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at the same session or on the same day. They are all to be compared, harmonized if possible, and, if not susceptible of a construction which will make all their provisions harmonize, they are made to operate together so far as possible consistently with the evident intent of the latest enactments.
It is to be observed that in the comparison of different statutes passed at the same session or nearly at the same time this circumstance has weight; for it is usually referred to as indicating the prevalence of the same legislative purpose, as rendering it unlikely that any marked contrariety was intended. But whether the prior statute is recent or of long standing it must yield if there is a conflict. But with a view to ascertain the intent of the legislation on a given subject at any time it must all be considered, whether it has continued in force or been modified by successive changes.1
$284. A statute must be construed with reference to the whole system of which it forms a part. And statutes upon cognate subjects may be referred to, though not strictly in pari materia. There being a general statute regulating the execution of wills, which did not require subscribing witnesses, a new statute was passed providing for the testamentary disposition of the property of married women; it required that such a will should be executed in the presence of two witnesses. The two acts were construed together. A married woman's will had to be executed according to the general law except in the particular regulated by the later act in respect to witnesses. The existing requirements of the law relative to auditing accounts for state printing were held not to be repealed or such audit dispensed with by a later act providing for partial payments during the progress of a particular work in terms which implied no such prior audit. Though a new statute prescribing the steps for taking an appeal is general and makes no exceptions, it will be construed with any existing law covering the same subject and containing an exception, for obvious reasons, in favor of parties who are such
2 McDougald v. Dougherty, 14 Ga. 674; Noble v. State, 1 Greene (Iowa), 325; Hays v. Richardson, 1 Gill & J. 366.
in a representative capacity. The general terms of a later statute will often be restricted where, by prior laws, subjects naturally falling within such general terms have been classified and made subject to distinct and dissimilar regulations. The later law, not showing any purpose to abolish this classification, will be made to operate on that class alone to which by its terms it is applicable. A statute authorizing the revival of actions by or against the representative or successor in interest of the party deceased is in pari materia with other statutes providing for the appointment of executors and administrators, and also those pointing out how foreign representatives may acquire the right to prosecute actions. statute relating to homestead and exemptions for a family of minor children was held in pari materia with laws allowing dower to the widow and minor children. A statute in relation to attachments against steamboats and other water craft is in pari materia with the general attachment law, and they should be construed together.
§ 285. The expression "any person" in a later statute will be construed to harmonize with an earlier one which required for the purpose certain qualifications. Where two acts had required certain sums to be paid into the state treasury by a city, and gave a court jurisdiction to enforce the payment, and afterwards another act required an additional payment, thereby increasing the aggregate, but was silent as to the mode of enforcing it, it was held that as the later act was merely supplemental to the others, the remedy given by them should be deemed applicable to the latter. An offense defined in a statute of Massachusetts was punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year. A subsequent act conferred on the police court jurisdiction of the offense, which was to be concurrent with that of another court, and provided that when the police court exercised final jurisdiction the punishment should be confined to a fine not
1 Koontz v. Howsare, 100 Pa. St. 506.
5 Wallace v. Seales, 36 Miss. 53.
6 London Tobacco Pipe Makers v.
2 People v. Molyneux, 40 N. Y. 113; Woodroffe, 7 B. & C. 838. Bishop v. Barton, 2 Hun, 436.
3 Hendrix v. Rieman, 6 Neb. 516.
4 Roff v. Johnson, 40 Ga. 555.
City of Louisville v. Commonwealth, 9 Dana, 70, 75.
exceeding $100, and imprisonment not exceeding one year. It was held that though the latter act, taken by itself, would seem to authorize both fine and imprisonment, the language being conjunctive, yet when both acts are construed together it is obvious that the latter authorizes a fine and also authorizes imprisonment, but not both in one sentence.1
§ 286. While it is thus true that statutes relating to the same subject are to be construed together, this rule does not go to the extent of controlling the language of subsequent statutes by any supposed policy of previous statutes, where such language requires such policy to be disregarded.' Where the last statute is complete in itself, and intended to prescribe the only rule to be observed, it will not be modified by the displaced legislation, as laws in pari materia. Nor is an act in pari materia though it may incidentally refer to the same subject, if its scope and aim are distinct and unconnected." Thus a statute in relation to the confinement of stock to prevent its running on the premises of others was held not in pari materia with the provision of the code laying down the rule of diligence to be observed by railroad companies in running their trains, and defining their liabilities in cases where stock is killed.5
§ 287. The legislature are presumed to know existing statutes, and the state of the law, relating to the subjects with which they deal. Hence, that they would expressly abrogate any prior statutes which are intended to be repealed by new legislation. Where there is no express repeal none is deemed to be intended, unless there is such an inconsistency as precludes this assumption; then it yields only to the extent of the conflict. Regard must be had to all the parts of a statute, and to the other concurrent legislation in pari materia; and the whole should, if possible, be made to harmonize; and if the
1 Commonwealth v. Griffin, 105 Mass. 185.
2 Goodrich v. Russell, 42 N. Y. 177, 184; State v. Cram, 16 Wis. 343, 347.
3 Sutton v. Hays, 17 Ark. 462; Williams v. Beard, 1 Rich. (N. S.) 309.
4 Central R. R. Co. v. Hamilton, 71 Ga. 465; Billingslea v. Baldwin, 23 Md. 85.
5 Central R. R. Co. v. Hamilton, supra.
6 Ante, & 138; White v. Johnson, 23 Miss. 68; State v. Commissioner of R. R. Taxation, 37 N. J. L. 228; Wakefield v. Phelps, 37 N. H. 295; Laughter v. Seela, 59 Tex. 177; Austin v. Gulf, etc. R. R. Co. 45 Tex. 234; Lewis v. Aylott, id. 190.
sense be doubtful, such construction should be given, if it can be, as will not conflict with the general principles of law, which it may be assumed the legislature would not intend to disregard or change. The statute of wills in New York prohibited a devise to a corporation. A subsequent act incorporating an orphan asylum society gave it power to purchase real estate. This act was harmonized with the statute of wills by restricting the right of purchase according to the popular sense of that word. Although technically a title by devise is by purchase, it was deemed more congenial to the spirit of both acts to give the word purchase a restricted meaning in harmony with the prohibition. Provisions not repealed expressly or by such implication continue to operate, but they may be modified by later legislation, which will have the effect expressly or by like implication of extending or restricting their terms or scope.3
§ 288. Where enactments separately made are read in pari materia, they are treated as having formed in the minds of the enacting body parts of a connected whole, though considered by such body at different dates, and under distinct and varied aspects of the common subject. Such a principle is in harmony with the actual practice of legislative bodies, and is essential to give unity to the laws, and connect them in a symmetrical system.' Such statutes are taken together and construed as one system, and the object is to carry into effect the intention. It is to be inferred that a code of statutes relating to one subject was governed by one spirit and policy, and was intended to be consistent and harmonious in its several parts and provisions."
1 Manuel v. Manuel, 13 Ohio St. 458, 465.
2 McCartee v. Orphan Asylum Society, 9 Cow. 437, 506. See Dodge v. Gridley, 10 Ohio, 173.
Thayer v. Dudley, id. 296; Holbrook v. Holbrook, 1 Pick. 254; Mendon v. Worcester, 10 id. 235; Commonwealth v. Martin, 17 Mass. 362; Forqueran v. Donnally, 7 W. Va. 114:
3 Noble v. State, 1 Greene (Iowa), Hayes v. Hanson, 12 N. H. 284; Earl 325.
4 State v. Williams, 13 S. C. 558. 51 Kent's Com. 463, 464; State v. Baltimore, etc. R. R. Co. 12 Gill & J. 399, 433; Napier v. Hodges, 31 Tex. 287; Wakefield v Phelps, 37 N. H. 295; Mayor, etc. v. Howard, 6 Har. & J. 383; Church v. Crocker, 3 Mass. 21;
of Ailesbury v. Patterson, 1 Doug. 28; Harrison v. Walker, 1 Ga. 32; Coleman v. Davidson Academy, Cooke (Tenn.), 258; State v. Bell, 3 Ired. L. 506; Henry v. Tilson, 17 Vt. 479; Fort v. Burch,
For the purpose of learning the intention, all statutes relating to the same subject are to be compared, and so far as still in force brought into harmony, if possible, by interpretation, though they may not refer to each other, even after some of them have expired or been repealed.' An amendatory act and the act amended are to be construed as one statute, and no portion of either is to be held inoperative if it can be sustained without wresting words from their appropriate meaning. Where a statute is made in addition to another statute on the same subject, without repealing any part of it, the provisions of both must be construed together.3
§ 289. Interpretation with reference to the common law.— Statutes are but a small part of our jurisprudence. The principles of the common law pervade and permeate everything which is subject to legal regulation. Such law defines rights and wrongs of every description and the remedies for public and private redress. By its principles statutes are read and construed. They supplement or change it, and it adjusts itself to the modification and operates in conjunction and harmony with them. If words from its vocabulary are employed' in them it expounds them. If the statutes are in derogation of it, it yields and bides its time; if they are cumulative, it still continues. Rules of interpretation and construction are derived from the common law,5 and since that law constitutes the foundation and primarily the body and soul of our jurisprudence, every statutory enactment is construed by its light and with reference to its cognate principles.
3 Pearce v. Atwood, 13 Mass. 324, 344; Reg. v. Tonbridge Overseers, L. R. 13 Q. B. Div. 342; Van Riper v. Essex P. R. Board, 38 N. J. L. 23.
4 Ryan v. Couch, 66 Ala. 244; Lowenberg v. People, 27 N. Y. 336 ; State v. Pierson, 44 Ark. 265; Holt v. Agnew, 67 Ala. 360. Where a statute providing a penalty for selling or giving away intoxicating liquor was silent
as to persons who aid, abet or counsel or procure the selling or giving away such liquor, the principles of the common law in respect to accessories before the fact will supplement the statute. Walton v. State, 62 Ala. 197. A statutory felony has common-law incidents. Rex v. Sadi, 1 Leach, C. C. 468.
5 Rice v. Railroad Co. 1 Black, 358, 374; Charles River Bridge Co. v. Warren Bridge Co. 11 Pet. 545.
6 Edwards v. Gaulding, 38 Miss. 118; Howe v. Peckham, 6 How. Pr. 229; Rice v. Railroad Co. 1 Black, 358.