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former

affected.

the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars, according to the situation and circumstances of the petitioner.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this Proceedact contained shall be considered or construed in

ings under

any manner to invalidate, impeach or impair any proceedings acts not heretofore had, under the act passed in June, A. D. 1756, entitled “ an act for the relief of insolvent debtors," and the several acts heretofore passed in relation to such debtors, nor any discharge heretofore obtained in conformity to said acts; but all such proceedings and discharges shall remain good and valid, and continue to have full force and effect, in the same manner as if this act had not been passed.

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That the body of Petitioners every petitioner as aforesaid shall be exempt from all ar- from arrests in civil actions, during the session of the general as- rest during sembly before which his said petition shall be pending, assembly, for two days prior, and also for two days after the end &o. thereof.

'98, 1822.

An act for quieting Possessions and avoiding Suits at Law. 1711 °28

WHEREAS at the first settling of this State, and for sundry years afterwards, lands were of little or no value, and skilful men in the law were much wanted, whereby many deeds, grants and conveyances were weakly made, which may occasion great contests in law, if not timely prevented :

Section 1. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, Ancient and by the authority thereof it is enacted, "That all grants, char-condits ters and conveyances heretofore made by the general as- ed. sembly of this State, unto any town, corporation, community or propriety, or to any other person or persons whatsoever, shall be and they hereby are ratified and confirmed, as good and effectual to all intents and purposes in the law, for the conveying all such lands, tenements, rights, privileges and profits as are therein mentioned, to the said towns, corporations, communities, proprieties, person or persons, and to their respective successors, heirs and assigns for ever.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That where any person or persons, or others from whom he or they derive their titles, either by themselves, tenants or lessees, shall

make a title.

Twenty have been for the space of twenty years in the unintersession 19 rupted, quiet, peaceable and actual seizin and posses

sion of any lands, tenements or hereditaments within this State, for and during the said time, claiming the same as his, her or their proper, sole and rightful estate in fee simple, such actual seizin and possession shall be allowed to give and make a good and rightful title to such person or persons, their heirs and assigns for ever ; and any plaintiff'suing for the recovery of any such lands, may rely upon such possession as conclusive title thereto; and this act being pleaded in bar to any action that shall hereafter be brought for such lands, tenements or hereditaments, and such actual seizin and possession being du

ly proved, shall be allowed to be good, valid and effectuThe rights al in the law for barring the same; provided that nothing of infants, in this act shall be construed, deemed or taken to extend

to prejudice the rights and claims of persons under age, non compos mentis, feme coverts, or those imprisoned or beyond seas, they bringing their suit therefor within the

space of ten years next after such impediment is removAlso those ed ; provided further, that nothing above contained shall

extend, or be construed or deemed to extend, to bar any person or persons having any estate in reversion or remainder, expectant or depending, in any lands, tenements or hereditaments, after the end or determination of the estate for years, life or lives, such person or persons pursuing his or their title by due course of law, within ten years after his or their right of action shall accrue; any thing in this act contained to the contrary notwithstanding

&c. saved.

in reversion,

1795, '98.

Personal

be com

An act for the Limitation of certain Personal Actions.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and actions, by the authority thereof it is enacted, That all actions of

trespass for breaking enclosures or closes; all actions menced. of trespass, detinue, trover or replevin; all actions of

account and upon the case, except such accounts as concern trade or merchandize between merchant and merchant, their factors or servants; all actions of debt founded upon any contract without specialty; all actions of debt for the arrearages of rents; and all actions of assault, menace, battery, wounding and imprisonment, or any of them, which shall be sued or brought at any time after this act shall shall go into operation, shall be commenced and sued within the time hereinafter directed, and not after; that is to say, the said actions upon the case, excepting actions for slander, and the said actions of account, and the said actions for debt, detinue, replevin and trover, shall be commenced and brought within six years next after the cause of the said actions or suits hereafter to be commenced, and not after: and where the cause of such suit hath already happened and now exists, then and in that case such suit shall be commenced within six years from the operation of this act, and not after: the said actions of trespass for breaking enclosures and closes, and all other actions of trespass for assault, battery, wounding and imprisonment, or any of them, shall be brought within four years next after the cause of such action or suit, and not after; and the actions upon the case for words, within two years next after the words spoken, and not after.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any person When to or persons against whom there is or shall be any cause of be comsuit for every and any of the species of actions hereinbe

against fore enumerated, who at the time the same accrued was persons within the limits of this State, and should go out of the State before said cause of action shall be barred by this act, and did not leave property or estate therein that could, by the common and ordinary process of law, be attached; that then and in such case the person who is entitled to bring such suit or action shall be at liberty to commence the same within the respective periods before limited after such persons return into this State.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That if any person Rights of or persons now, or who hereafter shall be, entitled to infants, any such action, shall be, at the time any such causes of action accrued, within the age of twenty-one years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned or beyond sea, then and in such case, such person or persons shall be at liberty to bring the same within such times as are hereinbefore limited, after their being of full age,

discovert, of sane memory, or at large, or returned from beyond

menced

absent.

.&c. saved. 1798.

sea.

Actions

certain cases unless

upon

Fraudulent conveyances

An act to prevent Frauds and Perjuries.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and brought in by the authority thereof it is enacted, That no action shall be

brought whereby to charge any executor or administrator

upon any special promise, to answer any debt or damage, promises out of his own estate, or whereby to charge the defendin writing, ant upon any special promise to answer for the debt, de

fault or miscarriage of another person, or to charge any person upon any agreement made upon consideration of inarriage, or upon any contract for the sale of lands, tenements or hereditaments, or the making of any lease thereof for a longer time than one year, or upon any agreement 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.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That every gift, grant,

or conveyance of lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods to be void. or chattels, or of any rent, interest or profit out of the

same, by writing or otherwise, and every note, bill, bond, contract, suit, judgment or execution, had or made and contrived of fraud, covin, collusion or guile, to the intent or purpose to delay, hinder or defraud creditors of their just and lawful actions, suits, debts, accounts, damages or just demands of what nature soever, or to deceive or defraud those who shall purchase bona fide the same lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or chattels, or any rent, interest or profit out of them, shall be henceforth deemed and taken as against the person or persons, his, her or their heirs, successors, executors, administrators or assigns, and every of them, whose debts, suits, demands, estates, rights or interests, by such guileful and covinous devises and practices as aforesaid, shall or might be in any wise injured, disturbed, hindered, delayed or defrauded, to be clearly and utterly void; any pretence, color, feigned consideration, expressing of use, or any other matter or thing to the contrary notwithstanding.

1767 '95 '98 1817 '22.

tablished.

An act fixing the rate of Legal Interest. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Rate of inauthority thereof it is enacted, That no person or persons terest es, whosoever shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or themselves, his or their agent or agents, attorney or attornies, or any other person or persons whomsoever, in his or their behalf, contract for or receive, for the loan of any money, goods, wares or other commodities whatsoever, above the value of six dollars for the forbearance or giving day of payment of one hundred dollars, for one year, and so after that rate for a greater or less sum, or for a longer or shorter time, or according to that rate or proportion for the loan of any money, goods, wares or other commodities.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any action or Plea of suit shall hereafter be commenced upon any bond, mort- uiary and gage, specialty, agreement, contract, promise or assurance whatever, which shall be made within this State, after the passing of this act, and the defendant shall allege, by a special plea, that a higher or greater interest than the rate aforesaid was therein or thereby secured, or agreed for, or taken, the court shall and may admit the defendant as a legal witness, upon the issue joined in such action or suit, to testify relative to the nature and circumstances of such usurious agreement; and shall also, on motion of the plaintiff, admit such plaintiff as a legal witness, in like manner; and if on the whole evidence, the court or jury who shall try such action or suit, shall find such contract to be usurious, they shall nevertheless find for the plaintiffthe principal sum of money, or real value of the goods, wares or other commodity, as aforesaid, and the defendant shall recover his costs : Provided always, That nothing in this Provise. act shall extend to the letting of cattle, or other usages of the like nature, in practice amongst farmers, or maritime contracts amongst merchants, as bottomry, insurance, or course of exchange, as hath been heretofore accustomed.

1749 '54 '98 1803

An act regulating Marriage and Divorce. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by 22. the authority thereof it is enacted, That from and after the passing and publication of this act, no man or woman

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