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Court Records of Prince George's County, Maryland 1696-1699.
Volume 202, Preface 104   View pdf image (33K)
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by the words that defendant is "in mercy"; an entry that defendant remain in
custody until satisfaction made may indicate use of a capiatur in cases such as
trover and conversion.

A few statutes dealt with costs and charges in particular types of actions. Acts
passed in 1692 and 1699 for ascertaining what damages should be allowed upon
protested bills of exchange provided that no person bringing suit in any court
of the province against a resident upon any bill of exchange, drawn for any sum
of money whatsoever payable in England or elsewhere and brought in protested,
should be allowed more than twenty pounds per hundred over and above the
debt sued for and recovered together with ordinary costs of suit, any law, statute,
usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. Another 1692 enactment pro-
vided that in any action on the case for slanderous words brought in any court of
record in the province, if the petty jury or the jury making inquest of damages
found or assessed the damage under forty shillings, then the plaintiff should re-
cover only such costs as the damages given or accrued amounted to. 73

The records of the county courts of some other counties at times reveal the
breakdown of costs and charges but the Liber is not so revealing. From such other
records it appears that costs and charges usually consisted of the fees of the various
officers of the court such as the clerk, sheriff, and cryer, an attorney's fee of 100
pounds of tobacco and an amercement of 30 pounds. The fees of the officers of the
court were, of course, set forth in the laws; attorney's fees have been referred to

Arrest of Judgment

In several cases following judgment motions were made in arrest of judgment.
In Burgis v. Mockeboy in the November 1696 court, plaintiff, in an action of trespass
on the case, alleged that in August 1691 he had lent to defendant for the use of
Colonel Ninian Beall "one Scale Protractor Compass Chaine and deviders" valued
at one pound, eight shillings sterling, and that, although demand had been made,
defendant refused to return the instruments to the damage to plaintiff of two
pounds, ten shillings sterling. Following a plea of the general issue, defendant put
himself upon the country and the jury found for the plaintiff. Plaintiff prayed
that judgment be rendered on the verdict but defendant said that the court ought
not to proceed to render their judgment on the verdict since he had good cause
in arrest of judgment and prayed time to file his reasons, whereupon the court
granted defendant twenty days in which to file the same. At the January 1696/7
court William Bladen, attorney for Mockeboy, assigned as reason for arrest of judg-
ment that the instruments in question, by the plaintiff's own showing, were lent to
defendant and consequently to be returned in kind, that plaintiff ought to have
brought his action in detinue, failing which not only the verdict but all other
proceedings in the action were "vitious." Wherefore Bladen prayed judgment. De-
cision was put off until the June, 1697 court. At this court the attorneys for both
parties appeared and the "Reasons in Arrest of Judgment" being found "not
Suffitient in Law to Stay the Same," judgment was accordingly given for plaintiff.74

In Harwood v. Ryley, an action of trespass on the case in the January 1696/7
court for damages resulting from failure to pay a note for 400 pounds of tobacco,
the jury returned a verdict that defendant did not owe plaintiff the sum sued for.
Plaintiff craved liberty to move in arrest of judgment and was granted until the
next day to file his reasons in arrest. However, the plaintiff and his attorney made

73. 13 MA 449; 22 id. 464; 13 id. 482.

74. Infra 100-01, 198-99.


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Court Records of Prince George's County, Maryland 1696-1699.
Volume 202, Preface 104   View pdf image (33K)
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