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to be inflicted on overseers of extra-parochial places. 8 Mod. 40. Their other duties are to make a rate for the relief of the poor, to ascertain what poor they are bound to maintain, to administer to their wants, and to remove such persons, (not being legally settled), as may become chargeable; at the expiration of their appointment, to pass their accounts, and deliver over any balance to their successors.
The majority in number can in all cases act; a poors' rate may be made by them without the concurrence of the inhabitants; and the Court of King's Bench by mandamus will compel the parish officers to make a rate if necessary. 1 Barnard, 137.
Overseers should immediately on their appointment get the accounts of the late overseers adjusted, and the balance of monies paid over. By 17 Geo. II. c. 28, it is enacted, “That the Churchwardens and Overseers of every Parish, Township and Village shall, within fourteen days after Overseers shall be appointed for the Year ensuing, deliver in to such succeeding Overseers a just, true and perfect Account in writing, fairly entered in a Book to be kept for that purpose, and signed by them, of all Sums by them received, or rated and assessed and not received; and of all Goods, Chattels Stock and Materials in their Hands, or in the Possession of the Poor of the said Parish, to be wrought or worked; and of all Monies paid by them the said Churchwardens and Overseers so account
ing, and of all other Things concerning the said Office." * If there is any doubt or difficulty as to the obtaining such account or balance, the overseers should apply to the magistrates, who will grant a summons to the late overseers for that purpose.
On the return of the summons, the magistrates will direct such steps to be taken as the necessity of the case may require, viz. by committing the parties to the common gaol, until they do account, &c. or by allowing any reasonable time to enable them to do it.
A commitment by two justices of the peace of an overseer for not duly accounting held good, though committed until he should be discharged by due course of law, and not until he should account, &c. 3 Mau, and Sel. 203. If the overseers after the allowance of their accounts by two justices at a special sessions and an order to pay over the balance, which order is confirmed on appeal, refuse to pay such balance, the two justices may issue a distress warrant under 50 Geo. III. c. 49, on application of one of the succeeding overseers, though the rest of the parish officers refuse to concur in such application. 2 Mau. and Sel. 343.
Overseers may sue on bond given to indemnify the parish against a bastard child, and the suit shall not abate by reason of the change of overseers. 54 Geo. III. c. 170, s. 8.
If an overseer remove from the parish and ano
ther is appointed in his stead, he shall deliver up all his books, &c. and pay the balance of monies in his hands to the succeeding overseers; or if he dies, his executors or administrators shall, within forty days after his death, deliver up the accounts and pay any balance due from him; but if any money is due to the late overseer, the succeeding overseers are compelled to reimburse it out of any rates to be collected, although the rate must not be made for that express purpose. 41 Geo. III. c. 23. but overseers cannot charge in their accounts money paid as a salary to one of the overseers. 2 Mau, and Sel. 323.
Overseers having performed all the duties of their office, must at the expiration of the year for which they were appointed, by 17 Geo. II. c. 28, deliver within fourteen days after new overseers are appointed, to such succeeding overseers, a just, true and perfect account in writing, fairly entered in a book, which account must be verified on oath before one justice, who shall sign and attest the taking thereof, at the foot of the account.
If the churchwardens bave acted as overseers of the poor, and any part of the account relates to payments made or money received by them, they must also join in the oath, and their names must be joined in the allowance by the justice.
Though overseers are appointed for several years successively, they must, nevertheless, annually account, and in such annual account the ex
penses actually incurred in that year can only be included; it being unreasonable that the inhabitants, being a fluctuating body, should be liable to the expenses of their predecessors. 6 T. R. 159.
After the accounts are regularly allowed by one justice, no other justice can intermeddle with them; a justice may be compelled, by mandamus, to swear an overseer to his accounts, and if he has any reasonable objection to so doing, he may return it upon the mandamus. A mandamus will also lie to compel the late overseers to deliver up the poors’ rate books to their successors, who ought to have the custody thereof. 1 Bott. 304, pl. 341. i Wils. 125.
By the act 50 Geo. III. c. 49, s. 1, two or more justices are empowered to examine and correct, and to allow and approve the accounts of churchwardens and overseers; such accounts must be submitted to them at a special sessions for that purpose to be held within the fourteen days appointed by the act 17 Geo. II. c. 38, for delivering such account; and such justices shall, if they think fit, examine into the matter of such account, and administer an oath or affirmation to such churchwardens and overseers, of the truth of such account; and disallow and strike out of every such account all such' charges and payments as they shall deem to be unfounded, and reduce such as they shall deem to be exorbitant; specifying upon or at the foot of such account, every such charge
or payment, and its amount, so far as such justices shall disallow or reduce the same, and the cause for which the same is disallowed or reduced: and such justices shall signify their allowance and approbation of any such account, under their hands, and sign and attest the caption of the same at the foot of such account, in the manner directed by the said act of 17 Geo. II. And in case such churchwardens and overseers, or any of them, shall refuse or neglect to make and yield up or submit such account, or to verify the same by oath as aforesaid, or to deliver over to their successors, within ten days from the signing and attesting such accounts, any goods, chattels or other things which on the examination and allowance of such account, in manner aforesaid, shall appear to be remaining in their hands, any two or more justices shall commit them to the common gaol until they shall have made and yielded such account, and verified the same as aforesaid, or shall have delivered over such goods, chattels and other things which shall appear to be so remaining in their hands as 'aforesaid; and in case such churchwardens and overseers, or any of them, shall refuse or neglect to pay to their successors, within fourteen days from the signing and attesting such account, any money or arrearages which on such examination and allowance shall appear to be due from such churchwardens and overseers, or any of them, or remaining in their hands, the subsequent churchwardens and