This is the most important aspect of the law. In law, “Honor” or “Dishonor” is a process. It is what is done in response to a presentment*. Throughout the entire process, you must be in honor. This applies to everything you do in the legal process. To act with dishonor toward the other person is the highest sin in any system of law.
“In ancient times, honor was the manner of being that we now describe as having integrity. In plain language, an honorable person avoids deception whenever possible, treats others with respect and sticks to her beliefs no matter how others think or act.” ~Carla Joy
“Personal integrity; allegiance to moral principles.” wordia.com
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked, and he has not been caught.” ~H. L. Mencken
|3 ways to honor a presentment||2 ways to dishonor a presentment|
|1. Accord & Satisfaction|
2. Conditional Acceptance
3. Rejection Without Dishonor
In practice, after party “AB” makes a presentment, Party “CD” does one of the following:
1. Accord & Satisfaction: CD Honors by accepting the presentment without recourse, and then satisfies whatever is demanded in the presentment. Example: AB presents a bill for services; CD pays the bill.
2. Conditional Acceptance: CD Honors by accepting the presentment but with conditions. Effectively, that is a counteroffer from CD to AB. [AB would then accept the counteroffer as a new presentment from CD.] Example: AB offers his house for sale; CD accepts the offer provided that the house is first painted.
3. Rejection without dishonor: CD rejects the presentment because it is defective. Example: AB presents a bill for services; CD returns the bill because there is an error (perhaps the price is wrong) but will accept the bill once the error is corrected.
4. Argument: CD rejects (dishonors) the bill. There is no basis for rejecting the bill; the arguments have no relevance to the presentment. Often, ad hominems (irrelevant comments against AB) accompany the rejection.
5. Silence: CD simply does not respond to the presentment but remains silent. The presentment is thus dishonored.
Before Going to Court
- AB makes a presentment to CD. If CD honors the presentment, AB acts accordingly. So long as each party honors the other’s presentments, the process can move forward to resolution.
- If CD dishonors AB, then AB grants grace and repeats the presentment.
- If CD dishonors AB a second time, AB then makes an affidavit of the history of presentments. The affidavit is given to a notary public. The notary is requested to make, on behalf of AB, a formal presentment to CD.
- If CD dishonors the presentment, the notary grants grace and repeats the presentment.
- If CD dishonors the notary a second time, the notary makes a certified history of the presentments. The history is given to AB.
- At this point AB’s and CD’s administrative process is complete. The affidavit of AB along with the certificate of the notary now becomes the basis for court action against CD.
You can think of the court process as a formal series of presentments. Each time a presentment is made (i.e. a court paper is filed), the responding party has an opportunity to honor or dishonor the presentment. The response, whether honorable or dishonorable, in turn, becomes a presentment. Your objective is to never dishonor the other party’s presentment. If the other party persists in argument or silence, you can stay in honor by refusing his arguments for cause, stating the cause, and giving him an opportunity to cure the defects. If he refuses to stop arguing, you stay in honor as he continues in dishonor.
Parens Patriae originates from the English common law where the King had a royal prerogative to act as guardian to persons with legal disabilities such as infants, idiots, and lunatics. In the United States, the parens patriae function belongs with the states.
At least, in theory, two reasonable but contending people will honor each other and attempt to resolve the problem at hand. In actual practice, often one or the other or both will act in dishonor.
If both are acting in honor, the court has nothing to decide, for the parties will work it out together. If one of the parties is in dishonor, then the court must look with favor toward the person who is in honor. If both parties are acting in dishonor, the doctrine of parens patriae becomes effective.
When both parties are in dishonor, either because they are arguing or confused or silent, the state now has full power to invoke parens patriae to control the affairs of the apparently incompetent litigants (idiots).
a: The act of presenting to view or consciousness
b: something set forth, presented, or exhibited
c: the aspect in which something is presented.”
Merriam-Webster dictionary, online
A presentment occurs when something is brought to your attention. For example, you are given a bill for services. Or, you are accused of causing some harm. Or, you are notified of a situation.