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itself. It is a matter of notoriety, and will be taken notice of as part of the law of nations acknowledged by all."

The proof should be made on the trial; foreign statutes cannot be first produced in the appellate court. Foreign laws

? which have been promulgated as such by our government, or officially procured pursuant to statute for judicial reference or evidentiary purposes, may be read in evidence without other verification. A printed volume of foreign laws proved by witnesses to contain the statutes of a foreign state or country, or to have received in the home country the sanction of the executive and judicial officers as containing its laws, is admissible. The proof of foreign laws has been facilitated by statutes in the different states by making publications purporting to be by authority self-proving Congress has provided a mode of proof, and such proof is sufficient though the state statute may require more, but it is not exclusive of other methods.

In Taylor v. Bank of Illinois 10 the court reached the conclusion in which the authorities generally agree: “if certified according to the act of congress they must be admitted, and if certified or authenticated according to state provisions they


1 Robinson v. Gilman, 20 Me. 299; 447; Dalrymple v. Dalrymple, 2 Hagg. Lincoln V. Battelle, 6 Wend. 475; Consist. R. 81; Jones v. Maffet, 5 S. & Norris Peake (ed. 1824 from 5th Lon- R. 528; Brush v. Wilkins, 4 Johns. Ch. don ed. 109, 110, note); Henry v. 506; People v. Calder, 30 Mich. 87. Adey, 3 East, 222; U. S. v. Johns, 4 6 Cummins v. State, 12 Tex. App. Dall. 412, 416.

121; Ellis v. Wiley, 17 Tex. 134; May 2 Munroe v. Guilleaume, 3 Keyes, V. Jameson, 11 Ark. 368; Dixon v. 30; Belleville S. Bank v. Richardi, 56 Thatcher, 14 id. 141; Foster v. TayMich. 453.

lor, 2 Overt. 190; Allen v. Watson, 2 3 Talbot v. Seeman, 1 Cranch, 38; Hill (S. C.), 319; Smoot v. Fitzhugh, Flanigen v. Washington Ins. Co. 7 9 Port. 72; Clanton v. Barnes, 50 Ala. Pa. St. 306.

260; Biddis v. James, 6 Binn. 321. 4 Cox v. Robinson, 2 Stew. & Port. 17 Sec. 905, R. S. U.S. 96; Biddis v. James, 6 Binn. 321; 9 Ansley v. Meikle, 81 Ind. 260; Munroe v. Guilleaume, 3 Keyes, 30. Uhler v. Semple, 20 N. J. Eq. 288.

5 Owen v. Boyle, 15 Me. 147; Bur- 9 Poindexter V. Barker, 2 Hayw, ton v. Anderson, 1 Tex. 93; Lacon v. 173; Thompson v. Musser, 1 Dall. 402; Higgins, 3 Stark. 178; Herschfeld v. Hanrick V. Andrews, 9 Port 9; Dexel, 12 Ga. 582; Emery v. Berry, 28 Smoot v. Fitzhugh, 9 Port. 72; WilN. H. 486; Foster v. Taylor, 2 Overt. son v. Smith, 5 Yerg. 379. 190; Sussex Peerage ('ase, 11 CL & 107 T. B. Mon. 576. But see State v. Fin. 85; Barrows v. Downs, 9 R. I Twitty, 2 Hawkes, 441.

may be admitted without contravening the laws of the Union.” The foreign unwritten law, and the construction of statutes, may be proved by parol — by expert witnesses.

$191. A decision of the highest judicial tribunal of a foreign state construing one of its statutes is to be received elsewhere as an authoritative exposition. Nor is its weight or authority affected by the fact that it was made after the occurrence of the transaction in question, or after the departure from the state of the person affected by it.?

$ 192. The functions of the court and jury in regard to foreign laws.— Foreign statutes, though to be proved as facts, do not necessarily require a jury to determine the question of their existence. If proved by a sworn copy, doubtless the

1 Walker v. Forbes, 31 Ala. 9; Dyer v. Morrison, 4 Pet. 124; Cathcart v. v. Smith, 12 Conn. 384; People v. Robinson, 5 Pet. 264; Green v. Neal, Calder, 30 Mich. 85; People v. Lam- 6 Pet. 291 ; Walker v. Forbes, 31 Ala. 9; bert, 5 id. 349; Consolidated, etc. Co. Davidson v. Sharpe, 6 Ired. 14; Inge v. Cashow, 41 Md. 59; 1 Whart. on v. Murphy, 10 Ala. 885; Peake v. YelEv. SS 305-308; Roberts' Will, Mat- dell, 17 Ala. 636; Hanrick v. Andrews, ter of, 8 Paige, 446; Vander Donckt 9 Port. 9; American P. W. v. Lawv. Thelluson, 8 C. B. 812; Merrifield rence, 23 N. J. L. 590; Johnston v. v. Robbins, 8 Gray, 150; Woodstock Bank, 3 Strob. Eq. 263; Powell v. De v. Hooker, 6 Conn. 35; Hale v. N. J. Blane, 23 Tex. 66. See Peck v. Pease, St. Nav. Co. 15 id. 539; Emery v. 5 McLean, 486; Dwight v. RichardBerry, 28 N. H. 453; Bristow v. Seque- son, 12 S. & M. 325; Humphreyville ville, 5 Exch. 275; Kenny v. Clarkson, Cop. Co. v. Sterling, 1 Brun. Col. Cas. 3. 1 John. 385; Tyler v. Trabue, 8 B. 3 Bock v. Lauman, 24 Pa. St. 435. Mon. 306; Baltimore, etc. R. R. Co. v. Lowrie, J., said: “Are we excluded Glenn, 28 Md. 287; Wilson v. Carson, from looking at the laws of another 12 id. 54.

state where they have not been found 2 Bloodgood v. Grasey, 31 Ala. 575; as a matter of fact? We think not. Elmendorf v. Taylor, 10 Wheat. 152; The rule of international law, shortly Shelby v. Guy, 11 id. 367; McRae v. expressed in the maxim locus regit Mattoon, 13 Pick.53; Sidney v. White, actum, is a part of our law, and it 12 Ala. 728; Raynham v. Canton, 3 requires us to go abroad for the law Pick. 293; Mutual Ass. Society v. by which the efficacy of this contract Watts, 1 Wheat. 279; Polk v. Wen- is to be tested. That rule acquired an dal, 9 Cr. 87; Penobscot R. R. v. increase of sanction by the union of Bartlett, 12 Gray, 244; Cragin v. the states; it is involved in the conLamkin, 7 Allen, 395; Blanchard v. stitutional declaration that “full faith Russell, 13 Mass. 1 ; Botanic Med. Col- and credit shall be given in each state lege v. Atchinson, 41 Miss. 188; Saul to the public acts, records and judicial v. His Creditors, 5 Martin (N. S.), 569; proceedings of every other state ;” McKeen v. De Lancy, 5 Cr. 22; Gard- it receives at least a partial expression ner v. Collins, 2 Pet. 85; United States in the judiciary act of 1789, section

evidence would go to a jury.' But if proved by an exemplification, or by reading from a book published by authority, the court would decide not only the admissibility but the effect of the proof. The home construction of a foreign statute is provable by parol, and if so proved as a fact, is to be found by a jury. The published official reports of decisions showing such home construction are held to be admissible evidence. When the evidence admitted consists entirely of a statute or judicial opinions, the question of construction and effect is for the court alone. If a foreign statute be proved, but no evidence given of any peculiar home construction, the court will construe it by the settled rules of construction, or as similar statutes of the state where the court sits are construed.

34, declaring that the laws of the Carson, 12 id. 54; Bristow v. Sequeseveral states should be taken as rules ville, 5 Ex. 275 and note; Penobscot, of decision in the United States courts etc. R. R. Co. v. Bartlett, 12 Gray, 244; in cases where they apply; and many Ames v. McCamber, 124 Mass. 85; clauses of the constitution cannot Craigin v. Lamkin, 7 Allen, 395; have their full effect as laws unless De Sobry v. De Laistre, 2 Har. & J. we take judicial notice of the insti- 191, 229. See Gardner v. Lewis, 7 Gill, tutions of sister states.

377. “It is commonly said that foreign 4 Charlotte v. Chouteau, 33 Mo. 194; law is matter of fact, and so generally Kingsley v. Kingsley, 20 nl. 203; it is, but not necessarily to be found Kline v. Baker, 99 Mass. 253; Andrews by the jury. If a state law comes to v. Hoxie, 5 Tex. 171; McDeed v. us certified under the seal of the state, McDeed, 67 III. 548. Contra, Gardner it comes to us as a fact in the first v. Lewis, 7 Gill, 377. instance; but then we need no jury 5 Kline v. Baker, 99 Mass. 253; to establish its existence and its char- Ely v. James, 123 id. 36; Hale v. acter. There may very often be cases New J. St. Nav. Co. 15 Conn. 539; in which a jury is necessary for this Lockwood v. Crawford, 18 Conn. 361 ; purpose, but our knowledge is not Charlotte v. Chouteau, 33 Mo. 194; necessarily dependent on their ver- Cecil Bank v. Barry, 20 Md. 287; Peodict." See Barkman v. Hopkins, 6 ple v. Lambert, 5 Mich. 349; Inge v. Eng. (Ark.) 157.

Murphy, 10 Ala. 885, 897; Sidwell v. ild.

Evans, 1 Pen. & W.383, 388; De Sobry 2 Id; Willard v. Conduit, 10 Tex. v. De Laistre, 2 Har. & J. 191; Ennis 213.

v. Smith, 14 How. 400; Church v. 3 Kline v. Baker, 99 Mass, 253; Hol- Hubbart, 2 Cranch, 187; Di Sora v. man v. King, 7 Met. 384; Dyer v. Phillips, 10 H. L. Cas. 624; Bremer Smith, 12 Conn. 381; Moore v. Gwynn, v. Freeman, 10 Moore, P. C. 306; 5 Ired. 187; Ingraham v. Hart, 11 Owen v. Boyle, 15 Me. 147; Warnick Ohio, 255; Baltimore, etc. R. R. Co. v. v. Grosholz, 3 Grant's Cases, 234. Glenn, 28 Md. 323; Consolidated, etc. 6 Smith v. Bartram, 11 Ohio St. (o. v. Cashow, 41 id. 60; Wilson v. 690.

$ 193. Private statutes.- A general or public statute is a universal rule that regards the whole community; is of public concern; the courts take judicial notice of it. On the other hand, private statutes operate only on particular persons and private concerns; the courts do not take notice of them without proof; when relied on they have to be pleaded and proved.' Acts may be local and special, immediately designed to affect only a part of the territory or people under the jurisdiction of the law-making power, and temporary in duration, and yet be public because being intended for a public object. Thus, acts for the establishment of a local government, a village or city, being for public purposes; or fixing or amending the boundaries of a city or county;t establishing or changing the county seat;' to organize corporations for canals, railroads or turnpikes, when they contain provisions affecting the general public;“ or authorizing particular municipalities to contribute aid for such enterprises, — are, in this country, public acts. Here the tendency has been to enlarge the limits of public statutes, and to bring within them all enactinents of a general character, or which in any way affect the community at large.



11 Black. Com. 86; People v. 508; New Portland v. New Vineyard, Wright, 70 Ill. 388; State v. Cham- 16 Me. 69; West v. Blake, 4 Blackf. bers, 93 N. C. 600; Meshke v. Van 234; State v. Jackson, 39 Me. 291; Doren, 16 Wis. 319.

Ross v. Reddick, 2 Ill. 73. 2 Unity v. Burrage, 103 U. S. 447; 5 State ex rel. v. Lean, 9 Wis. 279. Allen v. Hirsch, 8 Oregon, 412; Burn- 6 Jenkins v. Union Turnpike Co. 1 ham v. Acton, 35 How. Pr. 48; 1 Cai. Cases, 86; Proprietors of FryeKent's Com. 459; City of Covington burg Canal v. Frye, 5 Me. 38; Att'yv. Voskotter, 80 Ky. 219.

General v. Erie, etc. R. R. Co.55 Mich. 3 People v. Wright, 70 Ill. 388; 21. Clark v. Janesville, 10 Wis. 136; 1 Unity v. Burrage, 103 U. S. 447. Mason v. Mulholn, 6 Dana, 140; See Clark v. Janesville, 10 Wis. 136. Pierce v. Kimball, 9 Me. 54, 56; Hal- 8 Unity v. Burrage, 103 U. S. 447; bert v. Skyles, 1 A. K. Marsh. 369; Van Boyle, In re, 9 Wis. 261; Yellow R. Swartow v. Commonwealth, 24 Pa. Improv't Co. v. Arnold, 46 Wis. 214; St. 131; Burnham v. Webster, 5 Mass. State v. Chambers, 93 N. C. 600; Price 266; Ellis v. Commissioners, 2 Gray, v. White, 27 Mo. 275 ; Bretz v. Mayor, 378; Burhop v. Milwaukee, 21 Wis. etc. 6 Rob. 325; McLain v. Mayor, 257. See King v. Burridge, 3 P. Wms. etc. 3 Daly, 32; West v. Blake, 4 496; Gorham v. Springfield, 21 Me. Blackf. 234; Bevens v. Baxter, 23 58; Prell v. McDonald, 7 Kan. 420. Ark. 387; State v. Judges, 21 Ohio

4 Commonwealth v. Springfield, 7 St. 1; Kerrigan v. Force, 9 Hun, 185; Mass. 12; Stephenson v. Doe, 8 Blackf. Wright v. Hawkins, 28 Tex. 452.


An act authorizing a named person to construct a dam of a particular description for the purpose of improving the navigation of a river is a public statute. Acts for the incorporation of banks have been held public by reason of provisions affecting the general public, and other corporations. A penal act is public;' and the defining of an offense in an act otherwise private renders it a public act. An act authorizing a foreign private corporation to do business, and providing that it shall have an office and place of business in the state where the law is passed, and that such corporation may then sue and be sued like a domestic corporation, is a public act. The distinction between public and private acts defined in the common law of England by Blackstone is not quite the distinction recognized in this country. Here acts may be public though they are local and special, when they concern the public generally, though more particularly a local community or only a class of the general public — where they concern the class in distinction from the individual. Where a statute of a private nature is declared to be a public act, it will be treated as such and need not be pleaded nor proved. A statute amendatory of a public law is public.

$ 194. A private statute is one confined to a special case. 10 An act “to enable the Bishop of Canton to make a lease to A. B.” for an exceptional period is a fair example of a private statute. A statute enabling the local authorities of a particu

11 1 Calking v. Baldwin, 4 Wend. 667. 6 Fall Brook Coal Co. v. Lynch, 47

? Smith v. Strong, 2 Hill, 241; How. Pr. 520. Louisiana State Bank v. Flood, 3 i Commonwealth v. Worcester, 3 Mart. (N. S.) 341; Bank of Common- Pick. 473; Wales v. Belcher, id. 508; wealth v. Spilman, 3 Dana, 150; Bish. W. L. 8 42c; Wheeler v. PhilaYoung v. Bank of Alexandria, 4 Cr. delphia, 77 Pa. St. 338. 384; Bank of Utica v. Smedes, 3 Cow. 8 Brookville Ins. Co. v. Records, 5 684; Bank of Newberry v. Railroad Blackf. 170; Beaty v. Knowler, 4 Pet. Co. 9 Rich. 495.

152; Covington Drawbridge Co. v. 3 Portsmouth Livery Co. v. Watson, Shepherd, 20 How. 232; Bacon's Abr. 10 Mass. 91.

Statute, F. See Edenburgh R. R. v. 4 Burnham v. Acton, 35 How. Pr. 48. Wauchope, 8 Cl. & F. 710; Rogers'

5 Bacon's Abr. tit. Statutes, F.; Case, 2 Greenlf. 303. Heridia V. Ayers, 12 Pick. 344; 9 Unity v. Burrage, 103 U. S. 447; Burnham v. Webster, 5 Mass. 266; State v. Welch, 21 Minn. 22. Young v. Bank of Alexandria, 4 Cr. 10 Whart. Com, on Am. Law, SS 13, 384; Rogers' Case, 2 Greenlf. 303; 598. Rex v. Buggs, Skin. 428.

11 1 Black. Com. 86.

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