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County court to audit and set

tle claims-lay and direct the what time.


for attendance.

pairing of bridges and public buildings; and, at the same time, said court shall lay and direct the levy to be collected, and shall do all things in relation to the financial affairs of the county which the existing county court may now lawfully do; and in those counties where a circuit court is holden in the month of October, the judge and justices of such counties, respectively, shall attend their November term for the purposes aforesaid; and it shall be the duty of the several justices of the peace in the county to attend said court and sit with the presiding judge, and compose a part of said court, for the purposes aforesaid; and the said presiding judge and a majority of the justices of the peace of the county, shall be sufficient to constitute a court for the purposes aforesaid; and the justices who shall attend and constitute said court, shall be allowed one dollar per day, each, to be paid out of the county levy; and, if the presi-Pay of justices ding judge shall deem it proper to make an appropriation. to be paid out of the county levy at any other than the October term aforesaid, he shall have power to order a summons to be issued against the justices of the peace in his be made. county, requiring them to attend at such term of said court as he may designate; and, upon a majority of the justices attending, they, with said judge, shall have power to make such appropriations as are proper and necessary; and the court, at such term, may adjourn from day to day, until a majority of the justices appear, and the business for which they have been convened is completed: Provided, that the presiding judge of the county court shall, at any other than the court at which the claims are audited, as aforesaid, have the power to make appropriations of sums not exceeding fifty dollars, without requiring the attendance of the justices of the peace aforesaid; but the appropriations made by said presiding judge shall not exceed one hundred dollars at any one term.

§ 4. Should a majority of the justices fail to attend said court, it shall be the duty of the presiding judge and the justices present, or of either of the presiding judge or justices who may be present, to order a summons against the justices failing to attend, and to compel their attendance, by attachment or otherwise; and said court may adjourn from day to day, until a majority of the justices in the county shall be in attendance, and the necessary business of the court shall have been transacted.


When and how appropriation to

Presiding judge settle claims not exceeding $50.

may audit and

Summons & attachm'is may

be issued to com pel attendance

of justices.

Records of exCounty courts to be records of courts hereby estab. lished, and co

§ 5. The records of the existing county courts shall be held and regarded as the records of the courts hereby or- isting ganized in the same counties, respectively; and all the records of the clerk's office, and all the official papers records pertaining thereto, in the several counties, shall be kept, held, and regarded as the official papers and records of the clerk's office of the county courts hereby organized in the same counties; and said records and papers, or copies thereof, properly certified by the clerks of the seve

pies to have same effect.



Papers to be

ral courts hereby organized-to whom the custody of such papers and records is given-shall be record evidence in all courts in this commonwealth, to the full extent that such papers and records now are, when properly certified by the proper officer; and, until otherwise directed by law, such papers and records, as well as the records and papers of the court hereby organized, and the official papers and records of the clerk of the court hereby organized, shall be kept in same of kept in the same offices and in the same manner that they are now kept by the clerks of the existing county courts. § 6. The clerk of the court hereby organized, and the sheriffs of the several counties, shall discharge the same official duties in their respective counties which the same officers now do under existing laws; and they shall be officers of the county court, bear the same relation thereto, perform the same duties therein, as like officers do in and to the existing county courts: Provided, that the county court clerk shall not practice as an attorney at law in the court in which he is clerk; nor shall he suffer or permit any practicing lawyer to have or keep his office in any room where the records and papers of said clerk's office shall be kept.

Clerks and sheriffs to per:

form same du

ties as at pres


Clerk not to

practice in his a law office to be kept in cl'k's

court, nor suffer


Judge to make all settlements &c., and com

with executors,


If judge is interested, clerk to act as com missioner.

To hold quar

keep records

7. The presiding judge of the county court shall make all settlements with executors, administrators, and guardians, within his county; and, in making such settlements, he shall be governed by the laws now in force, regulating the duties of the standing commissioners appointed by the existing county courts-so far as the same are applicableand for which he shall receive one dollar and fifty cents for each settlement, unless the same shall occupy more than one day; and if it should, then one dollar and fifty cents per day, to be paid as the standing commissioners are now paid for similar services: Provided, that when the judge may be interested personally, the clerk of the county court shall act as commissioner.

§8. The presiding judge of the county court shall hold quarterly terms in each year, at the seat of justice of his terly terms, and County, for the trial of all causes brought before him, at which he shall preside; he shall enter in a well-bound book, to be kept for that purpose, all orders, judgments and decrees, by him given or rendered, all executions by him issued, with the time of issuing the same, the amount of such execution, the return day thereof, and the day on which the same shall have been returned; and all executions issued by the said presiding judge shall be directed and delivered To whom exe to the sheriff or constable of his county, as now required by law; and the officer receiving the same shall be governed, in all things, by existing laws in relation to similar executions issued by circuit court clerks or justices of the peace, and shall be liable to the same pains and penalties: Provided, that in all cases where the sheriff is an interested

cutions to be directed.

party, such execution may be directed to the coroner, or any constable of his county, by name.


Jurisdiction of

§9. The presiding judge of the county court shall have concurrent jurisdiction, both at law and in equity, with county court. justices of the peace, in all cases where jurisdiction is conferred by existing laws on justices of the peace, and with the circuit courts in all sums over fifty and under one hundred dollars; and in all actions of trespass and trespass on the case, and writs of replevin, where the damages complained of do not exceed one hundred dollars-except where the title or boundaries to land may be in controversy-under the same rules and regulations as are now prescribed by law, conferring jurisdiction on justices of the peace and circuit courts in this commonwealth; and said presiding judge shall be allowed the same fees as are allowed by law to justices of the peace and clerks of circuit courts, for similar service.

§ 10. That the presiding judge of the county court shall be a conservator of the peace within his county, and shall have all the power and jurisdiction in cases of riots, routs, and unlawful assemblies, breaches of the peace, and of all misdemeanors, now conferred by law on justices of the peace, subject to the same rules and regulations; and he shall have power, by his warrant, directed to the sheriff or any constable of his county, to cause persons charged with a violation of the penal laws of this commonwealth, to be apprehended and brought before him, and to take the recognizance of such person, so charged, to appear and answer the same, or to commit such person to prison, there to remain until discharged by due course of law; and in all such proceedings he shall be governed by existing laws regulating the powers and proceedings of justices in similar cases.

Fees allowed

same as clerks justices.

circuit courts, &

Judge to be


on in criminal



Judge may grant injunc

§ 11. The presiding judge of the county court shall have power to grant writs of injunction, attachment in chance- tions, &c., &o. ry, and writs of ne exeat in all cases; and where the amount in controversy does not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars, he shall hear and determine the same. He shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus, and hear and determine the same. He shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts in granting writs in relation to idiots and lunatics; and in all such cases he shall be governed by the laws now in force regulating the proceedings of circuit courts in similar cases.


§ 12. Every person who shall be guilty of false swearing False swearing before the presiding judge, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and punished accordingly.

§13. That either party to a suit before a justice of the peace shall have the same right of appeal to the county court as is now given by law, and under the same rules and regulations; and parties to suits commenced before the presiding judge shall have the right of appeal from his decis

Appeal may be

taken from juscourt.

tices to county


to give copies of


by clerk to be evidence.

ion to the circuit court of the county, under the same rules and regulations as are now prescribed by law in cases of appeals from justices of the peace to the circuit courts, in cases over five pounds.

§ 14. That the presiding judge of the county court, when County judge applied to and his fees paid, shall give copies of all orders, bis records, and judgments, or decrees made and rendered by him, and of certified all papers filed in his office, and complete records of cases tried and determined by him, under his hand and seal; and all such copies of records, &c., with the certificate of the clerk of the county court, and the seal of his office annexed, that said judge is the presiding judge of the county court of his county, shall be received as evidence in any court in this commonwealth.

§ 15. That in all suits brought before said presiding Tax on actions judge-where the amount in controversy shall be over fifty before County dollars-a tax of fifty cents shall be paid by the plaintiff, and to be paid and taxed in the bill of costs against the defendant, in all

judge over $50,

into treasury.

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cases where judgment is rendered against him; and the presiding judge shall, in the month of November in each year, make out and certify to the auditor a list of such taxes received by him, and shall pay the same to the treasurer, under the same rules and regulations as are now prescribed by law, directing the clerks of circuit courts to certify and pay taxes on law process.

16. Whenever an administrator or executor shall, by a petition in writing, filed and sworn to by him in the county court, state and represent that the personal estate is insufficient to pay the debts or legacies, or both, and shall exhibit an inventory of the assets, as near as may be, with his petition as part thereof, and shall set forth the debts due from said estate, it shall be the duty of the county court judge to examine into the same, and if there be real estate or legacies of personal property or slaves in the will, or which descended to heirs, he shall cause summonses to be issued against the widow and heirs, or devisees, returnable to next court, if in the state, or if non-residents he shall enter on the reccrd warning orders against them, returnable to next court, and in the latter case, appoint the county attorney, or some other attorney, to represent them; and when the parties are before the court, by service or warning order and traverse, he shall hear the case; and if, on hearing, he shall be of opinion that real estate, legacies, or slaves, or any or all, will be necessary to pay debts, he will enter an order on the records requiring the same to be sold, and prescribe the terms of sale, and appoint a commissioner, the executor, administrator, or sheriff, to make the same, and when the purchase money is paid, cause a deed to be made, conveying all the interests of the heirs or devisees: Provided, that no power is given hereby to sell the widow's dower, or such property as the laws re



Appeal from

orders of sale may be made to

circuit court.

serve from execution; but, if the widow will file her consent in writing to a sale of her dower, and expressing her willingness to receive its value in money, then the decree of sale shall include the dower, and she shall receive its value. in money; and, from time to time, sales may be made of enough to pay debts, when the parties are once before the court, if other debts appear not represented by the petition, enough to pay such debts and the cost of administration; and Compensation the court shall allow the attorney appointed, and all oth- to be allowed ers, reasonable fees for their services; and where the estate is insufficient to pay costs of administration and debts, then the distribution shall be made pro rata, saving to the parties entitled by laws now in force the liens allowed. them; and, if any party in interest shall deem the order of sale improper, he may appeal to the circuit judge, who shall take all the papers from the county court and decide the question, and certify it to the county court; and, if he decides a sale is not necessary, then no sale shall be madeor, if he affirms the order of the county court, the sale shall proceed; the administrator or executor shall be considered as representing the creditors, or they, or any of them, may enter an appearance as plaintiffs with the executor or administrator, and shall have a right to be heard; and where liens or preferences shall be claimed, issues may be made between parties contending, and be heard and decided by the county court; and from these issues and decisions the parties may appeal to the circuit court, as in other cases; but these appeals shall not remove any more of the cause than is necessary to an understanding of the contest; and, when decided by the circuit judge, he shall certify back to the county court his judgment, which shall be recorded, and the papers taken up shall be returned, or the county judge may cause the parties to agree the points of dispute for the decision of the circuit court, and certify the same, without removing any of the papers; and during the decisions of the questions between disputants, the administration of the estate shall progress, if it can do so, reserving enough to make good what the contestants may be entitled to. After the petition is filed, no suit shall be brought against the administrator or executor, but all claimants against the estate shall file their claims in the county court with the clerk thereof; and proof thereof may be made in said court in term time, or the affidavits required by law may be made before any justice of the peace or the presiding judge of the county court; and where claims are disputed, the same shall be determined on issues formed by the parties, before the county court, as in other cases-or, if over the amount the county court judge has power by law to try, they shall stand for hearing in the next circuit court-that court re- tried. quiring the parties to frame issues to try the claims set up, or defenses thereto; but the administration shall progress,

No action to be brought ag'st

administ'r after petition is filed.

If claims are disputed, to be

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