Amercement



to punish by imposing a fine not fixed by statute.
to punish by inflicting any discretionary or arbitrary penalty.
Historical Examples

Sullivan says that both plaintiffs and defendants were liable to amercement.
An Essay on the Trial by Jury Lysander Spooner

If any one happen to fall into my amercement he may be reasonably fined by my bailiff and the faithful burgesses of the court.
Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed. S. A. Reilly

verb (transitive) (obsolete)
(law) to punish by a fine
to punish with any arbitrary penalty
v.

1215, earlier amercy, Anglo-French amercier “to fine,” from merci “mercy, grace” (see mercy). The legal phrase estre a merci “to be at the mercy of” (a tribunal, etc.) was corrupted to estre amercié in an example of how a legalese adverbial phrase can become a verb (cf. abandon). The sense often was “to fine arbitrarily.”

Frans hom ne seit amerciez pour petit forfet. [Magna Charta]

Related: Amercement; amerciable.

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