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Opinion of the Court, per Dexio, Ch. J.
The testimony offered and rejected, respecting the space between the adjoining piers, was immaterial, if I am right in holding that the end of the pier could not be rightfully cut off from the water. It was clear, upon all the evidence, that certain classes of vessels could and did discharge at the end. Whether large vessels could do so or not was of no moment. It was not improper for the plaintiffs to show that their witness was led to apply at the defendants' office, for the reason that they were occupying the pier.
I do not perceive that any error was committed on the trial of the cause, and am of opinion that the judgment ought to be affirmed.
In which all the judges concurred.
Statement of case.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondents, v.
DANIEL Devlin, Chamberlain of the City and County of 130 * New York, Appellant.
Where a bill has passed both branches of the legislature, and has been signed
by the appropriate officers, and sent to the governor for his approval and signature, it has passed beyond the control of either house, and cannot be
recalled except by the joint action of the two houses. Where a bill thus passed by the two houses, signed by the speakers and sent
to the governor for his signature, is recalled by the action of one house alone, and the governor complies with the request, and sends back the bill
, any action which such house may have in respect thereto, is a nullity. Such bill, as passed by the joint action of the two houses, signed by their
speakers, approved by the governor, and deposited in the office of the secretary of state, becomes the law of the State, notwithstanding any action either
house alone may take in respect thereto. It seems, that the courts cannot, for the purpose of impeaching a statute, go
behind the records to inquire into the regularity of the proceedings of the legislaturo in passing such act.
This action was brought by the attorney-general to recover for moneys in the hands of the defendant, which, it is claimed, the defendant, by law, ought to have paid over to the State treasurer.
The defendant claims to hold the moneys in question as his commissions and fees as chamberlain of the city and county of New York. The action was tried before the Hon. A. S. Johnson, as sole referee, who rep rted thereon as follows:
That he finds and decides, as matter of fact, that during the year 1863, between 7th day of August and the 24th day of December, there came to the hands of said defendant, he being then the chamberlain and county treasurer of New York, the sum of $2,139,425.44; that said sum so came to his hands as the product of the State taxes levied within the city and county of New York, under and in pursuance of laws enacted and existing prior to the first day of January, 1863, and that the said moneys were not, nor was any part thereof, levied for, or as part of the taxes imposed by the act of the legislature, chapter 393, of the Laws of 1863, passed May 4, 1863, and that it was the duty of the said defendant
Statement of case.
to pay into the treasury of the State the whole of the said sum, after first deducting and retaining such part thereof as he was entitled to deduct and retain as and for his lawful compensation in that behalf.
That the said defendant afterwards paid over to the treasury of the State of New York, 2,118,030.02, and retained the sum of 21,394.40, which he claimed to be the amount of his lawful compensation in that behalf; that prior to the passage of the act above referred to, chapter 393 of the Laws of 1863, passed May 4, 1863, the chamberlain and county treasurer of New York was entitled to deduct and retain one per cent of the amount of State taxes in his hands to be paid into the State treasury, as and for his lawful compensation in that behalf.
And he further finds and reports, either as matter of fact or as matter of law, as it may appear to the court, that there is of record in the office of the secretary of State of the State of New York, an act of the legislature, of which chapter 393 of the Laws of 1863, in the printed laws of that year,
is a copy, on which record is an indorsement signed by the secretary of State, who held that office during the year 1863, in the words following:
“STATE OF NEW YORK,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE. This act having been approved and signed by the governor, on the 4th day of May, 1863, I hereby certify that the same became a law on that day.
Secretary of State.”
That from the journals of the senate and assembly for the year 1863, it appears that a bill in terms agreeing with the said chapter 393, was on the 17th day of April, 1863, read a third time in the assembly and passed, three-fifths of all the members being present, and ordered to be sent to the senate.
That in the senate, on the 22d day of April, the said bill from the assembly was passed without amendment, threefifths of all the senators being present, and was ordered to be returned to the assembly, and that the same was so returned,
Statement of case.
and that, thereupon, on the same day, the said bill was sent by the assembly to the governor. That, on the 23d day of April, the assembly requested the governor to return the said bill to the assembly. That, on the same day, the governor returned the said bill to the assembly, with a message stating that it was so returned upon the request of the assembly. That upon the return of the said bill, the assembly resolved that the fifth section of the said bill be struck out; and the bill was then, the said section being so struck out, read again and passed, three-fifths of all the members being present, and ordered to be sent to the senate with a message accordingly.
On the 24th day of April, the senate having received from the assembly a message, informing the senate of the said action of the assembly, resolved not to concur therein, and ordered the bill to be returned to the assembly with a mes. sage to that effect, and with the information that the senate had appointed a committee of conference on the subject.
Afterwards, on the same day, the assembly having received the said message from the senate, resolved to adhere to its previous action, and ordered the bill to be returned to the senate, with a message informing the senate of the said action of the assembly.
Afterwards, on the same day, the senate having received the said bill and message from the assembly, resolved that the bill should be returned to the assembly, with a message, informing the assembly that as the bill had passed both houses and been sent to the governor, it was, in the judgment of the senate, beyond the control of either house without the consent of the other, and that the senate declined taking any further action in regard to it. Afterwards, on the same day, the assembly having received the said bill and the said message from the senate, rescinded their resolution to adhere, and appointed a committee of conference, and informed the senate of their action in the premises, and returned the bill to the senate, with the message giving such information.
Afterwards, on the same day, the committee of conference reported to the senate and assembly a recommendation that
Opinion of the Court, per POTTER, J.
the bill should be sent again to the governor, with the cross marks which had been drawn across the fifth section erased, for his signature.
The senate thereupon, on the same day, resolved, according to the said recommendation of the conference committee, and ordered the bill to be returned to the assembly with the message accordingly.
The assembly thereupon, on the same day, on the return of the bill and the report of the conference committee, nonconcurred in the report, and appointed another committee of conference.
On the 25th day of April, the senate resolved to send a message to the assembly, asking that the bill should be returned to the senate.
That no further action was had, or order made, by either the senate or assembly, in respect to the said bill or act, so far as is proven by the journals of the senate and assembly.
That upon the matters before set forth, the referee determined and decided, as matter of law, that the defendant had no right to receive for his compensation, or otherwise, & greater sum than the sum of $2,000, and he therefore decides that the defendant ought to pay to the plaintiffs the balance of the sum retained by him, after deducting therefrom $2,000, together with lawful interest on such balance, from the 1st day of May, 1864, to the date of the report, being of principal $19,394.24, and of interest 1,206.75, which sums, in the whole, amount to $20,600.99, for which sum judgment was directed to be entered in favor of the plaintiffs against the defendant.
John Cochrane, Attorney-General, for the People.
John E. Devlin, John H. Reynolds and Waldo Hutchins, for the defendant.
POTTER, J. There is no constitutional objection to the power of the legislature to regulate the compensation of county treasurers, or that of the chamberlain of the city and county of New York. The såme power has been before