Discharge by operation of law is where the dis­charge takes place, whether it was intended by the parties or not; thus, if a creditor appoints his debtor his executor, the debt is discharged by operation. of law, because the executor cannot have an action against himself. — Discharge is a generic term; its principal species are rescission, release, accord and satisfaction, performance, judgement, composition, bankruptcy, merger

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Black’s Law Dictionary 3rd Edition, page 584-585:

DISCHARGE. To release; liberate; annul; unburden; disincumber.

In the Law of Contracts

To cancel or unloose the obligation of a contract; to make an agreement or contract null and inoperative. As a noun, the word means the qact or instrument by which the binding force of a contract is terminated, irrespective of whether the contract is carried out to the full extent contemplated (in which case the discharge is the result of performance) or is broken off before complete execution, Cort v. Railway Co., 17 Q. B. 145; Com. v. Talbot, 2 Allen (Mass.) 162; Rivers v. Blom, 163 Mo. 442, 63 S. W. 812; Stitt v. Locomotive Engineers’ Mut. Prtective Ass’n 177 Mich. 207, 142 N.W. 1110, 1113; The Great Canton (D. C.) 299 F. 953, 954; Burden v. Woodside Cotton Mills, 104S.C. 435, 89 S. E. 474, 475; Petterson v. U. S. (D. C.) 274 F. 1000,, 1002; Hulrburt v. Bradley, 94Conn, 495, 109 A. 171, 172.

Discharge is a generic term; its principal species are rescission, release, accord and satisfaction, performance, judgement, composition, bankruptcy, merger (q. v.). Leake, Cont. 413.

As applied to demands claims, right of action, incumbrances, etc., to discharge the debt or claim is to extinguish it, to annul its obligatory force, to satisfy it. And here also the term is generic; thus a dent , a mortgage, Blackwood v. Brown, 29 Mich. 484 ; Rangely v. Spring, 28 Me. 151. To dis­ charge a person is to liberate him from the binding force of an obligation, debt, or claim.

There is a distinction between a “debt discharged” and a “debt paid.” When discharged the debt still exists though -divested of its character as a legal obligation during the operation of the discharge. Something of the original vitality of the debt con­tinues to exist which may be transferred, even though the transferee takes it subject to its disabil­ity incident to the discharge. The fact that it carries something Which may be a consideration for a new promise to pay, so as to make an otherwise . .worthless promise a legal obligation, makes it the subject of transfer by assignment. Stanek v. White, 172 Minn. 390, 215 N. W. 784.

Discharge by operation of law is where the dis­charge takes place, whether it was intended by the parties or not; thus, if a creditor appoints his debtor his executor, the debt is discharged by operation. of law, because the executor cannot have an action against himself. Co. Litt. 264b, note 1; Williams, Ex’rs, 1216; Chit. Cont. 714.

In Civil Practice

To discharge a rule, an order, an injunc­tion, a certificate, process of execution, or in general any proceeding in a court, is to can­cel or annul it, or to revoke it, or to refuse to confirm its original provisional force. Nichols v. Chittenden, 14 Colo. App. 49, 59 P. 954. To discharge a jury is to relieve them from any further consideration of a cause. This is done when the continuance of the trial is, by any cause, rendered impossible ; also when the jury, after deliberation, cannot agree on a verdict.

In Equity Practice

In process of accounting before a master in chancery, the discharge is a statement of expenses and counter-claims brought in and filed, by way of a set-ff, by the accounting defendant; which follows the charge in order.

In Bankruptcy Practice

The discharge of the bankrupt is the step which regularly follows the adjudication of bankruptcy and the administration of his es­tate. By it he is. released from the obligation of all his debts which were or might be prov­ed in the proceedings, so that they are no longer a charge upon him, and so that he may thereafter engage in business and acquire property without its being liable for the satis­ faction of such former debts. Southern L. & T. Co. v. Benbow (D. C.) 96 F. 528; In re Ad­ ler, 103 F. 444 ; Colton v. Depew, 59 N. J. Eq. 126, 44 A. 662; Murphy v. Nicholson, 87 N. J. Law, 278, 94 A. 62, 63 ; In re Bay State Milling Co. (C. C. A.) 223 F. 778, 779 ; Pitcairn v. Scully, 252 Pa. 82, 97 A. 120, 121.

In Maritime Law

The unlading or unlivery of a cargo from a vessel. The Bird of Paradise v. Heyneman, 5 Wall. 557, 18 L. Ed. 662 ; Kimball v. Kim­ ball, 14 Fed. Cas. 486 ; Certain Logs of Mahog­ any, 5 Fed. Cas. 374.

In Military Law

The release or dismissal of a soldier, sailor, or marine, from further military service, ei­ther at the expiration of his term of enlist­ment, or previous thereto on special applica­tion therefor, or as a punishment. An “hon­orable” discharge is one granted at the end of an enlistment and accompanied by an offi­cial certificate .of good conduct during the service. A “dishonorable” discharge is a dis­ missal from the service for bad conduct or as a punishment imposed by sentence of a court-martial for offenses against the military law. There is also in occasional use a form of “discharge without honor,” which implies censure, but is not in itself a punishment. See Rev. St. U. S. §§ 1284, 1342 and section 1426 (34 USCA § 192) ; Williams v. U. S., 137 U. s. 113, 11 S. Ct. 43, 34 L. Ed. 590 ; U. S. v. Sweet, 189 U. S. 471, 23 S. Ct. 638, 47 L. Ed. 907.

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