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charge him and to appoint others, one or more, in his stead ; and no suit at law or in equity shall be abated by such removal and new appointment, but shall thereafter be prosecuted in the name of the new assignee.
Sec. 11. Said assignee shall, before proceeding to act, be sworn before said court, and if required, shall give bond with surety for the faithful performance of the trust; and being so qualified he shall immediately give notice thereof in some newspaper published in or near the place of residence of the insolvent, to the end that all his creditors may, if they see fit, appear and prove their claims against his estate, whether payable at that time or in future; for which purpose not less than six nor more than eighteen months from the first publication of the notice shall be allowed, at the discretion of the court; and those only who shall prove their claims within that time, shall be entitled to a dividend of the insolvent's estate. No claim shall be allowed without sufficient legal proof of its justice; and it shall be the duty of the assignee, from time to time to examine the insolvent touching the claims against his estate, and to require him to produce and deliver up any receipt, voucher, account stated, letter or other paper which may be of use in deciding upon any of said claims; and should the insolvent in any case refuse to be so examined, or to produce the papers called for and in his possession, the supreme court shall have power to cause him to be committed to prison, there to remain until he shall furnish and produce the information and documents required; and if any person shall fraudulently or collusively claim as his property any estate or effects of the insolvent or any debt, every such person shall forfeit double the amount so claimed, for the benefit of the creditors.
SEC. 12. After the expiration of the time allowed for the proof of the claims against the estate of the insolvent, the assignee shall forthwith divide and distribute the nett produce of the said insolvent's estate and effects in his hands, to and among his creditors who shall have duly proved their claims, in proportion to their several and respective debts ; allowing, however, to said insolvent, such articles of household furniture and implements of trade or husbandry, and such other articles as are exempted from attachment by law, and deducting such necessary expenses of settling the estate and such reasonable compensation to the assignee for his services, as the court shall allow.
Sec. 13. Any petitioner, or any creditor of a petitioner for the benefit of this act, shall have a right to appeal from the final decision of the supreme court on the petition to the general assembly, upon filing notice of such appeal in the clerk's office of the supreme court in the county in which such petition shall have been tried and decided, within twenty days after the rising of the court at the term in which such petition shall have been so tried and decided; and the person so appealing shall file in the office of the secretary of state, on or before the first day of the stated or adjourned session of the general assembly next after the filing of such notice, a copy of the petition and of the whole case as tried before the supreme court; and such petition shall be proceeded on and tried before said general assembly; and if upon the trial of such petition before the general assembly, on the appeal of the petitioner, the prayer thereof shall be granted, such petitioner shall, on the second day of the next term of the court to which his petition was preferred, make an assignment of his estate and effects in the same manner and with the same effect as is provided in the eighth section of this act; and in all other respects the same proceedings shall be had as are provided in and by said section ; and such petitioner shall thereupon be discharged and receive a certificate thereof, by order and under the seal of said court; and the effect thereof shall be the same, and the rights, liabilities, duties, remedies and proceedings of such petitioner and of his creditors, assignees and all others, shall, in all respects, be the same as if said petition had been granted by the supreme court; and if upon the appeal of a creditor the decision of the supreme court shall be reversed, or the original petition be withdrawn, dismissed or voted out, the discharge granted by the said court shall be null and void, but the assignment made in said court shall nevertheless be as valid as if said petition had been granted ; and the rights, liabilities, duties, remedies and proceedings of the assignee and of the creditors shall be the same as are provided by this act where the petition is granted.
Sec. 14. When any creditor of a petitioner shall file notice of an appeal from the decision of the supreme court in manner aforesaid, if such creditor shall neglect to file in the office of the secretary of state a copy of the petition and of the whole case, as provided in the preceding section, or if upon the trial of such petition the prayer thereof shall be granted by the general assembly, the decision of the supreme court and the discharge granted by said court shall be as valid and effectual, to all intents and purposes, as if the same had not been appealed from.
SEC. 15. When the prayer of the petition shall have been
granted by the supreme court and the creditor shall appeal from the decision of said court, all proceedings for debt against the person of the petitioner shall be stayed until the trial of the petition in the general assembly, or until the general assembly shall otherwise direct.
Sec. 16. Every insolvent debtor who shall without fraud or perjury obtain a certificate of discharge by order and under the seal of said court, shall forever thereafter be exonerated and protected from arrest, imprisonment, or any manner of bodily restraint on account of any debt, covenant, contract, (except a promise of marriage,) agreement, or pecuniary obligation of any kind, not originating in tort or in criminal conduct, contracted, entered into or incurred prior to the filing of his petition; but any creditor of said insolvent may sue out an original summons against him, and upon final judgment rendered thereon in favor of such creditor, execution shall issue to be levied and served as in ordinary cases : provided, that such execution shall not run against the body of said insolvent, nor shall his real estate be attached thereon, unless he at the time of the attachment be absent from the state or concealed therein; and in no case shall the plaintiff in any suit against said insolvent be permitted to dispute the validity of said insolvent's discharge, unless he shall give notice thereof, and of the precise ground of his objection, in writing on the back of his original writ; which notice shall be read to the defendant as part of said writ, or be inserted in the copy
left at his last and usual place of abode ; and upon the trial of such action the defendant shall be at liberty to plead specially his said discharge, in bar thereto, or may give the same in evidence under the general issue; and in either case his certificate under the seal of the court shall be conclusive of his legal discharge, and the validity thereof shall not be called in question except upon sufficient legal proof produced in the trial of the charge, specified as aforesaid in the original writ, either of wilful perjury in his examination before the court, or on any other occasion before said court, during the pendency of his petition, or before said assignee, or before the magistrate in swearing to his inventory, list of debts or other statements; or of any other fraudulent proceeding or practices on the part of said defendant, and by him concealed from said court, for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining his said discharge ; and if any one of said charges shall on trial be found true, then the plaintiff shall have judgment for his debt or damages, (being first proved and ascertained,) in the same manner as if no such discharge had ever
been granted to the defendant; and said discharge shall, in all cases forever thereafter, be considered null and void.
But in case the plaintiff shall fail to prove any one of said charges to the satisfaction of the jury or court before whom the same may be tried, then the defendant shall be entitled to his costs; and the plaintiff upon paying the same to the defendant or to the clerk in open court for the defendant's use, shall be entitled to his judgment and execution as is first in this section provided; but if the plaintiff shall fail so to pay said cost before the last day of the same term of the court, then the defendant shall have judgment and execution for the cost against the plaintiff : provided, that whenever any such insolvent shall be a partner in trade or business as a joint contractor with any other person, then the original writ against such partners or joint contractors shall run against said insolvent, as is herein before prescribed, and against all the other partners or joint contractors, as in ordinary cases; and in any such case the final judgment, if in favor of the plaintiff, shall be against the property of said insolvent as is herein before provided, and against the other defendants in the usual form; and separate executions shall issue in conformity to said judgment.
Sec. 17. In all cases where there shall be mutual debts or demands subsisting between the insolvent and any of his creditors, previous to the reception of his petition as aforesaid, said assignee shall (the just amount thereof being first ascertained) offset such mutual claims, and the balance only shall be paid or claimed on either side, respectively; said assignee shall also have power to submit any and all claims and demands against said estate, or in favor thereof, to the final decision of referees under a rule of any competent court.
Sec. 18. The oath to be taken by the petitioner to his inventory, on his preferring his petition for the benefit of this act, and also the oath to be taken by him to the same, upon the appointment of his assignee, shall be as follows: You
do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) that the inventory on file with your petition is a just, true and perfect inventory and account of all your property and estate of every kind and nature, in possession or action, reversion or remainder, excepting wearing apparel ; and that you have not at any time, directly or indirectly, sold, leased or otherwise conveyed or disposed of to, or intrusted any person or persons whomsoever with, all or any part of the property or estate, real or personal, whereof you have been the owner or possessor, to defraud your creditors or any of them, or with any intent or design to secure the same, or to secure or expect any profit,
way, in his
benefit or advantage therefrom, for yourself or any of
your children or family, or any other person ; nor done, nor caused, nor suffered to be done, any act, matter or thing whatever, whereby any of your creditors may be defrauded; so help you God: or, this affirmation you make and give upon peril of the penalty of perjury.
Sec. 19. Before any dividend as aforesaid, all debts due to this state or any town therein for taxes, or to the United States, (if any,) shall be paid, so far as the property of the insolvent will go towards paying the same; and nothing in this act shall be taken to impair any bona fide lien existing prior to the reception of any such petition upon any land, estate or effects of any such insolvent. .
Sec. 20. No man who shall hereafter intermarry with any woman who shall have the benefit of this act extended to her, and who has complied with and conformed to all the requirements of this act on her part, shall be liable in any
person or estate, for any debt incurred or on any contract, covenant, bond or agreement, entered into by his wife, before the benefit of this act was extended to her, for any greater amount than the value of such property as actually came to his possession or under his control, by her marriage, other than her wearing apparel.
SEC. 21. The benefit of this act shall not be extended to any
debtor whose debts do not exceed one hundred dollars. Sec. 22. If any petitioner for the benefit of this act, against whose person proceedings for the collection of debts shall be stayed, and whose petition shall be pending, shall be committed to jail by his bail, such stay of proceedings shall not prevent the detention of such prisoner in jail, in the same manner as he would be detained, if no such stay of proceedings had been ordered. And if any such petitioner shall be surrendered in court by bail, said petitioner shall be committed to and be detained in jail in the same manner as if no such stay of proceedings had been granted. But any petitioner who shall be committed or surrendered by bail as aforesaid shall be discharged from jail on giving bond with sureties to the satisfaction of the sheriff of the county in which such petitioner shall be committed, if committed to any jail other than the jail in the county of Providence; and if committed to the jail in the county of Providence, then to the satisfaction of the keeper of said jail, conditioned to return to jail within ten days after the rising of the court at which the petition of such petitioner shall be finally disposed of, unless the petitioner shall be discharged by the court, and shall receive