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AN ACT TO PRESCRIBE THE RULES FOR THE CONSTRUC.
TION OF THE CONSOLIDATED LAWS AND CODE AMENDMENTS.
Reported to the Legislature under and in pursuance to the provisions of chapter six hundred and sixty-four of the laws of nineteen hundred and four. (Laws of 1909, chap. 596. In effect May 29, 1909.)
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. In construing the consolidated laws and the amendments to the code of civil procedure and the code of criminal procedure reported to the legislature by the board of statutory consolidation constituted under the provisions of chapter six hundred and sixty-four, of the laws of nineteen hundred and four, entitled "An act to provide for the consolidation of the statutes of the state," and enacted by the legislature of nineteen hundred and nine, and in construing the act amendatory thereof, known as chapter two hundred and forty of the laws of nineteen hundred and nine, for the purpose of determining the effect of any of the provisions or sections thereof on any other provision or section thereof, or on any special law theretofore enacted, the several provisions and sections of such laws and code amendnients and said act amendatory thereof shall not be considered as having been enacted or re-enacted by the legislature at the time of the passage of the consolidated laws or such code amendments or said act amendatory thereof but as having been enacted as of the various times when such provisions and sections first became laws by any earlier statutes, provided, however, that when any provision of law after its first enactment by the legislature has been amended or re-enacted, then for the purpose of its construction for the determination of its effect on other sections or provisions of the consolidated laws, it shall be considered as having been enacted at the date of such amendment or re-enactment. If in any such consolidated law and such amendments to the code of civil procedure and the code of criminal procedure as enacted by the legislature of nineteen hundred and nine or said act amendatory thereof there shall have been incorporated any provisions of law that have heretofore been superseded or impliedly repealed, the incorporation of any such provisions shall not be construed as a legislative intent to revive such superseded or repealed provisions, nor shall such incorporation in such con. solidated laws be construed to indicate any legislative determination that such provisions had not been theretofore so superseded or repealed. The true purpose and intent of this act is to prescribe that the statute law of the state, so far as it has been reproduced in such consolidated laws and in such amendments to the code of civil procedure and the code of criminal procedure, and in said chapter two hundred and forty of the laws of nineteen hundred and nine, and all special laws in force at the time of the enactment of such consolidated laws, shall be of the same force and effect as they were before the enactment of such con. solidated laws or code amendments or said act amendatory thereof.
DATION IN ITS REPORT RELATIVE TO CODE OF CIVIL
PROCEDURE AMENDMENTS. The board was authorized by the statute creating it to report for enactment such amendments as it might deem proper and necessary to condense and simplify the existing practice and to adapt the procedure in the courts to existing conditions. An exhaustive study was made of the Code of Civil Procedure by the board pursuant to the statute and an elaborate tentative rearrangement of the Code provisions was made. This preliminary study grouped related practice provisions together according to the steps in the progress of litigation from its commencement to its termination and is embraced in three large printed volumes not submitted with the report of the board to the Legislature. It will be available however when the actual revision of the civil practice in the courts is undertaken and will serve as a basis for subsequent work on this important subject.
The preparation of the consolidated laws and the treatment of the Code of Civil Procedure was carried along side by side, and the consolidated laws as presented have been prepared so that there will be no necessity for a rearrangement of them should a revision of the Code of Civil Procedure be undertaken in the future. It was considered that the primary duty of the board was to complete the consolidated laws, and should time permit. prepare a revision of the civil practice. With the progress of the work it became evident more and more that a revision of the Code of Civil Procedure could best be accomplished unincumbered with the work of the consolidation of the substantive statutes. So delicate and difficult a task is that of revising the present civil practice of the state, which has been in use for over thirty years, that it was deemed the part of wisdom to leave this work, as a separate and independent task when the attention of those intrusted with it would not be diverted or divided by the consideration of other matters. After a thorough examination of the whole subject and after due consideration of all of the phases of Code revision, it was deemed advisable at this time not to attempt a revision of the practice, but merely to remove substantive provisions and to this extent to prepare the way for actual revision.
The substantive provisions removed from the Code of Civil Procedure by the board have been distributed in various consolidated laws, but chiefly arranged in a new law known as the Judiciary Law, embracing matters relating to courts and officers thereof, including such subjects as jurors so far as relates to the selection of jurors for a term of court, court clerks, court stenographers, attendants, messengers, criers, interpreters, reporters and attorneys and counselors. A few sections have been inserted in the Civil Rights Law. Various proceedings have been incorporated in the Debtor and Creditor Law. There existed in the session laws the statute relating to general assignments for the benefit of creditors. This statute was assigned
to the proposed Debtor and Creditor Law. It was deemed best to consolidate with this statute certain proceedings in the Code of Civil Procedure relating to debtor and creditor. Thus there has been inserted from the Code the article relating to insolvent's discharge from debts, insolvent's exemption from arrest and imprisonment, judgment debtor's discharge from imprisonment and matters of a similar character. The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to the distribution of personal property have been included in an article in the Decedent Estate Law with the provisions of the Real Property Law relating to the descent of real property. Some matters relating to executors, administrators and testamentary trustees in the revised statutes and session laws have been included under an article in this law. There are many matters of a substantive character relating to executors, administrators and testamentary trustees which might, upon a revision of the Code of Civil Procedure, be included in the Decedent Estate Law. Most of these are to be found in the surrogate's court practice which it has been deemed best, for the present, not to disturb but rather to leave until such time as the practice in the surrogate's court shall be revised. The General Corporation Law contains some proceedings from the Code of Civil Procedure. These have been removed to the General Corporation Law for the purpose of making that law as 'complete as possible. Thus there have been included in the General Corporation Law from the Code of Civil Procedure provisions relating to change of name, sale of corporate real property, judicial supervision of corporations and of the officers and members thereof, actions for sequestration, actions for dissolution, actions to enforce the individual liability of officers and members of corporations, actions to annul corporations, proceedings for voluntary dissolution of corporations and provisions relating to two or more of the foregoing proceedings or actions. These have been brought together in the General Corporation Law with like provisions of a substantive character as found in the session laws, such, for instance, as the provisions relating to the powers, duties and liabilities of receivers of corporations,
The amendatory act herewith presented was made necessary by the removal from the Code of the substantive provisions above mentioned. The amendatory act does not disturb the numbering of the sections remaining in the Code and the table at the end of the proposed act shows readily the distribution of the sections eliminated. This treatment will not disturb for the present the civil practice and at the same time will remove from the Code substantive provisions and thus prepare the way for an actual revision of the practice.