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curing to every person the right to be tried by a jury of his equals. As the liberties and lives of men are more valua. ble than their property, they should be most safely guarded. Hence the constitution declares that no person shall be put upon trial without the previous judgment of a grand jury that he ought to be tried; and every court which has jurisdic. tion in cases of crime has a grand jury. [Cons. U. S. Art. 6 of Amend., and Cons. O. Art. 8, Sec. 8.]
15. On the opening of a court, the grand jurors are sworn by the court to make a true presentment of all things given them in charge. The judge then gives them a charge, and appoints one of their number as foreman; and the jurors retire to a private apartment to attend to their duties.
16. The jurors hear all complaints brought before them, against persons for crimes and breaches of the peace, and examine witnesses who appear to testify. If they think the person complained of ought to be tried, they draw up a writing, in which they charge the person with the offence of which they think he is guilty. This is called an indict. ment. It is signed by the foreman, endorsed “a true bill.” and carried by the jury into court. If the person has not before been arrested, he may now be arrested, to be put upon trial. [See Arrest and Examination of Offenders.)
17. The supreme court has no grand jury. When this court is to be held in a county, the clerk draws the names of twelve men as petit jurors, in the same manner as before mentioned, and deposites list of them with the clerk of the supreme court, who commands the sheriff to summon them, If a sufficient number of jurors is not in attendance at any court to try a suit, the court may at any time order the sheriff to summon others from the bystanders or neighbor. ing citizens. All the jurors must agree in order to a verdict. The manner of conducting trials in the higher courts is the same as in a justice's court.
18. There is another kind of trial, called trial by im.
object of grand juries ? 15. What is said of swearing and charging them, &c.? 16. How do they transact their business? What is an indictment? 17. Has the supreme court a grand jury? How are petit jurors for this court obtained ? 18. How are impeachments made and tried ?
peachment. Impeachments, however, are not tried in a court of justice, but by the senate, on a charge brought by the house of representatives against a public officer for bad conduct in office. The mode of trial will be found described in a succeeding chapter, on the Government of the United States.
Time of commencing Actions. 1. We have seen in the three preceding chapters, what provision has been made to enable persons to obtain justice in courts of law; also how suits are conducted through the several forms of prosecution. But it ought to be known also, that a person who wishes to resort to the law for justice, must commence his suit within a certain period, or he cannot maintain his suit, or recover his due. The law lim. iting the times within which actions must be commenced, is sometimes called the statute of limitations.
2. Different periods are fixed for different kinds of actions. If a person has a right or claim to real estate for which he sues, he must bring his action within twenty-one years. If neither he, nor his ancestor, nor grantor, has had possession of the premises for twenty-one years before the suit is commer
nenced, he cannot recover the estate. 3. Actions brought for debts due upon promissory notes, or other obligations or contracts in writing, must be commenced within fifteen years. Actions founded upon simple contracts not in writing, book accounts, and consequentiai damages, must be brought within six years. A suit may be commenced on book account within six years from the date of the last item of the account of either party.
4. Actions for trespass upon property, or for the recovery
1. May suits be commenced at any time after they become due ? ? Within how many years must an action for a claim to land be com. menced? 3. How long may promissory notes and simple contracts rer spectively run before they outlaw ? 4. How long cases of trover? What
of property wrongfully taken by another and converted to his own use, must be commenced within four years. Taking and keeping property in this manner, is called trover : hence, a suit brought to recover for such property, is an action for trover.
5. Actions against another for forcible entry and detainer, or for forcible detainer only, must be commenced within two years. [Detainer is the unlawful taking and holding of
. property. ]
6. Actions for assault and battery, slander for words spoken, or for libel, false imprisonment, and sundry other causes, must be brought within one year. [For a definition of these terms, see Crimes and Misdemeanors.]
7. If a person departs from and resides out of the state before the time when the right to an action commences, an action
may be brought against him within the time limited by the law, after his return to the state ; that is, the time a debt may run begins anew on his return. But if the right to an action commences ; in other words, if a debt becomes due, before the debtor leaves the state, no suit may be main tained after the expiration of the time limited by law for commencing an action.
8. After the right to an action ceases, in consequence of the expiration of the time limited, or as it is commonly expressed, after a debt has become outlawed, an acknowledgment of indebtedness, or a part payment, which is the same as an acknowledgment, will again renew the debt. Or if a part payment is made at any time before the time limited expires, the time of limitation commences at the time of such partial payment.
9. Persons under age, or insane, or imprisoned on a charge of crime, or in execution under sentence of a criminal court, or married women, are not deemed capable of commencing suits, until their disability be removed. And they may commence suits within the time prescribed by law,
is trover? 5. How long cases of forcible entry and detainer ? 6. In what cases here mentioned must suits be commenced within one year! 7. What does the law provide in case a debtor leaves the state ? 8. How may a debt, once outlawed, become renewed? 9. What is provided concerning persons under age, insane, or imprisoned for crime, &c. ?
after they shall have become capable ; except when real estate is claimed. In such cases, when the disability is re. moved within less than ten years of the expiration of the twenty-one years, only ten years' time is allowed to commence an action, after such persons shall have become capable.
10. There are sundry other provisions relating to the commencement of suits, for a knowledge of which, reference must be had to the statutes of the state.
Of Rights.—The Right of Property ; Title to Real Estate.
1. In the foregoing chapters we have given a general description of the government of the state of Ohio, and have seen how its important affairs are conducted; how the sev. eral departments, legislative, executive, and judicial, are organized ; and what are the powers and duties of the dif. ferent classes of officers in these departments. We have seen in all this, how well our government is adapted to secure to the people the free exercise and enjoyment of their rights.
2. Every citizen should not only know how the laws are made and administered; he ought also to know what the laws are by which he is to be governed. Some of these laws have necessarily been given in connection with the description of the government and the duties of its numerous officers. But a more extensive knowledge of the laws is necessary. Without such knowledge, a person cannot well maintain his own rights, nor duly discharge the duties he owes to his fellow.citizens. I shall therefore proceed to give an abstract of the laws in general which more particularly define the rights and prescribe the duties of citizens in the social and domestic relations.
3. The rights of citizens are either rights of person or rights of property. By the rights of person, or personal What in such cases when real estate is claimed ?
1. What has been treated of in former chapters ? 2. Why ought citizens to understand the laws ? 3. What are the rights of person ?
rights, we mean the right to be free to think, speak, and act as we please, and the right to be secure from injury to our bodies or persons, and our good names.
The right of prop erty is the right to acquire, hold, and enjoy property. All laws may therefore be considered as being intended to secure either the one or the other of these classes of rights.
4. The rights of citizens are secured by laws. These laws are, first, statute laws, the laws enacted by the law. making power of the state, called also the written law, being always written or printed ; and secondly, the common law, which consists of rules that have become binding by long usage and established custom. The common law of this country is the same as that of England, having been introduced and established here while the people were subject to that country ; and it is still considered the law in all cases where no law has been made to the contrary:
5. Every citizen of the United States may hold lands within this state, and take the same by descent, devise, or purchase. To take land by descent, is to obtain it by inher. itance. When a person dying, makes no previous disposal of his property, it falls, or descends, by right. to his children or other relatives : hence they are said to become heirs to the property by descent.
6. But a person may direct his property to be given, after his death, to whomsoever he pleases. This is called devising property, or bequeathing it'; and the person receiv. ing the property is said to have acquired it by devise. And if a person pays for property an equivalent in money or some other property, he would havr it by purchase.
7. Title to real property by descent. The laws of this state prescribe the order in which the property of intestates descends to their heirs. A testament, or will, is a written instrument, in which a person declares his will concerning the disposal of his property, after his death. The person making a will is called a testator : hence, a person dying without making a will or testament, is called an intestate. The right of property? 4. Define the different laws by which our rights are secured. 5. In what different ways may titles to lands be acquired? How is title by descent acquired? 6. How by devise? How by purchase? 7. Who are intestates? Define testament or will; and testa