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90. A title too general to answer the purpose intended, or otherwise misleading, will vitiate the act.-A title so general as practically to conceal the subject of the statute, or a false or delusive title, will be treated as not constitutionally framed, and the act held void. An act "to legalize and authorize the assessment of street improvements and assessments" was held void for undue generality in not mentioning the place where it was intended to operate. It was a local act, and yet it did not name the city to which it applied.2 So an act "to regulate a road in the town of Palatine, Montgomery county," was held to conceal its true subject and to be false and delusive. The following acts, as entitled, received the same construction: An act to fix the salaries of the officers of a particular city, and confined to that city in its provisions, but entitled "An act to fix and regulate the salaries of city officers in cities of this state." An act legalizing by its provisions a lottery scheme for a private partnership, under the title of "An act to establish the Mobile Charitable Association for the benefit of the common school fund of Mobile county, without distinction of color." A supplement to a railroad charter providing for extension of its track into a new territory under a clause in the title "to lay additional tracks." 6
The case of Anderson v. Hill' involves an act with a misleading title. The title of the act is "to provide for the straightening or otherwise deepening the channel of the Dowagiac river in Van Buren county." There were three sections in the act. They authorized either or both of the two named townships in Van Buren county to vote money to be raised by tax, and the expenditure of it "for such river improvements." It was held unconstitutional in part on the ground 1 People v. Allen, 42 N. Y. 404.
2 Durkee v. City of Janesville, 26 Wis. 697. In Neuendorff v. Duryea, 69 N. Y. 557, an act by its provisions local to New York City was general in its title: "An act to preserve the public peace and order on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday." It was held sufficient to cover provisions prohibiting dramatic performances on that day, since the cessation of such entertainments was
one of the particulars going to make up the public peace and good order. 3 People v. Comm'rs of Highways, 53 Barb. 70.
Coutieri v. New Brunswick, 44 N. J. L. 58.
5 Moses v. Mayor, etc. 52 Ala. 198. 6 Union Passenger R'y Co.'s Appeal, 81* Pa. St. 91; West Phila. R. R. Co. v. Union R. R. Co. 9 Phila. 495. 754 Mich. 477.
that "the object" was not sufficiently stated in the title. The court say: "The state having the right to engage in and carry on works of internal improvement by the expenditure of grants to the state of lands, the obvious inference from the language of the title would be that the state proposed to provide for the straightening or deepening of the channel of the Dowagiac river by doing what they constitutionally could do, namely, by appropriating land for that purpose. This is the method she has provided for making her internal improvements since 1850. In view of the constitutional restriction, and the long course of practice pursued by the state in making internal improvements, would any one be justified in assuming that the language in the title of this act was intended to embrace the object of permitting the legal voters of the township of Decatur to vote a tax upon the taxable property of the township to aid the state in carrying on the work of straightening and deepening the channel of the Dowagiac river? Yet such was the real as well as the principal object of the act. Without this legislation the state possessed full power, acting under its state board of control of swamp lands, to make the improvement named in the title of the act. The state has never acted and has no occasion to act under the provisions of act No. 323 [the act in question]. The circuit court, however, finds as a fact, that the Dowagiac state ditch mentioned in the contract. [for work on the ditch entered into with the state] was the same improvement as that contemplated by the special act No. 323. If this be true, then clearly the object of the act was not expressed in the title and could not be otherwise than in some manner indicating that the object of the law was to authorize or enable the townships of Decatur and Hamilton to aid the state in straightening or deepening the channel of the Dowagiac river in the county of Van Buren. As well might an act to authorize the construction of a railroad from one point to another include provisions for municipalities along its route to vote aid in its construction, without violating the constitution." 1
§ 91. The title should accompany a bill in its passage through the legislature. It is during the passage of a bill that its title is intended by the constitution to impart informa
1 See Brooks v. Hydorn, 76 Mich. 273; State v. Com'rs, 41 Kan. 630.
tion to the public and to members of the legislature of the general subject of legislation. To effectuate that intent the title should accompany the bill in all its stages through the process of enactment. As stated by Simonton, P. J.: "If a bill can be passed with a title which does not denote its subject, and after its passage the title can be amended so as for the first time to express its purpose, the constitutional provision is of little value." Only such portions of a bill as were included in the subject as expressed in the title when it passed the two houses, and when approved by the governor,3 will acquire the force of law. A mere clerical mistake or a mere clerical change, not altering the sense of the title, will be disregarded.'
§ 92. Title and subject-matter liberally construed to sustain legislation. In cases not clearly within the mischief intended to be remedied by requiring the subject-or object of an act to be single and expressed in the title, legislation will not be adjudged void on any nice or hypercritical interpretation. Sound policy and legislative convenience dictate a liberal construction of the title and subject-matter of statutes to
1 Commonwealth v. Martin, 107 Pa. St. 185. In Attorney-General v. Rice, 64 Mich. 385, it appeared that to an act to organize the township of Ironwood, in the county of Ontonagon, it was objected that it had been substituted after the time for introducing new bills had expired for a skeleton bill entitled "An act to organize the township of Au Train;" that therefore the title of the bill as introduced did not express the object of the act as passed. The court say: "We cannot extend the provisions of the constitution beyond its express terms in this respect. If the object of the act as passed is fully expressed in its title, the form or status of such title at its introduction, or during any of the stages of legislation before it becomes a law, is immaterial. To hold otherwise would, in many cases, prevent any alteration or amendment of a bill after its introduction, as, in
legislative practice, it frequently be-
Stein v. Leeper, 78 Ala. 517.
4 Plummer v. People, 74 Ill. 361; People v. Supervisors, 16 Mich. 254. 5 See ante, § 82.
6 Gillitt v. McCarthy, 34 Minn. 318; St. Louis v. Green, 7 Mo. App. 468; Supervisors v. Heenan, 2 Minn. 330; People v. Parks, 58 Cal. 635.
maintain their validity; infraction of this constitutional clause must be plain and obvious to be recognized as fatal. The subject of an act may be expressed generally in the title,' or spelled out from details, and occasionally from details which are independent and unconnected except through some general subject as cousins german are related through a common ancestor. An act in relation to grading Eighth avenue in a city was held a subject broad enough for provisions to make the grade of intersecting streets conform to the altered grade of that avenue. An act, among other things, for "laying out" certain portions of a city, and to provide means therefor, might contain provisions for opening streets. In so ruling the court say: "The words 'laying out' must be interpreted in a broad and liberal sense, . and may be regarded as covering the opening for without such opening the laying out would be of no avail. An act to imdeninify the owners of sheep in case of damage committed by dogs," properly contained a provision imposing a license fee upon the owners and keepers of dogs; and an act "to regulate the foreclosure of real estate," a provision that the right of redemption might be waived, as well as provisions to otherwise regulate rights of redemption from sales under executions, judgments, orders or decrees of courts, and under mortgages by advertisement; an act "for the registration of all adult persons in each county," a provision that whenever it should be necessary to ascertain the number of adult persons with a view to any action by county commissioners or other county officers, the list
1 Ante, § 88.
Attorney-General v. Joy, 55 Mich. 94; State v. Young, 47 Ind. 150; Bitters v. Board, etc. 81 Ind. 125; State v. Board, etc. 26 Ind. 522; State v. Miller, 45 Mo. 495; State v. Bowers, 14 Ind. 195; Lauer v. State, 22 Ind. 461; In re Dept. Pub. Parks, 86 N. Y. 437; People v. Ins. Co. 19 Mich. 392; Garvin v. State, 13 Lea, 162; Neifing v. Town of Pontiac, 56 Ill. 172; People v. Banks, 67 N. Y. 568; Ramagnano v. Crook, 85 Ala. 226; Burnside v. Lincoln Co. Court, 86 Ky. 423; Indianapolis v. Huegele, 115 Ind. 581.
3 In re Blodgett, 27 Hun, 12.
4 In re Dept. Pub. Parks, ¿6 N. Y. 437.
5 Cole v. Hall, 103 Ill. 30.
6 Atkinson v. Duffy, 16 Minn. 49. In Tuttle v. Strout, 7 id. 465, under an act "for a homestead exemption," exemptions of personal property having no special connection with land occupied as a homestead were sustained. Such provisions would appear clearly beyond the scope of the title.
7 Gillitt v. McCarthy, 34 Minn. 318.
on file should be taken as conclusive on that subject.' An act "to repeal all existing laws, rules and provisions of law restricting or controlling the right of a party to agree with an attorney, solicitor or counselor for his compensation, and to more accurately fix and determine the costs to be allowed to the prevailing parties in suits at law in the circuit court," contained provisions for the taxation of costs in suits at law, including attorneys' fees, and also permitting parties to suits to make such private arrangements with their attorneys for carrying on suits as they might agree upon. The court held that the object of the act was to settle and declare the law of compensation for skill and services in suits at law in the cir cuit court, and was not multifarious. Acts entitled to regulate the sale of intoxicating liquor will justify provisions against giving it away to consumers. An act "to regulate the sale of opium and suppress opium dens" was held sufficient to cover provisions forbidding a sale or gift of opium to any one but a druggist or practicing physician, except on the prescription of a practicing physician. Expenses may be provided for under a title relating to "debts." An act with a general title for relief of a named railroad company was held properly to have authorized the extension of its tracks through certain streets and avenues of a city, and to consolidate with any other company and thus to form a new one; that an act for relief of a railroad company must be one to remove some restriction upon its powers, or to give it greater powers." Though a title be broad it will be restrained by construction to lawful purposes. An act "to authorize the town of P. to raise money to construct a dock" was held broad enough for provisions to maintain it afterwards and to collect wharfage.
1 Eureka v. Davis, 21 Kan. 580. 2 Inkster v. Carver, 16 Mich. 484. In Howland Coal & Iron Works v. Brown, 13 Bush, 681, it was held that an act professing by its title to provide for establishing a criminal court is not so restricted by this title that the body of the act may not confer also some other than criminal jurisdiction. The opinion construes the word criminal as merely part of the name of the court, and being so used
does not preclude conferring in part civil jurisdiction.
3 Parkinson v. State, 14 Md. 184; Williams v. State, 48 Ind. 306.
4 Ex parte Yung Jon, 28 Fed. Rep. 308. 5 State v. State Auditor, 32 La. Ann. 89.
6 In re Prospect Park, etc. R. R. Co. 67 N. Y. 371.
7 Allor v. Board, etc. 43 Mich. 76. Town of Pelham v. Woolsey, 16 Fed. Rep. 418.