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TEXAS. Constitution adopted, 1845.-Square Miles, 250,000.- Population in 1850, 187,403.
Exemptions. THERE is exempt from levy and sale on execution, house hold and kitchen furniture, not exceeding two hundred dollars in value ; implements of husbandry not exceeding fifty dol. lars in value; the tools, apparatus, and books, appertaining to the trade or profession of any citizen; five milch cows; one yoke of oxen, or one horse; twenty hogs; and provisions for one year.
Homestead-Exemption Law. The homestead of a family not to exceed two hundred acres of land (not included in a town or city) or any town or city
lot or lots, in value not to exceed two thousand dollars, shall not be subject to forced sale for any debts hereafter contracted ; nor shall the owner, if a married man, be at liberty to alienate the same, unless by the consent of his wife, in such manner as the legislature may hereafter point out.
Mechanics' Lien. MECHANICS contracting in writing to erect buildings, shall have a lien in the nature of a mortgage on all buildings they may erect or work upon, and also on the parcel or lot of land on which they are erected, until the price for services and materials found shall be fully paid. The contract shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county where such building shall be erected, within the space of thirty days after the contract is made.
Every person doing any work or furnishing any kind of materials toward the erection or finishing of any building erected under a contract in writing, between the owner and builder or other person whose demand therefor has not been paid, may deliver to the owner of such building an attested account of the amount and value of the work and labor or materials, and thereupon such owner shall retain out of his subsequent payment the amount of such work and labor or materials, for the benefit of the person so performing or furnishing the same. This does not apply to incorporated cities.
Chattel Mortgages. If any conveyance of goods and chattels or slaves be not on consideration deemed valuable in law, it shall be taken to be fraudulent, unless the same be by will duly proved and recorded, or by an instrument in writing acknowledged or proved by two or more witnesses and recorded the same as deeds of real estate, or unless possession shall really and bona fide remain with the donee. Mortgages on personal property must be recorded in the county where the mortgager lives.
Law regulating Contracts. No action shall be brought whereby to charge any executor or administrator, upon any special promise, to answer any debt or damages out of his own estate; or whereby to charge the defendant, upon any special promise, to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage, of another person; or to charge any person, upon any agreement made upon consideration of marriage; or upon any contract for the sale of lands, slaves, tenements, or hered taments; or making any lease thereof, for a longer term than one year; or upon any agreement that is not to be performed within one year from the making thereof; unless the prom. ise or agreement upon which such action shall be brought, or some memorandum th shall be in writing, and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or some person there. unto by hira lawfully authorized.
Limitation of Actions. Actions of trespass for injury to property, of trover and conversion, for taking away the goods and chattels of another, actions upon open account (except those that concern the trade of merchandise between merchants, their factors, and agents), must be brought within two years.
Actions of debt upon contract in writing within four years.
Actions upon an account for goods, wares, and merchandise, sold or delivered, or arti. cles charged in a store account, within two years.
Actions for assault and battery, slander, and libel, within one year. Real actions in three, five, or ten years, according to the grade of title. Minors, married women. persons insane or imprisoned, have the same periods respectively after the removal of their disability.
An acknowledgment to take a claim out of the statute of limitation must be in writing, and signed by the party to be charged thereby.
Collection of Debts. ARREST.-The constitution provides that no person shall ever be imprisoned for debt.
ATTACHMENT -When a summons to answer to any civil suit shall be returned by the sherift that the defendant is not to be found in his county, the plaintiff may sue out a writ of attachment to be levied on the property of such defendant.
The judges and clerks of the district courts, and justices of the peace may issue original attachments, returnable to their respective courts upon the party applying for the same, his agent or attorney, making an affidavit in writing stating that the defendant is justly indebted to plaintiff and the amount of the demand, also that the defendant is not a resident of this state or that he is about to remove out of this state, or that he secretes himself so that the ordinary process of law can not be served on him, or that he is about to remove his property beyond this state, and that thereby the plaintiff' will probably lose the debt, and that the attachment is not sued out for the purpose of injuring the defendant. A bond must at the same time be given, with two or more good and sufficient sureties, payable to the defendant in double the amount sworn to be due, conditioned that the plaintif will prosecuto his suit to effect and pay such damages as shall be adjudged against him for wrongfully suing out such attachment.
SEQUESTRATION.-Writs of sequestration may issue, 1. When a married woman sues for a divorce and makes oath that she fears her husband will waste her separate property, or their common property, or the fruits or revenue produced by either, or remove the same out of the limits of this state during the pendency of the suit; 2. When a person sues for the title or possession of a slave, or other moveable property or chattels of any description, and makes oath that he fears the defendant or person in possession thereof, will injure or ill treat such slave, or waste such moveable property or cliattels, or remove the same out of the limits of this state during the pendency of the suit; 3. When a person sues for the foreclosure of a mortgage, or the enforcement of a lien upon a slave, or moveable property of any description, and makes oath that he fears that the defendant or person in possession thereof, will injure or ill treat such slave, or waste such moveable property, or remove such slave or moveable property out of the county ; 4. When any person sues for the title or possession of real property, and makes oath that he fears the defendant or person in possession thereof, may make use of his possession to injure such property, or waste the fruits and revenue produced by the same, or convert them to his own use; 5. When any person sues for the title or possession of any property from which he has been ejected by force or violence, and shall make oath to such facts.
Deeds. THESE must be sealed, but a scroll by way of seal will answer, if the person making the same shall, in the body of the instrument, recognise such scroll as having been affixed by way of seak. They should be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county court of the connty where the lands or some part thereof lie.
To entitle them to be recorded they must be proved by a subscribing witness, or acknowledged by the grantor, if within the state before some notary public or clerk of any county court in the state, if out of the state and within the United States or their territories, before some judge of a court of record having a seal, if out of the United States, before some public' minister, chargé d'affaires, or consul of the United States. The certificate of the acknowledgment or proof shall be attested under the official seal of the officer taking the same.
If a married woman convey her separate estate, she must acknowledge the same before a judge of the district court, or chief-justice of the county court, or if she merely release her interest in the estate of her husband, then before any judge of the supreme or district court, or notary public.
The certificate of acknowledgment in either case must state that she had been examined by the officer privily and apart from her husband, and that the conveyance was fully ex. plained to her, and that she
acknowledged he same to be her act and deed, and declared that she had willingly signed, sealed, and delivered the same, and that she wishied not to retract it.
In other cases the certificate must state that the grantor appeared before the officer and acknowledged that he executed the instrument for the consideration and purposes therein stated.
Mortgages of real estate are not a lien unless recorded in the county where the land lies, within ninety days from the date of the execution of such mortgage. For Rights of MARRID WOMEN,
INTEREST, and Wills, see page 248.