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§ 5. A criminal action is prosecuted by the state, as a party, against a person charged with a public offence, for the punishment thereof.
6. Every other is a civil action.
§ 7. Where the violation of a right admits of both a civil and criminal remedy, the right to prosecute the one is not merged in the other.
$ 8. This act is divided into two parts.
The first relates to the courts of justice, and their jurisdiction.
The second relates to civil actions hereafter commenced in the courts of this state, and is distributed into twelve titles. The first four relate to actions in all the courts of the state, and the others, to actions in the supreme court, in the county courts, in the superior court of the city of New York, in the court of common pleas for the city and county of New York, in the mayors' courts of the cities of Albany, Hudson, Troy and Rochester, and in the rccorders' courts in the cities of Buffalo and Utica; and to appeals to the court of appeals, to the supreme court, to the county courts, and to the superior court of the city of New-York.
tested, be found to be a great improvement upon that which preceded it, we have applied ourselves to the task of ascertaining the causes of the difficulties which now impede its progress; and are fully satisfied, that they lie no deeper than the necessarily general and imperfect character of the legislation to which we have referred.
Under this conviction, we hare devoted much time to devising a system of enactments, by which the jurisdiction of the courts shall be clearly presented, and to such an arrangement of the means afforded them for the performance of their duties, as will render the administration of justice prompt and efficient. We have done so, because we are compelled to admit, that, without it, we should utterly despair of the attempt to ren ler any reform in legal procedure, (howerer, in other respects, simple and desirable,) of real benefit to the people.
To sustain the correctness of these observations, we need only refer to the legislation in respect to the jurisdiction of the supreme conrt. It is provided by the judiciary act, that," the supreme court organized by this act, shall possess the same powers and exercise the same jurisdiction, as is now possessed and exercised by the present supreme court and court of cha:7cery;" and that “all laws relating to the present supreme court and court of chancery, or any court held by any vicechancellor, and the jurisdiction, powers and duties of said courts, the proceedings therein and the officers thereof, their powers and duties, shall be applicable to the supreme court organized by this act, the powers and duties thereof, the proceedings therein, and the officers thereof, their powers and duties, so far as the same can be so applied, and are consistent with the constitution, and the provisions of this act.” (1 Laws of 1847, p. 323, sec. 16.) By reference to the Revised Statutes, it will be seen, that, the supreme court shall possess the pow. ers and exercise the jurisdiction which belonged to the supreme court of the colony of New-York, with the exceptions, limitations and additions created and imposed by the constitution and laws of this state ;" ( 2 R. S. 3d ed., 259, sec. 1,) and that "the powers and jurisdiction of the court of chancery
are co-extensive with the powers and jurisdiction of the court of chancery in England, with the exceptions, additions and limitations created and imposed by the constitution and laws of this state.” (2 R. S. 3d., ed. 234, sec. 60.)
But while we have been assiduously engaged in maturing this, as well as other portions of our system, we have felt that it was due, alike to the anxiety of the people and to the expressed desire of the legislature, that we should, at as early a day as possible, present such portions of the proposed reforms in remedial law, as could be, at once, safely and conveniently reduced to practice. It has been already remarked, that the report now presented is mainly designed to carry out the abolition of the distinction between suits at law and in equity, and between the existing forras of actions at law, and to introduce a system of pleading, trial and judgment, having for its object the statement of the grounds of action and defence, in clear and unambiguous language, and the application of the rules of law to each particular case, divested of the technicalities and subtleties which constitute, alike the chief merit and the prominent evil of the existing system.
While we have kept this object steadily in view, we have found it necessary to surrey the whole subject committed to us, and to introduce provisions bearing upon a variety of subjects necessarily interwoven with that to which we have referred. Among these, is a revision, in part, of the laws regulating the jurisdiction and functions of the courts.
That jurisdiction, as at present declared, so far as the original powers of all except the supreme court are concerned, is made to depend, in almost every instance, either upon the existing forms of action, or upon the distinctions o which they have given rise. And it will be seen by the provisions contained in this part, and the explanations which accompany them, that we have, in this respect, taken abundant care to avoid every source of embarrassment, which might otherwise result from the introduction of the more essential principles of this report.
In connection with this subject, also, while we have regarded our labors in this respect as rather secondary to the present purpose, we have not felt at liberty to overlook other defects in the existing judiciary system, which have occurred to us in the course of our investigations, and upon which we present, what we deem necessary and essential enactments. Their character, and the reasons for presenting them, need not here be anticipated, but will be found in the provisions themselves, and in the explanations with which they are accompanied.
of the courts, in general.
SECTION 9. The several courts of this state.
10. Their jurisdiction generally.
$9. The following are the courts of justice of this state:
1. The court for the trial of impeachments. 2. The court of appeals. 3. The supreme court. 4. The circuit courts. 5. The courts of oyer and terminer. 6. The county courts. 7. The courts of general sessions of the peace. 8. The courts of special sessions. 9. The surrogates' courts 10. The courts of justices of tne peace 11. The superior court of the city of New York, 12. The court of common pleas for the city and county