Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/22

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Shulchan Aruch
by Yosef Karo, translated from Hebrew by Wikisource
Choshen Mishpat 22
2517011Shulchan Aruch — Choshen Mishpat 22Yosef Karo

Paragraph 1- One who accepts a relative or disqualified individual to be a judge or witness- acceptance means they accepted to be judged; handing the money over to a third party to judge is not called acceptance- like two valid witnesses or three expert judges, even if he is disqualified due to sin, whether the party accepted to forfeit his rights and forgive what his counterparty was claiming based on their words or he accepted that he will give his adversary whatever he is claiming on the basis of this disqualified person’s testimony or ruling, if they made a kinyan, he cannot retract. If they did not make a kinyan, he cannot retract once the case has been completed. There are those disagree and hold that one can only accept a single relative or disqualified individual as a witness or judge. If, however, they accepted two, so there are two issues working against them, they can retract even after the case has been ruled on. This is in fact the conclusion of most poskim. If, however, they made a kinyan, they cannot retract, regardless of the circumstances. Above in Siman 12:2 we explained what is considered the conclusion of the case. With respect to testimony, as soon as he testifies, the party cannot retract. Once the case has been concluded, he cannot retract, but only so long as he is unaware of an error. With respect to those appointed by the city, however, they can never retract because the custom is that whatever a person accepts in front of the heads of the city cannot be retracted. If the party denies that he ever accepted to be judged by these people, and there are no witnesses, he must swear that he never accepted him, even if the judge contradicts him and claims he did accept him. If the public appoints unlearned judges, the parties cannot disqualify them.

Paragraph 2- If a party accepted upon himself the testimony of a gentile, it has the same status as accepting one of the disqualified individuals. If, however, he accepted the gentile as a judge, even if he made a kinyan, the kinyan is meaningless. One is prohibited from being judged in front of him. If, however, they already were judged, he cannot retract.

Paragraph 3- One who was required to swear to his adversary in court and says to such adversary swear by the life of your head and you will be exempt or swear by the life of your head and I will give you all that you are claiming, once he made a kinyan from him he cannot retract. If he did not make a kinyan from him, he can retract prior to the conclusion of the case. Once the case has been concluded, if the party who received the flipped oath had sworn, he can no longer retract. The same applies where one was not required to swear and volunteers to swear. Once he made a kinyan from him, he cannot retract. If there was no kinyan, he can retract prior to the conclusion of the case and his oath, even if he accepted in court. One who was required to swear but says in front of the court that he does not want to and instead wishes to pay, cannot change his mind once he has left the court because that is the conclusion of his case. There are those that disagree. One who owed his adversary a biblical oath and tells such adversary that he should swear without holding a sacred item, cannot retract.