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REAL PROPERTY LAW
STATE OF NEW YORK
Being Chapter Fifty of the Consolidated Laws
(PASSED FEBRUARY 17, 1909; CHAPTER 52, LAWS OF 1909)
AND ALL THE AMENDMENTS THERETO
THE NOTES OF THE BOARD OF STATUTORY CONSOLIDA-
IN THE REAL PROPERTY LAW
AN INTRODUCTION, NOTES OF JUDICIAL DECISIONS, AND
ON THE TEXT OF THE STATUTES
ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER
COUNSELLOR AT LAW
Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged by the Author
J. B. LYON COMPANY PRINTERS AND BINDERS
ALBANY, N. Y.
PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION.
Since the publication of the second edition of this work, the “Real Property Law" of 1896 (chapter XLVI of the General Laws) has been subjected to a comprehensive revision, at the hands of the Board of Statutory Consolidation, created by chapter 664 of the Laws of 1904. The new Real Property Law, chapter 50 of the Consolidated Laws of 1909, is now, in form, a very different statute from that of 1896. The new law consolidates with the old act a great many other acts which heretofore have not been very accessible or familiar. The process of consolidation, while the simplest form of revision, necessarily required great care upon the part of the Board of Statutory Consolidation, and they have been very faithful to their obligations and to the mandate of the Legislature not to change the statutes in substance. Some adaptations and changes have, however, been inevitable in the ordinary course of re-enacting the Consolidated Laws.
Pursuant to the Act of 1904, the Board of Statutory Consolidation designated the author of these commentaries to make the preliminary consolidation of the two chapters, known as the Real Property Law and the Personal Property Law. The first drafts of both laws, subsequently enacted, were largely the results of that employment. The Board in view of their limited authority did not feel at liberty to make some of the changes in substance suggested to them, but they did introduce such proposed changes in the notes on the acts when they came to submit the sections of the chapters of the Legislature. Those notes were, in fact, very largely prepared by this writer, in the course of his employment by the State, and they were adopted by the Board and submittech by them to the Legislature. The notes on the Real Property Law now appear in this treatise as a part of Appendix I.
In their final revision of the Real Property Law, the Board of Statutory Consolidation ultimately inserted, of their own motion, some articles which were not contained in the draft first submitted to them, and they also took out of the draft the article on the “Descent of Real Property.”'. Necessarily they renumbered the articles and sections of the draft submitted to them, so as to conform the Real Property Law to other portions of the Consolidated Laws. That the personal work of
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the Board was most meritorious, as well as faithful to the limitations of their authority, need hardly be stated as it is so well known.
The Consolidated Laws make a new edition of this work imperative, for the new consolidated Real Property Law of 1909 not only changes the entire form of the old Real Property Law of 1896, but it omits the old article on the Descent of Real Property and adds other new articles, not contained in the former Real Property Law. Much of the commentaries has accordingly been rewritten; the changes made in the law have been noticed, and all the authorities have been brought to date. That this demanded much labor upon the part of the author must be apparent to the most cursory reader.
The author trusts that the valuable matter contained in the various appendices to this volume will be found useful by the diligent and painstaking lawyer. What such lawyers most need are original documents. Appendix II contains the entire substance of the original Real Property Law of 1896 and also the valuable report and notes on that law by the Board of Statutory Revision which framed the General Laws, now superseded by the Consolidated Laws of 1909. Appendix III contains the fundamental and indispensabie notes of the original revisers, who prepared the Revised Statutes of 1829 and 1830. It is needless to remark that the Revised Statutes are the source from which not only this act but all the later revisions in this State are derived. Indeed, the Reviseu Statutes have become to the modern statute law of this State what some glorious ruins of antiquity have proved to the neighboring cities of the old world, a quarry out of which to build many subsequent fabrics, sometimes nearly as meritorious as the original, but unhappily sometimes the opposite.
Perhaps no other modern book contains more citations of cases than this. While this feature is not one which is particularly pleasing to the author, for it involved persistent and regular labor covering many years, yet he realizes that it is one which lawyers at large most appreciate. They desire all the cases on a given point; then they feel that they can analyze, sift and arrange them to suit themselves. Personally, the author would have preferred to cite only leading cases, and as there can never be but one controlling authority on any one proposition of law, to confine his commentary to such a 'judications. A desire to make t'is work useful is the only excuse for cuch a multiplication of citations as it contains. The modern habit of 'reporting all decisions of courts of record must be deferred to, even if not approved.
New YORK, September 15th, 1909.