DISABILITY. The want of legal capacity to do a thing.
2. Persons may be under disability, 1. To make contracts. 2. To bring actions.
3. - 1. Those who want understanding; as idiots, lunatics, drunkards, and infants or freedom to exercise their will, as married women, and persons in duress; or who, in consequence of their situation, are forbidden by the policy of the law to enter into contracts, as trustees, executors, administrators, or guardians, are under disabilities to make contracts. See Pa7-ties; Contracts.
4. - 2. The disabilities to sue are, 1. Alienage, when the alien is an enemy. Bac. Ab. Abatement, B 3; Id. Alien, E: Com. Dig. Abatement , K; Co. Litt. 129. 2. Coverture; unless as co-plaintiff with her hushand, a married woman cannot sue. 3. Infancy; unless he appears by guardian or prochein ami. Co. Litt. 135, b; 2 Saund. 117, f, n. 1 Bac. Ab. Infancy, K 2 Conn. 357; 7 John. 373; Gould, Pl. c. 5, §54. 4. That no such person as that named has any existence, is not, or never was, in rerum natura. Com. Dig. Abatement, E 16, 17; 1 Chit. Pl. 435; Gould on Pl. c. 5, §58; Lawes' Pl. 104; 19 John. 308. By the law of England there are other disabilities; these are, 1. Outlawry. 2. Attainder. 3. Praemunire. 4. Popish recusancy. 5. Monachism.
5. In the acts of limitation it is provided that persons lying under certain disabilities, such as being non compos, an infant, in prison, or under coverture, shall have the right to bring actions after the disability shall have been removed.
6. In the construction of this saving in the acts, it has been decided that two disabilities shall not be joined when they occur in different persons; as, if a right of entry accrue to a feme covert, and during the coverture she die, and the right descends to her infant son. But the rule is otherwise when there are several disabilities in the same person; as, if the right accrues to an infant, and before he has attained his full age, he becomes non compos mentis; in this case he may establish his right after the removal of the last disability. 2 Prest. Abs. of Tit. 341 Shep. To. 31; 3 Tho. Co. Litt. pl. 18, note L; 2 H. Bl. 584; 5 Whart. R. 377. Vide Incapacity.