1 the transfer of property, especially terms of leases, CHATTELS personal and CHOSE IN ACTION. Assignments may be legal or equitable. Legal assignments of terms of years must be by deed (even where the creation of the right assigned did not require a deed, as, for example, in the case of a lease of not more than three years); equitable assignments need not be by deed but must usually be in writing. Legal assignments of choses in action do not, as a rule, require to be by deed. In the case of life and marine insurance policies, notice of assignment must be given to the company. For Scotland, see ASSIGNATION.
2 in Australia, a system (1789-1841) whereby a convict could become the unpaid servant of a freeman.
ASSIGNMENT, contracts. In common parlance this word signifies the transfer of all kinds of property, real, personal, and mixed, and whether the same be in possession or in action; as, a general assignment. In a more technical sense it Is usually applied to the transfer of a term for years; but it is more properly used to signify a transfer of some particular estate or interest in lands.
2. The proper technical words of an assignment are, assign, transfer, and set over; but the words grant, bargain, and sell, or any other words which will show the intent of the parties to make a complete transfer, will amount to an assignment.
3. A chose in action cannot be assigned at law, though it may be done in equity; but the assignee takes it subject to all the equity to which it was liable in the hands of the original party. 2 John. Ch. Rep. 443, and the cases there cited. 2 Wash. Rep. 233.
4. The deed by which an assignment is made,, is also called an assignment. Vide, generally, Com. Dig. h.t.; Bac. Ab. h.t. Vin. Ab. h.t.; Nelson's Ab. h.t.; Civ. Code of Louis. art. 2612. In relation to general assignments, see Angell on Assignments, passim; 1 Hate & Wall. Sel. Dec. 78- 85.
5. By an assignment of a right all the accessories which belong to it, will pass with it as, if the assignor of a bond had collateral security, or a lien on property, the collateral security and the lien will pass with the assignment of the bond. 2 Penn. 361; 3 Bibb, 291; 4 B. Munroe, 529; 2 Drev. n. 218; 1 P. St. R. 454. 6. The assignment of a thing also carries with it all that belongs to it by right of accession; if, therefore, the thing produce interest or rent, the interest or the arrearages of the rent since the assignment, will belong to the assignee. 7 John. Cas. 90 6 Pick. 360.
VOLUNTARY. Willingly; done with one's consent; negligently. Wolff, Sec. 5.
2. To render an act criminal or tortious it must be voluntary. If a man, therefore, kill another without a will on his part, while engaged in the performance of a lawful act, and having taken proper care to prevent it, he is not guilty of any crime. And if he commit an injury to the person or property of another, he is not liable for damages, unless the act has been voluntary or through negligence, as when a collision takes place between two ships without any fault in either. 2 Dobs. R. 83 3 Hagg. Adm. R. 320, 414.
3. When the crime or injury happens in the performance of an unlawful act, the party will be considered as having acted voluntarily.
4. A negligent escape permitted by an officer having the custody of a prisoner will be presumed as voluntary; under a declaration or count charging the escape to have been voluntary, the party will, therefore, be allowed to give a negligent escape in evidence. 1 Saund. 35, n. 1. So Will.