JACTITATION (from Lat. jactitare, to throw out publicly), in English law, the maliciously boasting or giving out by one party that he or she is married to the other. In such a case, in order to prevent the common reputation of their marriage that might ensue, the procedure is by suit of jactitation of marriage, in which the petitioner alleges that the respondent boasts that he or she is married to the petitioner, and prays a declaration of nullity and a decree putting the respondent to perpetual silence thereafter. Previously to 1857 such a proceeding took place only in the ecclesiastical courts, but by express terms of the Matrimonial Causes Act of that year it can now be brought in the probate, divorce and admiralty division of the High Court. To the suit there are three defences: (I) denial of the boasting; (2) the truth of the representations; (3) allegation (by way of estoppel) that the petitioner acquiesced in the boasting of the respondent. In Thompson v. Rourke, 1893, Prob. 70, the court of appeal laid down that the court will not make a decree in a jactitation suit in favour of a petitioner who has at any time acquiesced in the assertion of the respondent that they were actually married. Jactitation of marriage is a suit that is very rare.
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