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1. Short title of Act.

2. Extent of Act.

3. Commencement of Act.

4. Construction of Act.


Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt.

5. Abolition of imprisonment for debt. Exceptions to Act.

6. Saving of power of committal for small debts.

7. Power under certain circumstances to arrest defendant about to quit England.

8. Discharge of persons in custody at the commencement of this Act. 9. Saving as to sequestration against property.


Punishment of Fraudulent Debtors.

10. Punishment of fraudulent debtors.

11. Penalty for absconding with property.

12. False claim, &c. a misdemeanor.

13. Order by court for prosecution on report of trustee.

14. Order for reference to Attorney General.

15. Expenses of prosecutions.

16. Form of indictment.

17. Evidence of accused.

18. Quarter sessions to have jurisdiction in respect of offences under


19. Punishments under this Act cumulative.


Warrants of Attorney, Cognovits, and Orders for Judgment.


20. Filing of warrant of attorney and cognovit actionem.

21. Filing of judge's order to enter up judgment.

22. Application of 3 Geo. 4. c. 39, 6 & 7 Vict. c. 66, to judge's orders.





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B of Lords

The Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt, for the punishment of fraudulent debtors; and for other purposes.

E it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and A.D. 1869.

2. This Act shall not extend to Scotland or Ireland.

3. This Act shall not come into operation until the first day Commence10 of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy, which day is ment of Act. herein-after referred to as the commencement of this Act.

poral, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


1. This Act may be cited for all purposes as "The Debtors Short title Act, 1869."

of Act.

4. Words and expressions defined or explained in The Bankruptcy Construction Act, 1869, shall have the same meaning in this Act.

of Act.



5. With the exceptions herein-after mentioned, no person shall, after the commencement of this Act, be arrested or imprisoned for making default in payment of a sum of money.

There shall be excepted from the operation of this Act:

1. Default in payment of a penalty, or sum in the nature of a

2. Default in payment of any sum recoverable summarily;

3. Default by a trustee or person acting in a fiduciary capacity in
payment of any sum in his possession or under his control.

Extent of

4. Default by an attorney or solicitor in payment of costs when
ordered to pay costs for misconduct as such, or in payment
of a sum of money when ordered to pay the same in his
character of an officer of the court making the order;

Abolition of imprisonment for


Exceptions to Act.

A.D. 1869.

Saving of power of committal for small debts.

5. Default in payment for the benefit of creditors of a salary or
other like sum accruing periodically in respect of the pay-
ment of which any court having jurisdiction in bankruptcy
is authorized to make an order;

6. Default in payment of sums in respect of the payment of which 5
orders are in this Act authorized to be made in the county
courts and other inferior courts.

6. A judge or his deputy authorized to issue a warrant of com-
mittal under The County Courts Act, 1846, and the Acts amending
the same, in respect of a person making default in payment of a 10
sum not exceeding fifty pounds, or under the Act "for the better
securing the payment of small debts," passed in the session of the
eighth and ninth years of the reign of Her present Majesty, chapter
one hundred and twenty-seven, in respect of a person making
default in payment of a sum not exceeding twenty pounds, may 15
respectively continue to exercise the powers given by the said Acts
in the following cases, or any of them :

First, where the person making default is defendant to an
action in which judgment has been obtained against him,
and it appears to the satisfaction of such judge or deputy that 20
in incurring the debt or liability which is the subject of the
action the defendant obtained credit from the plaintiff under
false pretences or by means of fraud or breach of trust, or
wilfully contracted the debt or liability without having had at
the time a reasonable expectation of being able to discharge 25
the same, or has, with intent to defraud his creditors or any of
them, made or caused to be made any gift, delivery, or transfer
of, or any charge on his property, or has with such intent con-
cealed or removed any of his property; or

Secondly, where it appears to the satisfaction of such judge or 30
deputy that the person making default, whether a plaintiff or
defendant to an action, has had since the date of the order or
judgment being obtained against him, or has the means to pay
the debt, damages, or costs required to be paid by him in
pursuance of such order or judgment, whether by instalments 35
or otherwise, and has refused or neglected or refuses or neglects
to pay the same;


but no warrant of committal shall be valid under the said
or any of them, unless the warrant is drawn up by such judge or
his deputy in open court and shows on its face the grounds on which 40
it is issued; and the aggregate term of imprisonment to which any
person may be subjected in pursuance of the said powers, or any of

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arrest, proves at any time before final judgment by evidence on oath, A.D. 1869. to the satisfaction of a judge of one of those courts, that the plaintiff has good cause of action against the defendant to the amount of fifty pounds or upwards, and that there is probable cause for 5 believing that the defendant is about to quit England unless he be apprehended, and that the absence of the defendant from England will materially prejudice the plaintiff in the prosecution of his action, such judge may in the prescribed manner order such defendant to be arrested and imprisoned unless and until he has given the pre10 scribed security not exceeding the amount claimed in the action, that he will not go out of England without the leave of the court.

Where the action is for a penalty or sum in the nature of a penalty, it shall not be necessary to prove that the absence of the defendant from England will materially prejudice the plaintiff in 15 the prosecution of his action, and the security given (instead of being that the defendant will not go out of England) shall be to the effect that any sum recovered against the defendant in the action shall be paid, or that the defendant shall be rendered to prison.

The term Prescribed" means in this section, prescribed by 20 general rules made in pursuance of "The Common Law Procedure Act, 1852," and general rules may be made in pursuance of the said Act for determining the amount of security to be given (subject as aforesaid) and the mode of giving the same, and the names and form of writs, if any, to be issued and other matters 25 necessary for the purpose of carrying this section into effect.

persons in custody at the com

mencement of this Act.

7. Where any person is, at the commencement of this Act, in Discharge of custody in pursuance of a writ, attachment, or other process in any case in which he would not be liable to be arrested or imprisoned after the commencement of this Act, such person shall, at the com30 mencement of this Act, be discharged from such custody without payment of any fees, but his arrest, imprisonment, or discharge shall not affect the creditor's rights or remedies for enforcing the payment of any money due to him, or deprive the creditor of the benefit of any charge or security on any property of the debtor.

8. Sequestration against the property of a debtor may, after the commencement of this Act, be issued by any court of equity in the same manner as if such debtor had been actually arrested.


property. CLAUSE C.

9. Nothing in this part of this Act shall in any way affect any Saving for right or power, under The Bankruptcy Act, 1869, to arrest or Bankruptcy Act, 1869. 40 imprison any person.


Saving for tion against

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