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contained shall prevent special days of return being appointed or assigned, either of course, or at the discretion of the Justices of the said court, or of any one of them, for writs, process or, proceedings in the said court, in which special days of return have heretofore been used or accustomed so to be appointed or assigned.
"AN ACT "To increase the salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court, the Secre
tary of the commonwealth, and Presidents of the Courts of Common Pleas."
Passed April 4, 1796, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 271. Sect. I. “That each of the Assistant Judges of the Supreme Court, and Presidents of the Courts of Common Pleas of the circuit including the city and county of Philadelphia, shall be entitled to receive the sum of four hundred dollars per annum, the Secretary of the commonwealth six hundred and sixty-six dollars and sixty-six cents per annum; and each of the Presidents of the Courts of Common Pleas of the other districts shall be entitled to receive the sum of two hundred and sixty-six dollars and sixty-seven cents per annum, in addition to their present salaries; and this act shall continue in force for two years, and no longer."
"AN ACT “Extending the powers of the Supreme Court and Common Pleas judges."
Passed Feb. 27, 1798, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 303. Sect. I. "That the Supreme Court and several Courts of Common Pleas in this state, shall have power, in any action depending before them, on motion, and upon good and sufficient cause shown by affidavit or affirmation and due notice thereof being given, to require the parties, or either of them, to produce books or writings in their possession or power, which contain evidence pertinent to the issue; and if either party shall fail to comply with such order, and to produce such books or writings, or to satisfy said courts why the same is not in the party's power so to do, it shall be lawful for the said courts, if the party so refusing shall be a plaintiff, to give judgment for the defendant as in cases of non-suit, and if a defendant, to give judgment against him or her by default, as far as relates to such parts of the plaintiff or plaintiffs demand, or the defendant or defendants defence, to which the books or papers of the party is alleged to apply."
"For continuing the present salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court,
the Secretary of the commonwealth, and the Presidents of the Courts of Common Pleas."
Passed April 4, 1798, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 329. Sect. I. “That the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of the commonwealth, and the Presidents of the Courts of Common Pleas, shall continue to hold and receive the salaries at present allowed to them by law, as a compensation for their services.”
This statute and the one of April 4, 1796, seems not to have been in force as the note attached to the Act of April 4, 1798, states that the salary of the Chief Justice is one thousand pounds per annum; the Assistant Justice seven hundred and fifty pounds per annum; and four dollars a day each for traveling expenses, as provided by the act to provide for the support of the commonwealth-passed April 13, 1791, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 26.
"To enable the justices of the Supreme Court to hold Circuit Courts
within this commonwealth.” Passed March 20, 1799, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, pages 358-9. Sect. I. "That from and after the last day of December term next, no judgment rendered, either in the said Supreme Court or any of the said Circuit Courts, shall be a lien on real estates, excepting in the county in which such judgment shall be rendered; and that every testatum execution shall be a lien upon lands and tenements only from the time of the delivery thereof to the Sheriff, who is directed to endorse the precise time of receiving the same, and shall certify forthwith a transcript thereof together with the day and time of such testatum execution coming to his hands, in and to the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the county wherein such lands and tenements shall be, unless the same lands shall be in the county of Philadelphia, in which case such transcript shall be returned into the office of the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court; and shall also make the return of the said writ and endorsement to the office of the Court from whence the writ issues."
"Vesting certain powers in the Judges of the Supreme Court."
Passed April 10, 1799, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 379. Sect. 1. “That if the city of Philadelphia should, at any time hereafter, be afflicted by any infectious or contagious fever, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the county of Philadelphia, or any two of them, be, and they are hereby authorized to hold the terms or sessions, now directed by law to be holden in the city of Philadelphia, in any part of the county of Philadelphia.
Sect. II. "And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the Judges of the Supreme Court, or any two of them, to direct and cause the Sheriff of the city and county of Philadelphia to remove from any pestilential danger the prisoners, who may be confined in the gaol of the said city and county, to such place of safety as they may think proper; provided that nothing herein contained shall authorize a removal of any prisoners confined by virtue of criminal process, without an application for that purpose from a majority of the Inspectors of the gaol of the city and county of Philadelphia.”
“A SUPPLEMENT "To an act vesting certain powers in the Judges of the Supreme Court.”
Passed March 15, 1800, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 437. Sect. I. "That if the city of Philadelphia should at any time hereafter be afflicted by an infectious or contagious fever, the Judges of the Supreme Court, or any two of them, be, and they are hereby authorized, to hold the terms in any convenient place, in any county in the state, for the purpose of hearing law arguments, and receiving the returns of the different Sheriffs, and deciding on mere legal questions."
The act providing for the determination of certain questions affecting the titles to land by the Judges of the Supreme Courtpassed April 2nd, 1802, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 506, relates to lands lying north and west of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, and Conewango Creek, is not copied here but referred to only as these disputes grew out of actual original settlements and have all long ago been adjudicated.
“For the more certain administration of justice.”
Passed April 6, 1802, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 529. Sect. I. "That no process, pleas, suits, actions or proceedings which have at any time been, now are, or hereafter shall be commenced, sued, brought, or depending before the Supreme Court, or any other court of this commonwealth, shall be discontinued or put without day, or so considered, by reason of the nonattendance of the Justices or Judges of the said courts, but shall stand good and effectual in law, to all intents and purposes, notwithstanding the non-attendance of any of the said Justices or Judges.”
"A SUPPLEMENT "To an act entitled 'An act to enable the Justices of the Supreme Court, to
hold circuit courts within this Commonwealth.'” Passed April 2, 1803, Laws of Pennsylvania, 1803, page 623. This statute does not name the date of the passage of the act to which it is a supplement but recites the title of the act passed March 20, 1799, 3d Vol. Smith's Laws, page 359. The supplement simply authorizes the successor of a deceased Sheriff to make a deed to a purchaser of land, and also authorizes the prothonotary of the Supreme Court in the circuit to issue writs of estrepement to stay waste. The supplement is not regarded of sufficient importance to be inserted here.
"AN ACT "To alter the judiciary system of this Commonwealth." Passed February 24, 1806, Laws of Pennsylvania, 1805-06, page 334.
“Sect. I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the first day of May next, no issues in fact in the Supreme Court, shall be tried in bank; but all issues of fact in causes then pending in the said Supreme Court, shall be tried at courts of nisi prius to be held in the city of Philadelphia, in manner heretofore used at such time or times as the Judges of the Supreme Court, at any term thereof shall direct: Provided always, That it shall be lawful for one of the said judges of said court, to hold sittings for the trials of issues of fact, in term time, without regard to the sittings of the judges then in bank, with like powers and authority as a judge at nisi prius.
"Sect. II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That for the more convenient establishment of the supreme court, the State shall be, and is hereby divided into two districts, as follows. That is to say, one to consist of the counties of Bedford, Somerset, Westmoreland, Fayette, Green, Washington, Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango, Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana, Jefferson, Clearfield, and McKean; and to be called the Western District; and the other to consist of the remaining part of the State; and to be called the Eastern District.
"Sect. III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be a prothonotary appointed and commissioned for each of the said courts, and each of whom shall take the same oath or affirmation, and give the like bonds as are by law required to be taken and given by the prothonotary of the supreme court, and shall perform the same duties in their respective districts, and be entitled to demand, and receive the same fees as have heretofore been allowed by law for the like services to the prothonotary of the supreme court.
“Sect. IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall be the duty of the justices of the supreme court, to attend and hold one term annually, in, and for the Western District at Pittsburgh, on the first Monday of September; and the said term shall continue two weeks if necessary to do the business thereof, and they shall hold adjourned courts whenever the business therein depending may render it necessary; and it shall be the duty of the justices of the supreme court to attend and hold two terms annually, in, and for the Eastern District at Philadelphia, on the second Monday in December, and on the third Monday in March, and the said December term, shall continue three weeks, and the said March term, shall continue two weeks, if necessary to do the business thereof, and they shall hold adjourned courts whenever the business therein depending may render it necessary.
“Sect. V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the supreme courts hereby directed to be holden, shall severally and respectively, have, and exercise within their respective districts, the same powers, authority and jurisdiction, in all