Sequestration, English

Sequestration, English When a judgment has been obtained against a beneficed clergyman, and that judgment remains unsatisfied, the party entitled to the fruits of the judgment is obliged to levy the sum recovered by an execution. In the first instance he issues the ordinary writ of execution, called a fieri facias, to which all persons are subject, directing the sheriff to levy the amount upon the goods and chattels of the defaulter. If the sheriff, is able to do so, the amount is levied, and there is an end of. the matter; if, on the other hand, he cannot find goods and chattels sufficient, he returns the writ to the court, stating his inability, and certifying that the individual has a rectory or other ecclesiastical benefice, as the case may be, in the county. Upon this return a writ of sequestration, called either a levari facias de bonis ecclesiasticis, or a sequestrari facias, according to the mode in which it is drawn up, issues to the bishop of the diocese, requiring him to levy the amount upon the ecclesiastical goods of the clergyman. Upon this writ the bishop or his officer makes out a sequestration, directed to the church wardens or persons named by the bishop, or, upon proper security, to persons named by the party who issues the writ, requiring them to sequestrate the tithes and other profits of the benefice; which sequestration should be forthwith published, not by reading it in church during divine service (a ceremony which is, in our opinion, abolished by the second section of 7 William IV, and 1 Victoria, c. 45), but by affixing a notice of its contents at or near the church door before the commencement of the service, as required by that statute. The sequestration is a continuing charge upon the benefice, and the bishop may be called upon from time to time to return to the court an account of what has been levied under it. The court has the same power over the bishop that it has over a sheriff in respect of ordinary writs of execution; and if the bishop is negligent in the performance of his duty, or returns an untrue account of the proceedings under the writ, he is liable, in the same way as the sheriff is liable, to an action at the suit of the party damnified thereby. Sequestration is also a process of the ecclesiastical courts. When a benefice is full, the profits may be sequestered if the incumbent neglects his cure; and if there be a vacancy, the profits are to be sequestered, and to be applied so far as necessary in providing for the service of the cure during the vacancy, the successor being entitled to the surplus.

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