George Crane Morehouse.

The 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

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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 40 of 96)
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exceed six days.

In case of any vacancy occurring in the board of town auditors
by the death or removal from the town of any or either of such au-
ditors, or by his neglect or refusal to accept such office, the super-
visor of the town in which such vacancy occurs may appoint some
suitable and competent person to fill such vacancy until the next
annual town meeting thereafter.

Id., § 5, as amended by Laws 1881, chap. 8V0.

Repealing' Clause.— Chapter 180 of the Laws of 1875,
entitled " An act creating a board of town auditors in the several
towns of this State and to prescribe their powers and duties," and
also all the acts amendatory thereof, are hereby repealed, " except
in the towns of Ausable, Champlain, Peru and Plattsburgh, in the
county of Clinton ; and the town of Lenox, in the county of Madi-
son ; and towns of Queensbury, Chester and Caldwell, in the county
of Warren, and the county of Essex."

Laws 1883, chap. 48, as amended by Laws 1883, chap. 130.

Under this act it is held that the commissioners of highways are
required to account annually before the board of town auditors, and
not before the board of town officers.

People, ex rel. Bechtel, v. Welbrook, 27 Hun, 598.

§ 447« Tbird. In 1886, another statute was passed, by which
the electors of any town may determine, by ballot, to elect a board of
town auditors. The following is the law :

ToTrn Meeting may Adopt this Act.— The electors
in each of the several towns of this State may, at any annual town
meeting held after the passage of this act, determine by ballot
whether there shall be elected at the next succeeding town meeting,
held in the town, a board of town auditors iji and for said town, in
the manner and under the restrictions hereijiafter prescribed.

Laws 1886, chap. 585, § 1.



360 Supervisors' Manual.

Notice and Ballots Required.— If requested so to do
by a request in writing, signed by at least twenty freeholders resid-
ing in the town, the assessors, or a majority thereof, shall give notice
by posting in three conspicuous places in the town ten days before
the annual town meeting to be held therein, a written notice ; if
there is a newspaper published in said town, such notice shall be
published therein for two successive weeks immediately before said
town meeting, to the effect that the electors of the town will deter-
mine such fact at the ensuing town meeting. The said assessors
shall thereupon have prepared, at the expense of the town, ballots to
be used at said town meeting for the purpose herein named, on which
shall be printed the words in plain type, " For Town Auditors," and
" Against Town Auditors," respectively. A separate ballot-box shall
be provided, in which said ballots shall be deposited by the electors
who shall vote at said town meeting. The ballots shall be canvassed
the same as the ballots cast for town officers at the said town meeting.

Id., §2.

Terms of Office. — If a majority of such ballots so cast shall
be in favor of electing a board of town auditors, there shall be chosen,
in the manner prescribed in the next section, at the next succeeding
annual town meeting, three town auditors, one of whom shall be
elected for one year, one for two years and one for three years and
annually thereafter, unless otherwise determined as provided in
this act, one town auditor to serve three years and who shall form
the board of town auditors of said town.

Id., §3.

HO'W Voted for. — Such town auditors shall be voted for
upon the same ballots as other town officers, and the ballot received
and canvassed and their election certified.
Id., § i.

Powers of. — All the powers conferred by law upon boards of
town auditors, and all duties required by law to be performed by
such boards are conferred upon and shall be required of the town
auditors elected or appointed under and pursuant to this act. On the
Tuesday preceding the annual town meeting in each year they shall
examine and audit the accounts of the supervisor for money received
and disbursed by him, and the supervisor shall account with them,
instead of with the justice of the peace and town clerk, as now pro-
vided by law. All bills and claims must be presented to such audi-
tors on the first day of their session.

Id., § 5, as amended bj Laws 1888, chap. 488.

Wlio Eligible— to Hold no Other Office.— No

person shall be elected or appointed as such town auditor, or shall
hold office as such, unless he is a freeholder of the town in which he
is elected, and liable to pay taxes therein ; and no person so elected
or appointed shall hold any other office in said town during the term



AuDiTiH^G OF Accounts. 361

for which he is elected or appointed ; and if he shall accept an elec-
tion or appointment to any other office iu said town he shall imme-
diately cease to be a town auditor, and the vacancy in his office shall
be supplied in the manner hereinafter required.
Id, § 6.

Present To-wn Auditors to Appoint, etc.— The

several persons composing the board of town auditors in and for the
town in which the electors have determined to elect a board of town
auditors, as provided in this act, or a majority of them, shall, within
sixty days after the election where it was so determined, convene at
some suitable place in the said town, at the hour of ten o'clock in
the forenoon, and proceed to appoint, in writing, under their hands
and seals, three persons having the qualifications prescribed by this
act, to be town auditors of said town, and shall immediately cause
such appointment to be filed with the town clerk of the town. The
persons so appointed shall within ten days after receiving notice of
their appointment, take, subscribe and file in the town clerk's office
of the town, the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution and
laws of this State. The persons so appointed and qualified shall
compose the board of town auditors of said town, and shall possess and
exercise all the powers and duties of town auditors, as prescribed by
tliig act, and shall hold and discharge the duties of tiie said office
until the next annual town meeting to be held in said town after
their appointment.
Id., 5 7.

Compensation — Filling Vacancies. — Each of
such town auditors shall be entitled to receive for his services
$3 per day for each day, not exceeding ten days. In case of
any vacancy occurring in the board of town auditors by the death
or removal from the town by either of such auditors, or by his neg-
lect or refusal to accept such office, the supervisor of the town shall
appoint some suitable and competent person to fill such vacancy until
the next annual town meeting thereafter.
Id., §8.

Town Meeting Trben to Discontinue Board.

— At any subsequent town meeting after the election of a board of
town auditors, as herein provided, the electors of the several towns
may determine, by ballot, to discontinue the election of such board
and reinvest the town boards of audit, as now constituted in the
several towns, with the powers and duties they now possess. Such
determination shall be made in all respects as provided in the first
and second sections of this act for determining whether such boards
of town auditors shall be chosen in the first instance. But such de-
termination to discontinue the election of a board of town auditors
shall not be had within five years after a board of town auditors has
been elected pursuant to the provisions of this act.

Id., % 9,

46



362 Supervisors' Manual.

Act, Where not to Apply. — The provisions of this
act shall not apply to the counties of Warren, Essex, Albany and
Saratoga, and said counties shall continue to elect boards of town
auditors as provided by the special acts applicable to said counties.

Id.,.§ 10, as amended by Latrs of 1887, chap. 108.

§ 448. Fourtll. Some cities and counties also have special
acts on this subject.

The principles governing the auditing of accounts are the same, under which-
ever law the board may be acting, and are given above.

THE BOAKD OF TOWX AUDITORS.

§ 449. Who Compose the Board.— In towns acting
under the statutes enumerated under "first," supra, the super-
visor, town clerk, justices of the peace, or any two of said justices^
constitute the board of town auditors as to all accounts except that
of the supervisors. The latter account is audited as follows :

§ 450. Auditors of Supervisor's Account.—
The justices of the town, or a majority of them, and the town clerk
shall, on the Tuesday preceding the annual town meeting in each
year, examine and audit the accounts of the supervisor, for moneys
received and disbursed by him. The accounts so audited shall be
filed in the office of the town clerk, as above provided.

1 R. S. 835, g 49.

On Tuesday preceding the annual town meeting, the supervisor
must account with the justice of the peace and town clerk of the
town, for the disbursement of all moneys received by him.

At every such accounting the justices and town clerk shall enter
a certificate in the supervisor' s book of accounts, showing the state
of his accounts at the date of the certificate. If any supervisor
shall neglect to account or shall render a false account, or shall con-
vert to his own use any money or securities which may come to his
hands by virtue of his office, proceedings may be commenced against
him in the name of the town of which he is supervisor, in the su-
preme court, by action or otherwise, by the justices of the peace and
town clerk of said town, to compel him to render such account, or
to recover any money or property of the town which he has not
djily accounted for.

1 R. S. 826, 827. SS 4 and 5.

For form of keeping the supervisor's books and certificate to be entered therein,
see ante, §§ 39, 40.

After the term of the supervisor has expired and another has succeeded to the
office, a writ of mandamus will not lie to compel the former to meet and account
with the justices and town clerk, under this law.
People, ex rel. Johnson, v. Martin, 43 How. 52.



Auditing of Accounts. 363

The remedy of the town is by action upon the supervisor's bond, or by action
in the name of the town under chapter 534, Laws of 1866, to compel them to ac-
count, and for the recovery of any money or property, not duly accounted for.
Id.

§ 451. "When to Meet. — There are two meetings provided
for, viz. :

First. — On the Tuesday preceding the annual town meeting, the
board meet to audit the following accounts :

A. The supervisor's account.

See next section above.

B. The accounts of the overseers of the poor and the commis-
sioners of highways, and ail other town officers who receive or dis-
burse any moneys belonging to the town.

A special meeting ipay be called to settle claims for damages to
persons or property, by defective bridges.
See § 435, and "Defective Bridges," po«i.

To Fix Penalty of Supervisor's Bond —

Within ten days after town meeting, the board is to meet, in towns
which have voted to transfer the powers of railroad commissioners
to the supervisor, to fix the penalty of his bond, etc.
See law in full, § 23, ante.

§ 452. Accounts of Overseers of tbe Poor.—

In those counties where there are no county poor-houses established,
the overseers of the poor of the respective towns shall enter, in
books to be provided at the expense of their towns, an account of
all matters transacted by them relating to their official duties ; of all
moneys received by them, specifying from whom, and on what
account ; of all moneys laid out and disbursed by them ; to whom
and by what authority, and specifying in each case whether to
county poor or to town poor; the names of all persons applying for
rehef, and ordered to be relieved as aforesaid ; the day and year
when they were admitted to have relief ; tbe weekly or other sums
of moneys allowed for that purpose, and the cause of giving such
relief.

8 K. S. 1864, § 51.

For accounting in counties acting under the Livingston county law, see that
law below.

Money expended by the overseer for the support of a poor person, at her re-
quest, may be sued for and recovered.

City of Albany v. McNamara, 49 Hun, 356.



364 Supervisors' Manual.

On the Tuesday next preceding the annual town meeting of
every town, the overseers of the poor shall lay the said original
books before the board of town auditors, together with a just and
true account of all moneys by them received and expended for the
use of the poor, and in what manner, together with an account of
the earnings of the poor persons by them employed ; which accounts
shall be verified by the oaths of the overseers, and shall be filed with
the town clerk. The board of town auditors shall compare the said
account with the entries in the poor books aforesaid ; shall examine
the vouchers in support thereof, and shall audit and settle the same,
and state the balance due from such overseers, or to them, as the
case may be. No credit shall be allowed to any overseer for
moneys paid, unless it shall appear that such payment was made
pursuant to a legal order.

Id., § 52.

Every person who, having been an overseer of the poor, shall
refuse or neglect to present such original books, or to exhibit
such accounts, to the board of town auditors, as required in
the last section, shall forfeit the sum of $250, to be re-
covered by and in the name of the overseers of the poor of such
town.

Id., 8 53.
See " Form of Account," post, § 454.

Tbe Living-ston County Poor Juovr.

LAWS OF 1845, CHAP. 334.

AN ACT in relation to the temporary relief of the poor in the county of Living-
ston, and such other counties as may adopt the provisions of this act.

Tovms in which Persons Believed Beside, to Pay Expenses.

Section 1. The expenses which shall be incurred in the relief or support of in-
digent persons entitled thereto by law, in the county of Livingston, before re-
moving such persons to the county poor-house of such county, pursuant to the
provisions of the Revised Statutes for the relief and support of indigent persons,
including the charges of overseers of the poor for services rendered in providing
for such relief and support (but not the expense of such removal), shall be a
charge upon the towns in which the persons so relieved or supported shall respect-
ively be.

§ 2. The overseers of the poor of said county shall provide for such relief or sup-
port, pursuant to the order of a justice of the peace, to be obtained in the manner
provided by the forty-sixth section of the Revised Statutes above mentioned, ex-
cept for medical services to an amount not exceeding five dollars, for which no
order shall be required, until such person shall be removed to the county poor-
house of such county, or until the necessity for any further expenditure shall
cease; and it shall not be necessary to obtain the sanction of a superintendent of
the poor to authorize the expenditure of a greater sum than ten dollars for the re-



AuDiTHifG OF Accounts, 365

lief of any one poor person or family. Provided that such orders granted pur-
suant to this section shall be granted without fee or reward.
See chap. 655, Laws of 1887, next page.

§ 3. The overseers of the poor shall keep a book, to be procured at the expense
of the town, in which they shall enter the name, age, sex and native country of
every poor person who shall be relieved or supported by them, together with a
statement of the causes, either direct or indirect, which shall have operated to
render such person a pauper, so far as the same can be ascertained. They shall
also enter in such book a statement of all moneys received by them, when, and
from whom, and on what account received, and of all moneys paid out by them,
when, and to whom paid, and on what authority.

Book to be Laid Before the Town Auditors.

8 4. On the Tuesday next preceding the annual town meeting, in every year,
and also on the Thursday next preceding the annual meeting of the board of su-
pervisors of such county in every year, the overseers of the poor shall lay the said
book before the board of town auditors, together with a just and true account of
all moneys received and expended by them for the use of the poor since the last
preceding meeting of the said board of town auditors. The said board of auditors
shall compare said account with the entries in the poor book aforesaid, and shall
examine the vouchers in support thereof, and audit and settle the same, and state
the balance due from the overseers, or to them, as the case may be. The said
account shall be filed with the town clerk; and at every annual town meeting, the
town clerk shall produce such poor accounts for the then preceding year, and read
the same if required by the meeting.

Accounts, Sow Audited.

% 5. The accounts of overseers of the poor for their services in affording the re-
lief and support mentioned in this act shall be audited, certified, levied, collected
and paid in the manner now provided by law in respect to other town accounts.

Toton Auditors to Certify the Names, Ages, etc., of Persons Believed.

§ 6. At the annual meeting of the board of town auditors on the Thursday pre-
ceding the annual meeting of the board of supervisors, the said board of town
auditors shall make a certificate to be signed by a majority of the board specify-
ing the name, age, sex and native country of every person who shall have been
relieved or supported by the overseers of the poor during the then preceding year,
and stating the causes, either direct or indirect, which shall have operated to
render such person a pauper, and the amount of money expended for the use of
each and every person so relieved or supported as allowed by the board of audit-
ors; together with the amount allowed to each overseer for services rendered in
relation to the temporary relief of the poor as aforesaid; which certificate the said
board of auditors shall cause to be delivered to the superintendents of the poor of
such county, or one of them, on or before the first day of December then next.

Estimate to he Made of Amount Neeessa/ry for Next Tear.

§ 7. The board of town auditors shall also at their annual meeting mentioned in
the last preceding section, make an estimate, to be signed by a majority of the
board, of the sum which they shall deem necessary for the temporary relief and
support of the poor the ensuing year, and to supply any deficiency in the preceding
year, and shall cause the said estimate to be laid before the board of supervisors
of such county, on the first day of their then next annual meeting. The board of
supervisors shall cause the said sum to be levied and collected in the town where
the same was estimated to be necessary as aforesaid, in the manner now provided
by law in respect to other town charges, and to be paid to the overseers of the poor
of such town.

§ 8. It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors of such county to ex-
amine the accounts of the superintendents of the poor and audit the same.

8 R. S. 1871.



366 Supervisors' Manual.

Whenever the board of supervisors of any county in this State shall, by resola.
lion, declare their intention to adopt the provisions of the Livingston county act,
all the provisions of said act shall extend and apply to said county.

Chap. 245, Laws 1846, § 1.

not applicable to Kew Tork nor Kings county.

Id., § 2.

Temporary Relief.— Chapter 655, La^rs 1887.

— The board of supervisors of any county in this State may, by
resolution, direct that the money to be raised in the several towns
of said county, for the support of the poor in said towns, be paid
to the overseers of the poor of the respective towns, instead of to
the county treasurer, and that the warrants attached to the tax rolls
in said county direct accordingly.

Chap. 655, Laws 1387, §1.

The board of supervisors of any county may make such rules and
regulations as it may deem proper in regard to the manner of fur-
nishing temporary or out-door relief to the poor of the several towns
in said county, by the overseers of the poor thereof, and also in re-
gard to the amount such overseers of the poor may expend for the
relief of each person or family, and after the board of supervisors
of any county shall have made such rules and regulations, it shall
not be necessary for the overseer of the poor of the towns in said
county to procure an order from a justice of the peace, or sanction
of the superintendent of the poor to expend over $10 for the relief
of any person or family, unless the board of supervisors of such
county shall so direct ; but this shall not apply to the counties of
New York, Kings and Onondaga.

Id., § 2.

In counties working under the Livingston county act, and which have not
adopted chapter 655, Laws 1887, ante, the statutes provide that relief shall be
furnished (except for medical services not exceeding $5), only upon an order of
a justice of the peace.

Osterhoadt t. Rigney, 98 N, T. 237; see chap. 655, Laws 1887, just above.

And in other counties which have not adopted chapter 655, Laws of 1887, it
seems to prescribe that no credit shall be allowed overseers of the poor, unless
it shall appear that such payment was made pursuant to a legal order of a justice
of the peace.
Id. 233.

except where omly one overseer is elected in the town; such overseer seems to be
vested with the discretionary power to expend not exceeding $10 for the relief of
one poor person or family.

Laws of 1845, chap. 180, § 1 ; see ante, 8 62A.

Revised Statutes of New Tork, part 1, chap. 80, tit. 1, § 31, provides that no
person shall be removed as a pauper from any city or town to any other city or
town of the same or any other county, or from any county to any other county,
but every poor person shall be supported in the county where he may be; that if



Auditing of AccouifTS. 367

he has gained a settlement in any town in such county he shall be maintained by
such town; and that if he has not gained a settlement in the county in which he
shall become poor, sick or infirm, he shall be supported and relieved by the su-
perintendent of the poor at the expense of the county. Such statutes as amended
by Laws of New York, 1885, chap. 546, provide that any pauper who shall, of his
own accord, come or stray from one city, town or county into another city, town
or county not legally chargeable with his support, shall be maintained by the su-
perintendent of the county where he may be; and that by taking certain proceed-
ings the liability of the county or town from whence he came for his support may
be fixed, if such county is so liable, neld, that one who had always been able
to support himself and family by manual labor, though the wages earned by him
were not more than sufBcient for that purpose, was not a pauper within the mean-
ing of the statute; and where, having been a resident of the city and county of
New York, he went to another county, and there met with an accident which ren-
dered him unable to support himself, the county from whence he came is not
liable for his support.

Wood Sup. Pr. T. Simmons, Com., etc., 4N. Y. Sup. 36S.

When, upon application for a mandamus, the defendant proceeds to a hearing
■without traversing the averments in the affidavits presented by the relator, this is
equivalent to a demurrer on the part of defendant, and the truth of the aver-
ments is to be considered as admitted.

The act of 1883 (chap. 28, Laws of 1882), making the town of Oswegatchie, St.
Lawrence county, a, separate and distinct poor district, did not operate as a repeal
of the privilege, extended to the supervisors of the county by the act of 1846
{chap. 245, Laws of 1846) to adopt the " Livingston County Act " (chap. 334, Laws
of 1845). The said act of 1882 refers simply to the rights and liabilities of the
several towns of the county, in respect to town poor, leaving those rights and lia-
hihties, so far as concerns the county poor, as they before existed, subject to the
general powers conferred upon the board of supervisors to regulate the subject.

Where, therefore, the board of supervisors of said county, by resolution,
adopted the •" Livingston county act " in proceedings by mandamus to compel
the said board to audit an account presented by the superintendents of the poor of
•the town of Oswegatchie for moneys expended for out-door relief in the tempo-
rary support of the county paupers, held, that the board of supervisors had the
light to adopt such resolution, and thereby it simply added to the responsibilities of
the several towns by imposing upon them respectively the duty of extending



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 40 of 96)