A Bill to Limit Jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace, [9 December 1834]1
An act to limit the jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace to their own precincts respectively.
[1?] Be it enacted by the people of the State of
2 Illinois represented in the General Assembly
3 That hereafter Justices of the Peace shall not
4 etertain jurisdiction of any civil case whatever—
5 unless it be in the precinct in which the defende[nt]
6 resides or may be found— or in which the contract
7 on which suit is brought was made and entered
8 into, or made payable— any thing in former laws
to the contrary notwithstanding—
This act to be in force from and after the first day of June next—2

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A Bill for an act to limit the Jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace
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to be Engrossed as amended.
Clk. H. R.
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Sel Com Stuart—
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Sel Com
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Carpenter of Sangamon,
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Sel. Com.
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Com Whole House
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the entirety of the text on page one.
On December 5, 1834, Abraham Lincoln gave notice of his intention to introduce this bill in the House of Representatives, which he did on December 9. After much revision in committees, two of which included Lincoln, the House passed the amended bill on January 24 by a vote of 39 yeas to 7 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. On January 31, the Senate indefinitely postponed consideration of the bill.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 47, 84, 94, 107, 153-54, 172, 179, 347, 377; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 326, 351, 389, 413; Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 386.
2The original act did not contain any such restriction and allowed justices to hear any case within their district, regardless of where the defendant resided.
“An Act concerning Justices of the Peace and Constables,” 1 June 1827, Revised Laws of Illinois (1833), 386-401.

Handwritten Document, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL).