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peace, shall have full power, and are hereby authorised and impowered, to take, and accept a confession and acknowledgment of any debt, from a debtor to his creditor, either upon, or without an antecedent process, as the parties shall agree; which confession shall be made only by the person of the debtor himself: and, on such confession so made, the assistant or justice shall make a record thereof, and thereon grant out execution in due form of law. And if it so happen that such execution shall be levied on the lands of any such person, confessing as aforesaid, according to the laws directing the levying executions on lands, it shall be returned to, and recorded in the office of the clerk of the county court in the same county where such land lieth; provided such land lieth within a town where there is no town clerk, qualified by law to record deeds; but if such land lieth in any town where there is a town clerk, qualified as aforesaid, in such case, every such execution shall be returned to, and recorded in the town clerk's office where such lands lie; and being so done and recorded, shall be good evidence of a title to such creditor for whom it shall be taken as aforesaid, their heirs and assigns, provided no confession shall be made or taken in the manner aforesaid, for more than the value of two hundred pounds debt, together with cost. And if any debtor shall tender such confession to a creditor, and the creditor shall refuse it, he shall lose any cost that he shall, after such tender, be at, in procuting judgment for his debt afterwards, unless it appear that such tender was not for the whole sum due.
AN ACT regulating Trials and Appeals.
Whereas, no county courts have been established in this State; which makes it necessary that all such cases, or actions as would otherwise be heard before such county courts, should now be heard and determined in the superior court.
Be it enacted, &c. that all actions or suits that are by law, directed to be heard and determined by way of appeals or otherwise, in the county courts in this State, shall be heard and determined in the same manner in the superior court in each county in this State, as they are by law directed to be heard and determined in the county courts. And the superior court shall have all the powers and jurisdictions that are by law, vested in the county courts, until county courts are regularly established in cach county in this State.
Be it further enacted, that all actions that shall, by virtue of this act, be brought to the superior court, that otherwise would have been brought to the county court, and might by law have been appealed to the superior court; if either party be aggrieved with the judgment rendered in such case, they may have a second trial in the superior court, by way of re
AN ACT making the Laws of this State temporary.
Be it enacted, &c. that each and every act of this State that have been passed into laws by the General Assembly of this State, at their sessions holden at Bennington, February, 1779, be hereby declared to be temporary acts or laws, and to remain in full force until the rising of the General Assembly in October next.
And be it further enacted, that no court, or justice, shall take cognizance of any matter or thing in which the title of land is concerned, or in any action of contract where the parties appear to have made a bargain, or contract, by note, bond, debts, or agreement in writing, or otherwise; any act or law to the contrary notwithstanding:
BY HIS EXCELLENCY
THOMAS CHITTENDEN, ESQ.
Captain-General, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State of Vermont :
WHEREAS the virtuous efforts and laudable exertions of the good people of this State, have not only enabled them (by the benevolent interposition of the all-wise Governor of the universe) to frustrate the wicked devices, the despotic and tyrannical designs of their foreign as well as domestic enemies, but has procured to themselves the inestimable blessings of a free and independent government, and merited the esteem and confidence of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
And whereas it has ever been found (by universal experience) in all free governments, to be of the highest importance, both for the honor of GOD, the advancement of religion, and the peace, safety, and tranquility of the inhabitants thereof, that good and wholesome laws be established, and justice impartially administered throughout the same, in order to secure each subject in the peaceable enjoyment of his rights and liberties both civil and religious. And whereas the laws of this State are now promulgated in a full and legal manner amongst the inhabitants thereof, whereby each subject may become acquainted with his duty.
I have therefore thought fit, by and with the advice of my Council, and at the request of the General Assembly, to issue this Proclamation, and do hereby strictly require, charge, and command all persons, of what
quality or denomination soever, residing within this State, to take notice thereof, and govern themselves accordingly, on pain of incurring the penalties therein contained.
And I do hereby further strictly require and command all magistrates, justices of the peace, sheriffs, constables, and other civil officers, to be active and vigilant in executing the laws aforesaid, without partiality, favor or affection.
Given under may hand, and the seal of this State, in the Council Chamber, in Bennington, this 23d day of February, in the third year of the Independency of this and the United States of America, and in the year of our LORD, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine.
By His Excellency's command, with advice of Council,
JOSEPH FAY, Sec'y.
GOD SAVE THE PEOPLE.
LAWS PASSED AT WINDSOR,
JUNE SESSION, 1779.
AN ACT to prevent persons from exercising authority, unless lawfully authorised by this State.
WHEREAS, there are divers persons within this State, who have opposed, and do continue to oppose, the government thereof; and who do, by every way and means in their power, endeavor to obstruct the free exercise of the powers of government within the same:
Which mischief to prevent,
Be it enacted, &c. that if any person within this State, (except continental officers) shall, after the first day of September next, accept, hold, or exercise any office, either civil or military, from or under any authority, other than is or shall be derived from this State, and be thereof duly convicted, shall, for the first offence, pay a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, lawful money, according to the discretion of the court which may have cognizance thereof: and for the second offence of the like kind, shall be whipped on the naked body not exceeding forty stripes, according to the discretion of the court before whom they are prosecu
ted and for the third offence, shall have their right ear nailed to a post, and cut off; and be branded in the forehead with the capital letter C, on a hot iron. This act to continue in force until the rising of the Assembly in October, 1780, and no longer.
AN ACT to grant liberty of suing in certain cases therein named.
Whereas it is judged inconvenient (by this Assembly) to put the law for collecting of debts due from one man to another, by bond, note, book, covenants, or agreements, in force for the present.
Notwithstanding which it is found necessary, for the support of government, and to carry on the war against our British enemy, that all obligations of what kind soever, that are given in or on account of any prosecution of any action that may by law be prosecuted; as also any covenant, promise or agreement made for the same purpose, be liable to be sued and prosecuted to final judgment and execution.
Be it enacted, &c. that all obligations, of what kind soever, that have or shall be given, in or on account of carrying on any prosecution of any action, that may by law be prosecuted, or on account of carrying said prosecution into execution; as also all covenants and agreements made for the same purpose, may be sued for, and prosecuted to final judgment and execution; any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. This act to continue in force until the rising of the Assembly in October next, and no longer.
AN ACT for raising the Fees and Fines heretofore stated by the laws of this State.
Be it enacted, &c. that all fees and fines shall be double to what they stand in the laws, the judges of the superior court only excepted; who are each to have twelve dollars per day, with the milage the Assemblymen have.
This act to remain in force until the rising of the Assembly in October next, and no longer.
AN ACT impowering two or three Justices to try a cause of one hundred pounds; and forbidding appeals to delinquents for neglect of military duty.
Be it enacted, &c. that two or three justices shall have power to try such actions as they have heretofore been impowered to try, to the amount of one hundred pounds: and that one justice shall have power to try
such actions, to the amount of forty pounds :-and that there shall be no appeal for a delinquent for neglect of military duty.
This act to remain in force until the rising of the Assembly in October next, and no longer.
LAWS PASSED AT MANCHESTER,
OCTOBER SESSION, 1779.
AN ACT directing and regulating the choice of Judges of the Superior Court.
Whereas no particular directions are given in the Constitution for regulating the choice of Judges of the Superior Court; in consequence of which it is necessary that some proper mode be provided by the General Assembly. Therefore,
Be it enacted, &c. that in future the Judges of the Superior Court shall be chosen in October annually, by the Governor, Council and House of Representatives, by their joint ballot.
AN ACT in addition to an act, entitled, An Act for the regulating and stating Fees.*
Be it enacted, &c. that each juryman attending at the superior or county court, shall have one pound ten shillings for trying each cause; and each juryman for attending a justices court, one pound for trying each case. Attorneys fees for each case in the superior or county court, six pounds. County surveyors fees per day, six pounds ten shillings.
And be it further enacted, that all fees and fines shall be three-folded as they stand in the laws passed before this session-except jurymen's fees, which is hereby repealed.
AN ACT to revive the Laws passed by the Legislature of this State.
Be it enacted, &c. that each and every act and law of this State, be, and remain in full force and virtue until the rising of the Assembly, in March next.
*Repealed, Nov. 8, 1720.