AN ACT to Exempt from Execution Process certain articles of Personal Property.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met,
SECTION 1. That every person residing within this State shall have exempt from execution or attachment process the following articles of personal property, to wit : The family Bible, school books and family library, family pictures, a seat or pew in any church or place of public worship, a lot in any burial ground, all the wearing apparel of the debtor and his family, and in addition to the articles herein before specifically named, shall have exempt the tools, implements and fixtures necessary for carrying on his or her trade or business, not exceeding in value seventy-five dollars.
SECTION 2. That every person residing within this State, and being the head of a family, shall have exempt from execution or attachment process, in addition to the exemptions made in the first section of this act, other personal property not exceeding in value two hundred dollars, the articles to be selected by the debtor.
SECTION 3. That the property exempt and required to be valued exempt to be valued, by the provisions of this act shall be valued by three judicious and impartial freeholders; one of said freeholders shall be chosen by the creditor having the oldest execution in the hands of the officer making the sale, one other of said freeholders shall be chosen by the debtor, and the other of said freeholders shall be chosen by the officer, and in case the creditor and debtor, or either of them, shall neglect or refuse to name a freeholder, it shall be the duty of the officer to choose for the person neglecting or refusing, and to give notice to the freeholders thus chosen, in writing, under his hand, fixing the time and place in said notice they will be required to meet.
SECTION 4. It shall be the duty of the freeholders, upon the receipt of the notice and the tender of the fee hereinafter named for services in making the valuation, to meet at the time and place mentioned in the notice, and before proceeding to make the valuation of property exempt under this act and requiring, a valuation thereof, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: (I do solemnly swear, or affirm, as the case may be, that I will appraise the property of A. B., exempt from execution or attachment process under and by virtue of the laws of this State, at its true value in money, and that I will true schedule make to the best of my knowledge and understanding,) and shall then proceed to value the property designated and set apart by the debtor, and to make two schedules, distinctly stating the respective articles and their value thereof, with a certificate certifying that the articles mentioned in said schedule have been appraised at their true value in money, and were designated and set apart by the debtor and claimed by him or her as exempt from execution or attachment process. Such certificate shall be signed by the freeholders, or a majority of them. The articles mentioned by name in Section 1 of this act shall not be valued or included in said schedule.
SECTION 5. Any freeholder chosen as aforesaid and due notice given, who shall neglect or refuse to perform the duties required by this act, shall forfeit and pay a fine of five dollars to the officer serving the notices, for the use of the county wherein the freeholders reside and to be by such officer paid to the county treasurer, and if the freeholder forfeiting as aforesaid shall refuse or neglect to pay said fine for five days, it shall be the duty of the officer aforesaid to collect said fine and all proper costs thereon by levy and sale of the goods and chattels of the freeholder so forfeiting. The costs of levy and sale shall be the same as is provided by law for the levy and sale of property made by a collector of county taxes.
SECTION 6. The fees for the service of the freeholders in making the valuation required by this act shall be the same as are allowed by law to referees before justices of the peace, and the fees to the officer serving the notices shall be the same as are allowed by law for summoning referees before justices of the peace, and shall form a part of the costs of the case upon which the officer is proceeding to make the sale.
SECTION 7. The officer making the sale, and serving the notices required, shall have authority to administer the oath required by this act, and it is hereby made the duty of such officer.
SECTION 8. Nothing in this act shall apply to debts created or contracts entered into prior to the passage of this act, and nothing herein contained shall be construed as exempting any personal property from taxation, or sale for taxes, under the laws of this State.
SECTION 9. That any husband and wife jointly may make any waiver of any of the provisions of this act.
SECTION 10. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this act be and the same are hereby repealed.
Passed at Dover, April 10, 1873.