the town where such creatures are impounded; and if the damages be above twenty dollars, then to be prosecuted at the next succeeding court of common pleas to be holden for the county where the damage was sustained: and the justices or wardens who shall grant such writ of replevin shall return the same, with the bond by them taken, (if triable at the court of common pleas.) into the clerk's office of said court, five days before the sitting of such court, and the party distraining shall, before trial, put in his avowry or justification of impounding; and in case the replevin be triable before the justices or wardens of the town as aforesaid, that then the same shall be prosecuted and determined by them, within five days after such writ of replevin shall be served, and not after.

large to be


Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That no hog or hogs Hogs at in any town in this State, from the twelfth day of February to the twenty-sixth day of October, annually, shall go at large, without being yoked and rung, unless by act of any town it be ordered otherwise: and it shall and may be lawful for any person to impound any hog or hogs running loose contrary to this act; and the owner of such hog or hogs shall pay the fees and expences of impounding the same, before they be discharged from the pound.

Form of the writ of replevin.

To the Town-Sergeant of the town of

Writ of replevin.

of ple

or to any of

the Constables of said town, greeting. You are hereby, in the name of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, required to replevy belonging to

county of of



in the

now distrained or impounded by
in the county aforesaid, and deliver the
unto the said

bond to me in the sum of

he having given dollars, to prosecute his

replevin at the next court of common pleas to be holden for said county, on the

Monday in

to pay such costs and damages as the said

next, and

shall then and there recover against him: hereof fail not, and make true return to me of this writ, with your doings thereon. Given under my hand and seal, in

aforesaid, in the year

The same form of writs of replevin to be observed when cognizable before the justices and wardens, mutatis mutandis.


breaking through

fence, owner of

fence li


SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That if any proprietor or occupant of improved land shall suffer his part of the unlawful division fence to become or continue out of repair, and not conformable to law, whereby the proprietor or occupant of any lands adjoining shall sustain injury by any cattle, sheep, horses or hogs, breaking into his enclosures, through or over such unlawful fence, the party aggrieved shall be entitled to his action of trespass against the owner or occupant of such unlawful fence, to recover all damages which he shall have sustained by any cattle, sheep, horses or hogs, breaking into his enclosure through such unlawful fence; subject however to the conditions annexed to the first section of this act.

16991739 An act to prevent Sheep and Cattle from being worried and torn

'94 '98

1811 '19

$20 $22.

Remedy against

by Dogs.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Owners of authority thereof it is enacted, That when any person shall dogs which have any sheep or cattle worried, torn or killed by any kill sheep, dog or dogs, in such case the owner of such sheep or cat


Towncouncils may tax

ers, &c.

tle shall recover his damages against the owner of such dog or dogs, by action of the case, with costs of suit; and if afterwards any further damage be done by such dog or dogs to any sheep or cattle, the owner of such dog or dogs shall pay to the party aggrieved thereby, double damages; to be recovered in like manner as aforesaid with costs; and that an order be made by the court before whom such recovery shall be had, for killing such dog or dogs, and that the same be done accordingly by the officer who shall be charged therewith.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the town-councils of the several towns in this State be and they are the own hereby authorized and empowered to impose such tax or taxes upon every person within their respective towns, who shall own or keep any dog or dogs, as they may think proper; and also to make such orders, by-laws and regulations, to prevent damage being done to flocks of sheep and cattle, by dogs, as they may deem necessary: ProvidProviso. ed however, That the towns of Providence, East-Greenwich, Cranston, North-Providence, Portsmouth, Newport, Middletown, Tiverton, Hopkinton, New-Shoreham and Warwick, are hereby excepted from the provisions of this act.

An act concerning Dogs.

1698 1729

'61 '94 98

1811 '19

make laws

them if

they think

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority 2022. thereof it is enacted, That the town-councils of the towns Certain of Providence, Newport, Portsmouth, East-Greenwich, towns to Cranston, North-Providence, Middletown, Tiverton, Hop- relative to kinton, New-Shoreham and Warwick, be and they are dogs. hereby empowered to make and carry into execution such laws and regulations concerning dogs within their respective towns as they shall deem expedient, and to inflict To kill such penalties and forfeitures for the breach of such laws and regulations as they may deem expedient, whether the proper. same extend to the destruction of the life of the animal or otherwise; and all pecuniary penalties inflicted by such Pecuniary town-councils respectively, shall be recovered by action of penalties debt or complaint, before any one or more of the justices covered. of the peace or wardens of the town in which a breach of such laws and regulations shall happen; provided that no Proviso. pecuniary penalty inflicted as aforesaid shall exceed the sum of five dollars.

how re

1817 22.


An act for the Crying of Horses, Neat Cattle, Sheep and Hogs. 1734 98 SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Estrays authority thereof it is enacted, That it shall and may be law-how to be ful for any person within this State, who shall find any with. horses, neat cattle, sheep or hogs, damage feasant, within his own land in this State, not knowing to whom the same belong, to take any creature so found as an estray, and within ten days next after such taking up of any such creature, to repair to the town-clerk of the town in which the same may be taken up, and give notice thereof; and Townthe said town-clerk shall thereupon cause to be made clerk to three notifications, attested under his hand, setting forth tray. the natural and artificial marks of such creature, one of which notifications shall be set up in the same town, and the other two in some public places in the two next towns in this State; and shall also cause such notification to be published in one of the newspapers printed in the town. nearest to that in which such estray shall be taken up: May be and any creature so strayed and taken up shall be kept year and by the person who took it up, one year and a day, (and if a day. it be a horse, to have a withe kept about his neck, the whole of said time,) and any person laying just claim to

notify es

kept a


may re

claim within

taking up

such creature, may, at any time, within the year and day, have the same again, upon paying the just and reasonable charges of keeping, crying and notifying as aforesaid; but said time. in case any difference shall happen to arise between the said parties about the claim or charge of keeping such creature, the same shall be referred to the two or three next justices of the peace or wardens within said town, who are hereby directed and empowered to hear and determine the same, according to justice and equity, and to tax cost as in other cases, which judgment shall be final: Otherwise, and in case no owner shall appear within said limited time, persons the person who took up said creature shall repair to the may con- town-clerk, taking with him two good freeholders of the vert to his neighborhood, who shall be by the town-clerk engaged to make a faithful and true appraisal of said creature; and the person who took such creature shall pay one half of the sum said creature shall be appraised at (after all just charges are deducted) into the hands of the town-clerk, who shall give the said person a certificate from under his hand that he hath proceeded according to law with said creature; and upon the receipt thereof, the person who took up said creature may convert the same to his own Penalty use and any person taking up any creature and not proproceeding ceeding as is by this act required, shall forfeit the sum of according five dollars, to be recovered before any two justices or

own use,


for not

to law.

Townclerk to keep record of proceed


wardens in the town where the offence shall be committed, by action of debt, one half thereof to and for the poor of said town, and the other half to and for the use of him who will sue for the same; provided that this act shall not extend to such towns where other provision is made by law.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That each town-clerk shall keep a fair record of all his proceedings, according to this act; and shall pay all money by him received for any creature strayed, and for which no owner appears, into the town-treasury, immediately on receipt thereof: and the town-clerk shall be paid for every creature so cried, and for every advertisement posted up or printed as aforesaid, twelve cents; and if no owner appear, and it be appraised, and he give a certificate as aforesaid, he shall have twenty-five cents therefor.

An act for regulating Fences.

1666, 1725

'28 '53 '97


SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by Lawful the authority thereof it is enacted, That the fences herein- fences. after described are and shall be adjudged lawful fences, to wit: a hedge with a ditch shall be three feet high, upon the bank of the ditch well staked at the distance of two feet and a half, bound together at the top, and sufficiently filled to prevent small stock from creeping through, and the bank of the ditch shall not be less than one foot above the surface of the ground: a hedge without a ditch shall be four feet high, staked, bound and filled, as a hedge with a ditch: post and rail fence on the bank of a ditch shall be four rails high, each well set in posts, and not less than four feet and a half high: a stone-wall fence shall be four feet high, with a flat stone hanging over the top thereof, or a good rail or pole thereon, well staked or secured with crotches or posts; and a stone-wall without such flat stones, rails or posts on the top, shall be four feet and a half high; and all other kinds of fences not herein particularly described, shall be four feet and a half high.

fences to


SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That all partition Partition fences between lands under improvement shall be made be equally and maintained in equal halves, in length and quality, maintainby the proprietors or possessors of such lands respectively; and in case any proprietor of land shall improve his land (the land adjoining being unimproved) and shall make the whole partition fence, in such case the proprietor or possessor of the land adjoining and unimproved shall, upon improvement thereof, pay for one half of such partition fence, according to the value thereof at that time, and shall keep up and maintain the same ever afterwards, whether he shall continue to improve such land or not; and all partition fences shall be kept up and maintained in good order through the year, except the parties concerned shall otherwise agree.



SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That when any pro- On refusal prietor or possessor of land shall neglect or refuse to sup- ppt be port the one half part of any divisional fence, or shall made to withdraw his fence from any divisional line, upon com- fenceplaint thereof to any one fence-viewer of the town in which such cause of complaint shall arise by the party aggrieved, and upon request to him to view such insufficient or defective fence, such fence-viewer shall attend

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