At common law, the loss of rights by a person who has been outlawed or convicted of a serious crime. Civil death usually affected the right to vote, make contracts, inherit, and sue. The change of the state of a person who is declared civilly dead by judgment of a competent tribunal. In such case, the person against whom such sentence is pronounced is considered dead. The extinction of all civil rights, such as occurred at common law upon a person being banished, abjuring the realm, or entering a religious order, and to a certain extent upon conviction of any felony. Modernly, civil death does not apply unless provided for by statute.
- (Eccl.) One who is considered to have left the temporal world for the spiritual by entering a monastery. A monk or nun cannot acquire or have any proprietary rights. Under the common law, when a man becomes professed in religion,' his heir at once inherits from him any land that he has, and, if he has made a will, it takes effect at once as though he were naturally dead.