George Crane Morehouse.

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ings subsequently held in such towns, and when so met, shall have
power to make such agreement concerning the disposition to be made
of such town lands and the apportionment of the proceeds as they
shall think equitable, and to take all measures and execute all con-
veyances which may be necessary to carry such agreement into effect.

IR. S. 806i S4.

§ 127. On Alteration of a Town.— When any such

town shall be altered in its limits, by the annexing of a part of its
territory to another town or towns, the supervisors and overseers of
the poor of the town from which such territoiy shall be taken, and
of the town or towns to which the same sliall be annexed, shall, as
soon as may be after such alteration, meet for the purpose and pos-
sess the powers provided in the last preceding section.

Id., 5 5.

The Supervisor. 93

§ 128. If no Agreement be Made, Land to be

Sold. — If no agreement for tlie disposition of such lands shall be
made by the supervisors and overseers within six months after such
division or alteration, then the supervisor and overseer of the poor
of each town in which any portion of such lands shall He shall pro-
ceed, as soon as may be, to sell and convey such part of said lands
as shall be included within the limits of such town, as fixed by the
division or alteration ; and the proceeds arising from such sale
shall be apportioned between the several towns interested therein
by the supervisors and overseers of the poor of all the towns, ac-
cording to the amount of taxable property in the town, divided
or altered as the same existed immediately before such division
or alteration, to be ascertained by the last assessment-list of such

Id., I 6.

§ 1 29. Personal Property, boi^ Apportioned.

— When a town possessed of or entitled to money, rights and credits,
or other personal estate, shall be so divided or altered, such personal
estate, including moneys belonging to the town, in the hands of town
oflBcers, shall be apportioned between the towns interested therein,
by the supervisors and overseers of such towns (who shall meet for
that purpose as soon as may be after the first town meeting subse-
quently held in such towns), according to the rule of apportionment
above prescribed.


§ 130. Meeting* Under tbis Title, bow Called.

— Whenever a meeting of the supervisors and overseers of the two
or more towns shall be required, in order to carry into effect the
provisions of this article, such meeting may be called by either of
said supervisors ; but the supervisor calling the same shall give at
least three days' notice, in writing, to all the otlier officers-, of the
time and place at which such meeting is to be held.

Id., §8.

§ 131. Cemeteries Excepted. — The preceding sections
shall not, however, apply to any cemetery or burial-grounds ; but
the same shall belong to the town in which it may be situated, after
a division shall have been made.
Id.,s 9.

94 ScrpERVisoRs' Manual.

§ 132. Debts to be Apportioned — Debts owing by a

town so divided or altered shall be apportioned in the same manner
as the personal property of such town, and each town shall there-
after be charged with its share of such debts according to such ap-

Id., §10; 94 N. T. 263.

A judgmeut creditor of a town which has been divided under the act of 1872
(Chap. 319, Laws of 1873), is not entitled to a mandamus requiring the hoard of
supervisors of the county to levy and assess the amount due upon the territory
formerly included in the town.

It seems that the remedy of the creditor is by mandamus against the officers
of the towns which have any portion of the territory of the old town, requiring
them to meet and discharge the duties devolved upon them by the provisions of
the Revised Statutes (1 R. S. 338, g§ 4 et seq.), which provisions are at least, in
the first instance, exclusive and must be pursued.

It seems, also, that the legislature had power to require the debts of the town
to be paid in the way so prescribed.

The act of 1880, to facilitate the collection of judgments against towns, etc.
(Chap. 554, Laws of 1880), has no application to such a case; but simply had ref-
erence to towns which have not been divided or altered.

People, ex rel., v. Board of Supervisors of Ulster Co., 94 N. T. 263.

§ 133. Gospel and School Lots.— ISTothing contained
in this title shall apply to any of the lots heretofore granted by the
people of this State to any town for the support of the gospel and
of schools, commonly called the gospel and school lots.
Id., §11.


§ 134. Duty in Case of Fire in Woods. — When-
ever the woods in any town shall be on fire, it shall be the duty of
the justices of the peace, the supervisors and the commissioners of
highways of snch town, and of each of them, to order such and so
many of the inhabitants of such town liable to work on the high-
ways and residing in the vicinity of the place where such fire shall
be, as they shall severally deem necessary, to repair to the place
where such fire shall prevail and there to assist in the extinguishing
the same or in stopping its progress.

3K. S. 2086.

A person who, having been lawfully ordered to repair to the place of a fire in
the woods and assist in extinguishing It, omits, without lawful excuse, to comply
with the order, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Penal Code, §414.

The Supeevisoe. 95

Supervisors to be Town Protectors.— The su-
pervisor of every town in the State in which wild or forest lands
belonging to the State are located, except within the counties men-
tioned in section 7 of this act, shall be by virtue of his office
the protector of these lands, subject to the instructions he may re-
ceive from the forest commission. It shall be his duty to report to
the district attorney for prosecution any acts of spoliation or injury
that may be done, and it shall be the duty of such district attorney
to institute proceedings for the prevention of further trespass, and
for the recovery of all damages that may have been committed, with
costs of prosecution. The supervisors shall also report their pro-
ceedings therein to the forest commission. In towns where the for-
est commission shall deem it necessary, they may serve a notice upon
the supervisor, requiring him to appoint one or more forest guards,
and if more than one in a town, the district of each shall be prop-
erly defined. The guard so appointed shall have such powers, and
perform such duties and receive such pay as the forest commission
may determine.

Chap. 283, Laws of 1885, §17.

The counties ' ' mentioned in section 7 " are the counties of Clinton (excepting in
the towns of Altona and Dannemora), Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Ham-
ilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren, Washington,
<Jreene, Ulster and Sullivan, and known as the lihrest I'reserve.

Aa amended by chap. 24, Laws 1889.

Supervisors ex-officio Fire Wardens.— Every

supervisor of a town in this State, excepting within the counties
mentioned in section 7 of this act, shall be eoa-officio fire wardens
therein. But in towns particularly exposed to damages from forest
fires, the supervisor may divide the same into two or more districts,
bounded as far as may be b}' roads, streams of water, or dividing
ridges of land or lot lines, and he may, in writing, appoint one resi-
dent citizen in each district as district fire warden therein. A de-
scription of these districts and the names of the district fire wardens
thus appointed shall be recorded in the office of town clerk. The
supervisor may also cause a map of the fire district of his town to
bo posted in some public place with the names of the district fire
wardens appointed. The cost of such map, not exceeding $5,
may be made a town charge ; and the services of the fire ward-
ens shall also be deemed a town charge and shall not exceed the
sum of $2 per day for the time actually employed. Within the
counties mentioned in section 7 of this act, such persons shall
be fire wardens as may from time to time be appointed by the forest

96 SupEEVisoKs' Manual.

commission. The persons so appointed shall act during the pleasure
of the forest commission; and there shall be applicable to them all
the provisions of this act, with reference to supervisors and district
town wardens. Upon the discovery of a forest fire, it shall be the
duty of the fire warden of the district, town or connty to take such
measures as may be necessary for its extinction. For this purpose
he shall have authority to call upon any person in the territory in
which he acts, for assistance, and any person shall bo liable to a fine
of not less than $5 nor more than $20 for refusing to act when so
called upon.

Id., § 20.

Fences may be Destroyed. — The fire wardens, or

the supervisor, where acting in general charge, may cause fences to
be destroyed or furrows to be plowed to check the running of fires,
and, in cases of great danger, back fires may be set along a road or
stream or other Uno of defense, to clear off the combustible material
before an advancing fire.

Id., §23.

Supervisox* to Report Fire. — The supervisor of every
town of which he is a fire warden as aforesaid and in which a forest
fire of more than one acre in extent has occurred within a year shall
report to the forest commission the extent of area burned over, to
the best of his information, together with the probable amount of
property destroyed, specifying the value of timber, as near as may
be, and amount of cord wood, logs, bark or other forest product,
and of fencing, bridges and buildings that have been burned. He
shall also make inquiries and report as to the causes of these fires, if
they can bo ascertained, and as to the measures employed and found
most effectual in checking their progress. A consolidated summary
of these returns by counties and of the information as to the same
matter otherwise gathered by the forest commission shall be included
in the annual report of the forest commission.

Id., § 24.

To Post Rules. It is also their duty, to cause the rules is-
sued by the forest commission, to be properly posted and replaced
when lost or destroyed.

Id., 8 30.

§ 135. 1. May Agree for use of Highway by
Plankroad Company.— Whenever it shall be necessary

The Supervisor. 97

for any sucli company to nse any part of a public highway for the
construction of a plank or turnpike road, the supervisor and com-
missioner of highways of the town in which such highway is sit-
uated, or a majority, if there be more than one such commissioner
in such town, may agree witli such company upon the compensation
and damages to be paid by said company for taking and using such
highway for the purposes aforesaid. Such agreement shall be in
writing, and shall be filed and recorded in the town clerk's office of
such town. In case such agreement cannot be made, the compensa-
tion and damages for taking such highway for such purpose shall be
ascertained in the same manner as the compensation and damages
for taking the property of individuals. Such compensation and
damages shall be paid to the said commissioners, to be expended by
them in improving the highways of such town.

Laws of 1847, chap. 210, |26 ; 2 R. S. 1332.

But the supervisor and commissioners cannot make the agreement
as above provided without they first obtain the consent in writing of
at least two-thirds of all the owners of land along such highway
who shall actually reside on that part of the highway on which such
planki'oad or turnpike road is to be constructed.

Chap. 71, Laws of 1850, § 5 ; 2 R. S. 1341, § 5 ; see chap. 398, Laws of 1847.

The town officers have not power to grant this right to use the highway on
condition that the company shall erect and maintain its toll-gates in specified lo-
calities, nor are they authorized to make the agreement granting this right, and
as a consideration therefor, obligating it not to locate and maintain a toll-gate
within a specified limit. An action cannot be brought by the supervisors and
commissioners of highways, in their joint names as such officers, on a contract
made by them on behalf of the town , which contains no express agreement with
them, as such officers.

Palmer v. Fort Plain and Cooperstown Plankroad Co., 11 N. T. 376.

An agreement by which the company, as consideration for the agreement, agrees
to keep the road in repair without expense to the town, has been held to be a
valid contract.

People V. Fishklll and Beekman Plankroad Co., 27 Barb. 445 ; Town of Pishkill v.
Fishkill and Beekman Plankroad Co., 22 id. 634.

§ 136. Form of Ag-reement.


This agreement made this third day of November, 1867, between A. B., as su-
pervisor of the town of Pittstown, county of Rensselaer, and C. D. and E. P., as
commissioners of highways of said town, of the first part, and the Northern
Turnpike Company of the pecond part,

Witnesseth, that the said party of the first part, having first become satisfied
that at least two-thirds of all the owners of land along the highway {describe it),
and who actually reside thereon, have consented in writing to the construction of
a turnpike by said party of the second part, on such highway, do, in consideration
of the sum of $500, hereby grant and convey to the said party of the second
part, the right to use and occupy the public highway above described, for the


98 SupERVisoKS' Manual.

purpose of a turnpike road, so long as tlie same shall be needed therefor by said
party of the second part.

In witness whereof, etc.

Sign and Seal.

[Add acknowledgment.]

File and record in the town clerk's office.


§ 137. The supervisors and commissioners of highways of any
and all towns of this State which may adjoin any of the boundary
lines of the State are hereby charged with the care and preservation
of the monuments which have heretofore been placed, or may here-
after be placed, by official action, to mark the said boimdary lines-
And the said supervisors and commissioners of highways are hereby
required to enforce the statutes of this State for the preservation of
monuments and landmarks, so far as they may relate to said bound-
ary monuments, and to prosecute any person who may injure, distiirb
or remove any of them.

Cliap. 449, Laws 1886, § 1.

I 138. The law requiring the supervisors and commissioners of
highway's to make an examination and inspection annually of such
boundary monuments and to make a detailed report thereof, has
been repealed by chapter 421, Laws of 18S7.

§ 139. The said State engineer and surveyor, upon the passage
of this act, is authorized and directed to transmit a copy thereof to
the supervisor of each town adjoining any of the boundary lines of
the State, upon which monuments may be placed, with such instruc-
tions as he may deem necessary. And he is hereby further author-
ized to take such action as may be necessary for the enforcement of
this act in the case of the neglect of any of the town officers afore-
said to comply with the requirements of sections 1 and 2 of this act.

§ 140. This act shall take effect immediately.

Chap. 449, Laws of 1886, § 3.


§ 141. Supervision of Dams, Drains and
Dltclies. — The supervisors, assessors and, commissioners of high-
ways of the several towns, and the president of any incorporated
village, as to lands in such village, shall be water commissioners of
their respective towns, and, in addition to the powers now conferred
by law upon them, they shall have the general charge and supervis-

The Supervisob. 99

ion of all the dams, drains, ditches and channels made, completed or
constructed in said towns under this act. Whenever it shall be nec-
essary to open, deepen, repair, change or do any work to maintain
and keep in repair any such dams, ditches, drains or channels, and
disputes shall arise between the owners of the lands on which such
dams, drains, ditches or channels are situate, regardiug the same, the
said water commissioners, or a majority of them, shall take proceed-
ings similar to those authorized hereby, to be taken and had for the
construction of snch works ; and the said water commissioners are
hereby invested for such purpose, with the powers conferred upon
original commissioners by this act. And where improvements of a na-
ture and character similar to those hereby authorized shall have been
made under the provisions of any special act, it shall be lawful for
the county court of the county to cause the same to be hereafter
kept in repair and improved by the said water commissioners of the
town or towns nnder the provisions of this act ; and the said water
commissioners shall have like power and authority in all cases of
open subsoil or tile draining, when such opeii subsoil or tile drain-
ing shall be, in their judgment, absolutely necessary for public or
sanitary purposes, or for the improvement of farming lands, and the
owner or occupant of any lands which such owner or occupant shall
be desirous of so draining for such ptirposes shall have to cross the
lands of another in order to get an outlet, and the owner of such
lands shall not be able to agree in regard thereto ; and the said water
commissioners shall have power and authority to make all such need-
ful rules and orders in regard to such open subsoil or tile draining,
as shall be necessary to promote and secure the proper drainage of
all farming lands by the owners thereof, who shall desire to drain
such lands for the improvement of the same or for public or sani-
tary purposes, without doing unnecessary injury to others or to
the pubUc highways in which such drains may be discharged. And
no drains, ditches or other channels for the free passage of water
authorized by this act, shall be put across any door-yard, inclosed
garden, orchard or vineyard, nor shall any tree in such door-yards,
inclosed garden, orchard or vineyard, or building, be removed with-
out the owner's consent.

§ 16, tit. 16, chap. 8, part 3 R. S., as amended by chap. 527, Laws of 1888.
The statute relating to drainage is quite lengthy, complicated and .technical.
It may be found in 3 Rev. Stat. 3448, and amendments. If proceedings of this
character are to he instituted, it would be safer to put the matter into some com-
petent attorney's hands, rather than to run the risk of the loss and annoyance
that would result in a layman's attempt to carry them on. For this reason the
statute is not inserted fully.

100 SuPBEVisoEs' Manual.


§ 142. To Control To-wn-house. — Where a town has
purchased a site and erected a town-honse, it is controlled by the
supervisor and the justices of the peace, or a majority of them.

Chap. 197, Laws of 184Y, as amended by chap. 267, Laws of 1879; 1 R. S. 8»S.

This does not apply to those cases in which the town-house is located in an in-
corporated village, which has contributed to the expense of such building and
site. The latter are governed by chapter 456, I;aws of 1884; but see post, § 149.

§ 143. To Lease Public Building to Grand
Army Post. — Any county, city, town or village in the State
of New York is authorized to lease or grant the use of, for a period
not exceeding five years, to any post or posts of the Grand Army of
the Republic or other veteran organization of honorably discharged
soldiers, sailors or marines of the late war, any public building or
any part thereof belonging to such county, city, town or village, ex-
cept school-houses, in actual use as such, without expense, or at a
nominal rent to be fixed by the board of supervisors of such county,
or the board of aldermen of such city, or the board of trustees of
such village, or board of town officers of such town having charge
of such buildings.

All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this
act are hereby repealed.

Chap. 644, Laws of 1886, as amended by chap. 62, Laws of 1888,

§ 144. To Appoint TOTTn Sealer.— A town sealer of
weights and measures shall be appointed by the supervisor and jus-
tices of the peace of the town, and shall hold his office during their

Laws of 1851, chap. 134^ § 22 ; 2 R. S. 1848.

If no town sealer is appointed the county sealer acts.

Id., 5 21.

See form of order below.

See law on this subject, ^osi, " Weights and Measures."


County of Rensselaer, j **' "'

We, the undersigned, supervisor and justices of the peace of the town of Pitts-
town, in the county of Rensselaer, having met and deliberated on the subject of
this order, do by virtue of the power vested in us by the statute, hereby appoint
John Jones, of said town, sealer of weights and measures therein.

In witness whereof we have hereto placed our hands this 3d day of March,
1867. (Signed.)

The Supervisor. 101

§ 145. To Appoint Fireznen.— The supervisor and jus-
tices of the peace, for the time being, of any town of this State,
may appoint in writing any number of the inhabitants of the said
town, not exceeding forty to each fire engine, which may be pro-
cured for the extinguishment of tires in said town ; the persons so
appointed shall be firemen of the said town, but no such company
shall be formed pursuant to this act in any incorporated city or vil-
lage ; and all such firemen, and all the members of any fire company,
or of any hook and ladder company, appointed pursuant to any law
of this State, shall, while they are such firemen or members, be ex-
empt from serving on juries in courts of record, and except in cases
of war, insurrection or invasion, from militia duty.

Laws of 1832, chap. 222, as amended 1845, chap. 244 ; 1 R. S. 851, §1. See subd.
34, § 1, chap. 482, Laws 1875, post.

All vacancies in such company are filled by the supervisor and

Id., § 4.

The form of an order so appointing may be adapted from the preceding one.
For villages with special charters, see chap. 244, Laws 1887; chap. 343, Laws
1883, and chap. 315, Laws 1887, for unincorporated villages.

§ 146. To Appoint Collector.— If any person chosen
or appointed to the office of collector of any town or ward in this
State shall refuse to serve, or shall die, resign or remove out of the
town or ward, before he shall have entered upon or completed the
duties of his office, or shall be disabled from completing the same,
by reason of sickness or any other cause, the supervisor and any two
justices of such town or ward shall forthwith appoint a collector for
the remainder of the year, who shall give the like security, and be
subject to the like duties and penalties, and have the same powers
and compensation as the collector in whose place he was appointed ;
and the supervisor shall forthwith give notice of such appointment
to the cownty treasurer. But such appointment shall not exonerate
the former collector, or his sureties, from any liability incurred by
him or them.

2R. S. 1009, i 11.
For form of appointment see next subdivision.

If a warrant shall have been issued by the board of supervisors
prior to such appointment, the original warrant, if the same can be
obtained, shall be delivered to the collector so appointed, and shall
be considered as giving him the same powers as if originally issued
to him ; but if such warrant cannot be obtained, the clerk of the

102 SuPEEVisoKs' Manual,

board of supervisors makes out a new one, which shall be directed
to the collector so appointed.

Id., §12.

Upon every such appointment the supervisor, if he think it neces-
sary, may extend the time limited for the collection of taxes for not
exceeding thirty days, of which extension he shall forthwith give
notice to the county treasurer.


Whbrkas, a vacancy has occurred in the office of collector of taxes of the town
of Hoosick, ijy reason of the death [refusal to serve, or as the case may be) of G.
H., heretofore elected to said office from said town.

Now, therefore, by virtue of the power vested in us by statute, in such case
made and provided, we, the undersigned, supervisor and two justices of said town,
do hereby, in order to fill the vacancy, appoint C. A. collector of said town, to
hold said office until the next succeeding annual town meeting of said town, as
provided by law.

Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 11 of 96)