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One of the Masters to visit the Fleet Prison four times a year, and examine the prisoners.
7. On the 30th of January, April, July, and October, in every year, one of the Masters, to be named by the Court, shall visit the Fleet Prison and examine the prisoners confined there for contempt, and report, &c. and the Court may order the costs of the contempt of any such prisoner to be paid out of the Suitors' Fund, and may assign a solicitor and counsel to such prisoner, for putting in his answer and defending him in formâ pauperis, and direct any such prisoner (having previously done such acts as the Court shall direct) to be discharged out of custody; but if he shall become entitled to any funds out of such cause, the same to be first applied to the reimbursement of the Suitors' Fund (a).
8. The Master may examine the prisoner, and such other person as he shall think proper, on oath, and call for the production on oath from the officers, &c. of any courts of law or equity, of any records, &c. of such courts.
Master may examine on oath and require produc. tion of docu. ments.
(a) This rule having been framed for the relief of defendants, the Court will not, on an application of the plaintiff, order a solicitor to be assigned to a defendant to put in his answer, and that the costs of his contempt shall be taxed, and paid out of the Suitors’ Fund.- Watkins v. Parker, 1 Myl. & Cr. 370.
9. If it shall appear to the Court that Court to apany such prisoner is an idiot, lunatic, or of dians to lunaunsound mind, although no commission in answer, alhas issued, the Court shall appoint a commission guardian to put in his answer and discharge the defendant; and if the Court shall see fit, the defence may be made in formâ pauperis
10. Where the defendant has been Where debrought before the Court for contempt in been before not answering, and refusess or neglects to contempt in answer (not being idiot, &c.), plaintiff ing, and remay obtain an order for amending his plaintiff may bill, on motion or petition, of which out affecting notice has been given to the defendant for contempt. personally, without affecting his process for contempt, and after such amendment, may proceed to take the amended bill pro .confesso, in the same manner as if it had not been amended; but if the defendant be desirous to answer such amended bill, the Court may allow him time for the purpose, but if he shall not within the time allowed put in a sufficient answer, the process for taking the bill pro confesso to be resumed.
11. In every case where defendant has been brought before the Court for his within twen contempt in not answering, and shall refuse alter being or neglect to answer within the next fore the Court
for contempt, plaintiff may put in answer for him.
twenty-one days, plaintiff may, with leave of the Court, on ten days' previous notice to the defendant, after the expiration of such twenty-one days, instead of proceeding to have the bill taken pro confesso, put in an answer for the defendant without oath or signature, which, besides the formal parts, shall state that the defendant leaves the plaintiff to make such proofs of the several matters in the bill alleged as he shall be able or be advised, and submits his interests to the Court; and thereupon the suit shall proceed in the same manner as if such answer were really the answer of the defendant with which the plaintiff was satisfied ; and the costs of the contempt and of putting in such answer may be provided for in like manner as if the defendant himself had put in such answer.
12. Where, upon application of the plaintiff, the Court shall be satisfied that justice cannot be done to the plaintiff without an answer to the bill, or to the interrogatories, from the defendant himself, the Court may order the defendant to remain in custody until answer or further order, but without prejudice to the plaintiff's availing himself of any of the provisions of the Act.
13. Where defendant is in contempt for
Or Court may order de fendant to remain in custody ontil he answers.
not appearing or not answering, and in Detendant
in contempt actual custody under process for such con- and in cas tempt, or being already in custody shall be appearing or detained by an attachment for such con- ing, bill to be tempt, and shall not, where the contempt confesso, nnis for not appearing, enter an appearance ty-one days, within twenty-one days after he is lodged within the in prison, or the attachment is lodged months. against him, as the case may be, or where the contempt is for not answering, put in an answer within two calendar months after he is lodged in prison or the attachment is lodged against him, the plaintiff shall, within fourteen days after the period computed from the expiration of such twentyone days within which he may by the provisions of the Act be able to enter such appearance, cause an appearance to be entered for the defendant (a), and at the expiration of such two calendar months proceed to take the bill pro confesso, and
(a) A defendant being in custody for want of appearance, the plaintiff suffered the thirty-five days to elapse without an appearance for him : Held, that defendant, from the expiration of that period being entitled to his discharge, was illegally in custody, and that it was not competent to plaintiff, having subsequently entered an appearance, to detain him by an attachment for want of answer.
This rule and the 5th regard different subject matters, and are to be applied independently of each other.-Lewis v. Edwards ; Same v. Evans, Jur. v. 5, p. 546.
obtain an order for taking the same pro confesso within six weeks after the period computed from the expiration of such two calendar months within which he may be able to take the same pro confesso, or in default, the defendant, on application to the Court, be entitled to be discharged out of custody, without paying any of the costs of the contempt, unless the Court see good cause to remand him (a).
14. Defendant not to be compellable to take an office copy of the bill, but the clerk in court may require him, before the answer is filed, to make an affidavit denying his ability in consequence of poverty to pay for an office copy.
. 15. When any person shall have been
(a) Where a plaintiff wishes to have an appearance entered for a defendant under this rule, he must make a motion for the purpose.—Pitman v. Lockyer, 7 Sim. 528.
A cause may be advanced for the purpose of taking the bill pro confesso.— Barwick v. Ward, 5 Sim. 666.
A party in contempt is entitled to be heard in Court, to show that proceedings against him subsequently to the Order placing him in contempt have been irregular.
Upon the proceedings under a decree taking the bill pro confesso for want of answer, in a foreclosure suit, the defendant, notwithstanding he is in contempt, ought to be served with warrants to attend the Master.
An order absolute in the first instance to confirm the report made under a decree, taken pro confesso for want of answer, is irregular.-King v. Bryant, 3 Myl. & Cr. 191.