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the presentation of the same to the lessees to be signed by them, and that such specification of the duration of the term by the tenants is manifested by their signature to the instrument.

[4] It follows that the respondents, if not actually lessees for the want of a signature by the lessor, were in possession of the premises under a valid contract for two years from February 1, 1920, and while in the summary proceeding they could not have in the Municipal Court affirmative equitable relief by way of specific performance, nevertheless under the express language of the statute (Code, § 2244) they had a right to avail themselves of the contract to defeat the proceeding.

In Salomon v. Weisberg, 29 Misc. Rep. 650, 61 N. Y. Supp. 60, it is held that a plea that the landlord "promised and agreed to and with said tenant to let," and that the tenant "promised and agreed to and with such landlord” to take, the premises for another year, was insufficient, being merely a promise or agreement to let and hire in the future. Here, however, none of the elements of an enforceable contract is lacking, and as the landlord took with notice of the rights of the respondents, who were in possession, the issues were correctly decided in favor of the tenants.

Appellant does not contend on the appeal that there was any question of fact which should have been submitted to the jury; the claim being that as matter of law the landlord is entitled to a verdict. I recommend affirmance.

Final order affirmed, with $25 costs. All concur.

(192 App. Div. 443)

RILEY V. GORDON. (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department. June 25, 1920.) 1. Libel and slander Cm19, 81-Construction of slanderous words; matters

of inducement, giving defamatory meaning to innocent words, may be alleged.

Whether spoken words were slanderous depends on the meaning which they conveyed to those in whose presence and hearing they were spoken, and matters of inducement, giving a defamatory meaning to words other

wise innocent, may be alleged. 2. Libel and slander Ciny (13)—Statement relative to cashing of stolen check

slanderous.

The statement by defendant, employé of a company, to plaintiff, another employé, that plaintiff had cashed a check, and that, though the evidence was circumstantial, it was enough for a jury, held slanderous, where made in the presence of persons who knew that a check drawn by the company to one other than plaintiff had been stolen and cashed by means of a forged signature.

Appeal from Special Term, Richmond County.

Action by Frederick J. Riley against Robert Gordon. From an order sustaining a demurrer to his third amended complaint, plaintiff appeals. Order reversed, demurrer overruled, and defendant given leave to withdraw demurrer and to answer. Cow For other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes

(182 N.Y.S.)

Argued before JENKS, P. J., and MILLS, BLACKMAR, KELLY, and JAYCOX, JJ.

Walter S. Kennedy, of New York City, for appellant.
Daniel S. Murphy, of New York City, for respondent.

BLACKMAR, J. The defendant demurred to a complaint in slander on the ground that it did not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. The demurrer was sustained, and the plaintiff appeals.

The alleged defamatory words spoken concerning the plaintiff were as follows:

"You cashed that check in Batchellor's the night you came up from Ulmer Park. I had a man from Batchellor's go all through the building, and he picked you out as the man who cashed the check. It is circumstantial, but it's enough for a jury. I didn't expect you to admit it. Williamson didn't either, and he's doing five years now. You are through. Get your hat."

[1] These words upon their face are not slanderous. They do not charge plaintiff with the commission of a crime, nor with having a loathsome disease, nor do they injure him in his business. But the question always is directed to the meaning which the words conveyed to those in whose presence and hearing they were spoken, and matters of inducement may be alleged which give a defamatory meaning to words otherwise innocuous. Odgers on Libel & Slander (5th Ed.) pp. 128, 129; Van Heusen v. Argenteau, 194 N. Y. 309, 87 N. E. 437; Fry v. Bennett, 7 N. Y. Super. Ct. 54; Townshend on Slander & Libel (4th Ed.) § 308; McGregor v. Gregory, 11 M. & W. 287; Grand v. Dreyfus, 122 Cal. 58, 54 Pac. 389.

[2] The complaint alleged in substance that both the plaintiff and the defendant were employed by the Western Electric Company; that a check drawn by such corporation to one other than the plaintiff was stolen from the payee, and, by means of a forged signature, was cashed, and the true owner deprived of its use, and that these facts were known to the persons in whose presence the words were spoken. Under these circumstances the spoken words sustain the innuendo that they charged the plaintiff with a crime.

In the law of slander, as well as in the law of contracts, matters known to all the parties give a meaning to spoken words. If the speaker and his hearers knew that a check had been stolen and cashed by means of a forged signature, the words are plain enough. The words, “It is circumstantial, but it's enough for a jury," and the statement that, if plaintiff denied the charge, so did another employé, who was then doing five years, indicate plainly enough, to one knowing the facts alleged as inducement, that defendant was charging plaintiff with a crime.

Order reversed, with $10 costs and disbursements, demurrer overruled, with $10 costs, and defendant given leave to withdraw the demurrer and to answer within 20 days on payment of costs. All concur.

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(Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department. June 4, 1920.) 1. Judges Cw11_Removal of justice of Municipal Court of City of New

York within jurisdiction of Appellate Division.

Under Const. 1894, art. 6, $$ 11, 17, giving such courts as are or may be prescribed by law jurisdiction of proceedings for removal of justices of the peace and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, and under sections 1 and 2, as well as Code Cr. Proc. $ 132, and Laws 1901, c. 466, § 1383, Appellate Division has jurisdiction of proceeding to remove a justice of the Municipal Court of the City of New York, notwithstanding Laws 1915, c. 279, making such Municipal Court a court of record, and chapter 581, amending Laws 1901, c. 466, § 1383; such Municipal Court being continuation of the old court, which was not of record, and not a new court, in view of Const. art. 6, § 18, and the Legislature having no power to deprive Supreme Court of jurisdiction conferred by the Consti

tution. 2. Courts mw 42 (5) ---Municipal Court of City of New York, made court of

record in 1915, not a new court but a continued, consolidated, and reor. ganized one.

Laws 1915, c. 279, making Municipal Court of City of New York a court of record, did not violate Const. art. 6, § 18, prohibiting creation of ā new inferior local court as a court of record; such Municipal Court

being a continued, consolidated, and reorganized court, and not a new one. 3. Constitutional law Em 56—Legislature cannot deprive court of jurisdic

tion conferred by Constitution.

The Legislature is without power to deprive the Supreme Court and its Appellate Divisions by direct legislation of the jurisdiction conferred upon it by the Constitution.

In the matter of the application for the removal of Aaron J. Levy from the office of Justice of the Municipal Court of the City of New York. On objections to jurisdiction. Objections overruled, and respondent given 20 days in which to serve and file answer.

Argued before CLARKE, P. J., and DOWLING, SMITH, MERRELL, and GREENBAUM, JJ.

Leonard M. Wallstein, of New York City (Ralph M. Frink and Walter Frank, both of New York City, on the brief), for petitioners.

Brackett, Todd, Wheat & Wait, of Saratoga Springs (Edgar T. Brackett, of Saratoga Springs, of counsel), for respondent.

CLARKE, P. J. The respondent was duly elected at the general election in 1913 a justice of the Municipal Court of the City of New York for the Second Municipal Court District for the term of 10 years, beginning January 1, 1914. The petition and its accompanying affidavits set forth certain charges against said respondent. The notice of motion asks that “the court inquire into the matters alleged” in the petition and the affidavits annexed thereto, “in order that it may determine whether further proceedings shall be had looking to” the respondent's removal from office. The respondent has appeared and objected to the jurisdiction of the court upon the ground that, as by chapter 279 of the Laws of 1915, the Municipal Court of the City of New York had been created a court of record, its justices For other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes (182 N.Y.S.) were removable only by the Senate on the recommendation of the Governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the Senate concur therein.

When the Constitution of 1821 was adopted, the justices of the present Municipal Court were known as “assistant justices in and for the city and county of New York.” It was provided in section 14, art. 4, of that Constitution, that the assistant justices of the city of New York "shall be removable in like manner" as justices of the peace in the other counties of this state, and section 7 of said article provided that justices of the peace were removable "by the County Court, for causes particularly assigned by the judges of the said court." The Constitution of 1846 provided in section 11 of article 6:

“Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Court of Appeals may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, if twothirds of all the members elected to the Assembly and a majority of all the members elected to the Senate concur therein. All judicial officers, except those mentioned in this section, and except justices of the peace and judges and justices of inferior courts not of record, may be removed by the Senate, on the recommendation of the Governor.”

And section 17 of said article provided:

"Justices of the peace and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, and their clerks, may be removed, after due notice and an opportunity of being heard in their defense by such countv, city, or state courts as may be prescribed by law, for causes to be assigned in the order of removal."

The judiciary article adopted in 1869 provided in section 11 of article 6:

"Judges of the Court of Appeals, and justices of the Supreme Court, may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, if twothirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein. All judicial officers, except those mentioned in this section, and except justices of the peace and judges and justices of inferior courts not of record, may be removed by the Senate, on the recommendation of the Governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the Senate concur therein."

And section 18 provided :

"Justices of the peace, and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, and their clerks, may be removed, after due notice and opportunity of being heard, by such courts as may be prescribed by law, for causes to be assigned in the order of removal."

By the Constitution of 1894 it was provided in section 11 of article 6:

"Judges of the Court of Appeals and justices of the Supreme Court may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, if twothirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein. All other judicial officers, except justices of the peace and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, may be removed by the Senate, on the recommendation of the Governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the Senate concur therein."

And section 17 thereof provides :

"Justices of the peace and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, and their clerks may be removed for cause, after due notice and an opportunity of being heard, by such courts as are or may be prescribed by law."

Thus for 100 years there has existed a consistent constitutional scheme under which judges of the Court of Appeals and the justices of the Supreme Court were removable by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, judges of other courts of record by the Senate, on the recommendation of the Governor, and justices of the peace and judges and justices of inferior courts not of record by some court.

The Municipal Court is the successor of the Assistant Justices' Courts, the District Courts of New York and the Justices' Courts of certain districts of Brooklyn. Worthington v. London G. & C. Co., 164 N. Y. 81, 58 N. E. 102. Through all the period of its existence, for nearly 150 years, under its various titles, down to the passage of chapter 279 of the Laws of 1995, it was a statutory inferior local court of limited jurisdiction, and by express provision of law not a court of record. It is not questioned that through all the period succeeding the adoption of our second Constitution the power to remove its justices lay in some court—under the Constitution of 1821 in the County Court; under the succeeding Constitutions, in such courts as were prescribed by law.

As required by the Constitution of 1846, the Legislature prescribed by section 25 of chapter 280 of the Laws of 1847, that:

“Justices of the peace, and judges and justices of inferior courts not of record, and their clerks, may be removed as provided by the Constitution, by the Supreme Court at any General Term thereof."

This act was immaterially amended by chapter 354 of the Laws of 1880, and again in the original Code of Criminal Procedure (chapter 442 of the Laws of 1881) § 132. After the adoption of the Constitution of 1894, and the creation of the Appellate Division, section 132 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was amended to read:

"Justices of the peace and judges and justices of inferior courts, not of record, and their clerks, may be removed, as provided by the Constitution, by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The Appellate Division shall have power to order the proofs upon any proceedings hereunder to be taken before a referee to be appointed by such Appellate Division and to certify the reasonable expenses of such referee, which amount, so certified, is hereby declared to be a charge against the city, town or village within which such justices of the peace, judge, or justices of inferior court, not of record, or clerk, exercises the duties of his office."

And the Greater New York Charter (Chapter 378, Laws of 1897), in title 2 of chapter 20, entitled, "The Municipal Court of the City of New York,” in section 1383, provided :

"The justices of said court and the clerk and assistant clerks thereof may be removed for cause after due notice and an opportunity of being heard by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the judicial district wherein the district for which said justices were elected or appointed situated."

And it was so re-enacted in the revision of the Greater New York Charter by chapter 466, Laws of 1901. In 1915, after the adoption of the Municipal Code by chapter 279 of that year, section 1383 of the charter was amended by chapter 581, by omitting the word "justices" from said section, thus, while continuing in the Appellate Division

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