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2 definitions found
 for Instance Court
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Instance \In"stance\, n. [F. instance, L. instantia, fr.
     instans. See Instant.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. The act or quality of being instant or pressing; urgency;
        solicitation; application; suggestion; motion.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Undertook at her instance to restore them. --Sir W.
                                                    Scott.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. That which is instant or urgent; motive. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The instances that second marriage move
              Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
                                                    --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Occasion; order of occurrence.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              These seem as if, in the time of Edward I., they
              were drawn up into the form of a law, in the first
              instance.                             --Sir M. Hale.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. That which offers itself or is offered as an illustrative
        case; something cited in proof or exemplification; a case
        occurring; an example; as, we could find no instance of
        poisoning in the town within the past year.
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
  
              Most remarkable instances of suffering. --Atterbury.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. A token; a sign; a symptom or indication. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Causes of instance, those which proceed at the solicitation
        of some party. --Hallifax.
  
     Court of first instance, the court by which a case is first
        tried.
  
     For instance, by way of example or illustration; for
        example.
  
     Instance Court (Law), the Court of Admiralty acting within
        its ordinary jurisdiction, as distinguished from its
        action as a prize court.
  
     Syn: Example; case. See Example.
          [1913 Webster]

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  INSTANCE COURT, Eng. law. The English court of admiralty is divided into two 
  distinct tribunals; the one having, generally, all the jurisdiction of the 
  admiralty, except in prize cases, is called the instance court; the other, 
  acting under a special commission, distinct from the usual commission given 
  to judges of the admiralty, to enable the judge in time of war to assume the 
  jurisdiction of prizes, and' called Prize court. 
       2. In the United States, the district courts of the U. S. possess all 
  the powers of courts of admiralty, whether considered as instance or prize 
  courts. 3 Dall. R. 6. Vide 1 Gall. R. 563; Bro. Civ. & Adm. Law, ch. 4 & 5; 
  1 Kent, Com. 355, 378. Vide Courts of the United States; Prize Court. 
  
  

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