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This term is used in opposition to the remedy given by indictment in a criminal case, and signifies the remedy which the law gives to the party against the offender.
In cases of treason and felony, the law, for wise purposes, suspends this remedy in order to promote the public interest until the wrongdoer shall have been prosecuted for the public wrong. This principle has been adopted in New Hampshire but changed in New York by statutory provision, and by decisions in Massachusetts, except perhaps in felonies punishable with death. By the common law, in cases of homicide, the civil remedy is merged in the felony.