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A common law court shall be held at Castle-Rushen. or at such other place as the governor shall appoint, at the four following terms of the year : viz. Hilary term, to begin Monday next after the first Thursday in Febru. ary. Easter term, on Monday next after the first Thursday in May. Trinity term, on Monday next af. ter the last Thursday in June. And Michaelmas term, on Monday following the fifth day of October ; for hearing actions real personal and mixed : at which court, the governor may preside by the deemster : and every defendant to be summoned three days at the least previous to the court day: which summons is to be verified by the oaths of two witnesses: whereupon the plaintiff shall file his declaration, and therein set forth his right or title under which he claims specially; and if the defendant be off the island, then such summons shall be given not only to the tenant in possession, but likewise notice left at the last place of abode of the defendant : and that each defendant do enter his appearance, and proceed to his defence, so that the same may be tried by a jury the second term : provid. ed, that in case the defendant file a special plea or demurrer within twenty days after the first court, the same shall be argued at such short time afterwards as the court shall upon application direct; and in case the same be overruled, the defendant shall pay costs at the discretion of the court; and if within the island, be also obliged to join issue, so as that the cause may come on to be tried at the second court: and if resident out of the island upon the fourth court, and in matters of debt, where either party shall be about to leave the island speedily, the suit may be heard and determined at a special court, upon application to the governor: and in case the defendant, or any of his evidences, live or be out of the island, upon good cause shewn, sup. ported by affidavit, such reasonable time shall be allow, ed for his defence as the court shall see proper : Pro. vided that the deemster shall hear and determine suits
in a summary way, without a jury, as heretofore accus. tomed, and that this act shall not restrain the court from giving either party this further time for the ap. pearing to prosecuting, or defending their respective suits, as the court shall direct : any law or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. P
e .. tpib And whereas inconveniencies have arisen from proceedings of juries out of court, it is enacted, That all suits at common law, which require a trial by jury, shall be tried and determined at the common law court, and the juries for that purpose shall consist of six men; and the court may, upon cause shewn, order the evidence to be taken in writing, and the jury shall return their verdict in the face of the said court in writing, and not depart therefrom until a verdict is given : and if they do not agree upon a verdict in any convenient time, the court may order them to be confined in some proper place, and not to be discharged until they have réturned their verdict to the said court or magistrate: And if any person shall apprehend himself aggrieved by such verdict, he may traverse the same to the house of keys, in all actions wherein the title of land or its appurtenances come in question, and by appeal to the governor in all other cases whatsoever : who shall proceed in such manner therein, as to him shall seem right; and the party traversing or appealing, shall give in bonds in three pounds within twentyone days from the day of recording the verdict to prosecute such traverse or appeal with effect. Provided that this act shall not alter the present mode of proceeding in a summary way by jury of inquiry to find out lost or stolen goods or trespasses, where a jury of four men shall be sufficient; and that in the trial of all suits where a jury is by law necessary, the court before which such trial is to be, shall at least six days before the sitting of the court, issue process to the several coroners, requiring them to summon two or more good and lawful men, as required out of each parish, of which the ju. rors shall have at least three days notice, and at the site ting of the said court every coroner shall make a re. turn, in writing, of the names of the persons so sum. moned, with their addition and place of abode ; which shall be written by the proper officer of the court, on distinct pieces of paper of equal size; and be by him given in such court publickly to the judge, or magistrate presiding, who shall cause the same in his presence to be rolled up and put into a box : and when any cause is called to be tried, some indifferent person shall, in open court, draw out six of the said papers. And if any of the persons therein named, and so drawn, do not appear, or shall be challenged by a party, and disapproved by the court, a further number shall be drawn to complete the jury; and the six persons so drawn and approved of and sworn, (their names being marked in a pannel,) shall be kept apart in a box or place during the trial: and the same mode to be repeated in ascertaining jurors as often as occasion re. quires. And if a cause shall happen to be brought on in the said court, before the jury in any other cause shall have returned their verdict, the court may order six of the remaining number to try such cause, and so on in like manner. And if either party move the court for a special jury, or jury of view,' a view shall be granted, and a special jury returned, impannelled and sworn in such fair, open, and impartial manner as the court shall direct.
And it is is also enacted, that`the great inquest and long juries, and all proceedings before them, shall cease, and all matters which were formerly cognizable before them, shall be tried at common law *.'
By an act of Tynwald of the year 1793, the powers of the great inquest are restored, except in trying the right of boundaries, not adjoining the commons; and of ways, waters, water-courses, and boundaries between
* A. T. 1777.
party and party; and that the testimony of witnesses shall be taken in the presence and under the direction of a deemster; and this act gives power of appeal from the great inquest to the house of keys, as in other cases, instead of the long jury.
And by an act of 1796, the island is divided into two districts for holding the common law courts; and it directs that the great inquest of each sheading shall consist of six men out of each parish, and that they shall attend the common law courts of their respective districts.
The act of 1800, directs the common law courts to commence upon Tuesday, next after Monday, before appointed.
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It shall be lawful for the chancellər to take cogniz, ance of any cause, and to examine evidence therein, and, finally to hear and determine the same, and proceed to a decree, at any fourth chancery court, in the defendant's absence or non-appearance :: Provided it appears by matter of record that he hath been regularly and legally summoned to the said several courts, and stood out the several attachments and processes of contempt*.
Whereas the court of chancery hath hitherto exer. cised a mixed jurisdiction of law and equity, which may occasion doubts and difficulties in practice, and great expence and delay, it is enacted, That the said court shall have full power to make such rules and orders from time to time touching its own practice and pro. ceedings, and for the better conduct of suitors and practitioners as shall be found expedient; which said rules
* A. T, 1758.
and orders shall be written in a fair hand, and hung up in à conspicuous place in the said court.
Court of Exchequer.
WHEREAS all disputes relating to the rights of the crown, the imposing of fines, and the recovering of debts or duties due to the sovereign, and the determin. ing the rights of tithes, being properly cognizable in the court of exchequer, it is enacted, That the said court shall be held regularly on the day after every chancery court, or immediately after on the same day if the governor shall think proper : And the attorneygeneral shall, in the first instance, prosecute all offend. ers in revenue matters by summons or process in the nature of a capias, praying an arrest against the defendant's person ; which capias is returnable at the next court after the issuing thereof, three days being al. lowed between the service and such return; and when any offender shall be thereupon apprehended, or shall have given bail for his personal appearance, the attorneygeneral shall, before the second court, file an information, setting forth the cause of suit; of which information being filed, three days notice to be given to the de. fendant, or his attorney, before such second court, requiring the defendant to appear and plead thereto at such second court; and in default of such appearance, judgment and execution to go against the defendant's person and effects: and at such second court, the matter shall be heard and determined, unless sufficient cause shall be shewn to the contrary; and the governor is en. powered to make such orders and rules from time to time, for the better regulating the practice and proceedings of the said court, as occasion shall require *.
* A. T. 1777.