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in this State) twenty days; and if no owner or owners appear within twenty days, to dispose of such horse, horses, colt, or colts, as directed in cases where the owner or owners were known, and neglected or refused to redeem them; and the monies arising from such sale or sales, (if any be) over and above all cost, charges, and damages, shall be put into the treasury of such town where such horse or horses were impounded, there to be kept for the owner: and if the owner of such stallions doth not appear within one year after such impounding, the money shall be. * long, and be appropriated to the use of the town were such stallions were impounded.
AN ACT to prevent the selling or transporting raw, or untanned Hides or Skins out of this State.
Be it enacted, &c. that no person or persons shall, directly or indirectly, sell, or transport, or send away out of this State, (except it be to exchange for leather) any raw or untanned hides, or skins of any neat cattle, (continental property excepted) upon pain of forfeiting the sum of thirty shillings lawful money, for every such hide or skin so sold, transported, or sent away; one half thereof to the complainer who shall prosecute the same to effect, and the other half to the treasury of the county where the offence is committed.
AN ACT for the punishment of Defamation.
Whereas defamation and slander is a growing evil, and tends much to the disturbance of the peace:
Be it enacted, &c. that whosoever shall defame or slander any person or persons whatsoever, and be thereof legally convicted before any court in this State, shall pay a fine, not exceeding thirty pounds, to the public treasury of the county in which such offence is committed; and the person or persons slandered, shall have such costs and damages as the court and jury that have cognizance of the said case, shall judge to be reasonable and just.
And whereas defaming the civil authority of the State, greatly tends to bring the same into contempt, and thereby to weaken the hands of those by whom justice is to be administered.
Which great evil to prevent,
Be it enacted, that whosoever shall defame any court of justice, or the sentence or proceedings of the same; or any of the magistrates, judges, or justices of any such court, in respect of any act or sentence therein passed, and be thereof legally convicted before any of the general courts, or superior courts in this State, shall be punished for the same by fine, imprisonment, disfranchisement, or banishment, as the quality and measure of the offence, in the opinion of the court before whom the trial is had, shall deserve.
AN ACT for the directing and regulating of civil Actions.
Be it enacted, &c. that the ordinary process in civil actions in this State, shall be a summons, or attachment, fairly written, signed by a magistrate, justice of the peace, or clerk of the court, mentioning the court, the time and place of appearance; therein also containing a declaration of the substance of the action: which attachments may be granted against the goods or chattels of the defendant; and for want of them, the lands or person of the defendant may be attached;-provided, the plaintiff, when he prays out an attachment, satisfies the said authority, by oath, or sufficient evidence, that he is in danger of losing his just dues, unless attachment be granted; and also give sufficient security to prosecute his action to effect, and answer all damages in case he make not his plea good.
And all writs and processes shall be directed to the sheriff, his deputy, or some constable, if such officer can be had without great charge or inconvenience and in every case wherein the authority signing a writ shall find it necessary to direct the same to an indifferent person, such authority shall insert the name of the indifferent person in the direction of the writ, and the reason of such direction; and if any writ be otherwise directed, it shall abate.
Provided nevertheless, that nothing herein shall extend to effect summonses for witnesses, warrants to collectors of rates, or warrants granted by military officers.
And that no person shall be required to make answer, in any civil action, real, personal, or mixt, except the process, if returnable to the superior or county court, hath been served upon the defendant at least twelve days inclusive, before the day of the court's sitting; or if returnable to an assistant or justice of the peace, that the same hath been served six days inclusive, as aforesaid; which service shall be, if a summons, by reading the same in the hearing of the defendant or defendants, or leaving an attested copy thereof at the place or places of his or their usual abode; but if an attachment, the service shall be the attaching of the defendant's estate or person, and giving him notice by reading the writ to him, or in his hearing; or by leaving an attested copy thereof at the place of his usual abode, if that be within this State: and that all such writs as are made returnable to the county courts, shall be returned to the clerks of said courts, on the day before the sitting of such county courts, and not afterwards.
That in case any process be duly served on any defendant or defendants, and return thereof made to the court to which the same is made returnable; then, if such defendant or defendants do not appear, his or their default shall be recorded, and judgment entered up against him thereupon;-unless, before the jury be dismissed, he or they shall come into court and move for a trial; in which case he or they shall be admitted thereto, upon paying down to the adverse party, the costs to that time; and the plaintiff shall pay for entering the action a-new.
But when it shall so happen that the party against whom suit is brought, is not an inhabitant, or sojourner in this State, or is absent out of the
same, at the time of commencing such suit, and doth not return before the time for trial, the judges of the court before whom such suit is brought, shall continue the action to the next court; and if the defendant do not then appear, (by himself or attorney,) and be so remote that the notice of such suit depending could not probably be conveyed to him during the vacancy, the judges, at such next court, may further continue the action to the court thence next following, and no longer; but may enter up judgment on default, after such continuance or continuances: and in such cases, where judgment shall be entered up by default, after such continuance as aforesaid, execution shall be stayed, and not issue forth thereon, until the plaintiff shall have given, or lodged with the clerk of said court, a bond, with one or more sufficient sureties to the adverse party, in double the value of the estate or sum recovered by such judgment, to make restitution, and to refund and pay back such sum as shall be given in debt or damage, or so much as shall be recovered upon a suit therefor, to be brought within twelve months next after the entering up of the first judgment, if upon such suit the judgment shall be reversed, annulled, or altered; the security to be no further answerable than for the recovery that shall be made upon such suit to be had within twelve months, as aforesaid.
Provided also, that no real estate, taken in execution granted upon such first judgment, shall be alienated or passed away, until after the expiration of the said twelve months, or after a new trial had on a suit brought within the space of twelve months, for the obtaining restitution as aforesaid.
Be it further enacted, that if any person who hath entered an action to be tried in any court, being called three times (after twelve of the clock on the first day of the court's sitting) shall not appear, either by himself or his attorney, to prosecute his action, he shall be non-suited, and pay all cost and charges to the defendant, and for the entry of the action, as if the same had been prosecuted in such court. And that the plaintiff, in all actions brought to any court, shall have liberty to withdraw his action, or to nonsuit himself, before the jury have given in their verdict; in which case he shall pay full costs to the defendant; and may afterwards renew his suit at another court, the former withdraw or nonsuit being first recorded.
Be it further enacted, that there shall be free liberty of process, and the same is hereby granted, in all civil actions, according to law, at any adjourned county court, as well as at the stated county courts.
And be it further enacted, that all suits brought for the trial of the title of lands, or wherein the title of lands is concerned, shall be tried in the same county where the land lies, or facts are done, concerning which the title of land may be in question. And that all other actions that may be brought before the county courts, shall be brought and tried in the county where the plaintiff or defendant dwells, if they or either of them are inhabitants within this State. And that all suits and prosecutions cognizable before an assistant or justice of the peace, shall be made and prosecuted before such authority, in those towns only, where the plaintiff or defendant dwells; unless there be no authority which may lawfully
try the cause in either of the said towns; in which case the plaintiff may bring his suit before an assistant or justice of the peace in one of the next adjoining towns to the place of his abode.
And be it further enacted, that all causes wherein the title of land is not concerned, and wherein the debt, trespass, damage, or other matter in demand, doth not exceed ten pounds, shall and may be heard, tried, and determined, by any one assistant or justice of the peace; who are hereby impowered to hear and determine the same by jury or otherwise, according to law, and award execution on their judgment given in such cases; and that either plaintiff or defendant shall have a right to demand a jury of six men to try such causes.
Be it further enacted, that the judges of the superior or inferior courts, assistants, and justices of the peace, shall determine matters of law, stated and referred to them by the jury in their special verdicts; which verdicts the jury in all cases wherein matters of law are to them so obscure, that they cannot clearly and safely give a positive verdict, shall have liberty to give a special verdict therein, finding and presenting the facts, and thereon stating and putting the question in law, viz:-if the law be so, then we find for the plaintiff; but if the law be otherwise, then we find for the defendant.
Be it further enacted, that the judges of the court, assistants, and justices of the peace, shall have liberty, if they judge that the jury that attend their respective courts have not attended to the evidence given in, and the true issue of the the case, in their verdicts, to cause them to return to a second consideration of the case; and shall, for the like reason, have power to return them to a third consideration, and no more. And when the court have committed any case to the consideration of the jury, the jury shall be confined under the custody of an officer appointed by said court, until they are agreed on a verdict: and the court may set a suitable fine, not exceeding forty shillings, upon such officer or juryman as shall be disorderly, or neglect or refuse a due attendance of their duties respectively, during their attending the court.
And that when the parties have made their pleas in any court, and given their evidence, and the case be committed to the jury, there shall be no after-pleas, arguments, evidences, or testimonies, heard or received in such case.
And be it further enacted, that if any person shall be aggrieved with the sentence or determination of any assistant or justice of the peace, he may remove his case, by appeal to the next county court, in that county where the case was first tried; the person appealing, giving bond, as is hereafter provided. And if any person or persons shall be aggrieved with the sentence or determination of any county court, the party aggrieved may appeal therefrom to the next superior court, to be held in the same county; or by a new process, once, and no more, may review his cause in the next session of the same county court where it was before tried. And if either party be aggrieved with the judgment or determination of the county court, upon trial of the cause by review, he may appeal to the next superior court, in the same county. And if either party be aggrieved with the issue and determination of the superior court, upon
the first trial of the cause, then he may, by a new process, once, and no more, review his case in the next session of the same court, there to be tried to a final issue; provided the case be brought directly to the superior court, by appeal from the first judgment of the county court: but if the case be brought to the superior court, by appeal from the judgment of the county court given on a review, it shall have a final issue by the judgment and determination of the superior court, upon the first trial there.
Always provided, that all appeals and reviews shall be entered during the time of the sitting of the court from whose judgment such appeals and reviews shall be made, and within twenty-four hours after judgment be given: and sufficient bond, with sureties, shall be given in to the said court, by the person appealing or reviewing, to prosecute his appeal or review to effect, and answer all damages in case he make not his plea good: in all which cases, execution shall be stayed until there shall be an issue of the case; and the party who shall recover his action, shall have all his just damages and cost allowed him.
Provided nevertheless, that from a judgment given by an assistant, or justice of the peace, in a case wherein the debt, damage, or other matter in demand, doth not exceed the sum of six pounds, or if the debt be due by bond, bill, or note, for the payment of money or grain, avouched by one or two witnesses,and doth not exceed the sum of ten pounds, no appeal shall be allowed.
Also, that when judgment shall be given in the county court, in any case brought there by an appeal, wherein the title of land is not concerned, no appeal or review to be allowed.
And that upon a judgment or determination of the county court, in suits brought directly there, upon bonds, bills or notes for the payment of money or grain, avouched by one or two witnesses, no review nor appeal shall be allowed.
Also, that from a judgment of the county court, in any action wherein the title of land is not concerned, and where the debt, damage, or other matter doth not exceed the sum of sixty pounds, no appeal shall be allowed.
And also, when either plaintiff or defendant shall, in any action, rccover judgment upon the first and second trial, by the court and jury, the judgment on such second trial shall be a final issue, and no appeal or review shall be allowed from the same; any thing in this act before to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
And be it further enacted, that all appeals to any of the superior or county courts in this State, shall be entered in such courts respectively, before the second opening of such court, and not after; unless the appellant shall pay to the appellee all his cost in such case arisen to that time, 'o be taxed by the court; which being done, the action may be entered by the appellant, before the jury attending such court are dismissed, and not after: which costs, so taxed and paid, shall not be considered nor allowed in making up the bill of cost in the final determination of the
And be it further enacted, that any one assistant or justice of the