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 62 of 96)
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vacant. Every person appointed or elected to the office of county
treasurer, within twenty days from the time he shall receive notice
of his election or appointment, and before he enters upon the duties
of office, shall in addition to the bond hereinbefore mentioned, to


be given to the supervisors of the county, give a bond to the people
of the State of New York, with two or more sureties, to be approved
by the comptroller, in such penalty as the comptroller shall direct,
conditioned that such person shall faithfully execute the duties of his
office, and shall pay over to the State treasury, according to law, all
moneys belonging to the State which shall have come, or which shall
thereafter come, into his hands as county treasurer, and render a
just and true account thereof to the comptroller of the State, which
bond shall be filed with the comptroller. At any time, when, in the
opinion of the comptroller, the moneys intrusted to such person as
treasurer shall be deemed unsafe or the surety insufficient, the comp-
troller may require a new and further bond, with like conditions as
the first, and in such penalty and with such sureties as the comp-
troUer may deem requisite and proper. Should default be made in
the giving and filing of the bond to the people of this State, as herein
provided for, within the time limited herein, or should the said county
treasurer neglect to renew his bond, as last hereinbefore provided
for, the comptroller shall cause a written notice to be served on the
person so in default, requiring him to furnish such bond or such re-
newal, as the case may be, within ten days from the day of the service
of such notice, wliereupon, if such treasurer shall still be in default,
he shall be deemed to have vacated his office, and the governor shall
appoint a proper person to fill such vacancy.

2 R. S. 952, aa amended by Laws of 1874, chap. 502.

§651. To be Approved by tbe Board.— Such

bond, with the approbation of the board of supervisors indorsed
thereon by their clerk, shall be filed in the office of the county clerk.

2 E. S. 953, § 19.

But in those counties where the annual meeting is held before the
annual election, the board are to fix the penalty of the bond of the
treasurer at their next annual meeting after the election of such
treasurer, and the sureties may be approved by the county clerk and
chairman of the board in the recess of the board of supervisors.

Laws of 1850, chap. 346 ; 2 E. S. 955.

A bond conditioned to " render a just and true account to the board of super-
visors, or to the comptroller of the State when thereunto required," is valid, the
interpolated words being surplusage.
Supervisors t. Pindar, 3 Lans. 8.

§ 652. Bonds to be Given for Sinking Fund
Created to Pay To-wn Debt for Railroad Aid.

— Bj Laws of 1869, chapter 907, all taxes, except school and road

560 SuPBKVisoBS' Manual.

taxes, collected for thirty years, or so much thereof as may be neces-
sary in any town, village or city, on the assessed valuation of any
railroad therein, for which said town, village or city has issued, or
shall issue bonds, to aid in the construction of said railroad, shall be
paid to the county treasurer in which said town, city or village lies.
The county treasurer therewith was to purchase said town bonds
when the same could be purchased at or below par ; the bonds so
purchased to be immediately canceled by said treasurer and county
judge, and deposited with the board of supervisors. If such pur-
chase could not be made at or below par, he was required to invest
the funds and interest in State, city, county, town or village bonds
duly issued, to be held as a sinking fund for the redemption and
payment of said railroad debt. The county treasurer was required,
in counties in which one or more towns had issued bonds for railroad
purposes, to execute a bond, with two sufficient sureties, to be ap
proved by the county judge, to the people of the State of New
York, in such penal sum as may be prescribed by the board of super-
visors, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties de.
volving upon him under this act.

Laws of 1869, chap. 907, § 4, as amended by Laws of 1871, chaps. 283, 925; IK.
S. 873.

See post, "Railroad Aid Bonds."

§ 653. Suit on Bond.— Whenever the condition of the
county treasurer's bond shall be forfeited to the knowledge of the
board of supervisors of the county, and whenever such board shall
be required so to do by the comptroller, they shall cause such bond
to be put in suit.

2 R. S. 954, S 27.

§ 654. Disposition of Moneys Recovered.— All

moneys recovered in any such action shall be applied by the board of
supervisors to the use of the county, unless the same or some part
thereof shall have been received by the county treasurer for the use
of the State ; in which case, such moneys, or such part thereof as
shall have been so received, shall be paid by the supervisors to the
treasurer of the State.

Id., § 28.

§ 655. Banks of Deposit Desig-nated by
County Treasurer to Give Bonds.— By Laws of
1877, chapter 436, § l,the county treasurer,exceptinNew York county,
within twenty days after he shall have entered upon the duties of

Board of Supervisors — Miscellaneous Duties. 561

his office, was required to designate one or more good and solvent
banks, etc., for the deposit of all moneys received by him and to agree
upon a rate of interest per annum to be paid on moneys so deposited,
which accrued interest, as often as once in six months, was to be
credited in such account for the use of said county. The treasurer
was required to deposit, at least once a week and in counties contain-
ing a city having more than ten thousand inhabitants, daily, all such
moneys so received by him. In counties having a city containing
more than twenty thousand inhabitants, such bank must have an
unimpaired capital stock of at least $100,000.

2 K. S. 957.

§ 3. Each bank, banker or banking association so designated shall, for the bene-
fit and security of the county, and before receiving any such deposits, give to
the supervisors of such county a good and suflBcient bond, with two or more
sureties to be approved by the county judge of the county in which such bank,
banker or banking association shall be located, and the chairman of the board of
supervisors of the county of which such treasurer is an oflScer, and by such treas-
urer. Such bond shall specify the amount which such treasurer shall be author-
ized to have on deposit at any one time with such depositary, and shall he in a
penal sum of twice such amount, and shall be conditioned for the safe-keeping
and payment on the order or warrant of such treasurer, or upon other lawful
authority, of such deposits and of the agreed interest thereon, and for the pay-
ment of such bonds or coupons as by their terms are made payable at a bank or
banks,, and for the payment of which a deposit shall be made by such treasurer
with such depositary. And it shall be the duty of the clerk of the board of
supervisors to file such bond in the oflBce of the clerk of such county. The board
of supervisors of the county of Queens may, however, authorize the treasurer of
said county of Queens to dispense with the bond required under this section when
said treasurer shall not be able to obtain such bond.

Nothing herein contained shall apply to the counties of Sullivan, Putnam,
Greene, Monroe, Onondaga, Ck)lumbia, Seneca, Essex, Delaware, Cortland, Madi-
son, Oswego, Rensselaer and Herkimer. •■

Id., §§ 2 and 11 as amended by the Laws of 1886, obap. 673


§ 656. Pay of County Treasurer, Trhen Fixed.

— Every county treasurer hereafter elected or appointed shall receive
as compensation for his services an annual salary, to be fixed by the
board of supervisors. He shall not receive to his use any interest,
fees or other compensation for his services, except in proceedings for
the sale of lands for unpaid taxes as may bo now provided for by
law. It shall be the duty of said board to fix the .salary of any treas-
urer hereafter elected, at least six months before his election, and
such salary shall not be increased nor diminished during his term of
office, and no county treasurer shall purchase or be directly or indi-
rectly interested in any purchase of any claim whatever against the
county of which he is the treasurer.

Laws of 1877, chap. 436, 8 5; 2 R. S. 958. For Ulster county, see chap. 855, Laws
of 1879, as amended by chap. 231, Laws of 1884, § 1.


562 SuPBKTisoEs' Manual.

The board of supervisors of any comity may authorize the em-
ployment, by the treasurer, of such clerk or clerks and other assist-
ants as may be deemed necessary by such board ; the compensation
to be determined by such board.

Id., 8 6.

Nothing in this act shall be construed as preventmg the treasurera
of the several counties of this State, in which the treasurer is a
salaried officer, from retaining for the benefit of their said counties,
respectively, the same compensation for receiving and paying the
money belonging to the State every year, as that now allowed by
law where such treasurer is not a salaried officer, and the comptroller
is hereby authorized to allow to the said treasurers, for the benefit
of their respective counties, on State taxes hereafter received and
paid over by them, where not already allowed, the compensation now
allowed by law, where such treasurer is not a salaried officer.

Id., § 10, as amended by Laws of 1880, chap. 233.

This act does not apply to the counties of Sullivan, Putnam,
Greene, Monroe, Onondaga, Columbia, Seneca, Essex, Delaware,
Cortland, Madison, Oswego, Hensselaer and Herkimer.

Id., e 11, as amended by Laws of 1386, cbap. 673. See Laws of 1846, cbap. 189, as
amended by Laws of 1871, cbap. 110, post.

See "Decisions," § 657.

The several county treasurers of this State shall hereafter receive
for their services, instead of the fees now allowed by law, such com-
pensation as shall be fixed by the respective boards of supervisors of
their respective coimties, not exceeding the one-half of one per cent
for receiving and the half of one per cent for disbursing all moneys
belonging to their said counties respectively. In addition to such
compensation so fixed as aforesaid, they shall be entitled to retain a
commission of one per centum on every dollar belonging to the State,
which they shall receive and pay over, to-wit: one-half of one per
centum for receiving and one-half of one per centum for disbursing,
but in no case to exceed the sum of $500. This act shall not apply
to the counties of New York, Kings, Albany, Otsego, Onondaga,
Erie and Westchester.

Laws of 1846, chap. 189, as amended by Laws of 1871, chap. 110; 3 R. S. 2466.
See " Decisions," next section.
There are various local acts on this subject.

Under the act " to tax gifts, legacies and collateral inheritances,"
the treasurer of each county * * * shall be allowed to retain,
on all taxes paid and accounted for by him each year, under this act,

Board of Supervisoks — Miscellaneous Duties. 563

in addition to his salary or fees now allowed by law, five per eefnt on
the first $50,000 so paid and accounted for by him, three per i-ent
on the next $50,000 so paid and accounted for by him, and one per
cent on all additional sums so paid and accounted for by him.

Chap. 713, Laws of 1837, § 22.

§ 657. Decisions.

County treasurers, since they have become salaried officers, are not entitled to
•exact, for their own use, fees or commissions for receiving and paying out moneys
passing through their hands In the course of legal proceedings.

But they must demand and receive the commissions provided by law, and apply
them to the use of the county.

In re N. T. C. & H. R. R. R., 7 Abb. N. C. 408.

In Monroe and Seneca counties and the other counties excepted, chapter 605, Laws
of 1875, relating to county treasurers in Monroe and Seneca counties, as amended by
chapter 313, Laws of 1879, was not intended to and did not deprive the county
treasurers of those counties, of the amount they were entitled to receive for the
collection and pa.Yment of the State taxes as fixed by chapter 110, Laws of 1871,
but such commissions belong to the county.

Supervisors v. Allen, 99 N. Y. 532.

See other counties under same exception, ante, "Pay of County Treasurers,
when Fixed."

His fees for sales of land for unpaid taxes are to be audited by the town board,
and he has no right, without audit or direction, to deduct his fees therefor from
funds belonging to the town.

Warren v. Baldwin, 105 N. Y. 53i.

The board of supervisors have no power to direct the county treasurer not to
pay, out of the poor funds, .any draft drawn by the superintendent of the poor to
their own order or to the order of either of them, nor to direct him not to pay any
draft, unless the object for which the money is to be paid be specified therein.

People, exrd. Severn, v. Demarest, 16 Hun, 123.

A county treasurer is liable to the county for interest received on deposits oi
county funds.

Supervisors v. Wandel, 6 Lans. 33; affirmed, 59 N. Y. 645.
See " Town Notes," § 473, ante.

In November, 1866, the board of supervisors of S. county passed resolutions
providing for raising, by taxation, a certain amount of the bounty debt, and di-
recting the county treasurer "to procure an extension of the time of payment of
the residue." The debt so provided for, termed the town bounty debt, at that
time amounted to over $500,000, represented by a large number of separate obli-
gations, a large portion of which matured in February thereafter. No other pro-
vision was made for the payment of the maturing obligations. Similar resolu-
tions were passed at each annual session of the board down to 1875. Held, that
the authority given was to be construed in reference to the circumstances, and
was not limited to an extension of the then outstanding obligations, but author-
ized the county treasurer to borrow money to pay they matured, and to
issue new obligations in renewal of those then existing or for the new loans.

In each year from 1865 to 1875, the accounts of the treasurer, which, with the
vouchers accompanying them, showed that he had made new loans and issued
new obligations, were audited without objection by a committee of the board.
Hdd, the inference was irresistible that the board was cognizant of the facts,
and its acquiescence in the assumption of the power by the treasurer to borrow
money and give new obligations as a means of extending the debt, was cogent^

564 Supervisors' Manual,

evidence that the authority intended to be conferred Included these transactions.

It seems any authority given to a county by the legislature to extend its in-
debtedness, includes the power to do it by borrowing money, and substituting
new obligations in place of the old ones.

The town bounty debt, so called, was incurred in pursuance of a resolution of
the board of supervisors authorizing the borrowing of money on the credit
of the county, to be disbursed for bounties on the order of tlie supervisors
of tlie respective towns. The amount so drawn by eacli supervisor, it was de-
clared, should constitute a debt of his town, payable by taxation of its property.
There was no vote of the electors of the town authorizing the debt, as prescribed
by the act of 1864 (§ 33, chap. 17, Laws of 1864). Held, that the debt was le-
gaily a debt of the county, not of the several towns; but that the authority of
the treasurer extended to it, and it was immaterial that it was not described in the
resolution with legal accuracy.

In an action upon notes issued by the county treasurer to P., plaintiflf's intes-
tate, for moneys loaned, ostensibly to pay maturing obligations of the county, iu
pursuance of said resolutions of the board of supervisors, and in renewal of notes
so given, it appeared that there was a fraudulent overissue of notes by the
county treasurer to a large amount; that notes were outstanding at the time of
the annual meeting of the board of supervisors in 1874 to the amount of $138,-
631, while if the money raised by taxation had been honestly applied, and he had
borrowed only sufficient to extend the portion of the debt he was directed to Lave
extended, the whole debt would have been but $30,801. It did not appear that
the treasurer misapplied any of the money for which the notes in suit were
given, and at no time did the indebtedness the treasurer was authorized to extend
fall short of the loans made by P., and the good faith of the lender was not
questioned. Hdd, that the evidence failed to establish a defense to the notes;
that as the authority given to the treasurer authorized transactions and dealins^s
in form of the same precise character as those which took place between the treas-
urer and the payee of the notes, the presumption was that they were authorized;
and if, in fact, they were not within the actual limits of the power, the burden
was upon defendant to show it.

It is immaterial in this regard whether the agency is a general one or confined
to a particular series of transactions for the principal.

It was shown that in some years renewal notes were given to P. after the treas-
urer had renewed notes held by other parties exceeding in amount tiie debt
which tlie board of supervisors had requested him to extend. Held, that
this did not make out the defense; that there was as much reason for considering
those other notes to be representatives of unauthorized loans, as there was for
regarding as of that character the notes surrendered by P. on receiving the new

It was claimed that the resolutions of the board were invalid, because they as-
sumed to delegate to the treasurer the judicial and legislative power of the board
to determine the extent and amount of the liabilities of the county, and to audit
and allow the same. Held, untenable, as the authority was to extend a debt
already existing, not to create a new debt, or to pass upon or allow a disputed or
doubtful claim; also held, that it was not necessary to present the claim to the
board of supervisors for audit.

As to whether the county could be charged in case it had been affirmatively shown
that the notes iu question were fraudulently Issued by the treasurer in excess of
his authority, qumre.

Parker et al. v. Supervisors of Saratoga County, 106 N. Y. 392.

A debtor sent his creditor a check on bankers at M. The creditor, on the same
day, sent the check to its bank at New York for collection. That bank, on the
day after its receipt, sent it to the drawees at M. for collection and remittance,
according to a common practice among banks. The usual form of remittance in
such cases was by draft. The drawees sent a New York draft for the amount,
but on the same day they failed and made an assignment. The draft being pre-
sented without delay, payment was refused. Held, that the draft did not consti-
tute payment of the debt.

Thomas v. Westchester County, 21 N. E. Rep. 674.

The sureties upon the official bond of a county treasurer are not discharged
from their obligation by any neglect, omission of duty, unfaithfulness or mal'

Board of Supervisors — Miscellaneous Duties. 565

feasauce on the part of the board of supervisors in their dealings witli the prin-
cipal in the bond. The law, while it imposes upon the board the duty of exam-
ining tlie accounts of the treasurer, does not guarantee to the sureties the per-
formance of that duty, or make the omission or negligent performance thereof a
•defense to an action upon the bond. <

Supervisors v. Otis et al., 62 N. Y. 88.

A county is not liable for the misappropriation by its county treasurer of funds
belonging to an infant, deposited with said treasurer, in pursuance of the act of
1848 (chap. 277, Laws of 1848), at least in the absence of evidence that the funds
were in some way used or applied for the benefit of the county.

As to whetlier a recovery could be had against a county on proof that the
county treasurer did apply the funds for its use or benefit, gucere.

Gray v. Supervisors, 93 N. Y. 603.

In November, 1866, the board of supervisors of Saratoga county, acting under
tlie authority conferred upon such board by the acts of 1864 and 1865 (chaps. 8
and 73, Laws of 1864, chap. 41, Laws of 1865), passed resolutions providing for
raising, by taxation, a portion of the bounty debt, and directing the county treas-
urer "to procure an extension of the time of payment of the residue." Similar
resolutions were passed each year down to 1875, and the annual accounts of the
county treasurer, with the accompanying vouchers, showed that he made new
loans and issued new obligations each year. In an action upon two notes given
by the county treasurer to plaintiff for money loaned, which, upon their face, pur-
ported to have been issued in pursuance of said resolutions, it appeared that said
officer had fraudulently overissued notes to a large amount, and that plaintiff was,
with the exception of one year, a member of the board of supervisors from 1863 to
1875, and chairman of the board for several years. There was no proof that at
tlie time the money was borrowed it was not needed for the purposes specified in
the resolutions, or that it was misappropriated. Held, the presumption was that
the county treasurer actually borrowed this money, as authorized, and applied it
»o the uses of the county; that the fact that plaintiff was a member of the
board did not make him chargeable vpith knowledge of the wrongs perpetrated
by the county treasurer, but even if so chargeable, this would not constitute a

Clarke v. Supervisors, 107 N. Y. 553.

A county treasurer received payment upon a mortgage belonging to an infant,
•which he canceled and discharged of record, without order of the court authoriz-
ing such discharge, as required by statute (3 R. S. 338, § 70). In his next annual
official report the treasurer specified the mortgage as still on hand and unpaid;
Le was re-elected and gave a new bond; he did not re-invest the funds or pay
over the moneys to his successor. In an action upon the bond given for his first
term, held, the evidence justified a finding that the moneys received were con-
verted by the treasurer to his own use, during his first term, and authorized a
judgment against the sureties.

Also held, that the condition of the bond, that the treasurer should faithfully
■discbarge his duties, involved the obligation of making correct reports, conform-
ing to the requirements of the statute (chap. 386, Laws of 1859, § 1), and the
failure so to do was a breach of this condition.

Also held, that the official report of the treasurer was competent evidence
Against the sureties.

ALso held, that the action on the bond was properly brought in the name of the
tooard of supervisors of the county, for the benefit of the infant.

Supervisors of Tompkins Co. v. Bristol et al., 99 N. Y. 316.

' It is the duty of the county treasurer to separate and set apart the taxes speci-
fied by law to be set apart as a " sinking fund " for redemption of town indebted-
ness for aiding railroad, even though a deficiency in funds required for town
■village, county or State purposes is thereby created.

Clark V. Sheldon, 106 N. Y. 104.

566 SuPERVisoKs' Manual.

§ 658. May Fill Vacancy in Office of County
Treasurer. — Any vacancy happening in the office of county
treasurer shall be filled by_appointment by the board of supervisors
until the 1st of January succeeding the next general election there-

Laws of 1848, chap. 136; 2R. S. 955.

§ 659. Seal of County Treasurer.

Section 1. The board of supervisors of any county in this State is hereby
authorized to provide an official seal to be used by the county treasurer.

§ 2. When any such seal shall be so provided, the treasurer shall file an im-
pression therefrom in the clerk's oflBce of such county, certifying that said
impression is from the seal so provided; and the said seal shall thereafter be the
seal of such treasurer and his successors in office, and shall be used In attesting:
all papers issued by him requiring any seal thereon,

§ 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

Laws of 18S5, chap. 140.

§ 660. Removal of County Treasurer.

The governor may remove any county treasurer from office whenever it shall
appear that such treasurer has been guilty of any malfeasance or other miscon-
duct, or malversation in office, first giving to such officer a copy of the charges

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 62 of 96)