Section 6: Arrest of debtor on execution; proceedings for examination, commitment or discharge; venue; recognizance; bail; sureties; liability for escape
Section 6. All proceedings for the examination, commitment or discharge of a defendant arrested on execution, and all supplementary proceedings under this chapter as to a judgment debtor, shall be had in the district court within whose judicial district the defendant or debtor was arrested or lives or has a usual place of business or employment; or, if the defendant or debtor does not live or have a usual place of business or employment within the commonwealth, such proceedings may also be had in the district court within whose judicial district the record of the original action is kept; provided, however, that every proceeding for the examination, commitment or discharge of a defendant so arrested, and every supplementary proceeding under this chapter as to a judgment debtor, which is incidental to a case or matter in the housing court of the city of Boston, in the western division of the housing court department, the northeastern division of the housing court department, the south eastern division of the housing court depart mentor in the housing court of the county of Worcester, shall be had in said housing courts. When arrested on execution the debtor shall be allowed reasonable time to procure sureties for his recognizance. If not released, he shall be taken before a proper court, as provided in this chapter; or if he wishes to recognize he may be taken at his request before a master in chancery. A master in chancery or the court may accept his recognizance to the plaintiff or creditor with surety or sureties in a sum not less than the amount of the judgment debt, unless the court shall expressly fix a smaller sum, conditioned that he will have a time and place appointed for his examination before some court having jurisdiction, which time shall be within thirty days after the time of his arrest, giving notice of the time and place thereof as provided in this chapter, and appear at the time and place appointed for his examination, and from time to time until the proceedings are concluded, and not depart without leave of the court, making no default at any time fixed for his examination, and abide the final order of the court thereon. If the arrest is made when the court is not sitting and the defendant or debtor does not recognize or give bail, the officer making the arrest may deliver him to the keeper of the jail or lockup, to be detained therein until the next sitting of the court, when he shall be delivered to said officer to be taken before the court. If the defendant, when taken before the court, does not recognize to its satisfaction, the court shall cause a certificate thereof to be entered in the record of the action in which the arrest was made, and the defendant shall be committed to jail until he gives bail or recognizes or until the time appointed for his examination, or, if no such time be appointed, then until the further order of the court, when he shall be delivered by the jailer to the officer who made the arrest, or, in his absence or disability, to any officer, to be by him taken before the court.
No person shall be arrested on execution in a civil action unless the creditor or, in case the creditor is a corporation, an officer thereof, after execution has issued makes application for a certificate authorizing said arrest and files affidavit with and proves to the satisfaction of a district court that he believes and has good reason to believe that the debtor intends to leave the commonwealth so that supplementary proceedings will not be effective against him. If a debtor, after being arrested on execution, gives notice that he desires to take an oath that he does not intend to leave the commonwealth, he shall be examined relative thereto, and either party may introduce additional evidence. If the court is satisfied that the debtor did not when arrested, and does not at the time of examination, intend to leave the commonwealth, it shall make certificate thereof, and discharge the debtor from arrest; and immediately upon such discharge, if the creditor so desires, such debtor shall be required, without further notice, to submit to examination and other supplementary proceedings under this chapter. If the debtor when taken before the court does not recognize to its satisfaction he shall be committed to jail until he recognizes or until the time appointed for his examination, or, if no such time be appointed, then until the further order of the court, when he shall be delivered by the jailer to the officer who made the arrest, or in his absence or disability to any other officer, to be by him taken before the court.
If there is reasonable doubt as to the identity of the defendant or debtor or as to the lawfulness of his arrest, at the time of the arrest or thereafter, in the case of arrest on execution, the officer may require sufficient security from the plaintiff or creditor to indemnify him for arresting the defendant or debtor or for continuing to retain him in custody. If sufficient security is not furnished within a reasonable time after the officer has made a written demand upon the plaintiff or creditor or his attorney for such security, the officer shall not be obliged to arrest the defendant or debtor or, if he then has the defendant or debtor under arrest, he may release him from custody without liability to the plaintiff or creditor therefor. If a prisoner, arrested or committed on execution in a civil action, escapes with the consent or by the negligence of the officer, the creditor may recover in tort against the officer such damages as he has suffered by the escape, and may also have against the original debtor an action on the judgment. No arrest on execution shall be made after sunset unless expressly authorized in the certificate for cause.
Any recognizance authorized by this chapter may be accepted on Sunday.