In a plea of debt between peers of the city, regardless of the amount involved, as soon as the plaintiff has made attachment for prosecuting the plea, the debtor is to be summoned to answer on the following day. If the debtor comes and claims to be a freeman he is to attach himself to answer in eight days time. If he fails to come, then he is to be distrained; if he comes after that and attaches himself, he is to be given the eight days. If he maliciously delays the plea by allowing three distraints without coming, he is to incur the penalty specified in chapter 14 and distraint is to continue each day until he attaches himself. When accused in a plea of debt, a citizen shall defend himself by waging his law, if there is no written record or tally of the debt. If a plaintiff produces a tally of the debt, then if there is any question as to its authenticity the bailiffs are to ensure that it is carefully examined by witnesses under oath; if they are uncertain or cannot agree (especially if the debt claimed is a large one) the tally is to be considered a fake and the defendant exonerated.
[A tally was a way of recording a debt in the non-literate urban society: a stick was notched in such a way as to represent a sum of money (e.g. each notch represented a certain amount); upon payment of the debt, the notched stick could be cut down the middle, so that the debtor could have half as his receipt for payment.]