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Adjudication

debtor, creditor, property, process, lands and estate

ADJUDICATION, in the law of debtor and creditor in Scotland, is a pro cess for attaching heritable or real pro perty. It is applicable not merely to land and its accessories, but to all rights " bearing a tract of future time," as an nuities, pensions, lands, &c. ; and has in general been extended to all such property capable of being applied to the liquida tion of debts, as is not attachable by the simpler process of arrestment. The ori gin of this process of adjudication is to be found in a very ancient practice called Apprising, by which the debtor who re fii.ed to satisfy his creditor, either with money or laud, might be compelled to part with so much of the land as the award of a jury found commensurate with the debt. This form was the ob ject of legislation so early as the year 1469, when provision was made for com pel1in$ feudal superiors to give the proper investietre to those who acquired lands by such a title. The debtor who is com pelled to part with his lands under the old apprising might redeem them within seven years, but it is said that this pri vilege was often defeated by dexterous expedients, and that the system was a means of judicial oppression, the genuine creditor being often defeated by the col lusive proceedings of the debtor's friends ; and on the other hand a creditor to a mere nominal amount was often enabled to carry off a large estate. The system was amended by the Act 1672, c. 19. Ac cording to modern practice, there are two alternatives laid before the debtor in the process—that the debtor is to make over to the creditor land to the value of his debt and one-fifth more, redeemable within five years ; or that the property in general against which the process is directed shall be adjudged to the creditor, liable to be redeemed within ten years, on payment of the debt, interest, &c. The latter is the alternative universally adopted. The lands do not pass into the abaolute property of the adjudger at the end of the ten years without judicial in tervention, in "an action of deolarator of expiry of the legal," in which the debtor may call on the creditor to account for his transactions, and may redeem the property on paying any balance that may be still due.

There are arrangements for preserving equality among adjudgers, and prevent inf the more active creditors from car rying off all the available estate. Taking the point of time when the first process has been made effectual by certain pro ceedings for the completion of the ad judger's title, all others in which the de cree is either prior to that event or within a year and a day after it, rank with it and with each other, and they are all preferable to posterior adjudications. (Acts 1661, c. 62; 1672, c. 19; 54 Geo. III. c. 137, §§ 9-11.) When there are so many adjudications in process against an estate that it may be considered as bank rupt, while the debtor does not come within the class of persons liable to mer cantile bankruptcy, it is usual to sweep all the operations into one process called a " Judicial Sale and Ranking." A fac tor or assignee is appointed, under judi cial inspection, and, to a certain extent, but very imperfectly, the property is realized and distributed among the cre ditors after the manner of a bankrupt estate. (Acts 1681, c.17 ; 1695, c. 24; 54 Geo. III. c. 137, §§ 6, 7 ; Act. Sed. 22nd Nov. 1711 ; 17th Jan. 1756 ; 11th July, 1794.) Where sequestration has been awarded against a person liable to mer cantile bankruptcy, the award involves an adjudication of the bankrupt's adjudge able property from the date of the first deliverance. (2 & 3 Viet. c. 41,§ 82.) The form of an adjudication has long been in use for the completion of de fective titles to landed property, and when so employed it is called " Adjudi cation in implement."