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after this act shall shall go into operation, shall be commenced and sued within the time hereinafter directed, and not after; that is to say, the said actions upon the case, excepting actions for slander, and the said actions of account, and the said actions for debt, detinue, replevin and trover, shall be commenced and brought within six years next after the cause of the said actions or suits hereafter to be commenced, and not after: and where the cause of such suit hath already happened and now exists, then and in that case such suit shall be commenced within six years from the operation of this act, and not after: the said actions of trespass for breaking enclosures and closes, and all other actions of trespass for assault, battery, wounding and imprisonment, or any of them, shall be brought within four years next after the cause of such action or suit, and not after; and the actions upon the case for words, within two years next after the words spoken, and not after.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any person When to or persons against whom there is or shall be any cause of be com
menced suit for every and any of the species of actions hereinbe-against fore enumerated, who at the time the same accrued was persons
absent. within the limits of this State, and should go out of the State before said cause of action shall be barred by this act, and did not leave property or estate therein that could, by the common and ordinary process of law, be attached ; that then and in such case the person who is entitled to bring such suit or action shall be at liberty to commence the same within the respective periods before limited after such persons return into this State.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That if any person Rights of or persons now, or who hereafter shall be, entitled to infants
&c. saved. any such action, shall be, at the time any such causes of action accrued, within the age of twenty-one years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned or beyond sea, then and in such case, such person or persons shall be at liberty to bring the same within such times as are hereinbefore limited, after their being of full age, discovert, of sane memory, or at large, or returned from beyond sea.
certain cases un
An act to prevent Frauds and Perjuries.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and better hesin by the authority thereof it is enacted, That no action shall be
brought whereby to charge any executor or administrator
upon any special promise, to answer any debt or damage, promises out of his own estate, or whereby to charge the defendin writing. ant upon any special promise to answer for the debt, de
fault or miscarriage of another person, or to charge any person upon any agreement made upon consideration of inarriage, or upon any contract for the sale of lands, tenements or hereditaments, or the making of any lease thereof for a longer time than one year, or upon any agreement
hich is not to be performed within the space of one year from the making thereof, unless the promise or agreement upon which such action shall be brought, or some note or memorandum thereof, shall be in writing, and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some other person by him thereunto lawfully authorized. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That every gift
, grant, or conveyance of lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods to be void. or chattels, or of any rent, interest or profit out of the
same, by writing or otherwise, and every note, bill, bond, contract, suit, judgment or execution, had or made and contrived of fraud, covin, collusion or guile, to the intent or purpose to delay, hinder or defraud creditors of their just and lawful actions, suits, debts, accounts, damages or just demands of what nature soever, or to deceive or defraud those who shall purchase bona fide the same lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or chattels, or any rent, interest or profit out of them, shall be henceforth deemed and taken as against the person or persons, his, her or their heirs, successors, executors, administrators or assigns, and every of them, whose debts, suits, demands, estates, rights or interests, by such guileful and covinous devises and practices as aforesaid, shall or might be in any wise injured, disturbed, hindered, delayed or defrauded, to be clearly and utterly void; any pretence, color, feigned consideration, expressing of use, or any other matter or thing to the contrary notwithstanding.
1767 '95 '98 1817
An act fixing the rate of Legal Interest. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Rate of inauthority thereof it is enacted, That no person or persons terest es: whosoever shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or themselves, his or their agent or agents, attorney or attornies, or any other person or persons whomsoever, in his or their behalf, contract for or receive, for the loan of any money, goods, wares or other commodities whatsoever, above the value of six dollars for the forbearance or giving day of payment of one hundred dollars, for one year, and so after that rate for a greater or less sum, or for a longer or shorter time, or according to that rate or proportion for the loan of any money, goods, wares or other commodities.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any action or Plea of suit shall hereafter be commenced upon any bond, mort- trial. gage, specialty, agreement, contract, promise or assurance whatever, which shall be made within this State, after the passing of this act, and the defendant shall allege, by a special plea, that a higher or greater interest than the rate aforesaid was therein or thereby secured, or agreed for, or taken, the court shall and may admit the defendant as a legal witness, upon the issue joined in such action or suit, to testify relative to the nature and circumstances of such usurious agreement; and shall also, on motion of the plaintiff, admit such plaintiff as a legal witness, in like manner; and if on the whole evidence, the court or jury who shall try such action or suit, shall find such contract to be usurious, they shall nevertheless find for the plaintiff the principal sum of money, or real value of the goods, wares or other commodity, as aforesaid, and the defendant shall recover his costs : Provided always, That nothing in this Proviso. act shall extend to the letting of cattle, or other usages
of the like nature, in practice amongst farmers, or maritime contracts amongst merchants, as bottomry, insurance, or course of exchange, as hath been heretofore accustomed.
1749 '54 '98 1803
An act regulating Marriage and Divorce. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That from and after the passing and publication of this act, no man or woman
Degrees of shall intermarry within the degrees hereafter named, relation that is to say, ship within which No man shall marry
No woman shall marry marriages His mother,
Son's daughter's husband,
Husband's daughter's son,
Mother's brother. And if any man or woman shall hereafter intermarry gitimate.
within the degrees aforesaid, every such marriage shall be null and void, and the issue of any such marriage hereafter to be had or solemnized, shall be deemed and adjudged illegitimate, and be subject to all the disabilities of
such issue. Marriages
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all marriages, parties when either of the parties have a former wife or husband having
living at the time of such marriage, or where either of them
shall be an ideot or lunatic at the time of such marriage, void.
shall be absolutely void ; and no dower shall be assigned
any widow in consequence of such marriage; and the issue And issue shall be deemed, taken and adjudged illegitimate, and be
subject to all the disabilities of such issue.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That divorces from the
bond of matrimony shall be decreed in case any marmay be riage shall be hereafter had or solemnized which is dedecreed.
clared void as abovesaid; divorces from the bond of matrimony shall also be decreed for impotency, adultery, extreme cruelty, wilful desertion for five years of either of the parties, and also for neglect or refusal on the part of
husband or wife
the husband, being of sufficient ability, to provide necessaries for the subsistence of his wife, and also for any other gross misbehavior and wickedness in either of the parties, repugnant to and in violation of the marriage covenant: Provided however, That no divorce from the bond Petitioner of matrimony shall be hereafter decreed by the supreme judicial court, unless the petitioner for such divorce shall, years' reson the trial of his or her petition, prove to the satisfaction "o of said court, that he or she has been a resident in this State for the space of three years next before the preferring of such petition. • Sec 4. And be it further enacted, That when it shall ap- Collusion pear, that the adultery, cruelty, desertion, or other cause of parties, of complaint as aforesaid, is occasioned by the collusion of the parties, and done or contrived with an intention to procure a divorce, in such case no divorce shall be decreed.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That when a divorce Divorce shall be had for the causes of affinity, consanguinity, im- for affini
ty, c. potency, idiocy or lunacy of either of the parties, the wife wife's esshall have restored to her all her lands, tenements and tate rehereditaments, and a judgment may be passed for a restoration to her of all or such part of the personal estate specifically, or the value thereof, which hath come to the husband's hands, by virtue of the marriage, as the justices of the supreme judicial court, from all the circumstances of the case, shall deem equitable : and they may make use of such process to carry their judgments into effect, as shall be necessary: and when the divorce shall be occasioned For adulby adultery, or other of the causes aforesaid, done or tery of
wife, huscommitted on the part of the wife, the husband shall hold band to the personal estate for ever, and her real estate during his hold the natural life, in case they have had issue born alive of her
nu estate, &c. body during the marriage, otherwise during her natural life only, if he shall survive her: Provided nevertheless, That the court may allow her for her subsistence, so much of such personal or real estate as they shall judge necessary.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That when the divorce For adul, shall be had for the cause of adultery, or any other of the tery of
husband, aforesaid causes, done or committed on the part of the wife's eshusband, the wife, if there be no issue living at the time of tate to be
restored. the divorce, shall be restored to all her lands, tenements and hereditaments, and be allowed out of his real or personal estate, or both, such alimony as the court shall think Alimony reasonable, not exceeding the use of one moiety of his allowed. real estate during the life of the wife ; and the property of