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Engrossing committee. Their duty.
Adversary petitions to be referred to
Each houseauthorized to make out their debentures.
Public statutes when to take effect.
Governor authorized to appoint a secretary;
president of the senate, and shall then be presented, by
TITLE 44. Governor.
An Act authorizing the Governor to appoint a
sect.I.B. it enacted ly the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Assembly convened, That the governor of the state, for the time being, or the person by whom the office of governor may be administered, be, and he is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint a secretary, who shall duly receive the oath prescribed by the constitution, for executive and judicial of. ficers, and whose duty it shall be to attend the governor, or the person administering the office of governor, during
the sessions of the general assembly, and at all times to
TITLE 45. Grand-Jurors.
resentatives, in General Assembly convened, That every town, at their annual meeting for the election of town-officers, shall choose and appoint not less than two, nor more than six grand-jurors, to serve for the year ensuing; who shall take the oath prescribed by law. sect. 2. It shall be the duty of grand-jurors, diligently to enquire after, and to make due presentment of, all crimes and misdemeanors, that shall come to their knowledge, whether committed before or after their |. ment to the office; which presentment they shall make to the court having cognizance of the offence, or to some justice of the peace, in the town where the offence is committed. sect. 3. If any person elected a grand.juror, shall refuse to accept the office, and take the oath prescribed by law, (unless he can render a sufficient and satisfactory rea
Governor empowered to administer oaths, and to appoint notaries public
Towns to appoint grandjurors annually.
Penalty for refusing to accept the office.
Penalty for neglect of duty.
Penalty on towns for neglecting to appoint grandJurors.
Grand-jurors may meet;
may require attendance of witnesses.
Proceedings to compel them to appear and to testify.
Power of courts to summon grandjury.
In what cases indictment by
son to the town-meeting, or to the authority before whom he shall be called to take the oath, why he ought not to serve.) he shall forfeit the sum of five dollars, to the use of the town treasury, to be recovered by a proper action, in the name of the treasurer: and it shall be the duty of the town to appoint another grand-juror in his place. sect. 4. If any grand-juror, after he is sworn, shall neglect to make seasonable complaint, of any crime or misdemeanor, committed within the town where he lives, that shall come to his knowledge, he shall forfeit the sum of two dollars, for every such offence, one half to him who shall prosecute to effect, and the other half to the use of the town where the offence is committed. sect. 5. If any town shall neglect or refuse to appoint grand-jurors, as is required by this act, such town shall, for every such neglect or refusal, incur a penalty of seventeen dollars, to the use of the treasury of the county to which such town belongs: and it shall be the duty of the attorney for the state to prosecute for the same. sect. 6. The grand-jurors, in each town, may, if they judge it necessary and proper, meet at such times and places as they shall appoint, to advise concerning such breaches of law, as by their office, they are to enquire after and present: and they shall have power to call before them, at such meetings, any person or persons, as witnesses, to be examined touching such delinquency as they are enquiring after : and if any person refuse to appear before such grand-jurors, at such meeting, being summoned by a subpoena from a justice of the peace, (which subpoena any justice of the peace is hereby empowered to grant, at the request of such grand-jurors,) then such grand-jurors may apply to a justice of the peace for a capias, or warrant, who may issue one to bring such person before them ; and if any person appearing, or being brought by a warrant, before such grand-jurors, shall refuse to be sworn, or being sworn, shall refuse to be examined as a witness, or to answer any proper or pertinent so respecting the matter of enquiry, such grand-jurors may make complaint to any justice of the peace, who shall cause such person to be brought before him, and, on conviction, shall commit him to the common gaol, there to remain at his own expense, until he give evidence as aforesaid. sect. 7. The superior and county courts shall have power, when there shall be occasion, to order a grandjury of eighteen sufficient freeholders of the county, where the court is sitting, to be summoned, impanneled and sworn, to enquire after all crimes and offences cognizable by said courts respectively; and no person shall be put to plead, or held to trial, for any oftence punishable with death, or imprisonment for life, unless a bill of grand.jury is
indictment be found, by a grand-jury, legally impanneled
and sworn ; and no bill of indictment shall be presented by any grand-jury so impanneled, unless twelve, at least,
of the jurors agree to it.
sect. 8. For all other crimes presentment may be made by grand-jurors, appointed by towns, or information
may be exhibited by the attorney for the state, in the *
county where committed.(1)
(1) In 1643, an act was passed, requiring, that a grand-jury of twelve men should be warned, to appear at the court in September, annually, or as many as the governor or court should think meet, to make presentments of the breaches of any laws or orders, or of any other misdemeanors, within the jurisdiction, which should come to their knowledge. In the revision of 1672, it is ordered, that the clerks of the several county courts, should, by their warrant, require one or more honest, able, and judicious man or men, of every plantation in their county, to serve on the grandjury: who were to be sworn to make due presentment of all breaches of the law, that should come to their knowledge. In the revision of 1702, there is a statute, directing the clerks of the several county courts, by warrant, to require one or more honest, able and judicious men, of every town in their respective counties, to appear at their respective county courts, or before the next assistant or justice of the peace, to serve on the grand-jury, and to take the oath; who should make diligent enquiry after, and make presentment of, all misdemeanors and breaches of the law that should come to their knowledge, once a month, to the next assistant or justice of the peace ; who were empowered to hear and determine all delinquencies, where the penalty did not exceed forty shillings, and where the penalty exceeded forty shillings, to bind the offender to the next court where the offence was cognizable. This act first gave to single grand-jurors the power of making presentment for crimes, and established informing officers in every town. By the common law, presentments can be made by the grand-jury, only when they
Other crimes, how prosecut-,
are summoned to attend a court of criminal jurisdiction for that purpose. In 1712, a law was passed, that every town should appoint, at their annual meeting, two or more grand-jurors, for the ensuing year; who should be sworn by an assistant or justice of the peace; and that the clerk of the town should return their names to the clerk of the county court, who was required to summon such number of the grand-jurors as should be necessary, to serve at the county courts. There is nothing in these early statutes respecting the summoning of a grand-jury to appear before the superior court. The practice was, however, for the superior court to summon a grand-jury, in all capital cases. As single grand-jurors could present for crimes, it became unnecessary to summon a grand-jury to attend the courts, when in session. Accordingly, the practice seems to have been discontinued; and in the revision of 1784, this requirement of the law is omitted, and the superior and county courts have power given them to order a grand-jury of eighteen of those chosen by the respective towns, or other freeholders of the county, when there should be occasion: and in capital cases, it was rendered necessary, that the indictment should be found by a grand-jury, in which twelve should agree. The practice was, for single grand-jurors, and attornies for the state, to present for all crimes, but those which are capital; and in those cases, a grandjury of eighteen freeholders of the county were summoned, by order of the court; and now, by the constitution, all offences, punishable by imprisonment for life, as well as capital offences, must be prosecuted by the indictment of a grand-jury.
TITLE 46. Guardians.
An Act relating to Guardians and Minors.
E it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Assembly convened, That all persons who have arrived to the age of twentyone years, shall be deemed of full age ; shall be free from the government of parents, guardians, or masters; and shall be capable to do any lawful act. The age for choosing guardians shall be fourteen in male, and twelve in female children. The courts of probate, in their respective districts, shall have power to appoint guardians to all minors, under the age for choosing guardians, who have no father, guardian, or master; and to approve of guardians chosen by those who are of age for that purpose. sect. 2. Where there shall be any minor of age for choosing a guardian, who has no father, guardian or master, the judge of probate, within whose district the minor resides, shall notify him to appear, and choose some proper person to be his guardian ; and if such judge shall approve of the person chosen, he may allow him to be guardian ; but if he disapprove of such person, so chosen, then the minor may choose some other proper person, to be approved of and allowed as aforesaid; and if such minor shall refuse or neglect to make a choice, or shall not choose a person approved of by said judge, then the judge may appoint a guardian for the minor. sect. 3. Where a minor has a father naturally wanting in understanding, or insane, so as to be incapable to take care of and provide for him, the judge of probate, within whose district he resides, shall appoint a guardian, in the same manner as if the father were dead. sect. 4. Where a minor, having a father, is entitled to, or possessed of, estate, real or personal, not derived from his father; or where a minor, who has a master, is entitled to, or possessed of, estate, real or personal ; the judge of probate, whenever there shall be occasion, shall have power to notify the father or master to appear, and shew reasons, why a guardian should not be appointed; and if sufficient reasons are not shewn, may apppoint the father or master, if proper persons; if not, then such person as the minor may choose, if of age to choose a guardian ; but if such minor shall neglect or refuse to make choice, or be not of sufficient age, then the judge shall appoint such person to be guardian, as he may think proper: and where, in such case, any person is appoint
When persons are of full age.
Age for choosing guardians.
Guardians of minors under that age, to be appointed by court of probate.
Appointment of guardians, how made.
Guardian to be appointed, where the father is incapable;
and where the ininor has estate.