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north-west corner of Tolland, shall be one district, and called the district of East-Windsor. The towns of Waterbury, Watertown, Plymouth, Wolcott, and Middlebury, shall be one district, and called the district of Waterbury. The towns of Norfolk, Colebrook, and Winchester, shall be one district, and called the district of Norfolk. The towns of New-Milford, Kent, and Sherman, shall be one district, and called the district of New-Milford. The towns of Hebron, Coventry, Bolton, and Columbia, shall be one district, and called the district of Hebron. The towns of Norwalk, New-Canaan, and Wilton, shall be one district, and called the district of Norwalk. The towns of Granby and Hartland, shall be one district, and be called the district of Granby. The towns of Newtown and Brookfield, shall be one district, and called the district of Newtown. The town of Suffield, shall be one district, and be called the district of Suffield. sect. 27. The judges of the several courts of probate are hereby authorized to hold their said courts, in any of the towns within the districts for which they are or shall be appointed. sect. 28. Whenever any disputable and difficult matter'shall appear in any case, depending before any judge of a court of probate, such judge may call to his assistance any one or two of the judges of the county court, of that county, in which such disputable matter may arise. sect. 29. Whenever there shall be so near a relationship between any deceased person, and the judge of probate of the district in which such deceased person last dwelt, as between father and son, by nature or marriage, or brother and brother, in like manner; or whenever any judge of probate shall be interested in the estate of any deceased person, as being legatee, or devisee, or heir at law; or if any person, while acting as executor or administrator of the estate of any deceased person, in any court of probate, shall become the judge of said court; in every such case, such judge shall be disqualified to act as judge, in the settlement of such deceased person's estate, and the cognizance thereof, shall appertain to the judge of probate in an adjoining district, who may by law act, and who resides nearest to the residence of the judge so disqualified; and the judge so residing in an adjoining district, shall, in every such case, have full authority to proceed to a final settlement of the estate of such deceased person, and shall cause his doings to be recorded in the probate records of the district wherein such deceased person dwelt. And if any claim on an insolvent estate is to be reviewed in any probate district, and the judge therein shall be related to any person interested in such estate, in so near a degree as is herein specified, such claim shall be heard and decided by the judge of probate in an adjoining district, residing as aforesaid, and two justices of the peace, or one judge of the county court in the county; and their judgment on such claim shall be final, and recorded in the records of the probate district, wherein such estate is settled; and the judge of probate, in such district, shall conform to such judgment in further proceeding upon such estate. sect. 30. Whenever during the recess of the general assembly, the office of judge of probate, in any district, shall become vacant, by the death of the judge, the judge of probate of an adjoining district, who may by law act, and who resides nearest to the last residence of such deceased judge, shall have full power to execute the office of judge of probate in such vacant district, until a judge for such district shall be appointed and sworn. sect. 31. The supreme court of errors, the superior courts, the county courts and the courts of probate shall have a proper seal belonging to each of the said respective courts, to be used for all causes, matters and things proper for said courts, respectively, and according to law ; each of which courts is hereby directed and empowered to procure its proper seal, which shall be lodged with the clerks of the respective courts, to be used by their direction. sect. 32. Be it further enacted, That each and every justice of the peace, duly appointed and sworn, may, and he is hereby authorized, from time to time, as there shall be occasion, to hold a justice court in the county, for which he shall be appointed; and shall have cognizance of all actions of a civil nature, legally brought before him, and may hear, try and determine the same, and may render judgment, and grant execution thereon, according to law. And every justice of the peace, is hereby authorized to issue and sign any writs, warrants or other processes, according to law, either in civil or criminal causes, which may be served and returned before any court in the state. sect. 33. Any justice of the peace, within the county for which he may be appointed, may take and accept a confession or acknowledgment of any debt, from a debtor to his creditor, for any sum not exceeding seventy dollars, together with the cost of such confession, as the parties shall agree; which confession shall be made only by the person of the debtor himself: and on such confession, so made, the said justice shall make a record thereof, and grant execution thereon, in due form of law. And all executions, granted and signed by a justice of the peace, according to law, shall be proceeded with, levied and executed, in the same manner, and have the same force, to all intents and purposes, as executions granted by the other courts. sect. 34. And any justice of the peace, in any court, His criminal holden by him, in the county for which he may be ap-jurisdiction. pointed, shall have cognizance of all actions of a criminal nature, that may be legally brought before him, and may proceed to trial, render judgment therein, and grant a warrant for the execution thereof, according to law. An appeal But the defendant, in all such actions or complaints, (ex- allowed. cept in actions or complaints for the crimes of drunkenness, profane cursing and swearing and sabbath-breaking) may appeal from the judgment of the justice therein, to the county court, next to be holden in the county, where such justice court may have been holden. sect. 35. And whenever any complaint, for any crimi- when a comnal matter, shall be legally brought before a justice of the plaint not cogpeace, which is by law cognizable by a higher court, such . o a justice is hereby authorized to hear and enquire into the *:::::: befacts relating thereto, and if thereupon he shall be of fore him, how opinion, that probable ground exists for the support of .” such complaint, he may order the defendant to give bond, or to enter into a recognizance, with sufficient surety, (provided the offence be by law bailable) conditioned that the defendant appear before the court having cognizance of the offence, at the next session thereof, to be holden in the county where the offence was committed, and abide the order or judgment of said court, touching said complaint, which complaint the said justice shall transmit to said court, with his doings thereon indorsed; and on the failure of such defendant to give such bond, or to enter into such recognizance, or if the offence complained of be not bailable, it shall be the duty of said justice of the peace to order such defendant to be committed to the common gaol in said county, till the next session of the court having cognizance of the offence, or till he shall be discharged by due course of law. sect. 36. Any justice of the peace, in his county, shall Justices of the have power, from his personal knowledge, ea. #. to on. require sureties of the peace and good behavior, from any bind to good person or persons, that threaten to beat or kill another, behavior. or contend, with hot and angry words, or by threats, turbulence and violence, or by any other unlawful act, terrify and disturb the good people of the state. And when, ever an individual shall complain, on oath, to a justice of the peace, against another, that he has just cause to fear that he will imprison, beat, or kill him, or procure others to do so, and that he is under fear of death, or bodily
Judges may hold courts in any town in their districts.
When to call assistance.
the judge of an adjoining district to have cognizance;
and when the judge is disqualified to act on a review ;
who to act.
When office is vacant, who to act.
Courts to have a seal.
Justices may sign writs, &c.
May take confession of debt.
His executions effectual.
What relationship shall disqualify.
Continuance of cause.
County court, how formed, when all the judges are disqualified.
Removal of appealable causes to superior court.
Courts may make orders relative to notice, in certain cases.
harm, such justice of the peace may require sureties of
(1) The first legislators of this country had no idea of keeping separate the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government. All power was, at first, centered in one body; and though, at times, judicial power was delegated to a particular court, yet the ultimate right of decision remained in the legislature. After they had received the charter, as appears in the revision of 1672, they established a court of assistants, to be holden in May and October, at Hartford, by the governor, or-deputy governor, and six assistants at least. Two county courts were to be holden in each county, by any three or more of the assistants. Every assistant had jurisdiction of all causes to the amount of forty shillings, in the county in which he lived, and in towns where there was no assistant, commissioners, with two selectmen, had a like power. Appeals would he, in all cases, from an assistant to the county court; from the county court to the court of assistants; and from that court to the general court. The admission of appeals to the general court did not long continue; for in the revision of 1702, no such right is allowed; but the party aggrieved by the judgment of a county court, had a right to appeal to the next court of assistants, and to review his cause in the same county court where it was tried; and the party aggrieved, on the trial by review, had a right of appeal. Every cause could he reviewed in the court of assistants, ex
cept where it was appealed from the coun-