INDEMNITY. That which is given to a person to prevent his suffering damage. 2 McCord, 279. Sometimes it signifies diminution; a tenant who has been interrupted in the enjoyment of his lease may require an indemnity from the lessor, that is, a reduction of his rent.
2. It is a rule established in all just governments that, when private property is required for public, use, indemnity shall be given by the public to the owner. This is the case in the United States. See Code Civil, art. 545. See Damnification.
3. Contracts made for the purpose of indemnifying a person for doing an act for which he could be indicted, or an agreement to, compensate a public officer for doing an act which is forbidden by law, or omitting to do one which the law commands, are absolutely void. But when the agreement with an officer was not to induce him to neglect his duty, but to test a legal right, as to indemnify him for not executing an execution, it was held to be good. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 780.