Front Page Titles (by Subject) Sir Stephen Procter's [Proctor's] Case. - Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I
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Sir Stephen Procter’s [Proctor’s] Case. - Sir Edward Coke, Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I 
The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). Vol. 1.
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Sir Stephen Procter’s [Proctor’s] Case.
(1614) Easter Term, 12 James I.
In Conference in Star Chamber.
First Published in the Reports, volume 12, page 118.
Ed.: Note of a judicial conference in Star Chamber, on the result when Judges are evenly divided on a judgment. The Common Law courts did not enter judgment unless there was a majority. The Chief Justices held that the matter for the Star Chamber should be resolved according to its own precedents. Coke recites only two, which are not utterly conclusive.
Judges divided in the Star Chamber.In an Information preferred in the Star Chamber by the Attorney-generall, against Stephen Procter, Berkenhead, and others, for Scandall and Conspiracy of the Earl of Northampton, and the Lord Wooton. At the hearing of this case, were present eight Lords, Scil. The chief Baron, the two chief Justices, two Bishops, one Baron, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Lord Chancellor: And the three chief Justices, and the Temporall Baron condemned Sir Stephen Procter, and fined and imprisoned him: But the Lord Chancellor, the two Bishops, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer acquitted him. And the question was, if Sir Stephen Procter shall be condemned or acquitted; and it seemed to some of the Clerks prima facie,1 that the better shall be taken for the King, and that he shall be condemned, but others were of the contrary opinion; and hereupon the matter was referred to the two chief Justices, calling to their assistance the Kings learned Councel: And first they resolved, that this question must be determined by the Presidents of the Court of Star Chamber, for that Court is against the rule and order of all other Courts, for in the Kings Bench, the Common Pleas, or the Exchequer, or in the Exchequer Chamber, where all the Justices are assembled, if the Justices are equally divided, no judgment can be given. And so it is in the Court of Parliament; and therefore this course ought to be warranted by the custom of the Court: And as to that, two Presidents only were produced for the maintenance of the said Custom, Viz. One in the Hilary Term, 39 El. between GibsonPlaintiff, and Griffith and others Defendants, where the Complaint was for a Riot, and at the hearing of the Case, there was eight present, four gave their judgements that the Defendants were guilty, but the other four, whereof the Lord Chancellor was one, pronounced | the Defendants not guilty, and no sentence of condemnation was ever entered, because the Lord Chancellor was one of the four who acquitted them. The other was Hil. 45 Eliz. In an information by the Attorney-general against Katherne and others, for forging of a Will, and a Misdemeanor for procuring a fraudulent Deed to defeat the Queen of her Escheat: And eight were in presence at the hearing of the Cause, whereof four found the Defendants guilty of Forgery, and did inflict the punishment according to the Statute of the 5 Eliz. but the others, whereof the Lord Chancellor was one, gave sentence, that the Defendants were guilty of the Misdemeanor, and not of the Forgery, and imposed a fine of 500 l. only, which decree was entered according to the Lord Chancellors voice, although the sentence on the other side was more beneficiall for the King, and no other president could be found in this case, the which I have reported this Term.
[1. ][Ed.: on the face of it,]