Legal Definition and Related Resources of Necessaries

Meaning of Necessaries

The term as generally understood applies to purchases made by minors and married women whereby the estate of the minor , his parent or the husband is bound to pay for them. The term includes services, food, clothing and household supplies. In matrimonial law, a relative term and does not merely include the bare necessities of life. It may include those articles which are suitable to the rank, position, fortune, earning capacity and mode of living. See Trask v Davis, (Mo. App.) 297 S. W.2d 792. In maritime law , the term denotes items reasonably required for the service on which the ship is engaged, such as a prudent owner would have ordered if present at the time. The authority of the master of the vessel arises out of necessity. See The Julia Blake (Bank of St. Thomas v The Julia Blake), 107 U.S. 418, 2 S. Ct. 692, 27 L.Ed. 595.

Necessaries Alternative Definition

Such things are as proper and necessary for the sustenance of man. As used to describe those things for which an infant may lawfully contract, necessaries are such articles, suitable to the infant’s station in life, as are needful to supply the personal requirements of the infant, whether of body or mind. li Mete. (Mass.) 561. It includes board and lodging (23 Vt. 378), medical attendance (42 Conn. 203), or education suitable to the infant’s station in life (16 Vt. 683). It does not include services essential to the improvement or protection of his property rights (12 Mete. [Mass.] 559; 32 N. H. 345), but does include services essential to secure or protect his personal rights (68 Hun [N. Y.] 589; 12 Kan. 463). As used to describe those things for which a wife may pledge her husband’s credit, it has a slightly narrower significance, excluding instruction (40 Conn. 75), and including only those things which are presently needful for the present support of the wife (68 Mo. App. 191), or to maintain her personal rights (50 III. App. 27) ; but the nature of the support for which she is entitled to contract depends on the husband’s means and station in life(114 Mass. 429). As used to describe those things for which a master may hypothecate the ship, it includes such articles fit and proper for the ship as the owner would, in the exercise of reasonable prudence, have ordered, if present. Maude & P. Shipp, 71.

Related Entries of Necessaries in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Necessaries in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Necessaries in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Necessaries in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Necessaries in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Agency Of Necessity, Dependency, Destitute, Infant, Interdiction Of Fire And Water, Means Of Support.


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This definition of Necessaries is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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Necessaries in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of necessaries.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police
  • Law Enforcement Agency

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