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Justices of the Peace. The appointment of justices of the peace is left to be regulated by the law. Art. 5, s. 7.
The Attorney-General is appointed by a vote of the two houses of assembly. Art. 5, s. 8.
Clerks of the Courts are appointed by the judges. Art. 5, s. 8.
Sheriffs are appointed by the governor, on a nomination by a vote of the counties. Art. 5, s. 8.
Constables are appointed by the justices. Art. 5, s. 8.
The Treasurer is appointed annually by the joint vote of the two houses of assembly. Art. 6.
Acts passed by the General Assembly of Virginia at the session commencing December 6th, 1830. Two hundred and thirty-four public and private acts were passed at this session, one hundred and eighteen being of a public nature. Many of these acts were passed for the purpose of remodeling the different branches of the government under the amended constitution. Eleven resolves were passed at the same session.
Ch. 1.—Elections. An act, consisting of sixty sections, makes particular regulations for the elections under the amended constitution. Many other acts were passed on the same subject in relation to particular counties, districts, and boroughs.
Ch. 3.— The salary of the Governor is $3,333}; that of the councillors $1000 each; of clerk of the council and keeper of the seals $1320; of the assistant clerk $1000; of the copying clerk of the council $700; of the door-keeper $500.
Ch. 7.—The clerks of the court of appeals are paid by fees.
Ch. 8.—The salaries of the judges of the general court and the circuit superior courts are $1500 for each, and $4 for every twenty miles of travel.
Ch. 4.- The Court of Appeals is to consist of a president and four judges, three to constitute a quorum.
Ch. 11.-Concurrent Jurisdiction is given to the courts of the respective counties bounded on rivers, water-courses, or bays, between the opposite shores or banks.
Ch. 11.— The Jurisdiction of County Courts extends to cases amounting to $50, or 1500 pounds of tobacco.
Ch. 11.-Contempts. The power of the several courts to issue attachments, and inflict summary punishments for contempts, extends only to cases of misbehavior in presence of the court, or so near thereto as to interrupt or obstruct the administration of justice, or cases of threats of violence to the judges, jurors, officers, or witnesses; or misbehavior of officers of the courts, or resistance by any officer, juror, party witness, or other person, to any writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of the court.
The fine, without the intervention of the jury, for obstructing the administration of justice, is not to exced $50, or the term of imprisonment, ten days; but in some aggravated cases may be tried by a jury, and the punishment determined by their verdict. The offence of resisting process, &c. is to be tried by jury, and the punishment determined by their verdict.
Ch. 11.-Admiralty Jurisdiction not transferred to the United States is given to the circuit superior courts.
Ch. 11.—Reserved Questions of Law may be referred by the circuit to the general court in criminal, but not in civil suits. 27. [The succeeding sections make provisions on the subject of appeals, process, and legal proceedings generally, of which we shall notice only what may seem to be particularly striking. The sections 63, 64, and 68 are quoted entire. The provisions of these sections are very important; the subject of the last has been occasionally touched upon in this journal.]
Ch. 11.-Special Pleas in the nature of Set-off. 'In all actions at law, founded on contract, whether such contract be by deed or by parol, brought in the circuit superior courts of law and chancery, &c. the defendant may file a special plea in bar, in the nature of a plea of set-off, alleging any such matter of fraud in the consideration, or in the procurement of the contract, or any such failure in the consideration thereof, or any such breach of any warranty to him, of the title or the soundness of personal property, or any parcel of such property, for the price or value whereof he entered into the contract, whereon the action may be founded, as would entitle such defendant either to recover damages at law, in any form of action from the plaintiff, or the party to the contract under which the plaintiff claims, or to relief in equity, in whole or in part against the obligation of the contract upon him ; alleging also in such special plea, the damages by him sustained, by reason of the matter so specially pleaded, and verifying such special plea by affidavit in like manner as pleas of non est factum are verified ; and such damages being proved and found by the jury, or so much as the jury may assess, shall be allowed and applied as a set-off against the plaintiff's demand. And in all actions founded on any contract by deed, the defendant may file a special plea in bar, in the nature of a plea of set-off, alleging any such matters existing before the execution of the deed, or any such mistake therein, or in the execution thereof, as would entitle him to relief in equity, in whole or in part, against the obligation of the contract upon him: and alleging also, in such special plea, the amount to which he is entitled by reason of such pre-existing matters or mistakes, and verifying such special plea by affidavit in like manner; and such matters or mistakes being proved, and such amount being ascertained by the jury, the amount so ascertained shall be set-off against the plaintiff's demand. And in all cases wherein the defendant, being allowed to file such special pleas as in this section mentioned and allowed, shall establish a just and legal demand against the plaintiff, greater in amount than the demand which the plaintiff shall establish against him, the same being found and ascertained by the verdict of a jury, it shall and
may be lawful for the court to give judgment for the defendant against the plaintiff for the excess, with continuing interest thereon, or on so much thereof as may lawfully bear interest, to be computed from the date which shall be fixed by the verdict of the jury: Provided, That the court may grant new trials in such cases, as in all other cases : Provided always, That nothing in this section contained shall be construed to impair or anywise affect the obligation of any bond or other deed deemed voluntary in law, upon the party or parties thereto, his, her, or their heirs, executors, or administrators; and such voluntary bonds or deeds shall have the same force and effect, as if the provisions in this section contained had never been enacted.'
'In case of any such special pleas in bar, as in the next preceding section are mentioned and allowed, being pleaded by the defendant, the plaintiff, as he shall be advised, may take issue thereon, or may demur thereto, specially or generally, so as to submit the merits of such pleas, either as to the form or substance thereof, to the judgment of the court, in like manner as a plaintiff may demur to any other special pleas. And if any such special plea in bar as aforesaid, be tendered in court, the court may allow the same as good, or reject it as naught, or as not having been offered in due time, in like manner as the court may allow or reject any other pleas in bar. And, if the plaintiff, upon any such special plea as aforesaid being tendered and allowed, be advised
to make an issue upon the facts therein set forth, he shall reply, generally, that he ought not to be precluded from his action by reason of the matters in the plea set forth, in manner and form as they are therein pleaded, because the same
me are not true; and conclude such replication with a tender of issue, which shall be joined by the defendant; and, upon such issue being so tendered and joined, all legal evidence touching the matters in such special plea set forth, shall be admissible, and the whole merits of the case in such special plea stated, and all matters in avoidance thereof, which the plaintiff may adduce and prove, shall be tried and adjudged.' s. 63.
If any such special plea in bar as aforesaid, shall be filed or tendered by the defendant, and the same shall be adjudged bad on demurrer, or rejected by the court as naught; or if, upon issue joined thereon, in manner aforesaid, such issue shall be found against the defendant; in such case, the defendant shall be barred of relief in equity upon the same matters in the plea alleged, unless he shall aver and prove, that owing to some surprise or accident, or to some fraud practised by the plaintiff or other person, justice was not done him at the trial, and that he had no opportunity of praying a new trial for such cause, at the term at which the trial was had. But, if the defendant entitled to such special plea in bar as aforesaid, according to the provisions of this act, shall not tender such plea, or attempt such defence, or if he shall tender such plea, and the same shall be rejected for not having been offered in due time, he shall not be precluded from his recourse to a court of chancery for such relief in equity, as he would have been entitled to if no such special plea as aforesaid had been allowed by this act.'
Ch.11.- Interrogatories and Discovery in actions at law. Any party, plaintiff or defendant, in any action at law, pending in any county or corporation court, or circuit superior court, wishing a discovery from the adverse party, to be used in evidence at the trial of such action, may file written interrogatories to such party, and call upon him to answer the same in solemn form, on his oath or affirmation; and if upon such interrogatories being filed, it shall appear to the court by the oath of the party filing the same, erwise, that answers to such interrogatories will be material evidence in the cause, and that the interrogatories themselves are pertinent, and such as the adverse party would be bound to answer unto upon a bill of discovery in a court of chancery, the court shall allow such interrogatories, and shall make an order requiring the adverse party to answer the same in writing, and in solemn form,
on his oath or affirmation ; and the answers to such interrogatories, being so given and filed, shall be evidence at the trial of the cause, in the same manner, and to the same purpose and extent, and upon the same conditions in all respects, as if they had been procured upon a bill in chancery for discovery, but no further or otherwise. And if the party to whom interrogatories shall be so propounded, and who shall be so required by the court to answer the same, shall, after reasonable notice, and a copy thereof served on him, fail to make answers to the same in manner aforesaid, or shall answer the same evasively, the court may attach him, and compel him to answer in open court; or it may continue the cause, and require more explicit and direct answers; or, if the party to whom such interrogatories shall be propounded, be defendant in the action, it may set aside his plea or pleas, and give judgment against him as by default; or if he be plaintiff, may order his suit to be dismissed with costs; as shall in the discretion of the court, seem most just and proper: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall preclude any party to such action from exhibiting his bill in chancery for a discovery, against any adverse party as heretofore, if he shall elect so to do: but any party having elected to file such interrogatories, shall not be allowed afterwards to exlıibit a bill in equity for discovery touching the same matters.
Ch. 11.—Commissioners to take depositions, may issue sub poenas to the witnesses, and if they do not appear, may make return thereof to the court, and such proceedings may be thereupon had as if the witnesses had neglected to appear at court on summons for that purpose, and the witnesses so neglecting to appear
shall also be liable in damages to the party on whose application the commission is issued.
Ch. 30.---Limitations. Writs of formedon in descender, remainder, or reverter, are to be brought within fifteen years after the right acerues; femes covert and persons non compotes mentis to have five years to bring suit after their disability ceases. s. 1. Writs of right and possessory actions on the seizin or possession of an ancestor, are to be brought within twenty-five years, with a like reservation for married women and persons non compotes mentis. s. 2.
Ch. 34–Hire of Slaves in dispute. Whenever a slave shall be recovered in detinue, and the defendant shall appeal, or prosecute a writ of error or supersedeas, and the judgment below be confirmed, the plaintiff may recover the ‘value of the hire' of the slave, from the date of the first verdict, to be ascertained by a verdict upon a writ of inquiry, to be awarded in the court below.
VOL. VI.--NO. XI.