Page images

Homestead. Exemption. A LOT of land, dwelling-house and out-buildings thereon, or so much thereof as shall not exceed five hundred dollars in value-the property of a householder in actual possession thereof-exempted from any debt contracted after January 1st, 1850.

The widow and minor children of any person deceased who held property thus exempted, may continue to hold the exempted premises during the minority of such children, or while said widow remains unmarried ; and the exempted property shall not be sold during such minority, or while such widow remains unmarried, for the payment of any debt contracted prior to January 1st, 1850.

Exemptions under this act shall not operate to defeat the liens of mechanics, as provided on the statutes.

The head of any family, or any householder, wishing to avail himself of the benefits of this act, may file a certificate by him signed, declaring such wish, and describing the property, with the register of deeds, in the county where

the same is situate ; and upon receiving the fees now allowed for recording deeds, such register shall record the same in a book kept for that purpose: and so much of the property as does not exceed the value aforesaid, shall be for ever exempt from liability for any debt contracted by such householder after the date of the recording of the certificate; and the record in said register's office shall be prima facie evidence that the certificate purporting to be there recorded, was made, signed, and filed, as appears upon such record. And upon being recorded as aforesaid, the property as described in the first section of this act shall be exempted within the provisions thereof.

When property, exempted as aforesaid, is claimed by a creditor to be of greater value than five hundred dollars, it may be seized on execution, and the appraisers shall first set off such part of the property as the debtor may select, and if he neglects so to do, the officer may select for him to the value of five hundred dollars, by metes and bounds; and shall then appraise and set off to the creditor, in manner now prescribed by law, the remainder, or so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy such execution and the appraisers shall be sworn accordingly, and the officer shall make return of his doings thereon.


Mechanics' Lien. ANY ship carpenter, calker, blacksmith, joiner, or other person, who shall perform labor or furnish materials for or on account of any vessel building or standing on the stocks, or under repairs after having been launched, shall have a lien on such vessel for his wages or materials, until four days after such vessel is launched or such repairs afterward have been completed; and may secure the same by an'attachment on said vessel within that period, which shall have precedence of all other attachments.

In case any such creditor shall demand or claim more for his said services performed or materials furnished as aforesaid than is just and reasonable, the owner, agent, or contractor, may tender the full, fair, and just balance to such claimant, and such tender shall, if refused, absolutely discharge the lien on such vessel.

Any person who shall perform labor or furnish materials for erecting, altering, or repairing any house or other building or appurtenances, or furnish labor or materials for the above purposes by virtue of any contract with the owner thereof, shall have a lien, to secure the paymeut of the same, upon such house or building, and the lot of land on which the same stands, and upon the right of redeeming the same when under mortgage ; and such lien shall continue in force for the space of ninety days from the time when such payment becomes due, notwithstanding the decease of any such debtor and the representation of his estate as insolvent. And the administrator or executor of any insolveut estate shall, upon citation, be holden to answer to any action brought upon a claim secured by such lien.

Such person may secure the benefit of such lien by an attachment of such house or building, land, or right of redemption, within the said ninety days; and such attachment shall have precedence of all other attachments not made under any such lien.

When the debtor shall tender to the creditor the sum justly due to him as aforesaid, euch lien shall cease. In case of the death of any person owing a debt secured by a lien in the manner above coptemplated, within the ninety days mentioned therein, and before the commencement of the action mentioned above, then a further time of sixty days from and after an appointment of an administrator or executor, and notice thereof given, shall be allowed in which to commence said action, and such lien shall continue in force during said sixty days.

When any lot or parcel of land, or any mill-privilege, may be leased for the purpose of having a house, shop, mill, or other bụilding, erected or placed thereon, and rent is reserved in the lease, all the buildings erected as aforesaid, together with all the interest

which the lessee before had or may have in the premises, by force of such lease, shall remain liable to be attached by any such lessor or his assignee, to secure the rent due on such lease, notwithstanding any previous transfer of property by the lessee, provi. ded such attachment be made within six months from the time such rent becomes due.

Every person in whcze name any merchandise shall be shipped, shall be deemed the true owner thereof, so far as to entitle the consignee of such merchandise to a lien thereon for any moneys advanced or negotiable security given hy such consignee to and for the use of the person in whose name such shipment shall have been made, and for any money or negotiable security received by the person in whose name the ship. ment shall have been made, to and for the use of any such consignee.

Any person who is entitled to receive annual compensation for damages sustaired to his land by the overflowing of a milldam, shall have a lien therefor from the time of the institution of the original complaint, on the mill and milldam, with the appurtenances, and the land under and adjoining the same, and used therewith, provided that it shall not extend to any sum due more than three years before the commencement of the action.

If the demandant in a writ of entry shall claim an estate for life only in the premises, and if he shall pay any sum allowed to the tenant for improvements, he or his execu. tors or administrators, at the termination of his estate, shall be entitled to receive of tbe remainder man, or reversioner the value of such improvements as they then exist and shall have a lien therefor, and he may keep possession thereof accordingly till the same be paid.

Chattel Mortgages.

No mortgage of personal property, made since the twenty-fourth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, or that shall be made hereafter, where the debt thereby secured amounts to more than the sum of thirty dollars, shall be valid against any other persons than the parties thereto, unless possession of the mortgaged property be delivered to and retained by the mortgagee, or unless the mortgage has been or shall be recorded by the clerk of the town where the morgager resides; and if such mortgagee resides in any unincorporated place, the mortgage shall be recorded in that incor. porated town which may be nearest to the place where such mortgager resides.

Personal property mortgaged may be redeemed by the lawful claimant at any time within sistý days after breach of condition, unless the property has been sold, in pursuance of the contract of the parties, or on execution for debt of mortgager.

Upon tender of lawful amount, if the property is not returned, the party entitled to redeem may replevin.

Law regulating Contracts.
No action shall be brought and maintained in any of the following cases :-

1. To charge an executor or administrator, upon any special promise, to answer damages out of his own estate: 2. To charge any pereon, upon any special promise, to answer for the debt, default, or misdoings, of another: 3. To charge any person upon an agreement made in consideration of marriage: 4. Upon any contract for the sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or of any interest in or concerning them : 5. Upon any agreement that is not to be performed within one year from the making thereof; unless the promise, contract, or agreement, upon which such action shall be brought, or some memorandum or note thereof, shall be in writing, and be signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some person thereunto lawfully authorized.

The consideration for the agreement need not be expressed in the writing.

No action shall be brought to charge any person, upon or by reason of any representation or assurance made concerning the charaeter, conduct, credit, ability, trade, or dealings, of any other person, unless such representation or assurance shall be made in writing, and signed by the party to be charged thereby, or by some person thereunto by him lawfully authorized.

No contract for the sale of any goods, wares, or merchandise, for the price of thirty dollars or more, shall be allowed to be good, unless the purchaser shall accept part of the goods so sold, and actually receive the same, or give something in earnest to bind the bargain, or in part payment, or some note or memorandum in writing, of the said bargain, be made and signed by the party to be charged, or by his agent, thereanto by him lawfully authorized.

Limitation of Actions. THE following actions shall be commenced within six years next after the cause of action shall accrue, and not afterward, namely :

1. All actions of debt, founded upon any contract or liability, not under seal, except such as are brought upon a judgment or decree of some court of record of the United States, or of this, or some other of the United States, or of some justice of the peace in this state. 2. All actions upon judgments rendered in any court, not being a court of record, except justices of the peace in this state. 3. All actions for arrears of rent. 1. All actions of assumpsit, or upon the case, founded on any contract or liability, ex: press or implied. 5. All actions for waste, and all actions of trespass on land, and all actions of trespass, except those of trespass for assault, battery, and false imprisonment. 6. All actions of replevin, and other actions for taking, detaining, or injuring goods or chattels. 7. All other actions on the case, except actions for slanderous words and for libels.

All actions against a sheriff, except for the escape of prisoners committed on execution, for the negligence or misconduct of his deputies, shall be commenced within four years next after the cause of action shall accrue.

All actions of assault and battery and for false imprisonment, and all actions for slan. derous words and for libels, shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action shall accrue.

All actions for the escape of prisoners committed on execution shall be commenced within one year next after the cause of action shall accrue.

No scire facias shall be served on bail, unless within one year next after judgment rendered against the principal.

All actions against an endorser of a writ must be commenced within one year next after judgment entered in the original action.

None of the foregoing provisions shall apply to any action brought upon a promissory note which is signed in the presence of an attesting witness, uor to an action brought upon any bills, notes, or other evidences of debt, issued by any bank.

In all actions of debt or assumpsit brought to recover the balance due upon a mutual and open account, the cause of action shall be deemed to have accrued at the time of the last item proved in such account.

If any person entitled to bring any of the before-mentioned actions, shall, at the time when the cause of action accrues, be a minor, a married woman, insane, imprisoned, or without the limits of the United States, such person may bring the actions within the dimes respectively limited, after the disability shall be removed.

All personal actions on any contract not limited by any of the foregoing sections, or any other law of the state, shall be brought within twenty years after the accruing of the cause of action.

When a writ shall fail of a sufficient service or return, by any unavoidable accident, or by the default or negligence of any officer to whom it was delivered or directed; or when such writ shall be abated, or the action otherwise avoided and defeated, for any matter of form, or by the death of either party ; or if a judgment for the plaintiff shall be reversed on a writ of error, in such case the plaintiff may commence à new action on the same demand within six months after the abatement or determination of the original suit, or reversal of judgment in the same; and if the cause of action by law survives, his executor or administrator, in case of his death, may commence such new action within said six months.

No action shall be maintained against any person as surety in a replevin bond, unless the writ be served on him within one year after the final judgment in the action of replevin.

În suits by aliens, the time of continuance of war between the United States and the country of wbich such alien is the subject is vot deemed a part of the time limited for the commencement of any of the before-mentioned actions.

In actions of debt or upon the case founded upon any contract, no acknowledgment or promise shall be allowed as evidence of a new or continuing contract, whereby to take any case out of the operations of the provisions of (these limitations), or to deprive any party of the benefit thereof, unless such acknowledgment or promise be an express one, and made or contained in some writing signed by the party chargeable thereby.

If there are two or more joint contractors, euch acknowledgment or promise, made or signed by one or more, shall not deprive the other joint-promissor of the benefit of the limitation.

If, at the time when any cause of action mentioned in this act shall accrue against any person, he shall be out of the state, the action may be commenced within the time herein lin.ited therefor, after such person shall come into the state ; and if, after any cause of action shall have accrued, the person against whom it shall have accrued shall be absent from and reside without the state, time of his absence shall not be taken as any part of the time limited for the commencement of the action.

REAL ACTIONS AND RIGHTS OF ENTRY.—No person shall commence any real or mixed action for the recovery of lands, or make an entry thereon, unless within twenty years after the right to make such entry, or bring such action, first accrued, or within twenty years-after he or those under or from whom he claims, and shall have been seized or possessed of the premises, except as hereinafter provided.

If such right or title first accrued to an ancestor or predecessor of the person who brings the action or makes the entry, or to any other person from, by, or under whom he claims, the said twenty years shall be computed from the time when the right or title so first accrued to such ancestor, predecessor, or other person.

If any minister, or other sole corporation, shall be disseized, any of his successors may enter upon the premises, or may bring an action for the recovery of them at any time within five years after the death, resignation, or removal of the person disseized, notwithstanding the twenty years after the disseizin shall have expired.

If, at the time when such right of entry or of action upon or for any lands shall first accrue, the person entitled to such entry or action shall be within the age of twenty-one years, or a married woman, insane, imprisoned, or absent from the United States, such person, or any one claiming from, by, or under him, may make the entry or bring the action at any time within ten years after such disability shall be removed, notwithstanding the twenty years before limited in that behalf shall have expired.

No real or mixed actions for the recovery of lands shall be commenced by or on behalf of the state, unless within twenty years from and after the day ou which this act shall become a law, or within twenty years next after the time of the accruing of the title to the state.

No person shall acquire any right or privilege of way, air, or light, or any other casement, from, in, upon, or over the land of another, by the adverse use and enjoyment thereof, unless such use shall have been continued uninterrupted for twenty years.

No action for the recovery of any estate, sold under license by an executor, adminis. trator, or guardian, shall be maintained by any heir, or other person claiming under the deceased testator or intestate, unless it be commenced within five years next after the sale.

No real or mixed action for the recovery of any lands in this state shall be commenced or maintained against any person in possession of such lands, where such person or those under whom he claims have been in actual possession for more than forty years, and claiming to hold the same in his or their own right—and which possession shall have been adverse, open, peaceable, notorious, and exclusive.


Collection of Debts.

ARREST.-No person shall be arrested on mesne process on any suit brought on any contract, express or implied, or brought on any judgment founded on such contract, except as provided in the following section :

Any person, whether a resident within this state or not, may be arrested and held to bail, or committed to prison on mesne process on any contract, expressed or implied, when the sum demanded amounts to ten dollars, or on a judgment founded on contract, when the debt originally recovered and still remaining due is ten dollars or more, exclusive of interest on such judgment, when he is about to depart and reside beyond the limits of this state, with property or means exceeding the amount required for his own immediate support, provided that the creditor, his agent or attorney, shall make oath before a justice of the peace, to be certified by such justice on the said process, that he he has reason to believe, and does believe, that such debtor is about to depart and reside, and to take with him property or means as aforesaid, and that the demand in the said process, or the principal part thereof, amounting to at least ten dollars, is due to him.

In all actions not founded on contract, or on a judgment on such contract, the original writ or process shall run against the body of the defendant, and he may be thereon arrested and imprisoned, or he may give bail.

ATTACHMENT.-All goods and chattels may be attached and held as security to satisfy the judgment for damages and costs, which the plaint may recover, except such as from their nature and situation have been considered as exempted from attachment according to the principles of the common law, as adopted and practised in this state, and such as are exempt from levy or sale on execution.

All real estate which is liable to be taken in execution may be attached on mesna process, and held as security for the purposes aforesaid.

Deeds. It is necessary that they be sealed with a seal in this state. but there need he only one attesting witness, nor need the wife of the grantor be separately examined. They should be acknowledged and immediately recorded.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT.—The acknowledgment may be made before any justice of the peace in this state, or any justice of the peace, magistrate, or notary public, within the United States, or any commissioner appointed for that purpose by the governor of this state, or before any minister or consul of the United States or notary public in any for. eign country.

Form of Acknowledgment.
State of Maine,
County of Lincoln, }

Bath, January 14, 1851. Before me then personally appeared JOHN DOE and SUSAN his wife, in the foregoing instrument named, and acknowledged that they did sign and seal the same as their free act and deed.

JOHN JONES, Justice of the Peace.

[ocr errors]

Rights of Married Women. Any married woman may become seized or possessed of any property, real or per. sonal, by direct bequest, demise, gift, purchase, or distribution, in her own name and as of her own property : provided it shall be made to appear by such married woman, in any issue touching the validity of her title, that the same does not in any way come from the husband after coverture.

Hereafter, when any woman possessed of property, real or personal, shall marry, such property shall continue to her, notwithstanding her coverture; and she shall have, hold, and possess the same, as her separate property, exempt from any liability for the debts or contracts of her husband.

Any married woman possessing property by virtue of this act, may release to the husband the right of control of such property, and he may receive and dispose of the income thereof, so long as the same shall be appropriated for the mutual benefit of the parties.

Any married woman who is seized and posseseed of property, real or personal, as provided for above, may commence. prosecute, or defend, any suit in law or equity, as if she were unmarried, or jointly with her husband, but the person of such married woman is free from arrest. In case of the decease of such married woman intestate, her property, real and personal, shaļl descend to her heirs--but any married woman may by will divide or bequeath any property belonging to her.

Rate of Interest. THE legal rate of interest is six per cent. If more be agreed to be taken, only legal interest can be recovered. Usurious interest paid may be recovered back.

Wills. In this state a will must be in writing, signed by the testator, or by some person in bis presence and by his express direction, and shall be attested and subscribed in his presence by three credible witnesses.

Form of Attestation' answering for every State of the Union.

Signed, sealed, published, and declared, by the said John Doe, as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who, at the request of the said John Doe, and in his presence and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names and respective places of residence as witnesses.

JOHN SMITH, Boston,'
DUNN BROWN, Roxbury.

« PreviousContinue »