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The lord of a manor cannot distrain for an amercement in a court baron, as of common right (9), for he shall not have a double distress, and he may distrain for the service itself (h); but the remedy for an amercement is action of debt (i), in which action the defendant, prior to a late act (k), was allowed to wage his law (1).
It should seem, however, that the king by his prerogative may distrain for an amercement as of common right (m); and that a distress for an amercement in a court baron for non-performance of suit, may be good by prescription (n), but the goods of an under-tenant could not be distrained under such a prescription (o).
The bailiff of a manor cannot distrain ex officio, nor per mandatum of the lord, but must have a special warrant from the lord or steward (p), and it should seem that the precept must be set forth in the pleadings (9).
The bailiff is not punishable in trespass for levying damages by command of the steward, although the party plead to the jurisdiction, unless, indeed, the verdict be defeated by a writ of false judgment (r).
In trespass on distress for an amercement in a court baron, the defendant must plead the exact title of the court before whom it was held, that the trespass was committed intra manerium, and not merely that it was presented that a trespass was committed (s), and that the distress was made intra jurisdictionem curia (t).
It would seem that the amercement is lost by the death of the tenant before it is levied, as it is quasi actio personalis (u), and
(8) Pell or Pill v. Towers, Noy, 20; (0) Cro. Eliz. 792.
ton v. Scrogs, Cro. Eliz. 698.
bailiff should be sworn to the due discharge (h) Gilb. Dis. 16; Goosey v. Pot, Ow. of the duties of his office; see Scroggs, 99; 146; Allen v. Givers, Mo. 185; God- 1 Roll. Rep. 338. frey's case, 11 Co. 45 a; Pell or Pill v.
(r) Kitch. 148. Towers, sup.; ante, pt. 1, 364.
(s) Armyn v. Appletoft, Cro. Jac. 582; (i) 12 R. 2; Statham, f. 62; Kitch. Scarning v. Cryer, 3 Leo. 7; S. C. Mo. 86; ib. 145, 153, 154; Gilb. Dis. 11. 75; S. C. Bendl, 160; and see Parham
(k) By 3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 42, s. 13, v. Norton, Cro. Eliz. 886; Blunt v. Whitwager of law was abolished.
acre, ubi sup.; but see Lukin v. Eve, Mo. (1) Kitch. 153; Scroggs, 137 ; Co. Lit. 89. 295 a; contrà in debt for fine or amerce- (t) Anon. 1 Mod. 75. ment in court leet, because the leet is a (u) Jackman v. Hoddesdon, Cro. Eliz. court of record; Co. Lit. 295 a; Scroggs, 351. Being a personal default, the cattle 137. See as to the mode of waging law, of a stranger or lessee of the tenant could post, sect. v.
not be distrained; Pell or Pill v. Towers, (m) Rowletson v. Alman, sup.
ubi sup. And see 41 E. 3, 26 b, p. 23, (n) Ib.; and see cases, ante, 623, n. cited Dy. 317 b, n. a; Goosey v. Pot, ubi (f); sup. n. (8).
not like the case of relief, where action lies against an executor (v).
Of By-Laws. The tenants of a manor or vill, it is said, may make by-laws, touching their commons and the like, to bind themselves, but not strangers (x); and again it is said, that where a by-law is for the public good, as to make a causeway or bridge, it is binding on all, ce of the vill though all do not agree (Y), and even without a custom (z); but the author apprehends that a by-law in a Court Baron will bind such tenants only as are assenting, unless it be made under an immemorial custom, or by prescription (a). And even with a custom in favour of a by-law, a stranger could not be bound by it (6), as every custom must be reasonable in its commencement.
So where the by-law was that no tenant should put a steer on the common, being a year old or more, upon pain of sixpence for every offence, and that it should be lawful to distrain for the same, it was adjudged on demurrer in replevin that this by-law was void; for where a man hath right of common for all commonable cattle, it is against common right to restrain him from one particular sort of cattle; but if the by-law had been that none should put in his cattle before a particular day it had been good, for that would not take away, but only order the inheritance (c).
And where the homage, under a custom to make by-laws for the well ordering of a common, ordained that no commoner should put his sheep in a particular part of the common, under a penalty of 3s. 4d. to the lord, upon demurrer in replevin, this was adjudged to be a good law, especially since it did not take all the common, but only for sheep, and in a particular place (d ).
() Co. Lit. 295 a; ante, p. 620.
(1) Vide Br. tit. Customs, pl. 32, cites 21 H. 7, 40; Lex Man. 42, pl. 1; Hob. 212, in Norris v. Staps.
(y) Vide Kitch. 89, 156, cites 44 E. 3, 19; Br. tit. Customs, pl. 6. And see 1 Mod. 194, in Rogers v. Davenant; 8 E. 1, Ass. 413, cited Kitch. 89.
(2) 5 Co. 63 a, in the Chamberlain of London's case. In that case a by-law for repairing a church or a highway was considered equally for the public good, and therefore binding ; Scroggs, 140. But some of the books distinguish between the
two cases, and deem the latter only good;
(a) See Kitch. 89, 156; Hob. 212; Mo.
(6) 11 H. 7, 14; 21 H. 7, 40; Fitz. !!!
(c) Erbery v. Latton, 1 Leo. 189; S.C.
(d) James v. Tintney or Tutney, Cro.
And again, where the inhabitants of a particular place used to repair a bridge for the convenience of the commoners, and a by-law was made that the inhabitants should repair the bridge before a certain day under a penalty, and this not being done, the default was presented at the next court, and one of the inhabitants was distrained; on demurrer in replevin the plaintiff had judgment, because the defendant had set forth that the steward made this by-law with the consent of the homage, whereas all by-laws are to be made by the homage (e).
When a by-law is made by custom, the breach of it need not be presented by the homage, nor is it necessary in replevin to aver the necessity of a by-law (f). And notice of it is unnecessary, it being proclaimed in court, where every tenant is bound to attend (9).
And when a penalty is inflicted for a breach of a by-law, for which the law distrains, and does not say whose cattle they were, yet it is said they shall be intended to be the cattle of the offender (h).
The penalty for a breach of a by-law made at a Court Baron is in the nature of a fine rather than an amercement, and is not aifeerable (i).
In the case of Scarning v. Cryer (k), under a custom to make bylaws, and to set penalties on those who offended against them, and distrain for the same, a by-law was made, and at another court the defendant was presented for a breach of it, by which the penalty (which was 20s.) was forfeited, but ex gr. cur', the penalty was affeered at 6s. 8d.; and upon a demurrer to the conuzance it was adjudged ill, not only because a pain of a certain sum, as this was, could not be altered, but also because the defendant pleaded that the presentment was made coram sectatoribus, without showing their names (l).
Where the custom of the manor authorising the homage to make by-laws, and assess penalties on breach thereof, should be silent as to the remedy, and there should be no prescription for a distress, the penalty could only be recovered by action of debt by the lord, supposing the penalty given to him by the custom, and it would seem
Car. 497; S.C. W. Jones, 430; S. C. Win. 30. And see the argument of the Ch. J. in S C. Mar. 28.
(e) Wells v. Cottrell, 3 Lev. 48; vide the pleadings in this case, Lex Man. App. p. 31, pl. 11. But see the report of James & Tintney, in Mar. 28; and Lord Exeter's case, Scroggs, 140.
(f) Lord Cromwell's case, 3 Leo. 38; S. C. Dy. 323; Lex Man. 42. And such
by-laws bind the tenants as well freeholders
(8) James o. Tintney, sup.
(k) 3 Leo. 7; S. C. Bendl, 159; S. C. (Scarling v. Criett), Mo. 75.
(1) Vide also Garrett v. Higby, T.Jones, 129.
that the defendant might have waged his law in this action, as well as in an action of debt for an amercément in Court Baron (m).
Of Plaints in nature of Personal Actions. All pleas in a Court Baron of common right, and of a personal nature were, prior to the abovementioned act of parliament, determinable by wager of law (n); yet by prescription they could only be determined by a jury, and the trial might always have been by jury, with the consent of the parties (o).
But unless warranted by charter or prescription the lord cannot compel the suitors of the Court Baron to be sworn, as between party and party (p); though in a writ of right patent, wherein a plea was held of freehold, as the writ was mandatum regis, an oath might have been administered (q). So that it must frequently happen that for want of evidence of a charter or prescription, pleas of debt, even under 40s., cannot be tried in the Court Baron.
The process on plaint in a Court Baron is summons, and distress infinite, till the defendant appears (r), but the court has not power to
(m) Tyndal v. Toller or Tucker, Bendi. single damages,) extends to Courts Baron 140; S. C. cited Mo. 277; 1 Leo. 204. and Courts Leet; 2 Inst. 444. Vide reWager of law was abolished by 3 & 4 W. ference in the Appendix to 1  Jac. 1, 4, c. 42; ante, p. 624, n. (k).
c. 5, and stat. Westm. 1, c. 33. (n) 2 Inst. 143; Kitch. 225, 384. In (9) By stat. of Marlb. 52 H. 3, c. 22, waging his law the defendant was to bring none may distrain his freeholders to answer with him eleven persons, of his neighbours, for their freeholds, nor for any things that would avow upon their oath that in touching their freehold, without the king's their consciences he said the truth; writ; nor shall cause his freeholders to Scroggs, 136; Co. Lit. 295 a. But it swear against their wills, for no man may would seem to be doubtful whether six or do that without the king's commandment. eleven were necessary; 2 Vent. 171; 2 And this act was confirmed and enlarged Bl. Com. 343. In the case of the King v. by 15 R. 2, c. 12; 16 R. 2, c. 2; vide Williams, 2 Barn. & Cress. 538, the court Bract. lib. 3, fo. 106; Kitch. 225, 384; 2 refused to assign compurgators. But see Inst. 142, 143; 2 Bac. Abr. 206. I N. R. 297, in Barry v. Robinson.
(r) In Tubervill v. Tipper, 2 Roll. Rep. (0) 33 H.8, 143; Kitch. 225, 384. 493, it was agreed that process in Court
(p) 2 Inst. 142; Br. Court Baron, pl. Baron was summons, attachment, and dis2, 23; and see Kitch. 82. But to inquire tress infinite; and see 38 E. 3, 3; 1 E. for the lord of the articles belonging to the 4, 10, cited Br. Court Baron, pl. 5, 10; Court Baron, or hundred, they may be
vide also 34 H. 6, 53, and 37 sworn; 2 Inst. 142. N. B. The stat. of H. 6, 53, cited Kitch. 152; Scroggs, 84; Westm. 2, c. 36, subjecting lords and Lex Man. 58. But N. B. the attachment stewards of courts procuring suits to be in the above case of Tubervill & Tipper apinstituted, to a fine to the King, and to pears to have been awarded secundum contreble damages to the party grieved, (and suetudinem curia ; vide post. who at common law could only recover
make execution as in the superior courts (s); and the distress in a Court Baron, even of goods taken upon a judgment, is only in nature of a pledge, and cannot be sold, except by special custom (t): neither are the goods forfeited to the lord, even if the manor belong to the king (u).
Yet by special custom a levari facias may be awarded in a Court Baron, and the goods sold; but in any proceedings consequent on the execution the custom must be pleaded (x).
Should a debt be divided in a Court Baron, so as to reduce each plaint below 40s., the defendant may have a supersedeas; and of this the defendant might formerly have waged his law (y).
The want of summons in a plea of debt in an inferior court renders all the proceedings illegal (2): but where, in trespass, the defendant pleaded that an attachment was awarded on non-appearance, secundum consuetudinem curiæ, and the plea was demurred to for irregularity, a summons being the first process, and not an attachment, it was adjudged that the attachment should be intended to be after the summons (a).
The Court Baron not being a court of record, a capias cannot be awarded by it, except indeed by charter or prescription (b); and for the same reason a writ of error does not lie on a judgment in the Court Baron, but the party may have a writ of false judgment (c).
The proceedings in the Court Baron, as in all other inferior courts, are traversable, and should therefore be set forth at length in the pleadings (d); but in replevin in Court Baron the plaint cannot be removed, either by plaintiff or defendant, by pone or recordari, without cause shown in the writ(e).
(s) 4 H. 6, 17; Br. Court Baron, pl. 6, appearance; Scroggs, 203. 7 ; ib. Execution, pl. 80, cites 22 Ass. 72; (y) F. N. B. 239 H.; Br. Court Baron, Fitz. Execution, pl. 110. But in Doe & pl. 20; ante, pp. 624, n. (k), 627, n. (m). Parmiter, B. R. Hill. 24 Car. 2, it was said (2) 1 Str. 147. per Cur. that the constant course in all (a) Tubervill v. Tipper, ubi sup. courts was levari facias, which was meant (6) Kitch. 146, 147; ante, p. 601, n. in the old books by a distringas ; (k). Scroggs, 93.
(c) Scroggs, 84, 93; Kitch. 187; Co. (1) Vide Br. Abr. as in n. (s), sup.; Lit. 117 b; Atwood's case, Lex Man. Trye v. Burgh, Noy, 17 ; Pell v. Towers, App.pl. 17 ; Bassett v. Harris, ib. pl. 18; ib. 20; Hewet v. Norberow, Bulst. 52. and see Br. Court Baron, pl. 21.
(u) Gomersall v. Medgate, Yelv. 194; (d) Garrret v. Higby, T. Jones, 129; S.C. (Gomersale v. Ways) Cro. Eliz. 255; Scarling v. Criett, or Scarning v. Cryer, Lex Man. 58, 59; and see Hewet v. Nor- Mo. 73; S. C. 3 Leo. 7; S. C. Bendl. berow, sup.
159; Lex Man. 57. (ir) See the authorities, sup. n. (s) and (e) F. N. B. 70 A. B.; Gilb. Dis. 105. (t). Sometimes, by custom, a venditioni If after the removal of the plaint the party exponas is awarded, after the third attach- be distrained again for the same cause, he ment, for sale of goods distrained on non- shall have the writ of recaption; F. N. B.