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ual, and have no right to look to the city for compensation. Donahue v. Keeshan, 91 App. Div. 602, 87 N. Y. Supp. 144.

[2] But it is urged by the defendants that the so-called Home Rule Act (Laws 1913, c. 247, art. 2a) § 20, par. 5, explicitly provides that a city "is empowered to pay

claims equitably payable by the city, though not constituting obligations legally binding on it,' and that equitably this judgment against Kinzly is a claim payable by the city. The act does not purport to enlarge the constitutional prohibition against giving city money to individuals, and it specifically provides that the city "shall have no power to grant extra compensation to any public officer, servant or contractor.

The common council may appropriate this money for this purpose unless it is "a gift to an individual.” As to whether it is or is not "a gift to an individual” depends (1) on who receives the money, and (2) what, if any, moral duty equity and good conscience impose on the city authorities to pay such individual. The payment of the Wiedman judgment by the city at this time would essentially be a payment to Wiedman, and in no sense the payment of expenses incurred or money expended by Kinzly as a public officer. It is not claimed that Kinzly has paid the judgment. The city is to furnish him with the money to pay it, and this action might be sustained on the theory that the payment would be a gift to Kinzly himself, because he might not use the money, if he received it, for the purpose of paying Wiedman. Kinzly offers, however, to furnish the city treasurer with a satisfaction of the judgment if the city treasurer will pay the order, and we shall assume that the money will be used to pay the judgment.

The fact that Wiedman's judgment is against a police officer places the city under no obligation to pay it. The city is neither legally nor equitably bound to pay judgments against police officers. It has always been the rule in this state that the city is not liable for the acts of police officers in the discharge of their public duties. 28 Cyc. 1300.

The defendants' doctrine of nonbindling equitable claims under the Home Rule Act, if applied to such cases as this, would be fraught with many dangers. The city, being under no legal obligation to pay, could not be compelled to pay such judgment. If it might, in its discretion, pay, it might pay A., and refuse to pay B., when both had recovered damages against a police officer for assault inflicted in the same illegal arrest. It might pay judgments recovered against police officers by Attorney X., and refuse to pay judgments recovered by Attorney Y. If it should be held that Wiedman could be paid, the common council of a city might, in its discretion, audit such claims without suit.

Equity is not law turned upside down. It would be immoral for a city to have an oversensitive conscience in allowing fancied moral claims against it. The allowance of an equitable claim against a city, as distinguished from a legal claim, suggests in the main the waiver of some technical defense, such as the failure to present a verified claim, rather than the recognition or creation of an obligation which the law says is fundamentally a claim against an individual, and not in any sense a claim against the city. It follows that Wiedman has

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no claim against the city, and that to take the city's money to pay him would be a gift to him, and thus inhibited by the Constitution, whether the money passes through Kinzly's hands or not.

State ex rel. Crow v. St. Louis, 174 Mo. 125, 73 S. W. 623, 61 L. R. A. 593, was the case of a policeman who, pursuant to orders and in discharge of his duty to prevent and remove nuisances in the streets, shot at a mad steer in the street, but, though using due care, hit a child, for which judgment was recovered against him. It was held that the city might reimburse him without violating a constitutional provision like ours. The opinion is notable as a specimen of judicial humor, but the court merely holds, in principle, that a police officer may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in removing a nuisance from a public street, and the decision is not in conflict with the views above expressed.

[3] There remains to be considered whether Kinzly may lawfully be paid his expenses incurred in defending the case. It does not appear that he was authorized by the common council to employ counsel and defend the case at the expense of the city; but, under the Home Rule act above cited, I assume that the council may now ratify his action in doing so, if it could have authorized it in the first place. I hesitate to hold unnecessarily that the Legislature cannot provide that a city may assume the necessary expense of defending a police officer who is sued for an alleged assault claimed to have been committed in the course of public duty. As it has never been so held, I shall not restrain the payment of the small portion of this claim which relates thereto, leaving it to the city treasurer to exercise his judgment thereon, for I think that, in this case, his threats of paying the claim if not restrained are technical, and for the purpose of provoking this action, rather than indicative of a purpose to waste the city's money if not restrained.

Prepare decision accordingly, but without costs to either party as against the other.

(166 App. Div. 538)

PEOPLE ex rel. LOEVIN et al. v. GRIFFING, Mayor. (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department. March 12, 1915.) 1. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS W191-OFFICERS_REMOVAL-BOARD OF HEALTHI

-CERTIORARI.

Under Code Civ. Proc. § 2120, providing that certiorari may issue to review the determination of a body or officer when the right to the writ is expressly conferred, or the issue thereof expressly authorized by statute, and where it might be issued at common law by a court of general jurisdiction, and the right to the writ or the power of the court to issue it has not been expressly taken away by a statute, the Supreme Court may issue certiorari to review the removal of members of the board of health of the city of New Rochelle, by the mayor, acting under its charter (Laws 1910, c. 559, § 33).

{Ed. Note.--For other cases, see Municipal Corporations, Cent. Dig. 88

525-529; Dec. Dig. Om 191.] 2. CERTIORARI Cw25ACTS REVIEWABLE—"EXECUTIVE ACT."

Where a statute makes no provision for a hearing, but confers the

power of removal of officers subject to no limitations, except the requirewFor other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes

152 N.Y.S.-8

ment that the reasons therefor be stated in writing and filed, and an op portunity for explanation given, the removal is an "executive act," and not reviewable by certiorari. [Ed. Note.–For other cases, see Certiorari, Cent. Dig. $ 38; Dec. Dig.

25.] 3. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS OM 159_REMOVAL OF OFFICERS--REVIEW-"JU.

DICIAL PROCEEDING."

New Rochelle charter (Laws 1910, c. 559) $ 33, providing that the mayor may remove any appointive officer by serving written charges on him and giving him a hearing, at which all the testimony in the matter shall be taken under oath and reduced to writing, and that if in the mayor's judg. ment the testimony is sufficient he may remove the officer and file all the evidence, together with his signed reasons for removal, with the city clerk, imports written charges specifically alleging substantial cause for removal, reasonable notice of the hearing, permission to cross-examine witnesses called to sustain the charges, and opportunity to be heard and produce witnesses in defense, and a just judgment, excluding capricious or arbitrary action, and requiring it to be based upon substantial cause, and is a "judicial proceeding,” subject to review by the Supreme Court by certiorari.

[Ed. Note.-For other cases, see Municipal Corporations, Cent. Dig. $I 350–356; Dec. Dig. Em 159.

For other definitions, see Words and Phrases, First and Second Series,

Judicial Proceeding.) 4. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS Cw159-OFFICERS_REMOVAL-RIGHT TO HEAB

ING.

Under such charter, the service of written charges on relators on June 11th at 8 p. m., fixing a hearing for the following day at 8 p. m., and a determination of removal made on that day, and the filing of written reasons on the following morning denying an adjournment to procure witnesses, for whom subpænas could not be issued on the 12th, denied to relators the right to present their defense, supported by witnesses whose attendance they might have a reasonable time to procure by compulsory process, so that the court, on review, could determine whether substantial cause for removal had been shown, for which reason the order of removal would be annulled.

[Ed. Note.-For other cases, see Municipal Corporations, Cent. Dig. Si 350–356; Dec. Dig. Ow159.] Certiorari by the People, on the relation of Leopold Loevin and another, to review a determination of Edward Stetson Griffing, as Mayor of the City of New Rochelle, removing relators from their positions as Health Commissioners. Determination annulled, and new trial directed.

See, also, 164 App. Div. 529, 150 N. Y. Supp. 209.

Argued before JENKS, P. J., and BURR, THOMAS, STAPLETON, and RICH, JJ.

Walter G. C. Otto, of New Rochelle, for relators.
Edward W. Davidson, of New Rochelle, for respondent.

STAPLETON, J. The relators were commissioners, members of the board of health of the city of New Rochelle. They were appointed by the mayor for fixed terms and served without compensation. Chapter 559, art. 26, Laws of 1910. The power of removal from the offices held by them is controlled by section 33 of the law cited. It reads:

“Except as otherwise provided in this act for the board of education, the mayor may remove any appointive officer in the following manner: The mayor

For other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes

shall serve written charges upon the officer and shall give him a hearing at which all the testimony in the matter shall be taken under oath and reduced to writing. If in the judgment of the mayor such testimony is sufficient to warrant the removal of the officer, the mayor may remove the officer and shall file all the evidence together with his written detailed reasons for the removal, signed by him, in the office of the city clerk."

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The relators were removed by his honor, the mayor, purporting to act in obedience to the law. They applied for a writ of certiorari, which was issued. A return was made, and the proceeding is here to be heard.

[1] The primary question presented for determination is whether this is a case where the writ may issue. It is conceded that the right to the writ is not expressly conferred, and that the issuance thereof is not expressly authorized by a statute. The only other assumption upon which it can be issued is if it were issuable at common law; and it is also conceded that, if the right to issue it existed at common law, the power of the court to exercise that right is not expressly taken away by statute. Code of Civil Procedure, § 2120; Matter of Fitch, 147 N. Y. 334, 41 N. E. 699; People ex rel. Mayor v. Nichols, 79 N. Y. 582, 588.

[2] If, under the statute quoted, the act of removal is solely an executive act, it is unreviewable. People ex rel. Kennedy v. Brady, 166 N. Y. 44, 47, 59 N. E. 701. If it is judicial in its character, it "is subject to review by a writ of certiorari issued by the Supreme Court in the exercise of its superintending power over inferior tribunals and persons exercising judicial functions.” People ex rel. The Mayor v. Nichols, supra. Where a statute makes no provision for a hearing, but confers the power of removal, subject to no limitation, except the requirement that the reasons therefor be stated in writing and filed, and an opportunity for explanation given, the act of removal is executive. People ex rel. Kennedy v. Brady, supra. Similar determinations were made where the mayor of a city was authorized to remove a police commissioner "for any cause deemed sufficient to himself," and where no hearing was provided by express language (People ex rel. Gere v. Whitlock, 92 N. Y. 191, 198), and in a case where the statute

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"If a charge be made by any person against any member of the police force that he is incompetent or has been guilty of neglect of duty, misconduct in his office, or of conduct unbecoming a police officer, the charge must be put in writing in the form required by the rules of the police department and a copy thereof must be served upon the accused officer. It is then the duty of the commissioner to hear, try and determine the charge according to the rules of the police department.

If the accused officer shall be found guilty of the charge made against him, the commissioner may

dismiss him from the police force.

The decision of the commissioner shall be final and conclusive and not subject to review by any court.” People ex rel. Graveline v. Ham, 59 App. Div. 314, 69 N. Y. Supp. 683; People ex rel. Miller v. Peck, 73 App. Div. 89, 76 N. Y. Supp. 328.

[3] Where a statute requires, before removal, as it does in this case, written charges, a hearing thereof, sworn testimony reduced to writing, and judgment as to the sufficiency of the testimony to warraut removal, provision is made for a proceeding judicial in character.

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People ex rel. Weston v. McClave, 123 N. Y. 512; People ex rel.
Mayor v. Nichols, supra. In People ex rel. Hayes v. Waldo, 212 N.
Y. 156, 170, 105 N. E. 961,966, the court said:

"When by statute or by implication of law the power of removal can only be exercised for cause or after a hearing the proceeding, although an exercise of an administrative power is judicial in its nature, and as a necessary consequence it is subject to review by certiorari,"

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Such provision for a hearing imports written charges specifically alleging substantial cause for removal, reasonable notice of the hearing, permission to cross-examine witnesses called to sustain the charges, an opportunity to be heard and to produce witnesses in defense, and a just judgment. People ex rel. Mayor v. Nichols, supra; Matter of Reddy, 148 App. Div. 725, 727, 132 N. Y. Supp. 937.

The defendant asserts that, in the statutes heretofore considered in decisions pronouncing removal proceedings judicial in character, the words "for cause," or some words of similar import, appeared, and that the omission of such words from this statute is significant, and fatal to the contention of the relator. We disagree with him. To agree with him would render meaningless the requirement that written charges be preferred and that a hearing be conducted with prescribed judicial incidents. Some of the citations we have made show that when the Legislature intended to provide for a hearing simply to enlighten the judgment and satisfy the conscience of the removing power it clearly manifested its design, and when it wished to leave the power of removal untrammeled by a proceeding for judicial review it was not less happy in lucidity of expression.

The mayor has not unlimited discretion, without the guidance of evidence or law. He cannot act capriciously or arbitrarily. He must act in accordance with the established practice in such hearings. His judgment must be based upon sufficient evidence of the existence of some actual and substantial cause for removal from public office. We conclude that the statute accorded the relators the right of a judicial hearing and that the determination of the mayor is subject to review.

[4] The remaining question is: Should the determination be confirmed? The relators were charged with conducting the hearing of charges against the health officer of the city in an inefficient and improper manner, rendering the proceedings a farce and tending to bring ridicule and reproach upon the city government. They were specifically charged with permitting the counsel for the accused to travesty the proceedings by boisterous and flippant conduct, and to insult, during its course, one of the commissioners and the mayor himself, who was present as a witness, by addressing them opprobriously.

The relators were authorized to remove the health officer for cause. Chapter 559, § 385, Laws 1910. They were examining charges against him when the offense with which they were charged was committed. Assuming, without deciding, that a cause for removal from office was stated in the written charges, the relators, nevertheless, were entitled to a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to a reasonable time within which to produce witnesses in their defense.

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