The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-19-2013, 05:36 PM
Gangster Octopus Gangster Octopus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Cease and desist?

It seems to me that this is redundant, is there some legal distinction between these two things? In other words, legally, is it possible to cease and not desist or vice versa?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-19-2013, 05:58 PM
silverfish silverfish is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: England
Posts: 193
According to wikipedia, to cease is to "halt" an activity, and to desist is not to "take it up again later" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cease_and_desist
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-19-2013, 06:17 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 8,126
I've heard there are some legal doubles (will and testament) that pair an Anglo-Saxon based word with an Adopted French word as an aftermath of Hastings kind of thing.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-19-2013, 06:32 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 11,887
This is an example of legal doublets:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_doublet
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-19-2013, 06:35 PM
friedo friedo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 20,678
There are lots of these. Here's some I can think of:
  • Cease and desist
  • Breaking and entering
  • Waive and relinquish
  • Aidin' an' abettin'
  • Null and void
  • Lewd and lascivious
  • Goods and chattels

Wikipedia calls them legal doublets and has a good list.

Last edited by friedo; 06-19-2013 at 06:35 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-19-2013, 06:51 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
It seems to me that this is redundant, is there some legal distinction between these two things? In other words, legally, is it possible to cease and not desist or vice versa?
Only if you do depose and say that you will covenant and agree to obey all of the terms and conditions by and between the parties that make and enter into this contract, which shall have sole and exclusive power and authority over all goods and chattels and amounts that are due and payable and bind and obligate the parties and their heirs and successors from now and henceforth, that you will at no time engage in lewd and lascivious conduct of whatever kind and nature, and will pay due care and attention not to aid and abet acts that that are not appropriate and proper or that would render the contract that has been made and entered into null and void.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-19-2013, 07:41 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 9,538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
It seems to me that this is redundant, is there some legal distinction between these two things? In other words, legally, is it possible to cease and not desist or vice versa?
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Only if you do depose and say that you will covenant and agree to obey all of the terms and conditions by and between the parties that make and enter into this contract, which shall have sole and exclusive power and authority over all goods and chattels and amounts that are due and payable and bind and obligate the parties and their heirs and successors from now and henceforth, that you will at no time engage in lewd and lascivious conduct of whatever kind and nature, and will pay due care and attention not to aid and abet acts that that are not appropriate and proper or that would render the contract that has been made and entered into null and void.
Well, thank God that's cleared up!

I mean, thank our Lord and God that the aforementioned and stated question and query has been clarified and elucidated.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-19-2013, 08:22 PM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Actually, I'm pretty sure breaking and entering are two legally separate things.

Breaking refers to obtaining unlawful access (i.e. literally breaking a window or wall, picking the lock, etc.).

Entering is using the access you've thus gained.

If you give your neighbor a house key for emergencies and they use it to come in and munch your food they're guilty of entering, but not breaking.

Still, some input from somebody who actually practices law would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:22 PM
Doug K. Doug K. is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
Actually, I'm pretty sure breaking and entering are two legally separate things.

Breaking refers to obtaining unlawful access (i.e. literally breaking a window or wall, picking the lock, etc.).

Entering is using the access you've thus gained.

If you give your neighbor a house key for emergencies and they use it to come in and munch your food they're guilty of entering, but not breaking.

Still, some input from somebody who actually practices law would be appreciated.
No, all you have to do is open a door without permission to be guilty of breaking and entering. No actual breaking of anything required.

Having a key provided by the owner would probably be considered authorization to enter, but taking food might be a different matter. And I suppose that entering through a door left standing open would still be a trespass.

Last edited by Doug K.; 06-19-2013 at 10:23 PM.. Reason: OF, dammit!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:40 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug K. View Post
No, all you have to do is open a door without permission to be guilty of breaking and entering. No actual breaking of anything required.

Having a key provided by the owner would probably be considered authorization to enter, but taking food might be a different matter. And I suppose that entering through a door left standing open would still be a trespass.
Your cite says it requires "the slightest amount of force". That's the breaking part.

Last edited by TriPolar; 06-19-2013 at 10:40 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:45 PM
Hershele Ostropoler Hershele Ostropoler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
I'd hate to be the lawyer who invoked only one half of a legal doublet on behalf of a client who turns out to be primarily interested in the other one.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-19-2013, 11:05 PM
Doug K. Doug K. is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Your cite says it requires "the slightest amount of force". That's the breaking part.
Yes, but merely pushing a door open or opening a window is enough, even if unlocked. (PDF. Top of page two.)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-20-2013, 06:51 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
A little off topic (as cease and desist clearly have distinct meanings). I have a vague recollection of a court addressing apparent synonyms - in a contract I believe. I'll see if anything bubbles up in the grey matter, but I recall the court holding smething like the 2 apparent synonyms MUST have somewhat different meanings, or else they would not have both been included in the contract. I think one party was suggesting the one term meant something in his favor, while the other contended they were simply duplicative.

A couple of my favorite legal pairings are arbitrary and capricious, and detour and frolic. Frolicking always sounds so fun!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:02 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug K. View Post
Yes, but merely pushing a door open or opening a window is enough, even if unlocked. (PDF. Top of page two.)
"but going in through an unobstructed entrance — such as an open door — is not."
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:03 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 35,666
There's nothing wrong with redundancy, especially in legal matters. It helps to eliminate confusion and prevents fraud.

For instance, if you the order were just to "cease" something, another lawyer could say his client did "cease" something, even if he didn't "desist" from doing it. Then you get into a big argument as to the precise meaning of the term.
__________________
"East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:06 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Ain't our language wonderful...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:09 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Plus, in a cease or desist letter, no one's sure if they're allowed to do both.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:23 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 15,228
Signed, sealed, delivered I'm yours.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:24 AM
Wallenstein Wallenstein is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Weddings are the same... "to have and to hold" means now and in the future.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-20-2013, 09:50 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
The origin of "legal couplets" is a time when both Anglo-Saxon and Norman were spoken in England. In each couplet, one word is Saxon and one is Norman. The purpose was to make clear what you should do, regardless of your native language. In modern English the meanings of the words within the couplet have diverged, but at the time they were synonyms. Today couplets have no purpose other than legalistic flourish. Like Miranda warnings, the public has come to expect them and feels something is "wrong" if they aren't used.

Last edited by Hello Again; 06-20-2013 at 09:52 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-20-2013, 10:20 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 11,887
Doublet, not couplet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couplets
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-20-2013, 10:54 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 59,011
As others have said cease and desist do have distinct meanings. Cease means to stop if you're doing it now and desist means to not do it in the future. There are cases where a distinction is made. For example, let's say the police stop you when you're driving with an expire inspection. You made be told you can drive your vehicle home but not to drive it anywhere else. That's being told to desist but not to cease. Or let's say you get thrown out of a movie theatre for being rowdy but you're not banned from future showings at the theatre. That's being told to cease but not desist.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-20-2013, 11:39 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 10,009
An illustration of the difference between breaking and entering.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-20-2013, 12:00 PM
Kenm Kenm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Only if you do depose and say that you will covenant and agree to obey all of the terms and conditions by and between the parties that make and enter into this contract, which shall have sole and exclusive power and authority over all goods and chattels and amounts that are due and payable and bind and obligate the parties and their heirs and successors from now and henceforth, that you will at no time engage in lewd and lascivious conduct of whatever kind and nature, and will pay due care and attention not to aid and abet acts that that are not appropriate and proper or that would render the contract that has been made and entered into null and void.
You forgot the "That'll be $350.37, please."
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:14 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenm View Post
You forgot the "That'll be $350.37, please."
Did you time slip back to the 70s or something? That'll run you at least a grand today.

Last edited by TriPolar; 06-20-2013 at 03:14 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:36 PM
Kenm Kenm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Did you time slip back to the 70s or something? That'll run you at least a grand today.
I thought they charge $350.37 per paragraph.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 06-21-2013, 07:54 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: At the Diogenes Club
Posts: 48,901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenm View Post
I thought they charge $350.37 per paragraph.
Per word, around here.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 06-21-2013, 09:09 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
"Give, devise. amd bequeath" is a triplet from estate law, e.g. in wills. IANAL, but I believe that at one time one term referenced the passing by will of real property and another of personal property, and it was important to ensure you matched the right term to the right giving of property. Anyone who can expand on that?

Last edited by Polycarp; 06-21-2013 at 09:11 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 06-22-2013, 08:36 AM
lawbuff lawbuff is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
There are lots of these. Here's some I can think of:
  • Cease and desist
  • Breaking and entering
  • Waive and relinquish
  • Aidin' an' abettin'
  • Null and void
  • Lewd and lascivious
  • Goods and chattels
Not listed, but how about NEGATIVE PREGNANT.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 06-22-2013, 08:39 AM
lawbuff lawbuff is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
Actually, I'm pretty sure breaking and entering are two legally separate things.

Breaking refers to obtaining unlawful access (i.e. literally breaking a window or wall, picking the lock, etc.).

Entering is using the access you've thus gained.

If you give your neighbor a house key for emergencies and they use it to come in and munch your food they're guilty of entering, but not breaking.

Still, some input from somebody who actually practices law would be appreciated.


2911.13 Breaking and entering.

(A) No person by force, stealth, or deception, shall trespass in an unoccupied structure, with purpose to commit therein any theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or any felony.

(B) No person shall trespass on the land or premises of another, with purpose to commit a felony.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996


BURGLARY is in an OCCUPIED structure, by definition, 2911.12
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 06-22-2013, 09:12 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 11,887
lawbuff, in what sense is "negative pregnant" a legal doublet? It doesn't contain the word "and" and it doesn't contain two words with the same meaning:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_pregnant
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 06-22-2013, 09:18 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 59,011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenm View Post
You forgot the "That'll be $350.37, please."
It would have been redundant and repetitive.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 06-22-2013, 09:22 AM
lawbuff lawbuff is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
lawbuff, in what sense is "negative pregnant" a legal doublet? It doesn't contain the word "and" and it doesn't contain two words with the same meaning:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_pregnant
The OP mention redundancy, so how can you have a pregnancy that is negative, a play on a real pregnancy in legal terms.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 06-22-2013, 09:34 AM
guizot guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 6,340
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
There's nothing wrong with redundancy, especially in legal matters. It helps to eliminate confusion and prevents fraud.

For instance, if you the order were just to "cease" something, another lawyer could say his client did "cease" something, even if he didn't "desist" from doing it. Then you get into a big argument as to the precise meaning of the term.
This is why we have judges. I'm pretty sure what Hello Again is what this comes down to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
. . . In modern English the meanings of the words within the couplet have diverged, but at the time they were synonyms. Today couplets have no purpose other than legalistic flourish.
A judge would have the authority to say to anyone trying to split hairs that "cease" does in fact mean "from this point on," as far as the court is concerned.

IOW, the judge would have the authority to say that legal precedent supersedes linguistic quibbles over semantics.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 06-22-2013, 10:14 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 11,887
lawbuff, how are the words "pregnant" and "negative" redundant?
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 06-22-2013, 04:08 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawbuff View Post
2911.13 Breaking and entering.

(A) No person by force, stealth, or deception, shall trespass in an unoccupied structure, with purpose to commit therein any theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or any felony.

(B) No person shall trespass on the land or premises of another, with purpose to commit a felony.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996


BURGLARY is in an OCCUPIED structure, by definition, 2911.12
In Ohio, anyway. I don't believe that's true for New York.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 06-22-2013, 04:53 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
"Give, devise. amd bequeath" is a triplet from estate law, e.g. in wills. IANAL, but I believe that at one time one term referenced the passing by will of real property and another of personal property, and it was important to ensure you matched the right term to the right giving of property. Anyone who can expand on that?
A will (LW&T, if you will ) bequeaths personal property while it devises real property. I don't think it is crucial that you match the right word. Usually they are all lumped together, anyway. A person who receives personal property under a will is a legatee. One receiving real property is a devisee.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 06-23-2013, 03:29 AM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug K. View Post
No, all you have to do is open a door without permission to be guilty of breaking and entering. No actual breaking of anything required.
Really?
I seem to recall in an antique police procedural (and perhaps the film Legal Eagles) the notion being put forth that an unlocked door constituted and invitation to enter, legally. That if you left the front door unlocked, folks who entered thereby were not committing a crime (yet).
Which is part of why I keep my door locked when I'm home.

Last edited by SpyOne; 06-23-2013 at 03:29 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 06-23-2013, 03:22 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I doubt that a person entering your home uninvited is entering by your consent merely because the door was unlocked. He would be guilty of at least trespassing. In fact, he would not have to enter your house to be trespassing. Merely being on your property uninvited would be a trespass.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 06-23-2013, 04:14 PM
Doug K. Doug K. is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I doubt that a person entering your home uninvited is entering by your consent merely because the door was unlocked. He would be guilty of at least trespassing. In fact, he would not have to enter your house to be trespassing. Merely being on your property uninvited would be a trespass.
Entering an open door is not a break in, but is still a trespass. Opening a closed but unlocked door or window is legally a break. This is explicitly mentioned in the previous cite:

Quote:
But there are some less obvious examples that also are considered to be “breakings.” Opening a closed door or window is a breaking, even if they are unlocked. Going in through an open window that is not intended for use as an entrance is also a breaking, but going in through an unobstructed entrance — such as an open door — is not.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.