Legal Subject: Cessio Bonorum

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Lamont v. His Creditors 1782 Cessio Bonorum, Fraudulent-Bankrupt Pursuer Robert Lamont, who was imprisoned in the Tolbooth of Canongate, brought an action of cessio bonorum (voluntary surrender of goods) against his creditors. The creditors objected on the grounds that Lamont: (1) Improperly fled the country after selling his livestock and carrying off his effects; (2) Fraudulently disposed of produce that had been promised to one of the creditors; (3) Failed to prove his losses; and (4) Failed to account for large sums of money that he inherited.
McMinn v. His Creditors 1777 Cessio Bonorum, Prisoner, Fraud Around June of 1777 John McMinn, late chapman in Kirkcudbright, was imprisoned in the Wigtown tolbooth for unpaid debts. He then brought a process of Cessio Bonorum to the Court of Session, and the Court granted him the benefit of the Cessio. In response, McMinn's creditors petitioned the Court to recall this interlocutor. They argued that there were a number of relevant facts that McMinn had withheld from the Court regarding his ability to pay his creditors. Furthermore, the petitioners argued against the supposed liberality with which chapmans were granted the Cessio. For example, while McMinn claimed to have lost his pocket-book in Ireland, the petitioners had recently discovered that while in Ireland McMinn had purchased 15 pounds worth of salt. For this reason, the creditors wrote, they decided to oppose McMinn's process of Cessio Bonorum. "Had the petitioners, upon looking into [McMinn's affairs], been convinced that the pursuer was a poor and unfortunate bankrupt, they would have been the last persons in the world who would have opposed his Cessio : But as this did by no means appear to them to be the case, they thought themselves bound to state those objections which occurred to his obtaining it.”
Reid v. His Creditors 1774 Cessio Bonorum Patrick Reid, who lived in Hillend, was incarcerated in the tolbooth of Glasgow at the instance of John Aitcheson of Rochsolloch, to whom he owed rent. Reid brought a process of cessio bonorum, which was a means of escaping imprisonment by surrendering his effects. Aitcheson initially did not oppose the process, and the Lords of Session found in Reid’s favor. However, Aitcheson later sought review, claiming that because he lived in the country, he had not had sufficient time to respond. Aitcheson objected that Reid had sold off certain cattle without including their price in an inventory of his debts and effects. In response, Reid argued that Aitcheson’s petition was untimely. He also claimed that Aitcheson had already obtained security for the debt from cautioner Andrew Mitchel, and that Reid never owned as many cattle as Aitcheson alleged.