1803: 43 George 3 c.141: Justices Protection Act

1803: 43 George 3 c.141: An Act to render Justices of the Peace more safe in the Execution of their Duty.

[11th August 1803.]

WHEREAS it is expedient that Justices of the Peace in Great Britain and Ireland respectively, who by virtue of divers Acts of Parliament in force in the United Kingdom are authorized and required to convict persons of sundry offences in a summary way, should be rendered more safe in the execution of such their duty: be it therefore enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same,

[In Actions brought against Justices for any Conviction, &c. the Plaintiff, (besides any Penalty levied) shall recover only 2d. Damages, unless Malice and want of probable Cause be expressly alleged.]

That in all Actions whatsoever which shall, at any Time after the passing of this Act, be brought against any Justice or Justices of the Peace in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, for or on account of any Conviction by him or them had or made, under or by virtue of any Act or Acts of Parliament in Force in the said United Kingdom, or for or by reason of any Act, Matter, or Thing whatsoever, done or commanded to be done by such Justice or Justices, for the levying of any Penalty, apprehending any Party, or for or about the carrying of any such Conviction into Effect, in case such Conviction shall have been quashed, the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs in such Action or Actions, besides the Value and Amount of the Penalty or Penalties which may have been levied upon the said Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, in case any Levy thereof shall have been made, shall not be entitled to recover any more or greater Damages than the Sum of Two-pence, nor any Costs of Suit whatsoever, unless it shall be expressly alleged in the Declaration in the Action wherein the Recovery shall be had, and which shall be in an Action upon the Case only, that such Acts were done maliciously and without any reasonable and probable Cause.

[Nor shall the Penalty, &c. be recovered if Plaintiff be proved guilty of the Offence, &c.]

II. And be it further enacted, That such plaintiff shall not be entitled to recover against such justice any penalty which shall have been levied, nor any damages or costs whatsoever, in case such justice shall prove at the trial that such plaintiff was guilty of the offence whereof he had been convicted, or on account of which he had been apprehended or had otherwise suffered, and that he had undergone no greater punishment than was assigned by law to such offence.

Source: Raithby, Statutes of the United Kingdom, vol. 1.

Act as in force today: Legislation.gov.uk.