2. The hearing is conducted as follows. When the cause is called on in court, the pleadings on each side are opened in a brief manner to the court by the junior counsel for the plaintiff; after which the plaintiff's leading counsel states the plaintiff's case, and the points in issue, and submits to the court his arguments upon them. Then the depositions (if any) of the plaintiff's witnesses, and such parts of the defendant's answer as support the plaintiff's case are read by the plaintiff's solicitor; after which the rest of the plaintiff's counsel address the court; then the same course of proceedings is observed on the other side, excepting that no part of the defendant's answer can be read in his favor, if it be replied to; the leading counsel for the plaintiff is then heard in reply; after which the court pronounces the decree, Newl. Pr. 153, 4; 14 Vin. Ab. 233; Com. Dig. Chancery, T. 1, 2, 3.
HEARING, crim. law. The examination of a prisoner charged with a crime or misdemeanor, and of the witnesses for the accuser.
2. The magistrate should examine with care all the witnesses for the prosecution, or so many of them as will satisfy his mind that there is sufficient ground to believe the prisoner guilty, and that the case ought to be examined in court and the prisoner ought to be tried. If, after the hearing of all such witnesses, the offence charged is not made out, or, if made out, the matter charged is not criminal, the magistrate is bound to discharge the prisoner.
3. When the magistrate cannot for want of time, or on account of the absence of a witness, close the hearing at one sitting, he may adjourn the case to -another day, and, in bailable offences, either take bail from the prisoner for his appearance on that day, or commit him for a further hearing. See Further hearing.
4. After a final hearing, unless the magistrate discharge the prisoner, it is his duty to take bail in bailable offences, and he is the sole judge of the amount of bail to be demanded this, however, must not be excessive. He is the sole judge, also, whether the offence be bailable or not. When the defendant can give the bail required, he must be discharged; when not, he must be committed to the county prison, to take his trial, or to be otherwise disposed of according, to law. See 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 72, ch. 2.