SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2005,Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved.
General Laws of Coahuila y Tejas
Republic of Mexico
SECTION I. Of the administration of justice by means of administrative provisions.
Art. 1. Civil demands, the value of which does not exceed then dollars, will be decided by the Alcaldes alone, verbally setting down the corresponding reasons, in a book kept for that purpose of common paper.
Art. 2. When the amount of the demand exceeds ten dollars and less than one hundred, each of the interested parties will nominate a "hombre bueno" <literally good man in Spanish, an arbitrator>; and these united with the Alcaldes will determine the demand by plurality of votes, within seventy two hours.
Art. 3. In case that the three were of various opinions, they shall adopt for a definitive resolution, the opinion most favorable to the defendant, between the Alcaldes and hombre bueno of the plaintiff.
Art. 4. The resolutions which are decided shall be set down in a book, destined for that purpose, of common paper; shall be signed by the Alcalde, hombre bueno, and the parties, if they are capable, and shall be executed without recourse.
Art. 5. To be an hombre bueno requires to be a citizen in the exercise of rights and know how to read and write.
Art. 6. The infractions of laws and regulations of police, which carry with them pecuniary responsibility or personal, which does not exceed ten dollars, or three days imprisonment, or employment in public works, shall be punished equally without recourse, by verbal determinations of the Alcaldes alone, but when the punishment has to exceed the expressed, it shall be imposed by the Alcaldes, in unison with two hombres buenos nominated one by the accused and the other by the accuser, if any, if not by the first Syndico Procurador, when there are two, or by the one, when there is only one; observing in case of various opinions the rule adopted by the third article, which shall be executed irremissibly, in case the Alcaldes have to proceed, he will nominate the hombre bueno on the part of the parties absent.
Art. 10. With respect to vagrants, idlers, and persons without occupation, the Alcalde will proceed, accompanied with the only Syndico, or the first, where there are two, to receive a brief information, and verbal process of his manner of living. If this should not be honest and regular, he shall order them arrested, and hear them verbally. And if they should not justify their conduct in concurrence with the Ayuntamiento, to whom they shall recur, with the information what is verbally said by the parties arrested, they will destine them for six months to the house of correction, where there is one, or to an office, or labor of fields, under the direction and custody of the masters or mechanics. And for a second offence they shall be destined to public labors for equal time, in accord with the same Ayuntamiento.
SECTION II. Of the preparatory measures for demands, that should be introduced and
prosecuted in writing before the Judges of the first instance.Art 11. Civil demands,
whose value exceeds one hundred dollars, must be instituted in writing, but for this it is
necessary that the conciliation proceed; which is necessary likewise in criminal demands
relative to grievous injuries.
Art 12. These conciliations shall be had before the Alcaldes, and for that purpose, each one of the parties shall nominate his hombre bueno, who shall be united with the respective Alcaldes.
Art. 13. United, the Alcalde and hombres buenos, and without mixing in the allegations of the parties, will hear as much as they wish to expound in their favor; and then retiring, these shall proceed to resolve the matter, by a plurality of votes in a prudent manner, which may be agreeable to the parties; and this shall be taken for a conciliatory determination: or in care of being a diversity of opinions, that which favors the defendant or that of the Alcalde and hombre bueno of the plaintiff.
Art 14. When the gravity of the matter requires--- in the opinion of the Alcaldes and hombres buenos---meditation, study or information of parties, they will give their resolution within the precise time of five days.
Art. 15. This shall be kept in a book of extension to that effect, of paper of the sale 4th, with the expression of the parties, conforming or not, with the determination; and shall be signed by the Alcalde, the hombres buenos and parties---if they know how.
Art. 16. The resolution and agreement of the parties in the conciliation shall be executed without reserve or recourse, by the Alcaldes themselves. And if the person against whom it shall proceed, enjoys any exempting privilege, his legal judge will execute it in the same manner on evidence of the certificate, which shall be presented of the conciliation: for which use, and for the other uses which the parties may require, shall be given the certificate which they ask
Art. 17. When the Alcaldes or the citizens of the pueblo are plaintiffs or defendants, the conciliation shall be had or transacted before the first Corrigedor. In turn, if the Alcaldes and Ayuntamientos collectively are parties in a suit, the alcalde of the preceding year will exercise the functions: and if a matter of common interest to the vicinity, they shall recur to the adjoining pueblo, or most immediate pueblo, where they have not such interest. In the district where there are more than one alcalde, and one should be designated, the conciliation shall be conducted before some other one.
Art 18. The Alcaldes, and other persons who convene at the conciliations, shall not exact any fee whatever, but it shall be exacted of the parties mutually, if they agree; or if not, the party who does not conform with the determination, shall pay four bits for cost to the secretary, and also costs of paper.
Art. 19. In the conciliations, shall be observed likewise, the privilege expressed in the 9th article to the person demaanding it---may appear himself, or by attroney with special power.
Art 20. If the person cited does not appear, he shall be cited a second time, at his cost, threatening him with a fine from one to twenty dollars, according to circumstances of the case, and the person: and if he still does not obey, nor show legal cause why he does not, the act shall be taken as terminated. The Alcalde shall give the actor a certificate of conciliation, and not having effected it for failure of the defendant.
Art. 32. De la ley Reglamentaria---The Judge of the first instance will not admit demands, whether civil or criminal, in writing, unless they come accompanied with a certifiant, that accredits having attempted the conciliations, and that the parties did not agree thereunto---Which see Addendum.
SECTION I. Of the extended regulations, in the administration of Justice.
Art. 1. Texas being formed into one Judicial Circuit---it shall be denominated, The Superior Judicial Court of Texas.
Art. 2. All causes civil and criminal shall be tried by jurors, in the manner and form prescribed by this law.
Art. 3. The Circuit shall be divided into three Districts, which are the three departments of Texas.
Art. 4. The Superior Court shall be composed of one Superior Judge, one Secretary, and one Sheriff, for each judicial district; and in criminal cases, the Jury and one Prosecuting Attorney.
Art. 5. The Court shall hold its sessions, every four months, in the capitals of the three districts: commencing in that of Bexar, the first Monday of January, April, and August; in that of Brazos, the first Monday of February, May, and September; and in that of Nacogdoches, the first Monday of March, June, and October.
Art. 6. For the trial of civil causes, there shall be in every municipality a tribunal by each Primary Judge, composed of the Judge, a Subaltern Sheriff, and the Jury. Their sessions shall be held every two months of the year, commencing on the fourth Monday of the month in which the session ought to be held.
Art. 7. In all cases both civil and criminal, the jury shall be composed of twelve men, who shall be sworn, and the joint opinion of eight of them shall be considered the decision of the jury.
Art. 8. In every Commissary's district there shall be one Constable, to execute the orders of the Comissary, and discharge such further duties as this law may designate.
Art. 9. To be Constable, it is necessary that the individual possess the same qualifications as are required of the commissary; and he shall be elected at the same time, and under the same regulations that are prescribed for the election of the latter.
Art. 10. The same number of Subaltern Sheriffs shall be elected, and at the same time, and in the same manner as the Alcaldes: the District Sheriff shall also be appointed in the same manner and form.
Art. 11. One of the lists which according to the 100th article of the decree No. 37, of the 13th of June, 1827, are directed to be formed in every municipality for the election of District Sheriff, shall be remitted to the Superior Judge; who, on examination of all the lists remitted, shall compute the votes and declare who has been elected, giving official notice thereof to the individuals so elected.
Art. 12. The Prosecuting Attorneys, Secretaries, and District Sheriffs, shall be appoinged by the Superior Judge, from among the proper persons (of the jurisdiction) and before him they shall take the oath prescribed by the 220th article of the Constitution.
Art. 13. For the formation of the Jury in civil cases, the Commissioners, at the commencement of every year, shall remit to the respective Ayuntamientos, a list containing the names of ll the citizens of his jurisdiction, qualified to serve as jurors; and the Ayuntamientos shall have a separate box for each Comisaria in which shal be kept the names of the jurors, each written on a separate slip of paper.
Art. 14. One month before the opening of the sessions of the Court the Ayuntamientos shall meet: and in their presence the Secretary shall draw out of each box one name, until he get thirty-six names, which shall then be put together into another and separate box, and a list of them shall be given to the Sheriff, in order that he may cite them in due time.
Art. 15. For the formation of the jury in criminal cases, the Ayuntamientos shall remit, every year, to the ayuntamientos of the capital of the district, a list of the names of all the citizens of their respective municipalities, having the necessary qualifications for jurymen; which names, separately written on slips of paper, shall be put into a box, and the Secretary, in the presence of the Ayuntamientos, shall draw out a number of names, which multiplied by the number of the municipalities which compose the district, shall produce a result not less than thirty-six; and shall deliver a list of them to the subaltern Sheriffs, in order that they may summon them to appear at the capital of the district, on the day of the opening of the sessions of the Superior Court: and two months previous thereunto, he shall transmit another list to the Secretary of the district, who shall put together in one box the names thus transmitted, and keep them in this manner, till the day of the approaching sessions.
Art. 16 and 17. Precognito ut supra.
Art. 18. In case the Judge appointed may not be acquainted with both the legal idioms of Texas, he shall appoint an interpreter, whose salary shall be one thousand dollars per annum. sdct
SECTION 11. Preliminary Provisions.
Art. 19. The Primary Judges in the municipal capitals, and the Commissaries in their respective jurisdictions, are judges of inquiry and police, for the prompt investigation of crimes and the apprehension of delinquents; and in so doing they may proceed by virtue of their office, without waiting for orders or instructions from any superior.
Art. 20. The Sheriffs and Constables are Executive officers, to aid and assist the Judges, and are required to comply strictly with their orders; when not manifestly contrary to some express law; and, in the absence of the proper officers, the Judge may appoint a substitute pro tem.
Art. 21. The executive officers, in case of necessity, may demand of the respective Commandants the assistance of the civil militia, to carry into execution the orders which they may have received from the competent authority; and every citizen is under obligation to assist them in the fulfillment of this duty.
Art. 22. During the time of the sessions of the Court, there shall be appointed by lot, six Constables, who shall assist the Sheriff of the district; and three others for the subaltern Sheriff.
Art. 23. For this purpose, the names of all the Constables of the respective jurisdictions shall be put together, and the Secretaries of districts, or the Primary Judges, as the case may be, shall draw out the nine provided for in the preceding article, and shall communicate the result to the individuals who may in this manner have been appointed.
Art. 24. The juries are judges of all the facts in controversy, and of the laws concerning evidence, subject to the instruction of the Judge: but they have the right to differ from him in opinion. But in regard to all other law they shall be regulated strictly according to their literal tenor.
Art. 25. The facts established by the decision of the jury, shall be considered as conclusive, and cannot be controverted before any tribunal or authority, except in the single case of corruption of the jury.
Art. 26. In all cases criminal, at the time of forming the jury, the accused shall have the right to object peremptorily, and without assigning his reasons, to twenty of the individuals named as jurors.
Art. 27. Any person interested in the case may object to jurors, On account of the following disabilities: for not being a citizen in the exercise of his rights, for being under twenty years of age, if married, or under twenty-five if a single man; for having committed some crime of treachery or falsehood, any other whatever meriting corporeal punishment; for want of impartiality on account of being a relative of one of the parties; for having acted in the case on a former occasion, as judge, juror, arbiter or arbitrator; for having some prvate interest in the case; for having been suborned, or having received pay for administering justice; for having bneen counsel, attorney, or agent, for one of the parties in the case pending; or for being actually his servant or master. These disabilities are absolute, and the Judge shall determine them by one witness, or such other testimony as he may deem sufficient.
Art. 28. Jurors may also be objected to for any just suspicion of partiality whatever, established by indications or circumstances, at the discretion of the Judge.
Art. 29. All the judicial acts contemplated by this law, shall be public, except the investigations of the police.
Art. 30. The trial in all criminal cases, shall be conducted in the language of the accused party; provided it be one of the two idioms established in Texas. And if a jury, acquainted with the language of the defendant, cannot be found or procured in the district where the crime was committed, he shall be sent for trial to the nearest district, in which the difficulty does not exist.
Art. 31. Both in civil and criminal cases, the parties shall have the privilege of being heard by themselves, without employing an agent or attorney, at their option.
Art. 32. In criminal cases, where the accused party may not be able to procure a lawyer or attorney to defend his cause, the judge shall appoint one for that purpose; and no one shall be permitted to excuse himself from this obligation, unless it be for some just cause approved by the Judge.
Art. 33. In cases criminal, where there is no prosecutor, the prosecuting attorney shall espouse the cause in the name of public justice; and where a prosecutor appears he shall assist him in the trial.
Art. 34. The Judge may continue the cause at discretion, on the solicitation of one of the parties, for not being prepared to enter on the trial, for want of witnesses, or any other reasonable cause; but always in such a manner, as not to retard the prompt administration of justice.
Art. 35. If the person against whom a civil suit may have been commenced, shall be about to absent himself from the place, or it is feared that he may escape, or that he may remove, or conceal his effects, they may be embargoed; or he may be compelled to give bail for security for his compliance with the sentence of the court, and for his appearance before the same, to answer to the demands of the plaintiff.
Art. 36. Attorneys may be appointed in the ordinary way, or the litigant may present himself before the court even during the progress of the trial, and name his attorney, to continue and conclude the cause in his name---both signing the customary instrument in such cases; in this case, the attorney is invested with all the powers and faculties of the principal himself, to follow up and conclude the action to its final sentence; being personally responsible for the abuses which he may commit to the prejudice of his employer of his employer.
Art. 37. It being an obligation due to society, that every man declare the truth when called on as a witness before the judiciary tribunals, in order that justice may be administered, no one shall excuse himself from so doing, unless it be under the exceptions established by law; neither can any one excuse himself, (having the proper qualifications) from serving as a juror, unless he show good and sufficient cause. And in both cases the judge may compel the individual to compliance by the infliction of fines; or imprisonment, in case the offender is unable to pay the fine.
Art. 38. The witnesses shall be paid by the parties, except in those cases where the state is a party; and the Judge shall designate, discretionary, what shall be considered a just compensation.
Art. 39. In criminal cases, the witnesses shall declare verbally before the Court, at the time of the trial of the cause.
Art. 40. In Plenary and Executive trials, and in those of inquiry in criminal cases, a record shall be made of all the principal proceedings provided for in this law, and in the form therein indicated. In the lower Courts, the primary judges shall make out and authenticate these records; and in the Superior Court, that duty shall be performed by the secretary thereof.
Art. 41. The Executive Officers shall make out in writing, a simple but clear and explicit statement, of the manner in which they have executed the orders of their superiors, and of all their official acts that ought to appear in trials by writing; which statement shall be signed by the Secretary and Distrist Sheriff; and in the inferior Courts, by the Primary Judge and Subaltern Sheriff; and in the Commissary's jurisdiction by the Commissary and the Constable.
Art. 42. These statements shall be placed according to the nature of the case, either in the record, or in the book, or at the foot of the orders executed, and in the place which they ought naturally to occupy.
Art. 43. The official acts of the Judges and Commissaries shall be attested by assisting witnesses. sdct
SECTION III. Of the administration of Justice in Criminal cases. Trial verbal.
Art. 44. Criminal trials am divided into three parts: the Verbal, for the correction and punishment of slight offences; the Sumario, which is the prompt investigation of the crime, and the discovery of the criminal, for the purpose of securing him, where the importance of the crime requires it; and the Plenario, for the final resolution of the case, and the application of the penalty, where the nature of the case requires its infliction.
Art. 45. The violation of laws or regulations of police, the penalty of which does not exceed ten dollars, or three days imprisonment or labor in the Public Works, shall be punished by verbal determination of the Judge or Commissary.
Art. 46. Slight infractions of law, and all delinquencies which merit no other punishment than admonition, or moderate reproof, or where the pecuniary penalty does not exceed ten dollars, shall be punished accordingly.
Art. 47. All decisions relative to those penalties, or fines, shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose and shall be signed by the Judge and assisting Witnesses, and shall be executed without appeal.
Art. 48. Every person who shall be cited by the competent judge, for the decision of verbal trials, shall appear either personally or by his attorney, at the hour specified in the citation; and if he should casually reside in another jurisdiction, he shall be cited by an official notice, directed to the Judge of the jurisdiction in which he may reside; and if he refuse to answer by appearing, after such citation, the judge shall appoint for him a suitable person to defend his case, and with him the demands shall be determined, and the sentence executed without redress.
Of the Trial Sumario. By Art. 49. Immediately on receiving information, whether by accusation, letter, official notice, or in any other manner whatever, of a crime having been committed, for which a judicial process is required to be instituted, the Judge, or Commissary, as the case may be, shall take an account of said information, in writing, and shall conduce to the investigation of the crime, and the detection of its author or authors.
Art. 50. He (the judge or commissary,) shall concur promptly, with Assisting Witnesses, and others professionally instructed in such cases, if they can be had, to certify the crime, with all its circumstances, recognizing (if it be homicide,) the body, the situation of the wounds, their dimensions, and with what weapon they were inflicted; if robbery, its signs, the previous existence of the thing robbed, the mode of entrance, and what vestiges or tracks may be discovered; and in like manner in all other cases, signing the investigations made, with the assisting witnesses and professional men, who shall previously be sworn to make a true and faithful report.
Art. 51. After these preliminaries, the Judge shall take the declaration of the accused, if in his power, and afterwards examine all the witnesses, that may be bad in the case.
Art. 52. When, according to the laws, the crime shall not merit the punishment of death, transportation, banishment, imprisonment, fetters, or labor on the public works, the accused shall be act at liberty, giving bail and security in conformity with the 184th art. of the Constitution.
Art. 53. Vagabonds, habitual drunkards, the quarrelsome, and the delinquent, who may have committed the same crime more than once, shall not enjoy the privilege mentioned in the preceding article.
Art. 54. if upon examination, it appear that the accused is not guilty, he shall be set at liberty instanter by the judge; but if the crime be proved, and the criminal ascertained, the sentence of imprisonment shall be made out, within forty-eight hours after his arrest: he shall be notified thereof, and sent to the Capital of the district, with a copy of the aforementioned sentence, that the Alcalde may be made acquainted with his responsibility; and a summary of the whole proceedings, shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the district.
Trial Criminal Planario. By Art. 55. The District Secretaries shall keep a record, in a book quite suitable for that purpose, according to the dates of the sentences of imprisonment, giving therein an account of the causes transmitted by the primary judges, expressing the crime, the place and day on which it was committed, and the name of the delinquent.
Art. 56. On examination of these causes, the Prosecuting Attorney in conjunction with the party injured, if he appear, and wish to continue the trial, shall formally make out the accusation, and shall present a list of the witnesses intended to be procured on the day of the trial, ex. pressing the place of their residence, that the Sheriff may be able to cite them in due time for that purpose.
Art. 57. The defendant shall also forward to the Secretary, a list of the witnesses whom he intends to employ in his defense, which shall be presented in time sufficient for their citation by the Sheriff.
Art. 58. The Secretary shall deliver to the accused Party a copy of the accusation, and of the list of the witnesses, at least three days previous to that of the trial in order that he may be prepared to make a proper defense.
Art. 59. The opening of the sessions of the Superior Court, on the day appointed, shall be verified by an act of solemnity, in which, besides the Superior Judge, the Syndico Procurador or Prosecuting Attorney, the Secretary, the Sheriff and the Attorneys of the Court-there shall be present also, all the Primary Judges, the Commissaries, the Subaltern Sheriffs and the Constables of the district. The Sheriffs and Constables shall be seated on the right hand of the Superior Judge and the Primary Judges and Commissaries on the left; the Prosecuting Attorney, the Secretary and the Lawyers, shall be seated in front around a table, and the spectators shall remain standing.
Art. 60. The Superior Judge shall open the session of the Court, by pronouncing a discourse analogous to the circumstances, directed principally to the instruction of the Judges and officers of justice, in the discharge of their several obligations.
Art. 61. This ceremony concluded, the judges and officers of justice shall retire to their respective jurisdictions; and the Courts shall proceed to the despatch of criminal causes, according to their grade and the order of their dates.
Art. 62. That the accused may be present during his trial, he shall be brought before the court, which shall proceed immediately to the formation of the jury.
Art. 63. The box mentioned in the 15th art. of this law, containing the names of all the jurymen cited for the occasion, shall be put up on the table; and the accused, or, on his refusal, the Secretary, shall draw out one name, and the Sheriff shall immediately cause the individual to present himself before the Court, in presence of the defendant; and if not challenged by one of the parties shall take his seat in the court. This operation shall be repeated in the same manner, until the jury be completed.
Art. 64. If in consequence of objections made to jurors, the whole number shall be exhausted before completing the jury, the number that may be wanted shall be taken from among the bystanders, and those of the vicinity, whom the Sheriff shall immediately cite for that purpose.
Art. 65. The number being completed, and the jury formed, they shall take an oath, to hear, try, and decide upon the matters in controversy, in the case then pending, truly and faithfully, according to the evidence and laws that may be produced, relative to the case, without deviating therefrom, either from favor, or enmity, fear or reward, and they will have communication with no individual whatever, on subjects connected with the case, out of Court, till they shall have given their verdict.
Art. 66. The Court being ready to hear the cause, the plaintiff by himself, his attorney, or counsel, shall read the accusation, and explain verbally and briefly, the principal points contained in it, and the evidence which he proposes to present. The defendant shall then explain in the same manner, the grounds of the defense which he intends to make.
Art. 67. This being concluded, the evidence shall be presented, beginning with the declaration of the Defendant upon the accusation; who, after having concluded the relation which he shall make by himself, shall be questioned by his Attorney, as he may see proper; and his examination shall be concluded by questions on the part of the Plaintiff. The Judge may question him during any stage of the trial, before the summing up of the evidence.
Art. 68. After the confession, the Sumario formed by the Primary Judge, shall be read, and the further evidence on the part of the Plaintiff, shall be presented; and afterwards that of the Defendant.
Art. 69. The witness, after having been sworn to depose the whole and entire truth, according to the best of his knowledge, or as he may be questioned upon the subjects then before the Court, shall declare with all the plainness and clearness he is capable of, what he may know in the case; and the party who presented said witness, shall have the privilege of asking him any questions he may think proper. The opposite party shall also be allowed the same privilege. The Judge may examine the witness at any time before the final conclusion of the testimony.
Art. 70. The Secretary shall make a minute of the declaration of the witness, which he shall read in his presence, that he may be corrected if necessary; and the witness shall sign it with the Secretary.
Art. 71. The testimony being concluded, the Plaintiff shall make a verbal plea, stating to the Court the reasons and circumstances that may appear most conclusive to establish his demand. The accused shall also make his defense in the same manner.
Art. 72. The Judge shall then make such observations upon the evidence and facts deduced in the trial, as he may think proper and necessary for the instruction of the jury, who shall then retire for deliberation.
Art. 73. During their deliberations the jury shall remain in charge of the sheriff, and shall not be permitted to communicate in any manner whatever, with persons out of Court, upon subjects connected with the trial. The sheriff shall render them all necessary assistance; and if it be necessary to return into court, for information upon any point, he shall attend them.
Art. 74. The verdict of the Jury being agreed upon, by the number required by law, it shall be committed to writing, expressing all the important circumstances that may have been established by the evidence, and shall be signed by all the jurors; those however, who may dissent from the verdict shall be permitted to express their separate opinion ; the decision shall then be presented to the Court, and read by the Secretary in a distinct voice, that it may be corrected by the Jury if necessary, and if approved, shall be added to the record.
Art. 75. In conformity with the verdict of the jury, and agreeably to the laws, the judge shall pronounce the final sentence, with which act the trial shall be concluded.
SECTION IV. On the Appeal of Nullity.
Art. 76. From the definitive sentence pronounced in the trial criminal plenario, the only recourse which can be attempted in the appeal of nullity.
Art. 77. This appeal of nullity shall be made within eight days after the sentence may have been pronounced, and before the same Court in which the case may have been tried, in order that it may be transmitted to the third Hall of the Supreme Court of Justice.
Art. 78. The party that may attempt this appeal, shall express in writing the reasons upon which it is founded, and, shall deliver a copy of the same to the other party; who shall make his replication within three days. It shall be admitted by the Judge, and the proceedings of the trial shall be officially transmitted by him, to the above mentioned Hall of Justice.
Art. 79. This Court shall try the appeal, solely upon the proceedings of the Court below, without commencing a new prosecution, or requiring the presence of the parties: nor shall any attention be paid to defects that may appear in the Sumario, unless they be such as materially affect the case.
Art. 80. If, in the proceedings of the trial, any of the formalities, or important requisites, contemplated by the law, were omitted, the sentence shall be revoked by the Court, citing the laws on which the revocation is founded, and the whole sent back to the original Court, where a new trial shall be instituted.
Art. 81. If the principles of the law may not have been accurately applied in the sentence to the facts established by the jury, it shall be corrected by the Supreme Tribunal, citing the laws on which it (the correction) is founded; and the sentence, thus corrected, shall be carried to execution.
Art. 82. If this appeal of Nullity be made on account of bribery of one of the jurors, who may have concurred in the opinion of the majority of the jury - an action shall be formed against said juror, without the necessity of a previous Sumario. He shall be taken into custody, and the trial shall proceed, with all the formalities provided for by this law in the trial Criminal Plenario, to the definitive sentence: if this be condemnatory, the sentence pronounced upon the verdict of the jury, of which the condemned juror was one, shall be revoked and the trial commenced anew.
Art. 83. The juror may interpose the plea of Nullity, in regard to the penalty that may have been imposed upon him; and in that case, all the formalities mentioned in the preceding articles, in regard to cases of that nature, shall be observed. The penalty inflicted shall be the same as for that of perjury.
SECTION V. Of crimes committed by the Superior and Primary Judges.
Art. 84. In case the superior Judge shall be accused of any crime, whether officially or ordinary, the provisions of the 197th article of the Constitution shall be observed, and the Legislature shall previously declare that there be just cause of action.
Art. 85. The provisions of the above cited 197th article of the Constitution, shall also be observed in accusations against primary Judges, for crimes of office; the Superior Court first declaring that there be just cause of action.
Art. 86. For this purpose, the accusation shall be formed without the necessity of the process Sumario, provided in this law, and the trial shall be entered upon and pursued, according to the process Criminal Plenario, till the verdict of the Jury. In conformity with the regulations of law in such cases, the Judge shall declare whether there be sufficient Cause of action or not.
Art. 87. The declaration of the Judge being in the affirmative, the plaintiff shall present his accusation in form, directed to the corresponding Hall of the Supreme Court, which shall be added to the record, and without any examination whatever, shall be remitted to the above mentioned hall of justice.
Art. 88. In conformity with the facts manifested in the record, and without admitting new evidence, the Supreme Tribunal shall proceed to take cognizance of and determine the cause, according to all the circumstances of the case, and recourses permitted by the law - without the necessity of the personal appearance of the plaintiff; the Fiscal acting as prosecutor in the cause.
Art. 89. The defendant may allege in his defense, the nullity of the Record, in conformity with the provisions of this law in such cases.
Art. 90. The sentence given, the proceedings shall be transmitted to the Superior Court for its execution.
SECTION VI. Of the administration of Justice in Civil cases. Trial verbal.
Art. 91. The primary Judges, and Commissaries, shall determine by themselves alone, and verbally, all demands, the import of which shall not exceed ten dollars, and a record of such decisions shall be kept in a book for that purpose, and be signed by the Judge or Commissary and the parties, or by two witnesses, in case the parties may not know how to write.
Art. 92. The decisions in these cases shall be executed in conformity with the 179th article of the Constitution.
Art. 93. In all cases of civil demands, and in those for personal injuries, the Alcaldes shall exercise the offices of Conciliators, in conformity with those laws promulgated to that effect.
Of the Trial by Writing. By Art. 94. In order to commence an action by writing, the complainant shall present himself before the primary Judge of the respective jurisdiction, and shall signify his demand by a petition plainly and clearly expressed, accompanied by a certificate of having attempted in vain, a reconciliation with the opposite party; and without this requisite his demand cannot be admitted.
Art. 95. The Judge shall immediately cite the defendant by a written notice, appointing the day of trial, and expressing in the citation the name of the plaintiff, and the subject matter of his demand.
Art. 96. The Sheriff shall notify the defendant of the citation, and shall deliver him a certified copy thereof; and if he cannot be found, the said copy shall be left at his house, or at the house where he may reside; or, if he cannot be notified in this manner, it shall be posted up in the most public place of the jurisdiction.
Art. 97. If the defendant reside in another jurisdiction, he shall be cited by an official notice directed to the Judge of said jurisdiction.
Art. 98. When the defendant cannot be found, or his residence be out of the state, and under such circumstances, that he cannot soon return; or, being cited in the manner mentioned in the preceding article, he do not reply in the time specified in the citation; or if in any stage of the trial, whatever, one of the parties shall not appear, when under obligations to do so; the Judge on information and petition of the party interested, shall appoint an attorney ad litim, for the party absent, and the trial shall proceed in the same manner as if the party himself were present
Art. 99. The absent party, however, may at any time appear, and continue the trial in person, and in that case the powers of his attorney shall cease.
Art. 100. The defendant or his attorney, having replied to the demand, and the pleadings of the parties being concluded, the cam shall be ready for trial.
Art. 101. Neither of the parties shall be permitted to present more than two writings; and the term of three days shall be allowed for the Replica, counting from that of the Contestation; and the same time shall be allowed for the Duplica, counting from that of the Replica; and the Judge shall deliver these documents to the parties, to whom they may respectively appertain, immediately on receiving them.
Art. 102. For the despatch of civil cases, the tribunals spoken of in the 6th article of this law, shall hold their sessions at the times therein mentioned; and they shall continue till the conclusion of all the causes before them.
Art. 103. All causes shall be despatched according to the order of their dates, unless there be just grounds for their delay, subject to the strictest responsibility of the Judge.
Art. 104. For this purpose a record shall be kept, in which shall be entered, with all clearness, the causes ready for trial, according to their dates: stating the names of the parties, their attorneys, if they have any, the matter of controversy, and the day of the conclusion of the pleadings preparatory to the trial.
Art. 105. On the day assigned for the trial, the parties shall present their evidence; and for this purpose they shall previously deliver to the Judge a list of the witnesses whose testimony they require, in time sufficient for them to be summoned by the Sheriff.
Art. 106. If any of the witnesses reside out of the jurisdiction, the party interested shall present his interrogatories in sufficient time, and shall give notice to the other party, in order that he may add such interrogatory as he may think proper; which he shall do within three days.
Art. 107. The Judge shall transmit these documents, with an official notice to the Judge of the place of residence of witness or witnesses; or with a commission in which he shall appoint one or more examiners, who shall take down in full the testimony given, under the usual form of oath in such cases.
Art. 108. On the day appointed for the trial, and the parties being ready, the box containing the names of the jurors who have been cited according to the 16th article of this law, shall be placed before them, and the plaintiff and defendant alternately, commencing with the former, shall draw out the number of names necessary to form the jury; and during the remainder of the trial, the same formalities shall be observed, as are prescribed in the trial Criminal Plenario. sdct
SECTION VII. Of Appeal to the Superior Court.
Art. 109. The parties being with the decision of the court, it shall be carried into execution; or otherwise, either of them may, within eight days, petition for an appeal to the superior court.
Art. 110. The party who considers himself aggrieved and may wish to interpose this remedy, shall swear that he does not intend it for the purpose of delay, but that he believes justice has not been done according to the law in his favor; and he shall present his petition within the time specified, in which he shall set forth his reasons, upon which it is founded.
Art. 111. The petition shall be admitted by the Judge, who shall give a copy thereof to the other party, who shall contest the same within three days, counting from that on which the petition was presented; and these documents shall be remitted to the Secretary of the respective judicial district.
Art. 112. The Secretary shall keep a book, in which he shall take an account of all the civil cases thus transmitted, expressing the matter of controversy, and the day on which he received the documents.
Art. 113. The superior court having opened its sessions in the respective district, and the criminal cases, which have the preference, being despatched, the court shall proceed to hear and determine the civil cases; first hearing the verbal pleadings, if any are to be made.
Art. 114. The Superior Court shall be guided in its determinations by the provisions of this law, concerning the appeal of Nullity, from the 8lst to the 83rd article inclusive.
Art. 115. The cause being returned, the Judge shall be regulated by the decision of the supreme Court and to proceed without delay to carry it into execution.
Art. 116. If either of the parties shall be dissatisfied with the opinion of the Superior Court, he may resort to the appeal of Nullity, to the correspondent Hall of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; and in that case the provisions of this law concerning the appeal of Nullity shall be observed -remitting a certified copy of the record, the original being returned to the respective Judge, for the execution of the preceding article.
SECTION VIII. On Executions, and of the Trial Executive. By Art. 117. The
officer to whom a writ of execution may be committed, in criminal cases, shall govern
himself -with the most scrupulous exactness according to the directions of the precept, in
which the Judges shall take care to designate clearly all the circumstances which are to
Art. 118. In civil cases also, the executive officer shall be governed by the directions contained in the order of execution.
Art. 119. In respect to judgments given, and an order of execution, a corresponding precept shall be issued, without the necessity of a new application by the party.
Art. 120. The creditor who solicits an execution against his debtor, shall I present a petition to the Judge, in which he shall set forth the grounds of his solicitation, accompanied by the corresponding document.
Art. 121. If the document be of that character which carries with it Aparejada execucion, the corresponding precept shall be issued without delay.
Art. 122. If the debtor can be found, he shall be required by the executive officer, to satisfy the demand set forth in the precept, or to designate property on which the execution may be levied.
Art. 123. If the debtor cannot be found, or refuse to designate property, the officer shall proceed to levy the execution, first on personal property; and if this be not sufficient to satisfy the demand; secondly on real estate; and lastly, embargoing his rights and claims, if the other property he not sufficient.
Art. 124. The property executed shall be sold at public auction, after thirty days notice to that effect having been given, by posting up written notices in three of the most public places of the jurisdiction, specifying the kind of property, and the day of sale.
Art. 125. The Defendant may oppose the sale within eight days from that on which the execution was levied, by presenting a written statement to the Judge, expressing the exception that he believes to exist in his favor; if this exception be proved before the day of sale shall take place agreeable to notice given.
Art. 126. Either of the parties may request that the Superior Court review the sentence given in opposition; and in that case the provisions of the law concerning this appeal in the trial of Civil Plenario, shall be observed. The determination of the Judge in the case mentioned in the preceding article, shall, notwithstanding, be carried into effect.
Art. 127. Before the day of sale, the property executed shall be appraised by two persons acquainted with the value of such property, each party choosing one. If the debtor refuse to use this privilege, the Judge shall appoint the appraiser, and also appoint a third to decide in case of a division. But, the Judge shall leave the third umpire, if the two first appraisers choose it, to their selection.
Art. 128. On the day of sale, the property shall be cried in the proper hour and sold to the highest bidder; but at a price not less than two-thirds of the appraised value; and the Judge shall give the purchaser a bill of judicial sale.
Art. 129. In case there should be no bidders, or two-thirds of the appraised value be not offered, the creditor may receive the property in payment of his debts, with the deduction mentioned; and the Judge shall give him the corresponding instrument of writing.
Art. 130. Any other creditor may oppose the payment on account of being preferred to the plaintiff; and where there are three or more creditors, having demands against the same debtor, and there be not property sufficient to satisfy the whole, there shall be called a Concurso.
Art. 131. This trial is had between the debtor and his creditors, all being plaintiffs and defendants at the same time; and these preliminary proceedings shall be concluded by two instruments of writing by each of the parties; and the trial shall proceed and be concluded according to all the forms established by this law, for the trial Civil Plenario, until the judgment; which in this case shall be called, the sentence of Graduation, because in it the order shall be designated, in which all the creditors who may have proved their rights shall be paid.
Art. 132. From this sentence, either of the parties may appeal to the superior court, the dispositions of the law in such cases being strictly observed.
SECTION IX. General Provisions. By Art. 133. That
the superior Judge may be respected and obeyed, in the discharge of his several duties -
he may impose fines not exceeding two hundred dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding
thirty days, being always responsible for the abuse of this power.
Art. 134. In case of the appeal Nullity, should it be necessary to transmit to the supreme court, a record that may be written in English, the Judge shall appoint a translator, who shall translate it into Spanish, and the appellant shall pay the cost of translation.
Art. 135. The dress of etiquette of the supreme Judge shall be black, or dark blue, and a white sash with gold tassels; and this dress shall be used by him on all solemn occasions.
Art. 136. When the Judge, Commissary, Sheriff, or Constable, act unjustly, illegally, or arbitrarily, in the administration of justice, the party aggrieved may have recourse to the superior Judge, who, after taking the information Sumario of the act, shall despatch the necessary order for the correction of the offence.
Art. 137. All municipalities shall contribute, according to the number of their inhabitants, to the construction of a court house and jail, in the capital of the district to which they belong; and in the mean time, for the securing of offenders, all fines and the other pecuniary penalties, which may be imposed according to this law, shall be applied to that object.
Art. 138. The superior Judge shall give an account, every month, to the government of the state of the administration of justice in his circuit, also the effects which this law may produce, and the difficulties or doubts which may offer themselves, in its execution, in order that they may recommend to the Legislature the proper remedy.
Art. 139. The salaries established by this law shall be paid the.first year with vacant lands situated within the judicial circuit, and at the rate of one hundred dollars (exclusive of the ordinary fees) for each sitio.
Art. 140. In order to give this law the corresponding publicity, in the two languages spoken by the inhabitants of Texas, it shall be published in, both idioms, and for that purpose the governor shall appoint a translator possessing a critical knowledge of both.
SECTION X. Things not Implied are Understood.
Art. 141. Executions in all civil cases, shall not deprive the debtor of those things understood as the only means of his lawful subsistence nor of those which simply imply his preservation and protection. As
Art. 142. Every man shall have the right and privilege of retaining his wearing apparel, bed clothing, cooking utensils, and the necessary implements of that trade, calling, or profession, whereby he is enabled to obtain the means of support; as also his military accouterments, of whatever name, nature, or kind they may be.
Art. 143. If the debtor should be a man of family, the property of his wife and children must be respected, whether it be the property of purchase, increase, or gift: if a gift from the debtor to be valid to the owner, it must be given, received, and recorded in the office of the Alcalde of the jurisdiction, previous to the time the present debt, demanded by the Sheriff, was contracted.
Art. 144. All debts are recoverable whenever property can be found, in the manner and form prescribed, within the articles of this law; with the exception of gambling debts, and those which may have been contracted without the power of free agency; which bondage shall be established verbally by two competent witnesses, or the written instrument of contract, which had been fraudulently obtained through the oppressive measures of the holder: if so, he shall be exonerated, and may recover such damages as the nature of the case will admit. sdct
From Edward, David B. The History of Texas. J.A. James, Cincinnati, OH, 1836.
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