HORATIO SHARPE, Esq; Governor.
An ACT for trial of all matters of fact, in the several counties where
arisen, of shall arise.
This act was made for three years,
&c. It expired at the end of the term.
It empowered the governor to appoint any two justices
of the provincial court, on each side of the bay,
to be justices of assize, nisi prius, oyer and terminer and
gaol delivery; any one, or both of them, had authority
to hold court, as stated periods, twice a year, in each county within their
district, for the trial of all
facts arising in that county; but in cases where justice to them appeared
to require the trial out of the
county, the trial might be had in any other county which he might appoint.
Fifty freeholders were to be summoned, ten days before
the assize should begin in each county, to serve
as grand and petit jurors. There were to be the same regulations
respecting them as in the provincial court,
except the allowance for the services. And for trials at bar, in
the provincial court, the sheriff of Anne-Arundel
was to summon 24 good and lawful men de circumstantibus.
This act contained regulations respecting
the sending of records, and respecting pleadings and speedy
trials. It moreover empowered the justices to make further regulations,
agreeable to the laws of England
and of this province, and to enforce them by reasonable, discretionary
fines. All sheriffs, bailiffs, and other
officers and persons, were commanded to yield obedience to all process,
warrants and precepts, that should
be issued by, or returnable to the said justices.
Whenever, upon trial, either of the
parties should require it, this court was commanded to allow and even
to direct a special verdict. It was likewise to allow and sign bills
of exception tendered by persons under criminal
prosecution. In cases of this kind, no judgment
could be rendered until the provincial court had
determined on the exception. And whenever, upon a general verdict,
a justice should express doubts respecting
the judgment, the case was to be referred to the provincial court, which
was to consider and give
The jurisdiction of county courts was in no case taken
away; on the contrary, that the assize court
might not be prevented, by a multiplicity of petty business, from deciding
on matters not determinable
elsewhere, the jurisdiction of the county courts was rendered exclusive,
as to all felonies, trespasses, and other
evil deeds, already triable before them, except affrays, and other offences
committed in view of the justices
of assize, during their sitting. There was, however, a saving to
the party of the benefit of writs of removal
from the county, to the provincial or to the assize court.
Each justice of assize, was allowed, for every circuit,
the quantity of 7,000lb. of tobacco, to be paid in
the county of his residence, in the same manner as public levies.
This act, likewise, repealed the act of 1715, ch. 37,
so far as that act related to the summoning of jurors
to attend the provincial court.
A Supplementary ACT to the act, entitled, An act for the speedy
trial of criminals, and ascertaining their punishment
in the county
courts, when prosecuted there, and for payment of fees
from criminal persons.
| FOR preventing all doubts for the future, Be
it enacted, and declared, by the
right honourable the lord proprietary, by and with the advice and consent
his lordship's governor, and the upper and lower houses of assembly, and
authority of the same, That all legal fees which have arisen, and are
otherwise paid and allowed, or which shall hereafter arise on the prosecution
of any negro, or other slave, in any county court, whether such slave be
or acquitted, shall be chargeable to, and paid by the respective county
prosecution shall be had, and assessed in the county levy of such county.
slaves to be
paid by the
An ACT for reviving and continuing of actions and process in several
of the courts
of law within this province.
Viz. In the court of appeals,
held the third Tuesday in February last, until the court to be held on
third Tuesday in October; and in the courts of St. Mary's, Charles, Anne-Arundel,
Prince-George's, Kent, Talbot, and Dorchester counties, held in November
or March last, until the next
All writs of replevin, and attachment, returnable to
November or March, which have been executed,
shall be returned to June.
The criminal business, depending in Baltimore county
in November or March last, is likewise revived
and continued to June. And every nonpros and discontinuance,
and every judgment entered in the absence
of attornies, in Frederick county, is done away. There is, however,
an exception of the cases of abatement
by death; and no bail, in any civil case, in any of the said counties,
where the principal has absconded
or removed from the county since the first day of November last, and no
sureties for the appearance of
persons prosecuted in Baltimore November or March court, on whole recognizance
no default was then
entered, are to be affected by this act.
The time from August 1, 1765, to June 1, 1766, inclusive,
is not to be reckoned as part of the time
limited for bringing actions, or issuing executions. And any person
shall take advantage of this act without
a special replication.
Lastly, a discretionary power is given to the courts,
to continue until August next, such actions hereby
revived, as without this act could not be continued beyond June next.