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TREATISE

OF THE

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

An Act for Limitation of Actions, and for avoiding of suits in Lau.

(21 Jac. I. c. 16.)

FOR quieting of men's estates, and avoiding of suits, be it enacted, by the king's most excellent majesty, the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, that all writs of formedon in descender, formedon in remainder, and formedon in reverter, at any time hereafter to be sued or brought, of, or for any manors, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, whereunto any person or persons now hath or have any title, or cause to have or pursue any such writ, shall be sued or taken within twenty years next after the end of this present session of parliament: And after the said twenty years expired, no person or persons, or any of their heirs, shall have or maintain any such writ, of or for any of the said manors, lands, tenements, or hereditaments; (2) and that all writs of formedon in descender, formedon in remainder, formedon in reverter, of any *manors, lands, tenements, [ *2 ] or other hereditaments whatsoever, at any time hereafter to be sued or brought by occasion or means of any title or cause hereafter happening, shall be sued or taken within twenty years next after the title and cause of action first descended or fallen, and at no time after the said twenty years; (3) and that no person or persons that now hath any right or title of entry into any manors, lands, tenements or hereditaments now held from him, or then, shall thereinto enter, but within twenty years next after the end of this present session of parliament, or within twenty years next after any other title of entry accrued ; (4) and that no person or persons shall at any time hereafter, make any entry into any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, but within twenty years next after his or their right or title, which shall hereafter first descend or accrue to the same; and in default thereof, such persons so not entering, and their heirs, shall be utterly excluded and disabled from such entry after to be made; any former law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

II. Provided nevertheless, That if any person or persons that is or shall be entitled to such writ or writs, or that hath or shall have such right or title of entry, he, or shall be, at the time of the said right or title first descended, accrued, come or fallen within the age of one and twenty years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned, or beyond the seas, that then such person and persons, and his and their heir and heirs, shall or may, notwithstanding the said twenty years be expired, bring his action, or make his entry as he might have done before this act: (2)

so as such person and persons, or his or their heir and [ *3] heirs, shall within ten years next after his and *their

full age, discoverture, coming of sound mind, enlargement out of prison, or coming into this realm, or death, take benefit of, and sue forth the same, and at no time after the said

ten years.

III. And be it further enacted, That all actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, all actions of trespass, detinue, action sur trover, and replevin for taking away of goods and cattle, all actions of acccount, and upon the case, other than such accounts as concern the trade of merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors or servants, all actions of debt grounded upon any lending or contract without specialty; all actions of debt for arrearages of rent, and all actions of assault, menace, battery, wounding, and imprisonment, or any of them, which shall be sued or brought at any time after the end of this present session of parliament, shall be commenced and sued within the time and limitation hereafter expressed, and not after; (that is to say ;) (2) the said actions upon the case, (other than for slander,) and the said actions for account, and the said actions for trespass, debt, detinue, and replevin for goods or cattle, and the said action of trespass quare clausum fregit, within three years next after the end of this present session of parliament, or within six years next after the cause of such actions or suit, and not after ; (3) and the said actions of trespass, of assault, battery, wounding, imprisonment, or any of them, within one year next after the end of this present session of parliament, or within four years next after the cause of such actions or suit, and not afer; (4) and the said action upon the case for words, within one year after the end of this present session of parliament, or within two years next after the words spoken, and not after.

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*IV. And nevertheless, be it enacted, That if in [4* ] any the said actions or suits, judgment be given for the plạintiff, and the same be reversed by error, or a verdict pass for the plaintiff, and upon matter alleged in arrest of judgment, the judgment be given against the plaintiff

, that he take nothing by his plaint, writ, or bill; or if any the said actions shall be brought by original, and the defendant therein be outlawed, and shall after reverse the outlawry, that in all such cases the party plaintiff, his heirs, executors, or administrators, as the case shall require, may commence a new action or suit, from time to time, within a year after such judgment reversed, or such judgment given against the plaintiff, or outlawry reversed, and not after.

V. And be it further enacted, That in all actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, hereafter to be brought, wherein the delendant or defendants shall disclaim in his or their plea to make any title or claim to the land in which the trespass is by the declaration supposed to be done, and the trespass be by negligence, or involuntary, the defendant or defendants shall be permitted to plead a disclaimer, and that the trespass was by negligence or involuntary, and a tender or offer of sufficient amends for such trespass before the action brought, whereupon, or upon some of them, the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall be enforced to join issue; (2) and if the said issue be found for the defendant or defendants, or the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall be nonsuited, the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall be clearly barred from the said action or actions, and all other suits concerning

the same.

(*5] *VI. And be it further enacted by the authority

aforesaid, That in all actions upon the case for slanderous words, to be sued or prosecuted by any person or persons in any the courts of record at Westminster, or in any court whatsoever, that hath power to hold plea of the after the end of this present session of parliament, if the jury upon the trial of the issue in such action, or the jury that shall enquire of the damages, do find or assess the damages under forty shillings, then the plaintiff or plaintiffs in such action shall have and recover only so much costs as the damages so given or assessed amount unto, without any further increase of the same; any law, statute, custom, or usage to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.

VII. Provided nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That if any person or persons that is or shall be entitled to any such action of trespass, detinue, action sur trover, replevin, actions of accounts, actions of debt, actions of trespass for assault, menace, battery, wounding or imprisonment, actions upon the case for words, be, or shall be, at the time of any such cause of action given or accrued, fallen or come within the age of twentyone years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned, or beyond the seas, that then such person or persons shall be at liberty to bring the same actions, so as they take the same within such times as are before limited, after their coming to or being of full age, discovert, of sane memory, at large, and returned from beyond the seas, as other persons having no such impediment should have done.

LIMITATION OF ACTIONS.

CHAP. I.

Of Writs of Formedon.

THE first section of this statute concerns writs of formedon and rights of entry; the second section saves the right of action or entry, to those, who, at the time the right accrues, are under

any

of the disabilities therein mentioned.

Formedon(a) is a real action, which lies for the issue in tail after the death of his ancestors, or for him in remainder or reversion after the estate-tail determined, and is called formedon, because the writ comprehends the form of the gift.

The proceedings in this action, as in all other real actions, being dilatory and expensive, it is now seldom brought; but it is a proper remedy in many cases, and still in use : writs of formedon may be considered under the following heads, viz. the formedon in descender, the formedon in remainder, and the formedon in reverter.

Formedon in the descender is an action ancestrel droiturel, which lies for the issue in tail, upon a violation of that right which descends to him from his ancestor, *according to the form of the gift, and is in nature of a writ of [ *8] right, being the highest writ that an issue in tail can have.

This writ lay not at common law, but was given by Westm.

(a) Bac. Abr. tit. Formedon, (A.) F. N, B. 211. (L.)

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