CHAPTER 448, LAWS OF 1876,




Passed June 2, 1876 ; three-fifths being present. The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and embly, do enact as follows:









le courts of the State; their general powers and attributes, and general

regulations pertaining to the exercise thereof.

ARTICLE 1. Enumeration and classification.

2. General powers and attributes of the courts.
3. Miscellaneous provisions relating to the sittings of the courts.



SECTION 1. Courts.

2. Courts of record enumerated.
3. Courts not of record.

4. General provision as to jurisdiction, etc. SECTION 1. The courts referred to in this act, are enumerated in the Courta xt two sections.

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Courts of



§ 2. Each of the following courts of the State is a court of record : record

1. The court for the trial of impeachments. ated.

2. The court of appeals.
3. The supreme court.
4. A circuit court in each county.
5. A court of oyer and terminer in each county.
6. The court of common pleas for the city and county of

New York.
7. The superior court of the city of New York.
8. The court of general sessions of the peace in and for the

city and county of New York.
9. The superior court of Buffalo.
10. The city court of Brooklyn.
11. The city court of Long Island city.
12. The city court of Yonkers.
13. A county court in each county, except New York.
14. A court of sessions in each county, except New York.
15. The marine court of the city of New York.
16. The mayor's court of the city of Hudson.
17. The recorder's court of the city of Utica.
18. The recorder's court of the city of Oswego.
19. The justices' court of the city of Albany.

20. A surrogate's court in each county. Courts not

3. Each of the following courts of the State is a court not of record : of record

1. Courts of justices of the peace in each town, and in certain

cities and villages.
2. Courts of special sessions of the peace in each town, and in

certain cities and villages.
3. The district courts in the city of New York.
4. The police courts in certain cities and villages.
5. The justices' court of the city of Troy.

6. The municipal court of the city of Rochester. General

8 4. Each of these courts shall continue to exercise the jurisdiction provision

to ju. and powers now vested in it by law, according to the course and pracrisdiction,

tice of the court, except as otherwise prescribed in this act.





SECTION 5. The sittings of courts to be public.

6. Courts not to sit on Sunday, except in special cases. 7. General powers of courts of record. 8. Criminal contempts defined. 9. Punishment for criminal contempts. 10. Such contempts in view of court; how punished, etc. 11. Requisites of commitment. 12. Preceding sections limited. 13. Indictment, if offence is indictable. 14. Contempts punishable civilly. 15. No punishment for non-payment of interlocutory costs. 16. Id. ; money due upon a contract. 17. Rules of courts of record, how made and revised. 18. Rules to be published. 19. Courts to order calendar printed. 20. Expense to be a county charge. 21. Certain papers may be destroyed. 22. Writs, etc., in name of the people, and in English ; abbreviations.

23. Id. ; teste and return.

ART. 2.
24. Id. ; to be subscribed or indorsed. When error, etc., not to vitiate.
25. No discontinuance by reason of vacancy, etc.
26. In New York, one judge may continue proceedings commenced before

27. Provisions respecting the seals of courts.
28. Seals of counties.
29. What is a sufficient sealing.
30. New seals.

courts to


by it.

85. The sittings of a court are public, and any citizen may freely The sit. attend the same.

tings of $ 6. A court shall not be opened, or transact any business on Sun-be public. day, except to receive a verdict or discharge a jury. An adjournment Courts not of a court on Saturday, unless made after a cause has been committed Sunday, to a jury, must be to some other day than Sunday. But this

section except in does not prevent the exercise of the jurisdiction of a magistrate, where cases. it is necessary to preserve the peace, or, in a criminal case, to arrest, commit or discharge a person charged with an offence.

87. A court of record has power:

1. To issue a subpena, requiring the attendance of a person found powers of in the State, to testify in a cause pending in that court; subject, bow- record. ever, to the limitations, prescribed by law, with respect to the portion of the State, in which the process of a local court of record may be served.

2. To administer an oath to a witness, in the exercise of the powers and duties of the court.

3. To devise and make new process and forms of proceedings, necessary to carry into effect the powers and jurisdiction possessed S 8. A court of record has power to punish for a criminal contempt, Criminal

contempts a person guilty of either of the following acts, and no others :

defined 1. Disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent behavior, committed during its sitting, in its immediate view and presence, and directly tending to interrupt its proceedings, or to impair the respect due to its authority.

2. Breach of the peace, noise, or other disturbance, directly tending to interrupt its proceedings.

3. Wilful disobedience to its lawful mandate.
4. Resistance wilfully offered to its lawful mandate.

5. Contumacious and unlawful refusal to be sworn as a witness; or, after being sworn, to answer any legal and proper interrogatory.

6. Publication of a false, or grossly inaccurate report of its proceedings. But a court cannot punish as a contempt, the publication of a true, full, and fair report of a trial, argument, decision, or other proceeding therein.

3 9. Punishment for a contempt, specified in the last section, may Punishbe by fine, not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars, or by imprison- ment for ment, not exceeding thirty days, in the jail of the county where the contempts. court is sitting, or both, in the discretion of the court. Where a person is committed to jail, for the non-payment of such a fine, he must be discharged at the expiration of thirty days; but where he is also committed for a definite time, the thirty days must be computed from the expiration of the definite time.

§ 10. Such a contempt, committed in the immediate view and Such con. presence of the court, may be punished summarily; when not so com- view of mitted, the party charged must be notified of the accusation, and have court; bow

, a reasonable time to make a defence.




offence is

TITLE I. Requisites § 11. Where a person is committed for such a contempt, the particular of commit- circumstances of his offence must be set forth in the mandate of comment.

mitment. Preceding $ 12. The last four sections do not extend to a special proceeding to limited, punish a person, in a case specified in section fourteen of this act. Indict.

13. Punishment for a conteapt, as prescribed in this article, does ment, if

not bar an indictment for the same offence; but where a person indictable. who has been so punished is convicted on such an indictment, the court,

in sentencing him, must take into consideration the previous punish

ment. Contempts § 14. A court of record has power to punish, by fine and imprisonpunishable civilly.

ment, or either, a neglect or violation of duty, or other misconduct, by
which a right or remedy of a party to a civil action or special proceed-
ing, pending in the court may be defeated, impaired, impeded, or
prejudiced, in either of the following cases:
1. An attorney, counsellor, clerk,

sheriff, coroner, or other person, in any manner duly selected or appointed to perform a judicial or ministerial service, for a misbehavior in his office or trust, or for a wilful neglect or violation of duty therein; or for disobedience to a lawful mandate of the court, or of a judge thereof, or of an officer authorized to perform the duties of such a judge.

2. A party to the action or special proceeding, for putting in fictitious bail or a fictitious surety, or for any deceit or abuse of a mandate or proceeding of the court.

3. A party to the action or special proceeding, an attorney, counsellor, or other person, for the non-payment of a sum of money, ordered or adjudged by the court to be paid, in a case where by law execution cannot be awarded for the collection of such sum; or for any other disobedience to a lawful mandate of the court.

4. A person, for assuming to be an attorney or counsellor, or other officer of the court, and acting as such without authority; for rescuing any property or person in the custody of an officer, by virtue of a mandate of the court; for unlawfully detaining, or fraudulently and wilfully preventing, or disabling from attending or testifying, a witness, or a party to the action or special proceeding, while going to, remaining at, or returning from, the sitting where it is noticed for trial or hearing; and for any other unlawful interference with the proceedings therein.

5. A person subpænaed as a witness, for refusing or neglecting to obey the subpæna, or to attend, or to be sworn, or to answer as a witness.

6. A person duly notified to attend as a juror, at a term of the court, for improperly conversing with a party to an action or special proceeding, to be tried at that term, or with any other person, in relation to the merits of that action or special proceeding: or for receiving a communication from any person, in relation to the merits of such an action or special proceeding, without immediately disclosing the same to the court.

7. An inferior magistrate, or a judge or other officer of an inferior court, for proceeding, contrary to law, in a cause or matter, which has been removed from his jurisdiction to the court inflicting the punishment; or for disobedience to a lawful order or other mandate of the latter court.

8. In any other case, where an attachment or any other proceeding to punish for a contempt, has been usually adopted and practiced in a

ART. 2.

ment for


court of record, to enforce a civil remedy of a party to an action or
special proceeding in that court or to protect the right of a party.
g 15. But a person shall not be arrested or imprisoned, for the non-

No punishpayment of costs, awarded otherwise than by a final judgment, or a; final order made in a special proceeding instituted by State writ, terlocutory except where an attorney, counsellor, or other officer of the court, is costs ordered to pay costs for misconduct as such, or a witness is ordered to pay costs on an attachment for non-attendance.

$ 16. Except in a case where it is otherwise specially prescribed by Id.; money law, a person shall not be arrested or imprisoned for disobedience to a contract. judgment or order, requiring the payment of money due upon a contract, express or implied, or as damages for non-performance of a contract.

§ 17. The general term justices of the supreme court, and the chief Rules of judges of the superior city courts, must meet in convention, at the courts of capitol, in the city of Albany, on the first Wednesday of October, how made eig teen hundred and seventy-seven, and every second year thereafter, vised. The convention must establish rules of practice, not inconsistent with this act, which shall be binding upon an courts of record, except the court for the trial of impeachments and the court of appeals. A majority of the members of the convention constitute a quorum. The rules thus established are styled in this act," the general rules of practice.” § 18. A rule thus established, or a general rule or order of the court Rules to be

published. of appeals, does not take effect, until it has been published in the newspaper published at Albany, in which legal notices are required by law to be published, once in each week for three successive weeks.

$ 19. The supreme court, a superior city court, or a county court may, Courts to from time to time, by order, require the clerk to cause to be printed for the use of the members and officers thereof, the necessary copies of printed. the calendar of causes, prepared for a term of the court, or, in the supreme court, for the circuit court. But this section does not apply to the city and county of New York.

8 20. The expense of printing the copies of the calendar for a term, Expense to shall be a charge upon the county in which the term is held; and be a county must be audited, allowed, and paid, by the board of supervisors thereof, in like manner as other contingent county charges.

821. A superior city court may, from time to time, by an order Certain pa. made at general term, direct the clerk of the court, and the supreme be destroycourt, at general term, may, by a like order, direct a county clerk, to ed. destroy any of the following papers, now filed, or hereafter to be filed in his office, which the court deems to have become useless, to wit: pleadings, or copies of pleadings furnished for the use of the court; jury panels; returns of inferior courts, which have been embodied in judgment-records or judgment-rolls; innkeepers' licenses, ten years old; and returns of election district canvassers, twenty years old, which have been copied, pursuant to law, into books preserved in his office. But this provision does not authorize the destruction of a judgmentroll, or a paper incorporated or necessary to be incorporated into a judgment-roll.

8 22. Except where it is otherwise specially prescribed by law, a Writs, etc., writ or other process must be in the name of the people of the State, the people, and each writ, process, record, pleading or other proceeding in a court, and in or before an officer, must be in the English language, and, unless it is abbreviaoral, made out on paper or parchment, in a fair legible character, in tions. words at length, and not abbreviated. But the proper and known

order calendar

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