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An Act for raising a public levy; and other Had its ef

purposes therein mentioned,



An Act for altering the method of holding

Courts in the Counties of Brunswick,
Fairfax, Lunenburg, Frederick, Albea
marle, and Augusta.

I. WHEREAS by reason of the large extent of the Preamble. counties of Brunswick, Fairfax, Lunenburg, Frederick, Albemarle, and Augusta, the attendance of the inhabitants at monthly courts is grievous and burthensome, and it is impossible for the officers to execute writs, and other process returnable thereto; whereby great delays are occasioned in determining suits commenced and prosecuted in the said courts: for remedy whereof,

II. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant Governor, Coun- Courts to be til, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, held quarand it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same,

terly That from and after the twentieth day of June next, there shall be held only four courts, in every year, in each of the said counties of Brunswick, Fairfax, Lunenburg, Frederick, Albemarle, and Augusta, on the days herein after mentioned, that is to say; for the said counties of Brunswick and Fairfax, on the last tuesdays in March, June, September, and December; for the said county of Lunenburg, on the first tuesday in January, April, July, and October; for the said county of Frederick, on the second tuesday in February, May, August, and November; for the said county of Albemarle, on the second tuesday in February, May, August, and November; and for the said county of Augusta, on the fourth tuesday in February, May, August, and November: And that all per

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sons may be the better ascertained when to attend any process, or pleas, they shall have depending in

in the said courts: How long

III. Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, they shall

That the said courts of the several counties aforesaid, sit:

shall begin upon the respective days herein before appointed, and shall continue to be held from day to day, exclusive of Sundays, until all causes and controversies then depending before the said courts, respectively brought, by attachment, or petition, or in which any issue is to be tried, writ of inquiry to be executed, special verdict, case agreed, or demurrer to be argued, or any cause set down for bearing, or argument in chancery, shall be heard and determined; and shall not admit of any delay, 'til another court, in the determination of any such suit, unles good cause be made appear for such delay, except in cases where by this act it is otherwise directed. And that, before every of the said courts, the clerk shall enter, in a particular docket, all such causes as aforesaid, and those only; placing those wherein the attendance of witnesses is required, first in order thereon.

IV. Provided nevertheless, That if through sickProviso in ness, or other inability, badness of weather, or other case of sick- accident, it shall so happen, that a sufficient number

of justices shall not meet for holding the said courts, upon the days herein before appointed, in such case it shall and may be lawful, for any one justice, to adjourn the court, whereof he shall be a judge, from day to day, not exceeding three days, until a sufficient number of justices can attend to hold court.

V. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore

suiil, That when goods, or other estate, of any perRules concerning at

son or persons, shall be attached, by virtue of an attachments. tachment granted by a justice out of court, it shall

and may be lawful, for such person or persons, to replevy the same, by giving bond, with good security, to the sheriff, or other oflicer, serving the said attachment (which bond the said sheriff, or other officer, is licreby impowered and required to take) to appear at the court, to which such attachment shall be returna. ble, and to abide by, perform, and satisfy the order and judgment of such court: And where the estate so attacheel is perishable, if the person or persons to wborn it belongs shall not, within thirty days after 'scrt ; ; sich attacliment, replevy the same, then such estate shall be solů, by the sheriff or other officer sery

ness, &c.

ing such attachment, in the same manner as goods taken in execution by Fieri Facias; and the money arising upon such sale, shall be liable to satisfy the judgment obtained upon such attachment, or other order of such court.

VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaiil, That upon the replevying any effects attached in mann'r aforesaid, the sheriff shall return the names of the securities by him so taken, upon such attachment; and if such security shall be adjudged insufficient by the court, or the defendant shall fail to ap. pear, and give special bail, when thereunto ruled by the conrt, such sheriff or security shall be subject to the same judgment and recovery, and have the same Jiberty of defence, relief, and remedy, as in like cases by law is provided, in suits depending in the general court, upon security taken by any sheriff, upon the execution of mesne process.

VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority afore. Rules copsaid, That upon executing any process, whereupon

cerning bail. bail shall be requirable, the sherift shall return there. with the names of the bail by him taken, and if he shall not return bail, or the bail by him returned shall be adjudged insufficient by the court, or the defendant shall fail to appear, or to give special bail, when thereunto ruled by the court, such sheriff, or bail, shall be subject to the same judgment and recovery, and shall have the same liberty of defence, relief and remedy, as in like cases is by law provided, in suits depending in the general court.

Vui. Provided always, That every interlocutory or final judgment, against any defendant and the sheriff, or against any defendant and the bail, returned by the sheriff, entered or obtained before any court next ensuing the return of the writ, upon which such defondant was arrested, shall be set aside if the defendant, at the next court, ensuing the return, as aforesaid, shall be allowed to appear without bail, or shall put in good bail, and plead to issue iminediately.

IX. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful, for any judge, or justice of the said courts; and every such judge, or justice, is bereby authorized and impowered, when the said courts are not sitting, to take a recognizance of bail, in any, action depending in the court, whereot any such judge or justice shall be a member, de bene

esse, which recognizance shall be in the following
words, to wit:
Memorandum, That upon the

day of in the year of our Lord

E. F. of the county of

personally appeared before me, G. H. gent. one of his majesty's justices of the peace of the said county of

and undertook for C. D. at the suit of A. B. in an action of now depending in the court of the said county, that in case the said C. D. shall be cast in the said suit, he the said C. D. will pay the condemnation of the court, or render his body to prison in execution for the same, or that he the said E. F. will do it for him. Which recognizance shall be, by the justice taking the same, returned to the clerk, before the next succeeding court. And if the plaintiff or bis attorney shall except to the suiticiency of the bail so taken, notice of such exception shall be given to the defendant or bis attorney, at least five days before the next succeeding court; and if the bail so taken shall be judged insufficient by the court, the recognizance thereof shall be discharged, and such proceedings shall or may be had against the defendant, or defendants, as if no such bail had been taken; but if such bail shall be judged sufficient, or shall not be excepted to within the time aforesaid, then the same shall stand and be chargeable, to all intents and purposes, as if the recognizance

had been taken in court. How the X. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforeplaintiff'shall said, That where any defendant shall be in custody, proceed against the

the plaintiff may file his declaration, and give a rule defendant in to plead, and shall deliver a copy of such declaration, custody. and rule to the defendant, or his attorney, five days

at least before the next succeeding rule day; and if thereupon, and oath made of the delivery of such copy, before any one of the judges of the court of the county where such person shall be in custody, such defendant shall fail to enter his plea upon such rule day, the • plaintiff may have judgment, in the same manner as is herein after directed, upon failing to plead in any civil action.

XI. And for the better ascertaining what process cess shall is- may be sued out, where the sheriff returns, that the sue where defindant is not to be found in his bailiwick, It is is not to be hereby enacted, That where any sheriff shall make found. such return, the plaintiff or plaintiff's, in any civil ac

What pro

tion, shall and may sue out an attachment against the estate of such defendant returnable, as herein before is directed, for the return of original or other subsequent process thereupon, to force an appearance, or an alias or pluries capias, at the election of the plaintiff or plaintiffs; and if the sheriff shall return any goods by him attached, the plaintiff shall file his declaration, and be entitled to a judgment for his whole debt; and the goods so attached ahall remain in custody of the sheriff 'til such judgment obtained, and then be sold and disposed of, in the same manner as goods taken in execution upon a writ of Fieri Facias: And if the judgment shall not be satisfied by the goods attached, the plaintiff may have an execution for the residue.

XII. Provided always, That all goods so attached Proviso. shall and may be replevied, by the defendant's giving bond and security to the sheriff, or other officer attaching the same, in the same manner as by this act is directed, for replevying goods attached upon an original attachment, or by the defendant's appearance and putting in good bail, if ruled by the court to give special bail. And for the more speedy determination of all causes depending in the said courts:

Rules in cauXIII. Be it further enacted by the authority afore- ses at comsaid, That these following rules and methods shall be mon law. observed, to wit, That the plaintiff, or demandant, in any suit, shall file his declaration the day after the court, to which the writ is returnable, which said day is hereby declared to be the day of appearance, to all writs, subpoenas in chancery, and other mesne process, returnable to the said court, and the first rule day after such court; and the said rules shall be continued thereafter, to be held monthly, on the same day of the week on which such appearance day shall be: That if the plaintiff or demandant fails to file his de. claration, or to appear and prosecute his suit, he shall be non-suited: That upon every non-suit five shillings shall be paid, besides cost of the suit: That every defendant or tenant shall file his plea in writing; and if he fail so to do, judgment shall be given against him for want of a plea:. when the defendant has entered his appearance, and the plaintiff filed his declaration, the plaintiff may give a rule to.plead, with the clerk of the court: that all 'rules to plead, reply, rejoin, or for further or other proceedings shall be given regularly, from month to month, after the rule for plead

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