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matter arising in the course of such proceedings, or upon the result of such proceedings, which shall be stated by the register in the shape of a short certificate to the judge, who shall sign the same, if he approve thereof; and such certificate, so signed, shall be binding on all the parties to the proceeding; but every such certificate may be discharged or varied by the judge at chambers or in open
In any baukruptcy, or in any other proceedings within the jurisdiction of the court under this act, the parties concerned, or submitting to such jurisdiction, may, at any stage of the proceedings, by consent, state any question or questions in a special case for the opinion of the court; and the judgment of the court shall be final, unless it be agreed and stated in such special case that either party may appeal, if, in such case, an appeal is allowed by this act. The parties may also, if they think fit, agree, that upon the question or questions raised by such special case being finally decided, a sum of money, fixed by the parties, or to be ascertained by the court, or in such manner as the court may direct, or any property, or the amount of any disputed debt or claim, shall be paid, delivered, or transferred by one of such parties to the other of them, either with or without costs.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That parties and witnesses summoned before a register shall be bound to attend in pursuance of such summons at the place and time designated therein, and shall be entitled to protection, and be liable to process of contempt in like manner as parties and witnesses are now liable thereto in case of default in attendance under any writ of subpoena; and all persons willfully and corruptly swearing or affirming falsely before a register shall be liable to all the penalties, punishments, and consequences of perjury. If any person examined before a register shall refuse or decline to answer, or to swear to or sign his examination when taken, the register shall refer the matter to the judge, who shall have power to order the person so acting to pay the costs thereby occasioned, if such person be compellable by law to answer such question, or to sign such examination, and such person shall also be liable to be punished for contempt.
OF APPEALS AND PRACTICE.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That appeals may be taken from the district to the circuit courts in all cases in equity, and writs of error may be allowed to said circuit courts from said district courts in cases at law under the jurisdiction created by this act when the debt or damages claimed amount to more than five hundred dollars; and any supposed creditor, whose claim is wholly or in part rejected, or an assignee who is dissatisfied with the allowance of a claim, may appeal from the decision of the district court to the circuit court for the same district ; but no'appeal shall be allowed in any case from the district to the circuit court unless it is claimed, and notice given thereof to the clerk of the district court, to be entered with the record of the proceedings, and also to the assignee or creditor, as the case may be, or to the defeated party in equity, within ten days after the entry of the decree or decision appealed from. The appeal shall be entered at the term of the circuit court which shall be first held within and for the district next after the expiration of ten days from the time of claiming the same. But if the appellant in writing waives his appeal before any decision thereon, proceedings may be had in the district court as if no appeal had been taken, and no appeal shall be allowed unless the appellant at the time of claiming the same shall give bond in manner now required by law in cases of such appeals. No writ of error shall be allowed unless the party claiming it shall comply with the statutes regulating the granting of such writs.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That in cases arising under this act no appeal or writ of error shall be allowed in any case from the circuit courts to the Supreme Court of the United States unless the matter in dispute in such case shall exceed two thousand dollars.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, subject to the provisions of this act, shall frame general orders for the following purposes:
For regulating the practice and procedure of the district
courts in bankruptcy, and the several forms of petitions, orders, and other proceedings to be used in said courts in all matters under this act;
For regulating the duties of the various officers of said courts;
For regulating the fees payable, and the charges and costs to be allowed, with respect to all proceedings in bankruptcy before said courts, not exceeding the rate of fees now allowed by law for similar services in other proceedings:
For regulating the practice and procedure upon appeals;
For regulating the filing, custody, and inspection of records;
And generally for carrying the provisions of this act into effect.
After such general orders shall have been so framed, they, or any of them, may be rescinded or varied, and other general orders may be framed in manner aforesaid, and all such general orders so framed shall, from time to time, be reported to Congress, with such suggestions as said justices may think proper. VOLUNTARY BANKRUPTCY COMMENCEMENT OF
PROCEEDINGS. Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That if any person residing within the jurisdiction of the United States, owing debts provable under this act exceeding the amount of three hundred dollars, shall apply by petition, addressed to the judge of the judicial district in which such debtor has resided or carried on business for the six months next immediately preceding the time of filing such petition, or for the longest period during such six months, setting forth his place of residence, his inability to pay all his debts in full, his willingness to surrender all his estate and effects for the benefit of his creditors, and his desire to obtain the benefit of this act, and shall annex to his petition a schedule, verified by oath before the court, or before a register in bankruptcy, or before one of the commissioners of the Circuit Court of the United States, containing a full and true statement of all his debts, and, as far as possible, to whom due, with the place of residence of each creditor, if known to the debtor, and if not known the fact to be so stated, and the sum due to each creditor, also the nature of each debt or demand, whether founded on written security, obligation, contract, or otherwise, and also the true cause and consideration of such indebtedness in each case, and the place where such indebtedness accrued, and a statement of any existing mortgage, pledge, lien, judgment, or collateral or other security given for the payment of the same; and shall also annex to his petition an accurate inventory and valuation, verified in like manner, of all his estate, both real and personal, assignable under this act, describing the same, and stating where it is situated, and whether there are any, and if so, what incumbrances thereon, the filing of such petition shall be an act of bankruptcy, and such petitioner shall be adjudged a bankrupt: Provided, That all citizens of the United States petitioning to be declared bankrupt, shall, on filing such petition and before any proceedings thereon, take and subscribe an oath of allegience and fidelity to the United States, which oath shall be filed and recorded with the proceedings in bankruptcy. And the judge of the district court, or, if there be no opposing party, any register of said court, to be designated by the judge, shall forth with, if he be satisfied that the debts due from the petitioner exceed three hundred dollars, issue a warrant, to be signed by such judge or register, directed to the marshal of said district, authorizing him forthwith, as messenger, to publish notices in such newspapers as the marshal shall select, not exceeding two; to serve written or printed notice, by mail or personally, on all creditors upon the schedule filed with the debtor's petition, or whose names may be given to him, in addition, by the debtor, and to give such personal or other notice to any persons concerned as the warrant specifies. But whenever the creditors of the bankrupt are so numerous as to make any notice now required by law to them, by mail or otherwise a great and disproportionate expense to the estate, the court may in lieu thereof, in its discretion, order such notice to be given by publication in a newspaper or newspapers to all such creditors whose claims as reported do not exceed the sums respectively of fifty dollars, which notice shall state
First, That a warrant in bankruptcy has been issued against the estate of the debtor.
Second, That the payment of any debts and the delivery of any property belonging to such debtor to him or for his use, and the transfer of any property by him, are forbidden by law.
Third, That a meeting of the creditors of the debtor, giving the names, residences, and amounts, so far as known, to prove their debts and choose one or more assignees of his estate, will be held at a court of bankruptcy, to be holden at a time and place designated in the warrant, not less than ten nor more than ninety days after the issuing of the same.
OF ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSIGNEES.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That at the meeting, held in pursuance of the notice, one of the registers of the court shall preside, and the messenger shall make return of the warrant and of his doings thereon; and if it appears that the notice to the creditors has not been as required in the warrant, the meeting shall forthwith be adjourned, and a new notice given as required. If the debtor dies after the issuing the warrant, the proceedings may
be continued and concluded in like manner as if he had lived.
SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That the creditors shall, at the first meeting held after due notice from the messenger, in presence of a register designated by the court, choose one or more assignees of the estate of the debtor; the choice to be made by the greater part in value and in number of the creditors who have proved their debts. If no choice is made by the creditors at said meeting, the judge, or, if there be no opposing interest, the register shall appoint one or more assignees. If an assignee, so chosen or appointed, fails within five days press in writing his acceptance of the trust, the judge or register may fill the vacancy.
All elections or appointments of assignees shall be subject to the approval of the judge; and when in his judgment it is for any cause needful or expedient, he may appoint additional assignees,