Henry C. Smith v. Joseph Hudsel
On October 27, 1812, Perly Wallis, representing Henry Coalman Smith, filed a declaration complaining that on Oct. 15, on the island of Chicot, Joseph Hudsel had slandered Smith, known as Big Smith,accusing him of murdering a man by clawing him to death with Steel Clawes. Smith claimed these remarks had caused damage to his rafting and lumbering business. Smith was suing for slander. Judge Francois Vaugine ordered Clerk Patrick Cassidy to issue a summons to Hudsel. Deputy Sheriff Horace Wallis (undoubtedly a relative of Perly) served the process by reading it to Hudsel on Oct. 28.
On Oct. 27 a subpoena was issued for witnesses Alexander McLaughlin, John Ware and Thomas Dean to testify for Smith at the November Term. The deputy sheriff was able to serve Ware and Dean. However, the Court of Common Pleas did not convene in November and was dissolved thereafter.
The next regular session of a court of record at the Post was held in September 1814 when Judge George Bullitt presided over the newly formed General Court. Apparently Hudsel had never filed a response, or plea, to the declaration of Smith. When the case was called, Hudsel did not answer and made default. A writ of inquiry was awarded to the next term. At the April 1815 term of the General Court, Smith v. Hudsel was called. The court ordered the case discontinued because it had never been tried in November of 1812.
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