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STATE OF KANSAS.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1888.
RANHAS PUBLISHING Hous E: CLIFFORD C. BAKER, state PRINTER.
OFFICE of ATToRNEY GENERAL, STATE of KANSAs,
To His Eccellency John A. MARTIN, Governor of Kansas:
I have the honor to submit herewith, in conformity with the requirements of law, the sixth biennial report of the Attorney General for the two years preceding the date hereof. I took possession of the office of Attorney General the first time, January 12th, 1885. I was reëlected at the November election of 1886, and assumed the duties of the office as my own successor, January 13, 1887. This, the sixth biennial report of the Attorney General, includes the business of the department to September 1st, 1888. In the fifth biennial report, like my predecessors, I reported a large increase of business. The volume of business continued to increase during the first year of my second term, but during the last four to six months there has been a falling-off. Several causes have conspired to increase the volume of business during the years 1885–6–7, and the first part of the year 1888, and there is a correspondingly potent reason for the decrease during the last part of 1888. New laws and new duties for the several departments are consequent upon each session of the Legislature, in addition to the immediate demands during the session. The immediate demands fall heaviest upon the Executive, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, but all are materially affected. The increased duties because of the new laws fall heaviest upon the Attorney General's department. The author of every law that is passed, whether special or general, has some object in view, but the object is not always apparent upon the face of the bill. After the adjournment of the Legislature, and the laws are published, a large percentage of the people are seized with a consuming desire to have the laws interpreted, and the consequence is that the Attorney General's office is besieged for a whole year with legal conundrums. The Legislature has been in session three times since my incumbency of this office. The Legislature of 1885, by an amendment to the prohibitory law, more
than doubled the duties of this office, a fact mentioned in my report for 1885–6. Some new duties were added in 1886, and some in 1887.
Although the duties of the office are prescribed by statute, it is useless for the head of a department to undertake to evade answering the many unofficial inquirers. They will be heard. Public officers should be civil, courteous, and exemplary.
DUTIES OF ATTORNEY GENERAL.
The statutory duties of the Attorney General, prescribed mainly upon the creation of the office, are as follows:
The Attorney General, before he enters upon the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe to the oath required by law, and shall execute to the State of Kansas a bond, with not less than two sureties, in the sum of five thousand dollars, to be approved by the Executive Council, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties as Attorney General; which bond and oath shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State. The Attorney General shall appear for the State and prosecute and defend all actions and proceedings, civil and criminal, in the Supreme Court, in which the State shall be interested or a party, and also, when required by the Governor or either branch of the Legislature, appear for the State and prosecute or defend in any other court, or before any officer, in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which this State may be a party or interested. The Attorney General shall, at the request of the Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, or Superintendent of Public Instruction, prosecute any official bond or any contract in which the State is interested, upon a breach thereof, and prosecute or defend for the State all actions, civil or criminal, relating to any matter connected with either of their departments. The Attorney General shall consult with and advise county attorneys, when requested by them, in all matters pertaining to their official duties. He shall also, when required, give his opinion in writing, without fee, upon all questions of law submitted to him by the Legislature, or either branch thereof, or by the Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, or Superintendent of Insurance. whenever requested by the Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, or Superintendent of Public Instruction, he shall prepare proper drafts for contracts, forms, or other writings which may be wanted for the use of the State; and he shall report to the Legislature, or either branch thereof, whenever requested, upon any business pertaining to the duties of his office. All moneys received by the Attorney General, belonging to this State, shall immediately, upon the receipt thereof, be paid by him into the State treasury. The Attorney General shall keep in proper books, to be provided at the expense of the State for such purpose, a register of all actions and demands prosecuted or defended by him in behalf of the State, and all proceedings had in relation thereto, and shall deliver the same to his successor in office. The Attorney General shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.
In the prohibitory liquor law of 1885 is contained the following section:
“It shall be the duty of the county attorney to diligently prosecute any and all persons violating any of the provisions of this act in their respective counties, and