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Form 15.-Undertaking for Release of Attachment. In Justice Court of Bodie Township, County of Mono, and
State of California. Before R. L. Peterson, Esq., Justice of the Peace.
Know all men by these presents that we, William Jones as principal, and John Doe and Richard Roe as sureties, all of the County of Mono and State of California, are held and firmly bound unto Amos Grant in the sum of two hundred dollars, to be paid to the said Amos Grant, bis heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, for which payment, well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, jointly and severally, by these presents.
Sealed with our seals, and dated this seventh day of January, A. D. 1880.
Now, the condition of this obligation is such that, whereas, a writ of attachment has issued against the above bounden defendant, William Jones, at the suit of Amos Grant, the plaintiff above named, and whereas, certain goods and chattels of said William Jones have been attached under and by virtue thereof: Now, in consideration of the release of said goods and chattels from such attachment, if the said Wm. Jones shall well and truly pay any judgment and costs that the said Amos Grant may recover against him, the said Wm. Jones, then this undertaking shall be null and void, but otherwise it shall be and remain in full force and effect.
(SEAL.] JOHN DOE.
RICHARD ROE. [SEAL.] Immediately after which must follow the justification of the sureties, John Doe and Richard Roe, as shown in Form numbered 13.
If, within five days (in California) after the summons has been served on the defendant-not counting the day on which such service was made-the defendant does not file an answer to the complaint (which, in this case, we will presume he will not do), the Justice will enter a judgment in his docket in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant, in substantially the following:
Form 16.-Judgment in Justice's Court.
In Justice's Court of Bodie Township, County of Mono, and
State of California. Before R. L. Peterson, Esq., Justice of the Peace.
Now, on this fourteenth day of January, 1880, the above cause being called and no one appearing on behalf of the defendant, his default to answer in said action is duly entered by the Court; whereupon, it appearing, to the satisfaction of the Court, that the summons in said action was duly served on said defendant on the seventh day of January, 1880, in the said township of Bodie, and that the Court has jurisdiction of said action, and it further appearing to the Court, from the (verified] complaint of the plaintiff, that the sum of eighty dollars and seventy-five cents in gold coin is due to said plaintiff from the said defendant: Now, in consideration of the premises, it is ordered and adjudged by the Court that the said plaintiff, Amos Grant, do have and recover of and from the said defendant, William Jones, the sum of eighty dollars and seventy-five cents in gold coin, with legal interest from this date, besides the costs of this action, herein taxed at dollars, together with accruing costs.
Judgment rendered and entered this fourteenth day of January, A. D. 1880.
R. L. PETERSON,
Justice of the Peace for said Township. An execution can now be demanded by the plaintiff, and by virtue of such execution the Constable will levy on and sell any property of the defendant that he can find, unless some of such property be exempt from execution; and should sufficient property be levied on and sold to satisfy the judgment and costs, the judgment must be satisfied by an entry of the fact at the bottom or on the margin of the judgment in the docket of the Justice; but if no property of the defendant be found, Mr. G. will have to bring another action on the undertaking given by the sureties on the release of the attachment, unless the sureties pay the judgment voluntarily.
The foregoing gives an outline of proceedings in an action at law in any court; for the great difference between Justices' Courts, and District, and Superior Courts, is that Justices' Courts have no jurisdiction; or, in other words, can not act in cases where the amount claimed exceeds three hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, and are not considered Courts of Record; while Superior and District Courts can act in all cases where the amount claimed exceeds three hundred dollars; and are called Courts of Record. Justices of the Peace, however, must keep a record of all judicial proceedings had before them, in a book called the “Justices' Docket," and as more real business is done in Justices' Courts than in any others, and as just as important questions of law have to be decided by Justices of the Peace as are decided by the higher Courts, the people should be careful to select for their Justices men who are well acquainted with the laws of the State in which they are to act; and right here, fearing that some person in Nevada may be misled by what has been said concerning process, and the words, “The People of the State of California,” in the summons and attachment which were set out in the supposed case above, it is proper to add that in the place of those words in Nevada, these words would be used, “The State of Nevada;" and if other words be used than those directed by the Constitution of the State, the process, as it is called, would be void, and the Court from which it purported to issue would not acquire jurisdiction. The style of process in California is, “The People of the State of California."
The style of process in Nevada is, “The State of Nevada."
A summons for a case in a District Court of the State of Nevada will be set out in some proper case hereafter.
The jurisdiction of the different Courts is determined by the Constitution of a State, and in California, by virtue of its New Constitution, Justices of the Peace have concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Courts, in cases of forcible entry and detainer, where the rental value does not exceed twenty-five dollars per month, and where the whole amount of damages claimed does not exceed two hundred dollars, and in cases to enforce and foreclose liens on personal property, when neither the amount of the liens nor the value of the property amounts to three hundred dollars. They also have such further jurisdiction over amounts in controversy, less than three hundred dollars, as the Legislature of the State may prescribe.
By the same Constitution the Superior Courts have original jurisdiction in all cases in equity, and in all cases at law which involve the title or possession of real property, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or municipal fine, and in all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest, or the value of the property in controversy, amounts to three hundred dollars; and in all criminal cases amounting to felony, and cases of misdemeanor not otherwise provided for; of actions of forcible entry and detainer; of proceedings in insolvency; of actions to prevent or abate a nuisance; of all matters of probate; of divorce and for annulment of marriage, and of all such special cases and proceedings as are not otherwise provided for.
They also have the power of naturalization, and to issue papers therefor. They have appellate jurisdiction in such cases arising in justices' and other inferior Courts, in their respective counties, as may be prescribed by law. These Courts are always open except on legal holidays and nonjudicial days, and their process extends to all parts of the State; but all actions for the recovery of the possession of, or quieting the title to, or for the enforcement of liens upon real estate, must be commenced in the county in which the
real estate, or any part thereof affected by such action or actions, is situated.
These Courts also have power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, and habeas corpus, on the petition by or on behalf of any person in actual custody in their respective counties. Injunctions and writs of prohibition, may be issued and served on legal holidays and non-judicial days.
By virtue of the same Constitution, the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction in all cases in equity, except such as arise in Justices' Courts; also in all cases at law which involve the title or possession of real estate, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or municipal fine, or in which the demand, exclusive of interest, or the value of the property in controversy, amounts to three hundred dollars; also in cases of forcible entry and detainer, and in proceedings in insolvency and in actions to prevent or abate a nuisance, and in all such probate matters as may be provided by law; also in all criminal cases prosecuted by indictment, or information in a Court of Record on questions of law alone. This Court also has power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and habeas corpus, and all other writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of its appellate jurisdiction; besides which, each of its Justices has power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State upon petition by, or on behalf of, any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself, or the Supreme Court, or before any Superior Court in the State, or before any Judge of such Superior Court.
Before dismissing the subject of the jurisdiction of the Courts it may be well to state that every fact necessary to give jurisdiction to a Justice of the Peace should be affirmatively shown, for, on appeal, the higher Courts will
presume nothing in favor of the Justices' Courts. In Courts of Record a different rule prevails, for there every presumption of the Appellate Court will be in favor of the lower Courts. This shows the importance of perfect conformity to law in the Justices' Courts, and the propriety of electing to the important office of Justice of the Peace, men who understand the law, and who will administer it faithfully.