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rules, and has, by several enactments, marked out those rules with great care and exactness.
These statutes have been framed in the light of the opinions and decisions of the great jurists of the past and present, as they appear in the books containing them. It is obvious, then, that upon a right understanding of these laws, and the rules and principles they invoke in the decision of controversies, the security of property within their jurisdiction mainly depends.
Errors in judgment are to be expected. The most cultivated intellects cannot claim exemption from error. Men who have industriously devoted their lives to the study and practice of law, admit, at the end of their labors, that they did not more than attain a point from which they could comprehend their ignorance. How, then, can it be expected of our best men, who, at the solicitation of friends, have been induced to accept its responsibilities without having previously studied the law, can adjudge and decree correctly?
It is not pretended that this book will supply the want of a legal education. It is only the result of an endeavor to assist Justices of the Peace and the officers of their Court -Sheriffs and Constables-in the discharge of their useful and laborious duties.
To this end, it contains all the statutes enacted by the Legislature of California, up to the adjournment of its session in 1870, having relation thereto, and the decisions of our own Supreme Court expounding them, as well as many decisions by the Courts of other States on similar statutes.
Forms of processes, orders and returns, necessary to carry out the provisions of the Practice Act-civil and criminal-have been carefully prepared, and will be found in connection with the subjects requiring them.
The author respectfully suggests, that lawyers will find
it useful as a book of reference; nor can he persuade himself that the man of business who has an interest in the structure and mode of enforcing contracts, may slightly regard its importance to him.
The author acknowledges his great obligations for the aid he derived from Mr. Charles H. Parker's excellent "Digest of California Reports and Statutes." The author has also received great assistance from Mr. Cowen's valuable "Treatise on Justices." Chitty and Parsons on Contracts, have been freely consulted, so also have Greenleaf, Bouvier's Institutes and Kent's Commentaries. This book, however, is mainly a condensation of all that the Supreme Court of this State has pronounced on subjects pertaining to Justices of the Peace. Decisions of the Supreme Court of Nevada and of other States are given on subjects to
which they are pertinent.
The compiler of this work would not disregard the encouragement he has received from Members of the Bar in Sonoma County; and particularly would he express his grateful recognition of the zeal and industry of Henry Colter, Esq., to whose unceasing labors he is indebted for the early completion of this work.
SANTA ROSA, April 17th, 1870.
C. W. LANGDON.
Page 31, section 34, for “Has a justice," read “A justice.”
Page 44, section 29, for "proceeding," read "preceding."
Page 103, section 24, between the words "assignment" and "of the debt," read the words "of the mortgage without the assignment."
Page 335, section 116, second line, for the words " 'is entitled," read "is not entitled."