NON USER. The neglect to make use of a thing.
2. A right which may be acquired by use, may be lost by non-user, and an absolute discontinuance of the use for twenty years affords presumption of the extinguishment of the right, in favor of some others adverse right. 5 Whart. Rep. 584; 23 Pick. 141.
3. As an enjoyment for twenty years is necessary to found the presumption of a grant of an easement, the general rule is, there must be a similar non-user to raise the presumption of a release. But in this case the owner of the servient premises must have done some act inconsistent with, or adverse to the existence of the right. See 2 Evans's Pothier, 136; 10 Mass. R, 183; 3 Campbl. R. 614; 3 Kent, Com. 359; 1 Chit. Pr. 284, 285, 767 to 759, n. (s); 1 Ves. jr. 6, 8; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 442; 2 Anstr. 603; S. C. on appeal, 1 Dowl. R. 316; 4 Ad. & Ell 369; 6 Nev. & M. 230. But the dereliction or abandonment of rights affecting lands is not in all cases held to be evidenced by mere non-user.
4. As an exception to the rule may be mentioned rights to mines and minerals, with the incidental privilege of boring and working them. 16 Ves. 390; 19 Ves. 166.
5. In the civil law there is a similar doctrine: on this subject, Vide Dig. 8, 6, 5; Voet, Com. ad Pand. lib. 8, tit. 6, s. 5 et 7; 3 Toull. n. 673; Merl. Repert. mot Servitude, 30, n. 6, and 33; Civ. Code of Louis. art. 815, 816.
6. Every public officer is required to use his office for the public good; a non-user of a public office is therefore a sufficient cause of forfeiture. 2 Bl. Com. 153; 9 Co. 60. Non user, for a great length of time, will have the effect of repealing an old law. But it must be a very strong case which will have that effect. 13 S. & R. 452; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 94.