FACTLegal Dictionary -> FACT
FACT. An action; a thing done. It is either simple or compound.
2. A fact is simple when it expresses a purely material act unconnected with any moral qualification; for example, to say Peter went into his house, is to express a simple fact. A compound fact contains the materiality of the act, and the qualification which that act has in its connexion with morals and, the law. To say, then, that Peter has stolen a horse, is to express a compound fact; for the fact of stealing, expresses at the same time, the material fact of taking the horse, and of taking him with the guilty intention of depriving the owner of his property and appropriating it to his own use; which is a violation of the law of property. 3. Fact. is also put in opposition to law; in every case which has to be tried there are facts to be established, and the law which bears on those facts. 4. Facts are also to be considered as material or immaterial. Material facts are those which are essential to the right of action or defence, and therefore of the substance of the one or the other - these must always be proved; or immaterial, which are those not essential to the cause of action - these need not be proved. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3150-53. 5. Facts are generally determined by a jury,; but there are many facts, which, not being the principal matters in issue, may be decided by the court; such, for example, whether a subpoena has or has not been served; whether a party has or has not been summoned, &c. As to pleading material facts, see Gould. Pl. c. 3, s. 28. As to quality of facts proved, see 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3150. Vide Eng. Ecc. R. 401-2, and the article Circumstances.