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TIME OF TAKING EFFECT.
§ 104. When silent as to commence- | § 108, 109. Constitutional regula
§ 104. When silent as to commencement.- When no other time is fixed a statute takes effect from the date of its passage — from the date of the last act necessary to complete the process of legislation and to give a bill the force of law.1 When approved by the executive the act of approval is the last act, and the date of it is the date of passage of the act.2 If passed after a veto, the date of the final vote is the date of passage. When a bill becomes a law by the non-action of the executive, under constitutional regulations, the non-action of the executive is a quasi approval, not complete until the lapse
1 Matthews v. Zane, 7 Wheat. 164, 211; Louisville v. Savings Bank, 104 U. S. 469; Johnson v. Merchandise, 2 Paine, 601; The Brig Ann, 1 Gall. 61; Heard v. Heard, 8 Ga. 380; Fairchild v. Gwynne, 14 Abb. Pr. 121; Baker v. Compton, 52 Tex. 252; Temple v. Hays, Morris (Ia.), 12; In re Richardson, 2 Story, 571; Roe v. Hersey, 3 Wils. 275; Leschi v. Washington T'y, 1 Wash. T. 13; Rathbone v. Bradford, 1 Ala. (N. S.) 312; Adm'r of Weatherford v. Weatherford, 8 Port. 171; People v. Clark, 1 Cal. 406; State v. Click, 2 Ala. 26; Taylor v. State, 26 Ala. 283; Mobile R. R. Co. v. State, 29 id. 573; Branch Bank v. Mur
phy, 8 id. 119; Dyer v. State, Meigs, 237; Logan v. State, 3 Heisk. 442; Day v. McGinnis, 1 id. 310; Dowling v. Smith, 9 Md. 242; Smets v. Weathersbee, R. M. Charlt. 537; Goodsell v. Boynton, 2 Ill. 555; Tarlton v. Peggs, 18 Ind. 24; West v. Creditors, 1 La Ann. 365; Parkinson v. State, 14 Md. 184; State v. Bank, 12 Rich. L. 609; Bassett v. United States, 2 Ct. of Cl. 448.
2 Gardner v. The Collector, 6 Wall 499; Louisville v. Savings Bank, 104 U. S. 469; Mead v. Bagnall, 15 Wis. 156; Smets v. Weathersbee, R. M. Charlt. 537; Risewick v. Davis, 19 Md. 82.
of the time prescribed for his affirmative action under the given conditions.
In the absence of evidence of the precise time when ap proved, an act operates during the whole of the day of approval. The constitution of Tennessee provides that no act shall become a law until, among other things which are legislative, it "be signed by the respective speakers." This signing, though thus made essential, is held not to fix the date of passage; not being legislative but ministerial in its nature, when it has been performed, the act by relation takes effect from the conclusion of the proceeding which is legislative.3
When no future date is fixed, the act takes effect immediately; no time is allowed for publication. There would be hardship if all acts were left so to take effect. The reason of the rule was well stated by Mr. Doddridge, of counsel, in Matthews v. Zane: "It being practically impossible actually to notify every person in the community of the passage of a law, whatever day might be appointed for its taking effect, no general rule could be adopted less exceptionable. The general rule may, in some instances, produce hardship; but if ignorance of the law was admitted as an excuse, too wide a door would be left open for the breach of it." Where statutes are liable to produce injustice by taking immediate effect, the legislature will, except through inadvertence, appoint a future day from whence they are to be in force. Blackstone, after treating of the promulgation of laws, and the duty of legislatures to make them public, says, "all laws should therefore be made to commence in futuro, and be notified before their commencement, which is implied in the term prescribed."5
I Mallory v. Hiles, 4 Met. (Ky.) 53; Matter of Carrier, 13 Bankr. Reg. 208; Whitehead v. Wells, 29 Ark. 99.
2 Art. II, sec. 18.
3 Lewis v. Woodfolk, 58 Tenn. 25. 47 Wheat. 179.
51 Black. Com. 45; 1 Kent's Com. 458; Ship Cotton Planter, 1 Paine, 23; Cross v. Harrison, 16 How. 196. See Lessee of Albertson v. Robeson, 1 Dall. 9. Yeates, J., in Morgan v. Stell, 5 Bin. 318, gave this statement of the case: Albertson, claiming certain
lands by descent in Bucks county, brought an ejectment against Robeson for their recovery. The title of the land was clearly shown to have been at one time in the ancestor of the lessee of the plaintiff; but at a subsequent period the lands were decreed to the defendant by this court, in pursuance of certain chancery powers delegated to them by an old act of assembly. The royal assent was refused to this law in England, and it so happened that the repeal precedes
§ 105. Acts of parliament formerly took effect from the first day of the session.- By the common law the parliament roll being the exclusive record of statutes, and no other date appearing than that of the beginning of the session, laws took effect from that date, when no other was provided by the act. Until the statute of 33 Geo. III., ch. 13, there was no indorsement on the roll of the day on which the bills received the royal assent, and all acts passed in the same session were considered as having received the royal assent on the same day, and were referred to the first day of the session. By the statute of 33 Geo. III. it was provided that a certain parliamentary officer should indorse on every act of parliament "the day, month and year when the same shall have passed and shall have received the royal assent; and such indorsement shall be taken to be a part of such act, and to be the date of its commencement, where no other commencement shall be therein provided."
$106. The actual date of passage adopted in this country. The injustice of permitting laws to have retroactive effect by relation is so manifest that it has not had much countenance in the United States. Without departing from the rule, except by constitutional direction, that the legislative record is conclusive, statutes have not generally had effect from any date prior to their actual passage. The fiction that all laws are enacted on the first day of the legislative session is not adopted. The actual date either appears in pursuance of legislative and executive practice upon the statute itself, or it is otherwise shown by official records; and this date is popularly known and judicially recognized.
In North Carolina the fiction appears to be recognized as part of the common law, and all laws take effect by relation. from the first day of the session.2 Courts are bound ex officio
the decree of the court above two months, but the repeal was not known here when the decree was made. The court determined, upon full argument, that the unknown repeal could not affect the right of the defendant under the decree, and the jury found accordingly, and the decision gave general satisfaction to the profession.
1 Rex v. Justices of Middlesex, 2 Barn. & Ad. 818; Panter v. Att'y General, 6 Brown, P. C. 486; Latless v. Holmes, 4 T. R. 660; Partridge v. Strange, 1 Plow. 79; King v. Thurston, 1 Lev. 91; Bac. Abr. title Statute, C.; 1 Kent's Com. 456.
2 Hamlet v. Taylor, 5 Jones' L 36; Weeks v. Weeks, 5 Ired. Eq. 111; S. C. 47 Am. Dec. 358. See
to take notice as well of the time when public acts go into operation as of their provisions. Statutes of the same session passed on different days are not to be regarded as having effect from the same day because they pertain to the same subject. 107. The legislature may fix a future day for an act to take effect. The power to enact laws includes the power, subject to constitutional restrictions, to provide when in the future, and upon what conditions or event, they shall take effect. Where a particular time for the commencement of a statute is appointed, it only begins to have effect and to speak from that time, unless a different intention is manifest, and will speak and operate from the beginning of that day." Where the provisions of a revising statute are to take effect at a future period, and the statute contains a clause repealing the former statute upon the same subject, the repealing clause will not take effect until the other provisions come into operation. The period between the passage of a law and the time of its going into effect is allowed to enable the public to become acquainted with its provisions; but until it becomes a law, they are not compelled to govern their actions by it. Thus, an act which was to go into effect at a future day, established new periods of time for the limitation of actions. It was held not applicable to a case having several years to run where the act would be
Boston v. Cummins, 60 Am. Dec. 717, Gen. 6 Brown, P. C. 486; Dean v. King, 722; S. C. 16 Ga. 102.
1 State v. Foote, 11 Wis. 14.
2 Taylor v. State, 31 Ala. 383; Metropolitan Board v. Schmades, 10 Abb. Pr. (N. S.) 205.
3 People v. Salomon, 51 Ill. 37; New Orleans v. Holmes, 13 La. Ann. 502; Carpenter v. Montgomery, 7 Blackf. 415; Gorham v. Springfield, 21 Me. 58; Cooper v. Curtis, 30 id. 488; Parkinson v. State, 14 Md. 184.
4 Bac. Abr. tit. Statutes, C.; Rice v. Ruddiman, 10 Mich. 125; Price v. Hopkin, 13 Mich. 318; Gilkey v. Cook, 60 Wis. 133; Jackman v. Garland, 64 Me. 133; Swann v. Buck, 40 Miss. 305; Grinad v. State, 34 Ga. 270; Fairchild v. Gwynne, 14 Abb. Pr. 121; Latless v. Holmes, 4 T. R. 660; Panter v. Att'y
13 Ired. L. 20; Wheeler v. Chubbuck, 16 Ill. 361; Boston v. Cummins, 16 Ga. 102; S. C. 60 Am. Dec. 717; Evansville, etc. R. R. Co. v. Barbee, 74 Ind. 169; Larrabee v. Talbott, 5 Gill, 426; Charless v. Lamberson, 1 Iowa, 435; Davenport v. Railroad Co. 37 id. 624; Wohlscheid v. Bergrath, 46 Mich. 46. See Fosdick v. Perrysburg, 14 Ohio St. 472; Town of Fox v. Town of Kendall, 97 Ill. 72, 75. Upon the enactment of a new penalty for an offense, the former penalty is not superseded until the statute prescribing the new penalty takes effect. Grinad v. State, supra.
5 Rice v. Ruddiman, 10 Mich. 125. "Spaulding v. Alford, 1 Pick. 33.
a bar the moment it took effect. It could not operate to put the party on diligence before it went into operation. As it gave him no future time after it became a law, it was inoperative as to that case. The exception of injuries "already sustained" in a statute is to be construed as spoken when it took effect.2
The terms "heretofore" and "hereafter" will be construed as spoken at the time the act takes effect. The bankrupt law enacted on the 19th day of August, 1841, was provided to take effect only from and after February 1, 1842. This was equiv alent to declaring that it should have no effect until that day, and hence it did not suspend the operation of the state insolvent laws until that day.*
If a particular day is named for an act to take effect, but it is not approved until after that day, its provisions, in terms prospective, will not have effect until after the date of approval. And if the main and principal clause of an act is to come into operation from a day named, the other subsidiary clauses may also be held to commence from that day, though it be not so expressed, if it would be inconvenient that they should commence from the passing of the act."
Where a general statute provides that acts shall take effect at a specified day after the adjournment of the session, it will govern all future legislation unless there is some indication of a contrary purpose. Acquiescence in such a statute is presumed unless dissent is shown. It will govern private as well as public acts. An act may be brought into effect at an earlier day than that appointed in its provisions by an amendatory or supplemental act. Thus the Mississippi constitution provides that, if acts are silent on the time when they shall take effect, they shall go into effect sixty days after their passage. After an original act a supplemental act was passed which provided that it go into effect immediately. This provision was held to embrace and give immediate effect to the original act. A 4 Larrabee v. Talbott, 5 Gill, 426. 5 Burn v. Carvalho, 4 Nev. & M. 893.
1 Price v. Hopkins, supra. But see Hedger v. Rennaker, 3 Met. (Ky.) 255; Stine v. Bennett, 13 Minn. 153; Smith v. Morrison, 22 Pick. 430.
2 Jackman v. Garland, 64 Me. 133. 3 Evansville, etc. R. R. Co. v. Barbee, 59 Ind. 592; S. C. 74 id. 171.
6 Whitborn v. Evans, 2 East, 135.
6 Cooper v. Curtis, 30 Me. 488.
9 West F. R. R. Co. v. Johnson, 5