112. A Bill Providing a Means to Help and Speed Poor Persons in Their Suits
Where it is intended that indifferent justice shall be had and administered to all the citizens of this commonwealth, as well to the poor as rich, which poor citizens be not of ability, nor power, to sue according to the laws of this land for redress of injuries and wrongs to them daily done, as well concerning their persons and their inheritance, as other causes; For remedy whereof, in behalf of the poor persons of this land not able to sue for their remedy after the course of the law, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that every poor person which shall have cause of action against any person within this commonwealth, shall have, by the discretion of the court before whom he would sue, writ or writs original, and writs of subpœna, according to the nature of his cause, nothing paying for the same: And that the said court shall direct their clerk to issue the necessary process, shall assign to him counsel learned in the laws, and appoint all other officers requisite and necessary to be had for the speed of the said suit to be had and made, who shall do their duties without any reward for their counsels, help and business in the same.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 80. Text of Act as adopted is in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 356–7.
Bill presented by Madison 31 Oct. 1785, postponed 14 Dec. to next session, brought up again 1 Nov. 1786, and passed 7 Dec. (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 92; same, Oct. 1786, p. 16–17, 55, 57, 92, 127). Text of Act as adopted and Bill as proposed by Committee of Revisors are identical; Act was suspended until 1 July 1787 (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 410–11).