Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 76A.djvu/678

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

–582–

-582action in the district court, in the form and manner prescribed therefor. If the motion is sustained, the court shall allow the contestant a reasonable time, not exceeding 10 days, within which to amend his written opposition. If the motion is overruled, the petitioner and others interested may jointly or separately answer the contestant's grounds, traversing, or otherwise obviating or avoiding, the objection.*?. § 1032. Trial; part i e s; issues triable by jury; waiver of jury (a) On the trial of a contest of a will, the contestant is the plaintiff and the petitioner for probate is the defendant. (b) An issue of fact involving: (1) the competency of the decedent to make a will; (2) the freedom of the decedent, at the time of the execution of the will, from duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence; (3) the due execution and attestation of the will; or (4) any other question substantially affecting the validity of the will— shall, on written request filed by either party at least 10 days prior to the day set for hearing, be tried by a jury. (c) If a jury is not demanded, the court shall try and determine the issues jomed. § 1033. Proof of execution of will; witnesses If a will is contested, all the subscribing witnesses who are present in the Canal Zone, and who are of sound mind, shall be produced and examined; and the death, absence, or mental incompetency of any of them shall be satisfactorily shown to the court. If none of the subscribing witnesses resides in the Canal Zone at the time appointed for proving the will, and the evidence of none of them can be produced, the court may admit the testimony of other witnesses to prove the due execution of the will; and, as evidence of the execution, it may admit proof of the handwriting of the testator and of the subscribing witnesses, or any of them. § 1034. Verdict of jury; judgment The jury, after hearing a proceeding under this subchapter, shall return a special verdict upon the issues submitted to them by the court, upon which the judgment of the court shall be rendered, either admitting the will to probate or rejecting it. In either case, the proofs of the subscribing witnesses shall be reduced to writing. If the will is admitted to probate, the judgment, will, and proofs shall be recorded. § 1035. Testimony as future evidence The testimony of each witness in a proceeding under this subchapter, reduced to writing and signed by him, is gooa evidence in any subsequent contests concerning the validity of the will, or the sufficiency of the proof thereof, if the witness is dead, or has permanently removed from the Canal Zone. § 1036. Certificate of proof and facts If, in a proceeding under this subchapter, the court is satisfied, upon the proof taken, or from the facts found by the jury, that the will was duly executed, and that the testator at the time of its execution was of sound and disposing mind, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence, a certificate of the proof and the facts found, signed by the judge and attested by the seal of the court, shall be attached to the will.