh, for it: cannot be known from others of that, kind; but if it be found hanging in the skin, where the mark may appear, I may seize the same, although when it was taken from me it had life, and now is dead. So, if a man cut down my tree, and square it into a beam of timber, I may seize the same, for he bath neither altered the nature thereof, nor added anything but exterior form thereunto; but if he lay the beam of timber into the building of a house, I may not seize the same, for being so set it is become parcel of the house, and so in supposition of law, after a sort, altered in its nature. See Year Book 12 H. VIII. 9 b, 10 a; Bro. Ab. Property, 45; 5 H. VII. 15; Bro. Ab. Property, 23.
DROITS OF ADMIRALTY. Rights claimed by the government over the property of an enemy. In England, it has been usual, in maritime wars, for the government to seize and condemn, as droits of admiralty, the property of an enemy found in her ports at the breaking out of hostilities. 1 Rob. R. 196; 13 Ves. jr. 71; Edw. R. 60; 3 B. & P. 191.
DROIT D'AUBAINE, jus albinatus. This was a rule by which all the property of a deceased foreigner, whether movable or immovable, was confiscated to the use of the state, to the exclusion of his heirs, whether claiming ab intestato, or under a will of the deceased. The word aubain signifies hospes loci, peregrinus advena, a stranger. It is derived, according to some, from alibi, elsewhere, natus, born, from which the word albinus is said to be formed. Others, as Cujas, derive the word directly from advena, by which word, aubains, or strangers, are designated in the capitularies of Charlemagne. See Du Cange and Dictionaire de Trevoux.
2. As the darkness of the middle ages wore away, and the light of civilization appeared, thing barbarous and inhospitable usage was by degrees discontinued, and is now nearly abolished in the civilized world. It subsisted in France, however, in full force until 1791, and afterwards, in a modified form, until 1819, when it was formally abolished by law. For the gross abuses of this feudal exaction, see Dictionaire de l'Ancien Regime et des abus feodaux. Aubain. See Albinatus jus.
DROIT-CLOSE. The name of an ancient writ directed to the lord of ancient demesne, and which lies for those tenants in ancient demesne who hold their lands and tenements by charter in fee simple, in fee tail, for life, or in dower. F. N. B. 23.
DROITURAL. What belongs of right; relating to right; as, real actions are either droitural or possessory; droitural, when the plaintiff seeks to recover the property. Finch's Law, 257.


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