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matters as are there expressed, proceeding in, and deciding the same in a manner wholly independent of the said Royal Tribunal General; since, in the exercise of such jurisdiction, they are not to act subordinately to the said Tribunal, which is hereby prohibited from taking cognizance of, or interfering with any such causes and proceedings out of their own jurisdiction.
SECTION V. Since all the foregoing causes and disputes are to be determined between the parties in the shortest and most summary manner, according to justice, and the customary good faith of commercial transactions, without any of the usual delays and written declarations, or petitions of lawyers, it is my Will, that wbenever any person shall appear before the Royal Tribunal, or before the Territorial Deputation of any of the mining districts to commence an action or suit, they shall not allow any complaint or proceedings to be presented in writing, until after they shall have cited before them both parties, where it is practicable to do so, and heard orally their several causes of actions, and replies or objections, and endeavoured to compromise and settle the matter in dispute between them, with the utmost possible dispatch ; but if they should not succeed in bringing about the arrangement between the parties, and if the subject in question shall exceed the sum or value of $200 (for all causes relating to sums not exceeding that amount are to be decided orally, whether the parties consent to it or not), then the petitions or claims in writing, may be received, provided the same have neither been drawn up, arranged, or signed by lawyers; and whenever it shall be necessary to proceed in any cause, in consequence of not having been able to arrange and settle the same orally between the parties, then the demands or requests of the complainant shall all be received and 'attended to, previously to the hearing of any on the part of the defendant.
SECTION VI. In consideration of the object above expressed, of procuring a decision in all'causes and disputes in the shortest and most summary manner, according to justice and good faith, I thereby ordain and command, for the better attainment of that end, that in actions before the said Royal Tribunal and Territorial Deputations in the first instance, as also in causes of appeal and in the judgments to be pronounced therein, they shall pay no regard to any defect in the proceedings, or want of attention to the minute formalities of the law, or any irregularity of diction, but shall, in all causes, decide and judge with a strict regard to the merits of the case, and for that purpose, they shall officially examine the necessary witnesses, provided they do not exceed the number of ten, and take the depositions of parties where it may be thought requisite, and shall thereupon give and pronounce their determination, and judgment or sentence.
SECTION VII. order to avoid all useless and malicious appeals, which are made for
the sole purpose of preventing the course and execution of justice, I ordain that no one shall be allowed to appeal from the Judges of the said Royal Tribunal, or from the said Territorial Deputations, unless it be in consequence of definitive judgments or interlocutory decrees, containing irreparable aggrievement (gravamen irreparable), and any appeal which may be made in contravention of this article shall not be valid, and neither the Judges of the said Tribunal, nor the Territorial Deputations are to admit the same, but shall proceed in the cause, and pronounce their judgment or sentence definitively.
SECTION VIII. All interlocutory decrees, and judgments or sentences, are to be signed by the Administrator-General, and by both the Deputies-General of the Royal Tribunal, even if any one of them should dissent from the other two: for the opinion of the Administrator-General, and of one Deputy-General, or that of the two Deputies-General, is to decide the sentence or judgment, and the one who dissents is to sign the same notwithstanding.
SECTION IX. The Territorial Deputies may each separately proceed in causes, for the · sake of their brevity and dispatch which are so desirable for the interests of the body of Miners; but in passing and pronouncing definitive judgments or sentences, and interlocutory decrees, which might cause irreparable aggrievement, they shall act in conjunction; and if they should not agree concerning the same, they shall call in the respective Substitute, according to the rules already laid down, in order that the majority of opinions, and such determination shall be signed by all three, as provided in the preceding Section.
SECTION X. In all points of law, which are not clearly laid down in these Ordinances, the Royal Tribunal General shall avail themselves of the assistance of any able and conscientious lawyer whom they may select for the purpose, and the Territorial Deputations may confer with any such person who may be in the town or place where they reside; and in case he should be objected to, or if there should be no lawyer in the place, then they shall act with the assistance of the respective Provincial Judge appointed by me, which latter is not to be objected to, unless there be another person who can supply his place; and I further declare, both with regard to this, and the preceding Section, that any person who may have given his opinion in causes in the first instance, shall not give it in the second.
SECTION XI. When the proceedings in any cause are concluded, and final decision is about to take place, or at any time, whenever the Judges of the Royal Tribunal, or the Territorial Deputations may think it necessary, such proceedings shall be submitted to them by the Clerks of the Court, before whom they were taken down, who are to sum up the contents in the usual manner, and with that brevity which is so desirable for the interests of the Miners.
SECTIUN XII. The decrees and judgments, or sentences, of the Tribunal General, and of the Territorial Deputations, if not appealed against, and when they have acquired the authority of a final decision, are to be carried into effect, in a short and summary manner; those of the Tribunal by their two messengers, or porters, who are to exercise the functions of executive Bailiffs (Alguaciles Executores), and those of the Territorial Deputations by the ordinary Bailiffs (Alguaciles) of the places where they reside, and the former, as well as the latter, shall command and desire all other Judges and Courts* (Justicias), whom it may concern, to afford them any aid or assistance which they may require.
SECTION XIII. In causes of appeal against any such definitive sentences or decrees, by either of the parties, where the matter in dispute shall exceed the value of 400 dollars (for in all causes regarding a less amount no appeal shall be admissible, and the decisions of the Judges of the Royal Tribunal, or of the Territorial Deputations, shall be finally carried into effect), those from the Royal Tribunal General shall be received by the Court of Appeales (Jusgade de Alzadas) about to be established in Mexico, and which is to be composed of a Judge of the Real Audiencia of that place, to be appointed by the Viceroy, in the same manner, and for the same term, as the one intended for the Royal Tribunal of the Consulate or Chamber of Commerce ; of the Director-General of mines, and of a Proprietor of mines, who is to bo elected for that purpose every third year, in the General Assembly of Miners, from amongst such as have been Administrators, Directors, DeputiesGeneral, or one of those Four Advisers (Consultores), who are to reside constantly in Mexico, as directed in a former Section ; and the appeals from the Territorial Deputations, within the distance of twenty leagues, in every direction from the city of Guadalaxara, shall be in the same manner received by the Court of Appeal, which I have ordered to be created there, and which is to be composed of one of the Judges of the Real Audiencia of that place, to be appointed by the Acting President thereof for the time, and in the same manner as the one for the Consulate, or Chamber of Commerce, in Mexico, and of two Proprietors of mines, of known character, and possessing all the requisite qualifications, who shall be appointed Co-Judges of Appeal in the city of Guadalaxara, from amongst those residing there in the said General Assembly of Miners, to be held every three years in Mexico, as before directed; but if there should not be any resident Proprietors of mines
* Tribunals over which the Magistrates of the country preside, as distinguished from any tribunal composed of Miners.
in the aforesaid city, possessing the necessary qualifications for such office, then others, who reside elsewhere, may be chosen at the said triennial election; provided, that under the same circumstances of eligibility, preference shall be given to such as live at the shortest distance, even if they be substitutes for any mining district; and the appeals from all the other Territo
rial Deputations shall be received, in the manner prescribed, by the respective Courts of Appeal to be erected in each province, and which are to be composed of the principal Provincial Judge appointed by me, and of such two of the four Substitutes of Miners for the mining district as may be nearest to the residence of such Judge respectively, according to the rules already laid down; and if in the same place, or at an equal distance, there shall reside any one or more of the twelve Advisers before mentioned, they shall, by preference, be appointed Co-Judges of Appeal ; and wherever the said Judge shall not be of the profession of the law (detrado), the court in which he presides, shall, in all points and matters, where it may be requisite, avail themselves of the assistance of an able and conscientious lawyer.
SECTION XIV. All such causes of appeal shall be conducted in a short and summary manner, according to the practice in commercial causes, without introducing any new terms or expressions which may give rise to unnecessary delays or proofs, or admitting proceedings and writings of lawyers, or any others, except a statement of the cause of the appellant, and the replies of the other party or parties, with a strict regard to truth, and the customary good faith of commercial transactions ; and in like manner the cause shall be decided.
SECTION XV. All such appeals are to be entered on or before the third day, after the notification of the decree or sentence, and in no other manner, and they may be commenced by a letter from the Appellant, stating, either that he will transmit full power for carrying on the proceedings, or that he will appear in person.
SECTION XVI. Whenever the Courts of appeal shall confirm the sentence of the Royal Tribunal General of Miners or of the Territorial Deputations in the several causes, no further appeal shall be admitted, and such sentence shall be immediately carried into effect, and for that purpose shall be forthwith sent back to the respective judges.
SECTION XVII. But in case they, (the Courts of Appeal), should reverse the same, either altogether or in part, and either of the litigant parties should appeal or apply for a new trial, the Judges of Appeal shall appoint in the respective
cases, two other Co-Judges, who, in Mexico, are to be chosen from the four Advisers (Consultores) residing in that capital, in Guadalaxara from the Proprietors of mines residing there, with preference to such as are Advisers, if there be any in that city, and in default of either, they may be chosen from the Proprietors of mines, residing elsewhere, regard being shewn to the considerations expressed in the thirteenth Section of this Chapter ; and in all the other Courts of Appeal, the judge may appoint any of the four respective Substitutes, provided, however, that there be no legal objection to any such individuals, and if there should be such objections in respect to all of them, the nomination may fall on any other Proprietors of mines, having the necessary qualifications ; observing, however, that where any one or more of the twelve Advisers of the Royal Tribunal General shall reside, they shall be preferred to the Substitutes.
SECTION XVIII. From the judgment or sentence, to be given in this third instance (whether confirming, reversing, or amending, the former sentence, either altogether or in part), there shall be no further appeal; and the cause shall then be returned to the court to which it belongs, for the fulfilment and final execution, which are also to be proceeded with, in a short and summary manner, as before directed; but I hereby declare, that there shall still remain open to the parties, the legal remedy of a further application to my Royal Person, in my Supreme Council of the Indies, provided it shall appear that the sum in dispute amount to 20,000 dollars or upwards, on finding the security required by law, and without prejudice to the execution of the sentence already pronounced, and after providing further security, that they will submit, to the final decision, whatsoever it may be.
SECTION XIX. In the decision of the before-mentioned causes of appeal, the sentence shall be determined by two opinions out of the three, whether they be those of the Judge and one of the Co-Judges of the respective Courts of Appeal, or those of the two Co-Judges, without that of the presiding Judge, and in either case the same shall be signed by all three.
SECTION XX. Causes relating to possession and property, shall be determined jointly (by all the Judges); and in the first place, restitution shall be made to persons who may have been forcibly dispossessed of any property ; but this shall not apply to persons who may have been deprived of possession by the decree or sentence of any Judge, even if the same shall be represented to be unjust.
SECTION XXI. No mine in dispute, shall, for any reasons, or on any account, be shut up,