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Deeds. CONVEYANCES of land, or of any estate, or interest therein, may be made by deed, executed by any person having authority to convey the same, or by his attomey, and acknowl. ed red and recorded as directed in this act, without any other act or ceremony whatsoever.
The acknowledgment of deeds shall be by the grantor or one of them, or by the attorney executing the same.
The acknowledyment may be made before any justice of the peace in this state, or before any justice of the peace, magistrate, or notary public, within the United States or in any foreign country. or before any commissioner appointed for that purpose by the governor of this commonwealth, or before any minister or consul of the United Siates in any foreign country.
A certificate of the acknowledgment of the deed, under the hand of the officer taking the same. shall be endorsed upon the deed or annexed thereto; and such deed and certificate may be recorded at length in the registry of deeds for the county where the lands lie, and no deed shall le recorded without such certificate.
In this state a seal is necessary. The wife of a grantor need not be separately examined ; it is eutlicient to bar her dower, if she join with her husband in the conveyance. (The form of acknowledgment is the same as in Maine.)
Rights of Married Women. ANY person capable in law of making a deed or will may convey, devise, or bequeath to any married woman, any property or estate to be held hy her without the intervention of a trustee, to her sole and separate use, free from the interference or control of her husband. Such conveyance, devise, or bequest. may be of an absolute estate, of an estate for life, or of a less esiale, with any lawful limitations, after the termination of the estate so vested in such woman.
Any grant or conveyance made as is above provided shall within ninety days from the delivery thereof, be recorded in the registry of deeds for the county in which the husband shall reside at the time of such delivery, or, if he be not a resident of this commonwealth, for the county in which the grantor shall then reside: and if such record be not made, any creditor of the husband may a:tach or seize on execution any of the property so conveyed, in like manner and with the same effect as if this act had not been passed. Nothing in this act shall be so construed to empower any husband to convey any of bis property to his wife in other manner or with any other effect than if the same bad not been passed.
None of the property to be holden by any married woman, by virtue of the provisions of this act shall be used or employed for the purposes of trade or commerce; but the same shall be invested in real estate, in stocks of the United States, in state stock, in corporation stock, in personal securities, or in furniture in the actual use and occupation of such woman.
Any policy of insurance made by any insurance company on the life of any person, ex: pressed to be for the benefit of a married woman, whether the same be effected by herself or by her husband, or by any other person on her behalf, shall enure to her separate use and benefit and that of her children, if any, independently of her husband and of his creditors and representatives, and also independently of any other person effecting the same in her behalf, his creditors and representatives; and a trusiee or trustees may be appointed by any court authorized to appoint trustees, to hold and manage the interest of any married woman in any such policy, or the proceeds thereof.
Married women of the age of twenty-one years and of sound mind, may devise and dispose of any property held in her own right, and separate from that of her husband, with the husband's assent thereto, endorsed thereon in writing, and may revoke such will at her pleasure without the husband's consent; but if all the devises or bequests in such will are to the husband, or for his benefit solely, his assent is not necessary.
DowER.--Every woman shall be entitled to her dower at common law in the lands of her husband, to be assigned to her after his decease, unless she is lawfully barred thereof.
A married woman may bar her right of dower in any estate conveyed by her husband, by joining with him in the deed conveying the same, and releasing her claim to dower, or by releasing the same by a subsequent deed executed jointly with her husband, or with his guardian : also by a jointure of freehold estate in lands for the life of the wife at least, and to take effect in possession or profit immediately on the death of her husband; and also by a provision in the will of her husband in lieu of dower, at her election within six months atter probate of the will.
Rate of Interest. The legal rate is six per cent. When the defence of usury is established, the defendant shall recover his full costs, and the plaintiff shall forfeit threefold the amount of the interest unlawfully reserved or taken. The party paying usurious interest may recover back threefold the amount of the unlawful interest so paid.
Wills. Wills must be in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed in the presence of the ieslutor by three or more competent witnesses.
RHODE ISLAND. Constitution adopted, 1842.-Square Miles, 1,340.—Population in 1850, 147,543.
Exemptions. THE household furniture and family stores of a house. keeper shall not be liable to attachment on any warrant of distress, or on any writ, original or judicial : provided, the whole, including beds and bedding, do not exceed in value the sum of two hundred dollars. Neither shall the neces. sary wearing apparel of such housekeeper and his family, nor one cow; nor one hog; nor his working tools neces. sary for his usual occupation; provided, the said tools do not exceed in value the sum of fifty dollars; neither shall the working tools, not exceeding in value the sum of fifty dollars, nor the necessary wearing-apparel of any debtor, be liable to distress or attachment.
Mechanics' Lien. WHENEVER any building, canal, turnpike, railroad, or other improvement, shall be constructed, erected, or repaired, by contract with, or at the request of the owner there. of, such owner being at the time the owner of the land on which the same then is, such building, canal, turnpike, railroad, or other improvement, together with the said land is hereby made liable, and shall stand pledged for all the work done in the construction, erection, or reparation thereof, which have been furnished by any person wbo had contracted or been requested as aforesaid, to construct, erect, or repair the same, before any other lien which shall originate subsequent to the commencement of such erection, construction, or reparation, on such land.
When such construction or reparation is done by contract, with, or at the request of any lessee or tenant, the interest and title of such lessee and tenant in the improvement and the land on which the same is located, shall stand pledged for all the work done and materials used and furnished, but not the interest of the landlord unless his written consent is first obtained assenting to such construction, erection, or reparation, and acknowledging his estate to be also holden for the payment thereof.
So also the buildings and improvements and the estate in the land of one who is the owner of less than a freehold in the land, shall be pledged for the work done and materials furnished, but not the estate of the owner in fee of the land, unless his written consent is first obtained assenting to such construction, erection, or reparation, and acknowledging his estate to be also holden for the payment thereof.
if the work be done under a written contract, then the lien shall be lost unless legal process be commenced for enforcing the same within four months from the time that any payment on such contract shall become due, if such payment shall not then be made.
No person doing work or furnishing materials without written contract, shall have any lien unless he shall commence legal process for enforcing the same within six months from the time of commencing such work, or of commencing the delivery of materials if payment for the same shall not then be made.
No person doing work at the request of any person who had entered into a contract, whether in writing or not, shall have any lien unless he shall within thirty days after commencing the work, give notice in writing to the person against whose estate or title he claims a lien, that he has commenced the work and that he will claim the benefit of the lien created by this act. But this lien will be lost unless such person shall, within four months from time of giving such notice, commence legal process to enforce such lien.
The commencement of legal process to enforce such lien shall be the lodging the account or demand for which the lien is claimed, in the office of the clerk of the town or towns in which the improvement is situate, with notice to what building, &c., and land, and to what or whose estate therein the account or demand refers.
Twenty days before the term of the court of common pleas, in the county or coun. ties in which the luilding, &c., shall lie, which shall be holden not less than twenty days next after the commencement of legal process aforesaid, the person so commencing the same shall file his petition in the clerk's office of said court, setting forth the particulars of his demand, describing particularly the building, &c., and land, and praying that the lien may be enforced against the same, and that the same be sold to satisfy the said demand, and all other demands for which it is liable.
Chattel Mortgages. No mortgage of personal property, hereafter made, shall be valid against any other person than the parties thereto, unless possession of the mortgaged property be deliv. ered to, and retained by the mortgagee, or unless the said mortgage be recorded in the office of the clerk of the town where the mortgager shall reside at the time of making the same.
Law regulating Contracts. No action shall be brought whereby to charge any executor or administrator upon his special promise to answer any debt or damage out of his own estate, or whereby to charge the defendant on his special proniise to answer for the debt, default, or miscar. riage of another person, or to charge any person upon any agreement made upon consid. eration of marriage, or upon any contract for the sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or the making of any lease thereof for a longer term than one year, or upon any agrerment which is not to be performed within the space of one year from the making thereof, unless the promise or agreement upon which such action shall be brought or some note or memorandum thereof shall be in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some other person by him thereunto lawfully authorized.
Limitation of Actions. All actions of trespass, detinue or replevin : all actions of account, and upon the case, except on such accounts as concern trade or merchandise between merchant and mer. chant, their factors or servants ; all actions of debt founded on any contract, without speciality; all actions of debt for arrearages of rent; actions of debt for other causes, and all actions of covenant, shall be commenced and sued within the time hereinafter directed, namely :
The said actions upon the case, except actions for slander, and the said actions of account, and the said actions for debt, founded upon any contract without speciality, or brought for arrearages of rent, and all actions of detinue or replevin, shall be com. menced within six years after the cause of the said actions; the said actions of trespass, and trespass and ejectment, within four years next after the cause of such action; and actions upon the case for words, within two years next after the words spoken; all actions of debt other than those before specified, and all actions of covenant, within twenty years next after the cause of said actions.
If any person, against whom there shall exist any of the causes of action, aforesaid, be without the limits of this state or shall go out before the action is barred, and shall not have or leave property or estate therein that can be attached, the person entitled to such action may commence the same within the time before limited after such person's return into the state.
If any person at the time any such action shall accrue to him, shall be a minor, femme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned, or beyond the limits of the United States, such person may bring the same within such time as is hereinbefore limited, after such im. pediment is removed.
Collection of Debts.
ARREST AND ATTACHMENT.-In this state there is no exemption from arrest, except in the case of a female. By the revised laws it is provided that every original writ issued against a female founded on a contract not under seal shall be a writ of summons and not of arrest, that no execution shall issue against the body of any female on any judg. ment founded on contract not under seal, where the debt or damages recovered do not exceed the sum of fifty dollars; but she may be arrested, if the instrument be under seal, for any sum.
It is also provided that wherever a writ authorizing an arreet shall be delivered to an officer for service, he shall use his best endeavors to arrest the body of the defendant, but if such officer can not find the body of the defendant within his precinct, he shall attach his goods and chattels to the value commanded in the writ; and that when he shall attach any goods or chattels on original writ, he shall keep the same in his hands as security to satisfy such judgment as the plaintiff may recover.