Jeffrie vs. Joseph Robdoun
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It appears by the record that in the
year 1822JeffrieJeffrie the plaintiff in error by RachelRachel
Camp his next friend by Robert WashRobert Wash Eqr. an at
torny at case presented his petition to the CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court of St. Louis County for have to sue as a poor per
-son for his freedom The leave was granted the suit was
instituted and the proceedings afterwards were carri-
ed on by Jeffrie & R Camp the next friend - by their
attorney a trial was had verdict and judgment
were against JeffrieJeffrie at a subsequent Term of
the Court Jaffrie maved the Court to Set aside the
judgment on the ground of the proceedings being
irregular and produced evidence to [ shew ] that at
the time the suit was instituted and judgments ren-
dered he was an infant under the age of twenty
one years the Court refused to set the proceedings
aside and the whole case is brought to this Court by a writ of Error

The points made by the plaintiff in error
are that the court erred in confusing to [ sot ] aside
the judgment for irregularity secondly that
the plaintiff appeared by a next friend and
by attorney in the court below so that if he were
an infant the appearance by an attorney is error
and thirdly that if the record does not show the
infancy of the plaintiff then the court must
take the truth to be that JeffrieJeffrie was an adult
and that an adult except in cases of coventure
cannot appear by a next friend.

On the first point it is not untirely clear that the court
should have set the proceedings asides for the irregu-
larity was occasioned by the act of the plaintiff or
by the act of some one who pretended to act for him
But on the second ground there is manifest error in
the judgment and proceedings

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The law is that when an infant has cause of suit
the suit may be commenced by guardian or next friend previ-
ously appointed according to law and where none has been ap-
pointed them the guardianship or next friend may be made with-
out any other formality than the next friend acknowledging in
open court that he will act as such or the evidence may be
made by the acknowledgement being in writing and filed
with the declaration no such evidence exisits to in this case
there was therefore no lawful prochim any yet or did
in fact act. Now if it did appear that the plaintiff was
an infant which it does not it would be error to ap-
pear by an unauthorized person this person apprears by
attorney as well as by next friend this would also be
error if the plaintiff were an infant But so far as any thing
appears by the record We are bound to suppose that this per-
son was not an infant nothing appears by which we
could disting wish that this plaintiff was not of age any
more than in other Cases accepts by a subsequent affida
-vit in every case the court will take every plaintiff and
every defendant to be of full age till the point is made and
the evidence heard and though Judgment be wondered against
an infant it is good titlereserved In this Case them for all
the purposes for which the partys age is to be now consid-
er take the plaintiff to have been of full age at the time the
suit was commenced it was unlawful therefore for R
Camp to present herself as the next friend of this man in
the way she did no one has a right to bring a suit
or do the business of another so as to make his acts bind
-ing in law upon that other person without his or her Consent
It is urged by the Counsel for the defandant in error that
this was a proceeding under the statute which anthor as as
persons holden in slavery to sue as poor persons for free-
dom We have no doubt that the proceeding was of that
character The act of the legislature on that subject
provided that when any person holden in slavery shall
wish to prosecute his suit for freedom he or she shall
shall present a petition to the court for have to sue and
if the court shall be of opinion that the claim to