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To Simplify and Abridge the Practice, Pleadings and Proceed

ings of the Courts of this State.

WHEREAS, it is expedient, that the present forms of ac

tions and pleadings in cases at common law should be abolished, that the distinction between legal and equitable remedies should no longer continue, and that an uniform course of proceeding, in all cases, should be established; Therefore,

The People of the State of New York, represented in Se

nate and Assembly, do enact as follows:


SECTION 1. Division of remedies.

2. Definition of an action.
3. Definition of a special proceeding.
4. Division of actions, into civil and criminal,
5. Definition of a criminal action.
6. Definition of a civil action.
7. Civil and criminal remedies, not merged in each other.
8. Subjects embraced in this act.

These general definitions and divisions are intended to explain and limit the present act, and to show what rela

tion it bears to the entire code of procedure. It will be per(P. & p.)


ceived, that the part relating to civil actions is nearly complete, with the exception of the portions concerning witnesses and the rules of evidence. The part relating to the courts and their jurisdiction, will be enlarged, so as to embrace the whole subject of their organization and jursidiction, and the functions and duties of judicial officers, including sheriffs, coroners, jurors, referees and clerks. The parts relating to criminal actions, and to special proceedings, including arbitrations, habeas corpus, the discharge of insolvent or imprisoned debtors, the processes against absent or absconding debtors, and the enforcement of the liens of mechanics and material men, will be the subject of future reports.

The second part, now reported, it will be borne in mind, relates only to actions hereafter commenced. The difference between the present system and the former, is so radical, that there would be much difficulty in carryiug on an action commenced under the old system, according to the new. We bave thought it better, therefore, to keep the two distinct. The temporary act, which we shall recommend, will provide for actions now pending.

§ 1. Remedies in the courts of justice are divided into,

1. Actions, and
2. Special proceedings.

§ 2. An action is a judicial proceeding, between party and parly, for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offence.

§ 3. Every other remedy is a special proceeding.

4 Actions are of two kinds :

1. Civil, and

2. Criminal

$ 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 ani 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 liereafter 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.

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