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cardinal purpose or intent of the whole act shall control, and that all the parts be interpreted as subsidiary and harmonious. They are to be brought into harmony, if possible, and so construed that no clause, sentence or word shall be void, superfluous or insignificant. But where a word in a statute would
' make the clause in which it occurs unintelligible, the word may be eliminated and the clause read without it. It would be mischievous to attempt to wrest such words from their proper and legal meaning merely because they are superfluous.”
§ 241. The intention of the whole act will control interpretation of the parts.- Words and clauses in different parts of a statute must be read in a sense which harmonizes with
(N. S.) 244; Edwards v. Dick, 4 B. & Fletcher, 104 Ind. 97; Keith v. QuinAld. 212; McIntyre v. Ingraham, 35 ney, 1 Oregon, 364. Miss. 25; State v. Judge, 12 La. Ann. Mayor v. Howard, 6 H. & J. 383; 777; Brewer v. Blougher, 14 Pet. 198; Martin V. O'Brien, 34 Miss. 21; State v. Mayor, 35 N. J. L. 196; Opin- United States v. Hawkins, 4 Martin ion of Justices, 7 Mass. 523; Catlin v. (N. S.), 317; City Bank v. Huie, 1 Rob. Hull, 21 Vt. 152; Ruggles v. Wash- (La.) 236 ; People v. Burns, 5 Mich. 114; ington Co. 3 Mo. 496; Monck v. Hils Potter v. Safford, 50 id. 46; Reithton, 2 Ex. Div. 268; Barber v. Waite, miller V. People, 44 id. 280, 284; 1 Ad. & E. 514; Helm v. Chapman, Brooks v. Mobile School Commission66 Cal. 291 ; Somerset v. Dighton, 12 ers, 31 Ala. 227; Kelly's Heirs v. Mass. 382; Whitney v. Whitney, 14 McGuire, 15 Ark. 555; Dunlap, Ex Mass. 88, 92; United States v. Saund- parte, 71 Ala. 93; Attorney-General ers, 22 Wall. 492; Negro Bell v. Jones, v. Detroit, etc. R. R. Co. 2 Mich. 138; 10 Md. 322; Brown v. G. W. R. Co. 9 Aldridge v. Mardoff, 32 Tex. 204; Q. B. Div. 750; Hill, Ex parte, 6 Ch. Green v. Cheek, 5 Ind. 105; Wilson Div. 63; Jone v. Water Com’rs, 34 v. Biscoe, 11 Ark. 44; Gates v. Mich. 273; Smith v. Philadelphia, 81 Salmon, 35 Cal. 576; State v. TurnPa. St. 38; Girard, etc. Co. v. Phila- pike Co. 16 Ohio St. 308, 320; Ceardelphia, 88 id. 393; United States v. foss v. State, 42 Md. 406; Brooks v. Jarvis, Davies, 274; Lion Ins. Asso. v. Hicks, 20 Tex. 666; Wilkinson v. LeTucker, 12 Q. B. Div. 186; Commer- land, 2 Pet. 627, 662; Taylor v. cial Bank v. Foster, 5 La. Ann. 516; Palmer, 31 Cal. 240; Howard v. MansNew Orleans v. Salamander Ins. Co. field, 30 Wis. 75; State ex rel. v. 25 La. Ann. 650; Bear Brothers v. Commissioners, etc. 34 Id. 162; CcmMarx, 63 Tex. 298; Wassell v. Tunnah, monwealth v. Intoxicating Liquors, 25 Ark. 101; Jefferys v. Boosey, 4 108 Mass. 19; Whipple v. Judge, 26 H. L. Cas. 815; Tonnele v. Hall, 4 Mich. 343. N. Y. 140; Big Black Creek, etc. Co. 2 Stone v. Yeovil, L. R. 1 C. P. Div. v. Commonwealth, 94 Pa. St. 450; 691. Ruggles v. Illinois, 108 U. S. 526; 3 Hough v. Windus, L. R. 12 Q. B. Lake v. Caddo Parish, 37 La. Ann. Div, 229. 788; Crawfordsville, etc. Co.
the subject matter and general purpose of the statute. No clearer statement has been or can be made of the law as to the dominating influence of the intention of a statute in the construction of all its parts than that which is found in Kent's Commentaries: “In the exposition of a statute the intention of the law-maker will prevail over the literal sense of the terms; and its reason and intention will prevail over the strict letter. When the words are not explicit the intention is to be collected from the context; from the occasion and necessity of the law; from the mischief felt, and the remedy in view; and the intention is to be taken or presumed according to what is consonant with reason and good discretion.”! If upon examination the general meaning and object of the statute be found inconsistent with the literal import of any particular clause or section, such clause or section must, if possible, be construed according to that purpose. But to warrant the change of the sense, according to the natural reading, to accommodate it to the broader or narrower import of the act, the intention of the legislature must be clear and manifest.” The application of particular provisions is not to be extended beyond the general scope of a statute, unless such extension is
a manifestly designed. Legislatures, like courts, must be considered as using expressions concerning the thing they have in hand; and it would not be a fair method of interpretation to apply their words to subjects not within their consideration, and which, if thought of, would have been more particularly and carefully disposed of. The mere literal construction ought not to prevail if it is opposed to the intention of the legislature apparent from the statute; and if the words are suffi
11 Kent's Com. 461; Jennings v. City v. Schellinger, 15 Phila. 50; ComLove, 24 Miss. 249; Harrison, Ex mercial Bank v. Foster, 5 La. Ann. parte, 4 Cow. 63; People v. Utica Ins. 516; Kelly's Heirs v. McGuire, 15 Co. 15 John. 358; Strode v. Stafford Ark. 555; Cearfoss v. State, 42 Md. Justices, 1 Brock. 162; State v. Clarks- 406; Brooks v. Hicks, 20 Tex. 666; ville, etc. Co. 2 Sneed, 88; Swann v. Wilkinson v. Leland, 2 Pet. 627, 662; Buck, 40 Miss. 268; Learned v. Taylor v. Palmer, 31 Cal. 240; ComCorley, 43 id. 688; Little Rock, etc. R. monwealth v. Conyngham, 66 Pa. R. Co. v. Howell, 31 Ark, 119; Mat St. 99. thews v. Commonwealth, 18 Gratt. 2 Holbrook v. Holbrook, 1 Pick. 989; Swartwout v. Railroad Co. 24 248. Mich. 389; Russell v. Farquhar, 55 3 Estate of Ticknor, 13 Mich. 44. Tex. 359; Ezekiel v. Dixon, 3 Ga. 152;
ciently flexible to admit of some other construction by which that intention can be better effected, the law requires that construction to be adopted. The intention of an act involves a consideration of its subject matter, and the change in, or an addition to the law which it proposes; ,
hence the supreme importance of the rule that a statute should be construed with reference to its general purpose and aim. “Where the words," says Lush, J., "employed by the legislature do not directly apply to the particular case, we must consider the object of the act.
$ 242. Illustrations.- Words of absolute repeal have been held to be qualified by the intention manifested in other parts of the same act. One section of a statute provided that if a plaintiff recovered a sum “not exceeding ” five pounds he
” should recover no costs; in another section, that if he recovered “less than” that sum, and the judge certified, he should recover costs. To make the statute fully answer the obvious intention to give a plaintiff costs, by certificate of the judge, for any recovery below the amount which would carry costs without a certificate, or where he recovered exactly five pounds, the latter provision was construed by reading “less than” as equivalent to “not exceeding." * By the effect of comparison with the context birds were held not to be live animals. In another case a minor, with living parents, was held to be an orphan for like reason. In a Wisconsin statute the word “jury” was construed to refer to “one or more credible and disinterested persons," sworn by an officer executing a writ of replevin, to testify as to the value of the property.? A statute which authorized a town to pay“ all loans made in good faith” was held to authorize the payment of sums voluntarily advanced by individuals for the benefit of the town. By considering the mischief intended to be remedied by an act providing that “if any person shall take from any field not belonging to such per
1 Caledonian R’y Co. v. North British 3 Smith v. People, 47 N. Y. 330. R’y Co. L. R. 6 App. Cas. 122; Freme 4 Garby v. Harris, 7 Ex, 591. v. Clement, 44 L. T. (N. S.) 399; L. R. 5 Reiche v. Smythe, 13 Wall. 162. 18 Ch. Div. 499; Walton, Ex parte, 6 Ragland v. The Justices, etc. 10 Ga. L R. 17 Ch. Div. 746; United States 65, 71. v. Bassett, 2 Story, 399.
Williams v. McDonal, 3 Pin. 381. 2 Williams v. Ellis, L. R. 5 Q. B. Div. 6 Weister v. Hade, 52 Pa. St. 474. at p. 176.
son any cotton, corn, rice, or other grain, fraudulently, with the intent secretly to convert the same to the use of such person," he should be guilty of “larceny,” it was held that the terms “cotton, corn, rice," etc., embrace those articles in every possible form and variety in which they can exist in a field; that they include them in a growing and unripe state. An act was passed incorporating a company to construct a road from a designated point in the city of Baltimore, in a direct line, about due north, to another point named, but it was forbidden to lay out and extend the road through the buildings, yards, or orchards, of any farm without the consent of the owner. It was held that the act was passed for the public convenience and benefit; that the prohibitory restriction should be construed as requiring and authorizing a deviation or change in the location of the road at such points from the prescribed route, to prevent a cesser of the corporate franchise in case the consent of the owner could not be obtained.?
$ 243. A bankruptcy act provided that all the property acquired by the bankrupt “during the continuance” of the bankruptcy should be divisible among his creditors. It provided, also, that he might obtain his discharge not only at the close but during the continuance of his bankruptcy. By considering the various provisions, it was construed that the former provision should be read in substance as meaning that the future property which was to be divisible was that acquired either during the continuance of the bankruptcy or before the earlier discharge of the bankrupt. James, L. J., said: “It is a cardinal principle in the interpretation of a statute, that if there are two inconsistent enactments, it must be seen if one cannot be read as a qualification of the other.” 4 An act to prevent in
furiously driving any sort of carriage” was held to include a bicycle. A statute required notice to a surveyor, or some municipal officer, for a period not less than twentyfour hours prior to an accident, to render a town liable for an injury from a defect in a highway. This requirement was literally absolute by the terms of the statute; but it was held
1 State v. Stephenson, 2 Bailey, 334.
2 Charles St. Ave. Co. v. Merryman, 10 Md. 536.
3 Ebbs v. Boulnois, L R. 10 Ch. 479.
5 Taylor v. Goodwin, L. R. 4 Q. B. Div. 228.
that where the defect was caused by the surveyor while acting as agent of the town, such notice was not necessary; for the purpose of the act did not require notice to an officer of his own act. Under such circumstances, when the reason of the law ceases, the law ceases. A statute in generaļ terms made it a punishable offense for any person to carry or transport from place to place the carcass or hide of any of the animals forbidden to be killed within certain periods. By construction, it was held inapplicable to the carrying of the hide of an animal during that period if it had been killed while it was lawful to kill it. It was held proper to decide in contravention of the terms of a statute when necessary to reach its spirit and obvious intent. A statutory requirement to give notice to an officer, before suit brought, “ for anything done, or intended to be done,” under the authority of the act, was held to apply to a non-feasance for things omitted to be done." The charter of a cemetery company provided that a certain number of acres of land “shall be forever appropriated and set apart as a cemetery, which, so long as used as such, shall not be liable to any tax or public imposition whatever.” This was held not to apply to a tax levied for paving a street in front of the property; the intent was to exempt the property from all taxes or impositions for purposes of revenue, but not to relieve it from such charges as are inseparably incident to its location in regard to other property.
§ 244. A statute of Missouri provides that life assurance companies should not commence or continue to do business until, besides complying with certain regulations touching their capital, they shall each have at least $100,000 of capital paid in and invested in the stocks or bonds of the state of Missouri, or in treasury notes or stocks of the United States, or in notes or bonds secured by mortgages or deeds of trust on unincumbered real estate worth at least double the amount loaned thereon, etc. This provision was construed to require “the mortgages or deeds of trust” to be taken on real estate
1 Holmes v. Paris, 75 Me. 559. 449; Wilson v. Hafax, L. R. 3 Ex.
2 Allen v. Young, 76 Me. 80; Com- 114; Davis v. Curling, 8 Q. B. 286. monwealth v. Hall, 128 Mass. 410. 4 Mayor, etc. v. Green Mount Cem3 Poulsum v. Thirst, L. R. 2 C. P. etery, 7 Md. 517. See Olive Cemetery
Co. v. Philadelphia, 93 Pa. St. 129.