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When defendants who are sued jointly have separate defences, they may in general sever, that is, each one rely on his own separate defence; each may plead severally and insist on his own separate plea. SEVERANCE - When an action is brought in the name of several plain-tiffs, in which the plaintiffs must of necessity join, aud one or more of the persons so named do not appear, or make default after appearance, the other may have judgment of severance, or, as it is technically called, judgment ad sequendum solum.
But in personal actions, with the exception of those by executors, and of detinue for charters, there can be no summons and severance.
After severance, the party severed can never be mentioned in the suit, nor derive any advantage from it.
When there are several defendants, each of them may use such plea as, he may think proper for his own defence; and they may join in the same plea, or sever at their discretion; Co. Litt. 303, a except perhaps, in the case of dilatory pleas. But when the defendants have once united in the plea, they cannot afterwards sever at the rejoinder, or other later stage of the pleading.
estates. The act by which any one of the unities of a joint tenancy is effected, is so called; because the estate is no longer a joint tenancy, but is severed.
A severance may be effected in various ways, namely: 1. By partition, which is either voluntary or compulsory. 2. By alienation of one of the joint tenants, which turns the estate into a tenancy in common. 3. By the purchase or descent of all the shares of the joint tenants, so that the whole estate becomes vested in one only.In another and a less technical sense, severance is the separation of a part of a thing from another; for example, the separation of malchinery from a mill, is a severance, and, in that case, the machinery which while annexed to the mill was real estate, becomes by the severance; personalty, unless such severance be merely temporary.