George Crane Morehouse.

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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 65 of 96)
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adoption of said resolution will not expire during the year of the
adoption of said resolution, then, at the general election to be held
next thereafter, there shall be elected two superintendents of the
poor for said countj', and their term of office shall be determined ia
accordance with the provisions of the Laws of 1847, chapter 498,
section 3, but for such term that the terms of the three superintend-
ents of the poor shall so expire that one of them shall be to be filled
at each annual election thereafter. In any county where. such reso-
lution has been already adopted, there shall be elected annually there-
after, at the general election in each year, one county superintendent
of the poor, who shall hold his office for three years.

Laws of 1847, chap. 498, §1, as amended by Laws of 1862, chap. 298; 8R. S. 1878;
not applicable to New York county .

§ 709. Who are not Eligible.— No supervisor is eli-
gible to the office of superintendent of the poor, nor shall any su-
perintendent of the poor be appointed to the office of keeper of the
poor-house in any county in this State.

Chap. 852, Laws of 1829, as amended by Laws of 1853, chap. 80.

In some countieB, by special act, he may be appointed keeper, and in others the
office of keeper is abolished.

A supervisor is not merely ineligible to bold the office of superintendent of the
poor, but he is ineligible to an election or appointment thereto.

The People, «z rel. Furman, v. Clute, 50 N. T. 451.

And where the charter of a city provides that supervisors of wards, elected
thereunder, shall be subject to all the provisions applicable to supervisors in the
towns, a supervisor of a ward of such city is brought within the provisions of the
act of 1863, chapter 80, above referred to, and is ineligible to the office of the
superintendent of the poor.

Id.



Board of Supervisors — Miscellaneous Duties. 587

§ 710. Term of Office. — In counties where only one su-
perintendent of the poor shall be chosen he shall hold his office for
three years, but in counties where three are chosen, one of the said
superintendents so elected shall hold his office for one year, one for
two years and one for three years, and the clerk of the county shall,
on the first day of January after such election, determine, by lot,
which of said superintendents shall hold his office for one year,
which for two, and which for three years, and annually thereafter,
there shall be elected one superintendent, who shall hold his office for
three years.

Chap. 498, Laws of 1847, § 3. Not applicable to New York county.

Term of Office w-hen only One Superintend-
ent. — In any county in this State, in which the board of super-
visors is authorized by law to direct by resolution that thereafter
only one county superintebdent of the poor should or shall be elected
in and for such county, and has so directed, or may hereafter sa
direct, the person elected as superintendent of the poor of such
county, at the election of such officer, next after the passage of such
resolution, shall be and is superintendent of the poor of such
county, to hold his office for three years from the first day of Janu-
ary next after election ; and at the general election next preceding
the expiration of his said term, and triennially thereafter, one super-
intendent of the poor shall be elected in and for such county.

Laws of 1854, chap. 188, §1. '

Unexpired Term of Others.— In any county having
more than one superintendent of the poor in office at the time of the
passage of such resolution, heretofore or hereafter, as specified in the
preceding section, the passage of such resolution shall not be deemed
to affect the then unexpired terms of such superintendents ; but the-
place of those then having one or two years yet to serve, whenever
vacated by death, resignation or expiration of their term, or other-
wise, shall not be filled, either by appointment or election.

Id., § 2.

§ 711. Vacancies, hO"W Filled.— Boards of supervis-
ors shall appoint county superintendents of the poor to fill vacan-
cies which may happen in such offices.

Chap. 498, Laws of 1847, § 4. Not applicable to New York county.

In People v. Comatock, 78 N. Y. 366, this statute was held to be
constitutional.



588 Supervisors' Manual.

The provision of the State Constitution (art 10, § 2) declaring that county offl-
ceis, whose election or appointment is not provided for in the Constitution, Bhall
be elected by the electors, or appointed by the board of supervisors of the county,
as the legislature sliall direct, includes superintendents of the poor; and the
power conferred upon the legislature embraces the power to fill vacancies in that
office.

Under the provisions of the statute of 1854, declaring that in counties wherein
the boards of supervisors determine to have but one superintendent of the poor,
he shall hold his office for three years, and providing for triennial elections
thereto (Laws of 1847, chap. 498), authorizing boards of supervisors to fill va
cancies in that office, where a vacancy occurs in a county whose board of super-
visors have determined to have but one superintendent, said board may flU the
vacancy by appointment for the unexpired term.

People, ex ret. Hatfield, v. Comstock, IS N. Y. 858.

Accordingly held, where the superintendent of the poor of Oneida county, who
•was elected in 1876, was removed by the governor, and defendant was appointed
in October, 1878, by the board of supervisors to fill the vacancy, that defendant's
term did not expire until January 1, 1880, and that, therefore, the election of re-
lator to that office at the annual election in 1878 was unauthorized.

Id. 356.
§ 712, Pay of Superintendent.— The board of su-
pervisors liave the power to fix the compensation to be paid to the
superintendent of the poor.

Chap. 482, Laws of 1875, %i, subd. 2.
See law in full, § 559, ante.

In Ulster county the salary is fixed by the legislature at $1,500,
and no other fees, commissions or percentages shall be allowed.

Chap. 355, Laws of 1879, as amended by chap. 231, Laws of 1884.

§ 713. To Give Bond.— Every person hereafter elected to
the office of superintendent of the poor shall, within ten days after
his election, give a bond to the supervisors, with two or more suf-
ficient sureties to be approved by the board of supervisors, and in
such sum as they shall direct, conditioned that such person shall
faithfully execute the duties of his office, and shall pay according to
law all money which shall come to his hands as superintendent of
the poor, and render a just and true account thereof to the board of
supervisors.

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

Laws of 1848, chap. 327; 3 E. S. 1875. Not applicable to New York county.

It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors of the several
counties to fix the penalty of the bonds of superintendents of the
poor, at their next annual session ; and the sureties may be approved
by the county clerk in the recess of the board of supervisors.

Laws of I860, chap, 12.



Board of Supekvisors — Miscellaneous Duties. 589-

Superintendents of the poor hereafter to be elected may have
until the first day of January next after the election to take the oath
of office and file their official bond.
Id,

§ 714. Powers and Duties Of Superintendent.

— They shall be a corporation by the name of the superintendents
of the poor of the county for which they shall be appointed, and
shall possess the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes ;
they shall meet as often as the supervisors of the county shall direct, at
the county poor-house, if there be one, or at the place of holdinp^ courts
in their county, or at one of the places of holding courts, if there be
more than one, and at such other times and places as they shall think
expedient ; they shall have a general superintendence and care of the
county poor who may be in their respective counties ; and shall have
power, and it shall be tl^eir duty,

1. To provide suitable places for the keeping of such poor, when
so directed by the supervisors of any county where houses for that
purpose have not been erected by the county ; and for that purpose,
to rent a tenement or tenements, and land not exceeding fifty acres,^
and to cause the poor of the county to be maintained in such places.

2. To establish and ordain prudential rules, regulations and by-
laws, for the government and good order of such places so provided,
and of the county poor-houses, and for the employment, rehef,
management and government of the persons therein placed ; but such,
rules and regulations shall not be valid until sanctioned by a ma-
jority of the judges of the county courts of such county in writing.

3. To employ suitable persons to be keepers of such houses or
places, and all necessary officers and servants, and to vest such powers
in them for the government of such houses as shall be necessary, re-
serving to the paupers who may be placed under the care of such
keepers the right of appeal to the superintendents.

4. In the counties where a poor-house is erected, or other place-
provided for the poor, to purchase the furniture, implements and ma-
terials that shall be necessary, from time to time, for the maintenance
of the poor therein, .and their employment in labor or manufactures,
and to sell arid dispose of the proceeds of such labor as they shall
deem ex-f>edient.

5. To prescribe the rate of allowance to be made to any persons
for bringing paupers to the county poor-house or place provided for
the poor, subject to such alterations as the board of supervisors may,,
by a general resolution, make.



590 SuPBRvisoEs' Manual.

6. To authorize the keepers of such houses or places so provided,
to certify the amount due to any person for bringing such paupers ;
which amount shall be paid by the county treasurer, on the produc-
tion of such certificate, countersigned and allowed by any two super-
intendents.

7. To decide any dispute that shall arise concerning the settle-
ment of any poor person, summarily, upon a hearing of the parties;
and, for that purpose, to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of
witnesses, and to administer oaths to them in the same manner, with
the like power to enforce such process as is given to justices of the
peace in any matter cognizable by them ; their decisions shall be
filed in the office of the county clerk within thirty days after they
are made, and shall be conclusive and final upon all parties interested.

8. To direct the commencement of suits by any overseers of the
poor who shall be entitled to prosecute for any penalties or upon
any recognizances, bonds or securities taken for the indemnity of any
town or of the county ; and in case of the neglect of any such over-
seer, to commence and conduct such suits, without the authority of
such overseers, in their names.

9. To draw from time to time on the county treasurer for all
necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties, which
drafts shall be paid by him out of the moneys placed in his hands
for the support of the poor.

10. To render to the board of supervisors of their county, at their
annual meeting, an account of all moneys received and expended by
them, or under their direction, and of all their proceedings.

11. To pay over all moneys remaining in their hands within fif-
teen days after the expiration of their oflSce, to the county treas-
urer, or to their successors.

2R. S. 1855, §16.
See Decisions under §§ 715-6.

§ 715. Further Po"wers.— The superintendents of the
poor in the several counties in this State shall audit and settle all
accounts of overseers of the poor, justices of the peace, and all other
persons, for services relating to the support, relief or transportation
of county paupers ; and shall from time to time draw on tiie county
treasurer for the amount of the accounts which they shall so audit
and settle.

Laws of 1832, chap. 26, § 1 ; 3 R. S. 1870.



BOAED OF SUPEEVISOES — MISCELLANEOUS DUTIES. 591

This latter act has been construed to mean that it has no reference to services per-
formed by the servants and laborers who are employed at the county po6r-house.

Hayes v. Symonds, 9 Barb. 268.

Nor to services of an attorney in bastardy proceedings.
Neary v. Superintendents, 98 N. Y. 81.

Nor to contracts made by the superintendents, and so make them sit as judges
upon questions relating to their own conduct, and their own corporate liability,
t^ seems.

Id. 84. See decisions after next section.

Wbento Appoint Keeper and Physician.—

In each county where there is inoref than one superintendent of
the poor and where there is a poor-house, the superintendents shall
appoint a keeper and physician for the poor-house.

Chap. 532, Laws of 1851.
n some counties by special acts, the superintendent acts as keeper.

§ 716. Keports of commitments, appointments to asylums,
reformatories, or other institutions, to be made to the clerk of the
board of supervisors.

See " Benevolent Institutions."

As to whether the statute (Laws of 1833, chap. 36) authorizing superintendents
of the poor to " audit and settle all accounts. * » * For services relating
to the support, relief or transportation of county paupers," confers upon those
officers power to audit claims under contracts made with them, quere ?

A claim of an attorney for services rendered by him on the employment of
superintendents of the poor in bastardy proceedings is not one " relating to the
support, relief or transportation " of paupers within the'meaning of that statute,
and no power is conferred upon the superintendents to audit such a claim.

Said officers have power to employ an attorney to conduct such proceedings;
they are responsible to the attorney for his services, and he may enforce his
claim against them by action.

It seems that every expense they incur by such employment is a county charge,
subject to the audit of the board of supervisors.

Neary v. Robinson et al., 98 N. Y. 81.

The superintendents of the poor of the county have no power to expend money
for the temporarj relief of the poor. The right or duty devolves upon towns and
their officers. Nor can the superintendent afford support to paupers elsewhere
than at the poor-house, or place provided for that purpose under the direction of
the board of supervisors.

Gallup v. Bell, 20 Hun, 172.

The superintendents of the poor audit all accounts for services relating to the
support of the county paupers, and draw directly on the treasurer for the amount
of the accounts they audit (Laws of 1833, p. 48, § 1); in regard to compensation to
jurors, boards of supervisors may direct an allowance to tnem, in which case they
are to raise the necessary sum for the purpose, and the jurors are paid directly by
the treasurer on the certificate of the clerk of the court of their attendance. In
relation to these two classes of claims, therefore, boards of supervisors have no
duty to perform as auditors. Their only duty is to raise money to be placed in
the treasury sufficient to meet their probable amount.

Chemung Canal Bank v. The Supervisors of Chemung, 6 Denio, S64.



592 SuPERVisoBs' Manual.

TEe board of supervisors of a county has no power to direct the county treas-
urer not to pay, out of the poor funds, any drafts drawn by the superintendents
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 piud be
specified therein.

People, «a; rel. Serren, v. Demarest, 16 Hun, 123.

They are bound to provide funds to pay orders drawn by the superintendents
of the poor and certificates given for service as jurors, and if the funds are wasted
or ]ost, to provide others to replace them.

Chemung Canal Bank v. Board of Supervisors of Chemung County, B Denio, 617.

The ofiBce of superintendent of the poor, though vested with corporate powers,
is, notwithstanding, a mere agency of the county, and the relation between the
county and its superintendent is that of principal and agent.

People V. Bennett, 37 N. T. 117.

An action cannot be maintained against the superintendents of the poor upon
an account for services relating to the support of county paupers.

Should the superintendent refuse to audit such an account the proper remedy is
by certiorari, it seems.

Tedder v. Superintendents, etc., of Schenectady, 5 Denio, 564.

Where a person sells to superintendents of the poor, provisions for the poor-
house, upon an agreement that it is to be a cash sale, or if an order shall be given,
that it shall answer as cash, whereupon the superintendents give him an order
upon the treasurer of the county, for the amount, and upon presentment of such
order to the treasurer payment is refused, for want of funds, the vendor is re-
mitted to his original right of action against the superintendents, and may recover
of them the value of the supplies.

In such a case the county is liable on the contract made by its authorized agents,
in the business specially committed to them by the statute; and that liability Is to
be enforced in a suit against the superintendents.

Paddock v. Symonds, 11 Barb. 117.

Superintendents of the poor are not bound to audit the accounts of physicians
and others for services rendered to county paupers by request of the overseers of
the poor of the several towns; and this, though the services were rendered in
pursuance of orders for temporary relief.

It is the duty of the overseers to adjust such accounts and charge them in their
bills against the county.

The employment of a physician by the superintendents of the poor of a county
does not supersede the right of the overseers of the several towns to employ other
physicians to attend county paupers entitled to temporary relief. Serrible, per

COWEN, J.

Exparte Green & Brown, i Hill, 558.

The statutes relating to the support of the poor at county poor-houses furnish
no authority for a discrimination between county and town poor, in respect to
the application of the income of the poor-house farm. On the contrary the legis-
lature intended the income should be applied to the support of the poor of tho
county generally at the poor-house without distinction.

The statutory provisions obviously contemplate that the benefits resulting
from the poor-house and farm shall be common to the county and towns, in re-
spect to the support of the poor at the poor-house, without any regard whatever
to the general oljligation of each to support its own poor.

The occupancy of the property, the products of the farm consumed thereon and
in the poor-house, the labor of the poor in carrying on the farm and the business
of the poor-house, the avails of sales of products of the farm and the labor of the
poor, are all to go, and be applied, to reduce the expenses of the support of the
poor generally, at the poor-house, without any discrimination.

Thus, where the city of Rochester was, by law, in the condition of a town, in
respect to the mode of supporting its poor at the county poor-house, it was held
that the income of the poor-house farm in Monroe county ought to be applied to



BoAED OF Supervisors — Miscellaneous Duties. 593

the support, indiscriminately, of the county, town and city poor, kept at the
county poor-house on said farm.

City of Rochester t. Supervisors of Monroe, 22 Barb. 248.

A public officer, who is liable to be sued for services rendered for the public at
his request, may confess a judgment in his official capacity for the amount.

The supervisors of the county are, however, not concluded by the judgment;
they have a right to go behind it and inquire whether the whole or any part of
the cause of action was a county charge.

The overseer of the poor cannot incur for the county a liability beyond the sum
of $10, for relief in a single case, without the consent of one of the superintend-
ents of the poor.

But with this restriction his power of giving temporary relief is independent of
the control of the superintendents of the poor.

Gere v. Sapervisors of Cayuga 7 Hovr. 255.
See "Auditing of Accounts," ante, § 458, for the auditing oi judgments, etc.

Under the provisions of the Revised Statutes, the board of supervisors in each
county had power to examine, settle and allow all accounts chargeable against
the county. This power was exclusive of all other authority over the subject, to
this extent, at least, that when exercised it was subject to no review, and that no
action could be maintained against a county for a county charge.

Huff V. Knapp, 5 N. T. 67; Brady v. Supervisors of New York Co., 10 id. 260;
People V. Lawrence, 6 Hill, 244; People v. Supervisors of Dutchess Co., 9 Wend.
508 ; Supervisors v. Briggs, 2 Denio, 26, 39 ; People, ex rel. Outwater, v. Green,
56 S. Y. 469.

Superintendents of the poor should sue in the corporate name given them by the
Statutes, and not in their individual names, describing themselves as superintend-
ents of the poor.

Pomeroy v. Wells, 8 Paige, 405.

Superintendents of the poor are not authorized to receive paupers into the
county poor-house to be supported at the expense of the county, unless an order
to that effect has been made by the overseer of the poor, or a warrant has been
issued for the removal of the pauper to the county poor-house as a lunatic.

^ Id.

The principles to be deduced from the above decisions seem to be these :
That the superintendents acting within the powers conferred upon them, are
First, a corporation having the superintendence and custody of the poor-house,
its inmates, the furnishing of supplies and materials, attendants, etc.;

Second, that they are agents of the countyto this extent at least, that acting within
their legal powers, they can bind the county as to third persons, who, upon reeeiv
ing orders upon the county treasurer for legal contracts, materials, etc., duly fur-
nished, are entitled to be paid therefor; but that the accounts of the superintend-
ent are to be examined, settled and allowed, the same as other county charges are
audited, and thereby the board have a check upon the superintendent as to the
amounts expended for which his bondsmen are liable.
See "Audit of Superintendent's Account," fod.

It is, therefore, essential that the bond, in these cases, be sufficiently large and
well secured, as there seems to be no limit to the amount of " orders " that may
be dra-wn by the superintendent upon the county treasurer, nor any satisfactory
method of knowing how many have been issued and set afloat.

The whole system of laws on this subject is in a very unsettled and chaotic
condition, and deserves a thorough revision.

Some counties have special acts on the subject.

§ 717. Majority of Superintendents to Act.—

8R. S. 1854, §16
75



594 SuPEETisoRs' Manual.

The provision of the Revised Statutes, declaring that a majority of the super
intendentsof the poor of a county "shall beat all times competent to tran^i
business and to execute any powers vested in the board of superintendents "
authorizes the majority to act, irrespective of and without consultation with the
minority.

The authority to bind minors as apprentices given to said superintendents may
therefore, be executed by a majority, without a meeting of, or a notice to all.
Johnson v. Dodd, 56 N. Y. 76.

§ 718. Audit of Accounts of Superintendent.

— By subdivisiou 10 above and by Laws of 1869, chapter 855, section
8, the superintendents are required " to render to the board of super-
visors of their county, at their annual meeting, an account of
all moneys received and expended by them or under their direc-
tion and of all their proceedings, and it is the duty of the board to
audit the accounts of the superintendents of the poor.

As to counties acting under the Livingston county act, see " Livingston County
Poor Law," ante.

§ 719. Supervisors to Make Regulations as
to Accounts.

Section 1. The boards of supervisors of the several counties of
this State are hereby authorized to make such regulations and require-
ments concerning the keeping of poor accounts, and disbursements by
overseers of the poor, and their report to town auditors, and also con-
cerning the keeping of poor accounts and disbursements, and the man-
ner of auditing bills presented to them and their report to the board of
supervisors by county superintendents of the poor as the efficiency of
the service and the protection of the interests of the public may re-



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 65 of 96)