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Severable

That which is capable of being separated from other things to which it is joined and maintaining nonetheless a complete and independent existence.

The term severable is used to describe a contract that can be divided and apportioned into two or more parts that are not necessarily dependent upon each other. For example, a seller accepted a buyer's order for sixty dozen hats and caps of different sizes and colors. He shipped all but five dozen to the buyer, who then refused to accept the order. The seller brought an action against the buyer for breach of contract. There was no evidence to show that the contract called for delivery of the whole order at one time. The court held that the buyer could not escape liability because the seller had failed to ship five dozen hats and caps, since the order calling for hats and caps of different patterns, sizes, and colors constituted a "severable contract."

The term severable is also used in connection with statutes. A severable statute is one that after an invalid portion of it has been stricken remains self-sustaining and capable of separate enforcement without regard to the stricken provisions.

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