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of entering pledge upon any petition or declaration, or for the default of alleging the bringing into court any bond, bill, indenture or writing mentioned in the declaration or other pleadings, or of, or for the default of alleging the bringing into court of letters testamentary or of administration, or of, or for the omission of the words “with force and arms," and "against the peace," or either of them, or of, or for want of the averment or words, "and this he is ready to verify,” or, "and this he is ready to verify by the record,” or of, or for not alleging was appears by the record," but the court shall give judgment according to the very right of the cause as aforesaid, without regarding any such imperfection, omissions and defects, or other matter of like nature, except the same shall be specially and particularly set down and shown for cause of demurrer: and no judgment shall be reversed for any such imperfection, omission, defect or want of form, except such only as are before excepted. And after demurrer joined, the court before whom the same shall be pending may, from time to time, amend all and every such imperfection, omission, defect and want of form as are before mentioned, other than those only which the party demurring shall specially and particularly set down, together with his demurrer as aforesaid.
Sec. 11. Every thing herein before contained shall extend to all judgments which shall be entered upon confession, “nil dicit,” or, "non sun informatus,” in any court of record ; and no such judgment shall be reversed; nor any judgment upon any writ of enquiry of damages executed thereon shall be stayed or reversed for, or by reason of any imperfection, omission, defect, matter or thing which would have been aided and cured by this chapter in case a verdict had been given in such action or suit, so there be an original writ, duly issued according to law.
Sec. 12. This chapter shall extend to all suits in any court of record for the recovery of any debt due the State, or any duty or revenue thereto belonging, and also to all writs of mandamus and informations of the nature of quo warranto and proceedings thereon.
Sec. 13. All writs of error, wherein there shall be any variance from the original record, or any other defect, may and shall be amended, and made agreeable to such record by the respective courts where such writs of error are or shall be made returnable.
Sec. 14. No part of this chapter shall extend to any indictment or presentment for any criminal matter or process upon the same; nor to any writ, action, or information upon any popular or penal statute; nor to any outlaw, or process thereupon in order thereunto.
APPROVED: March 3, 1845.
bind, or two justices of the peace, with mi-
6. Executor may bind in certain cases.
who may bind.
metic; to have bible, wearing apparel. Ex
ception as to negroes, &c. 12. Amount of compensation to be inserted, and
held for use of apprentice. 13. Copy of indentures to be filed in certain cases
with probate justice. Duty of probate jus
tice. 14. What indentures are void. 15. Remedy and mode of redress in case of improper
treatment of apprentice.
Appeals in such cases.
21. Proceedings in case of death of master, &c.
Section 1. All children under the age of fourteen years may be bound by indenture or covenant of service, clerks, apprentices or servants, until they arrive at that age, with or without their consent; and all minors above that age, may be so bound, with their consent; males, until they arrive at the age of twenty-one, and females, until they arrive at the age of eighteen years, or for a shorter term as herein provided.
Sec. 2. Any such minor may be bound, by and with the consent of, his or her FATHER. If the father be dead, or if he shall have wilfully abandoned and neglected to provide for his family for the space of six months ; or shall have become an habitual drunkard; or from any other cause shall not have legal capacity to consent, then the mother shall have the same power to give such consent as if the father were dead. The fact of such desertion, drunkenness or legal incapacity, shall be tried and found in the court of probate by a jury empannelled for that purpose; and an endorsement on such indenture, under the seal of the court, certifying the facts found by such jury, together with the approval of the court of the terms of such indenture, shall be deemed sufficient evidence of the power of the mother to give such consent as aforesaid. And in all cases of illegitimate children, the mother shall be deemed the proper person to give the consent herein required.
Sec. 3. If the mother be dead, or shall have abandoned and neglected to provide for her family for the space of six months, or shall have become an habitual drunkard, or a prostitute, or shall not, from any other cause, have legal capacity to consent; which fact shall be ascertained and certified as provided in the foregoing section; then the GUARDIAN of such minor, duly appointed, shall have power to give such consent. If there be no guardian, such minor may be bound as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 4. Any minor who shall have no parent or guardian living in this State, may, by and with the approbation of the judge of probate, or of any two justices of the
peace of the county in which such minor shall reside, bind himself or herself as aforesaid, which approbation shall be endorsed on the said indenture.
Sec. 5. The executor or executors who are, or shall be, by the last will and testament of a father, directed to bring up his child or children to some trade or calling, shall have power to bind such child or children by indenture, in like manner as the father, if living, might have done; or shall raise such child or children according to such directions.
Sec. 6. Whenever any minor shall habitually beg for alms, or shall become chargeable to the county, or shall be likely to become so, by reason of being an orphan without means of support, or by reason of the inability, refusal or neglect of the parent or parents of such minor to support him or her, such minor may be bound as aforesaid by the county commissioners' court, or by any two overseers of the poor, or by any two justices of the peace of the county in which such minor may
reside, by the approval and consent of the judge of probate ; and such indenture shall be as valid and binding as though such minor had bound himself or herself with the consent of his or her father ; but this section shall not apply to females over the age of fifteen years.
Sec. 7. The persons authorized in the foregoing section to bind the minors therein specified, may, respectively, as the case may require, issue their ordor, directing the sheriff or any constable of their county, to bring such minors before them.
Sec. 8. The mayor, or any two aldermen of any city or incorporated town, which, by its charter, is charged with the custody and maintenance of the poor within its limits, may bind minors as provided in the two foregoing sections.
Sec. 9. The indenture or covenant of service, shall be of two parts, and in all cases shall be signed and sealed by all the parties whose consent is herein made necessary thereto: Provideil, That in cases requiring the consent and approval of the judge of probate, such consent and approval shall be endorsed on said indenture, attested by his seal of office.
Sec. 10. The age and time of service of every apprentice or servant, shall be inserted in his or her indentures; but if such age shall be unknown, then it shall be inserted according to the best information, which age shall, in relation to the term of service, be deemed and taken as the true age of such minor.
Sec. 11. In all indentures it shall be provided that the master or mistress shall cause such clerk, apprentice or servant, to be taught to read and write, and the ground rules of arithmetic; and shall also, at the expiration of such term of service, give to such apprentice a new bible, and two complete suits of new wearing apparel, suitable to his or her condition in life: Frovided, That if such minor be a negro or mullatto, it shall not be necessary to require that he or she shall be taught to write, or the knowledge of arithmetic.
Sec. 12. Every sum of money paid or agreed for, with, or in relation to the binding of any clerk, apprentice or servant, as a compensation for his or her services, shall be inserted in the indentures; and all money or property so paid or agreed to be paid, shall be secured to, and for the sole use and benefit of the minor.
Sec. 13. Whenever any minor shall be bound by other than his or her parent or guardian, one copy of the indentures shall be filed in the office of the judge of probate for safe keeping; and it shall be the duty of the officers or persons binding such minors, and of the judge of probate to see that the terms of such indentures are complied with, and that such minor is not ill used.
Sec. 14. All indentures, covenants, promises and bargains, for taking, binding or keeping any apprentice, clerk or servant, not in conformity with the provisions and requirements of this chapter shall be utterly void in law, as against such clerk, apprentice or servant.
Sec. 15. The judge of probate, or any two justices of the peace, excepting the justices who may have bound the apprentice complaining, shall at all times receive the complaints of clerks, apprentices and servants, who reside within the jurisdiction of such judge or justices, against their masters or mistresses, alleging undeserved or immoderate correction, unwholesome food, insufficient allowance of food, raiment or lodging, want of sufficient care or physic in sickness, want of instruction in their trade or profession, or the violation of any of the agreements or covenants in the indentures of apprenticeship contained, or that he or she is in danger of being removed out of the jurisdiction of this State ; and shall cause such masters or mistresses to be summoned before them, and shall on the return of the summons,
whether such master or mistress appear or not, hear and determine such cases, in a summary way, and make such order thereon, as in the judgment of the said judge of probate, or two justices of the peace, will relieve the party injured in future; and shall have authority, if said judge or two justices think proper, to discharge such clerk, apprentice or servant from his or her apprenticeship or service. And in case any money or other thing, shall have been paid, given, or contracted or agreed for by either party in relation to the said apprenticeship or service, shall make such order concerning the same, as the said judge or justices of the peace shall deem just and reasonable. And if the said apprentice so discharged shall have been bound ori ginally, as provided in the sixth, seventh and eighth sections of this chapter, it shal be the duty of the court granting the discharge, again to bind him or her, if said cour: shall judge proper.
Sec. 16. The said judge of probate or any two justices of the peace shall, on the complaint of masters or mistresses, issue a warrant against any clerk, apprentice or servant for desertion, without good cause, or for any misdemeanor, miscarriage or ill behavior, and may punish such clerk, apprentice or servant according to the nature and aggravation of his or her offence, by imprisonment not exceeding ten days; and in addition to the above punishment, where the offence shall be desertion without good cause, the court may order the said clerk, apprentice or servant guilty thereof, to make restitution by the payment of a sum not exceeding eight dollars for each and every month he or she may be so absent, to be collected as other debts, after such clerk, servant or apprentice shall become of full age. The awarding of costs on proceedings under this and the preceding sections, shall be in the discretion of the court. An appeal to the circuit court from any decisions made under this or the preceding sections shall be allowed to either party, upon the party appealing, entering into a bond, with good and sufficient security, in the penalty of one hundred dollars, conditioned to prosecute such appeal to effect, and to abide by and perform the decision of the circuit court in the premises: which court shall hear and decide such appeal upon the same principles as the said judge of probate or justices ought to have heard and decided the original complaint. The decision of the circuit court shall be final and conclusive in the premises, and shall not be subject to appeal or writ of error. The bond above mentioned, shall be entered into before the clerk of the circuit court, who shall thereupon proceed in said appeal as is directed by law, in cases of appeal from the decisions of justices of the peace in other cases.
Sec. 17. Every person who shall counsel, persuade, entice, aid or assist any clerk, apprentice or servant, to run away or absent himself or herself from the service of his or her master or mistress, or to rebel against, or assault his or her master or mistress, shall forfeit and pay a sum not less than twenty, nor more than five hundred dollars, to be sued for and recovered by action on the case, with costs, by such master or mistress, in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
Sec. 18. Every person who shall conceal any clerk, apprentice or servant, knowing such clerk, apprentice or servant to have run away, or to have absented himself or herself from the service of his or her master or mistress without leave, shall forfeit and pay one dollar for every day's concealing as aforesaid ; to be sued for and recovered by action of debt with costs, by such master or mistress, in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
Sec. 19. It shall not be lawful for any master or mistress, to remove any clerk, apprentice or servant bound to him or her as aforesaid out of this State; and if at
any time it shall appear to any judge, or justice of the peace, upon the oath of any competent person,
master or mistress is about to remove, or cause to be removed, any such clerk, apprentice or servant out of this state, it shall be lawful for such judge or justice, to issue his warrant, and to cause such master or mistress to be brought before him, and if upon examination, it appear that such apprentice, clerk or servant is in danger of being removed without the jurisdiction of this state, the judge or justice may require the master or mistress to enter into recognizance, with sufficient security, in the sum of one thousand dollars, conditioned that such apprentice, clerk or servant, shall not be removed without the jurisdiction of this State, and that the said master or mistress will appear with the apprentice, clerk or servant before the circuit court, at the next term thereof, and abide the decision of the court therein; which recognizance shall be returned to the circuit court, and the said court shall proceed therein, in a summary manner, and may discharge or continue the recognizance, or may require a new recognizance, and otherwise proceed according to law and justice. But if'the master or mistress, when brought before any judge or justice, according to the provisions of this section, will not enter into a recognizance as aforesaid, if required so to do, it shall be lawful for such court or justice to discharge such clerk, apprentice or servant from such apprenticeship or service, and to award judgment against such master or mistress for costs, and for such sum as, considering the terms of the indentures and the condition of the parties, may be deemed just and reasonable.
Sec. 20. Whenever any master or mistress of any clerk, apprentice or servant, bound by the court as aforesaid, shall wish to remove out of this State, or to quit his or her trade or business, it shall and may be lawful for him or her, to
with his or her clerk, apprentice or servant before the probate court of the proper county; and such court shall have power if deemned expedient, to discharge such clerk, apprentice or servant from the service of such master or mistress.
Sec. 21. When any person shall become bound as clerk, apprentice or servant, according to the provisions of this chapter, to two or more persons, and one or more of them die before the expiration of the term of service, the indentures and contracts shall survive to, and against such survivor or survivors ; and in case of the death of all the masters or mistresses in any such indenture or contract named, before the expiration of the term of service, such clerk, apprentice or servant shall be thereby discharged from such service.
Sec. 22. Any clerk, apprentice or servant, bound according to the provisions of this chapter, who shall absent himself or herself from the service of his or her master or mistress, without leave first obtained, or who shall run away, so that the master or mistress shall be deprived of his or her service, during the remainder of the term, or any part thereof, for which he or she was bound to serve, then and in that case, it shall and may be lawful for the master or mistress of such clerk, apprentice or servant, to have an action on the case, in any court of competent jurisdiction, against such clerk, apprentice or servant, after he or she arrives at full age, for the damage that such master or mistress may have sustained, by reason of the absence of such clerk, apprentice or servant: Provided, That such action shall be brought within six years, after such clerk, apprentice or servant, shall arrive at
APPROVED: March 3, 1845.