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L E G IS LATION.
ILLINois. The eleventh general assembly of this state, at a special session thereof, begun and held at Springfield, on the ninth of December last, passed a considerable number of statutes, chiefly of a local and private character. Sheriffs, Constables, &c. Whenever any sheriff, coroner, constable, justice of the peace, or probate justice of the peace, shall, after proper demand made, fail, neglect, or refuse, to pay over any sum or sums of money, collected or received by such officer, in and by virtue of his office, his said office shall be forfeited and vacated.
Attachment. Every head of a family, who follows the cultivation of the soil, for the maintenance of himself and family, is entitled to retain one horse or yoke of oxen, not exceeding in value sixty dollars, in addition to other articles previously exempted; or if he be a mechanic, laboring at his trade to support his family, sixty dollars worth of tools suited to his profession.
RHoDE ISLAND. Among the statutes passed by the general assembly of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, since January, 1839, we find the following:
Railroad Commissioners. A board of railroad commissioners is established, to be chosen annually by the general assembly at its May session, and to consist of not less than three persons, with authority, upon complaint or otherwise, to examine into any or all of the transactions and proceedings of any railroad corporation, authorized and established in Rhode Island, in order to secure to the citizens thereof the same privileges, in regard to transportation of persons and property, at all times, as may be granted by any such corporations to the citizens of any other state. June 14, 1839. Imprisonment for Debt. Any person, committed to jail for debt upon mesne process or execution, nonpayment of any military fine, or town or state taxes, surrender or commitment by bail, or by former sureties for the liberty of the jail yard, may be liberated from his imprisonment, upon filing in the clerk's office of the supreme judicial court his petition for the benefit of the acts for the relief of insolvent debtors, if he have not a petition already pending at the time, and giving bond with surety, satisfactory to the sheriff of the county, conditioned to return to jail within ten days after his petition shall be withdrawn or finally disposed of by said court, if not granted. June 15, 1839. Corporations. No turnpike, railroad, or bridge corporation shall be capable in law to take or hold any land in Rhode Island, in fee, or for life or lives, or for term of years, or by any other title or tenure, or for any other use than such as is expressly provided in the charter of such corporation. Jan. 14, 1840. Conveyances of Real Estate. Any conveyance of lands within this state, or any instrument relating thereto, executed without the limits of the United States, may be acknowledged before any ambassador, minister, or recognised consul of the United States, in the country where the instrument shall be executed. Jan. 17, 1840. Separation of Married Persons. The supreme judicial court is authorized, upon application of any married person, and for the causes for which by law a divorce may be decreed, or for such other causes as may seem to them to require it, to assign to such persons a separate maintenance out of the estate or property of the husband or wife of such person, in such manner as they may deem best, with full power also to regulate the custody of children of the persons so complaining. Jan. 17, 1840.
MAssACHUSETTs. The general court of Massachusetts, at the January session thereof, in the present year, passed ninety-seven statutes and sixty-two resolves, of which fifty-nine were approved by the governor.
Spirituous Liquors. The act, passed April 19, 1838, to regulate the sale of spirituous liquors, is repealed. Chap. 1. Apprehension of Criminals. The selectmen of towns and the mayor and aldermen of cities are authorized, when, in their opinion, the public good may require it, to offer a suitable reward to be paid by the town or city, not exceeding two hundred dollars, for the securing of any person charged with any capital or other high crime or misdemeanor committed therein. Chap. 75. Passenger Carriers. In case of the loss of the life of any person, being a passenger, by reason of the negligence or carelessness of the proprietor or proprietors of any railroad, steamboat, stage coach, or of common carriers of passengers, or by the unfitmess or gross negligence or carelessness of their servants or agents, such proprietors and carriers are made liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand nor less than five hundred dollars, to be recovered by indictment, to the use of the executor or administrator of the deceased person, for the benefit of his widow and heirs. Chap. 80. Evidence of Marriage. Whenever, on hearing of any application for divorce, the fact of marriage is required or offered to be proved, evidence of admission of said fact by the party against whom the process is instituted, or of general repute, or of cohabitation as married persons, or any other circumstantial or presumptive evidence, from which said fact may be inferred, shall be received as competent evidence for consideration, whether the marriage to be proved was contracted in this state or elsewhere. Chap. 84. Fire from locomotive engines. In the case of injury done to a building or other property, by fire communicated by a locomotive engine of any railroad corporation, the corporation is made liable in damages to the party injured. It may insure property along its route on its own behalf. Chap. 85.
GEORGIA. Among the acts of the general assembly of the state of Georgia, passed at the annual session in November and December, 1839, we find but very few of any interest to the citizens of other states,
Attachments and Garnishments. Affidavits upon which attachments or garnishments may issue may be made by the nonresident creditor before the commissioner of the state of Georgia to take acknowledgments of deeds, or before any judge or judicial officers authorized to administer oaths, or before any notary public. Dec. 21, 1839.
South CARolina. The general assembly of this state, in December, 1839, passed thirty-two acts, many of which are of considerable length and much local importance, viz., chap. 7, concerning the office and duties of magistrates; chap. 9, concerning the office, duties and liabilities of sheriffs; chap. 10, concerning the office and duties of ordinary; chap. 11, concerning the office, duties and liabilities of coroner; chap. 12, to regulate the office of constable; and, chap. 18, concerning the office and duties of clerks, registers of mesne conveyances, and commissioners of locations. We find but few of any general interest.
Executors and Administrators. Executors, &c., are authorized to become purchasers at the sales of the property of their testators, &c., under whatsoever authority the same may be made, but shall be liable to the parties interested, for the actual value of the property at the time of sale, in cases where it may be sold at an under price. Chap. 14.
ALABAMA. The general assembly of the state of Alabama, at the annual session thereof, which commenced on the first Monday in December, 1839, passed one hundred and two public and general acts, one hundred and sixty-seven private and special, and sundry joint resolutions. Depositions. Whenever the testimony of any female witness may be necessary, in any civil case, it shall be taken by deposition, whether the witness live in the county where the cause is pending or not. No. 15. Witnesses. Commissioners authorized to examine witnesses are empowered to issue subpoenas to compel their attendance. No. 38. Bills of Exchange. In the case of suits by the bank of AlaWOL, XXIII, -NO, XLVI. 30
bama or any of its branches, on bills of exchange and promissory notes, it is made the duty of the attorney to include in the writ or notice the names of all the parties liable, and to issue as many writs or notices as there may be counties in which the parties reside. No. 58, § 1. If no defence is interposed in such suit, one judgment is to be rendered against all the parties who are legally before the court, and against whom a recovery may be had ; except that a separate judgment is to be rendered against the acceptor of a bill, where he is liable in a different sum from the other parties. § 2. If any defence is made, and the plaintiff, or any of the parties, demand a severance, the proceedings are to be the same as if the parties had been severally sued. § 3. Disturbance of Religious Meetings. The wilful interruption or disturbance of any assembly of people met for religious worship, either by making a noise, or by rude or indecent behavior, at or so near the place of worship as to disturb the order and solemnity of such meeting, is punishable by a fine of not less than five nor more than fifty dollars. No. 50. Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court. The office of reporter is abolished, and its duties imposed upon the judges, with an increase of salary. No. 75. Administrators. The judges of the county courts are authorized to appoint suitable persons in their respective counties, to take charge of the estates of deceased persons, in cases where no other person will administer on the same. No. 86, § 1. They are also authorized to appoint guardians, in cases where no one will act as such, $ 2.