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P. L. 601.
port thereof to the
56. If any person found by inquisition to be a lunatic, shall be arrested or 13 June 1836 € 46. imprisoned as aforesaid, in any civil action, it shall be the duty of the court from which the process shall have issued, and of any judge thereof, in vacation, on the Courts to discharge application of any person on behalf of the defendant, and the production of a cer- lunatics from titied copy of the proceedings'upon such inquisition, to discharge such defendant from arrest and imprisonment, without bail.
57. Provided, That if the plaintiff in such action shall make affidavit, that he Ibid. & 47. verily believes that such inquisition was unduly or untruly found, or that the defendant is restored to a sound state of mind, as the case may be, the court may, be sane. in their discretion, order the defendant to be held to bail, if he be in other respects liable thereto.
58. If any person arrested or imprisoned as aforesaid, in any civil action, shall Ibid. $ 48. appear to be of unsound mind, it shall be the duty of the jailer or keeper of the Jailer to give noprison, forthwith, to give notice of the fact, to two or more aldermen or justices of tice to two justices the peace of the city and county, and require them to attend at such prison, and of arrest of lunatic. inquire into the state of mind of such person. 59. It shall be the duty of the said aldermen or justices, upon such notice, and
Ibid. $ 49. also, in case such aldermen or justices shall receive information of the fact by Duty of justices. other means, to attend at the said prison, and by their own view, and by examination, on oath or affirmation, of such persons as they shall think fit to examine, they shall inquire into the state of mind of such prisoner; and if it shall appear to such aldermen or justices, that such prisoner is of unsound mind, and unfit to apply for the benefit of the acts for the relief of insolvent debtors, they shall forthwith make a record of the fact, and certify the same to the prothonotary of the court of common pleas of the same county.
60. It shall be the duty of the said prothonotary, forthwith, to make known Ibid. $ 50. such record to the court of common pleas, if in session, or to some judge thereof,
Proceedings on rein vacation, and thereupon such court, or such judge, shall appoint a day, not more than twenty, nor less than ten days, for hearing any objections to the dis- court. charge of such prisoner; and it shall then be the duty of such prothonotary to cause notice to be inserted in one or more newspapers published in the county, and also to be given to the creditor at whose suit such prisoner shall be detained, his agent or attorney, at least one week before the day of hearing, that application will be made to the court, or the judge, as the case may be, for the discharge of such prisoner, on the day herein specified.
61. On the day appointed for the hearing as aforesaid, if it shall appear that Ibid. $ 51. notice has been published and given as aforesaid, the court or judge, as the case may be, may proceed to ascertain the state of mind of such prisoner, and if they charge of lunatic. or he shall be satisfied that such prisoner is of unsound mind, an order shall be made for the discharge of such prisoner from confinement, which shall be entered of record in the said court: Provided, That if it shall appear to such court or judge, And delivery to his that such person is not in a fit condition of mind to be set at large, it shall be friends. lawful for such court or judge to make an order that he be detained in custody, or delivered to his kindred or friends, in the manner hereinafter provided in the case of a lunatic charged with any crime or misdemeanor.(d)
62. If any person as aforesaid, be in confinement upon mesne process in any Ibid. $ 52. civil action, it shall be the duty of the said court, or of the said judge, before making such order of dischargė, to appoint some suitable person, being of the Court to appoint a kindred of the said prisoner, if such can be found, to appear and act for the pris- such lunatic, and oner in the matter of the said action, and to order that the appearance of such to direct an ap
pearance. person to the action be forthwith entered on record.
63. If such person be in confinement on any capias ad satisfaciendum, in any Ibid. $ 53. civil action as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the said court, or of the said judge, to appoint two suitable persons to act as assignees of the estate and effects of rested on final such prisoner, and thereupon the order of discharge of the said prisoner shall
process, assignees operate as a present assignment of all the estate, property and effects whatsoever
be appointed of the said prisoner, to such assignees, for the benefit of his creditors, in the same manner and with the same effect, to all intents and purposes, as if assignment were made by the party himself, being of sound mind, under the laws relating to insolvent debtors.
61. The assignees so to be appointed, shall have the like powers and authorities, Ibid. $ 54, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, and liable to the performance of the same duties, as assignees appointed under the acts aforesaid, relating to insolvent debtors.
05. The order of the court or of the judge aforesaid, being duly certified to the Ibid. § 55. sheriff, jailer or keeper of the prison, shall be a sufficient warrant for the discharge of the prisoner; and after such order shall be made, the person therein Order of court to named shall noi be liable to arrest or imprisonment at the suit of the same or any rant to jailer. other creditor, unless upon the order of the court, after proof made of his becoming of sound mind. 66. It shall be lawful for the court in which any action shall be depending, or
Ibid. § 56.
Court to direct dis
If lunatic be ar
(d) See tit. “Lunatic Asylums."
P. L. 601.
18 June 1836 $ 56. any judge, in vacation, upon application by the special bail in such action, at any
time before such bail shall have become absolutely liable, setting forth that the On application of principal had been, before the time of arrest, found by an inquisition to be a bail, exoneretur to lunatic, or had subsequently thereto been so found, and that in consequence of
such lunacy he could not be surrendered to the prison, without prejudice to his health or safety, to hear and decide the question in a summary way, after due notice to the plaintiff in the action; and if, upon such hearing, the court or judge as aforesaid, shall be satisfied of the truth of the facts stated in such application, it shall be lawful for such court or judge to order an exoneretur to be entered on
the bail-piece. Ibid. & 57. 67. Provided, That if such application be made before judgment in the action, Court to appoint a
it shall be the duty of the said court, or of the said judge making such order, to
appoint some suitable person as aforesaid, to appear and act for the defendant in defendant, and the matter of the said action, and to order that the appearance of such person to direct appearance. the action be forthwith entered of record.
person to act for
P. L. 415.
fendant to be de
Where defendant is
VIII. Criminal proceedings against lunatics. 31 March 1860 $ 66. 68. In every case in which it shall be given in evidence, upon the trial of any
person charged with any crime or misdemeanor, that such person was insane at the On acquittal upon
time of the commission of such offence, and he shall be acquitted, the jury shall the ground of in- be required to find specially whether such person was insane at the time of the sanity, jury to find
commission of such offence, and to declare whether he was acquitted by them on Court to order de- the ground of such insanity ;(e) and if they shall so find and declare, the court before
whom the trial is had shall have power to order him to be kept in strict custody, tained in custody. in such place and in such manner as to the said court shall seem fit, at the expense
of the county in which the trial is had, so long as such person shall continue to be
of unsound mind.(9) Ibid. § 67. 69. The same proceedings may be had, if any person indicted for an offence
shall, upon arraignment, be found to be a lunatic, by a jury lawfully impannelled found insune upon for the purpose; or if, upon the trial of any person so indicted, such person shall arraigninent. appear to the jury, charged with such indictment, to be a lunatic, the court shall
direct such finding to be recorded, and may proceed as aforesaid. Ibid. $ 63. 70. In every case in which any person charged with any offence shall be brought
before the court to be discharged for want of prosecution, and shall by the oath or Where prisoner brought up to be affirmation of one or more credible persons, appear to be insane, the court shall discharged, ap- order the district-attorney to send before the grand jury a written allegation of pears to be insane. such insanity, in the nature of a bill of indictment; and thereupon the said grand
jury shall make inquiry into the case, as in cases of crimes, and make presentment of their finding to said court thereon ; and thereupon the court shall order a jury to be impannelled to try the insanity of such person; but before a trial thereof be ordered, the court shall direct notice thereof to be given to the next of kin of such person, by publication or otherwise, as the case requires, and if the jury shall find such person to be insane, the like proceedings may be had as
aforesaid. Ibid. & 69. 71. If the kindred or friends of any person who may have been acquitted as Defendant to be
aforesaid, on the ground of insanity, or in default of such, the guardians, overseers
or supervisors of any county, township or place, shall give security in such amount friends or to the as shall be satisfactory to the courts, with condition that such lunatic shall be rity being given.
restrained from the commission of any offence, by seclusion or otherwise, it shall be lawful for the court to make an order for the enlargement of such lunatic, and his delivery to his kindred or friends, or, as the case may be, to such guardians, over
seers or supervisors.(h) Ibid. $ 70. 72. The estate and effects of every such lunatic shall, in all cases, be liable to
the county for the reimbursement of all costs and expenses paid by such county How expenses to be paid in such in pursuance of such order; but if any person acquitted on the grounds of
insanity, shall have no estate or effects, the county, township or place to which such lunatic may be chargeable under the laws of this commonwealth relating to the support and employment of the poor, shall, after notice of his detention aforesaid, be liable for all costs and expenses as aforesaid, in like manner as if he had become a charge upon any township not liable for his support under the laws
aforesaid. 14 May 1874 $ 1. 73. Whenever any person is imprisoned within the commonwealth, convicted of
any crime whatsoever, or charged with any crime and acquitted on the ground of Removal of insane insanity, application, in writing, may be made by the warden, superintendent,
physician or any inspector of the penitentiary or prison in which such person is imprisoned, or by the general agent of the board of public charities, to the court
delivered to his
overseers, on secu
P. L. 160.
(e) Insanity, as a defence, must be affirmatively ponderating evidence. Coyle v. Commonwealth, 100 established; a reasonable doubt as to the prisoners P. S. 573. Meyers v. Commonwealth, 83 Ibid. 131. sanity is not enough. Ortwein v. Commonwealth, 72 Pannell v. Commoncealth, 86 Ibid. 260. See State v. P. S. 414. Broun v. Commonwealth, 78. Ibid. 122. Jones, 32 Am. L. Reg. 771. Sayres v. Commonwealth, 88 Ibid. 291. The presump- (9) See tit. “ Lunatic Asylums." tion of sanity can only be overcome by fairly pre- (h) See tit. “Lunatic Asylums."
hereinafter named, or any law judge thereof; which application shall certify, 14 May 1874 $ 1. under oath or affirmation, that such prisoner is believed to be insane, and shall
P. L. 160. request that such prisoner shall be removed to a hospital for the insane; where- Commission to be upon it shall be lawful for any judge learned in the law of any court within this appointed. commonwealth having immediate cognizance of the crime with which such prisoner is charged, or of the court by which such prisoner has been convicted,(i) to appoint a commissioner of three citizens of this commonwealth, of whom one shall be of the profession of medicine and one of the profession of law, whose duty it shall be to inquire into and report upon the mental condition of such prisoner; and if in a report signed by a majority or all of the members of such commission, Order of removal. it shall appear that the prisoner inquired of is of unsound mind and unfit for penal discipline, it shall be lawful for the judge issuing such commission, or for any other judge of the same court, learned in the law, to make an order, under the seal of such court, directing the removal of such prisoner from the place of his or her imprisonment, and that he or she shall be received, maintained and cared for by the hospital for the insane, nearest to such place of imprisonment, and which shall or may receive aid or support from the treasury of the state, and that such patient shall be detained in such hospital, until an order, as hereinafter provided, shall be granted by the said court, or any judge thereof, learned in the law, for the return of such prisoner to the penitentiary or prison from which he or she was removed, or for his or her discharge from such hospital: Provided always, That whenever any hospital shall be established especially for the care of insane patients who shall have been convicted of crime, or whenever separate accommodations shall be made for such patients, in any hospital aided from the treasury of the state, the order, as aforesaid, for the removal of any such person from his or her place of imprisonment, shall direct that he or she shall be received, maintained and cared for in such special hospital, or in the separate accommodations of any hospital prepared for such purpose.
71. In all cases where any person who may have committed any criminal act, Ibid. & 2. and is dangerous to the community, shall be found to be insane in the manner pro- Commitment of invided by law, and in all cases mentioned in the 66th, 67th and 68th sections of the sane prisoners. act of 31st of March 1860,(k) relative to criminal procedure, it shall be lawful for any court having cognizance of the crime or offence with which such person is charged, to comunit to either of the hospitals for the insane mentioned in the preceding section of this act, any such insane person, for so long time as such person shall continue to be of unsound mind.
75. Whenever the superintendent or other proper medical authority of any Ibid. $ 3. hospital for the insane, to which any patient shall have been sent under the provisions of this act, shall
, in writing, certify to the judge or court by whom the Whenedo be reorder for removal and detention has been made, that such patient has been so far restored to mental sanity as no longer to need the remedial or custodial care of such hospital, it shall be lawful for the said judge or court, if the term of imprisonment for which such prisoner was sentenced has not expired, to remand such prisoner to the place of imprisonment from which he or she was brought to such hospital, to serve out the unexpired term of sentence, or if such prisoner become unsound in mind, after the alleged crime and before conviction, to remand such prisoner for trial; but if the term for which such prisoner was sentenced shall have Discharge. expired, or if the crime wherewith such prisoner is charged shall have been committed during his or her probable insanity, and in all cases provided for in the second section of this act, it shall be lawful for the said judge or court to order the discharge of such patient from the said hospital.
76. Whenever the term of sentence of any prisoner sent to a hospital for the Ibid. § 4. insane, under the provisions of this act, shall expire while such prisoner remains
When prisoners uncured and a patient of said hospital, it shall be lawful for the judge or court by may be delivered whom the order of removal and detention has been made, upon the due application to their relatives. of relatives or friends of such patient, and upon proper surety being given for the custody and care of such patient, to make an order for the discharge of such patient from the said hospital, and his or her delivery to the guardianship and control of the person or persons applying therefor; and no person committed to a hospital, under any of the provisions of this act, shall be discharged therefrom otherwise than in the manner hereinbefore provided.
77. The expenses incurred for the removal of any insane person from a place of Ibid. & 5. imprisonment to any hospital, or for their removal from such hospital, in pursuance of the provisions of this act, and of his or her detention, maintenance and care in pensesnt of exthe said hospital, shall be chargeable to and paid by the commissioners of the county in which the alleged crime with which he or she was charged was committed; and the said commissioners shall have remedy over against the poor district, liable under existing laws, or against the estate and effects of every such prisoner, for the reimbursement of such expenses to the said county.
(i) Clarion County v. Hospital, 111 P. S. 339. See Hospital, 30 P. S. 522. Shenango Township v. Wayne Franklin Township v. Pennsylvania State Lunatic Township, 34 Ibid. 184.
(k) Tit. “Criminal Procedure."
P. L. 605.
On restoration to reason, commis
Order to be a
Not to render his estate liable for
P. L. 605.
P. L. 725.
IX. Of superseding a commission of lunacy. 13 June 1836 $ 63. 78. It shall be lawful for the court to which any inquisition shall be returned as
aforesaid, on petition by the party, setting forth that he is restored to a sound state of mind, or that he is reformed, and become habitually sober, as the case may be.
to take proofs of the facts, and if the court shall be satisfied of the truth of the sion to be super
allegations in such petition, it shall be their duty to make an order that the commission issued in such case, and the inquisition taken thereon, and the appointment of committee, and all proceedings relating thereto, be suspended, or altogether
superseded and determined, as the court shall decide. Ibid. $ 64.
79. The order of the court as aforesaid, duly certified, shall have all the effect of
a writ of supersedeas, in respect to the estate, or rights and privileges of such party, supersedeas. and may be enforced by attachment. Ibid. $ 65. 80. Provided, That the order of the court for the superseding of the commission
as aforesaid, shall not have the effect of rendering the estate of such person liable
for any contract made by him at any time previous to such order.() prior contracts.
X. Miscellaneous provisions. 13 June 1936 $ 66. 81. If any innkeeper, distiller, grocer or other person, shall receive notice from
the committee of an habitual drunkard, not to furnish or supply him with any Penalty for supply. liquor, and shall, after such notice, sell, or in any manner furnish or supply any ing liquors to habit- wine, or spirituous or mixed liquors, to such habitual drunkard, or any person for
him, every person so selling or furnishing, shall forfeit or pay the sum of ten dollars for every such act, to be recovered as debts of the same amount are by law recoverable, and to be appropriated, one-half to the county treasurer, and the other hali to
the person who shall sue for the same.(m) 28 Oct. 1851 $ 7. 82. When any married woman in this commonwealth hath become insane, it
shall be lawful for her husband, upon application to the court of common pleas of Proceedings in the proper county, to select and appoint three discreet and intelligent persons, one case of insanity of of whom shall be a practising physician, who shall make an examination, personal
or otherwise, of such alleged insanity, and report the facts to the court; and if the said court be fully satisfied that the said married woman is insane, and approre the said report, the same shall be filed of record in said court, and the husband shall thenceforth, upon giving good and sufficient security to the commonwealth for the faithful performance of his trust, have full power to transact all business relating to the management or disposition of his or her real and personal estate, in as full and ample a manner as he might or could do if his said wife was sane and gave her full
consent thereto.(n) 25 May 1878 $ 1. 83. Any married woman whose husband has been duly found to be a lunatic, by
a court of competent jurisdiction within this commonwealth, and who owns lands Powers of wives of as her separate estate in this commonwealth, in fee simple or otherwise, may dispuse lunatic husbands. of the same, by deed or otherwise, or bind the same by mortgage, as fully and con
pletely as she could, if she were a feme sole, without her husband joining in or consenting to said deed or mortgage, subject nevertheless to the rights of the husband under the intestate laws of this commonwealth : Provided, That the court of common pleas of the proper county may, upon the petition of the committee of the
husband, authorize the sale of his rights to, or interest in, such real estate. 28 March 1879 $ 1. 84. In all cases where deeds conveying titles to real estate, situated within this
commonwealth, have been or shall hereafter be executed by a committee in lunay, Lunatics' wives under an order of any court having jurisdiction of the same, it shall be competent may release right for the wife of sucho lunatic to release or divest her dower right or claim in the of dower.
nature thereof in such real estate, in the same manner as if she were a widow and not under coverture: Provided, That such release shall have been executed prior to a decree declaring that such lunatic has been restored to his reason or sanity.)
a married woman.
P. L. 154.
P. L. 14.
(1) The contracts of an habitual drunkard, made (n) Want of notice to an alleged lunatic is fatal to after inquisition found, and before its confirmation, the proceedings; this act, so far as it provides for proare void. Clark v. Caldwell, 6 W. 139, And see act ceedings to declare a wife a lunatic without notice, is 25 February 1819, $ 2.7 Sm. 155.
unconstitutional. May's Case, 10 C. C. 283. (m) This section appears to be supplied by the act (0) See tit. “Marriage.' 8 May 1855: see tit. “Liquors.”