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years immediately preceding his appointment, and shall either have held the office of justice of the peace in said District for a period of at least two years or shall have been engaged in the actual practice of law before the supreme court of the District for a period of at least five. years prior to his appointment. Each of said justices before entering upon the duties of his office shall take an oath for the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of his office, and shall give bond in such form, in such penalty, and with such surety or sureties as may be prescribed by the supreme court of the District. And said supreme court shall from time to time divide the said District into subdistricts and prescribe the place in each subdistrict where the justice thereof shall have his office for the transaction of business, and may change the boundaries of such subdistricts and the localities of the offices of the justices therein from time to time as the volume and convenience of the business may require. No justice of the peace during his term of office shall engage in the practice of the law, subject to the penalty of removal from his office. When the number of such justices of the peace shall be reduced by death, resignation, or expiration of term of service, or otherwise, to six, the number of such justices of the peace shall be six only, and if the number shall not be reduced to six until the expiration of the term of the present justcies of the peace only six vacancies shall then be filled.-Act of June 30, 1902 (32 Stat., Part 1, p. 520).
[Sec. 3. APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATIONS.-There shall be ten justices of the peace in the District, who shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of four years, unless sooner removed as provided by law: Provided, That no person shall be appointed to said office unless he shall have been a bona fide resident of said District for the continuous period of at least five years immediately preceding his appointment, and shall either have held the office of justice of the peace in said District for a period of at least two years or shall have been engaged in the actual practice of law before the supreme court of the District for a period of at least five years prior to his appointment. Each of said justices before entering upon the duties of his office shall take an oath for the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of his office, and shall give bond in such form, in such penalty, and with such surety or sureties as may be prescribed by the supreme court of the District. And said supreme court shall divide the said District into ten subdistricts and prescribe the place in each subdistrict where the justice thereof shall have his office for the transaction of business, and may change the boundaries of such subdistricts and the localities of the offices of the justices therein from time to time as the volume and convenience of the business may require.]
Sec. 4. SUBDISTRICTS.-No justice of the peace shall sit for the trial of causes in any subdistrict other than the one in which his office is situated: Provided, That in case the office of any justice of the peace shall become vacant by death or otherwise, the said supreme court, or any justice thereof, may designate one of the other justices to preside temporarily in that subdistrict until the vacancy
Morton, 21 D. C.
shall be filled: And provided further, That if any justice of the peace shall be disqualified to act by reason of interest, illness, or other cause, any other justice of the peace of the District, on the written request of the justice so disqualified, may preside in his absence, or, if no such written request be made, such justice as may be designated by the said supreme court, or one of the justices thereof, shall preside.
Sec. 5. No resident of the District shall be nsed in any subdistrict other than the one in which he resides, and no nonresident of the District having a place of business therein shall be sued in any subdistrict other than the Anderson v. one in which such place of business is situated: Provided, That where two or more persons are sued together the suit may be brought in the subdistrict in which any one the defendants resides. When a corporation is a defendant, its place of business shall be deemed its residence for the purpose of this section, and if it shall have in the District more than one place of business the suit may be brought in the subdistrict in which any one of its places of business is situated.
Key v. Roberts,
Should a suit be brought against any party or corporation in any district in which he or it does not reside or [hold] do business, and a plea to the jurisdiction on this account be filed by said defendant, the party or corporation interposing such plea shall disclose under oath the district in which he or it should have been sued; and the justice, upon sustaining such plea, shall certify the cause for trial to the justice sitting in the district where suit should have been instituted; and should no such plea be filed before trial the justice shall be deemed to have had full jurisdiction.
[In any suit brought before a justice of the peace the defendant, his agent or attorney, may have the cause removed to the next nearest justice, upon filing an affidavit with the justice issuing the writ, on the return day or day of trial of the action, that he does not believe said justice will give him a fair and impartial trial.]
Sec. 6. SALARY.-Each of said justices of the peace shall receive an annual salary of three thousand dollars, and the further sum of two hundred and fifty dollars annually for rent, stationery, and other expenses, to be paid monthly by the District of Columbia; and he shall render monthly accounts to the auditor of the District of Columbia of all moneys received by him for fees, and shall pay over such fees to the collector of said District and take his receipt in duplicate therefor, and file one of them with said auditor and retain the other in his office, and the money so collected shall be disposed of by said collector as other moneys belonging to the said District
20 D. C. App: the
391; Groff v.
ler, 20 D. C. App. 355.
Sec. 7. JURY TRIALS.—Trial by jury before justices of peace is hereby abolished.
Brown, 22 D. C.
v. Slater, 23 D. C.
34 L. R., 309;
8 D. C. App., 265;
Sec. 8. RULES AND FEES.-The supreme court of the Bradford District of Columbia in general term shall make rules App., 460; Brown regulating the practice and pleading before justices of the App., 54-57; Dapeace, and in relation to appeals from their judgments, vidson v. Mitchel, not inconsistent with law, and may alter and amend the Hendley v. Clark, same from time to time, and shall also fix the fees to be warner v. Jenks, charged by said justices of the peace, and alter them 12D. C. App., 104. from time to time as justice may require: Provided, That in all cases of concurrent jurisdiction the defendant may remove the case for trial into the supreme court of the District by a writ of certiorari (to be awarded by said court or one of the justices thereof upon a petition under oath, the form and substance whereof shall be prescribed by said court.)
Sec. 9. JURISDICTION.-The said justices of the [place] Ib., secs. 7,8. peace shall have jurisdiction in all civil cases in which the amount claimed to be due for debt or damages arising out of contracts, express or implied, or damages for wrongs or injuries to persons or property, does not exceed three hundred dollars, including all proceedings by attachment or in replevin where the amount claimed or the value of the property involved does not exceed said sum, except in cases involving the title to real estate, actions to recover damages for assault or assault and battery, or for malicious prosecution, or actions against justices of the peace or other officers for official misconduct, or actions for slander or libel, or actions on promises to marry; and said jurisdiction shall be exclusive when the amount claimed for debt or damages or the value of personal property claimed does not exceed fifty dollars, and concurrent with the said supreme court when it exceeds fifty dollars.
Any justice of the peace may at any time, including Sundays and legal holidays, on complaint under oath or actual view, issue warrants returnable to the police court against persons accused of crimes and offenses committed in the District of Columbia, and he shall make a record of his proceedings in every case in a book to be kept for that purpose. Such warrants shall be issued free of charge.-Act of April 21, 1906 (34 Stat., 126).
23 D. C. App., 54,
Sec. 10. TRESPASS.-The said jurisdiction of justices of Brown.Slater, the peace shall extend to cases of trespass upon or injury to real estate: Provided, That if the defendant shall file with the justice an affidavit that he claims title or acts. under a person claiming title to the real estate, setting forth the nature of his title, the justice shall take no further cognizance of the case.
Guarantee Co. v. Pendleton, 14
Sec. 11. NONRESIDENTS.-Nonresidents shall not commence a suit before a justice of the peace without first D. C. App., 384; giving security for costs.
Bond v. Hardware Co., 15 D. C.App., 72; R. S. D. C., sec. 1002. Hayward v. Tschiffeley, 32 L. R., 777.
posit Co. v. Beck,
12 D. C. App.,
Sec. 12. JUDGMENTS] Judgments and Executions. Fidelity & DeIt shall be lawful for any justice of the peace, in all cases within his jurisdiction, to try, hear, and determine the
28 Stat., 668.
matter in controversy between the parties upon their allegations and proofs, and to give judgment according to law; and all judgments for money rendered by them shall bear interest from their date until paid or satisfied, unless by the terms of the judgment interest runs from an earlier date. Justices of the peace are authorized to issue writs of execution in all cases in which they are authorized to render judgment. A judgment entered by a justice of the peace shall remain in force for three years and no more after its rendition, unless the same shall have been docketed in the supreme court of the District of Columbia, as provided by section twenty-nine.-Act of June 30, 1902 (32 Stat., Part 1, p. 520).
Sec. 13. REPLEVIN.-A justice of the peace shall have 23 D. C. App., 55; authority to issue a writ of replevin whenever a plaintiff shall file with him a declaration in replevin in the following or an equivalent form, to wit:
28 Stat., 668.
28 Stat., 668.
"The plaintiff sues the defendant for wrongfully taking and detaining (or wrongfully detaining) his, said plaintiff's, goods and chattels, to wit (here describe them), of the value of dollars. And the plaintiff claims that the same may be taken and delivered to him, or, if they are eloigned, that he may have judgment for their value and all mesne profits and damages, which he estidollars, besides costs." And at the same time said plaintiff, his agent, or attorney shall file an affidavit stating, first, that, according to affiant's information and belief, the plaintiff is entitled to recover possession of the chattels described in the declaration; secondly, that the defendant has seized and detains or detains the same; thirdly, that said chattels were not subject to such seizure or detention, and were not taken under any writ of replevin between the parties; fourthly, that said chattels are not of the value of more than three hundred dollars; and at the same time the plaintiff shall enter into an undertaking, with surety approved by said justice, submitting to the jurisdiction of the court, to abide by and perform the judgment of said justice's court or of the supreme court of the District of Columbia.
Sec. 14. OFFICER'S RETURN.-If the officer's return of the writ of replevin be that he has served the defendant with copies of the declaration, affidavit, and summons, but that he could not get possession of the goods and chattels sued for, the plaintiff may prosecute the action for the value of the goods and damages for the detention, not to exceed in all three hundred dollars, or he may renew the writ, in order to get possession of the goods and chattels themselves.
Sec. 15. PUBLICATION.-If the officer's return be that he has taken possession of the goods and chattels sued for, but that the defendant is not to be found, the said justice may order that the defendant appear to the action by some fixed day, and cause notice of such order to be given by publication in some newspaper of said District at least
three times, the first publication to be at least twenty days before the day fixed for the defendant's appearance; and if the defendant fails to appear, the court may proceed, as in case of default after personal service, to render judgment for the property in favor of the plaintiff.
Sec. 16. PLEAS.-If the defendant appears, he may plead not guilty, in which case all matters of defense may be given in evidence, or he may plead specially.
Sec. 17. MARSHAL TO RETAIN PROPERTY.-Property taken by the marshal under a writ of replevin, issued by a justice of the peace, shall be retained by him for three days, exclusive of Sundays and legal holidays, before delivering the same to the plaintiff, in order that the defendant or other persons claiming an interest therein may present objections to the said justice to the sufficiency of the security on the undertaking or the jurisdiction of said justice, and if the said justice shall deem said undertaking insufficient, such property may be directed to be retained by the marshal for a further short time, to be designated by said justice, until an undertaking to be approved by him shall be filed, in default of which the marshal shall return the property to the person from whom it was taken; or if it shall be made to appear to the said justice that the property is of the value of over three hundred dollars he shall quash the writ of replevin and direct the property to be returned to the party out of whose possession it was taken.
28 Stat., 668.
Sec. 18. DAMAGES FOR PLAINTIFF.-Whether the de- 28 Stat., 668. fendent plead and the issue joined be found against him, or his plea be held bad, or he make default after personal service, the plaintiff's damages shall be the full value of the goods, not to exceed three hundred dollars, if eloigned by the defendant, and damages for the detention thereof, and judgment shall be given accordingly.
Sec. 19. JUDGMENT FOR DEFENDANT.-If the issue be found for the defendant, or the plaintiff shall dismiss or fail to prosecute his suit, the judgment shall be that the goods, if delivered to the plaintiff, be returned to the defendant, with damages for their detention, or, on failure, that the defendant recover from the plaintiff and his surety the damages sustained by him, to be assessed by the justice.
Brownv. Slater, 23 D. C. App., 51, Buckey, 27 D. C.
v. 4 D.
Desio v. Hutch
Sec. 20. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER. -Whenever any person shall forcibly enter and detain any building or 54; Dowling inclosed real property, or shall unlawfully, but without App., 207; Loring force, enter and unlawfully and forcibly detain the same, . Bartle; sec. or whenever any tenant shall unlawfully detain possession 684, R. S. D. C; of the property leased to him, after his tenancy therein has inson, 38 L. R., expired, or any mortgagor or grantor in a mortgage or 813. deed of trust to secure a debt, shall unlawfully detain the possession of the real property conveyed, after a sale thereof under such deed of trust or a foreclosure of the mortgage, or any person claiming under such mortgagor or grantor, after the date of the mortgage or deed of trust,