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Limits of the city of Middletown.

General powera,

Jurisdiction of the city of Hartford on Connecticut river.


Annual meetings of the several cities.


lic, and corporate, in fact and in name, by the name of “The Mayor, Aldermen, Common Council, and Freemen of the city of Norwich :"—That all the inhabitants, being electors of the state, and dwelling in Middletown, within the following limits, to wit: beginning at the mouth of the Little river, or Ferry river; thence in a north-east line to the east side of Connecticut river, at high-water mark; thence on the bank of said Connecticut river at high water mark, until it comes to a point, due east from Sumner's creek; thence in a west line to the mouth of Sumner's creek; thence southerly and westerly, as the said creek runs, to Warwick's bridge ; thence west to the Little river, including the dwelling-house of Return Jonathan Meigs ; thence northerly and easterly down the Little river, as the same runs, to the first boundary, including the waters of the said Little river, Sumner's creek and Connecticut river, within the preceding limits; be, and the same are hereby ordained, constituted and declared to be, from time to time, and forever hereafter, one body olitic, and corporate, in fact and in name, by the name of “The Mayor. Aldermen, Common Council, and Freemen of the city of Middletown :” And by those names they, and each of them, and their successors, shall and may have perpetual succession, and be persons in law, capable of suing and being sued; pleading and being impleaded, in all suits of what nature soever; and also to purchase, hold and convey any estate, real or personal; and may have a common seal, and may change and alter the same at pleasure ; and shall be freemen of said cities. sect. 2. The city of Hartford shall have jurisdiction, in all commercial matters, on Connecticut river, opposite the town of Hartford; and the sheriffs of said city, shall have authority to execute all lawful process, on said river, opposite said town. But said city shall have no power to regulate or affect the fisheries in, or the ferry upon said river; or prevent any vessel, boat or other water-craft, from passing and repassing said river; or from having commercial intercourse with inhabitants residing without the limits of said city, free from any duty or toll imposed by said city. sect. 3. There shall be annual meetings in each of said cities; to be holden in Hartford, in March ; in NewHaven, in June; in New-London, in June; in Norwich, in July; in Middletown, in January; at such times and places as by the by-laws of said cities shall be directed. And said cities, in legal meeting assembled, shall choose a mayor, who shall hold his office during the pleasure of the general assembly; and, at their annual meetings, shall choose four aldermen, and a common council of not more

than twenty, and two sheriffs, out of the freemen of said
cities; which officers, and all others, excepting inspectors
of produce, shall be chosen by ballot; and on each bal-
lot shall be written the name of the person for whom it
is given : which ballot shall be rolled up, and, in presence
of the mayor and aldermen, present at such meeting,
put, by the person giving the same, into a box, which
each city shall provide for that purpose ; which shall be
a close box, with an aperture in the lid, of a convenient
size, through which to put in the ballot; and when the
freemen present at any meeting, shall have had reasonable
time to give in their ballots, either of the sheriffs of the
city, or in their absence, the junior alderman present, in
presence of the mayor and aldermen, or such of them as
are present at such meeting, shall open the said box, and
the mayor and aldermen, or such of them as are present,
shall open, sort and count the ballots, and the person who
shall have a majority of the ballots given in, shall, by the
sheriffs, orin their absence, by the junior alderman present,
be declared to be elected; and no ballot shall be received
after the box shall have been opened. Each of said cities
shall choose a clerk, who shall make true and regular en-
tries of all the votes and proceedings of the city; and the
records, by him kept, shall have the same validity as the
records of town-clerks: and shall also choose a treasurer
for each city. to continue in office during pleasure, who
shall have the same power and authority, as town-treas-
urers, and shall be accountable to the city appointing him.
The annual officers of each city, chosen at such meeting,
shall hold their offices for one year, after the expiration
of the month in which they are chosen ; unless others
shall be sooner chosen and qualified in their stead.
sect. 4. Every person, who shall have dwelt one year
in any of said cities, shall be deemed an inhabitant of
such city, so far only as to give him a right to vote in the
meetings of such city, so long as he shall continue after-
wards to dwell therein; provided such person shall have
the other qualifications required by law, to entitle him
to vote in such meeting. No person shall be entitled to
vote in any meeting of said cities, until he shall have
dwelt therein one year, unless he be a legally settled in-
habitant of the town, in which such city is, and an elector
of the state, dwelling in such city. And if any person,
not qualified according to law, shall vote at any cit
meeting, in any of said cities, or being so qualified, shall,
in any such meeting, give in more than one vote, at a bal-
lot, for any person, to the same office, he shall forfeit the
sum of seventeen dollars to the treasury of the state.
sect. 5. And said cities, respectively, shall have power
to grant the freedom of their cities, to any person or

Mode of voting.



Qualification of voters.

Penalty for voting illegally

Power to grant freedom of cities.

Cities may lay taxes, and appoint collectors.

Power and liability of sheriffs.


City courts,

when to be holden,

persons, living without the limits of the same ; and the person to whom such freedom is granted, shall, upon taking the oath by law required, have right to vote at any of the elections, and in any city meeting in that city, by which such freedom is granted: Provided, that no person shall, in virtue of such grant, be considered as entitled to the rights of a free citizen of the state, or as acquiring a right of inhabitancy in that town, in which the city granting such freedom lies. sect. 6. Each city, in legal meeting assembled, shall have power to lay taxes on the polls and rateable estates within the limits of the city, for such purposes as the city shall think proper, agreeably to the privileges granted by this act; and to choose a collector or collectors, to collect such tax, who, having received a warrant for that purpose, signed by the mayor, or one of the aldermen of said city, shall have the same power as collectors of town taxes, and shall be accountable to the mayor and aldermen, in the same manner as collectors of town taxes are to the select-men ; and in case any collector shall not perform his trust, then, on complaint by the aldermen to the mayor of the city, he shall issue his warrant, under his hand, directed to either sheriff of said city, to collect out of the estate of the negligent collector, the sums due from him : provided, the city of Hartford shall have no power to lay taxes to pave the streets or highways, in said city, or to erect wharves on Connecticut river, without special authority from the general assembly. sect. 7. The sheriffs of each city shall, within the limits of the same, have the same power and authority as the sheriffs of the counties, and shall be liable to the same penalties and suits, for neglect of duty; and each city shall be liable for the default of their sheriffs in their of. fices. And said sheriffs shall severally give bonds, with sureties, in such manner as, by the by-laws of each city, shall be directed, for a faithful discharge of the duties of their office, before they shall be capable to execute the same; and in case of their refusal, or either of them, the city may appoint others in their room. sect. 8. There shall be holden in each city, in every month, a city court. Such court shall be holden in Hartford, on the first Monday; in Middletown, on the second Tuesday; in New-Haven, on the first Tuesday; in NewLondon, on the first Monday, and in Norwich, on the second Monday: which courts shall have power to adjourn from time to time, and shall have cognizance of all cases wherein the title of land is not concerned, cognizable by county courts, provided the cause of action arise within the limits of said cities, and one or both the par

ties live within the same ; and of any suit or action that may be commenced by the president, directors, and company of any bank, in the city in which such bank is established, on any writing obligatory, made payable, by the terms of it, at, and endorsed to such bank, notwithstanding such writing may have been executed, drawn, accepted, or indorsed, without the limits of such city. And said city courts shall have the same power and authority, and shall proceed in the same manner, and grant executions, as county courts now or hereafter shall have power to proceed and grant; and the executions granted by the city courts, shall be served and returned in the same manner as executions granted by county courts. And an appeal shall be allowed, to either party, from the judgment or determination of said city courts, to the next superior court, to be holden in the county in which such judgment is rendered, in all cases in which an appeal is now, or shall hereafter, by law, be allowed from county courts : but if judgment is rendered in favor of the plain

tiff, he may apply to the city court, at the term when,

such judgment shall be rendered, and if he can satisfy the
court that such appeal is taken for delay only, then such
court may, at their discretion, notwithstanding such ap-
peal, direct execution to issue on such judgment, for the
debt, or damages and costs, against the defendant or de-
fendants, and the plaintiff may levy the said execution,
and collect the money thereon ; provided, before taking
out execution, he becomes bound, with two sufficient sure-
ties, before the mayor of the said city, or one of the judges
of said city court, in a recognizance, (which recognizance
the mayor of each city, and the judges of the city courts,
are respectively empowered to take,) in double the sum
of said judgment, that he will, within one week after final
judgment on the appeal, refund so much of the judgment
of said city court, as shall on such execution be collected,
and shall not by him be recovered before the court to
which the appeal is taken, and the interest thereof, to-
gether with the fees on the execution, which shall accrue
and be paid by the defendant or defendants; and no ap-
peal shall be allowed on any suit commenced on such re-
sect. 9. And in every action brought before any city
court, in which the plaintiff lives without the limits of the
city, or is a mariner or seaman, suing for wages due to
him for service in his occupation, and the defendant lives
within the limits of the city, no appeal shall be allowed to
the defendant, unless the matter in demand exceed the
sum of ore hundred and sixty-seven dollars; but if the
matter in demand exceed that sum, an appeal shall be

Mode of proceeding.


Execution may be taken out by plaintiff, on giving bond.

If plaintiff live
out of City, or
be a mariner, J
no appeal shall
be allowed.
unless demand
exceed one
hundred and
-ix y-seven


Mayor and aldermen to be ‘ndges.

allowed to the defendant, in the same manner, and under
the same regulations, as appeals are allowed in other ca-
ses, cognizable by city courts; and no writ of error
brought for the reversal of any judgment of a city court,
or of the mayor, or either of the aldermen of a city, shall
be a supersedeas, or have any force to stay the issuing,
levying, or collection of execution. - -
sect. 10. Each city court shall have power to appoint
and swear a clerk for such court, to continue in office
during pleasure, who shall, as to matters relative to his
office as clerk of such court, have the same power and
authority as clerks of county courts have by law; and the
oath to be taken by the clerk shall be the same, mutatis
mutandis, as the oath provided by law to be taken by the
clerks of the county courts.
sect. 11. The mayor of each city, for the time being,
and the two aldermen first chosen, at the annual meeting
of the city, shall compose the city court, where chosen,
and be the judges thereof; and the mayor shall be the
shief judge of said court, and the two aldermen shall be
the assistant judges of said court; any two of whom, in
the absence of the other, taking to their assistance the
senior alderman present, that is not a judge of said court,
or if neither of the aldermen that are not judges of said
court, cannot attend, one of the justices of the peace for
the county in which the city is, and resident within such
sity, shall have power to hold a city court. If at any city
court, there shall be but one judge present, he shall take
to his assistance two other aldermen of the city; and in
case one or both of them cannot attend, he shall take one
or two of the justices of the peace, as the case may require,
of the county in which the city is, resident in the city;
and they shall have the same power to hold a city court,
as the judges of the city court have. In case of the ab-
sence of the mayor, and the two aldermen, constituted by
law, judges of the city court, of either of said cities, or
their disqualification to sit as judges, the other aldermen
of such city, taking to their assistance any justice of the
peace, residing in the county in which such city is estab-
lished; or either of the aldermen of such city, in case of
the absence or disqualification of the mayor, and other
aldermen, taking to his assistance any two justices of the
peace, of such county; shall have power to hold a city
court, within and for such city. When a suit is pend-
ing before any city court, wherein the defendant or de-
fendants do not appear, or which, pursuant to law, must
be continued, in either case, any one competent judge of
such court, shall have power, and the same is hereby

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