Mesne Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Mesne, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Mesne?

(adj) Mesne (pronounced as mean) is used to qualify a situation in between the two extreme positions. Mense profit is used to represent average profit

History and Meaning of Mesne

Mesne is a term used in legal jargon that represents situations between the two extremes. In a feudal society, an intermediate lord who held land from a superior lord and then further sublet it to an under-tenant was known as a mesne lord. The word mesne comes from Middle English, and its original meaning is “middle” or “in-between.”

In modern legal usage, a mesne process is an intermediate process or writ that is issued during the course of a pending litigation, rather than at the commencement or conclusion of the case, and is intended to accomplish a limited or temporary purpose related to the case, such as the preservation of evidence, discovery, or the taking of testimony.

Examples of Mesne

  1. In a lawsuit, a party may file a mesne process to preserve evidence and prevent the other party from disposing of it.
  2. When a tenant sublets an apartment to another person, the tenant becomes a mesne landlord or a landlord-in-possession of the property.
  3. In common law, a mesne value is used to calculate average values for profit.

Legal Terms Similar to Mesne

  1. Interlocutory- It refers to the proceedings or orders that come in between the commencement and end of a lawsuit.
  2. Pro tem - It is referred to as an interim appointment or temporary appointment.
  3. Quasi-judicial - It refers to administrative or executive bodies exercising powers or functions that are usually reserved for courts.
  4. Parens patriae- It refers to a legal doctrine which allows the government to intervene on behalf of those who cannot otherwise help themselves such as minors, mental incompetents or others.