The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 50
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50 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
clear statement of the names of the parties, whether plaintiff or
defendant, with -the causes of action, and the nature of relief he
requests of the court."
This section makes no mention of defensive pleadings; but the
courts interpreted it, in the light of the constitutional provision,
that old laws should continue until changed by Congress, as a prac-
tical adoption of the system theretofore obtaining, and so enforced
it. The earliest mention by our Supreme Court of "petition and
answer" as a system of pleading, occurs in the third paragraph of
the -opinion rendered at the January term, 1840, in Winfred vs.
Gates, 'Dallam, 364. This .opinion declared that the Spanish sys-
tem of pleading was still in force. The exact date ,of the opinion
is not given; but it was the ninth case decided by the Supreme
Court of the Republic, at the January term, 1840.
The Fourth Congress of the Republic, early in its first session,
January 20, 1840, passed an act entitled:
"An Act to Adopt the Common Law of England, to Repeal Cer-
tain Mexican Laws, and to Regulate Marital Rights of Parties."
Sections 1 and 2 of this act are as follows:
"Section 1. Be it enacted 'by the ISenate and House of Represen-
tatives of the Republic of Texas, in Congress assembled, That the
Common law of England, so far as it is not inconsistent with the
Constitution or acts of Congress now in force, shall, together with
such acts, be the rule of decision in this Republic, and shall con-
tinue in full force until altered -or repealed by Congress.
"Section 2. Be it further enacted, That all laws in force in this
Republic prior to the 1st of September, one thousand eight hun-
dred and thirty-six (except the laws of the Consultation and pro-
visional government now in force; and except such laws as relate
exclusively to grants and the colonization of land in the State of
Coahuila and Texas, and also, except such laws as relate to reserva-
tions of islands and lands, and also of salt lakes, licks, and springs,
mines, and minerals of every description, made by the General and
State governments) be, and the same are hereby repealed."
The effect of this, unqualified by other legislation, would have
been to annul all laws enacted prior to the adoption of the Con-
stitution of the Republic, except those 'specially retained, and to
substitute therefor the Common law and the Constitution and then
existing statutes of the Republic; and, as Congress had not passed
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/m1/54/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.