Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/109
Paragraph 1- When they come to sell orphan-property, the court will appraise the property and then announce its sale for 30 consecutive days. If they do not announce on consecutive days, but just on Mondays and Thursdays, they would announce on the Monday and Thursday of 60 days. They would announce in the morning and evening when workers are entering and when they are exiting. Anyone who wants to purchase the property will have the workers investigate it. When they announce it, they describe the borders of the field and describe how much the expenses are and what it was appraised for and the reason why they are selling it- to collect for a creditor for a woman’s kesubah. If the lender says I will accept the field without any appraisal as repayment for my debt and the inheritor objects and insists on its appraisal, the court would listen to the inheritor.
Paragraph 2- When they write the authorization on the orphans’ properties, they write “and we recognize that these properties belong to so and so, the deceased,” whether the orphans are adults or minors. If they did not write this, the authorization is invalid and the lender would not be able to consume the fruits, even after the announcement days have been completed.
Paragraph 3- If a court sold without announcement, it is as if they erred on a mishnaic matter and they would resell the land with an announcement. There are those that say that if they sold the land at a time where there no purchasers, such as in time of plague or war, what’s done is done because the court should only sell land at a time where they can collect. There are those that disagree. If the court sold property guaranteed by the orphans or announced property and performed a thorough investigation and were careful in the appraisal, the sale would be valid, even if they erred and sold property worth a maneh for 200 or vice versa. If, however, they were not careful in the appraisal or did not write a letter of assessment, which is the appropriate way to perform the appraisal and announcement, and they added 1/6 or subtracted 1/6, the sale would be void. If the mistake was less than 1/6, the sale would be valid. Similarly, if they sold land in a case where they did not need to make an announcement or in a place where they do not have the custom to ever make an announcement, and they erred and subtracted 1/6 or added 1/6, the sale would be void, even though they made an announcement. There are those that say that since they made an announcement, the sale would be valid, notwithstanding the fact that they did not need to make the announcement. If the court prefers not to void the sale and just have the extra amount returned, they would have it returned. The power of a layman cannot be greater than that of the court. If the amount was less than 1/6, the sale would be valid and there would be a waiver just like in the case of a layman, even though they did not make an announcement because they did not need to announce at the time. What is a time where they do not need to announce? When they sell to pay back a lender for burial purposes, to feed his wife and daughters or to give a donation to the king. Similarly, if the court sold items that do not require an announcement and they erred by 1/6, the sale would be void. If it was less than 1/6, the sale would be valid. The following are items that do not require an announcement: slaves, documents and moveable items. Rather, the court would appraise them and sell them immediately. If the market is close to their current country, they would bring the item to the market.
Paragraph 4- If an appointed guardian or court borrowed on behalf of the orphans, they would sell without announcement and pay back. Similarly, if the court sold and the orphans guaranteed the property and it was collected from the buyer, the buyer would collect without an announcement.
Paragraph 5- This that we said that if the court erred and subtracted or added 1/6 the sale would be void, is where they allowed the creditor go down to the property based on the court’s appraisal. If, however, the court sold real property or slaves of the orphans worth a maneh for 200, the buyer cannot retract. The power of a layman is no greater than that of the orphans. The same rule applies where an appointed guardian sold real property and slaves and the buyer cannot go back on the sale due to the overcharge, just like the rule by a layman. There are those that say any time the price was 1/6 too low or 1/6 too high, the sale would be void.
Paragraph 6- If they sold the land through a messenger and messenger was underpaid by any amount, the sale would be void. If the messenger overcharged the buyer, the rule would be the same as it would be for any other person. Only a court-messenger would not have the same rule as the court. The messenger of a ruler appointed with the government’s license, however, has the same status as the ruler.