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CHAPTER III.

APPRENT1CES, CLERKS, AND SERVANTS.

STATUTORY PROV1S1ONS.

Every male infant, and every unmarried female under the age of eighteen years, with the consent of the persons or officers hereinafter mentioned, may, of his or her own free-will, bind himself, or herself, in writing, to serve as clerk, apprentice, or servant, in any profession, trade, or employment; if a male, until the age of twenty-one years, and if a female, until the age of eighteen years, or for any shorter time; such binding will be as valid and effectual as if the infant were of full age at the time of making the engagement.1

Such consent must be given:

1. By the father of the infant. If he be dead, or be not in a legal capacity to give his consent, or if he shall have abandoned and neglected to provide for his family, and such fact be certified by a justice of the peace of the township or county,or sworn to by a credible witness, and such certificate or affidavit be endorsed on the indenture, then,

2. By the mother. If the mother be dead, or be not in a legal capacity to give such consent or refusal, then,

3. By the guardian of such infant duly appointed. If such infant have no parent living, or none in a legal capacity to give consent, and there be no guardian, then,

4. By the supervisors of the county, or any two justices of the peace, or the judge of the Probate Court of the county.

, Such consent must be signified in writing by the person entitled to give the same, by a certificate at the end of or endorsed upon the indentures, and not otherwise.

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The executors of any last will of a parent, who shall be directed in such will to bring up his or her child to some trade or calling, may bind such child to service, as a clerk or apprentice, in like manner as the father might have done if living. The supervisors of the county may bind out any child under the ages above specified, who is or shall become chargeable to such county, to be clerks, apprentices, or servants. The child of a parent or parents chargeable to a town or city may be bound out by the presiding officer of the first council or legislative board, or any public officer or officers appointed to provide for the poor.

In San Francisco, the board of managers of the Industrial School may bind out the children of the institution.

The age of every infant bound as aforesaid, must be inserted in the indenture, and will be taken to be the true age, without further proof thereof; and public officers who act in such cases, are required to inform themselves fully of the infant's age. Every snra of money paid, or agreed for, with or in relation to the binding out of any clerk, apprentice, or servant, must also be inserted in the indenture.

The person to whom the child may be bound must enter into an agreement to be inserted in the indentures, that he will cause such child to be instructed to read and write, and to be also instructed in the general rules of arithmetic. The counterpart of any indentures executed by any county, city, or town officers, must be deposited in the office of the clerk of their county, city, or town.

Any white person, capable of becoming a citizen of this state, coining from any other country, state, or territory, may bind himself, or herself, to service, if an infant, until majority, or for any shorter term. Such contract of service, if made for the purpose of raising the passage-money, may be for the term of one year, although such term may extend beyond the time when he will be of full age; but shall in no case be for a longer term. No contract made as aforesaid will bind the servant, unless it be acknowledged by him or her before some public magistrate, or other officer authorized to administer others; nor unless a certificate of such acknowledgment, and that the same was made freely, on a private examination, be endorsed thereupon.

Indians having one-half or more Indian blood cannot be apprenticed.

No indenture, or contract for the service of any apprentice is valid, as against the person whose services may be claimed, unless made in the manner above prescribed.

The master is entitled to all the earnings of the apprentice.

A guardian is liable although the apprentice has gone off and left his master.

Our laws recognize no general authority in a father to dispose of his children, except for some specific and temporary purpose, such as apprenticeship during the father's life, or guardianship after his death.

Such indentures of apprenticeship may be annulled and declared void by any district court, or a judge thereof, or by a county court, or a judge of such court, in the county where the master, or person to whom such apprentice is bound, shall reside, upon satisfactory proof of either of the following named causes:

First—Fraud in the contract of indenture.

Second—When such contract is not made or executed in accordance with the provisions of this act.

Third—For wilful non-fulfilment, by such master, of the provisions of such indenture.

Fourth—Cruelty or maltreatment of such apprentice, by the master, without just cause or provocation.

Aud in such case an account may be taken and adjusted by such court or judge for any services rendered by the apprentice for the master under the articles of such indenture; and, in case such indenture shall be annulled, judgment may be given for such sum as may be found equitably due the apprentice, on account of any services so performed by him for such master.

For the purpose of annulling such contract of apprenticeship, and recovering for services as aforesaid, application shall be made, either in term-time or vacation, by such apprentice, or on his behalf, but always in his name; which application shall be made by petition, verified by oath, stating the grounds on which such application is made, the amount claimed, if any, for such services, and praying for the relief demanded. Such petition shall be filed with the clerk of the court, who shall immediatel}' issue a citation thereon, duly certified, stating the grounds of such application ae set forth in the petition, and the relief sought thereby. The citation shall also designate the time and place for the hearing of the application, and shall be directed to such master, and shall require him to appear and answer such petition, at the time and place s0- designated, or in default thereof proof thereon will be heard in his absence, and such judgment as the right of the case will be rendered upon such petition; such citation shall be served at least five days before the day appointed therein for the hearing as aforesaid, by such person or officer (in the same manner and with the Jike effect) as is authorized to serje^ummons in civil cases in courts of record. And on the day appointed for the hearing of the petition, such master may file fcia^ answer in writing, verified like the petition, setting forth any just cause why the prayer of the petitioner should not be granted; and upon such pleadings, the court, or judge in term-time or vacation, shall hear the proofs of the parties, who shall be styled plaintiff and defendant as in civil cases, in the same manner^ and shall determine the case in all respects as chancery cases are^ried and decided under the civil practice act, and may annul such indentures, and grant any remedy or relief provided in this act, either with or without costs. But no adjournment or continuance of the case shall be granted, for any cause, for a longer period than ten days for any one time, and the decision of such court or judge shall be final.1

Any person held to service under the provisions of this act, and unlawfully departing and absenting himself or herself therefrom, upon the application of the master or mistress of such person, under oath, in writing, to the county judge of the county, that such person has absented himself or herself without permission, the judge may issue a writ reciting the substance of the affidavit, and commanding that such person be brought before him; the writ may be served by any officer authorized to make arrests, and if, upon the person being brought before him, and upon an examination of the matter, he is satisfied that such person is legally held to service, and has absented himself or herself without just cause, he shall order the person held to service to return to the care and custody of the person lawfully entitled

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to such service or labor. If such person persist in refusing to return, or returning, immediately absent himself or herself without leave, such judge may order such person held to service to be confined in the county jail, station house, or house of refuge, for such time as he may deem proper, not to exceed one month; or, at the instance of the master or mistress, may annul the indentures.1

Any person who ^hall aid, or assist, or encourage any person to run away, or harbor or conceal auy person held to labor, knowing the same^o be absent without leave of the master or mistress, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be fined in any sumTiot exceeding one hundred dollars.'

Whenever any insane person shall have any claim for lands derived from Spanish or Mexican authorities, and such claim shall have been rejected by the commissioners to ascertain and settle private land .elaims in the state of California, the guardian of such insane person, appointed or to be appointed, by the Probate Court or judge, shall have power^# 'employ counsel on behalf of such insane person, and on such terms as he may deem to be the best interest of his ward, to prqsecute such claim on appeal before the District Court, or the Supreme Court of the United States, and for that purpose he may sell and convey such portion of the land so claimed as may be necessary therefor, and to meet any necessary expenses that may be incurred in the prosecution of such claim. The deed of conveyance by the guardian shall be approved by the district judge of the district in which the land is situated, by his approval in writing endorsed thereon, and shall be effectual to pass the estate of the said insane person in and to the land so conveyed; provided, that any contract so made with counsel for the prosecution of any such appeal, shall be first approved by the judge of the District Court of the district in which the land lies, upon petition duly presented for that purpose by the guardian; and provided, further, no sale of land, for the purpose aforesaid, shall take place, ^without a similar approval by the District Court aforesaid, upon a like petition of the guardian.'

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