after stating the above. The argument before us was such as might have been properly made if an appeal had been taken on the rendition of judgment, and the question was whether any or what judgment ought to be given. The cases cited bear upon this aspect of the case. But this is not its condition on the present appeal. The surety obligors have had *685their clay in court, have appeared and defended the action, and have submitted to the judgment without assigning error and seeking its correction at the hands of a reviewing court. If erroneous, it ought not to have been rendered; but if rendered, it cannot be disturbed after the expiration of the term. All defences existing at the time and available ought to have been then set up, and if they were not, they are alike concluded by the result. It is one thing to refuse to give judgment, quite another to set it aside, when entered, at a subsequent term.
Nor is there such irregularity as calls for the corrective interposition of the court. The object of process is to give notice and an opportunity to make defence to an action. The scire facias furnished this notice, and the sureties submitted to the jurisdiction and resisted the demand for judgment. A defendant may appear without process, and his appearance dispenses with process, since its purpose is to bring him into court, and he is in court when he answers and defends the action. It can scarcely be necessary to cite authorities to this effect, and we will refer only to some in our own reports — Jones v. Penland, 2 Dev. & Bat., 358; Hyatt v. Tomlin, 2 Ired., 149; Duffy v. Averitt, 5 Ired., 455; Middleton v. Duffy, 73 N. C., 72; Wheeler v. Cobb, 75 N. C., 21.
But we do not concede that the defence would have been sufficient if made at the time of rendering the judgment. Aside from the fact that the obligation was attested by and justified before a justice of the peace before acceptance by the sheriff, we have in State v. Houston, 74 N. C., 549, an express adjudication that it was competent for the judge to authorize the sheriff “ to take the recognizance of the defendants for the appearance of the principal defendant at the next term, to answer the charge of the state against him,” the judge having fixed its amount; and that though the instrument was put “ in the form of a bond with conditions, signed and sealed by the defendants, yet it is valid as *686a recognizance.” While there are opinions elsewhere expressed, not perhaps in harmony, we are disposed to accept- this as a correct statement of the law.
But however this may be, the exception could only be entertained on the trial and before the rendering of judgment. It was too late to be taken on the motion to vacate the judgment. If the refusal to set aside the judgment be a reviewable ruling and not the exercise of discretion, which we do not, as unnecessary, undertake to decide, we concur in the action of the court, and the judgment must be affirmed.
No error. Affirmed.