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tives of the several towns, and debate and vote in all public affairs of the State, and shall be called the senate; and
in the absence of the governor and lieutenant-governor, Who shall the senior senator present shall preside: that the reprepreside.
sentatives of the several towns shall also sit, debate and House of vote by themselves, in all public affairs, during each ses
sion, and shall be called the house of representatives; how.con- and shall elect their own speaker and clerk, for and du
ring the continuance of such assembly; Provided neverWhen theless, That when the senate and house of representa
tives shall see cause, or in such cases where it is directhouses may join. ed by law, they may join in a grand committee, and sit
and vote together; and when in grand committee the Governor, & c. shall governor (or lieutenant-governor, or senior senator, in preside. case of either of the contingencies prescribed in the first
section of this act) shall be the presiding officer therein, Shall have and as such shall not be entitled to vote, unless the comcasting
mittee are equally divided, when he shall have the casting vote.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That each house of ashouse to sembly shall have power to determine the rules of its proof its rules ceedings, impose such fines on their members for non-atceeding, tendance, or disorderly behavior, as they may deem
proper, and with the concurrence of two thirds of the members present may expel a member; and a majority of
each house shall be necessary to do business, except that Majority necessary so many members of either house of assembly as may be
present shall have power to adjourn their respective
houses, from day to day, until a majority of the respecjourn.
tive houses shall be formed; and the house of representatives shall determine on the qualification of its members, and decide all contested elections thereof.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the secretary of Secretary to issue state, for the time being, be and he is hereby empowered execution and directed to issue execution, after the rising of the As
sembly in October, for all fines remaining unpaid, which arose at the preceding May session, and the adjournments before October session; and after the rising of the assembly at May session, execution shall issue in the same manner for all fines remaining unpaid, which arose at the preceding October session, and the adjournments before May
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the general aswhere to sembly shall be holden yearly, and every year, at New
port, on the first Wednesday of May; that there shall be
one other annual session, holden alternately at Providence and South-Kingstown, on the last Monday of October; that the adjournments from the said sessions respectively shall be holden at East-Greenwich, Bristol, or.such other town as the general assembly shall deem most convenient for the people, and shall from time to time prescribe in their acts of adjournment.lv
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That whensoever the To meet in general assembly ought by law to sit or be convened in the courtthe several counties, that then the said assembly shall sit. and be holden in the respective court-houses in said counties; and the assembly shall not be adjourned from the county town to any other town; nor shall it be called in any other place in such counties by the governor's warrant, except on great and emergent occasions.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the person and Members estate of every member of the general assembly shall be exempt
from arfree and exempt from all process in any civil action, du- rest, &c. ring the session of the general assembly; and also, three days next before the beginning of such session, and three days next after the end thereof; and all process aforesaid served contrary to this act shall be null and void.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That every person who Penalty shall wilfully and unlawfully hinder, delay, obstruct, arrest, for ins
? ing meininsult, assault or detain, any member of the general as- bers of. sembly on his way to, while at, or on his return from, anyti , session of the general assembly, shall be considered guilty of a contempt of the house of which the person so hindered, delayed, obstructed, arrested, insulted, assaulted, or detained is a member, and of a violation of the privileges of the members thereof, and shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months, at the discretion of said house, and shall pay all costs, and moreover be liable to prosecution for said offence at common law.
1746, '52, An act directing the method of preferring petitions to the Gen- 57, 65,
eral Assembly, and of acting thereon. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by Method of the authority thereof it is enacted, That whenever any person preferring or persons shall prefer a petition to the general assembly, to set aside praying that any judgment, rule of court, or determination judgment, whatever, may be set aside, or that execution may be stayed, or for any matter or thing whereby any action or
proceeding in any court may be stayed or delayed, or that the place of trial of any action may be changed, he or they so petitioning shali
, at least three weeks before the Petition to session of the general assembly to which such petition be lodged shall be preferred, deliver and lodge his or their petition retary's of- in the secretary's office, and give bond in the said office,
with one sufficient surety, in such sum as the secretary, Petitioner to give
considering the nature of such suit or execution, shall think meet; the condition of which bond shall be for the payment of all lawful costs and damages which the adverse party shall sustain, by means of preferring such petition;
and that thereupon the secretary shall issue a citation for Secretary to issue ci- the adverse party to appear, if he or they shall think fit, at
the session of the general assembly to which such pe
tition shall be preferred, to shew cause why such petition To be should not be granted: and the adverse party shall be served ten served with such citation, and a copy of such petition, by fore, &c. the sheriff of the county, or his deputy, where he or they
may dwell, ten days at least before such session of the general assembly; and if such person or persons cannot be found by the sheriff or his deputy, then the leaving a
copy of the petition and citation at the usual place of his Sheriff to or their abode, shall be deemed a good service: and the make re- sheriff or deputy shall make return of all his doings to the
clerk of the house of representatives, at the first opening On failure, of the general assembly: and that when any petition shall petition to be called for trial, if there be not a proper return made, be dismiss
by the sheriff or his deputy, that the adverse party hath been duly notified as this act requires, such petition shall
be immediately dismissed. Certain Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That when any petition to be con- shall be received by the general assembly, the granting tinued and whereof may, by any means, relate to or concern the interverse par- est, property, or character of any other person or persons ty cited whomsoever, in such case every such petition shall be re
ferred to the next session of the assembly; and the person Petitioner to give or persons so petitioning shall
, at least thirty days before bond thir- the sitting of the said assembly, give bond in manner as turdays be- before directed, and all persons so concerned shall be du
ly served with a copy of such petition, and the vote of assembly thereon, and be cited in manner as aforesaid ; and if the person or persons so petitioning shall neglect to give bond as aforesaid, then such vote or order of the general assembly referring such petition shall be void.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That at the beginning of Time to every session of the general assembly, a time shall be as- ed for signed for the hearing and determining all petitions pend-hearing
petitions. ing before them; and the clerk of the house of representatives shall make a docket of all such petitions, which docket shall be set up in view in the house where the assembly shall sit, with a note at the bottom thereof of the time appointed for their being heard: that each petition
To be call. shall be called for and determined in its proper course, as ed in it stands upon the docket; and if the petitioner being call- course. ed shall not appear, his petition shall be immediately dismissed; but if he shall appear to enforce his petition, and the respondent upon being called shall not appear, the prayer of said petition shall be granted, if the same be reasonable.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That no petition shall Fees to be be received by the general assembly, unless the peti- paid
down. tioner shall pay the fees established by law; and that the same costs be allowed the parties and taxed upon petitions preferred to the general assembly, in all respects and in every particular,
as are allowed by law in causes before the courts of common pleas; and the bills of cost Costs, by shall be taxed by the secretary or the clerk of the house be taxed, of representatives, and allowed by the secretary; that &c. the secretary shall issue execution for all such costs, returnable to the next succeeding general assembly; and that
Fees of the secretary and the clerk of the house of representa- secretary tives, shall be allowed the same fees in all respects, upon
and clerk. petitions, as are allowed to the clerks of the supreme judicial courts, in cases before said courts.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That when any new trial Party obshall be awarded by the general assembly to any person new trial or persons, the party obtaining any such new trial shall pay to pay all lawful costs and damages that he or they have put the cost
, in adverse party to, in defending against such petition; unless he or they shall, upon such new trial, obtain some alteration of the former judgment in his or their favor.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That when any person or persons shall sustain any damage, by reason of any Suit to be petition preferred to the general assembly, concerning brought which bond shall have been entered into as aforesaid, the hond. secretary shall deliver such bond to the person or persons so aggrieved, who may bring a suit on such bond against the persons who gave the same; and the court before whom such suit shall be brought, are hereby em
Court by powered, by themselves or by a jury, at the election of selves or either party, to hear the parties concerning all matters of jury to as- damages, as herein before expressed; and on hearing,
justly and equitably to determine what damages the party or parties complaining may have sustained, by staying the execution or other proceedings in such cause, or by granting a new trial therein; and may reduce the sum mentioned in such bond to just damages; and the court
shall award execution accordingly. Petition
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the persons of all parties on petitions for a new trial before the general assembly, shall be exempt from the service of all process
civil action, during the session of the Assembly before which the same shall be pending; and also for two days next before the beginning of such session, and two days next after the end thereof.
ers exempt from arrest.
1798, 1814, 1822.
An act relative to the election of Senators and Representatives to
represent this State in Congress, and of Electors for the election of a President and Vice-President of the United States.
WHEREAS, by the constitution of the United States, two senators are to be chosen by the general assembly, to represent this State in congress; and whereas it is provided in said constitution, that no person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and have been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen; and that the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof:
Section 1. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assem
bly, and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That the senelected by general
ators qualified as aforesaid to be elected by the legislaassembly ture of this State, shall be elected, agreeably to the usage in grand thereof in the choice of State officers, by the general as
sembly joined in a grand committee, and not in separate houses.
And whereas the people of this State are entitled to elect two representatives to represent them in congress; and whereas it is provided in the aforesaid constitution, that no person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and been sev.
Senators to be