Exemptions.Under the constitution as adopted in 1859 "A homestead to the extent of 160 acres of farming land, or of one acre within the limits of an incorporated town or city, occupied as a residence by the family of the owner, together with all improvements on the same, shall be exempted from forced sale under any process of law, and shall not he alienated without the joint consent of husband and wife, when that relation exists; but no property shall be exempt from sale for taxes, or for the payment of obligations contracted for the purchase of said premises, or for the erection of improvements thereon: Provided, The provisions of this section shall not apply to any process of law obtained by virtue of a lien given by the consent of both husband and wife."
While the constitutional convention was in session, a warm debate occurred over the incorporation of this section, and it was finally decided to submit it to a vote of the people, as a separate proposition, leaving to them the question whether it should become a part of the constitution. At the election the homestead exemption clause was ratified by a vote of 8,788 to 4,772, and was therefore made a part of the constitution.
It is provided by appropriate legislation that whenever any levy shall be made upon the lands or tenements of a householder whose homestead has not been selected and set apart, such householder, his wife, agent or attorney may notify the officer in writing at the time of making such levy, or at any time before the sale, of what he regards as his homestead, with a description thereof, and the remainder alone shall he subject to sale under such levy.
Under the statute, every person residing in this state and being the head of a family shall have exempt from seizure and sale upon any attachment, execution or other process issued from any court in the state, the following articles of personal property: The family Bible, school books, and family library; family pictures, musical instruments used by the family; a seat or pew in any church or place of public worship; a lot in any burial-ground; all the wearing apparel of the debtor and his family; all beds, bedsteads and bedding used by the debtor and his family; one cooking-stove and appendages, and all other cooking utensils; all other stoves and appendages necessary for the use of the debtor and his family; one sewing-machine, all spinning-wheels, looms, or other implements of industry; all other household furniture not herein enumerated, not exceeding in value $500; 2 cows, 10 hogs, one yoke of oxen, one horse or mule, or in lieu of one yoke of oxen and one horse or mule, a span of horses or mules; 20 sheep and the wool from the same, either in the raw material or manufactured into yarn or cloth; the necessary food for the support of the stock mentioned for one year, either provided or growing, or both, as the debtor may choose; one wagon, cart or dray, two plows, one drag and other farming utensils, including harness and tackle for teams, not exceeding in value $300; the grain, meat, vegetables, groceries and other provisions on hand, necessary for the support of the debtor and his family for one year; all the fuel on hand necessary for their use for one year; the necessary tools and implements of any mechanic, miner or other person, used and kept in stock for the purpose of carrying on his trade or business, and in addition thereto, stock in trade not exceeding $400 in value; the library, implements, and office furniture of any profesisonal[sic] man.
The following property only is exempt from attachment and execution, when owned by any person residing in this state, other than the head of a family: The wearing apparel of the debtor; a seat or pew in any church or place of public worship; a lot in any burial-ground the necessary tools and instruments of any mechanic, miner or other person, used and kept for the purpose of carrying on his trade or business, and, in addition thereto, stock in trade; the library, implements and office furniture of any professional man.
No personal property is exempt from taxation or sale for taxes under the laws of the state, and none of the personal property mentioned is exempt from attachment or execution for the wages of any clerk, mechanic, laborer or servant. The earnings of the debtor for his personal services at any time within three months next preceding an order of execution cannot be levied upon when it is made to appear by the debtor's affidavit or otherwise that such earnings are necessary for the use of a family supported wholly or partly by his labor. Wages earned and payable outside of this state are exempt from attachment or garnishment in all cases where the cause of action arose outside of the state, unless the defendant in the attachment or garnishment suit is personally served with process. The money that may have been received by any debtor as pensioner of the United States within the three months next preceding the issuing of an execution, attachment or garnishment process, cannot be applied to the payment of the debts of such pensioner when it is made to appear by the affidavit of the debtor or otherwise that such pension money is necessary for the maintenance of a family supported wholly or in part by said pension money.
A tenant may waive, in writing, the benefit of the exemption laws of this state for all debts contracted for rents, but with this exception neither the husband nor wife alone can waive his or her rights under the exemption laws as here outlined. The most important feature of the exemption laws of Kansas is that which protects the homestead and makes secure the abiding place of the family of the unfortunate debtor.Pages 605-607 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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