Imagens das páginas

tic, or person charged to be imbecile or incompetent, who is a resident of this Commonwealth, unless he has been heretofore or may hereafter be found to be such by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction in the county of his residence; or, if a non-resident, by the judgment of such court in the county of his residence.


Money drawn from the Treasury for the Support of Pauper
Idiots-Mode and Manner of Inquest.

2 R. S., 34.
No money to be

§ 1. No money shall be drawn from the public Treasury for the support of any idiot until he shall have been found

drawn from the to be such by the verdict of a jury, as provided for in this

Treasury until after verdict of a jury.


§ 2. Nor shall the amount thus drawn by any committee Amount not to exceed the sum of seventy-five dollars for each idiot in any one year, and according to that rate for a less time.

exceed $75 per year.

§ 3. The funeral expenses, not exceeding ten dollars, of a Funeral expenses pauper idiot, found such by inquisition, when certified by

the proper court, shall be paid out of the public Treasury.

§ 4. Idiots who are paupers, and who, in the opinion of When idiots need the court, can be safely and properly kept by a committee

not be sent to asylum.

within the county, need not be sent to the asylum, but may, by order of the court, be committed to the custody of a committee or other person.

5. A person is a pauper idiot or lunatic, within the pauper meaning of this chapter, who has been found, by the ver

Who a
idiot, &c. Allow-


dict of a jury, to be an idiot or lunatic, and that he has no estate sufficient for his support; and also that his parents, if alive, have not sufficient estate to maintain him, and that he is unable to work for a support; and the order of court, making and certifying the annual allowance for the support of the idiot, shall be made on proof, and so state, and shall also state that the idiot is then alive, and a pauper. Upon such certificate, if a copy of the inquisition required to be filed by the provisions of this chapter has been filed with the Auditor, he shall issue his warrant upon the Treasury for the amount due, not exceeding seventy-five dollars per year, and at that rate for a greater or less time.

§ 6. If any person be of unsound mind, it shall be the Inquest to be held duty of some court of the county in which he resides, hav

ing general equity jurisdiction, upon the application of the attorney of the Commonwealth, or, if he be absent, of the

county attorney, to cause an inquest by a jury to be held in open court, to inquire into the fact. The court shall appoint some member of the bar to represent and protect the interest and rights of the person alleged to be of unsound mind; and it shall also be the special duty of the attorney for the Commonwealth, or for the county, to prevent the Duty of Comfinding of any person as an idiot or lunatic who, in his torney. opinion, is not such; or the finding of any person an idiot who is a lunatic.

monwealth's at

Attorney for depointed.

fendant to be ap


§ 7. The following oath shall be administered to the jury: Form of oath to "You do swear that you will well and truly inquire, and, from the evidence, say in your verdict, whether A B, the person whom you have in charge, is of unsound mind, and, if of unsound mind, whether he is an idiot or lunatic-that is, whether he was destitute of mind from infancy, or has lost it since his birth; and if he has lost it since his birth, that you will state when, and, as far as you can from the evidence, the cause of it. You will also inquire and state his birth and residence, and whether he has been brought into this State by any person, and by whom, for the purpose of becoming a charge upon the Commonwealth. That you will find what estate, and the value thereof, he owns in possession, reversion, or remainder; whether his parents are alive; where they reside; and whether they have estate. sufficient to support the person under trial; whether he is capable of laboring, in whole or in part, and what part, for his support." The judge shall instruct the jury upon the Judge to instruct whole case, so as to enable them to decide the question whether the defendant is an idiot or lunatic.

the jury.

dict or new trial.

§ 8. On return of the verdict, if the court is satisfied with Judgment on verthe inquest, judgment shall be entered upon it according to the finding. If the judge who presides shall be of opinion the verdict is not sustained by the evidence, or is against law, he shall set it aside and award a new inquest.

9. No inquest shall be held unless the person charged to be of unsound mind is in court, and personally in the presence of the jury. The personal presence of the person charged shall not be dispensed with, unless it shall appear by the oath or affidavit of two physicians that they have personally examined the individual charged to be of unsound mind, and that they verily believe him to be an idiot

Personal presson charged.

ence of the per

or lunatic, as the case may be, and that his condition is such that it would be unsafe to bring him into court.

§ 10. Every fifth year after the first inquest, before any order shall be granted by the court for the maintenance of an idiot out of his own estate, or out of the Treasury, the idiot, in like manner, shall be brought into court, or his presence dispensed with, for the reasons in the preceding section; and the court shall cause the jury to be empanneled, who shall be sworn, as provided in the second section of this article, and also to inquire, and true report to make from the evidence, whether the person whom they have in charge has before been found, by the verdict of a jury and judgment of a court, an idiot, and whether and what change, if any, has taken place in his mind, physical condition, and estate, since the original inquest.

§ 11. A copy, certified by the clerk, of each original and Clerk to certify subsequent inquisition, shall be transmitted to the Auditor

inquisition to the Auditor.

of Public Accounts; without such transcript, the Auditor shall issue no warrant for the amount allowed by the court.

the idiot to be

Every fifth year brought person

ally into court.

§ 12. The circuit court clerk of each county shall transmit to the Auditor, on or before the 10th of September in each year, a list of the pauper idiots in his county; if he fail to do so without good cause, he shall be fined fifty dollars. All pauper idiots and lunatics may be sent, by order of a court, to the lunatic asylum, and shall be maintained, during the continuance of the malady and stay in the hospital, at the

If lunatic is not expense of the Commonwealth. If not so sent, the expense of maintaining lunatics shall not be a charge upon the Commonwealth.

sent, State not to be charged.

becile or incom

petent persons.

§ 13. In all inquests held in respect of persons alleged to Inquests on im- be imbecile or incompetent to manage their estates, the court shall cause an oath to be administered to the jury in such form as to ascertain, by the verdict, whether such person, by reason of bodily infirmity, disabling him or her from making their thoughts and desires known, or by reason of any infirmity or weight of age, is incompetent to manage his or her estate; and also what estate he or she owns in possession, reversion, or remainder, and the value thereof.

§ 14. Inquests, under and according to the provisions of Who may hold this chapter, may be held by a judge or chancellor, by the presiding judge of a county, the judge of a city court, or police judge, when no court of general equity jurisdiction


Clerk to send list of pauper idiots

to the Auditor on roth of Septem

ber in every year. Fauper idiots and lunatics may be sent to asylum.

is in session. The officer who presides at such inquest may His powers. make all orders for the security of the estate and care of the person found of unsound mind; may order him to be taken to the lunatic asylum, when it would be proper for a court to do so; appoint a temporary committee for that purpose, and take from him bond and surety, payable to the Commonwealth, for a faithful discharge of the duties of his station. Upon which bond, for a violation of its stipulations, any person aggrieved, or the committee thereafter appointed by the court, may sue in the name of the Commonwealth, at their own costs.


papers of inquest.

§ 15. The papers pertaining to the inquest shall be deliv- Disposition ered, by the officer holding the same, to the clerk of the court having jurisdiction, who shall file the same; and, at the next term of the court, a committee shall be appointed by the court, as though the inquest had been holden in term time, and such other orders made and taken as may be necessary to execute the provisions of this chapter. Whenever it shall be suggested to the court, by affidavit, that a person found of unsound mind has been restored to his proper senses, or that the inquest was false or fraudulent, the court shall forthwith direct the facts to be inquired into by a jury, in open court, and make all necessary orders or decrees in the premises. (a)

history of case.

§ 16. When a person shall be found a lunatic under the Judge to prepare provisions of this chapter, the officer who presides at the inquest shall endeavor to ascertain and draw up a brief his

When suggested

that person is re

stored to sound


(a) An inquest of lunacy, although conclusive evidence of the condition of the party at its date, is only prima facie evidence of his condition at a subsequent period. (Clark vs. Trail, I Metcalfe, 39.)

2. But there is no rule of evidence which requires an inquest to rebut the presumption that a person once found to be of unsound mind continues so. It may be rebutted by oral evidence. (Ibid.)

3. If the statute of limitations begins to run, a subsequent state of insanity will not stop it, but will continue to run until the bar is complete. (Ibid.)

4. If one who is insane when right accrues is afterwards restored, and continues sane for a sufficient time to look into his affairs, and to institute an action to recover his rights, the statute of limitations will begin to run against him; and whether he had been restored, and continued sane long enough to look into his affairs, are questions of fact for the jury. (Ibid, 41.)

5. Want of capacity and undue influence. See opinion for facts of a case on which the court refused to set aside a conveyance of land on these grounds. (Leach vs. Duvall, 8 Bush, 201.)

6. Where insanity is clearly established, and a party adjudged to be a lunatic, or his capacity arises from mania, the presumption of law is, that this condition of mind continues; and the party relying on the validity of a writing executed by another, whose insanity is established prior to its execution, must show that it was executed during a lucid interval, or that the insanity had ceased to exist. (Carpenter vs. Carpenter, 8 Bush, 283.)

7. The presumption of incapacity does not apply where the paroxysms or fits were periodical, and the person generally recovered from them in a few days. Where the diseased condition of the mind is temporary, continued insanity or want of capacity is never presumed. (Ibid.)

tory of the patient's case, embracing the following points: 1. Age; occupation; married or single; habits; educated or not. 2. If any, what relations have been insane. 3. Date of first attack; how exhibited; has it changed in character ever any at a former period. 4. Supposed cause; any peculiar illusions, and what; subject to fits, how long, and from what cause; natural temper and kind of affection towards relations. 5. Any attempt at suicide; if any, in what violence or propensity to mischief exhibited. 6. Periodic frenzy and lucid intervals, and duration of each. 7. What restraint has been imposed; what treatment used; and if bleeding, to what extent. 8. Any injury about the head ever received; any bodily disease from suppression of evacuations, eruptions, sores, or injuries. 9. Together with whatever else may be deemed material towards enabling the superintendent of the asylum to understand the case. Which statement, or a copy, shall be sent with the record to the asylum, if the lunatic is sent.

§ 17. Neither the county nor any relative of a lunatic shall be chargeable with the cost of his detention for one year in the asylum, if he be delivered there within six months after the first attack of his lunacy; nor shall a relative, in such case, be chargeable with the cost of his transportation.

18. The court shall ascertain and certify, as part of the Date of first at order for the confinement of a lunatic in the asylum, the

tack to be certified.

date of his first attack of lunacy, when it is intended to obtain the benefit of the above provision; but before it is allowed, the fact shall also be ascertained, upon proper proof, and certified by the circuit judge of the district.

$ 19. If the certificate of the circuit judge cannot be

When the judge's obtained until after the commitment, the treasurer of the asylum shall, upon its production, refund the cost of transportation to any relative paying the same.

certificate cannot be obtained.


§ 20. The officer carrying a pauper lunatic or idiot to Myers' Sup., 726. either asylum or the Feeble-minded Institute, shall be paid by the treasurer thereof eight cents per mile for himself and each guard, going and returning, besides tolls and ferriages, and the same for the lunatic in going and in returning, if the person has been denied admittance or not received for want of room. But there shall be no charge for more than two guards, and only for one, unless the

When lunatic is within first six

sent to asylum


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