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A person who manages the affairs of another by virtue of a charge received from him. There are different kinds of procurators: general, or particular, according as he is authorized to manage all the affairs of another, or only some of them; again a procurator may represent another in judicial matters (ad lites), or in matters not requiring court proceedings (ad negotia); special procurators are the syndicus, a general agent of a university or corporation and the fiscal procurator, appointed by public authority as guardian of the law in civil, and especially in criminal proceedings.
Everybody, unless expressly forbidden by the law, has the right to appoint a procurator in affairs of which he has the free management. In selecting a procurator, a person is free, provided the choice does not fall on someone debarred by law, as excommunicated persons, notorious criminals, regulars without the consent of their superiors, clerics in cases for which they cannot act as lawyers, and finally, for judicial cases, persons under twenty-five, for non-judicial cases, persons under seventeen years of age.
A procurator has the right and duty to act according to the terms of the charge committed, but a general mandate does not include cases for which the law requires a special commission. He is also allowed to elect a substitute, except in cases of marriages, and in general whenever, owing to the serious character of the affair, the procurator is supposed to have been chosen with the understanding that he should transact the business in person.
The power to act as procurator ceases: (a) as soon as he has fulfilled his office; (b) if with a sufficient reason he resigns; (c) if the principal or appointer revokes his mandate; but he must do this in due time, that is, while the affair still remains untouched (re integra); this revocation must be brought to the notice of the procurator before the latter completes the transaction; one of the chief exceptions to these rules is when there is question of a procuration to contract a marriage, in which case the revocation holds good, as long as it was made before the procurator contracted in the principal's name.
Unless the procurator acted beyond his powers, the principal must accept whatever the latter did in his name.
FERRARIS-BUCCERONI, Bibliotheca Canonica, VI (Rome, 1885-1902), 454; HERGENRÖTHER-HOLLWECK, Lehrbuch des kanonischen Kirchenrechts (Freiburg im Br., 1905), n. 643; DROSTEMESSMER, Canonical Procedure in Disciplinary and Criminal Cases of Clerics (New York), n. 41; SMITH, Elements of Ecclesiastical Law (New York), n. 756.