Feb.15, 1837, Acts 61st G.A. 2nd sitting, p.134-136.
Sec. 1. BE IT ENACTED by the Council and General Assembly of this state, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That when any person claimed as a fugitive slave shall be brought before any judge of the inferior court of common pleas, agreeably to the provisions of an act entitled, "A supplement to an act entitled, an act concerning slaves," unless the said fugitive shall admit, before him, the claim of the claimant or claimants, it shall be the duty of the said judge to appoint a certain time and place for the hearing of the said claimant's title to the services of such fugitive; and shall thereupon call to his assistance two other judges of the said court of common pleas, which said judges, at the time and place appointed, shall proceed to hear and determine upon said claim, and pronounce judgment thereon ; and if the said judgment shall be in favour of said claim, to give a certificate thereof, which certificate, signed by any two of said judges, shall be a sufficient warrant for removing the said fugitive, as fully as is provided for by the said supplement, on the certificate therein mentioned.
Sec. 2. And be it enacted, That if either party shall demand a trial by jury, then it shall be the duty of the said judge, before whom such fugitive shall be brought, instead of calling to his assistance the said judges, as provided in the preceding section, to issue a venire directed to the sheriff of such county, commanding him to summon a jury of said county, to be and appear before the said judge, at the time and place appointed to inquire into and determine upon said claim; and upon the trial of the said claim, the same proceedings shall be had as in all other cases of trial by jury; and if the said jury shall find a verdict in favour of said claimant or claimants, the same shall be recorded; and it shall be the duty of the said judge to give a certificate thereof, which certificate shall be a sufficient warrant for removing the said fugitive as aforesaid.
Sec. 3. And be it enacted, That in case of the non-attendance of any of the said judges, on the day appointed for the trial of the said claim as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for the judge or judges in attendance to postpone the said trial, and in his or their discretion to call to his or their assistance another judge or judges, so as to ensure a speedy trial of said claim ; and in case a jury shall be demanded, and from any cause the sheriff shall be unable to obtain a jury on the day appointed, or the jury shall be unable to agree upon a verdict, then it shall be the duty of the said judges to issue a venire for another jury, at such time as he may appoint, so as to ensure a trial and verdict on said claim.
Sec. 4. And be it enacted, That if the said judges shall decide, or the said jury find a verdict against such claim, a record shall be made thereof, and the said fugitive shall be discharged from such claim and imprisonment under the same.
Sec. 5. And be it enacted, That the parties shall be entitled to the same privileges for an adjournment as provided for in the said supplement.
Sec. 6. And be it enacted, That a record shall be kept of all the proceedings had upon the said claim, until final judgment thereon.
Sec. 7. And be it enacted, That the said judge for keeping the said record shall be entitled to receive one dollar ; for issuing the venire sixty cents ; the sheriff for serving the same one dollar and fifty cents; the jurors the same fees as by law are allowed to jurors in courts of common law; and the said judge or judges, as the case may be, two dollars and fifty cents per day, each, for each and every day necessarily spent in said hearing ; which fees shall be paid as required by said supplement.
Sec. 8. And be it enacted, That any judge or justice who shall give any certificate authorizing the removal of any fugitive slave out of this state, without the title of the claimant or claimants to the services of such fugitive having been first decided upon in his, her, or their favour, under the provisions of this act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both; and any judge refusing to perform any of the duties required by this act, shall, on conviction thereof, be liable to pay any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, one half to the use of the person who shall prosecute for the same, and one half to the use of the county in which the same shall be prosecuted.
Sec. 9. And be it enacted, That so much of the said original act, or supplement thereto, as shall come within the purview of this act, be, and the same is hereby repealed.
Passed February 15,1837.