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$ 944. Copies of documents on flle in departments of Unitod States. [Am'd 1877, 1879, 1899.) A copy of a record or other paper, remaining in a department of the government of the United States, is evidence, when certified by the heid, or acting chief officer, for the time being, of that department; or when certified by the officerin whose charge it is, pursuant to a statute of the United States, or otherwise in accordance with a statute of the United States, relat. ing to certifying the same. A certificate of the director or other officer in charge of the ceusus of the United States, attested by the secretary of the interior, stating the population of any part of the United States, or giving the result of said census otherwise shall be received as prima facie evidence of such facts. The record of the observatio: s of the weather, taken under the direction of the signal service of the United Siates, when certified by the officer in charge thereof, at the place where they were tak n and are kept, is prima facie evidence of the matters of fact stated therein.

$ 945. The record of a bill of sale, mortgage, hypothece46 Hun, 370.

tion, or conveyance of a vessel, belonging to a port or place, within the United States, recorded in the office of the collector of customs, where the vessel is registered or enrolled, which was acknowledged or proved, before it was recorded, in like manner as a deed to be recorded within the State; or á transcript of such a record, duly certitied by the collector; is evidence, with the like effect as the original.

$ 946. A conveyance of real property, situated without the State, acknowledged, or proved, and certified, in like manner as a deed to be recorded within the county wherein it is offered in evidence, is evidence, without further proof thereof, as if it related to real property situated within the State. A conveyance of real property, situated within another State, or a Territory of the United States, which has been duly authenticated, according to the laws of that State or Territory, so as to be read in evidence in the courts thereof, is evidence in like manner.

$ 947. An exemplification of the record of a conveyance of real property situated without the State, and within the United States, which has been recorded in the State or Territory, where the real property is situated, pursuant to the laws thereof, when certified under the hand and seal of the officer, having the custody of the record, is, if the original cannot be produced, presumptive evidence of the conveyance,

and of the due execution thereof. 17 Misc. 569. S 948. A transcript from the docket-book of a justice of

the peace, within an adjoining State, of a judgment rendered by him ; á transcript of his miuutes of the proceedings in the canse, previous to the judgment; or of an execution issued thereon; or of the return of an execution; when subscribed by the justice, and authenticated as prescribed in the next section, is presumptive evidence of his jurisdiction in the cause, and of the matters shown by the transcript.

$ 949. Such a transcript must be authenticated by a certificate of the justice, annexed thereto, to the effect, that it is in all respects correct, and that he had jurisdiction of the cause; and also by a certificate of the clerk or prothonotary of the county, in which the justice resided at the time of rendering the judgment, under bis hand and the seal of the court of common pleas, or other county court of the county, to the effect that the person, subscribing the certificate attached to the transcript, was, at the date of the judgment, a justice of the peace of that county; and that the signature thereto is in his own handwriting.

$ 950. The judgment and other proceedings, and the justice's authority to render the judgment, may also be proved, by the production of the docket, or of a copy of a judgment or other proceediugs; and the oral testimony of the justice to the truth and correctness thereof, and to his authority to render the judgment

$ 951. The last three sections do not prevent the introduction of evidence, to controvert any of the proof, in relation to the validity of a judgment therein specified.

$ 952. A copy of a record, or other judicial proceeding, 46 Hun, 409 of a court of a foreign country, is evidence when authenti. 138 N. Y. 70. cated as follows:

1. By the attestation of the clerk of the court, with the seal of the court affixed, or of the officer in whose custody the record is legally kept, under the seal of his office.

2. By a certificate of the chief-judge or presiding magistrate of the court to the effect, that the person, so attesting the record, is the clerk of the court; or that he is the officer, in whose custody the record is required by law to be kept; and that his signature to the attestation is genuine.

3. By the certificate, under the great or principal seal of the government, under whose authority the court held, of the Secretary of State, or other officer having the custo. dy of that seal, to the effect, that the court is duly consti. lated, specifying generally the nature of its jurisdiction ; and that the signature of the chief-judge or presiding magistrate, to the certificate specified in the last subdivision is genuine

$953. A copy of a record, or othor judicial proceeding, 46 Hun, 469 of a conrt of a foreign country, attested by the seal of the court, in which it remains, must also be admitted in evi. dence, upon due proof of the following facts :

1. That the copy offered has been compared by the wit. ness with the original, and is an exact transcript of the whole of the original.

2. That the original was, when the copy was made, in the custody of the clerk of the court, or other officer legally hav. ing charge of it.

2. That the attestation is genuino.

$ 954. [Am'd 1877.) Nothing in this article is to be construed, as declaring the effect of a record or other judicial proceeding of a foreign country, authenticated, so as to be evidence.

$ 955. (Added in 1892.] All maps, surveys and official records, which shall have been on record or on file in the office of either the register of the city and county of New York, or the surrogate of said city, or any of the courts of record of said city, or the clerk of the city and county of New York, or any of the departments of said city as enu. merated in section thirty-four of the New York City consoli. dation act (chapter four hundred and ten, laws of eighteen hundred and eighty-two), or in the office of the registers, surrogates, commissioners of public works, or kindred depart. ment, or park department, for a period of twenty years or upwards prior to such trial, shall be presumptive evidence of their contents, and shall be receivable in evidence as such upon any trial in any of the courts of this State in any controversy pending therein, between any parties.

95 N. Y. 325

$ 956. (Am'd 1877.] A copy of a patent, record or other document remaining of record in a public office of a foreign country, certified according to the form in use in that country, is evidence when authenticated as follows :

1. By the certificate under the hand and official seal of a commissioner appointed by the governor to take the proof or acknowledgment of deeds in that country, to the effect that the patent, record or document is of record in the pub. lic office, and that the copy thereof is correct and certified in due form.

2. By a certificate under the hand and official seal of the Secretary of State annexed to that of the commissioner, to the same effect as prescribed by law for the authentication of the certificate of such a commissioner upon a conveyance to be recorded within the State. The certificate of the commissioner, thus authenticated, is presumptive evidence that the copy of the patent, record or document is certified according to the form in use in the foreign country.

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$957. Where a transcript, exemplification, or certified 95 N. Y. 624. copy of a record or other paper, is declared by law to be 18 1770 evidence, and special provision is not made for the form of 153 11.351. the certificate, in the particolar case, the person, authorized to certify, must state, in his certificate, that it has been compared by him with the original, and that it is a correct transcript therefrom, and of the whole of the original.

95 N. Y. 624

$ 958. If the officer, or the court, body, or board, in whose oustody an original paper, specified in the l»st section, is required to be, by the laws of the State, or of another State, or of the United States, or of a Territory th-reof, or of a foreign country, bas, pursuant to those laws, an official seal, the certificate must be attested by that seal. If the certificate is made by the clerk of the county, within the State, it must be attested by the seal of the county.

$ 959 (Am'd 1877.) The last section does not require the seal of a court to be affixed to a certified copy of an or. der, or of a paper filed therein, or entry mado, where the copy is used in the same court, or before an officer thereof; or, in the supreme court, where it is used in a circuit court, or a court of oyer and terminer.

$ 960. Evidence in actions for injury to unoccupied lands and to timber thereon. [Added 1898.to take effect September 1, 1898.) In all actions for trespass upon or injury to unoccupied lands, or to timber, trees and underwood thereon, except an action w ch any county or any State or county officer, board or commission is a party defendapt, the plaintiff may show an unbroken chain of title or conveyance of the land to himself for thirty years next preceding the commission of the trespass or injury, and such proof shall be presumptive evidence of ownership at

the time of such trespass or injury, but such presumption may be rebutted by the defendant by showing ownership of said lands at the time of said trespass or injury, in some person other than the plaintiff.

$ 96). A surrogate, county clerk, register, clerk of a court, or other person, having the custody of the records or other papers in a public office, within the State, must, upon request, and upon payment of, or offer to pay, the fees allowed by law, or, if no fees are expressly allowed by law, fees at the rate allowed to a county clerk for a similar service, diligently search the files, papers, records, and dockets in his office; and either make one or more transcripts therefrom, and certify to the correctness thereof, and to the search, or certify that a document or paper, of which the custody legally belongs to him, cannot be found. If he refuses, or unreasonably neglects or delays, to make such a search, or to furnish such a transcript or certificate, or makes a false certificate, he is guilty of a misdemeanor.

72 Hun, 602.

$ 962. Nothing in title fourth of this chapter prevents the proof of a fact, act, record, proceeding, document, or other paper or writing, according to the rules of the common law, or by any other competent proof.

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