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imprisoned and kept to hard labour, for any term not exceeding two calendar months, where amount of sum forfeited, &c. together with costs, shall not exceed 51.; not exceeding four calendar months where amount with costs shall not exceed 107.; and not exceeding six calendar months in any other case: determinable in each of the cases aforesaid on payment of amount and costs.

Warrant of commitment not to be void by reason of defect therein; provided it be therein alleged that the party has been convicted, and there be a good and valid conviction to sustain the same. 7 & 8 Geo. 4. c. 29. s. 73. c. 30. s. 39.

Vagrants and criminals charged with small offences, may be committed to the gaol or house of correction, at the discretion of the justice. 6 Geo. 2. c. 19. s. 2.

By particular statutes (which will be noticed passim), persons may be committed to the stocks.

Persons apprehended, by a warrant indorsed, in another, shall be committed or held to bail by a justice of the first county. 24 Geo. 2. c. 55. s. 1.

All commitments must be in writing, under hand and seal. See 1 Burn's J. 672.

Charge of carrying to gaol to be defrayed by the offender, to be levied by distress by the committing justice. 3 Jac. 1.

c. 10.

If not able to pay, to be paid out of the county rate, by warrant (without fee) to the county treasurer, from the committing justice. 27 Geo. 2. c. 3. s. 1.

But in Middlesex to be paid by the overseers where the person was apprehended. Ibid. s. 4.


An incumbent residing on his living, though he keep a curate (not having a lawful impediment allowed by the

bishop), shall himself, once a month at least, openly and publicly read the common prayer, and if there be occasion, administer the sacrament and other rites of the church. P. 5l. R. distress, if not paid in ten days. J. 2. W. 2. A. poor. 13 & 14 Car. 2. c. 4. s. 7.


A CONFESSION taken upon an examination before a justice may be given in evidence against the party confessing, provided it hath not been obtained by any promise of favour, menace, or undue terror. 2 Hawk. c. 46. s. 3.


As it is not consonant with the plan of this work to enter into a detail of the ancient duties, and the etymology of the name of this officer, I have only to consider him (as in fact he can only now be considered) as a subordinate officer to a justice.

Constables are the proper officers to justices of the peace, and bound to execute their warrants; and therefore if a statute authorizes a justice to convict a man of a crime and levy the penalty by warrant of distress, without saying to whom the warrant shall be directed, or by whom it shall be executed, the constable is the proper officer to serve such warrant. 2 Hawk. c. 10. s. 62.

In case of neglect of duty in any constable, peace or parish officer, or of any disobedience to any lawful warrant of a justice, P. 40s. R. distress, or in default, commitment for not exceeding ten days. J. 2. Ap. sessions, giving ten days' notice. 33 Geo. 3. c. 55. s. 1.

Constable neglecting his duty, in the execution of the vagrant act, P. not exceeding 5l. to treasurer of the county.

R. distress, or commitment to house of correction for not exceeding three calendar months, or until fine paid. 1J.1 W. 5 Geo. 4. c. 83. s. 11.

Constables may execute warrants out of their district, if within jurisdiction of justice granting or backing such warrants. 5 Geo. 4. c. 18. s. 6.


By 7 & 8 G. 4. c. 29. s. 62. abettors in offences punishable by that act on summary conviction, are liable to the same forfeiture and punishment as the principal offenders.

By 7 & 8 G. 4. c. 29. s. 64. c. 30. s. 29. the prosecution for offences punishable on summary conviction under those acts, shall be commenced within three calendar months after commission of offence, and the evidence of the party aggrieved shall be admitted in proof of the offence, and also the evidence of any inhabitant of the county, &c.

Justice may summon person charged with offences under said acts to appear at a time and place to be named in such summons, and if he shall not appear accordingly, then the justice may either proceed to hear and determine the case ex parte, or issue his warrant for apprehending such person, or may, without previous summons (unless where otherwise specially directed) issue such warrant, and the justice before whom the person charged shall appear or be brought, shall proceed to hear and determine the case. 7 & 8 G. 4. c. 29.

s. 65. c. 30. s. 30.

Every sum of money, which shall be forfeited, upon a summary conviction, for the value of any property stolen or taken, or for the amount of any injury done (such value to be assessed by convicting justice), shall be paid to party aggrieved if known, except where party has been examined in proof of offence, and in that case, or where party aggrieved

is unknown, such sum shall be applied in same manner as a penalty; and every sum imposed as a penalty, shall be paid to overseers, &c. of the parish, &c. where offence is committed. Ibid. c. 29. s. 66. c. 30. s. 32.

If party summarily convicted shall not pay the amount of injury done, &c. or sum imposed as penalty, justice may commit him for not exceeding two calendar months if sum forfeited, &c. with costs shall not exceed 57.; not exceeding four months not exceeding 107.; and not exceeding six months in any other case; commitment determinable on payment of amount and costs. Ibid. c. 29. s. 67. c. 30. s. 33.

On a first conviction on stats. 7 & 8 G. 4. c. 29. 30. justice may discharge offender, on making satisfaction to party aggrieved for damages and costs, or either of them. Ibid. c. 29.

s. 68. c. 30. s. 34.

A summary conviction for offence under the above stats. shall on payment, &c. be a bar to any other proceeding for same cause. Ibid. c. 29. s. 70. c. 30. s. 36.

As the statutes which give power to justices to convict in a summary way, place them in a situation unknown to the common law of England, giving them the authority both of judge and jury; and as any mistake in the exercise of this duty may be attended with very serious consequences to the magistrate, it is necessary for him to be very cautious and accurate in his proceedings, as well in the conviction itself as in the information upon which it is founded. The difficulty of drawing up a conviction in due form, has induced the legislature, in divers instances, to insert in acts of parliament which create penalties to be recovered before magistrates, summary forms of conviction, to be used by them in enforcing such penalties. No magistrate, therefore, should proceed to convict for any offence without having the statute creating that offence before him. When no particular form is prescribed, the general form directed by the 3 Geo. 4. c. 23. s. 1. must be adopted. The conviction also, whether appealed

against or not, should be returned to the sessions. 7 & 8 G. 4. c. 29. s. 74. c. 30. s. 48.


ROPES for shipping not to be made of hemp called short chucking, half clean, &c. P. forfeiture of rope and treble value thereof. 25 Geo. 3. c. 56. s. 2.

Quality of cordage, as staple or inferior, to be properly distinguished by the manufacturer, P. 20s. for every 100 weight. Ibid. s. 3. 4.

Making cables of worn stuff, above seven inches in circumference, P. four times the value. Ibid. s. 6.

Importing foreign cordage, except from the East Indies, without paying duty, P. 20s. for every 100 weight, and cordage forfeited. Ibid. s. 8.

R. all forfeitures not exceeding 57. distress, or for want of distress, commitment from seven days to three calendar months. J. 1. W. 2. A. penalties, and cordage forfeited, go to the prosecutor. Ibid. s. 7.

Ap. sessions, entering into recognizance and giving fourteen days' notice. Ibid. s. 11.

A justice of the peace* may authorize a peace-officer to search (in the day-time) houses, &c. where any of the king's stores are supposed to be concealed; and if stores marked as such are found, may convict or bind over the offender. 39 & 40 Geo. 3. c. 89. s. 11.

Commissioners of the navy may detain craft suspected of having stores or other stolen articles from the king's ships on board; and detain any suspicious person, and take him with such articles before a justice; and if he does not give a satisfactory account how he came by them, they shall be

* Through this act commissioners of the navy have a concurrent jurisdiction with justices.

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