Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Moiety Definition:

Half of something. For example, it can be said that joint tenants hold a moiety in property.

Half of something.

For example, it can be said that joint tenants hold a moiety in property.

In old criminal law, there were "moiety acts" which allowed half of the fine money to be handed over to the informer.

In one estate case (Jordan), the court suggested that a moiety may mean not a half share but an equal share. The relevant will provided:

"... the money realized from the sale I give and bequeath in equal moieties to my son William Sharp and three daughters...."

The Ontario judge quoted from the British case Morrow:

"Although the proper meaning of the word moiety is a half-part, it is here, in my opinion, used by the testator in the sense of an equal part or share.... I find one of its meanings given as a part or share, as distinguished from a half-part."

REFERENCES:

  • Jordan v Frogley 5 OWR 704 (1904, Ontario)
  • Morrow v. McConville, L. R. 11 Ir. Ch. 236

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