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nor shall its working be suspended, even at the request of the parties; but an Inspector (Interventor}* shall be appointed, with the approbation of the party requiring the same, without, however, removing from the miuo any thing belonging to it, yet such Interventor shall be dispensed with or. full and sufficient security being given to the satisfaction of the opposite party, and I declare that the working a mine is then only to be suspended when the same shall be represented to be in a ruinous condition, without the necessary support of timber work, and such shall appear to be the fact in the opinion of Surveyors (Peritos), who shall immediately, without loss of time, inspect and proceed to re-establish the said works, and restore them to a good condition, in order that, whenever the working shall be resumed, it may be carried on without danger.
All executive demands shall bs proceeded in according to law, as far as respects the order of process, but with a strict regard to truth and good faith, and without letting in any of those delays or subtilties which retard and interrupt the dispatch.
Whenever it shall be necessary to carry into effect an execution in any mine or reducing establishment (Hacieuda de Beneficio), the same shall not be sequestered, nor put up for sale, nor yet the machines, iron-work, or tools, implements, slaves, cattle, buildings, materials, or any of the necessary stores or provisions; but such execution shall only be put in force with regard to the gold and silver ores, and other produce of the mine, after deducting what may be necessary to meet the expence of carrying on the reducing of such ores, which is by no means to be interrupted; for which purp;se an Interventor shall be appointed, to be approved of by the plaintiff, if the latter does not choose to undertake the management of the mine himself; or by the defendant, in case the plaintiff shall take the same on his own account; and such Interventor 1s to be immediately withdrawn on tho liquidation of the debts; and in either case he shall render weekly accounts of the produce and expences of the mine, to be in due time laid before the Judges in the cause, together with the several receipts, or vouchers, and proper affidavits on such items, which cannot otherwise be verified, for the benefit of whichever party may be entitled thereto, according to the definitive judgment or sentence pronounced in the cause.
If the defendant shall give up his property, and the same shall comprise
* Inspector is perhaps the nearest English word; bat as interventor expresses most correctly the duty of a person who is occasionally to interpose his services, and as we have, in English, the words intervent and intervention, henceforward the word interventor will be used in the translation.
any mine or mines, notice shall be given to his creditor or creditors, to undertake the working thereof on their own account, and not to suffer them to be suspended; and in default of their compliance before the expiration of the time to be fixed by these Ordinances, such mines shall be considered as deserted and abandoned, and shall belong to the first person who may denounce the same, to the exclusion of all former claims.
The wages of the labourers of any mine or reducing establishment taken- in • execution, and the salary of the Interventor, shall by no means be placed on the same footing with the other debts, but shall be paid immediately out of the first proceeds, although the whole of sucli proceeds should not amount to more.
In case of the suspension of the working, any one of the creditors shall offer to undertake the same with his own capital, the others having refused to contribute their proportions, such creditor shall have preference, not only in the satisfaction of his new demand, but also with respect to his former claims, even where the same may not have arisen from the supply of such mine or establishment.
Whenever in causes before other courts, whether relating to judgments concerning inventories, hereditary succession, general partnerships, contests of creditors, or cession of property, any mines and the establishments, or other dependencies belonging to the same, are comprised amongst the other property depending in the cause, I ordain that the Judge of such court shall transmit an official letter, with notice thereof to the respective Court of Miners, whose duty it shall be to take care that the working of such mine or establishment be kept without prejudice to the rights or claims of the party or parties concerned; and the said Court of Miners shall reserve the proceeds thereof for the disposal of the principal Judge in such cause, and shall also, in case of any widows, minors, or absent persons being interested therein, effectually protect and support their claims, and thus maintain that firm and reciprocal union, which contribute to the preservation, welfare, and prosperity of the whole body.
In causes and suits relating to mines, an extension of the whole term, may be granted, but be it understood, that this utmost term allowed by the law, shall not take place in behalf of certain privileged persons in which cases half of the original term may be granted.
In all criminal causes, such as the purloining of ore, gold or silver, lead,
tools, and implements, or any other articles belonging to the mines or the reducing establishments, offences committed in the same, whether by one workman against another, or in consequence of any breach of subordination on their part towards the officers or captains set over them; or by the misconduct of cither of these classes towards their masters, the Proprietors of the mines; and finally, in cases of insult. contumelious language, or want of respect towards any of the Courts of Miners, the Royal Tribunal General in Mexico, or the Territorial Deputations, shall take cognizance, each in their respective districts, proceeding in and deciding such causes as are of minor importance, in the most summary manner according to law, and the nature of such offences, with a strict regard to good faith, and in the order already established for civil causes; but in those, which on account of their magnitude and aggravation, require by law the infliction of severe penalties, mutilation, other corporal punishments, the said Courts of Miners shall only exercise the limited jurisdiction of apprehending the criminals, drawing up the processes, and transmitting the same to the Royal Judge of the respective provinces, in order that the latter may, in due time lay them before the criminal chamber of the Real Audiencia of the district for their final decision.
If, in such criminal causes of minor importance as are treated of in the preceding Section, and the jurisdiction of which has been granted to the Courts of Miners, for their cognizance and determination, provided they proceed in and decide the same in the manner directed, any parties shall appeal, they are to be entitled to all the legal remedies to be determined by the Courts of Appeal, in the Manner and form already prescribed with regard to civile auses, observing the order required in cases of this nature.
Whenever any contentions shall arise between the Tribunal General of Miners, the territorial jurisdictions, and any other courts or tribunals, concerning the extent of their several jurisdictions, I ordain and command, that the Viceroy of New Spain shall decide the same, and that his determination shall be observed and complied with, without any other appeal; and that the Viceroy shall, in such cases, take the opinion of learned and able lawyers not connected with either of the courts between whom such question may have arisen.
I expressly prohibit the arbitrary application of the pecuniary fines to he imposed by any of the Courts of Miners, in the exercise either of the criminal or civil jurisdiction, granted to them; and I ordain that they shall he applied in equal third parts to my Royal Exchequer, the expences of justice, and to such further objects, as by law directed.
The Administrator and the Deputies General, shall assemble in court every day (except on holy days, and those on which it is necessary to hear Mass,) from the hour of eight to that of eleven; and also on extraordinary occasions in the evening, and on any day whatever when the urgency and importance of any affair may require it.
The Director General shall have a vote in all matters relating to the direction, administration, and management, the jurisdiction of which has been granted to the Royal Tribunal General in Mexico, and due and special notice shall be sent to him on all such occasions to attend; but I declare that he shall have no vote in the substantiation and determination of any pleadings or suits, except only in causes before the Court of Appeal in Mexico, of which he has been appointed a member.
All matters relating to public works or supplies (Abastot), to those of the roads or highways, and other objects of the same nature, are to be under the peculiar cognizance and jurisdiction of the Royal Judges and Magistrates of each District, but the Royal Tribunal General in Mexico, and the Territorial Deputations shall give such instructions as they may deem expedient, to the said Judges and Magistrates, in order that all such works and supplies may be regulated and proportioned in the most fair and equitable manner, proceeding therein with a mutual understanding, and acting in concert together.
All taxes, and duties, or imposts, as well public as private, between individuals of the mining body, which immediately affect the advancement and working of the mines and reducing establishments, the remuneration or salaries of those who compose the territorial jurisdictions of Miners, and of persons appointed to any of the new offices or situations treated of in these Ordinances, are to be proposed and regulated by the Royal Tribunal General in Mexico, and by the Territorial Deputations, each in their respective districts, but the latter shall be obliged to lay them, together with the requisite proofs or attestations, before the Royal Court (Justicia Meal) of the district, for their sanction, but such taxes, duties, and imposts, shall not be established or carried into efiect, without having been previously submitted to the Viceroy of New Spain, in order that, after the necessary enquiries respecting them by his superior power, they may be laid before me for my sovereign determination, for which purpose a report thereof shall be transmitted to me by the Viceroy.
The Royal Tribunal General in Me'xico shall also immediately lay before the Viceroy, an exact estimate of the salaries to be allowed to the principal individuals filling offices in the Tribunal, and of the inferior officers appointed, or to be appointed, in pursuance of these Ordinances; in order that the same may be referred to me by the Viceroy, with his remarks thereon, for my Royal Approbation, which is necessary to the secure establishment of the said Tribunal.
OF THE ORDER OF PROCEEDING IN THE SUBSTANTIATION AND DETERMINATION OF LAW-SUITS, IN CASES OF A VACANCY OR NECESSARY ABSENCE OF ANY OF THE JUDGES OF THE MINERS, OR OF THEIR REFUSALS (RECUSACIONES) IN THE 1ST, 2ND, AND 3RD INSTANCES.
The Royal Tribunal General of the mines shall not enter upon any business which is in litigation, without the assembling of three of its Members; and if at any time on account of illness, necessary absence, or any othor just and lawful impediment whatsoever, as by the judge being interested in the question, or by his being related to any of the litigating parties, that number of Judges cannot be assembled, such of the Advisers residing in the capital of Mexico as are properly eligible to the same office, by the rules already laid down; and the proper number shall be thus completed; and the same thing shall be done with regard to the number of the Judges of Appeal , which is never to be less than three, according to what has already been laid down in these Ordinances; and whenever in consequence of any of the before-mentioned impediments, any one of the Territorial Deputies cannot, or ought not, to be Judge in any such litigated cause, his place shall be supplied by the proper substitute accordingly.
I prohibit the absolute refusal (recusation), of all the Judges of the Royal Tribunal General, and of those of Appeals; but one or two particular members may refuse, assigning reasons, and giving security; it being understood that those refusing shall not be heard, or any refusal admitted, after a determination has been made concerning them.
In the same manner the two Territorial Deputies, acting as Judges of the mines, shall not refuse, though either of them may.