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Relating to the oyster beds (chap. 107, p. 298, approved March 17, 1899).-An act to secure to the public the continued use of natural oyster beds.

Section 1 provides for the appointment by the governor of a board known as the Board of Oyster Land Commissioners,” to be appointed in any county upon petition of the county commissioners and to consist of three residents of the county who shall have been engaged in the cultivation of oysters for at least five years.

The Board receives no compensation except mileage. The act defines the powers and duties of the Board.

Section 12 authorizes them to issue licenses and makes it unlawful to remove oysters without such license: Penalty, fine $20 to $100.

Section 22 makes it unlawful to gather with any tool or implement or in any way whatever oysters from any natural oyster bed except the person so gathering shall be on and working from a boat or water craft of some kind, said water craft being afloat during the time he is gathering; Penalty, fine $100 to $400, and at discretion of the court imprisonment in county jail twc to six mouths; one-half of fine to go to informer.


1897. Felony defined.--Such offenses as are punishable with death or confinement in the penitentiary are felonies. All other offenses are misdemeanors. (Code (1891), Chap. CLII, 1.)

Punishment for misdemeanor.-The term of confinement in jail of a person found guilty of a misdemeanor, where that punishment is prescribed, shall, unless otherwise provided, be ascertained by the court, and the amount of fine, where the punishment is by fine, shall, except where it is otherwise provided, be assessed by the court, so far as the term of continement and the amount of the fine are not fixed by law. (Ibid., 22.)

Contagious diseases among animals.-An act to prevent the spread of contagious diseases among domestic animals. (Chap. 9, p. 49, approved February 22, 1897.)

Act defines duties of secretary of board of agriculture and his powers as to places and animals infected; also rules of quarantine. Interference with officer or any violation of law a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment not exceeding three months, or fine not exceeding $100, or both.

Jumping off trains.-An act to prevent the jumping on and off of trains. (Chap. 10, p. 50, approved February 20, 1897.)

Any person not a passenger or employee jumping on or off trains to be deemed a disorderly person, punishable by a tine not exceeding $25, or by an imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both.

Administration of anæsthetics.-An act to prevent the administering of anæsthetics or narcotics to females by any physician or dentist, except in the presence of some third person. (Chap: 11, p. 50, approved February 19, 1897.).

Penalty, fine not exceeding $100, or imprisonment in county jail not more than sixty days, or both.

Bicycle law.-An act providing a bicycle law for the State of West Virginia. (Chap. 12, p. 51, passed February 26, 1897, and became a law without the governor's approval.)

Riding a bicycle in certain streets faster than 12 miles an hour, or without an alarm bell, or on the sidewalks, forbidden: Penalty, fine not exceeding $25 for each offense and damages.

Section 2 defines "sidewalks."

Section 3 grants mayor or council the power to issue permits to ride on certain streets at any rate of speed; also to allow children's velocipedes on sidewalks.

Section 5 provides that no city or town can have power to make any ordinance respecting use of bicycles except as provided in section 3 of this act.

Section 6 forbids throwing upon any public way glass, scrap iron, nails, tacks, wire, paper, or offensive paper of any kind.

Penalty, not more than $2 for each offense. Lobbyists.-An act to prevent lobbyists from occupying the floor of either house of the legislature while in session. "(Chap. 14, p. 55, passed February 22, 1897, and became a law without governor's approval.)

Penalty, on conviction, not less than $50 nor more than $200, and imprisonment in county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months.

Protection of owners of bottles, etc.-An act for the protection of persons dealing in mineral waters, malt liquors, and other beverages in bottles. (Chap. 15, p. 56, approved February 6, 1897.)

The act makes provision for any person or firm bottling beverages for sale without the sale of the bottle, to have a trade-mark, and forbids any


person or firm using that trade-mark without written consent of the proprietor: Penalty, fine of not less than $20 nor more than $200 for each offense and liability for damage.

Section 5 declares it a misdemeanor for any person, without permission of the owner, to refill with mineral waters, malt liquors, or other beverages any such bottle so marked, etc: Penalty, fine not exceeding $100; if convicted a second time, to be confined in county jail not exceeding one year.

Hats and bonnets at theatrical performances.--An act requiring the removal of hats and bonnets during theatrical or other performances where admission is charged, and prescribing penalties for violation thereof. (Chap. 16, p. 58, approved February 22, 1897.)

Penalty for this misdemeanor, a fine of not less than $2 nor more than $10.

Practice of dentistry:-An act to amend and reenact section 29 (a) of chapter 150 of the Code of West Virginia in regard to the practice of dentistry. (Chap. 29, p. 79, passed February 20, 1897, and became a law without the governor's approval.)

The act makes it unlawful for anyone to practice dentistry unless having obtained a certificate as provided in this act: Penalty, fine of $50 to $200 or imprisonment in jail for not less than one nor more than three months, provided that any person so convicted shall not be entitled to any fee for services rendered, etc. All fines to inure to the common school fund. NOTE.–Former penalty not less than $10 to $100.

Cruelty to animals.-An act to amend and reenact section 14 of chapter 149 of the Code of West Virginia. (Chap. 32, p. 88, approved February 20, 1897.)

Making abuse of domestic animals a misdemeanor: Penalty, $5 to $100 or imprisonment in jail not exceeding six months. NOTE.--Former penalty not less than $50.

Cruelty to children.-An act for the prevention of cruelty to children and providing for their proper care, education, and maintenance in certain cases. (Chap. 33, p. 89, approved February 22, 1897.)

Directors and trustees may receive into their custody children under 16 (former age 14).

Any person enticing children from the legal custody of such directors or guardians shall he guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to a fine of $10 to $100 or imprisonment in county jail from one to six months.

Section 4 directs as to the placing of these children.

Houses of ill-fame.-An act to amend and reenact section 10 of chapter 149 as amended and reenacted by chapter 8, acts of 1893. (Chap. 35, p. 91, passed February 26, and became a law without the governor's approval.)

Act prohibiting the keeping of a house of ill-fame: Penalty, fine not exceeding $200 or imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year. Any person living, boarding, or loitering in a house of ill-fame shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not exceeding $25.

Justices to have no jurisdiction in cities and towns of 25,000 population.

Plugging abandoned wells.-An act to amend and reenact sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of chapter 106 of the acts of 1891, an act entitled "An act to regulate the drilling, maintenance, and operation of wells for the production of oil, gas, salt water, or mineral water, requiring the same to be plugged when abandoned or not operated, prohibiting the waste of natural gas, and imposing penalties and providing remedies for neglect or refusal to case, plug, or shut in wells." (Chap. 58, p. 114, passed February 26, 1897, and became a law without the governor's approval.)

Penalty, fine of $100, with costs of suits. NOTE.–Former penalty, fine of $200 for each thirty days during which such violation should continue.

Mine ventilation and inspection.-An act concerning mine ventilation and inspection. An act amending previous acts on the same subject, changing amount of bonds, salaries, etc., but in the main new legislation. Provides for inspection and reports of inspectors. '(Chap. 59, p. 117, passed February 17, 1897, and became a law over governor's veto.)

Penalty against chief for violation of this act, fine of not less that $25 nor more than

one year.

$200 and, in the discretion of the court, imprisonment in county jail not exceeding

Failure of inspector to perform his duty, fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 and dismissal from office.

Militia law.--An act to amend and reenact and consolidate into one chapter chapters 18 and 19 of the code of West Virginia, concerning the military force of the State. (Chap. 61, p. 120, approved February 25, 1897.).

Substantially a new act. Among the changes: Enrolling officers allowed 2 instead of 3 cents per name as compensation.

Refusal to give information as to persons liable to be enrolled, a misdemeanor.

SEC. 41. Any officer neglecting to properly account for any military property he shall have received shall forfeit a sum not to exceed twice the cost of the same.

SEC. 42. Whoever shall secrete, sell, or dispose of military property, etc., shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and forfeit to the State twice the cost of the same.

SEC. 43. Any person not a member of the National Guard wearing the uniform without permission, or, if a member, wearing it when off duty without permission, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $10.

Sec. 52. No other military organization, except as provided for in this act, shall be formed in West Virginia. Penalty, fine not exceeding $25, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months.

Sec. 61. When the National Guard is on duty and missiles are thrown at them by any assemblage, and the person throwing such missile does not retire at once when ordered, he shall be held guilty of a misdemeanor, and if he remains after, shall be considered guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than two years.

Section 73 provides for the trials and penalties of commissioned officers. For any of the sixteen offenses enumerated the officer may be cashiered, and may be fined to any amount not exceeding $100, or to all such fines or penalties.

Section 74 provides for the trials of enlisted men, and for any of the seven enumerated offenses an enlisted man may be dishonorably discharged from the ranks, and, if a noncommissioned officer, fined to an extent not exceeding $50, or all or either of such fines or penalties.

Sec. 79. Enlisted men absenting themselves from drill, etc., without proper excuse, may be fined not more than $5 nor less than $1 for each day of such absence or delinquency.

Sec. 81. Any person other than a member of the National Guard using indecorous language before a military court, interrupting proceedings, etc., may be arrested and be liable to fine of $5 to $50, or imprisonment in jail not exceeding thirty days, or both,

School-book board.-An act to establish a school-book board in every county of the State and to prescribe its duties, to provide for the sale of school text-books, and to provide penalties for violations of this act. (Chap. 62, p. 151, approved February 22, 1897.)

Section 9 provides that every publisher entering into contract with any board under the provisions of this act shall give a bond in the penalty of $10,000 for the faithful performance of such contract.

Section 11 provides that certain depositaries shall keep school books on hand, and shall execute a bond in the penalty of double the value of the books which he will probably have on hand at one time, but in no event of a penalty less than $100.

Section 19 provides that any publisher, school officer, depositary, dealer, teacher, or other person violating the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to a fine of from $5 to $50.

Compulsory education.—An act to amend chapter 45 of the code of West Virginia, entitled “Of Education, by adding section 10(a) thereto, relating to compulsory attendance. (Chap. 98, p. 205, passed February 20, 1897, and became a law without the governor's approval.)

Penalty for neglect of this duty, fine of $2 for first offense and $5 for each subsequent offense. It is further made the duty of every trustee and teacher to inform against anyone so offending, and upon failure so to do they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and be fined not exceeding $5: Provided, etc.

Municipal penalties.—Under various city and town charters enacted by the legislature powers are conferred upon the city or village authorities to enact ordinances and to impose penalties for the violation of the same. In chapter 101, amending the charter of the town of Clarksburg, it is provided that no fine shall be imposed exceeding $20, and that no person shall be imprisoned more than thirty days for any one offense. (P. 230, acts 1897.)

Chapter 103, amending the charter of the town of Guyandotte, section 10, provides that no fine shall be imposed exceeding $30 and no person imprisoned or compelled to labor more than thirty days. These examples indicate the range of penalties in town ordinances.


Fish and game. -An act for appointment of game and fish warden and prescribing his duties and compensation. (Chap. 13, p. 52, approved February 25, 1897.).

Section 1 provides that the governor shall appoint such a warden, who shall hold his office for four years unless removed for cause by the governor. Provision for salary and mileage is also made.

Section 2 prescribes his duties.

Section 3 defines how proceedings may be commenced, against whom; how seizures are to be made, where and when.

Sections 4, 5, and 6 relate to serving processes, making reports, etc. Penalty for interfering with duty of warden, a misdemeanor punishable by fine of not more than $50 with costs of suit; in default of payment, confinement in county jail till fine and costs are paid, but not to exceed thirty days.

Fish in Potomac River.-An act to provide for the time and method of taking or catching black bass, green bass, rock bass, pike or pickerel or wall-eyed pike in the Potomac River. (Chap: 17, p. 59, approved February 22, 1897.)

It is forbidden to catch these at any time of the year save only with rod, hook, and line, or dip net, and not at all between April 15 and June 1 each year. Persons violating, guilty of misdemeanor: Punishment, imprisonment in jail not exceeding six months or by fine not exceeding $300, or by fine and imprisonment.

Birds and animals.-An act to amend and reenact sections 1, 4, 6, 10, 11, 15, 16, and the addition of section 15a of chapter 62 of the Code of West Virginia of 1891, entitled “For the preservation of certain useful animals and birds.” (Chap. 30, p. 81, approved February 24, 1897).

Section 1 makes close season from December 1 to October 1, instead of December 15 to September 15. Also adds quail, pheasant, and ruffed grouse to other game: Penalty, fine $20 to $50, or imprisonment in jail not more than sixty days.

Section 4 prohibits fishing in creeks or rivers except with hook and line from March 1 to November 15, instead of from April 1 to December 1. Provision made for measurement of fish, for catching fish in private waters, etc. Season changed from April 1 to June 15 to April 15 and June 15, when it shall be unlawful to catch certain fish. Made unlawful to catch bass by spear or gig between April 15 and November 1 of each year. Penalty for willfully letting water out of fish ponds, with intent to take fish, imprisonment in jail not exceeding six months or fine not exceeding $200, or both.

Section 6 provides when nets, traps, etc., placed in rivers may be destroyed. No nets or obstructions allowed in rivers between November 15 and March 1. Dimensions of nets and seines given. Penalty for violating this section, fine of not less than $10 nor more than $25, or imprisonment in jail not exceeding ten days. Penalty for killing fish by explosives, fine $100 to $200 or imprisonment in jail not less than one nor more than six months.

Section 10 makes it unlawful to catch, kill, injure, or have in one's possession certain birds or to take their eggs. (Thirty-three kinds of birds are named whose habits are not essentially predatory upon and destructive of the agricultural products of man.")

Section 11 makes it unlawful to catch or kill or injure partridges, etc., between December 15 and November 10 following, or wild turkey between January 1 and October 15, or ducks and geese of various kinds between April 1 and October 1; or snipe except between March and July 1, or woodcock except between July 15 and November 1. The use of traps and swivel guns forbidden. It is made the duty of the market master of any city, town, or village to arrest those violating these provisions.. Officers failing to prosecute liable to fine not exceeding $25.

Section 15 makes it unlawful to have certain birds in possession during certain months: Penalty, fine not less than $5 nor more than $25, or imprisonment in jail not exceeding thirty days. Use of ferrets for catching rabbits forbidden: Penalty, $5 to $20.

Killing of deer.-An act to amend and reenact section 1 of chapter 62 of the code concerning the killing of deer. (Chap. 31, p. 88, approved February 17, 1897.)

Killing of deer propibited for five years: Penalty, fine $20 to $50 or confinement in jail not more than sixty days.


1897. Felony defined.-The term “felony," when used in any statute, shall be construed to mean an offense for which the offender, on conviction, shall be liable by law to be punished by imprisonment in a State prison. (Statutes 1898, sec. 4637.)

NOTE.-An offense not a felony at common law will not be regarded as such unless by express words of the statute, or by necesssary implication. Wilson v. State, 1 Wis., 184.

Misdemeanors.-In all cases, not otherwise specially, provided by law [i.e., statute law of the State), where a forfeiture shall be incurred by any person, and the act or omission is punishable by fine and imprisonment, or by fine or imprisonment, or is specially declared by law to be a misdemeanor, it shall be deemed a misdemeanor within the meaning of this chapter (for the collection of forfeitures]. The word forfeiture, as used in this chapter, shall include any penalty, in money or goods, other than fine. (Sec. 3294).

A note to the above is as follows:

Misdemeanor: The violation of a municipal ordinance prohibiting that which was not punishable at common law or by statute, and providing as a penalty a fine. and in default of payment, imprisonment, is not a misdemeanor. (Oshkosh v. Schwartz, 55 Wis., 483).

Ferry across the Mississippi River (chap. 67, p. 92, approved March 17, 1897). -An act to establish a ferry across the Mississippi River from Buffalo County, in the State of Wisconsin, to the city of Wabasha, in the State of Minnesota.

Erik Alme is authorized to operated a ferry for ten years. The rates of ferriage are indicated, and if said Erik Alme shall demand or charge any greater sum he and the sureties on his bond shall be liable to the party aggrieved in the sum of $20 for each and every such act.

Sec. 7. Penalty for establishing a rival ferry: “If any person or persons shall, after the establishment of said ferry as aforesaid, set up, keep, and maintain any ferry, or shall carry any person or persons for hire or pay across the Mississippi River from any point in Buffalo County, Wis., situated on lots three, four, and five, section thirteen, town twenty-two, range fourteen west, on the east side of the shore or waters of the Mississippi River in said county of Buffalo, to the city of Wabasha, every person shall for every such offense forfeit and pay the sum of ten dollars to the said Erik Alme, his associates or assigns, and may also be restrained by injunction at the suit of said Erik Alme, his associates or assigns.”

NOTE.--Approaching this prohibition of rival ferry is section 1356, an unlicensed ferry is liable to fine of $20.

Cleanliness in milk dairies (chap. 94, p. 156, approved March 24, 1897).-An act to secure cleanliness in milk dairies.

SEC. 1. The dairy and food commissioner or his agents shall have full access to all premises where milk is stored, produced, or handled for the city milk trade. They are empowered to enforce such measures as may be necessary to prevent the sale of milk from diseased cows or from cows fed upon unwholesome food, and to require cleanliness in all barns, stables, or buildings where milk is produced for the city milk trade.

SEC. 2. Violation, a misdemeanor: Fine, $25 to $100 for first offense and $100 to $200 for each subsequent offense.

Adulterated milk (chap. 106, p. 168, approved March 26, 1897).-Amends section 1, chapter 425, laws of 1889, relating to fines for the sale of unmerchantable or adulterated milk. The former penalty was $10 to $100. As amended it is $25 to $100 for each offense.

Inspection of petroleum (chap. 114, p.182, approved March 26, 1897).- Provides for the inspection of illuminating oils or petroleum and petroleum products. Amends or repeals previous laws. Authorizes the governor to appoint a State supervisor of oils, who is empowered to appoint and oversee all deputy inspectors of oils. Their duties are likewise defined.

Sec. 5. To falsely brand casks, barrels, or other packages of oil, or to alter the brand affixed by the deputy inspector, or to refill and use a cask having the inspector's mark without obliterating his brand, a misdemeanor: Penalty, $5 to $500 or imprisonment in county jail not more than six months, or both. To dispose of any empty cask or barrel without first canceling or removing such brand a misdemeanor. The same penalty.

NOTE.-This section essentially new.

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