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A DIGEST

OF THE

Laws of Massachusetts

IN RELATION TO THE

POWERS, DUTIES AND LIABILITIES

OF TOWNS,

AND OF

TOWN OFFICERS;

WITH THE NECESSARY FORMS.

BY BENJAMIN F. THOMAS,

COUNSELLOR AT LAW.

NEW EDITION, REVISED AND CORRECTED.

WORCESTER:
PUBLISHED BY WARREN LAZELL.

1849.

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Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1849, by

WARREN LAZELL,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

PRINTED BY HENRY J. HOWLAND, WORCESTER.

Poor

172

I. Overseers of Poor

172

II. Settlement of Paupers

177

III. Support of Paupers

188

IV. Lunatic paupers

201

ScHOOLS

206

1. What Schools to be supported by Towns

206

II. School books

208

III. School Committee

210

IV. School Districts

214

V. Union School Districts

224

VI. High School Districts

227

VII. Contiguous School Districts in adjoining Towns

228

VIII. School Returns and distribution of School Fund 229

IX. General Provisions

232

SELECTMEN

235

I. Duties of Selectmen as to Jurors

236

II. Duties of Selectmen as to Spendthrifts and insane per-

244

III. Duties of Selectmen under the Laws licensing Inn-

holders and retailers.

246

IV. Duties of Selectmen in erecting and maintaining

Guide-posts

249

V. Duties of Selectmen in the perambulation of Town lines 251

VI. Duties of Selectmen as to Common sewers and drains 253

VII. Duties of Selectmen as to binding Orphan children

258

VIII. Duties of Selectmen as to offensive trades, Theatri-

cal Exhibitions, &c.

260

IX. Duties of Selectmen as to Oysters and Shell fish in

certain towns

361

X. Duties of Selectmen as to Hay Scales

264

XI. Duties of Selectmen as to the keeping of gunpowder

and guncotton

265

XII. Duties of Selectmen as to dealers in second-hand

articles

266

XIII. Power of Selectmen as to recognizance of Towns 267

XIV. Duties of Selectmen in laying out town and private

ways

268

XV. Duties of Selectmen under the Militia Laws

275

XVI. Duties of Selectmen concerning hawkers and pedlars 278

SURVEYORS of Highways and repair of Highways

282

Town CLERK

293

I. General duties

293

II. Duties of Town Clerks under Laws relating to mar-

riage

299

III. Duties of Town Clerks as to returns of births, mar-

riages and deaths

302

Town TREASURER

305

Weights and Measures

308

WORK-HOUSES

313

APPENDIX No. 1, Forms

320

No. 2, Laws of 1849

357

THE TOWN OFFICER. .

TOWNS.

POWERS OF TOWNS.

1. Towns to be bodies corporate as heretofore.

2. Towns may sue and be sued.

3. Towns may hold property, make contracts, &c.

4. Towns may grant money for town schools, the poor, and other necessary charges.

5. The Statute not an enumeration of objects for which towns may raise money.

6. Rule to determine what are necessary charges.

7. Enumeration of necessary charges.

8. Towns not bound, even by express votes, for contracts not within the scope of corporate objects.

9. Illustration of the rule.

10. How towns may be restrained from raising, borrowing or expending money for illegal purposes.

11. Towns may make by-laws.

12. To be approved by Court of Common Pleas.

13. If not reasonable, void.

14. Binding on all persons coming within the town. 15. To be published.

16. Authority of cities to make by-laws.

17. Towns may make by-laws respecting the keeping of dogs.

18. Towns may suspend the operation of certain laws relative to the killing of birds.

19. Other powers of towns.

1. The inhabitants of every town shall continue to be a body corporate, with all the powers heretofore exercised by towns, and subject to all the duties to which they have heretofore been liable. R. S. c. 15, S 8.

2. The inhabitants of towns, in their corporate capacity, may sue and be sued in the manner prescribed by law, and may appoint all necessary agents and attornies in that behalf. Ib. 10.

3. Towns shall have power to hold real estate, for the public uses of the inhabitants, and to convey the same, either by vote of the inhabitants, or by a deed of their committee or agents; to hold personal estate, for the public uses of the inhabitants, and to alienate and dispose of

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